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Journal Journal: Upgrading from Fedora 19 to 20 with fedup 5

I decided today was a good day to upgrade my Fedora 19 desktop machine to Fedora 20. I wasn't too worried about doing it as I finally gave up on using my Nvidia card in that box. On the intel chips everything is smooth.

The preferred method for upgrading is to use the fedup tool and there is a nice set of instructions for using fedup.

They say to read the bug report but I didn't. So that ended up costing me a little time.

I followed their instructions for installing fedup but that got me an older version not the latest. I didn't realize that and ran the thing and it worked up until it rebooted to do the actual update and then nothing happened and I was left with 19 still in place. I finally found the explanation of the problem with using fedup 0.7 and I tried following their instructions to get 0.8 but no matter what I did, yum wouldn't grab the newer version. Finally I just found the fedup package, downloaded it and installed it with rpm. Fortunately I just had to move all the files I'd already downloaded and then the process ran properly.
 
I'm not sure why yum wouldn't update to the newer version. I'm glad I figured it out. Once it ran the update did take a while as there were quite a few packages that needed updating. The instructions say to sync to the repos after it is done, I've tried to do that but it doesn't work. There is some issue with libre office and a spell checker. The sync wants to downgrade lots of packages, which I don't really understand at all. So for right now I'm just going to let it ride and see what happens.
 
It says I also need to uninstall and reinstall chrome. But chrome is working fine - so I'm not sure that I want to do that.
 
All in all it was a pretty painless experience. It took me a few minutes why the upgrade wasn't working - but if I had followed the instructions I would have seen my issue clearly listed and wouldn't have wasted the five minutes of searching that it took me to figure it out. So I'm pleased overall with the process. I can remember when upgrading was much more painful and I just did clean installs rather than dealing with it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Moscow 6

It's funny - every time (and it happened a lot) that I would fly into Florida, the dominant thought in my mind would be "Men went to the moon from here."

In December, barring something unexpected, I'll be visiting Russia for the first time. Moscow to be specific. And all I can think about is Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. It's probably my single favorite book. I'm pretty excited though I'll need to bring my heavy coat.

The closeness of Europe caught me off guard again. It seems like Moscow ought to be far away, even from here. It's a 2.5 hour flight that I booked on WizzAir for less than $200 round trip. Crazy. I think I'll end up spending more on my visa.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Screen Capture in KDE

Ran across an article by Carla Schroder today on making screencasts on linux using Kdenlive and Audacity. I didn't know Kdenlive could do capture. Shoot - last time I used it a couple years ago it was pretty unstable when I tried to use it to edit videos I'd made with RecordMyDesktop. So I didn't have it installed on my current system. Fixed that pretty quickly and on the setup saw that it can also capture from my webcam - and I assume any other kind of video input. That's pretty cool.
 
I'll have to play around with and see if the stability is better. I don't know that this would get me to move away from the current tools I use - but it just might. Kdenlive offers a lot of options for the video resolution and output types. Though her article seems to imply it's just going to capture video - not audio. That would make using the webcam less desirable and I'll be sticking to Kamoso. Adding audio after that fact to a screen cast involves some timing - but probably offers an opportunity for better content. But for a video of myself talking it's a non-starter.
 
On an unrelated note, I have a painting of a trout hanging on the wall that my desk faces. In the background is a stream (the trout is leaping out of the water to take a fly) and behind the stream there are huge towers with power lines. It cracks me up that the artist put those in. I mean - it's his creation - it could have been any setting. But he went with an element a lot of people take the time to remove from photographs. Cracks me up.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Windows 8.1 Nag Banner 5

As I mentioned previously - trying to install Windows 8.1 makes my new Samsung turn into an expensive paperweight.

No problem - I just wont install it.

This is apparently unacceptable. Now a blue banner will pop up across whatever I am doing (not sure of the interval yet) and has a button to take me to the store to upgrade to 8.1. The only way I've figured to get rid of it is to click the button and then let the store load, and then go back to the desktop and resume what I was doing. It stays on top of all windows and wont go away until I do that.

Unbelievable. Seriously. In what world are there people who think this is acceptable behavior?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Replaced the Glass on my S3

A few weeks ago I had a freak accident. I was sitting on the couch with my Galaxy S3 in my hand and next to the couch was a stool that I use as a little table. On the stool was an empty bottle. I went to flip the phone in my hand from a horizontal to a vertical orientation. It slipped and I tried to grab ahold of it. I failed and it slid to the floor. In reaching for it I also knocked the bottle of the stool. The phone was fine when it hit the floor, but then the bottle fell on the phone and shattered the glass. It looked like it had been shot, with a bullet hole left. I was sad.
 
I went online, did some quick research and then ordered a glass replacement kit on Amazon. Fortunately I'd just received a couple Nexus 4 phones (got a couple at the $199 price point) and so I could use that until I got the kit.
 
Today I finally set down and did the actual replacement. It takes forever and it rather stressful. I used a hair dryer to heat the glue and make it possible to seperate the parts. I used the tools in the kit to slowly pry the glass away from the front of the phone. Then I had to clean off all the glue junk left behind. Then it was time to put the new adhesive stuff in place and put the new glass down and see if things still worked.
 
Everything seems o.k. and it looks good. The button at the bottom is a touch more recessed than it used to be. I don't know if this is because I didn't get all the old adhesive out, the glass is thicker, or I did something else wrong. But it is servicable. The main thing is I'll be able to keep using my phone for a while longer.
 
I now purchase phones like I purchase computers. I spend what I think is appropriate ( I bought the S3 contract free for $600 US) and I expect to get a minimum of 3 years out of them. Anything past 3 I consider gravy. My little Acer is 4 years old now and still doing well.
 
There were lots of videos on youtube on how to do the procedure. I love youtube for that. Whenever I want to do some physical activity I don't know how to do - that is where I search first. The one moment I was really scared was when the little speaker/ear piece lifted up free from the phone. I was trying to get the new adhesive in place and accidentally lifted it free. I thought I'd broken it and was pretty upset. But it works fine. I don't know if it just needs to be in contact with something or if it the silver part I see is just sitting on top of the actual speaker.
 
My daughter has a Galaxy 5 tablet with a break in the glass. (Just one fracture - not like my phone was) If I can get replacement glass cheap enough, this has made me bold enough to try fixing it. But being from Samsung, it is running an old version of Android and will probalby never be upgraded again. And the hardware is not too impressive. May be worth it just to have her save up for something new.
 
I love Samsung stuff - just hate their support once it is out the door.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Solution to Amarok crashing my system 1

I mentioned earlier I think that I'm back to successfully using my Nvidia card with proprietary drivers - but for one issue. If I started Amarok (which would start - loaded to the tray) and then try to restore the gui to the desktop, my system would completely lock up. No keyboard input would be accepted at all. I had to hard power it down and restart.

Being the middle aged genius that I am - I started amarok from the command line and piped the error output to a file. That gave me something to google and took me to https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=323635 which gave me the solution.

As soon as I saw OpenGL was involved I knew this would make me happy. I can't get my system config to switch the compositing type away from XRender. Trying to check the OpenGL settings for the card throws an error - so it's some kind of driver problem I'm sure.

I just had to follow the directions there and disable the analyzer in Amarok in the file they mention. I don't know what the analyzer is or what it does - but things seem just fine without it so I'm cool. Though I like Clementine which I was using instead as it had no problems. So I exported my playlists from Amarok to something I could open in Clementine and I may just make the jump.

Either way - kind of cool, what search can do.

User Journal

Journal Journal: OSCON Talk Webcast 1

I get emails from O'Reilly about different webcasts. Sometimes they are pretty interesting. Today I registered for one about mobile app development. Apparently it is in some way connected to OSCON. Which is cool. Anyway, here is the funny part, after I registered it gave me a link to test my system. I did - and as you can see I failed the operating system test because I'm not running Windows or OS X. I did the registration and ran the test on my Fedora 19 machine.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Busy

Been super busy - so it's not that I mean to ignore you...

I'm not smart, I think I've said that before. Today I proved it by trying to use my old Nvidia card in my Fedora box again. Tired of hearing about that? Skip ahead then 'cause I'm gonna talk about it. I got it up and running for the most part. There is some strangeness in that it wont switch to OpenGL for compositing and I don't know why. But most software works well. I had to do the driver install twice. The Nouveau drivers leave things in quite the mess. The proprietary drives do fine so far. I'll know better after a few days. Oh - but back to the install twice. I had a lot of problems the first one and realized something that may have caused me a lot of trouble in the past.

When you I install the proprietary drivers via yum and the freshrpms repos there is some scripting that goes on to modify grub. Well I have this Seagate external drive and when it is plugged in and on - grub config fails. Something to do with sector sizes or some other. I don't remember. I just knew I had a lot of problems. Uninstalled the drivers, turned off the external drive, reinstalled and things are a lot better.

Oddly enough though - trying to use Amarok will completely lock up the system. Nothing works to get it going again. I have to hold down the power button until it shuts down. I switched to Clementine and things seem fine. It's not as pretty as Amarok but actually seems a bit easier to use so I'm willing to make that trade.

Chrome and Firefox work fine which is where I spend a lot of my time.

I've gotten involved in a mobile project. I pulled the code today but I need something from them to get Gradle set up. I've never used Gradle before so it should be interesting to learn about it.

I might be headed to Moscow in December. I've never been to Russia so I'm hoping it works out - even though it will be stinking cold.

That's mostly it. Life pushes forward.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The first 5 minutes with an iPad 9

Work is using iPad mini tablets for a project. They gave me one so that I could better support the project.

I've been busy and out of town so this morning I finally got to unbox it and set it up. The box is nice. The tablet itself feels heavy. The instructions to set it up and feedback were awkward. There was a little spinner thing and sometimes it would be spinning so I'd sit and wait to see what was going to happen but nothing would happen. It was waiting for me to hit "next". The next button was not always in the same place.

Whenever I had to type something I realized that the iOS keyboard is horrendous. It is so very, very bad. I always hear that people can't use Android because it isn't quite polished enough. How does any person use that horrible iOS keyboard, if they are picky about things. You can't even tell if you are typing upper or lower case unless you look to see what color the little shift key is. Unreal.

And it apparently wont charge off my desktop or laptop because those usb ports don't send enough power. Really? I read that turning off the screen will allow it to charge very slowly. So that's what I've done.

How do people make such a big deal about this platform. I haven't even gotten around to actually using it and I already don't like it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chrome New Tab Behavior 4

Opened up Chrome this morning and the page it loads on start is not my apps - which is what I want to see immediately. I had set it to always start with apps. Thought to myself, "Huh, I must have accidentally switched it somehow." and started looking to fix it.

Noticed that there is a new item on my bookmark toolbar that is called apps.

Do a little searching and realize that this is how it works now. I can't change it back through settings - looks like it will take poking around in the guts of chrome or finding an extension that fixes this.

What do I get instead of my apps? 8 thumbnails of my most recently visited sites and a google search text box. Right below my omni bar which I use to search with google. Now I have to add in a click to a little icon up in the corner - it feels and looks very much like using the corners on my wife's new windows 8 machine. Which is pretty funny if you think about it.

On a side note - Windows 8 isn't that bad in my opinion (for windows). My wife really likes it and I think it's pretty easy to use. It still has some annoyances that Windows has always had and maybe a couple new ones, but on the whole I think it's pretty similar to win 7 with some nice additions. Her laptop does not have touch but we haven't found it to be an issue. But I wander.

I guess Google beta tested this new tab behavior and received tons of negative feedback. I found this article saying be glad the new tab changes wont make it out of beta but unfortunately that guy was wrong. I found a google groups thread asking for feedback and it's almost completely against the change - but that apparently didn't outweigh whatever other considerations were pushing for the change.

I don't care if they want to play with the most viewed sites format - but I really don't understand taking away my ability to choose the apps view instead and forcing me to an extra mouse click to get to it. Seems to be the wrong direction.

Enough griping for today - got stuff to do.

User Journal

Journal Journal: California Scholarships for Undocumented Immigrants 2

I just read an article that interviewed a few kids taking advantage of college scholarships even though they aren't US citizens. Undocumented Students Get First Grants
 
I'm all for immigration reform and I think the US ought to be embracing immigration from Mexico in a big way. But this article made me sad. Look at what these kids want to study. Psychology? In my house we call that "getting a degree in retail management." Mostly because everyone I know with an undergrad degree in psych works as a manager in retail.
 
Please - give them scholarships - in fields that we need. medicine, technology, engineering - something. Not psychology and political science.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Windows Sound

I was doing some work and listening to music. The music was coming from the desktop that sits in my entertainment center, connected to my TV via hdmi. I'm no audiophile and my tv's audio is good enough for me. It was playing an Audioslave album in Google Music.

In the middle of a song the audio just cuts out. Total silence.

I kick over to a regular tv channel and it is fine. So the tv works.

I check the volume control and nothing is muted. Then I start digging around and there are a crazy number of places that have audio options/hardware settings. I was thinking, "Man I wish this was KDE - so much easier." I finally tracked it down. I'm not sure what happened - maybe an update to a driver for the audio stuff? There's a new audio manager program and I have no idea what started it or why it decided to change my default audio device, but it did. The machine had been up and running for quite a while. And the easy to find interface wouldn't let me switch the default. I had to find another menu via the control panel.

Pretty funny.

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