Tuesday, January 27 2015

Debian Jessie
[02:19:21] matt [wronka.org]/Psi+ I recently switched my home boot image from an ever-out-of-date Ubuntu installation to Debian Jessie, which was at one point "almost stable" or "almost frozen" or something like that. Then SystemD broke loose and it's still clearly testing.

Things that don't work:

NFS doesn't mount on boot. I give-up. I can't get it to mount anything from the init scripts. The Internet suggests this is because of something left in /var/run/network, but since /var/run is tmpfs this is clearly out (also, I checked, the directory isn't there).

Running sudo clears afs tokens. I've seen one other reported issue, but no solution. cf. http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.linux.debian.user/489795

I can no longer get a gnome-session or gnome-settings-daemon running on top of spectrwm. I also can't figure out how to change the window manager for gnome, so it seems like I'm stuck with all of gnome, or none of it now. Why do I care? colord/colormgr is really the only reason why. The rest of the gnome environment is an exercise in frustration.

The most surprising thing that works? Qt now doesn't look like vomit when running in a 30-bit X display.

Monday, January 6 2014

Ubuntu 13.10 and Darktable
[15:15:31] matt [wronka.org]/Trip Unfortunately, the Darktable developers package the latest versions for Ubuntu, which means it's simply easiest to use that distro. Installing 13.10 at home at least avoided the issues 13.04 had at work with filesystems not being mounted during init (like /tmp), but oddly switching from 12.10 to 13.10 30-bit dual-head became unstable and lost acceleration. 13.10 seems to work alright (or at lesat with accelration) when connected do one output to the Haswell card, but connecting two leads to instability and a lots of acceleration. The same computer, swaping the boot drive, works fine with dual-head 30-bit on 12.10 so this appears to be a software regression as opposed to a lack of general support for the configuation.

Otherwise, upgrading to Darktable 1.4 from 1.2.x has been positive. (Back on 12.10), it feels much faster, especially when turning-on level and curve controls (it seems to have already calculated the luminosity distribution which used to take an annoyingly long time to appear), and more controls can be instanced—this is particularly useful for levels to be used like an ND grad (better than the default ND grad control) and spot removal which can now blend to just affect spots when cloning dust.

Friday, February 22 2013

Ubuntu Tablet
[15:18:24] matt [wronka.org]/Trip The Ubuntu tablet sounds not too dissimilar to something I've been describing with it's ability to shift from tablet to PC. The rest of it sounds pretty neat too, albeit very fluffy at the moment.

I see in it's marketing pieces that someone's editing a photo using a slider control to adjust brightness. What I still need in a tablet is the ability to run Darktable, access AFS (generally, load kernel modules), and ensure a colour-corrected display. Not exactly mainstream demands, but I'm hoping (possibly in vain) that this brings us closer.

Tuesday, October 18 2011

[04:16:26] matt [wronka.org]/Vasilissa I've set-up a Debian chroot in parellel with Ubuntu (both thru the preware packages), and while Ubuntu has some newer packages in theirs, the Debian Iceweasel is actually stable, unlike Ubuntu Firefox. Also, in Ubuntu, I could not find the option to snow a menu in Psi with left click, which makes much more sense when I only have one mouse button in effect.

Saturday, October 15 2011

[13:09:30] matt [wronka.org]/Vasilissa I am also pleasantly surprised by the default Psi package in Ubuntu 11.04 which seems to have a nice patch set applied.

Tuesday, April 13 2010

Fancy Small Computers
[19:49:41] matt [wronka.org]/kerberos I remember a time, not so long ago, that it was difficult to find a small computer that was portable and had a long battery. The OQO looked intriguing, but it would continue to be vaporware for several years. The only thing I could find was the Fujitsu Lifebook P-series, which at the time was using the exciting new Transmeta Crusoe chips designed for energy efficiency. Unfortunately, even compared to the computers of the day, that laptop was slow.

These days "netbooks", much to the shagrin of Psion, are bountiful--often running on Intel's x86-compatible Atom processor, although increasingly running on ARM Snapdragons (supported by Maemo, Android, and Ubuntu Linux distributions among countless other variants). Jamie just got an Assus EeePC that's running Ubuntu; my mother has an Acer Aspire One running some MicroSoft version. I borrowed the EeePC and didn't want to give it back, it's really well done given a single-use mentality (the Netbook Remix variation of Ubuntu is very Mac-like).

The question I find myself pondering is what do I really want? I recently picked-up the Nokia N900 which runs at a decent clip, the Maemo 5 (Fremantle) interface is pretty snappy, and I've really gotten used to the touch interface for anything non-productive ("consumptive") tasks. It's actually a very amazing machine that in practice is very much like that P-2110 but smaller.

In the end there's a lot of small options, and they each have a different niche to fill--but I'm not sure how much overlap they all have. It could be that one covers too much of another's niche, making two distinct devices redundant. I can carry the N900 instead of the E61; but it doesn't replace the Neo when I need a small pocketable phone. I could carry the EeePC on trips where it would take-up less space than the MacBook, and still have a phenominal-for-a-laptop keyboard to compose messages or configure machines, or even do work albeit on a small screen. But what does that really get me? A slightly bigger screen (2") and a bigger keyboard, at the cost of another device--and one that doesn't have a ubiquitous Internet access at that.

If more areas had converted to municipal WiFi, it might be a different situation.