Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for the 'Linux' Category

This Little Piggy Went…

So last night, Jared leaves the house in the early evening for about 40 minutes and comes back in with a box under his arm and a grin as big as a truck on his face. In the box, is a brand new Wii. Weeeeeeeee! He had a floor hockey game later in the evening, so he hooked it up and we played some bowling together. Once he was gone, I had it all to myself.

I had no interest in the Wii before, but I was hooked pretty quickly. The remote controller thingy is SUPER-responsive to all your movements, and the system is highly tweakable (Jared and I have already created our Miis).

Just when I think I might be on the outside of cool technology (because I happen to be getting pretty old), something comes out that drags me right back in. Bah.

(Note: This entire post was written without the use of apostrophes or quotation marks. I did an OS upgrade in Linux to one that uses less system resources, and I am having a little trouble getting my keyboard to do everything it should. On the plus side, it is FAR more efficient.)

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Pu-dnuor Denkeew

And so, in the middle of January, winter finally decides to stop by and pay us a visit. How rude of her to show up so late, and to bring so little to the party. Alas, better late than never.

Sadly, when yesterday’s snow hit, my plans to head out with my camera and get some classy winter photographs were hampered by too many plans in too short a period of time (which is a disease that I have terminally, sadly). Perhaps I’ll have time enough tonight.

What a crazy weekend. Danielle and I hit up a night on the town on friday, Andrew and Kristina’s “Christmas Re-Gifting Party” on saturday (turn in a gift you didn’t want for another someone else’s… you don’t want) where neither me or Danielle had a gift to toss into the ring, and then church yesterday. In the midst of all that, I did some much-needed laundry, played some much-needed guitar and did some MUCH-needed CPU research for Linux.

On the O/S front, it appears that RAM wasn’t the issue and that I’m taxing my CPU. That means that either I have to find a less CPU-intensive version of Linux than Ubuntu, or I’m going to have to upgrade my 4 year-old computer. I’ll let YOU guess which way I’m going to go. 😉

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Wham, Bam, Thank You RAM

The last time I bought RAM (without buying a new computer) was in the good ‘ol days (circa 2000) when it cost about a dollar a megabyte. Those were the days when 64 megabytes meant your computer was SCREAMING fast, but that was also back when having a CD burner meant you were ahead of the technology curve (I was the second person I knew to have one) and it took a day to download an MP3. Times have changed. Wow. I’m an old man.

Sadly, the time has come to do a few minor upgrades to my computer to increase its efficiency. It turns out that despite being both stable and efficient with hard drive space, Ubuntu is a bit of a memory hog, although it doesn’t eat it up like Windows did. I guess 256mb isn’t what it used to be. I blame all this new-fangled technology, consarnit.

From an email Danielle sent yesterday… “Have you noticed that since you started writing about linux, no one comments on your blog?”. Hmm. I did notice a bit of a drop-off, but few of my posts have specifically related to my switch-over, so I think I’m okay. My site stats lead me to believe that I have more regular readers than ever, but talking to a few of my friends who used to be regular readers, it seems that they aren’t coming here with the same frequency as before… so who’s out there? And do you hate Linux?

Taking a cue from Karim, I’m going to start a mini-art project of mixed media pieces using Rasterbated images and painting them. I’m going to try going with realism (painting the original colours of the photo) and with crazy-art-ism (using insane colours instead) to see which looks more awesome.

Speaking of awesome, rumour has it that the newest volume of everyone’s favourite online arts zine, SilentTalkie is one short month from relaunch. That means we’ll be hassling people for content shortly. You can avoid that by submitting beforehand if you’d like. Just send me an article by email and I’ll praise and laud you in here. How awesome would THAT be?


sudo apt-get install “MidWinterFun”

*Yes, I know that title is improper syntax for a linux terminal command, but it has to make sense to the non-Thorvaldsians out there.*

And so it begins-the long and unwilling trudge through winter to the next holiday (in early April). Every morning, getting out of bed will get more and more difficult, staying alert and focused will grow more and more purple monkey dishwasher. Sorry, where was I?

What can we do about this? Plan a vacation in February maybe? How about stacking up on hobbies to keep ourselves elbow-deep in busy work? I’m running out of options. I also haven’t found a free (or insanely cheap) bike to fix up this “winter“, but my jigsaw will be arriving next week and that means I can set myself up with a little workshop down in the basement to tinker. I have a design for a new coffee table for our living room I want to work on, and I want to build some simple picture frames. Sorry Amanda, I probably can’t make you that multi-leaf dining room table from Oak or Maple just yet. Maybe give me a few years of practice first.

In case you were wondering, this is indeed a filler post because my brain is dead and I can’t think of anything more clever to write. I was up late last night fiddling around with media codecs for Linux and doing some extra-curricular reading on how my file-system works. I figured I’d spare you all the details and just say it’s complicated; very complicated.

That being said, linux is still awesome and I’m still glad I switched. I have yet to get most of my required software up and running, but my photo stuff appears to be hunky dory.

*Please note that I didn’t resort to talking about a certain new telephone that everyone thinks will be the cat’s meow… or the bees’ knees… or the sow’s ear… or the monkey’s tail… or the leopard’s spots… or the zebra’s stripes… or the Republicans’ lies… or the cat’s meow again.

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Back to School

So far, 2007 has been a year of new information overload. Between my new camera and my foray into the world of Linux, I’m packing my brain with new ideas, new terminology (the hardest part, by far) and new skills. It’s really exciting to be learning so many new things at once, but it also has its complications. For example, last night I was searching my Linux file system for a folder with a random string of numbers for a name, and rather than copy the name from my notepaper, I was typing in aperture values I’d been reading about in a photography magazine.

This reminds me of my early days of high school when I started taking German in addition to French. I had one right after the other in the morning, and that meant that I frequently confused and blended the two to create a patois. I called it ‘Freutsch’ (Français and Deutsch) and I still speak it from time to time.

Hopefully all this new knowledge will take root by the time I start learning Swahili this spring, and I begin to study and memorize all the contents of Wikipedia. I should also be able to field-strip a Volvo engine in 7.3 minutes (while taking high-quality photographs) and describe what I’m doing to onlookers in English, French, German, Swahili… and Freutsch. [This is where the wheels completely came off this blog post thanks to fatigue and frequent interruptions from co-workers and friends]

Where was I again? Oh yeah, my brain is full. I think that means I need to go on vacation and unlearn some stuff.

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“Get Thee to a Nerdery”

Last night I loaded a pocket protector into my shirt pocket, taped up the bridge of my glasses and hiked my pants up to my nipples as a badge of honour for joining a not-so-elite club… that of the nerds. What did I do to secure this noble title? Well, after getting my own web domain and hosting my own blog, I thought I was pushing the envelope of nerdom, but then it turned out that everyone was doing it, so I made a move that would force everyone’s hand.

Lately, I’ve been having some performance issues with my home computer, and after trying to upgrade some of the standard Windows bits of XP, I realized that Microsoft wasn’t going to help me with my suspiciously-procured copy of their operating system. That also meant that if I reformatted and tried to reinstall said shady OS, I could run the risk of it not registering… or working. What to do… what to do?

It’s safe to say that anyone who’s clicked a mouse has at least heard the word ‘Linux‘, although they may not know what it is. Well, I installed Linux and it’s now my only operating system… and I have NO idea what it is. I just know that it’s stable, quick and free… and that there’s boatloads of stable, free software for it.

Stay tuned for future blog posts about how great Linux is, and for requests for technical support with popping my kernels (or whatever it is you do with a Linux kernel… whatever that is). I’ll post a review of my first week with Linux next week, but suffice it to say, the install and my first few hours were sheer bliss… easy as pie.

*For those who care, I’m running Ubuntu and as yet, I haven’t installed any other software. Any recommendations? Maybe something that will work well with my iPod?


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