Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gnome 3 customizations

Couple of settings to configure the Gnome 3 DE to my likings:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true

Enables the use of the Desktop as, well... Just that, as a Desktop.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-key-theme "Emacs"

Of course, this one sets the system wide keyboard combos to Emacs like ones, the way the whole Universe should be... My key bindings or the Highway!

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The current GNOME 3 extensions

The current extensions... You most definitively can't live without them.
I've disabled a bunch of them that I think will eventually get the boot, they were used mostly to try to imitate the Gnome 2 looks.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

GNOME 3 indeed

Or... Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome 3 on the Thinkpad T43.
Installed Precise on the Thinkpad T43 this afternoon, specifically went with the Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix variant.

I simply love it.
Everything, right from the get go on the installer, leaves the Ubuntu oranges behind, but not only the color scheme is nice, it also leaves behind the whole Unity toll.
Using this Desktop Environment feels quite snappy, even on the T43, with 2 GB RAM and a single Pentium M @1.86 HGz.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

To boldly wear fedoras

Just finished re-watching the second season of Star Trek. it certainly did took me a while to finish this one...
By far, the episode I enjoyed the most was the season's last one, with a very young Teri Garr.

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GNOME it is...

Been testing different options -a lot of them- to see it I'll stick to Ubuntu or move to another distro, and then what a hell of a Desktop Environment I will use.
One thing is for sure, I won't use Unity, I hate it, it looks like a cholera sick dog's vomit.
For the time being, at least on the "fast" boxes, the Desktop Environment will be GNOME 3, and for the looks of it, I'll use Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix... I'll test it tomorrow, and if things go Ok, I might even re-install Stilgar from scratch.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Hit 12K

What you know?
Music is all around you.

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Debian Squeeze on a Thinkpad T60p

Yesterday installed Squeeze on my Thinkpad T60p moster, got an 80 GB SATA drive that I have around and just for fun made a net install, in order to see hwo things went.

Given the Thinkpad is old, and of course, being a Thinkpad, everything works out of the box on Linux and on Debian; only thing that got me a little trouble setting up was the audio, specifically the microphone on Skype (had to fumble a bit with alsamixer on the Terminal) and getting audio (all of it) on a VirtualBox image of a Windows 2000 I have been moving from box to box for ages.

Since there is no way to encrypt your $HOME directory like the Ubuntu installer has, choose to setup the whole thing on a encrypted LVM, mostly to test how that would affect the speed of the system, compared to the usual setup I do on Ubuntu boxes, encrypting only the $HOME.

It was impossible to import the Rhythmbox files from a Precise Pangolin install, which was actually obvious, since it uses a newer version.

RAM usage was about half of what GNOME 3 uses on the same box with a Precise Pangolin installation, but, the encrypted LVM didn't felt like a burden on the system.
Of course, being Gnome 2, installing Global Menu is piece of cake.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Precise Pangolin Minimal Install with MATE

Been using Precise Pangolin for about a week or so (mostly with GNOME 3), I like it so far, but I'm sort of missing GNOME 2... So comes MATE to the rescue.

GNOME 3 with a handful of extensions mimics its predecessor quite well, but it is not the same thing, and the same goes for the so called Fall Back alternatives; Unity is not my cup of tea, at least for the moment...

A viable alternative, then, might be Debian's Squeeze, but, I do like the 5 years of updates for a desktop that Precise Pangolin's LTS offers.. I'm old, and lazy, and I quite like the LTS's ability to install and forget; on my laptops (mostly old Thinkpads) Lucid Lynx didn't had a major problem with the myriad of updates along the years.

This is a quick test I did on a Dell Inspiron 1000 (Mobile Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 2.20GHz) with 768 MB of RAM and a 20 GB IDE HDD.

Install Precise Pangolin, from the Mini CD installer, making it as thin and as unbloated as possible, tried using the Alternate CD installer, but, even burned to CD I got the same error than before...

After that, and after installing any necessary updates, make a full fledged MATE installation, with the CLI only installation the system will be using about 1 GB of HDD

voyager:~$ df -ah 
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1        17G  1.2G   15G   8% /
proc               0     0     0    - /proc
sysfs              0     0     0    - /sys
none               0     0     0    - /sys/fs/fuse/connections
none               0     0     0    - /sys/kernel/debug
none               0     0     0    - /sys/kernel/security
udev            335M  4.0K  335M   1% /dev
devpts             0     0     0    - /dev/pts
tmpfs           137M  280K  137M   1% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            342M     0  342M   0% /run/shm

Install some programs I need and the necessary X Window:

voyager:~$ sudo apt-get install xorg emacs23-nox openssh-server
And then add the MATE repository to the bottom of the sources.list file:

voyager:~$ sudo emacs /etc/apt/sources.list

Add this:
## -----------------------------------------------
deb precise main
## -----------------------------------------------

Then start the proper MATE installation:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-core

It will need to download 182 MB and installs about 500 MB of files.
After the installation is complete, the system will be using about 2 GB of HDD.

sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
This will download 17 MB and use 42 MB HDD. Be aware there is an interactive setup involved, for the program hddtemp.

When that finishes, you can start using it, by typing:

After that, install other apps as needed:

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser pidgin
Only app I'm missing, but, really, really missing is Gnome Global Menu...
The laptop feels quite snappy.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

The current GNOME 3 extensions

It seems you can't live without them...
All this set of extensions basically sets you back onto a typical Gnome 2 desktop, with a key point missing, at least IMHO, the Gnome Global Menu.

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The current Ubuntu desktop

The first proper screenshot from Precise Pangolin running Gnome 3.
Nothing fancy, and, as usual, I'm somewhat geared towards defaults =)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Precise Pangolin: problems with the Alternate installer

Last week tried to install Precise, the 64 bits version, using the Alternate Installer from a USB key.
It failed miserably no matter what I tried (tested using different types of installs, like, cli, cli-expert, etc).

All of them failed at the same spot and while trying to "Configuring printer-driver-pnm2ppa" a ncurses windows pops up with the message:

Please insert the disc labeled: 'Ubuntu 12.04 LTS _Precise Pangolin_ -\
Release amd64 (20120425)' in the drive '/media/cdrom/' and press enter.

And after that there is no way to continue with the installation.
Tried switching to a Virtual Console and killing process, but there was no way to stop that looping (and annoying) message from poopping up time after time.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

GNOME 3: Some window glitches

A couple of glitches with the "effects" on the windows they seem to come and go, usually the biggest thing they require is a logout.
A real PITA, to say the least.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rhythmbox + Last.FM: glory its not here yet...

Or so it looks... Unfortunately, a couple of more steps are needed for perfection...
As of right now I'm having problems to upload info to Last.FM server thru Rhythmbox's plugin.
Besides loosing a scrobble here and there when Rhythmbox opens and the first one is uploaded, it looks like the themes played while GNOME's screensaver is active are not uploaded/ scrobbled.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

The current Ubuntu desktop

Not much of a desktop screenshot per se, but, the important thing here is that there is no wobbly problems going on on the external display on the right.

Looks like it is fixed on Precise, that damn problem nearly threw me out of the Linux gang, this might be only a T60p thing, only way to know for sure will be when Sojourner (the T60) has Precise Pangolin installed, which, BTW seems like it is going to be quite soon.

Also, of course, The Parallax View... What an amazing movie, specially the cinematography and the camera work. Guess I saw it for the last time about 20 years ago or so.

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Precise Pangolin: First Updates

Stilgar got its first updates, and, of course, the same thing goes for Precise Pangolin.
Let's hope these are the first of the upcoming five years of trouble free updates for Precise Pangolin.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Rhythmbox + Last FM glory on Precise

Amazing Rhythmbox with amazing Last FM plugin.
So far, the more I use it, the more I love Gnome 3.

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Got me a "new" toy.
A used T60p with an amazing 1600x1200 display, 3 GB RAM, a 320 GB HDD, and Precise Pangolin (32 bits of course) with Gnome 3, at least for the moment.

The display is out of this world.

Named it Stilgar.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Moving to Precise (I)

Installed it (the 64 bits version, a first) on the Thinkpad T410, that now has the 750 GB HDD on it.

Went with the Desktop install, after a few problems with the Alternate install.
After the everything was up & running, installed Gnome 3, which, I have to say, I'm starting to love.
Removed a few things, like Thunderbird, Shotwell, Empathy... The usual stuff, and installed this:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell evolution emacs23-nox openvpn gip pidgin vlc openssh-server rar unrar
So far things seem to be pretty good, it looks like I'll leave Lucid Lynx behind on all of my boxes.
Will have to fish for some Gnome 3 extensions...

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Windows 7 on the Thinkpad T410

Installed the other day, just to play a bit with it, used the Ultimate version, 64 bits.

The installation -from a USB key- went A Ok, not a problem during the whole setup, and the thing took about 30 minutes or so.
The only thing, after the installation was over, was that there were no Ethernet adapter, nor WiFi, available.

Had to download from here (it was the file called 6irf25ww_764.exe), after the install everything went Ok.
On the Windows Update -once connected- there were many updates specifically for the Thinkpad too.

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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Two belly button mutant blonde

In the end got to see Genesis II yesterday, pretty much amazing. if you can say so, even after all these years...
I've totally forgotten about the lovely Mariette Hartley and her two belly buttons.

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Shameless BT (again)

No excuse, except, maybe, the lame: "I can't get any of those here"...

Genesis II
Planet Earth

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As expected, the number of artists didn't move, and I think it won't change in the near future.

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

The cradle of civilization

Got the cradle for a regular SATA 2.5" today...
So pulled out the SSD drive from Usul, and loaded a plain vanilla old drive, the SSD is amazingly fast, yes, but the 128 GB pale against the 750 GB of storage.
For the time being, Usul will have Windows 7, 64 bits, just to see how things go, and to be able to Netflix at will, connected to the monster and now classic Apple Cinema Display.
The cradle didn't include the traditional Thinkpad rubber bumpers... Had to improvise a bit on that regard.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

First Blood: Precise Pangolin

Well, the new LTS got released last week.
So, being this an LTS (doh!), and with Lucid Lynx already with a known expiration date, decided to took it for a quick spin, booting from a USB on my trusty and hot T43.

Didn't like it one bit.
It was awful slow and, man, the color scheme of that Unity thing sucks...
Don't know what a hell is going on, but, on the hardware -and booting from a USB also-, Linux Mint 12 flies.
It is gonna be tough getting out of Lucid Lynx and Gnome 2...

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