Sunday, March 27, 2011

GUI choices

Prior to receiving the cr-48 my wm of choice in Linux was almost always a tiling manager. Now I'm not so sure. I love the simplicity and speed of tiling wm's, but there is something to be said for wm's that just look cool. With lots of keyboard shortcuts a floating, eye-candy filled wm could be almost as fast as a tiler while still giving me a generous "wow factor." The search begins...

I've never used gnome, maybe it's time for a try.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tonido frustrations

Tonido is working well on the server, but for some reason the automatic start up isn't quite reliable. I started messing with it and messed it up further. So a quick rebuild of the package fixed it, but I'm still starting it by hand (or remote ssh hand). I think I'm going to have to get into KDE's auto start to get it working. Also, it looks like OSD-lyrics broke with the latest upgrade of libnotify on arch so karaoke is down right now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Goodbye old dyndns account

Apparently I wasn't active on my dyndns account for 30 days so my free account got erased. I kept that thing alive for 2 years or something. I received no email reminder this month (or I can't find it now) to renew it so its gone. The worst part is I had one of the old domain names they no longer offer. Now I'll be finding all the broken scripts and apps I use that still reference the old address. *le sigh*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Google Voice

I signed up for google voice a few months ago, but I didn't really get around to using it to now. It's totally awesome! There's something very satisfying about organizing my voicemails and texts in a familiar google setting. It's also nice having a different number to give out to people I don't want to call me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mechanical Turk

I've been trying a little Mechanical Turking. I like to call it microjobbing. It is mind numbing but I've decided not to pay real money for electronics and I'm allowing myself to spend money from mturking and ads on that stuff instead. We'll see if I can stand it for much longer.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I started reading Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter yesterday (after visiting the public library as reported in yesterday's post) and so far its very promising.  After a lengthy intro and about 20 pages of actual book I'm quite excited to see what's in store.  I just hope my math skillz which haven't been used in years can still get me through it.

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gratuitous Bike Shots

Before and after shots of the commuter bike.  I pulled of the wood box and fenders and put some fat 700x42c tires on for good measure.  Now I just need some lights and a lock for the lockers at work to begin commuting.

Socks tunnel

I can't seem to establish a socks tunnel through chromeOS despite having ssh and a socks setting available.  Also, it looks like several  chrome websites are down right now.  It will be interesting to see what the reason for that is.  Currently at the public library because the university library was closed for spring break, hence the need for a socks tunnel.  Something on my google reader list is causing all of my content to be blocked unless I access it one at a time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Pacgraph is a beautiful program developed for arch linux ( it's also spread to some other distros) for viewing your packages and dependencies.  Here's what the server looks like.

computer dreams

Do you ever dream of using your computer at night?  I often find myself wanted to find something out in my dream and trying to use the internet to look it up.  There's either a connection problem when I search or I can't figure out how to use the computer.

Next time I'll try to ssh into the server.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tab to search in chrome

I think I stumbled onto a new feature in chomeOS.  Using custom searches in the omnibox used to involve typing the keyword and hitting the space bar.  There's now a prompt to hit tab to complete.  Screenshot below:


MPDroid is becoming one of my favorite apps.  The only issue I seem to have with it is the poor connection I get on the first floor at work.  Since the music is running on the server, when the connection goes down the music doesn't stop but I can no longer hear it essentially.  Anyway, it's still the best solution I've found to streaming a personal music collection for free. (and it's yet another excuse to leave the server on all the time)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Could it be an update?

Not really.  I spent the weekend painting both of our bathrooms so no time for computer related activities.  Post to resume when free time returns.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Remember CD's?

The wife won a scholarship the other day (I'm very proud by the way) and part of her duties are to send in a picture for a newsletter or something like that.  So how does the scholarship committee want the picture submitted?  The two options are mailing in a printed picture, or mailing in a CD with the images on it.  Oh, and all pictures must be saved in a TIFF format.

So, I fired up the server (the only remaining computer with a disc drive still in service in my household), "convert pic.jpg pic.tif", installed k3b, blew the dust from 1993 of a CD, and burned the 7mb's of data onto a 700mb disc that will be mailed via the USPS.  The wife's degree is in library science and these people apparently can't organize emailed pictures from the 5-10 winners.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


After work today, I finally dragged the bike out and pioneered a path to work.  I might have to jump over a gate or two, but it's a pretty workable route.  Pictures will come soon.  Probably.

Reflections on ChromeOS .11:  Next picture soft button is unnecessary.  I might be an alarmist, but I don't want a bunch of stuff to show up in the tab bar.  First it's a button I don't need, then it's useless processes that won't go away.  If it becomes like the tray in windows I will be very disappointed in you Google.  The keyboard shortcut map has changed and features a few inaccuracies.

On a good note, the browser itself is feeling very snappy (unless you're accessing the settings) and wifi resumes from sleep very quickly.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update to .11 of ChromeOS

A little scary at first, but it looks like some nice features are coming down the pipe.  I had to flip the dev switch to get things to work after booting up to blank pages.  Many flags seem to be broken right now, hopefully they will be fixed in coming releases.  I'm not a fan of the next window soft button, but I've never been one to use my trackpad when I had a keyboard shortcut available.  I'm still loving the fact that Google is willing to let me play with this broken stuff.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tilt shift 2?

Back on the HP

I'm using the hp today so I might as well state what it is:  a dm3 pavillion.  The reason I'm using it and not the cr-48 is that the aicpcu, the organization through which I'm obtaining my AINS designation, has a study program that only runs through windows. The crazy thing is that it's a javascript program that seems like it could easily be run through a browser.  It won't install under wine so I never bothered trying it on the cr-48.  At what point will non-tech companies (or even techie companies) start to realize that web based programs are the future?  Instead of developing a program for every platform out there (or failing to do that), why not just make something that can run on the web?
Trying out Tiny7 through virtualbox, so far I'm liking it quite a bit!

(for this I need a VM?!?)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Other Unix?

It seems to be worth noting that Blogger records stats from ChromeOS users as "Other Unix" running Chrome as browser.  Someone with more knowledge about this could probably make something out of this info.  My only observation is that ChromeOS doesn't report itself as Linux, but as a Unix platform.  I also had a visitor reported as running Linux, but with Safari as the web browser.  I assume they must have been running some kind of webkit browser, but it could also be that OS detection isn't that accurate. states that my OS is an unknown platform correctly id's it as Linux!  so maybe it is blogger's problem (or maybe there's someone out there running chrome on an other unix?)

I also ran through my 100 mb of free data today.  In answer to my earlier question, I was given the option to purchase more with a credit card at this time even though nothing was requested during the initial setup.

Bike to work

After a several year hiatus from riding my bike to work, I'm planning on returning to that mode of transportation. So what have I done to prepare for this?  Jumped on Google maps and plotted out a course.  Its been hard to generate free time as of late between work, owning a house, doing some computer stuff, and studying for some insurance designations.  When I do get out to ride, I am definitely looking forward to using RunKeeper or maybe some other Android app to track my routes.  Back in the day, it used to be just getting on the bike and riding, but now I can do it, track it and analyze the results.  That should help in reducing any possible free time even further.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Verizon on the cr-48

Getting the cr-48's mobile broadband set up in OKC has proven itself difficult.  After spending some time with Verizon on the phone (and still not having it work) I was sent an email by a google ninja explaining there was an issue with the prl file and the towers in this area.  Luckily someone had posted a working prl on the chromeoslounge forums so I got it up and running a few weeks ago.  Today Google sent me a new prl file in the mail.  At this point I'm not sure what to do with it.

I remember reading that people needed to input a credit card when they initiated their service, but I never had to do that so I'm curious what will happen when I run out of my 100 mb.

Current computer set ups, phone appendix

Current phone is the Samsung Vibrant running Android 2.2.  I haven't rooted it only because I haven't had the need to yet.  Favorite app:  ConnectBot.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Current computer set ups, part the third

The newest system is the cr-48 courtesy the fine folks at Google.  It's the Fish version if that matters, the dev switch has been flipped but I haven't done anything but poke around.  Between a web browser and ssh I can really do pretty much everything I want.  In fact, trying to figure out how to do stuff that was previously done on the desktop has been a fun and learning challenge.

Bonus!  Low resolution, poorly focused pictures:

On an unrelated note, I had my first visitor today.  Yea.  I hope they weren't too disappointed about the utter lack of content.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Current computer set ups, part the second

The next system is an HP laptop, too lazy to look at the model number, but it's a 13" screen and AMD processor.  The wife dropped this one and the hard drive started clicking so I inherited it.  I downgraded the ram from 4 gigs to 3 (the wife's laptop got a boost from 1 to 2) and there's a 320 gb HDD in there.  This system is also running arch with WMFS for the window manager.  Windows, ubuntu, etc are available through VirtualBox.  This system has been used a lot less since the cr-48 arrived.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Current computer set ups, part the first

Why?  Because I have a blog.

An old HP desktop system running a P4 processor, 1.5 gb ram, a 40 gb drive for root and home, 250 gb drive for music, pictures, etc.  This system is running Arch Linux with KDE for the desktop environment and is hooked up to the TV for emulation, karaoke, videos and so forth.  It's now running tonido's personal cloud server, rtorrent, mpd with music streaming, and ssh access.