take a peek, go vote

the "pre-blog polls", now reside bellow the blog. please jump to the end of the page to have a little vote in them, just for fun. :)

... now, on with the rambling blog!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

quick squishboom update and orklug!!!


got a clearer picture of what needs doing for squishboom.
revising pris (the post reinstallation script) into prip (the post reinstallation program), where config files will be stored online and added with a wget, as well as stripping it down to be cleaner, and also adding more elaborate and user friendly options learned from studying crunchbang's alternative installation method.

but all of that's been put on a short term temporary hold while i help with some initial adminnery for...


orklug being the shorthand of Orkney Linux User Group. much thnx to andrew who really took to the idea and has been the principle initiator in getting us going. i may have been the first to throw the idea out there, but it wouldnt have happened n gotten so far if it werent for aorkwa.
so anyways...

now we've got our wiki on the go:

our (low trafic) mailing list currently on:
~ though theres talk of soon moving to gnu's mailman.

a presence on facebook:

and on identica:

and we even have our very own irc chatroom now too on freenode, which can be accessed via a simple web interface here: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=orklug
or of course whatever your preference of irc application.
(i'm just being a sucker for convenience and using pidgin, since i already have a handful of other chat protocols i use on that)

so come say hi on freenode #orklug

our number are still small, but considering we've only really been properly at it for about a day now, i say we're going pretty strong, n off to a good start.

wont be long before the conversation turns to "lets organise a meet!"


happy days. :)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


been making squishboom pre-alphas. gearing up for an alpha release, hoping for a rapid transition there-after from alpha through beta to official.
more to come....


... COCK! if only i had re-ran remastersys... i've just got back into my squishboom pre-alpha2 desktop, having previously intended to be in my squishboom alpha desktop. note to self, always remember when in a unetbootin live-cd/usb environment instead of a real install. and if in that situation, always be sure to save anything you need elsewhere. oh phew, that reminds me *checks* at least i saved my tips desktop background image that's to be used as the default in squishboom. it only survived as i was saving the gimp xcf multi-layered file onmy hd, rather than what i thought was the pendrive, but was actually the casper inside the pendrive. heh. well... thats been about 7 hours of gutting and cleaning and rescripting completely down the pisser, what a pisser. gah. well, that was hard, n i hope, well learned.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


some crunchbang desktopbackgrounds.

as seen here: http://crunchbanglinux.org/forums/post/44321/#p44321


it's the potential

"i need a better screwdriver... times nine."

... said my friend as he dismantles the innards of a perfectly working 900 athlon 768mb greybox.
he's prepping the old case to hold his new box's components while hes waiting for his new psu to arrive.

i think that old machine is just the perfect age for linux. linux would work really well on such a spec machine. really really well. alotta bang for those numbers.

"it's made out of stuff, it'll be alright" was another comment... i dont quite know the context, i wasnt listening, but it sounded cool, so it made it into this blog.

anyways, this little project he has going on here, and others we were talking about earlier has got me thinking geeky again... and dont worry, some of it isnt linux specific, so fans of other operating systems can play along too....

(hehe, yeah, i know my readership of this blog is currently about 0. and that's including me (i dont even read this blog). i know someday someone will read it, and just maybe, someday someone will get a kick outta my rambling....)

stick a computer in a freezer!

there, slapped you in the face with the doozey there, right when u thought i was gonna ramble on pointlessly again... ;D an idea inspired upon seeing hte operational temperature range of some components.

the obvious thing that stands out at first of course is... the overclocking potential! If you didnt think that immediately upon reading the words "stick a computer in a freezer" then maybe this isnt the blog for you. :D or maybe it is! and you need to stick around all the more. :D

there are small freezers available pretty cheap, and big enough to house your box in. however... i do wonder about how well each tech would stand up, the heat source, inside the tiny box trying to keep cool. when i first thought of the idea i was thinking a guy at his desk in a meat locker.... this idea very quickly moved on to putting the human interface outside. i was still thinking large room freezers while my friend was the first i think to put it into the realms of "doable". especially when i urged him to look for freezers on a shopping search.

i was actually gonna ramble on and make this another full length ramble... but heck... sticking a computer in a freezer does it for me. got mah geek on.

Monday, 2 November 2009

arty musings from outside the matrix


having been a long time fan of musagi, it is a joy to get to experience another creation from the same genius, "sfxr". it's a gorgeous little app for making sound effects. oh my... my music is gonna take another change of direction.... crap... i was really hoping to get the latest album i had been working on polished off and released... but i can see this will interfere with that plan. :)

now if only i could get musagi and gungirlsequencer (or another similar basic audio sequencer in e-jay style) on the go too... musically, i'd be provisioned with everything i need then.

lmms and ardour, they're nice to have, but not quite my preference for how i like to compose my musical creations. for the most part.

for my animation stuff, i still feel a little short handed. i miss the likes of animation shop. gimp's gap, it just dont cut the mustard when ya need workflow. still early developement for it.

i just recently started playing around with synfig studio, a simple vector graphics animation package (which i originally thought was more bitmap oriented), and it's showing some promise.

i also miss adobe after effects a bit. but this is my own doing. i chose this path, i chose to renounce slavery and proprietary and all that crap. idk if there anything close to similar in the open source community yet.

blender and softimage|XSI.
mmm. i do miss softimage from time to time. i recieved some top notch intensive training on it, and that helped me be familiar with it, and get some level of workflow outta it. my learnings with blender have been far more sparse, far less intensive, and less focussed with a hundred other things on my plate, and as a result, there are times in blender when i still, even years removed, find myself thinking in softimage terms.

still, i'd never get to poke under the hood of softimage, so i know i'm on the right path with blender.

this is a point i think many folks must look at me and think me a fool for opting to go for a kinda richardstallmanesque renunciation of proprietary software. i'm in it for the longer view, i see not only which way the wind is blowing, so to speak, but i see just how much faster and further i'll go if i steer my ship into those winds. the sooner i'm with them, the better. of course, (leaving the sailing analogy) i'll need to learn alot more.
.....this is not a bad thing.
this is not a "con", it is very much a "pro".
i do not want to be dumbed down by plastic wrapped convenience, i want to know how things work.

i dont want to be hostage to dependance, i want to be empowered with competence.
this is the difference.

so i choose non-proprietary as much as possible.... tho convenience does have me reaching for proprietary flash still, rather than the fsf initiative versions of GPL released flash. ideally though, if i was imbuing myself with the spirit of socrates and empiricus or other philosophers who made a point of sticking ot yer guns, then i'd stick to learning how to program, how to hack my own code to get it to work.... again... convenience traps the lazy and impatient.

ok, i'm straying wildly again...

but thats ok i suppose. its my blog, and i can do what i like. no fascist mod wanting to keep up appearances and excersize their powers of authority over me here. :D

so yeah... it's all on topic really, i just think broadly. :D

lemme pull it back round for you to see i'm correct in asserting i'm still on topic.

so as an artist, with fanciful delusions of grandure, of being up there with the greats, i too, like them, prefer to retain more control over my tools, and therefor over my artwork.

i want to make my own paints, fetch my own ingredients for the paints, etc. metaphorically speaking.

my paint comes in the form of complex arrangements of ones and zeros.

i could just leave it to the whim of the authorities, or i could (like the sentiment in the video in my last blog depicted), renounce the esstablishment, and do something actually progressive for us all. :)

heh, talk about limiting beliefs.... i've just noticed i've been holding myself back because of what i think other people think, because i think myself incapable of explaining or them incapable of understanding, the alternative sence of worth outside the stringent linear quantitative monetary terms.

there's the old idea (i once read in a book on taoism) that artists should not make money from art, that profit should be kept seperate from art, that art is above profiteering, that an artist would never lower themselves to be as low as the businessman, who is only a peg above the criminal.

... as someone identifyingy themselves with being an artist, you can see why i'd take to that idea. :D especially living in the society we do where businessmen have been allowed to seize too much power and status, and pressure the rest of us to conform to their ways.... it seems quite the paradise utopian society where businessmen are regarded as just barely better than criminals and artists just barely worse than saints. :)

even tho i think it's fading these days, there's still some remaining residual ridicule and demonising of open-soure freedom-software folks. probably exponentially increasing now, folks are starting to see free software in a rather divine light. it is rather saintly and angelic. it's very nice. "sharing", "community"... these are two big words in the ... community. whether you're calling it the open-source community or the more die-hard free(dom) software community, we're effectively all the same community. the ven diagram would be quite clear on this i'm sure. there's ecconomies of gifting, of giving, without expectation of anything in return. we've left the paradigm so heavily enforced upon us by dominator industrialists. we're more tesla, than westinghouse. we're achieving what the technocrats of lefist political ideologies dreamed of. ok, sure, so far we're pretty much only achieving this in digital realms. but i think its not long now before the dam bursts completely, and the corporatist oligarch can no longer plug the leak of all the technologies which will set us free. this will be none other than the surfacing of all those sci-fi technologies.... the total liberation of man from uneceassry toil. we'll have zero-point vacuum energy devices, capable of providing all our energy needs, we'll have 3d printers and hologram technology synthesizing to produce star-trek like replicators and other fabrication devices, geet engines, water fuel, solar paint, and piles and piles of other stuff... i could go on and on, and i'd still never scratch the surface of all the liberationary technologies that ALREADY EXIST and the many more which have yet to be imagined.

think i'm off topic again?


this is the point.

this is exactly why i, as an artist went to open source software over proprietary.

this is exactly the thing which will enable artists of the world continue to create their art, and do so without profit incentive-ising them, distracting them. ( to show that i still communicate my thoughts in ted-talks videos: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html ;D )

"why do you have to pay to live on the world you are born on?" asked the visitor to our world.

zero obliged outgoings.

and why not?

only if you are addicted to having a billion crypto-slaves should you baulk at the idea, and even then... you aught to reccognise the precarious situation you're in as master of a billion slaves who are at risk of waking up to realise they are but slaves for you... and they might not like it.

so yeah... i take my choice of software pretty seriously huh. :D

i got told in one of those silly little internet quizes recently that i was from arcutus, and as such, i'm a 5th dimensional being with a strong inclination to do things forthe benefit of all. well, idk if i'm from arturus, but the rest seemed to fit. ;)

time to beam up to my ship http://omploader.org/vMm9wcQ/booingwhirie1.wav
(first sound i just made in sfxr)

just a quick little stichato ramble on various linuxy things.


i really took to the sentiment expressed in the middle of this video, regarding the renounciation of authorities as the source of truth as being the principle of progressing our knowledge.

i was 5 when i decided the church was much hulabaloo about a storybook. i was about 6 or 7 when i hit upon the idea that maybe the teachers werent smarter than me. i was just barely a teen, barely having used win95, when i decided microsoft were not the pinnacle of human potential reflected technologically in our software. maybe i was always destined to choose opensource, freedom, linux, etc.

so anyways. i was playing around with my slax distros again... getting a bit of a headache from the wifi problems i'm havign with the slax based and davix based pair of distros i'm re-working. it's looking like it might be a bit more of a pain in the arse than i first thought to get it to have a one-size-fits-all ootb wifi solution. most of my headache though was when internet here went down for a couple hours. that was not amusing... me fiddling around trying to get something to work when it had no chance, and all my tests were giving me back false fail results. well, thats another couple hours i'll have to relive. so i need a break from that for a bit. might as well ramble a bit then eh? :D

so once my internet came back on, one o the first things i did brought me to my local forum where i posted a reply in a thread about easy ways to startlinux, which i'll share C&P style here.

other similar installation methods from other linux distributions (incase xandros linux doesnt suit):

http://wubi-installer.org/ Ubuntu! wubi=Windows UBuntu Installer. as in the above example, no partitioning is required, very simple installation wizard.

http://goodbye-microsoft.com/ Debian GNU/Linux! again, no partitioning required. but will require you to know your hardware very intimately, and know a bit more about linux. not advised for the average beginner. (tho do try it to see anyways. you can always leave the installer uncompleted on your machine, and still use windows with no probs while you go learn how to get through the l33t hurdles.)

http://linux.softpedia.com/get/System/Operating-Systems/Linux-Distributions/Sauver-18423.shtml Sauver Linux. yet another linux distribution offering this kind of installation. except sauver doesnt seem to offer any other kind of installation. (i never got the graphics working in it, so idk what its like).

using the 4 above methods, you might later come across little niggles and nuisances about the way the filesystem isnt accessible in a more familiar standardised way... idk... most folks probably wont find an issue with this. but if you're a proper nerd, you'll want to go do a proper install for your multi-boot.

then there are other methods too...

(tho we'll all have to wear our tin-foil hats to use it if sun microsystems get taken over by oracle.)
very user friendly virtualisation method, with excellent performance. just download any (i686 compatible) operating system's installation or "live" cd/dvd .ISO file (like this tiny one for example), and follow the on-screen wizard dialog-windows upon making a new virtual machine. very easy to surf lots of different operating systems this way, without risking the operating system you are currently using to some pebcak accidental format or anything. lets you shop around for the best operating system, so you're not stuck being a wintard.
virtualbox is not only useful for surfing linuxes, you could also use it for client MS Windows virtual machines inside a Linux host OS, since linux offers much better performance, this way, you only need to use your MSWindows virtual machine when u need to use some piece of windows software you've not found an alternative for, or couldnt get to install in wine.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ not quite so much just a distribution of linux, but rather just a handy site sharing lots of helpful walk-throughs to installing various linux distributions to usb drives.

though, once you first set eyes upon unetbootin, you'll likely think pendrive linux a bit redundant. but that would be premature, because unetbootin doesnt really "install" anything. run from windows or linux, it just very conveniently puts a installation/live cd onto your usb, so that the usb drive can boot pretending it's the cd. ... so if you do choose to use unetbootin (and i wholeheartedly give it my recommendation), do keep in mind that it's more like running from a cd (only likely much much faster than your cd drive), than an actual installation. but if you can install from the cd, you can install from the unetbootin'ed version on your usb too. this is another great way of browsing through different operatingsystems/distributions like virtualbox is, except this way, you will be able to get a better feel for the native speeds, as it's not virtualised, and you dont need to be running a host system at the same time. further, unetbootin makes itself even handier, by providing a very generous and broad selection of distributions available in a drop-down menu... and it's so convenient, it goes and fetches the .ISO files from the net for you, and does the whole process of making the usb a live bootable cd environment. very plush, and so simple.

[quote]installing software ain't as easy and straightforward as windows.[/quote]
that can be a falsehood. these days there are many distributions offering solutions which make it easier to install software than it is in windows. it's all about the respository and package management in linux. open up your package manager gui in any major (and even most minor) linux distributions these days, and you'll be taken to a simple interface from which you can search/browse for software by name or purpose, and clicky clicky, and it's installed. no going to s shop to buy proprietary software, no spending money, no travel. just sat from where you are, depending on your distribution's repository, you'll likely have at least a few thousand (probably tens of thousands) of pieces of software you can install, and likely need no further explanation than "that there, thats your package manager, click/double-click on it."
i am slightly exadurating the simplicity to stop scaring people away. but suffice to say, if a repository doesnt have what you are after, you are still afforded the opportunity of doing it the manual way, the noob-feared "source installation"... and likely a few ways in between too. and just when u think you need to be a rocket scientist, chances are, you only need to be an idiot (as in "complete idiots guide to...") who knows how to use a search engine. :)

phew! what a pile of links i put in that. :D filled a whole row of tabs. hope they're o' use t' ye.


just now after posting this reply, looked at that prestopc thing ... oh. thats not like what i thought it was. :D :O

and besides that, i dont really have much else to add to this post, except to say:



(doesnt get any less true with time.. if anything, more true)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

this week, i have been mostly

forewarningdisclaimer:u cant actually get any of these anywhere yet. :p it's as good as vapourware to you still at the mo. :)

the past couple days, i've been quite largely fiddling around with dux, my own personal version of a linux operating system.... it's been built upon several distributions as it's base.

when i say operating system these days, i presume everyone knows i'm talking about the whole deal, and not just the thing that you install your software to. i include the software as part of the opperating system, as i no longer see any seam. and likewise, when i say "linux", i rarely mean just the kernel. (sry richard stallman, you underestimate the power of convenience, i still love you tho)*

*reference to me having dropped the "+GNU" from GNU+Linux

i thought i'd just interject that for clarity's sake.

so yeah, dux... this is version 0.005, going on 0.005r1. built using slax. largely because it's easy. i dont have to do so much messing around. can add more modules later, n so on. it's repository, if you can call it that, may seem in a bit of disaray, but there's alot of consistent clear vision from the slax community about what can be done to really help that in the next release. and although it may not be the biggest, it is quite concise, and also packed with ways of pulling ininstallation files from pretty much anywhere to turn it into an easy to use lzm slax module.

this version of dux has collapsed on the original dux ethos. what dux in this version at least, seems to becoming more of an everyday everyman like i imagine puffinos to become. and from what i originally imagined the pure golden complete version of dux to be (the day when it's a complete re-write by me) to be closer to what wagtail is supposed to be, than puffinOS. very similar to wagtail, the transparentweight distro, just a few more enhancements, particularly for security (a clever afterthought... dux, ducks, under the radar. shame on me for having function follow name.) and maybe a few extra scripts here n there.

so anyways, dux version 0.005 and the polishing i'm doing on dux version 0.005r1 is kinda a mix of practice for both puffinos, and for the gallery distributions i'll be sporting at some point in the future. an idea i had a while back... use a linux distribution to piggieback a gallery, a portfolio. nice huh?

ok, there i go showing you a circle on a piece of packaging paper and saying "y'know, for kids!" again. :rolleyes:

so, yeah, more on topic ramblings about dux v0.005...
it's got games. when i saw dukenukem3d when puting togeher the pieces for dux, and for only 10mb,i thought, of course i have to have this! :D and a cheeky little pinball game which i have got to get the level editor for in 0.005r1. and gotta get rid of the default slax games, cos they are laaaaame. hehe. ok if you've never played a computer game before. c'mon tho... battleships and patience... :o zzzzzzzzzzzz.

so, my distributions that end up including games, aught to look a bit more happy n spritely n youthful on the games front. but still in a fairly innocent old-skool sort of way... emulators for snes,megadrive and i'll need to include the ancient stuff emulators too, for those who want to play their old atari and commodore games. :D oh yes indeed, i am considering this for use by other people besides just me.

thats the whole point of open source isnt it? the idea even predates "open source". i'm talking about the freedom to communicate, to share.... to colaborate and contribute to our futures.

anyone not yet well versed in freedoms as they pertain to software, are not likely to know the significance, and might do well to visit the philosophy page on gnu.org for a refreshing taste, a refreshing perspective... especially if there's ever been a nigglesome annoyance come your way from a large commercial software giant.

dux needs considerable refinement before it reaches the original vision's golden state. heck, it will effectively be built on wagtail, and wagtail isnt moving all that fast at themoment. not alot of motivation for a "hobbyists" distro like that. like what you might ask? like, a whole distro where all the code is kept so tight that an individual can feasibly read the sourcecode for the whole system, and it still be capable to performing all the principle tasks we expect our operating systems to be able to do.

so this current version of dux, barely deserves the name... but it's not the first of my dux to have strayed from the strict tight vision. infact, i'm not even sure anymore if i have the version number right... i dont suppose it much matters since the others dont really exist anywhere anymore.

most of this i have been getting upto from my laptop... and it's short on space compared to my multi tb workstation. so i dont bother keeping them on the hd for long. i'm not sure, but i doubt i've burned any of them to cd either.

so dux is on version 0.005 presumably... i did make at least a couple versions of puffin os too... one using slax, and at least a couple using slitaz. never made a wagtail yet. made a few un-named unbranded distros, made one for a friend on a whim in a night, made several gimpsticks, but nothing quite definitive yet. tis another project waiting for the wagtail base.

speaking of wagtail.... just as i sit here now, what i think is the most prominently obvious choice for starting a wagtail, short of LFS, is microcore/tinycore. it should be fairly easy to construct into the rudimentary parts of wagtail... and then surely it wouldnt be too hard hooking it up to run with a different package manager or two. i read in a forum someone write "i wrote a package manager, it's not hard"... that was not expected. i presumed it was hard. i guess the hard part is getting it mainstream familiarised n so on.

linux is one of those things that the more you learn the more you love it.

and when i say that... what captain subext will tell you i was really saying was something along the lines of: i was enslaved and pinned down by the proprietary corporate secrecy folks for so long that i forgot that computers, technology, science, engineering and creativity, are all about sharing, about freedom of information, and the depreivation had made me a little more sensitive to the learning endorphins.


tho the paranoid conspiracy pressumer in me of course still suspects it's all a ruse, that stallman and torvalds are even in on it. that linux isnt actually goooood,and that ...

ok... idkif i can really suspect stallman... can i? damn that'd b an ace cover. who wud believe that stallman is a plant. lol.

well, thats about all the linux rambling i got for today... tis the end of my day, i need meditation, supper, some light entertainment and sleep.
y'know, i really thought i woulda carried more eloquence and wisdom, and less stichato and pettyness.... maybe thats something i can address in meditation, and have sorted for my next blog. :D

Monday, 26 October 2009

i make the summit farther away, it takes me higher.

so, here i am, linuxxing, doing various linuxy things...
playing around casually with my xmonad configuration adding new keyboard shortcuts to launch applications, drawing up spreadsheets to work out my personal optimised keyboard layouts, reading up on various distros, particularly...

gentoo and sabayon...

i'm thinking somethin like....
"it'd b nice to have a distro on my pendrive set up just as i like for both openbox and xmonad, and work happily out of the box* on both my laptop, and my triple monitor desktop."
*in this context, if i have to roll my own, thats ok (even prefered that i can do that easily).

sabayon is still to this day the best of the bunch in my experience, for getting me leaning back on my seat smiling at my triple desktop fastest and easiest.

but as lush and convenient as sabayon is, i still kinda want to move this process on, the reason i went with sabayon in the first place before i even found out it was the sweetest set up distro out of the box... it's gentoo underneath.

i'm not at all sure how easy it is to "roll your own" with sabayon and gentoo, having never yet even searched for the feature (since sabayon comes so conveniently configured out of the box, and gentoo you configure so completely and tightly to your needs).

for rolling my own, i'd be more confident with slitaz, slax, ubuntu or even (ew) suse studio, having done so at least once with each of these. i know pclinuxos bigs itself up as being another distro with an easy roll your own distro feature.

but for now... seems i'm having a more thorough poke and investigation of both sabayon and gentoo, having actually burned dvds of both sabayon 5 and gentoo 10.

it's 10.1 actually, but since its the same just with a couple bug fixes, and more so, since i wanted to finish that sentence of looking neat, i just left it as a nice round figure, to compliment the nice round 5 there. hehe. aaaaaanyways....

since i've had all those empty partitions sat eagerly waiting for some data or something to fill them up, it's about time i got out of the mere virtualbox and gave a distro a propper whirl natively for once.

yipes, just realised, thats the first time this year! all other times it's been either virtualbox or usb installs. oh how my distro surfing has changed.

so why a hd install if i'm dreaming up a distro setup for use on a usb stick on both laptop and desktop machines?
it'd b nice to have it on the hd here too?
this is an always-on kinda box, so i cant run both from the same usb pendrive at the same time, and there are plenty times when i need both on at the same time.
99% of the time it's probably an unecessary luxury...
but it is those 1% of times when it's needed that make it a necessity.

and thats kinda how i feel on having the os i use on my pendrive with my laptop be able to work with my workstation...
the rare times i've come across it, it's a real nuissance that the pendrive os i use on mylaptop wont work with my workstation. i think the triple monitor scares them, and they end up incompetently showing nothing. so this isnt just some missed luxury, this is missing even the most basic functionality.

so anyways... after my time with crunchbang, which has really opened my eyes to openbox, and revolutionized my thinking, and the cause for me returning to my xmonad configuration wanting to implement what i have learned... i'm now thinking it's time to spruce up my desktop again.

i know i do so much like having a "everything installed" environment to work in so there's rarely a tool missing that you'll need, but like i say, crunchbang has been a revolution in my mind.

so maybe i'll find i cant sluff off the need to have "everything installed", but i've certainly learned that most of my use is centered around a dozen or so apps.... handy that huh? leaves me enough room for window manager keyboard controls as well as start apps, and with minimal overlap and complex button combinations that get hard to remember... or so you would think.

to get all the buttons to fit is not the issue of course. it's to have them be intuitive, even for the stuff you might not need to use for ages.

f is a particularly troublesome key.

you say f and probably are thinking firefox? haha, foolish surely no? what about all the file management stuff? find? there are only a couple of all the potential modifier combinations left on my crunchbang for the f key. from the differing modifier key combinations, my mere f key can start up two file managers, a file manager in super user mode, two search engines, and a disk space usage analyser. f is definately not for firefox. as is default in openbox's default configuration in crunchbang, w is for web browser, and the web browser happens to be firefox.... however...

when setting this up for my xmonad configuration, i still have the default keys mapped for the window manager and as such, w is taken up for my screens 1, 2 and 3. w, e and r.

so... it's time to get really smart and come up with a merger of my xmonad and openbox keys, where each allows for the other.

since i'm going to be remapping loads of keys i may as well make it more artist friendly, rather than programmer friendly.

by that i mean, the keyboard shortcuts should nearly all be one handed friendly as the default position for the artist is one hand on the mouse/pen and one hand on the keyboard.

it does seem xmonad's keys are likely to get shunted off the main face entirely lest i come up with a strong system whereby there's a different modifier combination for application starting than there is for window manager... thus all apps could b started still using intuitive keys, more often using the first letter of the type of application (web, editor, etc), but this does cause some small constriction on the number of applications that can be started from the same key, even if there are no window management uses getting in the way.
however... this does overlook the one handed remapping and that xmonad's default keys are far from intuitive. a far more obvious system of window management is for the most part staring us in the face on the keyboard. windows, shift, -> for example could easily be the obvious choice for a first timers guess as to what might make the window move to the right... so thats what i'll make it. that gives an example of the type of intuitive control system i'm talking about. retaining some level of meaning to the key modifiers.... shift actually shifts things, control controls them, alt alternates or some alternate control, and the windows key is for modifying the window environment. simple huh?

well enough talk, more action...

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Digit's first blog

hi. i tend to forum it rather than blog it, but my rambling about linux is overspilling even forums about linux.

been using computers since my spectrum and nes as a child. also had a couple of really old somethings, with old green radiation gun monitors... yeah, that old.
then we had the family computer in 96, a 133mhz with 16mb ram, 1.3gb hd, n it was the tits in the day. even had a triple cd tray thing. it got upgraded a few times, and then i got my own in 98 or something, a 700mhz athlon with 256mb ram and a geforce1. kitted it out with a wacom graphics tablet shortly after, around the same time i added more hds and dual boot 98/2000. when everyone else was on xp, was moving back to 98... when everyone was still moving to xp, i was thinking the world had gone mad... in 2003 i started looking around for an alternative... i came across linux.. i came across gnu, i read up on loads, iespecially took to the philosophy, andi immediately reccognised it's worth to society, how it presented a real measurable boost. many eyes, shallow bugs, assurances on your software from community checking it out. good science. pace and bredth of progressing software, informed public, informed userbase, all users seamlessly can become developers, the software can be developed with maximal flow and allowance of evolving... all very lush idealism. when i first stepped in, i think i went with downloading a knoppix and suselinux9.1personal. maybe a couple others too. debian and something else. but when it came to it... after seeing my flatmate at the time's struggles with performance on his new high spec machine running xp, i upon the epic backup of all my stuff, i was going to dual boot, but just then felt the boot of windows' direction push me that little bit farther n i decided to go purely linux only. mmm. n it was goooood! yast was the most wonderful welcome to linux.... i've been keeping apprised of suse's direction, and i'm not impressed at all... not the pleasant wonder it once was. bloat creeps in and infests open source too it seems. so after getting off the suse linux train sometime around 10's arrival, i went a surfing. it was a furious blur of operating systems for a while... all the while keeping suse9.2 pro (which i bought with week's dole) as my primary backup admin os... a new machine comes along uhh... i forget when .... 2005... 2006? with windows(xp) tax on it, and then making its way through various states, i came across what was what i still consider my geatest discovery saikee's multi boot threads. http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=147959 & http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=143973

astonishing revelation lead me out of the realm of double boots and triple boots (which had been all i was searching for a the time), and my still new dual core 64 bit (which for ages i thought was dual processored and dual core... but its not, misleading wordage on bios and ebay seller who was long gone after getting possitive feedback. :p ) but its a beauty of a machine. it got a second monitor, and then eventually i had three monitors, two on it, and one on my old 700athlon (long since upgraded with more hds and grfx card etc). two pcs is a glory for when u want to distro surf, as is, i'm sure you can appreciate, having spent a solid week in serious study of the saikee-ness (and tbh, probably a month of refresher to be sure), having a well managed mulitboot grubbings, mmm. i think my most did peek into more than 20 distributions installed on one machine. and as i surfed and surfed, filled a stack of distros, it was a long time before suse9.2pro got knocked off from primary. sabayon crept in, and stayed a while when i was using studio ubuntu as my primary for art (which is after all what i mainly use the computer for), (i'll refrain from mentioning more distros or i'll be listing them off for a while).
so then what made sabayon do it? it as the first to come along to ever make double screen effortless, and included pretty much everything i needed out of the box, and had the drives applet in the pannel in gnome and kde, and had the help icon on the desktop leading to the sabayon help chat, and was setup up beautifully out of the box. sabayon 3.4 was anyway... i hear previous were too, buti didnt see them... 3.5 was .... ugly. they got prettier again, but stopped doing the "FULL" which i really liked them for. also... it was gentoo based. well configured, and gentoo based? i mean, gentoo, bless them, awesomest of metadistros, but their default out-of-the-box configuration is "middle of the pack" to put it mildly (and generously). so sabayon really really stood out of the pack, heads and shoulders above the established big names.
so while enjoying the lushness of sabayon and in true gentoo philosophy, not having my operating system (and it's nigglesome non-working aspects) getting in the way, i was free to go off and explore more about the software, more software, more tips, and so on. my time with sabayon has been among the most productive time i've had with an opperating system. not to say it wasnt completely without hiccoughpants. :D but that was all the better for the teaching. ;)
like i had been using my suse9.2pro for even while multibooting, i was then using my sabayon installation for virtualisation to facilitate distro surfing. virtualisation i feel has kinda dumbed me down... its almost too convenient! i set up loads of partitions for other distributions, and although i've already found a few worthy candidates, i still havnt used them.
so then a year or more ago, i got a tablet laptop, with windows(2005tabletedition) tax on it. it still has it on it. ugh... and i just realised, sorry to say, i am actually using it for writing this just now. got it set up looking probably almost identical to how i had my old 98 system setup... if i had the screenshots i'd be able to show how similar it really is.
so anyways, i'm only here after being badgered to play some games with windozers. i had a wubi ubuntu install setup on here for a while.. was set up gorgeous... if theres one thing i've learned after years of use, it's how to setup a nice desktop. (: .
so these days after having done a little more distro surfing with my growing collection of usb pendrives, i now use crunchbang linux. it's gorgeous. a really pleasant painless experience, and no gnome or kde! thats right. a well configured openbox! lush. ubuntu based, so a hefty repository and a familiar pile o other stuff from ubuntu too... just no gnome (or kde)... all lighterweight. n it's sweet! as sweet a find as slitaz linux was.
and now... after having remastersys'd once or twice, made a couple of slax distros, a handful of slitaz distros, a couple of suse distros (nooo! boycott! what am i doing!?!!), and some other ventures in other directions.... i'm going to be getting to actually unleashing some of my creations to the public, and also starting up a couple projects welcoming true open source community contribution.
so anyways, i'll use this blog to ramble on about all the stuff and any of the stuff i like to ramble on about. it might not all be strictly linuxy, but it is here for the linuxy. :)