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, 26 October 2010

oh yeah, i forgot i blogged about my new arch


well, yeah, i'll try to make the update as full, swift, and appropriate as possible.

the problems i experienced were entirely pebcak.

it all spawned from a simple typo when trying to install xmonad-contrib in pacman, and resultingly thinking xmonad-contrib was not there, so went on a long n pointless strugglesome adventure trying to get it to work with cabal and other crazy ideas.

once that issue was resolved, evrything became rather smooth again.

the arch linux wiki, is, by a great big gaping margin, the best wiki/documentation for any linux distribution i have had the pleasure to paruse.

i was told 5 days for a normal user, and was complimented (undeservingly i thought) that 3 days for me, to get an arch system from start to perfection.

well, perhaps only marginally like GW declaring "victory" in 2003 at preventing future generations of americans speaking iraqi, i declared success in under 21 hours.

... and i wasnt even trying! i was spending much of the time in chat, writing silly blogs and forum posts. and i went to sleep for 8 hours. and did a whole pile of other stuff.

but yeah, twas only slightly a premature declaration. i knew at that stage that i wantd to set up a couple shortcuts in gimp (ooh, big wow... what's that, not even 2 minutes) and use FEBE on my firefox (even taking my sweet time, thats still barely half an hour). but besides the two i knew about, there's still the occassional little niggle that i forgot about... installed a calculator today, for the an example of the sort of thing i'm talking about. small stuff, that's easily sorted with a quick "pacman -S".

ok, i admit... networkmanager configuration is a pain in the hoop. networky stuff has never been my strong suit.

but it's not like that's really a necessity. i just wanted the little luxury of having nm-applet on the go again. soooo not important. ... in a way, that's even antithical to a a system worthy of the accolade of "perfection". you know how many mbs that is just for that one little feature? with all the things it requires... it's waaay into double figures!, and thats a decimal place too far for my liking, on the scale of features per kilobyte.

anyways, suffice to say, it's been days now that i'm happily tootling along in my new arch install, doing the occassional pacman -Syu, and generally getting up to all the stuff i use a computer for... some graphics here, some research there, some discussing things here there and everywhere, some audio sample creation and editing, some website fiddling... and so on.

the experience has completely dispelled some myths i had let grow in my thoughts about arch, and the archway. it's all rather nice. only networkmanager managed to coax out some grunts of frustration from me.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

a long way to go and a short time to get there, we shouldnt have stopped for a picnic.


first sign of trouble in my new arch install:

i copied over my perfectly functional (accidental pun!) xmonad.hs from my previous system (ubuntu-based crunchbang)

and i get:[code]

$ xmonad --recompile
Error detected while loading xmonad configuration file: /home/digit/.xmonad/xmonad.hs

Could not find module `XMonad.Config.Desktop':
Use -v to see a list of the files searched for.

Please check the file for errors.


some time later, and some fiddling with cabal, and failing to get xmonad-contrib...

seems it's likely missing C libs.

so i try n get libX, libXext and libXinerama. (as the xmonad C requirements are stated here: http://xmonad.org/intro.html )

presuming libX = libX11, since simply libX alone is nowhere to be found, this one is up to date.

libXext install attempt returns (much the same for merely "libX" and libXinerama):[code]error: 'libXext': could not find or read package[/code]

so am i thinking arch has different names for these packages?

.... aaaah! lowercase "X"s.

ok, so i've updated those three now,
...and "cabal install xonad-contrib" tells me:[code]# cabal install xmonad-contrib
Resolving dependencies...
Configuring X11-xft-0.3...
cabal: pkg-config version >=0.9.0 is required but it could not be found.
cabal: Error: some packages failed to install:
X11-xft-0.3 failed during the configure step. The exception was:
ExitFailure 1
xmonad-contrib-0.9.1 depends on X11-xft-0.3 which failed to install.
so... "X11-xft-0.3" it says. :/ some searching later, n i presume it's after "haskell-x11-xft"

so i install that.... where was i now?
/me feels like he's starting to contract some disease probably called something like bizantianitits. :P

ok, lets try it from the top again... or, work backwards through what i've come to at least.

the xft was needed for the xmonad-contrib, ah, that's right...

/me tries "cabal install xmonad-contrib" again.

and we have much action! yay! scrolling text! XD "nn of 180"

bkadoctaj my old friend... you're right, i am learning a lot with using arch... i'm learning it's a lot of fuss!


so anyways, i started writing this in a text editor, thinking it was gonna be a forum post asking for help... but now it's looking more like my typical blog post. XD

so, i may as well elaborate on the story much more, comforted by the freedom my blog intro blurb caveat/disclaimer gives me to ramble endlessly...

...though i wont, bcause, the background jist of this is here...

i'm trying to get my perfect arch setup in 24 hours.

bkadoctaj said it takes 3 days from scrath to perfection.

___day one: scratch.
___day two: to.
_day three: perfection.

and he said it normally takes 5 days, but he was knocking a couple days off for me, percieving some level of expertise, which i think an accolade i'm worthy of.

.. but still, even with my leisserly pace through the first parts, i'm now determined to get it all up as i want in 24 hours... and that includes the 8 hours i was asleep, all the time spent dilly-dallying in chat, and all the time spent writing this load. XD

... i better get back to it.

my "cabal install xmonad-contrib" is complete, and now hopefully, when i attempt my next "xmonad --recompile" all will be well, and i'll be using my own config, rather than the more stoic default.

... i'll leave the rest of this adventure for the next post. :)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

pimped you a desktop for great good.


i've been busy.


some might say not the most productive use of my time... but what do they know.

i've been learning, and enhancing my skillset, all the while improving my desktop work environment for greater expediency.

it's that old cliche, that linux users spend 51 weeks configuring their desktop, so they can do their years work in an hour. XD


i have xmonad back on the go.

it's very nice.

it's very nice as it comes outta the box, very useable as is.


it's even nicer once a few customisations are added, most pertinently, some shortcuts for launching applications and doing other bits n bobs.

what pleases me most about my xmonad configuration just now though... is not xmonad itself...

it's that i have now got it working perfectly with my favorite panel application, tint2.

tint2 is another immensely customizable app, like xmonad is.

.... me likes the customizability. ^_^

i've tint2 set up much the same as i had it in openbox. ... um, pretty much identically actually.

and also ... i have a simple conky working nicely with tint2 and xmonad too, simply informing me of my network up and down speeds, regardless of which connection i'm using (wired or wireless), in the same space.

here's one bit of this setup i'm especially chuffed with...

i have a shortcut to toggle the panel visibility.


here's a couple links to threads i made marking my little landmark accomplishments. ^_^

of course, there's all the keyboard shortcuts too... and that's (besides xmonad's inherent greatness) where the real productivity expedience boon comes in.

... much as i had it in my openbox configuration. :)

clever little systematic logic that makes it intuitive.

i didnt want to disrupt the xmonad vi-alike controls, so qwerthjlk were all out. the rest though, i considered fair game for remapping. i still might remap q... i dont like how risky it is having the equivalent of ctrl alt bksp (to restart the graphics server, and thus lose everything being worked on in gui) being so close (one key away) from other regularly used shortcuts.

so, the tux button (or "windows button" to the man on the street) i use as my primary modifier, so it doesnt clash with some applications which use alt. a combination with a single key would start an application, like g for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, or D for Gedit (since E is taken up for multi monitor setups, and there's no need for a "show desktop" shortcut in xmonad).

editing configs happens with a triple modifier, of ctrl, tux and alt... and the key of whatever is being modified, F2 and F3 for gmrun, x for xmonad, n for the tint2 panel... i havnt fully decided on where to put conky yet, having just added it, and already using c for communications (starting pidgin and skype, and perhaps mumble if i start using it too), and of course k is taken up... it's likely going to be y isnt it.

/me presses ctrl,tux,alt,x and makes a few edits quickly... ... and tux,alt,x the new changes are in effect.

:) there we go, just a quick few seconds, no having to type in a file location, no having to navigate to the file. :) conky start, restart and edit keys now set up. :)

and as well as the triple modifier for editing something, where you wish to control (ctrl) the system (tux) to alter (alt) it [(see the intuitive logic?)], i've a restart on a two key modifier of tux, alt, and then the same coresponding key. so i can restart the panel after making edits simply with tux, alt, n, which does a "pkill tint2 && tint2". i was very pleased first time i tried this in xmonad and it worked, thinking the way it uses a spawnpipe for it might cause complications, but no, it was simple n straight forward. which was nice.

anyways, i'll let you explore the rest if you're intereseted. ^_^ (hehe, yeah, i still write this as if someone will read it some day. lol. if you do, please, leave some comments. thnx.)

here's the configs code:


rounded = 0
border_width = 1
background_color = #333333 19
border_color = #999999 70

rounded = 0
border_width = 1
background_color = #000000 00
border_color = #000000 00

rounded = 0
border_width = 1
background_color = #ffffff 60
border_color = #ffffff 99

panel_monitor = all
panel_position = bottom right
panel_size = 90% 19
panel_margin = 0 0
panel_padding = -1 -1 7
font_shadow = 0
panel_background_id = 2
#wm_menu = 1

taskbar_mode = multi_desktop
#taskbar_mode = single_desktop
taskbar_padding = -1 -1 -1
taskbar_background_id = 1

task_icon = 1
task_text = 0
task_maximum_size = 144 19
task_centered = 1
task_padding = -1 2
task_font = sans 8
task_font_color = #111111 100
task_active_font_color = #ffffff 100
task_background_id = 1
task_active_background_id = 3

systray_padding = -1 -1 -1
systray_background_id = 1

time1_format = %H:%M:%S %A %d %B
time1_font = sans 13
#time2_format = %A %d
#time2_font = sans 8
clock_font_color = #ffffff 100
clock_padding = 0 0
clock_background_id = 1
clock_lclick_command = xclock
clock_rclick_command = zenity --calendar

battery = 1
battery_low_status = 10
battery_low_cmd = notify-send "battery low"
bat1_font = sans 7
bat2_font = sans 7
battery_font_color = #ffffff 100
battery_padding = 0 0
battery_background_id = 1

mouse_middle = close
mouse_right = none
mouse_scroll_up = toggle
mouse_scroll_down = iconify


background yes
use_xft yes
xftfont Sans:size=8
xftalpha 1
update_interval 0.3
total_run_times 0
own_window yes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_type desktop
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
double_buffer yes
minimum_size 1 1
maximum_width 134
draw_outline no
draw_borders no
draw_shades no
draw_graph_borders yes
default_color ff0000
#default_shade_color 000000
default_outline_color 000000
alignment bottom_left
gap_x 0
gap_y -108
no_buffers yes
uppercase no
cpu_avg_samples 2
override_utf8_locale no

${voffset -6}${color #ffff00}${downspeedgraph 9,135 wlan0}
${voffset -4}${color}${upspeedgraph 9,135 wlan0}
${voffset -22}${color #00ff00}${downspeedgraph 9,135 eth0}
${voffset -4}${color}${upspeedgraph 9,135 eth0}
${voffset -22}${color #00ffff}${downspeedgraph 9,135 eth1}
${voffset -4}${color}${upspeedgraph 9,135 eth1}

and last, but certainly not least:
the xmonad.hs config, my pride n joy. lol.
import XMonad
import XMonad.Hooks.DynamicLog
import XMonad.Hooks.ManageDocks
import XMonad.Util.Run(spawnPipe)
import XMonad.Util.EZConfig(additionalKeys)
import XMonad.Hooks.EwmhDesktops
import XMonad.Config.Desktop
import System.IO

-- initially created with help of: http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Xmonad/Config_archive/John_Goerzen%27s_Configuration
-- use "xmonad --recompile" to check it's syntactically correct if making changes (better than just modQ)
-- list of key codes http://haskell.org/haskellwiki/Xmonad/Key_codes
-- may also prove useful for some keys and commands http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive/X11/1.4.5/doc/html/Graphics-X11-Types.html
-- may want to encorporate: http://xmonad.org/xmonad-docs/xmonad-contrib/XMonad-Actions-GridSelect.html
myManageHook = composeAll
[ className =? "Gimp" --> doFloat
, className =? "pidgin" --> doFloat
, className =? "skype" --> doFloat
, className =? "vlc" --> doFloat
, className =? "tilda" --> doFloat
, className =? "Vncviewer" --> doFloat

main = do
xmproc <- spawnPipe "/usr/bin/tint2 /home/digit/.config/tint2/tint2rc" xmonad $ ewmh desktopConfig { manageHook = manageDocks <+> myManageHook -- make sure to include myManageHook definition from above
<+> manageHook desktopConfig
, layoutHook = avoidStruts $ layoutHook defaultConfig
, modMask = mod4Mask -- Rebind Mod to the Windows key
} `additionalKeys`
[ ((mod4Mask, xK_F2), spawn "gmrun")
, ((mod4Mask .|. controlMask .|. mod1Mask, xK_F2), spawn "gedit ~/.gmrunrc")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_F3), spawn "~/.config/dmenu/dmenu-bind.sh")
, ((mod4Mask .|. controlMask .|. mod1Mask, xK_F3), spawn "gedit ~/.config/dmenu/dmenu-bind.sh") -- edit dmenu
, ((mod4Mask, xK_F4), kill)
, ((mod4Mask, xK_F5), spawn "xfce4-appfinder")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_F6), spawn "xkill")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_a), spawn "audacity")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_b), spawn "firefox")
, ((mod4Mask .|. mod1Mask, xK_b), spawn "seamonkey")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_c), spawn "pidgin & skype")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_d), spawn "gedit")
, ((mod4Mask .|. controlMask, xK_d), spawn "gksudo gedit")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_f), spawn "pcmanfm")
, ((mod4Mask .|. controlMask, xK_f), spawn "gksudo pcmanfm")
, ((mod4Mask .|. shiftMask, xK_f), spawn "searchmonkey")
, ((mod4Mask .|. shiftMask .|. mod1Mask, xK_f), spawn "catfish")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_g), spawn "gimp")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_i), spawn "inkscape")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_m), spawn "vlc")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_n), sendMessage ToggleStruts) -- toggle panel visability.
, ((mod4Mask .|. mod1Mask, xK_n), spawn "pkill tint2 && tint2") -- restart panel.
, ((mod4Mask .|. controlMask .|. mod1Mask, xK_n), spawn "gedit ~/.config/tint2/tint2rc") -- edit panel config
, ((mod4Mask .|. shiftMask, xK_p), spawn "gksudo gparted")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_p), spawn "gksudo synaptic")
-- , ((mod4Mask, xK_q), spawn "xmonad --restart")
, ((mod4Mask, xK_x), spawn "xmonad --recompile") -- recompile xmonad
, ((mod4Mask .|. mod1Mask, xK_x), spawn "xmonad --restart") -- restart xmonad
, ((mod4Mask .|. controlMask .|. mod1Mask, xK_x), spawn "gedit ~/.xmonad/xmonad.hs") -- edit xmonad config
, ((mod4Mask, xK_y), spawn "conky")
, ((mod4Mask .|. mod1Mask, xK_y), spawn "pkill conky && conky") --restart conky
, ((mod4Mask .|. controlMask .|. mod1Mask, xK_y), spawn "gedit ~/.conkyrc") --edit conky
, ((0, xK_Print), spawn "scrot '%Y-%m-%d--%s_$wx$h_scrot.png' -e 'mv $f ~/images/screenshots/ & gpicview ~/images/screenshots/$f'")

i was gonna add in the dmenu and gmrun for an added bonus, but then realised, in quite a shock, that of course, the key combinations i've chosen conflict with (and dont supercede) the switching of tty. lol. oops, oh well. ^_^ its not like i ever really need to edit them anyway.

well, i hope u get even a millionth of a kick outta these as i did making them and do using them. :)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

'nix still got it, wastedartist lub'n it

meant to post this .. and finish writing it ages ago.
you have been warned.

makin the wastedartist.com website as tight n minimal as i've been trying to make the software i've been writing, n now i think of it, also the configuration and component selection, so far that i've seleceted at least, it's all kept nice n lean.  it only goes on n on when there's the real content, not just the tool, meaning ...  the elaborate intricate images, audio, and ramblings n rantings.

anyways, waffle aside... 'nix make me happy.  live with free software for a few years and you really get to mold it into something ever more to your tastes n needs.  freedom allows that.  mmm.  community allows that.  mmm.  sharing allows that.  mmm.  realising the mutual exponentially beneficial amplifications from the synergy of co-operatipon for the commons far exceeds the ... the...   oh, i thought i was going to come over all eloquent there...  the... shitey short sighted selfish shitey.   ***  explanation fail.  pebcak error.  rant overload. 

incase you're unfamiliar, when i say 'nix, i mean, gnu/linux, but just asi used to use (and sometimes still use) "linux" as the catch all for all free & Open Source software, i sometimes use 'nix for that to, clumsily being unfortunately ignorant to the great many other interesting free and/or open source and/or freedomware projects.  *deap breath*

see why people dont know about it?   it's elaborate minefeild marathon.   gotta dance a little political legal lawful philosophical jig of cha-cha of some kind before any sense comes of what all this "freedomware"( +etc) stuff is all about n why it's of importance and benefit (or whatever other motivation).

'nix'ness, the freedom culture that's been around through the internet since even long before the internet, is seeping into the system, ** "there's nothing to do, just keep your foot down" ** (said the telly in the background)...  and as it seeps into the system, intricacy and dynamism of ogranica of life of of of...  ***

explanation fail.  pebcak error.  rant overload. 

you see, free software is far less inclined to do that because there are more people in the community with their eye on the code and it's functionality than any company... of all companies combined probably...  the more the merrier, its free for all, woo!

"computer, give me a level 17 mutation on my bioactive sandwich special preference 1, ... "


" om nom ack. just give me my prefered sandwich again actually thnx.  u can take this one back.  that's what i get for being adventurous."

Saturday, 9 October 2010

squishboom, toorox, n stuff.

so, this week i have been mostly.... procrastinating.


after a quick n speedy throw out of the dirty gimpstick, i thought the alpha7 of witch would just fly out in less than a week too. that didnt happen. partly because in classic typicalness for me, i got distracted with the thousand and one other interlinking interests i have.

and... ok, so my procrastinating has been a bit worse than that if im honest.

i installed a load of games to try.

so i been playing games... maybe only half an hour to a couple per day... but that still feels like a lot to me considering that, apart from my diablo2 addiction that sometimes resurfaces, i dont really play games anymore.

chat too, has been a bit of a distraction, as it always is.

squishboom? well, technically, i still use it every day... but i'm no longer happy with the idea of basing it on the lts release of ubuntu.... 9.04 was great, 9.10 introduced many problems, 10.04 as is, hasnt really corrected those problems, and introduced new ones.... but who knows, maybe it gets better as it updates? seems funny that it's now become the ultimate back burner project that i dabble with and research for, n yet, there's me with my squishboom page and sat alone in the #squishboom in irc.freenode.net.

so i've started doing some more distro hopping....

kinda itching to get rid of sabayon... despite it's awesomeness. maybe this is some kind of masochistic subconscious behaviour, but i want something less nice, than sabayon. y'know, like when jeremey clarckson says he wants the car on the right because it's less good. ...more fun.

and speaking of fun... i'm even finding myself looking at funtoo pages often.

funtoo + metro ?= .... funtoobang!

yeah, i luuuurv the idea of gentoo base to my crunchbang-alike interfaces n app selection.

and i lurv that is sounds like fun to bang. ;) ... there's levels. ;) XD

however, a newer kid on the block has really caught my eye now that they have a GNOME version as well as KDE.


it's gentoo based, live/installer... and i've installed both the latest versions. kde and gnome. kde over the gnome install at the moment, but i think i'll go back to the gnome version because kde makes me want to vomit and go on homicidal rampages.... so... i shant be sticking around with anything kde4 has touched.

it's no where near as painful to stick bits of gnome in a lightweight setup than it is to stick in bits of kde4.

but i hear even gnome are planning their own self sabotaging major upgrade soon too.

so glad i like my lightweight systems.

i even asked on the toorox forum if there was any plans for a lightweight version... no responce last i looked... but that was only short ago.

toorox has so impressed me, beyond all (few) other gentoo based distributions i've seen. it's up there with the best... sabayon and pentoo. [edit~ and of course gentoo itse;f... um, but only outta respect... it's live cd's are a bit... standard.] i still have the name "papug" in the back of my mind, wanting to check it out again sometime. but for now... i'm gushing over toorox.

now if only i could drag myself away from my "crunchayon" setup in my sabayon 4.2 minimal install, that i've been using for... ages, on my always-on-workstation, then i could get around to reinstalling toorox gnome version.

strangely, for all the beating-myself-up i do over not working... like falling asleep, doing excersize and general down-time, i have been making some nice changes n developments for wastedartist.com too. it's looking a little more plush. it's index page is now more in keeping with the general simple navigation theme i'll be employing throughout the site, and, more relevently to the intended topic of this blog.... it now links to some of my code projects
( daskeb, and qalator ), and distro projects too.

i've also been practicing my conky and gtk/ob theming skills. v.useful for a free software distro producer. ;)

still, i've yet to find the money lust. ... oh well, looks like another day of being a financial lepper. XD

u could always... flattr me, like, for trying so hard. XD

i even found time to make progress towards my much more complicated qalator2 script... but no holding your breath for that one...

on my agenda next is:

witch alpha7
(just gotta fine tune a couple scripts, n then figure out how to get scrotwm installed from source for that pesky distro that didnt have it in it's repo yet, but besides that is perfect for the next rowan)

gimpstick2 pure
i kinda made it, but it's one to be fussier over than the gimpstick dirty. it really takes great restraint and vigilance, and walking on tight ropes, and dodging crocodiles, to get this release out. very constrictive series of proceedures to fulfill to ensure it's done right, to my high standards for what the pure gimp aught to be like.

the rest of wasted artist's freesoftware online-commerce solution.

learn more programming to be able to do more, more, more, more.

so as much as i'm gunning for toorox on my workstation now... i've got to go check out archbang's latest, dl'd it twice a while ago, shortly after its release, once to each machine... but i've yet to find/make the time for it yet.

i might consider using it for my laptop... at least on it's small partition first... n see if it's stable n robust enough for me to push it around, like i do with my ubuntu based squisboom.... n we all know archbang will be wice as fast n use a 7th the ram. so... it seems like a no-brainer, especially if u then add my list of complaints about canonical and ubuntu... but... there's something to be said for flocking with a crowd of noobs, lol, they're well catered for, and never need learn their machine.... doh! no! that's ever-noob ultra dumb thinking there. smash the plastic box, see the machine! rwar!