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By ucblockhead (Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 07:49:55 AM EST) (all tags)
Celebrating the new year by recompiling a kernel.

I was playing with a cool bit of eyecandy called Compiz yesterday. Actually a bit more than eye-candy...the alt-tab menu alone is worth the price of admission. (It shows live updated thumbnail screens.) I mucked around a bit and found it very hard to configure. Reading a bit, I discovered that the config tools for it aren't available for Dapper Drake, only Edgy Eft.

Compiz features that are nifty:

  • F12 temporarily tiles all windows (shrunk to fit). Clicking on one returns all windows to their original location and brings the linked on one to the foreground.
  • Alt-tab cycles through live-updating thumbnails.

Compiz features that are silly:

  • Windows wobble like jelly when dragged.
  • Changing workspaces rotates in a cube like OS/X.
  • Transparency...blah Vista only on a machine that can't run Vista.

As theantix can attest, I've had issues through pretty much every Ubuntu upgrade I've done, so I've been leery of Edgy Eft. I'd been telling myself that I should wait for free time. Yesterday I realized that I was not apt to get any more free time this weekend, so I went ahead and upgrade.

It didn't go well.

Things that failed:

  • The keyboard and mouse fail with the KVM switch. Random pauses/duplicated characters abound. Lots of googling led me to this. Apparently a "fix" broke IOGear KVM switches. I find the kernel guy's response irritating as this switch has never had an issue with Windows, yet this is the second goddamn time in two years that a kernel update has broken my KVM switch because of error checking...and not the same switch, either, but two different switches! I strongly suspect they are doing something wrong...looking at the code, I suspect they're setting the timeout too short. Anyway, this means I have to recompile the goddamn kernel to get things working. So that's what I'm doing now.
  • My slimserver stopped working. I haven't fixed this yet...I suspect it's because this is now part of the base distribution and I used to have a hand crafted one. I removed every bit of both and reinstalled the I at least get the slimserver page, the there are ominous errors in the log.
  • My gallery stopped working. Apparently, they decided to just blow away the relevant part of my apache2 configuration.
  • I'm sure there's other things I haven't found yet.

At least the nvidia drivers didn't break...though I suspect that they will once I get the new kernel installed. (Even though it should be identical to what I have except for three lines of code.)

Otherwise vacation has been low-stress. Actually, I've been a bit out of sorts from the lack of anything. I uncharacteristically took a week and a half off without real plans. The in-laws were here a couple days and left midday Christmas...since then, it's just been hanging out time. Not counting unemployment, this is the longest time I've ever had with nothing to do. It's wierd. (unemployment isn't the same as you're stressed and job hunting.)

So I've been puttering a lot.

Anyone have any experience with Lasik? I've got an appointment to do it next month.
I gained 5 lbs last year. Given that I'd gained 10 lbs the year previous and another 10 the year previous previous, it's time for no eating and more gym/hiking. I'd prefer hiking (especially since the big present for me was a GPS) but it's getting problematic as the FoML is nearing the limits of the backpack. His legs dangle so much that when it's on the ground, he can stand and walk. Also, at 45 lbs, it's become a serious struggle. Good exercise though.
Silly to say in a big diary, but I haven't had the energy to diarize. It's mostly that work has been pretty decent lately (so no drive to whine) but also busy (so no time to slack.) Seems to be a lot of that around here. Lots of disappeareds and even more post-once-a-month-so-people-won't-thing-I-dieds.

Next weekend I will be at CES...anyone else going?

I've been finally using netflix again. Not sure if I have the energy to review...maybe another day. Those of you that are netflix friends can see early star ratings.

< Happy New Year! | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
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Compiz. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 07:57:30 AM EST
I use beryl w/ emerald instead.  It was a relatively easy install / config.  I do have to go back to the default window manager every now and again, though, to clear up strange issues like disappearing window title bars.

I use it for the eye candy alone.  The silly stuff.  On a z60t, most of my horsepower goes unused.

It's kinda cute.
I accidentally had a conversation in italian at lunchtime. I don't speak italian. - Merekat

Beryl by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 08:40:12 AM EST
tix recommended it as well, but I have to wait until I get this damn kernel fixed.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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You are correct sir! by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 04:22:46 PM EST
Beryl is indeed spiffy.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Keeping an eye out by BadDoggie (4.00 / 2) #2 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 08:14:12 AM EST
My brother had it and loved the results. I've considered it but am afraid of ending up in the 1% group of people with damaged vision. See the Virtual Flight Surgeons site for info on LASIK and flying.

The biggest risks are glare and flare phenomena but there's also a chance of a loss of night visual acuity. It's improved much over the past 15 years but it still carries risks that are a bit too high for me.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

I agree by ShadowNode (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 09:37:28 AM EST
Though mostly because my vision isn't that bad to start with. My glasses just make it more comfortable to read, I'm just too damn lazy to store them anywhere other than my face.

If they get it to the point where it gives better than 20/20 vision... maybe.

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I've finally walked away from all that. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 11:39:52 AM EST
Day after Christmas I moved the club website to site5; we figure the hosting fees are less than the electricity costs.

Not to mention the peace and quite - that old server was !@#$!@# loud.

It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

I'm slowly moving the other way by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 04:53:05 PM EST
I was using way too much disk space for my hosting service (hi tix!) I post lots of pictures with impunity! Plus, for various other reasons I leave the machine on anyway. (For appropriate ssh access from wr0k.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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DO IT! by Corky Sherwood (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 03:40:32 PM EST
 I had it done 4 years ago and it was an amazing, easy experience. The "worst" thing that you'll feel is the pressure when they suck your eyeball, so to speak.  And that's not bad: it's like when you used to suck your arm REALLY HARD to try and produce a hicky (just the pressure, no biting!)

For, me, the only downside was I ended up being in the 1% whose vision regresses very quickly; in 2.5 years i needed glasses to read and the next year my eyes were worst.  But I need them for the computer and reading.  I don't necessairly need them all the time, but it helps.

But for the short time i didn't need glasses at all:  priceless.  I remember the first time I went swimming in the ocean a month after: I was in australia and breaking the surface, i wiped my eyes of the water and saw the beautiful view - crystal clear.  crisp. blue. amazing.

It was worth every penny!

I have amazing night vision by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 06:40:02 PM EST
Which would not be very relevant to the discussion if one of the more common side effects of lasik style surgeries were not a decrease in night vision. One of the few things about my physique that I really, really enjoy is the ability to clearly see most things when the light is so dim that most people can't see jack squat. I'm not quite willing to risk losing this.

I'm also waiting until the surgery can correct the near vision problems that occurr because of old age. While I can read without my glasses, I have do have to hold the book uncomfortably close. But on the other hand, I don't want to end up with a pair of reading glasses.

And yet the promise is so tantalizing. Oh, to be able to see clearly without corrective lenses! I am sorely tempted indeed.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Reading glasses by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 06:51:33 PM EST
Probably a long wait for solving age reading problems. That's an issue of focusing and muscles, not the shape of the lens or eye.

I don't really care about reading glasses. I mostly would like to be able to not worry about glasses in the rain, when swimming, etc.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

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