Monday, April 22, 2013

Ugh.. more off topic

Oy, time has been short.  Exciting things are going on at the start-up I work for, so most of my efforts have been focused there.  I was able to do some brainstorming today about nethack stuff, so I'm excited to get back into nethack coding.

A quick rant, very off-topic:

I run Arch Linux on my home laptop.  It's an absolutely brilliant distribution.  Forever, I've loved everything about Linux.  When I gave FreeBSD a try, I was introduced to the ports tree, and quite frankly, it's the greatest thing existing in the field of operating systems.  On top of that, the rolling release model just made so much more sense than, for example, Ubuntu's "every six months whether it's broken or not" release model.

Anyway, a few months back, I discovered Arch Linux.  It had everything I could ever ask for in this world.  It ran a Linux kernel, but also had a ports tree, called the Arch Build System (ABS), as well as a rolling release model.  Fucking brilliant.

Gnome.  Underrated race in nethack, and also a perfect desktop environment for Linux/BSD.  I'd go as far as saying that Gnome2 is the Holy Arc of the Covenant of desktop environments.  Unfortunately, Gnome3 is the Treblinka of desktop environments.

No problem, though, because some clever folks forked Gnome2 and made MATE.  I've been running with MATE on Linux for a while now, and am lucky enough that Gnome2 is still supported in FreeBSD.

Things changed recently when I did a full system upgrade on my Arch box and installed MATE 1.6.  They got rid of the weather applet!!!  Granted, this could be Arch Linux specific (please comment and let me know if it is), or maybe I'm doing something wrong, but damn!  I loved that panel applet.

These days, UI innovation seems to revolve around "what can we remove?" rather than "what can we add?"  It's a fucking awful approach, because you lose users each time beloved features are removed, and with Linux, you rarely gain new users because people are somehow afraid of the best operating system currently in existence, thanks to FUD campaigns by various entities that view Linux as a rival... as they should, because technology that existed in the Linux kernel (and BSD kernel) 10 years ago is finally gracing OS's like Windows and OSX today (Hell, OSX took their kernel from BSD and Mach, because Apple realized they could not produce anything better).  10 years is a very long time when it comes to computer technology.

So, I've switched to Xfce 4.10 for the time being.  So far, I'm very happy with it.  The Xfce4 weather applet even has wind speed!  6mph in Allston, MA right now.

In other news, my (as my co-worker puts it) +1 Gauntlets of Coding arrived.  They're just wrist braces to combat carpal tunnel syndrome, but with my ergonomic keyboard and vertical mouse, carpal tunnel doesn't stand a chance.  The wrist braces were supposed to arrive last Friday, but when I saw the tracking info, they were listed as being in Watertown, MA, in the heat of the lockdown... no way in hell they would be delivered to me then.  I'm glad we got the younger brother/bomber alive.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Something else to remember on Patriots' Day

Patriots' Day is a holiday celebrated in Massachusetts to commemorate the anniversary of the Battles of Lexingon and Concord, to which my home town of Sudbury, MA, sent the most militia men out of any other city or town in the colonies.

Earlier today, multiple bombs went off in my city, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  I've been in touch with a couple of my friends and am trying to find out if the rest are okay.  

I was lucky enough to not have the day off from work, as most people did, so I was safe at work during the time of the explosions.  My thoughts go out to any and all affected by this horrific tragedy.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

busy busy busy

Sorry, updates are going to be slow for a little while.  My company is in crunch mode for our next release, so I'm just writing to let y'all know, I haven't abandoned the blog, or my variant.  I haven't abandoned nethack either, even though I haven't played my awesome tourist game in ages.  The PYEC is such a good artifact.

In the meantime, my mouse's wheel click has started pasting text when it opens links in new windows, as opposed to before when it would open links in new tabs without pasting.  All my searching so far has told me that is default functionality in X, and unless I want to hack X (a possibility...), I'm going to have to deal with it.

I wonder why it didn't paste before?  It doesn't on my Arch Linux system, which is running X, just on my Linux Mint system.  Maybe some update got me.  The nice thing about minimalist distributions is that they don't get cluttered with unwanted stuff.