xKLAATUx

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Everything posted by xKLAATUx

  1. It's not easy dying hair. A few punky types will resort to the spray-in stuff, but that's temporary and acts too much like hair spray. I'm talking about real dye that you apply and it goes everywhere and stains your skin and your whole bathroom until your parents or roommates get so angry they move out. But how to do this correctly? Well, I've been dying my hair for a while now, so I kind of know a thing or two about it, so let me share tips: Regardless of the shade of your hair, you're really going to want to bleach it first. It's not the colour that you need to get rid of, it's the oils and natural texture of the hair that you need to zap. Getting hair bleach from either a beauty supply store or just from the same box, hopefully, that you get the coloured dye in, is essential. If the dye you get doesn't include bleach with it, then you'll need to go to a beauty supply place and get some on your own. It's not as intimidating as it sounds; the beauty supply store know everything and if you just ask them what you need they will hook you up. But if you must know, the stuff you need is called Blue 40 (or something like that). I don't know why it's called "Blue" because all it does is bleach your hair. I probably don't need to say this...but do not use laundry or household bleach. Bad idea. Hair bleach is something completely different and it's just an unfortunate twist of semantics that we call "bleaching" hair by the same word as "bleach" for household use. So bleaching not only zaps what natural colour is in your hair, but also it causes you hair to be porous and dry, which is what the artificial colouring wants. If you think that you ahve light enough hair and you think you don't need to bleach it, and you try to colour your hair wihtout bleaching it first, then you will find that the color lasts all of 10 days. The dye just doesn't take hold on non-bleached hair. Trust me! Most hair bleach bottles tell you how long to leave them in your hair. It's never long enough. I don't have very dark hair naturally, but I always leave it in for as long as they tell dark haired people to leave it in, and that just about does the trick. It will sting the scalp a little, although supposedly there's a way to do all of that without really touching the scalp. I could never figure it out, and if it takes me longer than 4 minutes to put the bleach in and go about my business, it's too complicated. So I just slather the bleach in (with gloves) and go sit in front of the computer for an hour. Eventually the hair becomes an ugly yellow, and feels like straw. So, go wash out the bleach, wait until your hair is dry, and then break out the coloured dye. Slather the skin around your hair with Vasoline or something similar. It will save you a lot of embarrassment later on. Put gloves on - and fairly sturdy ones, too. Really cheap gloves will tear and you'll get coloured dye all over your hands. Again, embarrassing. Luckily if this happens you can just say you're too punk to care, which is what I usually do, and it usually works. But not on girls. They know better. They know you just screwed up and will laugh at you, inside. You'll be ridiculed. So either use sturdy gloves or stay at hom for the next week. OK, so you've got gloves, so start putting the dye into your hair. Some people will have a friend do this for them. Some people will take hours doing it to make sure it's perfect. Me? I just slather it in. If I miss a spot, I call it my Style. If I get dye all over my ears -- it's ok because I've got vasoline protecting them! Actually, I'm pretty sure that for a few days after I dye my hair I look like a mess, with colour on my neck and ears...so take my advice, if you want to look cool then you ought to be careful and take more than 5 minutes to make it happen. Enlisting a friend might be helpful. I wouldn't know cuz I've never gone to the trouble. Leave the dye in for longer than the box suggests, too. You want the dye to really cling to your now-porous hair. Once it's all settled in, wash out the dye. Some people can do this in a sink...but that's way too hard for me. I just wash it out in either the shower or under a bathtub faucet, even though it stains everything it touches. Again, I don't care...but my roommates have been known to scold me for it. A LOT of dye is going to wash out. For a long time. The important thing is that the color has been absorbed into the hair, though. The excess will continue to stain your towels and pillows for weeks to come. Enjoy! The best brands for hair colour that I've found so far are: Splat! -- a brand I'd never heard of but found by accident in a Rite-Aid, a West Coast pharmacy. They only have blue and red, though. Manic Panic -- not the be-all and end-all of hair dye that its reputation would suggest, but it does work better than, say, Punky Colours. And if you can't find either of these, just go to a beauty supply store. Really, those places have all kinds of supplies...although it's not, in spite of the name, guaranteed to make you beautiful. Good luck!
  2. I read on Roland Wolters blog a great tip that I am now placing in my own so it's handy.if you're on a system that's not working the way you want it to, then you may make a .vimrc file in your ~ directory with the following arguments:set laststatus=2syn onfiletype indent onset aiset nuset icand so on. whatever you like for your vim. Don't know what you like? probably whatever you're used to; go to your ~ and look for a .vimrc and grap a copy of it. Drop it onto a USB thumbdrive or whatever. It's just really handy to know, especially if you're dropped into a computing situation where the system isn't pre-configured the way you are used to it being configured. I got so used to how vim worked on most default linux systems that I was really thrown off when I was using vim on the Mac at work. Hence, this post.
  3. I don't know the exact expression I'm looking for, but it's something like "I'll abandon KDE 4 after you pry it from my cold, dead hands" or something violent and morbid like that...and yet, strangely positive.Yes, KDE 4 has some bugs. But you know what? So does OS 10.5 Leopard and yet people are running and loving it... How buggy is Leopard? oh, only so much so that at the latest WWDC they announced that they're releasing a REVISION of Leopard called Snow Leopard...basically a bunch of bug fixes...which is why they'll be giving this revision away FOR FREE. Apple never gives anything away for free!! but apparently that's just how bad they feel about Leopard...So KDE 4 is my primary desktop on my main laptop and here are some things that I've found make it work like, I think, it was intended to work.kill the desktop iconsI get the feeling that desktop icons on KDE4 may not be entirely intended. Of course, somewhere Aaron Seigo may be hacking away at trying to make them proper, but I'm one of those people who really just prefers a clean desktop anyway, and so I say get rid of desktop icons on your KDE 4 system. You'll feel cleaner for it, and it'll save you the trouble of dealing with KDE 4's wonky implementation of the concept.How do you do this? First get all the files that were/are on your desktop into some other directory. Preferably where they belong; put Documents in Documents, Music in Music, Movies in Movies....or dump them all in your big pile of junk...however you organize your stuff, do it now.Then right-click on the desktop > Configure Desktop. At the bottom of the Configure Desktop window, you'll see two checkboxes: one for Show Icons and one for Align to Grid. Uncheck them both.Move Your System Tray into a PlasmoidThe Kicker down at the bottom of the screen is great for four things:1. K Menu2. Task docking3. Desktop Switcher4. Device Notification5. Date and TimeNotice that System Tray is NOT present. For whatever reason, the kicker is having a hard time keeping up with different system applets. I start Pidgin, and a new icon appears, but then a system update alert pops on and moves stuff around...and suddenly I have blank boxes where applets used to be, and all kinds of mess. Not fun. These little applets seem to like it better if they are there own malleabel plasmoid (aka "widget"). So right click on the general System Tray section of your Kicker (depends on what distro you're running as to where this is located) and REMOVE system tray.Now go to the upper right corner of your screen to add a new widget, select Add New Widget, and find the choice for a system tray. This will drop all those applets into a snazzy looking bar on your desktop, which you can position anywhere you please. I have mine in the upper left corner.Learn to Tweak Settings in Config Files...or just delete config files. Should anything happen to your KDE 4 desktop, like the Kicker getting mangled because you're screwing around with it too much, or whatever, you can always do a couple of things to fix it. The quick and dirty way is to mv ~/.kde/share/config ~/.kde/share/config-old which renames the directory containing all your little config files for KDE 4 so that if you log out and then log back in, KDE 4 regenerates all your config files. This puts you back at the default configuration, of course, so if you've made changes then you get to make them all again....but we're assuming that if you've done this then your current configuration was bad beyond simple repair.If, on the other hand, you just feel like something is just a wee bit off, then cd ~/.kde/share/config and have a look around. Lots of little config files (or in Mac terms, ~/Library/Preferences files). Since anything you screw up here can always be regenerated automatically, so it's safe to take a few chances.More tips as/if I stumble upon them. For more tips on making your KDE destop really fun to use, see my earlier post in which my friend Skirlet and I went through the System Settings and figured out what everyone forgot to set - like drop shadows and effects and stuff like that....
  4. I needed a place to keep track of GIMP shortcomings, and this is gonna be the place.To preface this: this is NOT a list of complaints or gripes, it's just a wishlist, and things that I notice are missing from GIMP that are present in Photoshop. I use GIMP exclusively, but I used to be Photoshop certified and I used it A LOT. When I'm recommending GIMP to people who are used to Photoshop, I figure it's good to know what's NOT there. Plus, if I ever get involved with the GIMP project, I'll have this nice list of improvements that could be made.This is also kind of a list that I might use if I ever get around to comparing Pixel with GIMP.But my primary goal is to list things that GIMP can add to their feature list so they can smash Photoshop once and for all :)So...1. Text tool needs HUGE improvement; shouldn't need a new dialogue box just to do text. Text should be able to be typed right into canvas. It's probably worth noting that this is pretty well implemented in Inkscape already, in which you can type into and manipulate the path of the text, live. However, even in inkscape you have to open up an entirely new dialogue box to try out new fonts.1a. Text bounding box - I want to restrict my text within a certain area and then be able to change the width and height of that area later on and have the text adjust with the new shape of the area.1b. Individual text attributes; if I have a long sentence and want one word in the middle of it to be italics and the word after it to be a different font, I should be able to do that without a huge workaround involving duplicating the text layer, deleting every word but the word I want to effect, etc..1-bottom line- Text tool really needs to be a little embedded text editor like gEdit or Kwrite or whatever. If it is not, then it is not a real text tool to be used for design. Not today, anyway. Photoshop has had a really dynamic text tool since version 7, and they're at the equivalent of 10 or 11 now.2. Dynamic Text transformation - text shouldn't need to be rasterized when being rotated or stretched or whatever.3. Mass deletion of layers - there should be a way to select two or three or ten layers all at once in the layer window, and delete them.4. Mass visibility of layers - even photoshop doesn't have this: select lots of layers, right click, and set as invisible or visible.5. layer grouping - should be able to place multiple layers into a layer folder.6. constrain selection tool dynamically. i know you can SET the selection tools to contrain themselves to a certain aspect ratio, and that works for me... but honestly it would work better if I could do that with the press of a key, in the moment.7. Ability to restrict movement to 15 degree angles - one should be able to hold some hotkey down (traditionally it's shift, in a lot of programs of varying types) to force the mouse to drag things only in straight lines within 15-degree angle increments. As far as I can tell, the only way to move something in an absolutely straight line is with arrow keys in GIMP. (I don't mean the paintbrush or pencil; I mean selection tools and move tool and things like that.)8. Single window interface. Again, learning from Inkscape (and I think the new Krita does this, too, although I ahven't tried it yet), the one window interface works really well. I wouldn't have known it, because of course photoshop is not a single window program either...but the multiple windows of gimp just get lost in the shuffle on all the monitors I use it on. I'm not saying lock anyone into a single window, but I think I'd like to try it. Palettes could be brough up as needed, tool bars would be quickly accessible. Something to try.9. more to come as i find things. i <3 gimp.
  5. slackware 12 on sony vaio vgn-n250n - a love story _________INSTALLATION ___________ So I downloaded and installed Slackware 12. First, I backed up the stuff I had on the computer just in case I screwed it all up. I didn't have much personal data on there, so it all fit onto one CD-RW. My harddrive was already partitioned, so I didn't have to do anything except define for the installation which partition I would be using. In my case, it is the /dev/sda1 partition. Linux also wants a SWAP partition; that is, a small partition for, what we in the Mac world would call Virtual Memory. I already had a swap partition, so I just pointed Slackware 12 to it. It is worth noting that I might have three distros of Linux running on my notebook but I only need one SWAP. I also have a tiny little partition at the front of my drive to serve just as the Master Boot Partition. This is where the boot loader exists, so that I can choose what partition I actually want to boot into. This is akin to holding the OPTION key down during starting Mac OS X and choosing whether one wants to boot into one partition or another, or into OS 9 back in the old OS X days. Other than these details, installation was as easy and friendly as installation on any system, minus the pretty graphics. __________SETTING UP X________________ The system was installed. I logged in as root and began setting up a GUI environment because I figured it’d be somthing easy that I could get out of the way quickly. Because of my NeXTbook project, I was really familiar with X11. And setting it up in Slackware 12 was, as expected, pretty easy. Compared to what I was having to do with my NeXT project, it was actually really easy. Slackware 12 includes a xorgsetup script that prompts the user for screen resolutions and refresh rates. Sony does not publish any of this information - I have read through all their documentation and can attest that it is nowhere on their site or in anything I received with the computer itself. To find it all out, I had to reboot into Ubuntu, look at the auto-detected settings that Ubuntu had generated, write those down, and enter them in as my set up in Slackware. Thanks, Sony. As I mention in my previous post, the “FINDER” post, in Mac OS X the Window Manager is quartzWM. I guess we would generally or flippantly call it Aqua. Anyway, whatever it’s called it generates and controls everything we see onscreen. If one tries to run X11 on the Mac, quartzWM does its best to control X11, and getting X11 away from quartzWM is a real trick (which I have figured out and will detail in the forthcoming NeXThack episode of The Bad Apples). We generally think of everything we see as THE DESKTOP or THE FINDER, but they are very separate programs; see my previous post for details. The Finder, proper, is the “File Manager” of OS X and simply gives us access to graphic representations of our files. There is a published hack to Quit the Finder and have no access to one’s files except through line commands in the Terminal. So, on my Slackbook my Window Manager is Fluxbox (which, unlike many window managers for linux, does not model itself at all after Wind0ze but is much more like NeXTstep). I have not configured a file manager for it yet, because I happen to know that I have many choices, so for now I will access my files via my xTerm (Terminal). __________WIRELESS CARD DRIVER_________ Now I had to install the wireless drivers. As I said above, I found that the drivers I needed were included on the Slackware DVD, as were some very clear and helpful instructions (much more helpful than Intel’s documentation included with the drivers). So I installed the drivers easily, without a hitch. Well almost: By now I was familiar with the usual Unix installation commands: % ./configure % make % make install Intel’s documentation told me to install the ipw3945d daemon by simply entering %make But that was wrong. I trusted them at first, and it didn’t work, so I went back and typed % make % make install And that worked. Otherwise, it all went smoothly. I rebooted to verify that the ipw3945abg card was really being recognized, and by reading the screen during bootup, I saw that everything was loading fine. Very exciting! But, strangely, when I tried to telnet into my freeshell account, nothing happened. Well, obviously my card was being recognized, but it wasn’t actually being used; it wasn’t on my LAN. Hm. _________GETTING NETWORKD_____________ I did a lot of research and found out that there were three commands relating to getting one’s networking device up and running. These are: % iwconfig # which is wireless-specific % ifconfig # which is for all network devices % modprobe # which loads a “module” into the kernel; in Mac terms, it would load an “Extension”. So I learned from a 2004 posting on a linux forum that once a wireless card driver is installed, all you need to do to bring it to life is to type this series of commands: % modprobe ipw3945 # which brings the module into the kernel. I know the name of the module is ipw3945 from the driver documentation % iwconfig eth1 essid XXXXX # assigns the card to a network; name is defined by me in the Airport Setup Utility % iwconfig eth1 channel 10 # because I set my Airport to be on Channel 10 % iwconfig eth1 key XXXXXXX # where key = the HEX code (or whatever) and NOT the ascii text I typed into my Airport Setup Utility. This, I discovered only after much poking around in the Airport software, in which there is a small, insignificant-seeming button that tells you “Oh, and by the way, if you’re not using an Apple you need to enter THIS code, not the passphrase you just created”. Oh. OK. % ifconfig eth1 up # to bring the network device up % dhcpcd eth1 # to receive the DHCP information from the wireless router. And this series of commands worked perfectly. I was suddenly online; I started the GUI, took a look at Firefox - and sure enough, everything was fine. I was ecstatic, and decided to take it one step further and create a shell script that would do all of those commands for me so that all I’d have to do is type one word. And so I did; I wrote a little script, made it executable: % chmod u+x ipwscript and tried it out. All I hade to do was type “ipwscript” and I was online in milliseconds. Well, at this point I pretty much figured I’d reached the pinnacle. Little did I know...... _____________ADD USER ACCOUNT______________ There’s a script program included with Slackware that prompts you as root to create a user account. I looked up in my Unix reference book to see if there was another way of doing this - I’m sure there is, but it doesn’t really matter. Obviously any usable Unix system is going to provide you a way to create a user account, so I just used the Slackware script. It made creating a user account very easy; as easy as doing it in Mac OS X except, again, without the graphics. To test everything out, I rebooted and logged in as user. X started up fine, but when I opened up Firefox, nothing happened; I was not online. So I typed in my magic script “ipwscript” and....again, nothing. Apparently the commands contained in my script were root-only commands. I struggled with the “sudoers” file in an attempt to give myself as User permission to initiate iwconfig, ifconfig, and modprobe — but it didn’t work. So I need to study “sudoers” permissions more. But in the meantime, I had the choice of either learning sudoers or just fixing the whole wireless problem altogether; obviously one shouldn’t have to type in those iwconfig commands (even if I did hack it down into a one-word trigger) if one doesn’t want to. So I did some research and discovered that what we Mac pros would call our “Login Items” is, in Linux, a collection of configuration and init files contained in the /etc/rc.d directory. ___________AUTOMATION________________ The /etc/rc.d directory contains two kinds of files. There are rc.XXXXXX files, and there are rc.XXXXXX.conf files. The conf files are what we edit, providing data that will be read by the rc.XXXXX files, which are basically scripts themselves and are executed during bootup. The first thing to do is to tell the computer that there is a wireless card in existance. To do this, add to /etc/rc.d/rc.modules this: /sbin/modprobe ipw3945 OK, that loaded the module or the Extension. The next thing to be loaded during bootup are the iwconfig The default /etc/rc.d/rc.wireless.conf looked like this: INFO="Any ESSID" ESSID="Any" ;; And so I changed it to read: INFO="Any ESSID" ESSID="XXXXXX" KEY=XXXXXXXXX ;; These changes essentially knocked out the need to do all of my iwconfig settings. So I rebooted and <Either I cannot spell or I am so unoriginal that I re-used a lame internet meme that has no value whatsoever to these forums and have been wordfiltered>ched as it booted. Everything seemed to be loading just fine. It was detecting the card, it was bringing it into the kernel....but when I tried to get online, it didn’t work. I typed: % iwconfig and looked at the results. It was all perfect; everything that was there when I was online was there now. So the problem had to be with the ifconfig and dhcpcd steps of my little getting-online command sequence. So I typed: % ifconfig eth1 up % dhcpcd eth1 and sure enough that brought me online. So, how to get THESE commands to occur automatically during boot? Further research was required, so I typed % ifconfig and compared the results of “ifconfig” while I was online to the results of it while I could not get online. Everything looked the same, except that when I couldn’t get online there was an entire line missing; this line contained the INET ADDR, the BCAST, and MASK. To fix this, I opened /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf and - sure enough - noticed that the variables reserved for eth1 were all empty. So...... I plugged in the numbers for: IPADDR (ip address; not really sure if I need this because it’s overridden I think by DHCP but...whatever) NETMASK (the usual 255.255.255.0...whatever that means) and I changed USE_DHCP="" to read: USE_DHCP="yes" Save. Reboot. And I'm online automatically as Root and as User. It was a beautiful, wonderful thing.
  6. A friend and I were sitting around playing with KDE 4. This sums up our notes on the topic:KDE 4 is a wicked desktop. The best traditionally (thereby conveniently excluding Fluxbox) graphic-driven desktop, IMHO. It's modern, it's sleek, it's ultra functional, and competes against the best of them. Don't get me wrong, XFCE is cool and GNOME has a very respectable dignity, but KDE 4 is something that excites and interests me.The weird thing is, of the few distributions I've seen that actually are edgy enough to include KDE 4 at all, none of them (SUSE, Kubuntu, Fedora) really have KDE 4 configured in a way that I think does it justice. This didn't make an impression on me until I heard a duo of rather vocal podcasters decry KDE 4 and Fedora 9 for some not very good reasons...but they did mention that KDE 4 didn't have enough contrast and didn't seem usable.Not usable? I've been using it since it was released, and powerfully. Not enough contrast? Well, change it!Ah yes, but how? Well, here's how to configure your KDE 4 desktop to your tastes. And I'm not talking config files or anything fancy, this is just really simple GUI stuff. It's just that KDE 4 is SO different that it seems many people (myself included until I attended the release event) can't find some of the simple built-in tools to configure the environment. You just forget to look for a control panel.First of all, it's not called a control panel any more. Here's where it's located....go to the K-Menu (different distros may brand things differently, so it may be an "F" menu on Fedora or a "K" on Kubuntu or whatever). The quickest way to get there is to hit Alt-F2 to RUN COMMAND (see? already I'm throwing out tips) and type in the word "system" -- the default selection should be the Application called System Settings, so hit RETURN and it will open.The other way to find the System Settings is to simply type into the search bar in the K-Menu. Type "System" and select from the results. OR you can just navigate to it: K-Menu > Applications > Settings > System Settings.Next window you'll see is the System Setting window, and it is basically your preferences for your [K] desktop environment.GIVE KDE MORE CONTRASTLook & Feel > Desktop > Desktop Effects > ShadowAdd a drop shadow to the windows. By default there is one already on it but on all screens I've seen, it's just too light. Here are the magic settings I use:X Offset = 1Y Offset = 1Shadow Opacity = 81% (quite a jump from the default of 25%)Shadow Fuzziness = 7Shadow Size = 4Look & Feel > AppearanceLots of customizing here, seemingly straight out of KDE 3.5.x You can change the colour scheme if you'd like, the icon set to something less pale than the default icon set Oxygen, apply themes, and so on. Knock yourself out.Look & Feel > Appearance > StyleChange the titlebar style and the style of all the widgets, like the scroll bars and checkboxes and things like that. So if you're just not diggin' the Oxygen feel, you can use any other style you prefer.Look & Feel > Window Behaviour > Window BehaviourConfigure how you can move windows from desktop to desktop, what a title bar does when you double click, etc.Computer Administration > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard ShortcutsYes, you have lots of keyboard shortcuts available to you. You can define them. You can learn what they are. For instance, ctrl-F9 shows you all the windows you have open on one desktop, and ctrl-F10 shows you all windows on all desktops. Ctrl-F8 zooms out for a bird's eye view of all your desktops. And you can configure more.Look & Feel > Desktop > Desktop Effects > *Take another look at this. All the cool compiz-style effects that come natively in K-Win are found here. Lots of cool and even useful effects are here; having a dialogue box dim its parent window is nice, having an in-focus window blur the windows behind it is sometimes nice, fades and scales, translucency, etc.So anyway, you get the idea. Basically the bottom line is to look in KDE 4's K-Menu for something called System Settings and tinker around in there. All the important stuff is thereHave fun.
  7. So whilst watching Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back for the nth time, I was relishing the scene in which Darth Vader and Boba Fett are discussing what might happen if Han Solo is killed by the Carbon Freeze process. And it struck me that with all the Empire's wealth, why didn't the Emperor just cut Boba Fett a big fat cheque so they wouldn't have to bother with the whole Han Solo thing, much less spend time arguing over who's gonna deal with Jabba the Hutt should Han Solo die during being frozen in carbonite. Well, I guess teh Empire was probably just like any other governing power and had a lot of red tape to get through. Vader was probably improvising when he brought in Boba Fett and wasn't sure if he could get the proper tax forms and stuff to actually employ Boba Fett. So I understand.And I still say that Boba Fett got out of that pit in ROTJ. We didn't see it, but he flew right back out and went on to have quite a few anarchistic, mercenary kind of adventures. Or am I stepping on someone's expanded universe?Well, back to the movie.
  8. Strangely, I have no memory of seeing this movie. But apparently I watched it in class. But since the class was early, early in the morning, I probably watched without perceiving ... which could mean any number of dark, paranoid subliminal messages were implanted in my brain.
  9. Random films that are, in varying degrees, "avant-garde"...whatever that means. Compiled by Dr. Terri Ginsberg, my avant-garde film professor. Impressionism, Vorticism, Photogenie: The Smiling Madame Beudet (Dulac, 1923) The Fall of the House of Usher (Watson/Webber, 1928) J'Accuse (Gance, 1919) Dada, Graphic Cinema, Futurism: Ballet Mecanique (Leger/Murphy, 1924) Anemic Cinema (Duchamp, 1927) Paris Qui Dort (Clair, 1924) Constructivism and Formalism: Kino-Eye (Verov, 1924) Battleship Potempkin (Eisenstein, 1925) Surrealism: L'Etoile de Mer (Man Ray/Desnos, 1927) Un Chien Andalou (Bunuel/Dali, 1929) Le Sang d'un Poete (Cocteau, 1930) Beat: Shadows (Cassavetes, 1959) + all other Cassavetes films.... Pull My Daisy (Alfred Leslie, 1959) Trance: At Land (Deren, 1944) Guns of the Trees (Mekas, 1961) Flaming Creatures (Smith, 1963) Lucifer Rising (Anger, 1964) Mythopoeic and Lyrical Films: Dog Star Man (Brakhage, 1961-1962)...and all other Brakhage films Castro Street (Braillie, 1966) Structural and Matieralist Films: Eat (Warhol, 1963) Word Movie (Sharits, 1966) Wavelength (Snow, 1969) Zorns Lemma (Frampton, 1970) Radical & Art Cinema: Land without Bread (Bunuel,1932) David Holzman's Diary (McBride, 1967) Unsere Afrikareise (Kubelka, 1961-66) In the Year of the Pig (de Antonio, 1969) Gently Down the Stream (Friedrich, 1983) Invisible Adversaries (Export, 1976) Dyketactics (Hammer, 1974) Tongues Untied (Riggs, 1989) Final Solutions (Tartaglia, 1990) Mujeria: Primitive and Proud (Hildalgo, 1992) Zyklon Portrait (Schogt, 1998)
  10. Rsync.It's a small but effective, and really easy program that comes on every *nix system.The best back up plan is:1. simple2. quick3. painlessTo make it simple, get ONE big cheap USB harddrive (USB so it will be cheaper) and back up all your stuff to it.To make it quick, keep the harddrive close at hand, so that you can plug it in and let it do its thing.To make it painless, establish a cron job that will automate the rsync backup. If not cron, then at least a shell script so all you have to do is type in ./backup and watch it do its thing.How to do all this?Buy the harddrive: buy.com or tigerdirect.com or newegg.com or whatever.Keep it close at hand.How to use rsync:rsync -av /home/yourname /mnt/backupdriveThis copies everything in your home folder to the backupdrive. It's that easy. Obviously it'll be fairly slow the first time you do this because EVERYTHING is getting copied. From then on, only the new stuff will be copied.Make it a cron job:The most straight-forward way of doing this is to simply open /etc/crontab in a text editor. Let's say vim... # vim /etc/crontaband add this kind of text: 0 0 * * 0 username rsync -av /home/yourname /mnt/backupdrive...which is telling the Computor to run that rsync command as a user (hence, username in the 6th column) every Sunday at midnight regardless of what month it happens to be.The way a crontab entry works is easy.Minute (0-59) | Hour (0-23) | Day of Month (1-31) | Month (1-12) | Day of Week (0-6 with 0 being Sunday) | username | command to run<EOF...sort of...>That's probably all one needs to know.....except that lately Linux distros are using a middle step in accomplishing this and just fill their default crontab with commands to run cron.hourlycron.dailycron.weeklycron.monthlyWhat's all that? Have a look in /etc and you'll see directories called cron.daily and so on; and inside these there may or may not be scripts with actions to be run daily or weekly or whatever. So what you can also do, if you want to play nice with the distro creators (and why not? they were smart enough to make an entire distro that you use daily, so they must know something, right?) then you'll create a shell script, make it executable and place it in the appropriate cron.* directory.It doesn't have to be a complex shell script. It can just be as simple as: #!/bin/bashrsync -av /home/yourname /mnt/backupdriveAnd that's it. Now make sure your computer is on every Sunday night at midnight, and that your backup drive is plugged in and mounted, and you should be good to go.
  11. SoX is the Image Magick of audio. To mix two audio tracks together from the command line, simply do this: $ soxmix file1.ogg file2.ogg mixed.ogg that's it! There's a lot more that can be done with sox, and hopefully i'll add more to this post accordingly.
  12. Two days ago, Slackware 12.1 rc1 was released.Here's how to be a part of its beta testing:ftp://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/slackware/slackw...ent/UPGRADE.TXT
  13. A friend of a friend contacted me and asked where a laptop could be recycled. I told him I would be glad to "recycle" the laptop for him and explained that I could put linux on it and it would be great. He warned me it was in bad shape but I didn't listen. People think computers are in bad shape the minute they can't sign onto AOL. So I show up to pick up the latop and he brings out a brown paper shopping bag with the laptop in it and I look inside to see pieces of laptop. Shattered, crushed, torn asunder. Totally smashed. It was gruesome. I asked him what had he done to it? He told me that his computer expert friends told him to smash the hard drive to protect himself from internet hackers who might steal his identity I said oh. Funny thing...someone dumb enough to smash a perfectly fine laptop instead of donating it to someone who can put it to good use is also too dumb to know wtf a harddrive is. Turns out he smashed everything BUT the harddrive. As I sorted through the pieces of the poor dead Dell, i find the ram chips and the harddrive both utterly untouched. Perfect condition. Next step? Plug the harddrive into a sled and steal that guys identity. Now he's asked for it! Well maybe not, but come on.... should we really be telling people to destroy their computer equipment for fear of the evil haxxors? There aren't college students out there who could use the computer? or kids in some part of your own town that could use it? What losers.
  14. Who knows what kind of authentication gmail wants you to use to check your gmail account? Well, now I do, so here's how to set up your gmail account in the default mail client of your Nokia N770 or N8x0The account settings are straight-forward. Username, password, pop.gmail.com and smtp.gmail.comWhen you reach the end, click the Advanced Button. Here are the settings for gmail:IncomingPassword Authentication: NormalSecurity: SSL (POP3S)Incoming port: 995OutgoingSMTP auth: Loginusername XXXXXXXpass XXXXXXXXOutgoing port: 25That's it. You're welcome.
  15. If you're reading this, you've probably just read my HOWTO Install Slackware post. This article assumes you have read that. Or that you've managed to install Slackware on your own.First, have you rebooted after the install? Slackware doesn't force you to do this after you install, so be sure you do that before you start attempting to set up your system or else you'll be attempting to set up a system running on an installer disc.So reboot, and login as root using the passPHRASE you created whilst installing.Oh look you have mail! Type "mail" to read it._____________SYSTEM__________________________WIRELESS CARD DRIVER_________This where I can only do so much to explain things; getting wireless to work can be difficult because there are so many wireless cards out there and so few have linux drivers. I got a Centrino system, meaning that all internal parts of any great significance are intel. Intel happens to offer freely available drivers for Linux.On other machines, however, I have had to do weird firmware hacks. But interestingly, the concept is the same with both. The one thing I have never had to use is Ndiswrapper, so I can't help you there. But for firmware cutting explained, read my post about putting Fedora on an iBook. That was fun.The following example is what I had to do in Slackware 12. But if you are using certain wifi cards, such as the one in the example (the Intel 3945) then in Slackware 12.1 everything will work without much involvement from you. Oh, sure, you will have to bring the card up with ifconfig commands (later in this post) but in terms of installing the firmware and stuff like that, no worries, it's all included. You can find out if your card is already being recognized by typing in# iwconfigand see what results you get. If nothing, then your computer doesn't know you have a wireless card and you do need to install something. If, however, you get a result (most likely it will be called wlan0) then it is being seen by the kernel and you are free to get online.So here's what I did...and even though it might not be the same process for you, the steps are similar; find the drivers, figure out where the firmware blobs go in the system, compile the daemon, set up your default network.Because I had an Intel card, I found that the drivers I needed were included on the Slackware DVD in the "extra" directory, as were some very clear and helpful instructions (much more helpful than Intel
  16. If you're reading this you already want to install Slackware. If you are reading this to be convinced to install Slackware, stop here because I'm not selling anything. Just telling anyone who wants to know how they can install Slackware.I'm assuming you can download the iso and burn it on your own. Or purchase it.Warning: I am not an expert in Linux or Slackware. Just a normal user having a lot of fun. If I get something wrong, it's only because it worked for me so I don't know any better. Don't get angry with me because I am misinforming you. This is just a record of what I did to install Slack on my Sony Vaio, and kind of a way, hopefully, for you to see what the mythical Slackware Installation is really like. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to find it's actually a really simple installation processs, without lots of GUI messages and weird questions to confuse you.HOWTO:Before we even start, we should turn on the computer in question and boot into the BIOS or OpenFirmware or at least some kind of System Profiler. It really really helps to know everything about the computer BEFORE you start installing. So just do that first. Write down important stuff, like what is your computer's internal clock set to? what How much RAM? hard drive? video card? video memory? what brand of modem? network card? etc. Get ALL the information you can find.OK, so upon first boot, you'll be presented with an option to choose what kernel you'd like to boot your installer with. Usually the default kernel is fine, so just press RETURN or ENTER. However, if you have special needs, like a kernel with speech synthesis (mom, that's for you) or if you're running a Pentium Pro machine (...dad) or whatever. If you're doing those things, you'll need to type in the name of the kernel you need.The next screen verbosely explains to you how to go about installing in three easy steps:I. log in as rootII. format your drive.III. type in "setup"OK, so here we go: I. log in as roottype root and press return. no password easy. ok, we're a third of hte way done.II. format your drive.To format your drive, I think the most user-friendly way to go would be cfdisk.But if you just go typing cfdisk, the computer will think you want to try to format the currently mounted root partition....currently the DVD you're running the computer on. That's not gonna work, now is it?.So you'll need to direct the computer to the device you actually want to format. This seems to vary slightly depending on how your computer was put together. For my laptop it was cfdisk /dev/sda but for others it may be something else.Easiest way to figure this out is to type cfdisk -l which lists all the drives currently attached to your computer. Those are your choices. If you try to cfdisk one of them and it tells you that the drive cannot be written to or erased, then you're still trying to erase your DVD. Try the other one. There shouldn't be a number after the sda or hda or whatever. You want to look at the whole device, with any and all partitions already existing on it.cfdisk is a menu-driven drive formatting program. It's easy to figure out. If you see partitions that you no longer need, you can Delete them. Once they're deleted, move up or down to the next partition and Delete that one...or whatever you want to do. Basically you're clearing out partitions to create what is generically called FREE SPACE.Once you have enough FREE SPACE to install Linux onto, you can make a partition out of that free space. To do this, you select New. It will ask you how large you want the partition to be, in Megabytes. Type that number in, choose whether you want it to be Primary or Logical (let's just go with Primary, shall we?).You'll also want to make a small-ish partition for SWAP space, sometimes known as Virtual Memory (basically harddrive space for when physical RAM starts to become scarce). This is done by, again, selecting to create a New partition, giving it a Gb or two (double your physical RAM is the rule of thumb i've heard).Now you need to assign them a Type. So go to the main partition that you'll be installing Slackware onto and select Type. It will list a long, long menu of different file types and you'll need to type in the corresponding numerical choice. Just type 82 for Linux and 83 for swap.You'll also want to make the big partition bootable. Just select the bootable option and hit return.Now Write the partition to the disks.If you're doing some fancy dual-boot or something you'll have to deal with that yourself. But if you've ever partitioned a drive before, I think you get the idea.Once you hit Write, the partition table is written to the drive and you are returned to your root shell prompt.OK now we're two thirds of the way done. Easy, right?III. type in setupWhen you type in setupan ncurses interface opens up. First selection is to read the Help. You might as well read it.Next selection basically dumps you on the track toward getting this installation really happening. When I said earlier that we were two-thirds of the way done, I was kidding. But don't worry, the rest of the stuff is a nice eye-candy (ncurses style) ride through verbose installation options.1. So, first you'll have to add a swap partition. You've already created one, of course, but you need to let the installer know that. So show it to the swap partition you've made, which should be easily recognizable because it'll be the size you typed in, and it will be the /dev/xda# that it was assigned during cfdisk. Be sure, obviously, that you're not assigning your 100gb partition as swap....or the partition that you have another OS on ((if you're dual booting).2. Next you'll tell the installer know where the drive that you want to actually install Slackware onto is....this is called the root mount point and it's represented by a mere /Just select the drive you want to install Slackware onto and it'll format it for you. It'll ask you if you want to check for bad blocks but usually I say no to that.It will ask you what kind of FileSystem you want to use. Let's just go for ext3 because it's kind of a really really common Linux filesystem. But feel free to play around with others if you want. Whatever you choose will be fairly invisible to you because it's pretty low level stuff. I say go for ext3 to avoid any variables later on as you try to do fancy things with networking and things like that. I would save playing around with other filesystem types for later. But what do I know?You;ll also be asked for confirmation about the root mount point being added to /etc/fstab. This is simply giving the computer the ability to actually mount the drive. FYI.3. Now you'll be asked from where you wish to install. The DVD is the right choice. Again, if you're doing a fancy netinstall, you're reading the wrong HOWTO (although it's actually not that hard, so just try it as long as you have a functional network connection...). Slackware will offer to scan available drives for its installation media, and so far that's never failed for me. If it doesn't work you'll have to tell it where the cd/dvd drive is...and that requires that you know the device names of all your drives. Remember when you did the cfdisk -list a while ago? I guess i should have told you to commit that information to memory. Well, if you need to go get that information, you can just hit escape and Cancel until you get back to the main Setup Menu, at which point you can bail out and get dropped back to your root terminal. Gather the device names, write the down, and start up the Setup again. You can pick up where you left off or just start fresh, whichever you feel more secure about.So ...you'll be prompted to select what packages you want to install. If you're used to Linux or if you're not but you want a really good first Linux experience, I suggest installing everything it recommends. It's easier to scale back later than not install stuff you'll want later. At least, that's my theory...but I think if you're reading this, you should just go with me on it. If you're going to set up some kind of headless server with Slackware, you ought to be reading someone else's HOWTO, not this one.Slackware will tempt you to try to not install everything...it will give you the option of an Expert mode as well as a Newbie mode. Don't trust it! Just do the recommended installation of 4.5+ Gb of glorious apps, useless games, vague documentation, printer/scanner support...et cetera. It's easier now and it saves you from a lot of configuration later on. I personally wonder if one of the reasons so many people say that Slackware requires so much setup is because they tried to be clever during initial installation. After you are more familiar with what you do and do not need, you can strip it from the system or re-install or whatever you feel the obsessive compulsive urge to do. But otherwise, trust Pat.4. Here, Slackware now installs all the good stuff on your drive. Wow...it's still just so easy!One thing I highly recommend is sitting in front of the computer and staring at it while it installs everything. It seems like I'm being sarcastic here but I'm serious; the more you look at this garbage, the more it starts to make sense. And you start to get familiar with packages adn what they do. So if someone is raving about KDE4's kdebindings, you have some idea of what that does and why it is important.(Warning: may cause epileptic fits)5. Next, Slackware is going to ask you if you want to create a USB Flash Boot. If you've got a spare pendrive lying around that has no data on it, go for it. It takes maybe 5 seconds, and can come in handy later on if you have to bootstrap your system. After it finishes, it will offer to make additional boot sticks...no need to do this, necessarily.6. Modem Configuration. What's a modem? From what can tell, a common choice would be /dev/ttyS4 which would be a normal everyday non-evil PCI modem. The good news? If you choose incorrectly, you can always change this later if you are banished to dial-up and actually have a need for such a thing.7. LILO is the linux bootloader, by all accounts inferior in many ways to GRUB, yet the bootloader of choice for Slackware. I actually like LiLO because it doesn't get changed by the system the way GRUB can be changed. I imagine this is why Slackware uses it. The first time I used GRUB with other distros and updated a kernel, I was shocked and horrified to find that my GRUB menu had been changed without my intervention, and of course many partitions were misdiagnosed, so I had to go in and change it all manually. Seems like it's easier to just have LILO not change until you change it...Anyway, go for the SIMPLE install. It will autodetect whatever kinds of OS's you may have on any of your devices, and create a simple LILO menu for you.8. Frame Buffer. This is apparently a little risky, because some equipment doesn't support it. But if you're using quality, new equipment, you probably can support a frame buffer. All this means is that you get to see some little graphics on screen plus your text console, so instead of just seeing text you'll see a penguin at the top of the screen. Things like that. I choose the highest resolution available because I know I've got a brand new computer with the latest Intel video card, etc. Do what your heart tells you to do.9. You have the option of inserting default extra parameters here. More than likely, you won't need to do this -- unless you had to pass extra parameters to get up to this point. Quite possibly whatever you did to get this far, you'll want to also do here. Again, typically for modern systems you're not going to have to do any fancy bootstrapping hackery here.10. Where do you want LILO to be placed?This is tricky. If all you are doing is installing Slackware and nothing else, or if this is the first install of a planned dual-Linux install, you may as well put Lilo in what is called the Master Boot Record (MBR) because it either needs to be there or it will be replaced by GRUB or something when you install your other Linux OS. The time this gets really tricky is if you are dual-booting with Windows or OS X, both of which really don't want Linux to exist at all, much less to have something in their MBR.In that event, you will need to do one of two things:a. install Lilo to the Root mountpoint. This means that OS X will boot via the default Apple bootloader, and if you press OPTION while booting, it will recognize that indeed you have two OS's on this machine. If you elect to boot into Slackware, you will THEN see the LILO options. And all will be well with the world (aside from the fact that you have that nasty old OS X on your drive...)b. Install Mac OS X (or windows?) FIRST. Once it's installed and all up-to-date, THEN install slackware and put LILO on the MBR. This way, Linux has the last laugh and manages all the OS's on your system. In my experience this has been tricky with OS X because if you do a major OS X update and it decides to reclaim the MBR, you could be without any easy way of getting to your Slackware OS. So if you're going to dual boot with these proprietary systems, you may want to just put LILO on Root.Keep in mind that I do not have even a working knowledge of Windows or how it does anything. But my advice on OS X is fairly solid, from a fair amount of experiences with Mac vs. Linux.11. Next you'll need to choose what kind of Mouse you'll be using. Look at the port to which you would normally connect your mouse. What kind of port is it? I'll bet it's USB. Guess what you'll be choosing here? (obviously use common sense; if you are doing this on a desktop and there are ps2 ports, please choose PS2, or if you'll be using a WaCom tablet, choose that. you get the idea.)12. GPM is the very cool ability to use your mouse even when in a virtual console. I'd install it were I you.12. Network Configuration. This is entirely up to you. If you know what you're doing here, go for it...or skip it and do it later. If you don't know what this is all about, read on:We'll say yes here to set up our network.First choose a hostname. What's a hostname? Let's say it's your computer's name; it can be pretty much anything you want. In this example I'll choose "groucho"Now we choose our domain name. This is the network upon which your computer lives. Let's choose marx.orgAnd if we have other computers we want to configure so we can share files back and forth with ease, we would give THEM all the domain name of marx.org but they would each get their own unique hostnames, such as "Harpo", "Chico", and "Karl"You'll be asked to set up an IP address. More than likely you are dealing with DHCP so you'll choose that...basically unless you have either a static IP address (again, if you do, you may be more advanced than this article) or you are hardwired to the net with an assigned IP from your internet provider, you're doing the DHCP thing. That's your safest bet, I think. If in doubt, talk to your internet provider and find out.14. Were you assigned a special DHCP hostname? If so, you'll enter it on the next screen. More than likely, you were not, so just hit RETURN. Again, if in doubt, check with internet provider.15. Startup services. Yikes! This is where you have to choose what little programs you want to have started when you are booting up and logging into your computer. Most "user-friendly" OS's have a fair amount of services starting up while you log in, so you don't have to worry about whether the computer will know what to do when you plug in the printer or an external hard drive or whatever. Well, having unused services running every time you turn on your computer not only wastes your CPU cycles but it's a bit of a security thing. But if you're just at home, using your computer for every day things and want certain things to work invisibly in your favor, you may want to, for instance, leave on the HAL daemon (Hardware Abstraction Layer), you may or may not want to start up CUPS (print server) and things that you want to have on all the time. I used to turn on a printer service, but everything else I leave as is. But if you have a SAMBA network going on and want access to that quickly and on-demand, I can imagine you might turn that on as well. Obviously none of these necessarily need to really be on now; you can always just start the services when you actually need them. 16. Your system clock. Is your internal clock set to UTC? Usually it is not. Unless you have gone in and set it to Universal Time, it's probably running as a local clock. So probably the answer is NO. But if you know otherwise, select YES. See how that works?17. What Window Manager will You Choose?Slackware comes with about six or seven window managers you can choose to install. I say throw them all in. Your hard drive is big, your system is robust. Take it all. You'll like it in the long run, becuase you'll have lots of choices and lots of fun things to play around with. If you absolutely don't want something, you can de-select it and continue, but I advise you to take it all.18. Root password. They call it a password but what they mean is a passPHRASE. Make this good. This is the key to your system's security. Numbers, letters. Something you'll remember but something that takes a while to type in. Trust me, you're not really gonna use this that often so make it inconvenient for yourself...but memorable!! Then write it down on tape and put it on your computer (just kidding).19. Now you're done.Post installation is not that impressive. It just kind of loops back to the setup menu and you can select EXIT, and then it drops you down to your root shell account again. And that's pretty much it.Wasnt' that easy? Congratulations. You've installed Slackware. Best of luck getting your system up and running.(read my next post on HOWTO configure Slackware Userland)
  17. I was looking at Slackware based distros last night, just to broaden my knowledge of what's out there aside from Slackware proper, Slackintosh, and Slax, and came across NimbleX. They are having a logo competition. I was itching for an excuse to play around in inkscape. So I whipped up some logo ideas. I don't know if they'll want them, but maybe they will like them.The idea here was "nimble" which means spry, active, energetic. And X, which refers, presumably, to X.org or LinuX or something. So I thought a cartwheel would be just the thing to represent such a concept, because when someone is nimbly performing a cartwheel, they are also at one point making the shape of an X. I broadened the idea to include breakdancers, who sort of do cartwheels, I guess.
  18. WHATIS:scp is a Secure CoPy, akin to ssh. A convenient but encrypted way to move files from machine to machine on your network.A REALLY GOOD HOWTO:Linux Tutorials Blog...or you can read my very brief but-it-does-the-trick HOWTO:(I do recommend you check out the HOWTO on Linux Tutorial Blog at some point for all the cool tricks you can do with scp)The syntax for the scp command is as follows: scp [options] [[user@]host1:]filename1 ... [[user@]host2:]filename2 For example, if user klaatu is on a computer called fedora.laptop, and wants to copy a file called file.txt to slackware.com, he would enter the following: scp file.txt klaatu@slackware.comif he wanted to place file.txt specifically into a directory called destination/ then he would do this:scp file.txt klaatu@slackware.com:destinationor to be extra safe, you could give the complete path, like so:scp file.txt klaatu@slackware.com:/home/klaatu/DocumentsLikewise, if he wanted to copy the entire contents of the destination/ directory on slackware.com back to his fedora.laptop (so that's FROM a remote machine TO the machine you're sitting in front of), he would enter:scp -r klaatu@slackware.com:/home/klaatu/directory destinationSimilarly, if he is working on an entirely different computer, but wanted to copy a file called file.txt from his home directory on fedora.laptop to a directory called desitination in his account on slackware.com, he would enter: scp klaatu@fedora.laptop:file.txt klaatu@slackware.com:destinationWhen using wildcards (e.g., * and ? ) to copy multiple files from a remote system, be sure to enclose the filenames in quotes...because the shell expands unquoted wildcards.
  19. I'd heard that the Fedora 9 release was going to be pushed back, and maybe so...but today the Beta was released and is being eagerly torrented even as I type this... I'll probably install it tonight.I've also joined teh Fedora art team officially, I guess, and have begun work on the KDE-related art for Fedora 9. I also found a really cool Fedora project that is all about getting Fedora Live CD onto a Live USB pendrive. Funny, because I'd been searching and searching for this for days all last week, yet found nothing....and then I go to knock out some requests for artwork by Fedora-related projects, and I stumble upon this Fedora Live USB project. Ah well, at least I know about it now.Here's the art I did for it.
  20. On the X11-users Apple mailing list, it's a known issue that X11 in Leopard is broken. So this post is basically pointless....but:Actually, it's not X11 that is broken. I mean, who's problem is this, really? Is it X11's probem? I don't think so. Their software works fine. I know because I use it HARD when I'm at home on Linux. It works great. The variable here is QuartzWM / Mac OS X....QuartzWM is broken, Workspaces is broken.....and we're in 10.5.2 (that's two pretty hefty system updates now).Whilst using that scandalously free program, Inkscape (I know, I know, why aren't I using Illustrator?), Workspaces just keeps stealing not just window focus from other apps but it will even randomly grab me off of one workspace and dump me back into X11. So even while I write this post, I have to be careful about the movement my mouse makes, because one wrong move could shift me to my Inkscape workspace, whether I like it or not.Admittedly it's an improvement that X11 works with workspaces at all. If memory serves, it didn't work with workspaces at all in 10.5 ... but still, I'd like to be able to run this fancy Unix thing I keep hearing about without having to fight QuartzWM to do what I'd like it to do.I know, I know...bugs in softare, who'd have guessed? But the thing that gets on my nerves is that Apple charges for the software, charges for major upgrades, and claims that they are the most innovative, the best, the most user-friendly, etc. Give me Linux software any day; it may have its share of bugs, too, but at least I didn't pay for it and at least they actively solicit bug reports and feedback.Oops.. I guess this post is over. Leopard is changing my workspace again. Hopefully I can hit the publish button......
  21. Called out sick today because I didn't feel like going in to work, and as a result got A LOT done! Further proof that without pointless employment, a person can be quite productive:1. Played with mplayer, read lots of documentation (prep for next HPR episode..?)2. Did two or three spec boot screens and wallpaper art for slast, the live asterisk linux distro.3. Did a boot splash for the KDE 4 version of Fedora 9 and submitted that to the Fedora art team.4. Did a quick and very fun Phone Losers of America wallpaper...no reason...just did it.5. Posted episode 2x14 of Bad Apples.6. Got an email from a guy who once had a Fedora podcast; I may be taking that over.7. Got my NAB tickets in the mail, arranged for a cheap hotel.Yeah, it's good to not go to work.
  22. Pedro-Thanks for the comment. Yeah, this post is pretty frightening, but actually it's an old, old post from my old wiki (now dead due to bad hosting). So this post was actually my very first install of Linux ever, and all things considered, it went well. I just think this contains good info on how linux works, so I keep the post around.I'm gonna re-do my Sony. Dual boot between Slackware and Fedora 9 (KDE 4 version), and I think I'll be happy. I imagine my Slackware install will be much smoother now that I've learned so much about Linux.Ubuntu works great on this Sony, as does Mandriva, and Knoppix, and....well pretty much everything I've thrown at it. I think it's the Centrino system; Intel has Linux drivers so everything works out of the box.Yep. Oh and thanks for listening to my podcast!
  23. So I got round to thinking it'd be cool to have portable slackware. first checked out zipslack, the official minimal install of slackware......except that it isn't. It's a way to get the basic installer onto a USB drive or other small media so you can boot into an installer, then continue installing via network or whatever. Next option, obviously, was Slax. By coincidence, a new version was just released - Slax 6.0.2 - which has an installer especially designed for USB thumb drives. Initial install went great, everything worked fine. Hanging around in ##slax on irc.freenode.net, however, someone asked me for installation help. I tried an installation again and utterly failed several times. So it turns out that there are a few pitfalls here and there during installation; here's what they are and how to avoid them: 1. extracting > the way you want to extract what you download is as recommended: in the terminal: $ cd /media/usbdrive // or wherever you have your usb thumb drive mounted $ tar -xvf ~/path/to/slax-6.0.2.tar // that is, where ever you have the slax tarball $ sudo ./boot/bootinst.sh // running the installation script for vfat (more on this in a moment) and from there, ideally, it just installs itself! If you don't set it up that way, however, the paths of certain files aren't going to resolve and you could have installation problems. A successful install is fairly verbose. It tells you that the installation is complete; upon error, it tells you what error it ran into. 2. File Systems You can put Slax onto a drive formatted a number of different ways. I guess one of the most typical formats is vfat, created by: $ umount /dev/sdb1 // you may have to be root to do that $ mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1 // or whatever the path to your usb drive is If you use a vfat formatted drive, you will need to use the ./boot/bootinst.sh method of installing. You can also put Slax onto an ext2 or xfs formatted drive. To create this you'd do: $ umount /dev/sdb1 // again, you may need root...and /dev/sdb1 would be whatever your usb location is $ mkfs.ext2 /dev/sdb1 // or, if you have xfs capabilities installed, mkfs.xfs /dev/sdb1 This is important: if you use these filesystems you MUST use run ./boot/liloinst.sh during installation -- not ./boot/bootinst.sh If you try bootinst.sh with ext2 or xfs or anything but vfat, your installation will fail. 3. Booting from USB on a Mac. > Probably only 95% of people reading this care, but some people, like me, are stuck around Macs at work and occasionally would like to boot into a sensible OS like Slax, from USB. It's easy from Slax/CD - you pop in the CD, reboot holding the "C" key. But I like USB keys...but that's too bad, because Macs don't. An Intel Mac will not boot from USB. Possible exceptions? The Apple TV might, given that its sole USB port is by default looking out for a USB drive with all kinds of interesting updates for it. Whether it will actually BOOT or not, I don't know yet, but there's a chance. Another idea I've had is to get a physical USB-to-Firewire adapter, and seeing if I can trick the Mac into booting off the drive that way. Seems unlikely, but it'll be worth a shot sometime. Maybe. 4. Where's my AIM? > Pidgin on slax don't got AIM or ICQ. You'll have to recompile it to get it in there. 5. How can I make it persistent? > Actually, my install is just magically persistent. I don't know why...I think the Slax guys might have made it persistent by default with 6.0? But supposedly, you can make a directory on your flash drive. Let's call it "slaxrc" for kicks. When we get to Slax's Lilo screen, we can use the boot parameter: changes=/slaxrc and then slax will know where to put all of our changes and where to find them again later. I suppose you could even add this boot param to your Lilo settings in Slax....haven't bothered doing it myself but maybe i will sometime.
  24. i'm in 323 and am up for a meeting.
  25. MBR Some notes about Linux installs. Through a series of troublesome installations, I have discovered a few important things about the Master Boot Record. (I've also found out some cool things about kernels and how they relate to file systems, but more on that later.) The Master Boot Record (MBR) is written on the very edge of the harddrive; it is the first thing to load when you turn on a machine that you have installed Linux onto. It prompts you for what system you would like to boot into. There are two boot loaders that are used; there is LiLo (Linux Loader) and there is GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader). Both do the same thing and are pretty easy to configure via a text editor and some config files. So far every distro that I have installed (and there have been many) have been able to auto-configure a boot loader. The last few days being the exception, the auto-configuration function usually works really well. Ubuntu, for instance, detected that I had Slackware 11 on my first partition, and when it created a GRUB menu, it reflected this accurately and I never had any problem access either my Slackware or Ubuntu partition. And the same is true when I installed Slackware 12; it auto-detected Ubuntu on my second partition and over-wrote the Ubuntu GRUB with a little LiLo menu that accurately enabled me to boot into either Slack12 or Ubuntu. The problem arose after I tried to install freeBSD onto a third partition. Whether it was a user error or whether it was BSD not playing nice with Linux, my experiment with BSD was disastrous. BSD cursed my system, crippling it beyond being bootable. And recovering from this turned out to be an all day thing, and the problems that I had while trying to reconstruct my system stemmed entirely from the bootloaders. ______________Symptoms and Side Effects_______________ The freeBSD install went fine on the surface. It, like all the Linux distros I've tried, had the option to install a boot loader. I theorize that perhaps letting it install a boot loader was my real error. Otherwise, it seemed like I'd done a successful installation, but when I rebooted, the computer froze and the keyboard just gave error beeps when I typed. So I re-installed Slackware and then re-installed Ubuntu, clearing off the BSD partition entirely (and throwing the installation CD-R into my kitchen trash for good measure). The quirky thing about the always friendly Ubuntu is that it doesn't allow you to choose whether or not you want to install GRUB. It just does it. Normally I'd be fine with this, but after a few re-installs, I started to realise that some weird stuff was happening in the MBR. It's easiest to sum it up by comparing it to Mac OS X. If we were going to do a complete reinstall of OS X on a system, we would instert the OS installation disc, we'd wipe the harddrive completely, and click INSTALL. No problems. Everything is erased and everything is freshly installed as if the harddrive had just come out of the factory. The way I was installing, and the only way I know how to so far, was trying to (in a user-friendly fashion) keep track of the systems I had on that computer. So each time I re-installed something -- even if I was drastically re-partitioning the drive -- the MBR was being auto-detected, and whatever was written to it was added to the new bootloader. So, I'd re-install Slackware 12 and then Ubuntu. I'd reboot and I'd find that there were four Ubuntu versions listed and two Slackwares. I'd reinstall again and there'd be a different four Ubuntus and two more Slackwares. I'd re-partition and install again and there would be two Ubuntus but four Slackwares. All day I ran this vicious circle. The key, at last, was with Slackware. It has the option, when installing, to do an "Expert" LiLo installation. I ventured into that menu and it was there that I was able to force a new LiLo header to be written, I was able to manually add the partitions that I wanted to appear in the LiLo menu, and all seemed well. Of course, it wasn't. But it almost was. Because then I tried one more time to install Ubuntu, and it tried one more time to be helpful and install an auto-configured GRUB. _______________Root File Systems________________ Forcing a new LiLo header to be created solved my Slackware problems but for some reason Ubuntu would not load properly. It would boot, but then give me strange errors and finally boot into a crippled version of its usually robust OS. Apparently, what was happening, as I would find out later, was that Ubuntu was attempting to load its OS using the Slackware kernel. Not a big deal, except that the Slackware kernel was newer than the Ubuntu default kernel, and some of the automatic things that Ubuntu does really really well just weren't happening with the Slackware bare-bones default kernel. I tried repairing this from the Ubuntu side of things and messed it up worse, to the point that Slackware 12 broke down during its bootup and went into kernel panic. The solution, finally, was a magic trick involving the loading of a file system using a kernel from an installation disc. The *nix file system begins with / It is called the ROOT of the file system. And from the root everything cascades down in a family-tree kind of format, with certain folders being default and having certain functionality. As long as you can get into the root folder and establish that it's the path from which everything else should flow, you're basically in that system soundly and securely. But obviously in order for the computer to run properly, there has to be a healthy kernel running. Turns out that if you have a good installation CD or rescue CD, you can get the computer up and running by booting off of the CD. The computer loads the CD's kernel. Then, you can tell the computer to boot into the file system of your choice....while still using the CD's kernel. It looks something like this: % hugesmp-s root=/dev/sda1 rdinit= ro Something like that. Where hugesmp-s is the kernel, root=/dev/sda1 is the drive partition of my file system, and rdinit=ro has something to do with login items but I'm not sure what... all I know is it works. So I was able to sneak into my Slackware partition by distracting the computer with the installer kernel, and once I was there I could log in as root, open up my bootloader configuration file, and make the necessary corrections. It only took about three lines of text to fix it. Ubuntu was trying to load off of a Slackware kernel, and the Slackware menu selection was being pointed toward the wrong partition, or something like that. I don't recall exactly. But all I had to do was correct the file paths according to what I knew to be true, save the config file, and then run % lilo so that the computer would update the MBR. Then I rebooted again. And everything was fine. At last. ____________Lessons Learned______________ The MBR lies just outside of the normal file system. It will not necessarily be erased with a fresh install because even a fresh install assumes, in a very migration-assistant-user-friendly way that you want to keep track of the other bootable systems on that computer. There are, presumably, two ways to get around this: 1. Learn how to properly format an entire hard drive under Linux so that the fresh install is truly a fresh install. 2. Early on - not after thirty desperate re-installs of different distros and different bootloaders - force Slackware to generate completely new LiLo headers (ie, use Expert settings and configure this yoruself), or install Ubuntu or other distros from the command line rather than via some user-friendly automagical way. ______________Caveat_________________ Having said all of this, it seems like this whole thing was basically a freak incident stemming from a botched install of BSD. I don't think that normally the auto-configuration of bootloaders is a problem.