Archive for August, 2011

Dear Lifehacker…

August 2, 2011

Dear Lifehacker,

I’ve noticed your new feature showing different desktops. Some of them are quite pretty, including the one you posted last night.

Not everyone, though, treats computers as an extension of darkly secret and unfulfilled ambitions to be an interior decorator. Some of us actually use our computers to accomplish tasks — to work and get stuff done. And, ultimately, it’s that utilitarian philosophy that leads us from playing with widgets and decorations to a more functional environment.

I’m submitting my own desktop for your consideration — so your readers will see how people can use computers to actually do stuff beyond add to the ambiance of their living rooms, offices, or (in some cases in which your readers haven’t left the nest yet) their parents’ basements. To further leverage bizarre bazaar, which I installed yesterday to get one thing in particular (see my previous post about that), I decided to see what else I could install. Among a few trivial things, I decided last night to follow emacs development (separate post forthcoming on setting up emacs-development on CentOS/SL 6).

This is my current desktop. I’m running Gnome 2.28.2 in CentOS 6. I usually run emacs maximized or fullscreen, sans menu-bar or tool-bar (I need to fix the bleeping scroll-bar while I’m thinking of it). Can’t tell it’s Gnome? Cool, because I often can’t tell that your featured desktops are running XP because they have so much stuff hiding that fact.

I usually run emacs in a GNU screen pseudo-terminal, but to appeal to your fancier tastes here’s the GTK2 bells and whistles. Neat, huh. I can browse (w3m), e-mail (various mail clients), edit, chat (erc), and even view images right inside emacs. I also enabled the widgetry to show clock, CPU temperature, and battery charge. For what it’s worth (if it helps a desktop like mine make your feature), I have three emacsen on this laptop: the version from CentOS base, this one, and sxemacs (not counting mg among emacsen, but it’s also installed on this).

I can try a different internal theme (currently wombat) if it still doesn’t reach your aesthetic threshold. If this isn’t fancy enough, I can post a picture of the version I compiled for my older laptop last night (Sabayon, ratpoison, compiled without-x and running inside screen).

Very sarcastically yours,
lucky :-P

Totally F’ing Retarded

August 1, 2011

I noticed when I was installing CentOS 6 that I was getting packages for git, cvs, and svn. I didn’t see bzr flash up but I wasn’t too distraught since I doubted I’d even use the other versioning systems much on this computer. I was wrong about that — I’ve been using some development versions of various software and most of them use either git or cvs.

This morning, I needed something in a hurry and found it uses bizarre bazaar. I checked to see if bzr was already installed and ended up installing it. I started to fetch a branch and decided while it was downloading to check some websites. Mind you, all this is occurring in GNU screen. I decided to maximize my terminal. A few minutes later I realized my wireless LED was no longer blinking so I presumed my downloading had finished.


I had a message that said: [Errno 4] Interrupted system call. WTF?

So I looked it up. First thing I found was this bug at launchpad. I’ve run into curses-based applications crashing due to resized console issues but never something that’s strictly run command line.


Then I remembered who sponsors its development. The same people who bring us Ubuntu.

At least the bug has reportedly been fixed (per the launchpad link above). Hopefully that will quickly make its way into the versions used by RHEL/clones. In the meantime, if you’re using the bzr version found in CentOS and SL base, don’t resize your terminal during bzr operations.