Exciting and unexciting

Things that have excited me lately:

  • WakeMate – $50 and you might sleep better. It tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you between REM periods. It seems most useful for heavy sleepers, like me. My wife sleeps very lightly and wakes up often. I don’t think she’d need additional jarring.
  • Samsung’s Galaxy S phones – good Android phones on every carrier… including AT&T. This may be the first real competitor to the iPhone for those locked into AT&T. The only downside is that AT&T doesn’t let you sideload applications, i.e. install them manually.
  • Floppy drives with legs.

Things not exciting me:

  • eBook readers – they’re just not there yet. The Kindle (or DX) and Nook are getting there, but they’re just not what I want. I read technical books, so I need a large screen. I don’t care about color, and I don’t want a touchscreen because it lowers the clarity of the screen. I don’t particularly care about the 3G access – I can download books at home, and I’d rather use my phone for mobile internet access. I want simple, cheap, clear, and free.
  • Loss of freedom – particularly with regard to the internet. AT&T has already switched to limited data plans, Verizon probably will soon, and broadband providers have been considering the switch for a while. It makes me sick that this is possible when internet access should be a human right. I know for a fact that capacity far exceeds demand at some of these companies, so it’s dishonest.
  • 3D – ugh. Movies and TV are equally bad ideas. Give me back my Virtual Boy.

How To Fix a Fedora Bug, Plus Free Mini-Review

In the spirit of my previous Exherbo review and guide to fixing an Ubuntu crash, let’s do the same for Fedora!

I was growing a bit tired of the development lag in Crunchbang Linux and needed a new distribution. I want a well-built system that doesn’t take too much administration so I can focus on other things. (As you may know, I have a tendency to set up and administer machines for fun, forgetting to do any “real” work on top of it.)

Fedora sounded good. All free software with fairly frequent updates. RPM hell is avoided with Yum. I particularly appreciate the use of the free Nouveau driver for my Nvidia card, and Kernel Mode Setting for a smoother start and fewer hassles.

When it works, Fedora is slick. They’re a bit ahead of Ubuntu in terms of features, with default SELinux, KMS, and better video drivers. Another thing I appreciate is that one of Fedora’s goals is to stay close to upstream. They don’t want to apply 10 patches to every package, preferring to send patches upstream and get down to zero distribution-specific patches if possible.

It’s quick to boot, particularly with KMS. The battery life is about 10-15% longer than with Crunchbang, even with more daemons running.

Continue Reading »

Asides

04.02 (0)
redshift: Clash of the Titans really doesn’t deserve the bad reviews it’s getting. If you like mythology at all, you’ll probably like it. They did take a few liberties with the story, but all movies do. The 3D effects were understated and didn’t detract from the movie like so many are claiming. Overall, good effort, and didn’t disappoint me as a fan of Greek mythology.
03.27 (2)
redshift: Quick tip – Not all Linux-based operating systems wake from suspend mode when you use your keyboard. To enable that feature, do this:
echo USB0 > /proc/acpi/wakeup
You can add that line to /etc/rc.d/rc.local (on Fedora, similar elsewhere) to make sure the setting is enabled on startup.
02.13 (0)
redshift: Important note if you have Intel 4965 wireless (the card used in the Dell XPS m1330, for example) – the Linux drivers for this card do not work well with “Afterburner” mode in Linksys routers. I assume it’s the same for “Super-G” and modes from other brands. Turn off that feature and you may save yourself hours of trouble.
12.14 (0)
redshift: Tim Pope is generously matching donations between now and Christmas on any of his Github projects. All money goes to Vim’s charity, ICCF Holland, that helps children in Uganda. Thanks Tim!
09.14 (0)
redshift: Mini-review: Inko’s White Tea Energy. 7/10. I appreciate that it’s all-natural, but it’s slightly too bitter for me. You definitely won’t get jitters from its tea caffeine, but you won’t be fully alert, either.
07.18 (2)
redshift: American Body Building sent me a case of energy drinks to try out because of my prior reviews. So far – very impressed. I’ll post a series of reviews as I work through the different varieties.