Posts tagged ‘xubuntu’

Totally into Pokémon!

If you don’t get the reference in the title, go read XKCD for a while. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I finally got around to finishing the switch from Gentoo to Xubuntu (which is really just Ubuntu with XFCE on it). Yes, I realize I’ve been meaning to do this for months, but I’m lazy. A preliminary review of (X)Ubuntu →

An Inconvenient Truth (3 stars)

So… it turns out I’m still on Gentoo because I am less motivated to back my stuff up than I had expected. At this point, though, it’s almost done: I need to back up my wiki database, my GPG private key (and I should probably do my public keyring, just to make it simple to restore), and my OTR key. Does anyone know how to access your private OTR key? I have no idea how hard it will be to find that thing.

This evening, I went to Movie Night on the Santa Monica Pier and saw An Inconvenient Truth with some coworkers. One of the producers of the movie was there at the beginning, and was a raving, extremist, hippie liberal. This made me very skeptical of the movie, but they actually did an incredibly good job portraying things and making their point (though Gore kinda goes off on tangents—the election, his son’s car accident, his sister’s smoking, etc). I’m now inclined to go pore over The Skeptical Environmentalist and see what parts (if any) differ between the two. Gore makes a very compelling case. He addressed the parts where I expected to disagree with him very well, and presented some well-displayed scientific data to back up his points. The whole thing was a bit like a slideshow, but nothing at all like a Powerpoint. If you have to make a slideshow (and there are some excellent reasons to not do so), try to make one like Gore’s; his presentation was fantastic. If you haven’t seen this movie, please consider doing so.

On the way back from the movie, I ran into Jed and Steph. They seem to be doing quite well: they have an apartment on 6th street (a fantastic location!), and both seem to be enjoying their jobs. I hope to see them more soon.

I’ve decided to make the switch (again)

With any luck, 24 hours from now I will be running Xubuntu. In the meantime, I’m backing stuff up like crazy… For those of you who weren’t reading this back in the day, my first switch (from Windows XP to Gentoo Linux) happened over the course of these few entries).

I really liked Gentoo’s system of package installation/management (called Portage). I liked the feeling of having the most up-to-date software on my machine, and the knowledge that it was specially compiled for my system. I hated how every once in a while, an upgrade would break something really important (sound, flash, screensavers, SQL, etc). I hated the fact that I had to know every system inside and out just to get it to work. I never fully got printing, samba, videos in Firefox, or several other things to work simply because I didn’t have the time/effort I needed to learn about how to configure them properly.

With the exception of the second sentence above (the one about being on the bleeding edge of software with custom compiles), I believe that Xubuntu will be able to better satisfy my computing wants. Here’s hoping!

Also, thanks to macdaddyfrosh for telling me about Xubuntu; I doubt I would have found it otherwise.

A Fun Post for a change

First off, I am seriously considering switching OSes: the world file on my Gentoo system (kernel version 2.6.17-r4) seems to have been destroyed, and I’m having a lot of trouble rebuilding it and keeping everything working. I’d like a system that is less work to maintain. I’d been trying to choose between the different flavors of BSD when Mac showed me Xubuntu (a variation of Ubuntu that uses the XFCE desktop environment), and that definitely has possibilities, too. I’ve got a bunch of questions I want to have answered before I switch, though. Who among you has administered an Ubuntu system?

I have found a beautiful new webcomic, called XKCD. I suspect computer scientists will appreciate it more than others, but it has some insightful, witty concepts in it (it discusses computer science, love, happiness, “your mom” jokes, and much more, all with a postmodernism twist), and smatterings of beautiful abstract art (sandwiched between the stick figure drawings of which most of the comic is made up). Definitely worth browsing the ~150 comics in the archives (though the current strip is kinda lame). Fun strips can be found here, here, and here.

Several weeks ago, Michael showed me a trailer for a game called Portal, which seems to be a takeoff of Halflife (it will be released with the next Halflife game). It’s a puzzle game with a really cool premise.

Since this was a Wednesday, I naturally spent the evening drinking. A bunch of Googlers went to Ye Olde King’s Head Bar (about 5 blocks from work), and hung out for about 4 hours. A group of about 8 of us formed a team to compete in the weekly trivia challenge. We took 7th place out of 10, though we could have taken 5th if we hadn’t gone for broke in the final round. It was a pretty fun evening.

If you are so inclined, go take a look at DownsizeDC, which is trying to introduce the Read The Bills Act into Congress. The basic idea is that nearly all bills are passed into law without more than a handful of lawmakers actually reading them. An excellent example of this is in 1971 when the Texas Legislature unanimously passed a bill praising the Boston Strangler (a member of the house had introduced it to demonstrate that his peers pass bills without reading them). The Read The Bills Act would require all congresspeople to either read or listen to the entire text of a bill before voting on it. This will hopefully stop more pet projects, controversial measures, and unpopular riders from being unknowingly passed. It would also limit the amount of legislature that could be created, hopefully leading to smaller government. We’ll see. If you think this would be a good idea, please write/call your congresspeople!

Finally, in The Economist recently I read an article about Kinky Friedman, who is running for Texas Governor. He seems to be running on a platform which notes that everyone is fed up with both Democrats and Republicans, and want someone new (this is pretty much why Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger were elected). He seems to want to curb bureaucratic government spending while giving more money to teachers, firefighters, and other people who are actually doing useful and underappreciated things. I’m not sure he has the wherewithall or policital know-how to actually pull this off, but it would certainly be interesting if he was elected.