Saturday, 31 October 2009

Birthday et more

'tis my birthday today, it is.
22, and 14 years on from when I actually was 8, I don't feel a day over 8 years of age.
I get to pull off my favourite Halloween trick too.
See, they come a-calling, every year, the trick or treaters.
And I answer the door.
They say that inevitable phrase.
And I tell them, Sorry, I'm busy celebrating my birthday - come back next year.

Now, you'd think after 6 years of this, they'd finally catch on, but some of them still do it anyway. So I get my yearly fun.


I upgraded my ailing ancient laptop to Ubuntu Karmic.
GNOME has ceased to work on it. KDE is it's salvation. Or it was.
After upgrading, I decided to tidy up, and remove some un-needed packages.
And now, once again, it's stuck at the command line, as KDM - like GDM, previously - fails to start.
What I would like, is a new laptop. One with a working USB, with inbuilt Wireless that linux can use without needing NDISWrapper, one that has it's own built in CD or even DVD drive.
What I have, is this laptop, which is almost dead, and is hiding some of my stuff that I *really* want back.
Except until someone tells me how to access a windows share via Samba on the command line, I'll never get them.
Oh, joy of joys.

In the breif time I had Karmic running though, I had some good first impressions on it. I'm a bit miffed that they've dropped support for GCC - the GNU Compiler Collection - since I use that a lot. A few other packages have conspicuously gone missing or changed, including one that now makes OpenTTD cease to function. However, a helpful person on the TT-Forums, with my aid, found the solution - simply install it from the Jaunty Repo.

In the breif time I was able to use KDE on there, I also had mixed impressions.
The bad ones are that it's slow, clunky, and I got lost in the KDE version of the Start Menu. However, the first two are most likely my laptop being ancient, and the last just being not used to it.
The good ones are that there's some pretty cool stuff in KDE, some nice KDM themes available for it on GNOME-look's cousin KDE-look, and a few things are actually easier.
I also like the plasmoid display. True, it took me a little while to figure it out, and I haven't had the chance to investigate much because my laptop complained if I had more than one plasmoid on screen, but it's got my interest.
I did note, that while my favourite terminal program Guake (Drop down Quake-like terminal for Gnome) has a KDE cousin, Yakuake, that Guake works just as well in KDE. So Yakuake (Or however it's spelled) can stay away for now.
However, I miss Gnomenu. I like Gnomenu. But I don't get Gnomenu. The KDE menu just isn't the same.

So overall - Karmic has a good rating from me, if you like Ubuntu or Jaunty, definatly upgrade - in a few days time though, so you don't get caught by the massive server overloads of people downloading it.
KDE also has a better rating in my books too now.

On a related note, I've been looking into BlackBox, and FluxBox. BlackBox for Windows (bb4win, and bblean) has managed to save me from a lot of getting annoyed at Windows when I'm forced to use it, but on Linux, I can't seem to get used to them. It has something to do with the fact I'm suspiciously missing anything resembling a notification area, that and gksu and kdesudo don't seem to work anymore.

Anyway, that's all from me. Rock on, and wish me a happy birthday, lest I visit curses up on you.

Monday, 19 October 2009

A long needed update

My, it's been a while since I posted here.
Hope no one missed me.

Real life, as always, has intruded itself once more, and time is more limited than usual, but I digress - before I've even started, too.

I recently tried to help maintain the Community Integrated Version patchpack for OpenTTD. Due to the sheer amount of patches in there, it grew overweight, and I had to kill it.
Thus GPP (Gremnon's Patch Pack) was born by me, and was slightly slimmed down.
I still try to maintain it, though various updates to trunk, lack of updates to patches, and the fact that there's still a good number of patches causes it to take time to sort out.
A friend also tried porting it to work on the CargoDist branch, and gave up. Which isn't promising.
I've taken time away from it because I don't have enough at the moment, nor do I have the patience, but I'm not out of the OpenTTD scene yet.

I have, however, grown short-tempered over one small issue on the Transport Tycoon forums, though.
It seems that anyone using Windows immediately gets the 'I can't' syndrome for compiling, and when told it's easy, and that it you read one page (Compiling on MinGW, specifically) on the OpenTTD Wiki, they seem to lose the ability to read, and whine loudly that no one's being helpful.
So now I've lost patience, and any of them I see I'll be reminding that it IS simple - since my 3 year old niece, while supervised, regularly compiles OpenTTD without any help at all.
She apparently doesn't trust precompiled builds, so regularly updates her local subversion checkout, runs ./configure just in case, and then happily sits and watches it compile.
OK, so she's not actually very good at playing yet - but she can compile, and no one helped her learn, I just showed her the page, and explained some of the words she didn't understand.

So there you have it. Compiling OpenTTD is so simple, even a 3 year old can do it.
Now stop whinging, and go compile it yourselves you lazy people who complain 'I can't because of XXXXX'