blarg?

June 12, 2003

Reassembled

Filed under: Archives — mhoye @ 12:00 pm

Let us take a moment to examine what you would think would be a fairly
simple syllogism:

  1. Sunscreen, as is its wont, screens you from the sun.
  2. If you do not wear sunscreen, you will not be protected from the sun.
  3. White people cook up just like ham.

Let us follow that up with two predicates:

  1. I am white enough that in the darkest Canadian winter I tread a fine
    line between “translucent” and “green”.

  2. I was outside all day at an ultimate tournament last weekend.

Now I’m a computer geek, obviously, so the light, it burns. Worse yet,
I can’t sees the screen on my precious. So you can imagine that I don’t
get a ton of sun; I haven’t built up an immunity, or anything. You would
think, Q.E.fucking.D, that this would inspire me to put on sunscreen,
but it turns out that no, I didn’t, ’cause it was cloudy or something. So
(or, as they like to say, “Ergo”) I’ve spent this week with my baked
pink skin peeling off my idiot head in strips; there’s a healthy glow
underneath it, I guess, but for a few days there I looked like a snake
that was trying to shed itself a drinking buddy. I’m glad that’s over,
but those of you who were hoping to pick up an easy DNA sample have
missed your chance. You’ll just have to go back to the old fashioned way,
I guess.

Thanks to some sensible advice and generously-provided ISOs
from Rob Russell, I have
switched from Mandrake over to the much-better-behaved Red Hat Linux on my new and very humble
laptop, and it has made me very happy. The switch has fixed, instantly,
all of the things that pissed me off about Mandrake, little thinks like
the CD suddenly just not working after it had spun down and the entire
boot process hanging if my USB ethernet adapter wasn’t plugged in. That
“Kernel Recompile Bones The Entire System” was a nice feature to get
rid of, too.

I’m starting to write up a few of the things I’ve worked out that
make using a new distro on an old machine feasible. I’m sure that
there’s a lot of those tidbits around, old-school Mac tweaks like
turning off icons in menus and any unnecessary services and so forth,
but the one thing that’s helped me out quite a bit is having a window manager that doesn’t
dim the lights when you turn it on. Getting it set up alongside Gnome
and gdm is the usual documentation-thin nightmare (“Now do the usual
things to your .xinitrc file” – thanks, champ), but once you’ve done a
few sensible things like renaming xterm and symlinking gnome-terminal
back to xterm’s old parking spot life gets a little more pleasant, almost
tolerable. xterm is still lurking about, for crying out loud.
I wonder if there’s an xmakefirebybangingrocks or xinventthelever lying
around in there, too. Could be.

This is only going to make sense to other Linux types, but I just have
to get this out of my system: I hate not having something useful show up
when I type “man whatever”, but I really despise finding out that
the information I’m looking for is safely hidden somewhere in those wildly-misguided
“info” pages
. Way to keep that information completely shackled, guys.
Great work.

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