Saturday, February 10, 2007

A New System, A New Way

 Well I finnaly got my system!!! Now I can do what I wanted to do in the begining, make video tutorials. Screenshots are a good way to display stuff but they sometimes lack what you wanna get thru to the user. For instance my screenshot of screen tabs. Yes it shows what I'm talking about but has users not knowing what they really do. As a result people don't fully understand what they are looking at. Anyways here are the specs of my new system.
  • AMD Athlon 64 Processor 4000+
  • 1 Gigabyte DDR2 Ram
  • Nvidia GeForce 6600V+ 512MB/DDR2 PCI-Express
  • Biostar GeForce6100-M9 Mainboard
  • Sony DVD-R/RW Burner
  • 400 Gigabyte SATA Hard Drive
  • A Huge CPU Fan (I have to get a picture of it)
May not be much but it's better than the crappy Dell I was using!
So I guess I'll get started on my videos !!!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Bash Aliases

Ok I know most Linux users know what bash is, but do we actually use it to its full extent? Bash is very powerful but today I'll keep it simple. Aliases are a great way to either raname or string together commands. Basicly you can execute common commads with arguements or simply rename a command to better suite you. I use them for the simplest of commands. Not to mention this makes it easier to remember more difficult commands Anyways look at mine to get a example of what i mean.

#These are my root commands, useful for common package manager tasks
alias pkgupgrade='pacman3 -Syu'
alias pkginstall='pacman3 -S'
alias pkgremove='pacman3 -Rsc'
alias pkgsearch='pacman3 -Ss'
alias pkgaur='makepkg -i'
alias pkgclean='pacman3 -Scc'
alias pkgpretend='pacman3 -Sp'
alias Env-update='source /etc/profile'
alias aurdir='cd /var/abs/local'

#Here are my $USER aliases
alias Screen='screen'
alias dead-screen='killall screen ; screen -wipe'
alias mp3blaster='mp3blaster -f /tmp/irssiblaster'
alias musicmove='mv ~/Downloads/*.mp3 /mnt/storage/Music/'
alias moviemove='mv ~/Downloads/*.mpg /mnt/storage/Video/'
alias convert='mp32ogg *.mp3 && rm *.mp3'

Now I know some of you are thinking that the commands I use for my root are londer than the actual command. Well they aren't! I'll tell ya why, I actually save keystrokes due to tab completion. For instance I would type 'pkgi (tab)' and viola "pkginstall" appears!!! See there is a method to my madness. There are even easier ways to exucute commands that bash offers called "functions", but at the moment I'm not familiar with them sorry. I'll update this post when I learn more.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Screen Tabs

Well enough of my ranting about gnome lets get some work done. Lets make Screen functional.
Here is what I can screen tabs. Rather than using hotkeys to switch between screens you can now see all open screen sessions and switch to them with the F keys. (If you choose to do so.)

# binding the F1 - F8 keys to the first 8 screens, F11 = previous | F12 = next
bindkey -k k1 select 0
bindkey -k k2 select 1
bindkey -k k3 select 2
bindkey -k k4 select 3
bindkey -k k5 select 4
bindkey -k k6 select 5
bindkey -k k7 select 6
bindkey -k k8 select 7
bindkey -k F2 next
bindkey -k F1 prev

# Optional name and command to execute
screen -t irssi 1 irssi
screen -t mp3 2 mp3blaster
screen -t linux 3
screen -t linux 4
screen -t user 5
screen -t admin 6 su

# Display $USER and screen titles in a neat way :P
caption always "%{=b dy}{ %{= dm}${USER} %{=b dy}}%={ %?%{= dc}%-Lw%?%{+b dy}(%{-b r}%n:%t%{+b dy})%?(%u)%?%{-dc}%?%{= dc}%+Lw%? %{=b dy}}"

There are pros and cons of using screen this way.
Good: Run multiple screens with one command. Have the screen titles in constant view. Keybindings are always great!
Bad: If you want only one screen session you'll always have the number you put in screenrc. If you assign a command to execute it will execute each and everytime you run screen. If your a KDE user the "F1" key is already reserved. The same might go for other Desktop's.
Also I know there is a application called Screenie, that is a wrapper for screen. It can manage screen but does it in a different way. Visit the link for more info.

Giving Up Gnome

Ok I tried my best to use Gnome. Just it's .... well very dumb. What I mean is that everything is disorginized and confusing. Trying to get Nautilus to do simple things such as set the background wallpaper required searching the net for a script or application to do it. Yes I know you can go to the settings and do it there but in my opinion thats counter productive. Thats another step I must take to perform a simple task. Anyways aside from that i wanted a terminal that could be hidden like YaKuake with a programable hot-key.
While searching I did find one but it was outdated and not compatible with the current version of gnome. So to make a long painful story short I've gone back to KDE. In a earlier post I made a statement saying KDE has too much for a default desktop, yes I know. Thanks to KDEmod however I've changed my mind! These guys are fellow Archer's that wanted to make KDE more lean and customized for Arch Linux users. Check out the link to find out more. As a result I can install only the applications I need, rather than get everything and the kitchen sink. I guess once you go KDE you dont go back.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Fix For Sakura

Gnome is turning out fine with the exception of a few applications.
The default terminal, gnome-terminal, is slow and a little to heavy. As a result I went looking for a alternative and stumbled upon sakura. Sakura is a light, fast vte and gtk based terminal. There was one problem though. Irssi and sakura weren't playing nice with each other. Thats ok though cause after writting the author he responded quickly with a fix. All I had to do was edit and comment out these lines in the source code. After that a simple "makepkg -e -f -i" got things compiling without fail. (I'll explain what that command is in a later post.)
if (topage <= gtk_notebook_get_n_pages(GTK_NOTEBOOK(sakura.notebook))) gtk_notebook_set_current_page(GTK_NOTEBOOK(sakura.notebook), topage); return TRUE;

This fixes the problem of using irssi, and sakura. Sakura's reserve for the "alt+number" to switch tabs interfered with irssi's use of the same keys to switch windows. With the simple fix above sakura and irssi are working flawlessly together. Thanks to David Gomez, the author of sakura for such a quick response!!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Back To Gnome

Well I'm back on Gnome after a good run with KDE.  Nothing against KDE just that in a default install there's well .... a little too much. For instance you have 3 variations of the same application. An easy, medium and hard versions so to speak. But since I use vim/gvim, I personally have no use of Kate. Now I'm not bad mouthing KDE it is a great desktop.
Just that it's too much for me. A defualt Gnome install for me is very modular (at least on Arch Linux). 
I was very surprised to see how far Gnome has come, and to also see how far it still needs to go.
I won't start rambling about what I think they need to do. Anyways I am happy with Gnome for the time being.
Another reason I chose Gnome is due to Beagle.
Yes I know it has Mono as a dependancy but when you do cross development you really stop caring.
Anyways since Kat got scraped and Strigi is still in development Beagle is the only alternative. I do hope that Strigi becomes a competitor to Beagle, but in the meantime I'm using Beagle.
Having brought up the positives of Gnome, it's time to start being fair.
I still use Basket-Notes since Tomboy lacks the features that Basket has. Although I'm using both of them so I can make a definate answer Basket seems to be winning at the moment.
The transition hasn't been easy though. Having to look for replacements to certain applications has been a tough one.
Instance, replacing amarok, I went thru 3 music players till I remembered Exaile.
and a few others either crashed or are just plain featureless.
I'm still looking to replace gnome-terminal but haven't had any luck yet.
Well back to the search to make Gnome more usuable for me!!!