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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Dial *pi for emergencies

If you are in the Buenos Aires sub­way, this is the num­ber you di­al if you have an emer­gen­cy:

llameya

Good thing they lim­it­ed it to 5 fig­ures and phones don't let you use punc­tu­a­tion. I re­al­ly, re­al­ly, re­al­ly would like to know why they de­cid­ed to use this num­ber. It's not easy to type, it's not par­tic­u­lar­ly easy to re­mem­ber, it's not used for emer­gen­cies any­where else, as far as I know. Is it a case of a math nerd with pow­er?

BTW: this is the first time I buy a cell­phone with a cam­er­a. It al­so hap­pens to have blue­tooth, and it works flaw­less­ly with Lin­ux.

rst2pdf: New and improved

My rst2pdf script has had sev­er­al things hap­pen to it.

  1. It got an­oth­er guy work­ing on it: Christoph Zw­er­schke

  2. It's on google­­code now: http://rst2pdf.­­google­­code.org

  3. Christoph made a num­ber of im­prove­­ments:

    • bul­let­ed and enu­mer­at­ed list sim­­­pli­­­fied, use same font as text for bul­lets and num­bers

    • links in ta­ble of con­­­tents work

    • com­­­press lit­er­al sec­­­tions hor­i­­­zon­­­tal­­­ly so that they al­ways fit on the page

  4. I have in­­te­­grat­ed hy­phen­a­tion us­ing wor­­daxe (works on­­ly with re­­port­lab 2.1)

The out­put us­ing hy­phen­ation is re­al­ly ug­ly right now (for ex­am­ple, I get a black square in­stead of an hy­phen) but it's a small step for­ward.

Rebelling against insanity: Wicd requires half of GNOME

UP­DATE: you can get this pro­gram now at google code

I have been us­ing my eee for a while al­ready with a sort of Kubun­tu in it.

How­ev­er, my favourite wire­less/wired net­work man­age­ment app is wicd, which is a Python/GTK ap­pli­ca­tion. Or was, since ver­sion 1.4.1 re­quires python-g­nome2-ex­tras.

Which de­pends on ....

libart-2.0-2 (>= 2.3.18), libaspell15 (>= 0.60), libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.13.2), libbonobo2-0 (>= 2.15.0),
libbonoboui2-0 (>= 2.15.1), libc6 (>= 2.6-1), libcairo2 (>= 1.4.0),
libfontconfig1 (>= 2.4.0), libfreetype6 (>= 2.3.5), libgconf2-4 (>= 2.13.5),
libgda3-3, libgdl-1-0, libgdl-gnome-1-0, libgksu1.2-1 (>= 1.3.3), libgksu2-0 (>= 1.9.6),
libgksuui1.0-1, libglade2-0 (>= 1:2.6.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.14.0), libgnome-keyring0 (>= 2.19.6),
libgnome2-0 (>= 2.17.3), libgnomecanvas2-0 (>= 2.11.1), libgnomeui-0 (>= 2.19.1),
libgnomevfs2-0 (>= 1:2.17.90), libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.12.0), libgtkspell0 (>= 2.0.2),
libice6 (>= 1:1.0.0), libnspr4-0d (>= 1.8.0.10), liborbit2 (>= 1:2.14.8),
libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.18.2), libpng12-0 (>= 1.2.13-4), libpopt0 (>= 1.10), libsm6,
libstartup-notification0 (>= 0.8-1), libx11-6, libxcomposite1 (>=1:0.3-1),
libxcursor1 (>> 1.1.2), libxdamage1 (>= 1:1.1), libxext6, libxfixes3 (>= 1:4.0.1), libxi6, libxinerama1,
libxml2 (>= 2.6.29), libxrandr2 (>= 2:1.2.0), libxrender1, zlib1g (>= 1:1.2.3.3.dfsg-1),
python-support (>= 0.3.4), python (<< 2.6), python (>= 2.4), python-gtk2,
python-pyorbit, python-gnome2-desktop

In short: a 87MB down­load. That can't be good. In fac­t, there are al­most no changes from 1.3.1 which did­n't re­quire all that! Ex­cept for one change that makes all the dif­fer­ence on a eee PC: ver­ti­cal re­siz­ing to un­der 400px. :-(

So, be­cause I am who I am, I did this:

wicd-qt.png

It's a re­place­ment for wicd's gui.py and tray.py. On­ly needs PyQt4 which I al­ready had and de­pends on:

libc6 (>= 2.6-1), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.2.1), libqt4-core (>= 4.3.2),
libqt4-gui (>= 4.3.2), libstdc++6 (>= 4.2.1), python-central (>= 0.5.8),
python (<< 2.6), python (>= 2.4), python-sip4 (>= 4.7), python-sip4 (<< 4.8)

See a dif­fer­ence there?

Took me about 3 hours to hack to­geth­er, and works (ex­cept for wired con­fig, the prefs di­alog, stat­ic IP and script­s) but the hard work is done.

If any­one wants a copy, just ask. I ex­pect KUbun­tu could use some­thing like it?

Yes, Xandros was horrible. But this ubuntu thing is working out nicely!

As I said be­fore, the bas­tardized Xan­dros 1 sucked. In fac­t, I man­aged to de­stroy it. So I de­cid­ed to switch to an­oth­er dis­tro. Any dis­tro.

En­ter ee­eX­ubun­tu, a eee-­tuned Xubun­tu 2.

Since I pre­fer KDE to XFCE, I start­ed hack­ing at it, and pro­duced, IMVHO, a much nicer thing.

keee.png

As you can see, it takes slight­ly less space than ee­eX­ubun­tu's de­fault, and a whoop­ing 1GB less than the de­fault dis­tro.

How did I do it? First, by de­cid­ing what I want­ed.

  • No Open­Of­fice. Kof­­fice is enough to read doc­s, then there is Google doc­s, and I pro­­duce my texts us­ing do­cu­tils

  • No print­­ing. I have not used a print­­er in 5 years. What are the odds I will use one from the eee?

  • wicd for net­­work con­­fig­u­ra­­tion. It works for wire­­less/wired/en­cryp­t­ed and has no prob­lem what­­so­ev­er re­­con­nec­t­ing af­ter sus­pend.

  • yakuake for ter­mi­­nal. It us­es the least screen-s­­pace pos­si­ble: none if you are not us­ing it.

  • Fire­­fox + Flash (I would use Kon­­queror, if flash9 had not bro­ken it)

  • Kmail + Akre­­ga­­tor for mail and RSS

It works great, boots in 35 sec­onds (and I have not tuned that, yet).

Here's the list of in­stalled pack­ages and here's the list of re­pos I am us­ing

Maybe some­one more en­ter­pris­ing will make a re­al dis­tro out of it.

1

Which is it­self a bas­tardized De­bian etch.

2

Which is a XFCE-­tuned ubun­tu

Asus eee PC 4G Surf: First impressions from an old Linux Guy

I fi­nal­ly got my eee PC last sat­ur­day. It's the 4G Surf in Gal­axy Black 1.

Ev­ery­one says the same thing, and so do I: you can't un­der­stand how small the thing is un­til you see it.

And then ev­ery­one takes a pic­ture of it sit­ting in­side its pre­vi­ous note­book. So will I, 2 times.

Here's the eee with a HP Pavil­lion zd7000, which has a 17" widescreen:

p1230001

Here's the eee with a Toshi­ba Satel­lite with a very un­usu­al 16.6" 4:3 ra­tio screen:

p1230003

But is it the small­est note­book I ev­er had? Nope.

Here you can see the eee, a Toshi­ba Li­bret­to and a HP Jor­na­da 720 lay­ing over the HP note­book, so you can get an idea of how much small­er all are. The Li­bret­to is small­er but thick­er and feels heav­ier.

p1230005

Re­gard­ing con­struc­tion qual­i­ty, the screen is de­cen­t, if you can live with the low res­o­lu­tion (I can). The key­board is ok, even though I have large fin­gers 2 and the gen­er­al con­struc­tion feels good (not creaky, no flex 3), but noth­ing re­mark­able.

The soft­ware... it work­s. But I am loook­ing to re­place it with an­oth­er dis­tro AS­AP. Let's get in­to some de­tail...

  1. Xan­­dros pack­­age avail­a­bil­i­­ty is abysmal. There's lit­tle, what's there is old, what I like is usu­al­­ly mis­s­ing, if you start pulling De­bian pack­­ages it will break, and if you don't want to use the Xan­­dros File Man­ag­er you may have to do evil stuff 4

  2. KDE 3.4 is worse than 3.5. There's no kopete?

  3. The menus are in­­­com­­plete (in both the sim­­ple and ad­­vanced mod­­es). There are a bunch of things in­­stalled but not show­ing.

  4. If you have on­­ly 4GB of stor­age, lit­­tle RAM, and a slow­ish CPU, build­ing from source is prob­a­bly not a good idea, so I can't in­­stall that way even if I felt like it.

  5. No PyQt4? That means I can't blog from it :-(

  6. On the oth­­er hand, ev­ery­thing in the eee works us­ing xan­­dros, and I don't know if it will on an­oth­er dis­­tro.

The on­ly changes I made so far are:

  1. Switched to full desk­­top (KDE) mod­­e.

  2. I got rid of the sil­­ly union­fs sit­u­a­­tion (BTW: I did it us­ing the in­­struc­­tions at http://wi­k­i.eeeuser.­­com, but used RIPLin­uX as the USB bootable dis­­tro, it's the eas­i­est of them al­l)

  3. I re­­moved a lot of garbage (got 2.2GB free now)

  4. Moved logs to a tmpfs

Oth­er than that, it's still the orig­i­nal stuff, and I have been us­ing it to work around the house while watch­ing the baby, and from bars, and such.

Hap­py­ness-me­ter: 8 out of 10 so far.

1

A huge thank you to Fer­ay Gir­gin, my moth­er in law who brought it from the US :-D

2

My hands look like crip­pled obese oc­to­pus­es (oc­topi­i?)

3

Be­ing so smal­l, it's not sup­posed to flex even if it were bad­ly built, I guess.

4

I end­ed sym­link­ing kon­queror to xan­dros­file­m­an­ag­er


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