Archive for November, 2005

KDE, Soccer, and Exhaustion

I went to the VanLUG, on Monday, to see Aaron Seigo do a presentation on KDE – where it is now, and it’s direction for the future. Admittedly, I’m a Gnome user, myself, but I was interested in hearing about KDE from one of its core developers. Also, I believe in that happy place where Gnome users and KDE users frolic together.

It was great hearing about this stuff from someone who knows it so well. Even though he was basically just demoing applications, he could provide interesting background on everything. Highlights, for me, included:

  • Krita – 16bits/channel!
  • KOffice will support ODF natively

    KOffice is the first application not derived from OOo to use OpenDocument natively.

  • Kopete (I wonder if it can handle file transfers better than gaim…)
  • KHTML and KJS
    • A consortium is being set up to… “better coordinate” contributions back to the core
    • the Acid2 Test
    • Results I got when taking the test with Firefox 1.0.7:
    • Konqueror now passes this test
  • kdissert
  • Umbrello

I’m looking forward to see what comes out of KDE next.

*whew* I’m beat! A quick dump of a few more bloggy items:

  • Our soccer team came in first place in the round robbin!
  • Unfortunately, we lost our first game in the tournament, so that was the only game we got to play that day. 🙁 No more soccer – I’m kind of glad, actually, (Richmond is just so far away!), but I did enjoy it. 🙂
  • <shift> + <space> is a terrible combination for switching input modes.
  • It is my duty to share the good that was passed to me. This is a hillarious. And it includes ???!
  • I don’t like how little of my new monitor my website occupies. Expect a redesign, soon. Maybe something a little more… edgy.
  • …but not too soon.
  • I’m out.

ZZZzzz….

During the last month…

It’s been a while since I’ve actually blogged anything. Like Jon observed, you get used to a routine, and if blogging isn’t part of it, it’s just not gonna happen. I’m less likely to spend time on the computer when I get home from working with a computer all day. Been spending more time with the idiot box, actually – I guess I find it more relaxing. 🙂 I still use the computer, of course, (I still have a pulse, after all), but blogging hasn’t been high on ye ‘ol todo list.

Let me see… what’s happened, recently?

Soccer
Somehow, I got conned into joining an indoor soccer tournament at work. Practises are about once a week at a place called SportsTown, in Richmond. I didn’t know what I was getting into; these guys are good… really good. I used to play soccer, but that was ages ago, and I was never that good! I feel totally out of my league, but my team is in pretty desperate need of players, so there I remain. We played with some other soccer team at Slocan park over the weekend, and it was really fun. My main concern is disappointing my team mates. 🙁 We got a tournament game, this weekend. We (they) are defending champions, so there’s a lot of pressure. But I’m just gonna play my best and have fun – can’t do much more than that. I’ve suffered a ridiculous number of injuries due to my jumping into this, but I am glad I joined.

Southpark Me
Inspired by Shirley’s photo-realistic South Park personality, I created my own. Unfortunately, he looks nothing like me… but It’s as close as I could get without making him naked… and trust me, you don’t want that.

New Computer
After my first (or maybe it was second) paycheck, I bought a cheap desktop computer. Pretty much a bare minimum at $600 after tax, sans monitor. I’ve since bought a nice 19″ LCD flat panel monitor (cost almost as much as the desktop), a friend’s old graphics card (so I got 3D acceleration now! – thanks, Haseeb!) and a wireless PCI card. Oh, and a 10′ DVI cable. Did you know 10′ DVI cables are cheaper than 6′ DVI cables? Crazy, I know.

Getting all the hardware was the first step. I actually built this computer, which is a first, for me: I figured, if I’m supposed to get a degree in Computer Science, then I owe it to myself and that piece of paper in my distant future. There were a few kinks, and I had to complete a quest for thermal paste, at one point, but everything seems to be working now. I must go out of my way, however, to say that mother board manuals are completely useless pieces of shit. I respect a good piece of documentation, but motherboard manuals get no love from me. None.

I’ve installed the latest Ubuntu on my new desktop. It’s zippy and I like it. I had gotten so used to my laptop having to page-swap all the time, I thought it was normal. I’ve been really impressed with Ubuntu, despite having a few problems, but I will write about those later (and possibly somewhere else). With my new found space, I’ve also started migrating all my personal data to one location (to rule them all -sorry). This is an extremely long and boring task, but it simply must get done.

Some quick software I recommend checking out:

  • Newton – I like it better than TomBoy, at the moment,
  • Neverball – very nice monkey-ball-ish game,
  • Automatix – an install script for some more inconvenient tasks.

Learning New Things
Recently, I’ve been spending time with a few interesting things, including:

  1. Javascript – I thought I knew it at least a little. I didn’t.
  2. DOM (w/Javascript) <– really cool stuff!
  3. Perl (yup)

I also reviewed Java, but didn’t use it that much. I’ve been working a lot with web-related stuff at work, I encountered the need to write scripts, hence, the Perl. As someone who likes clean, and well structured things, it is my duty to loath all that is Perl. I have always hated that vile language. There is a well known (among the Perl community, at least) acronym that sums up the language quite accurately: TIMTOWTDI (pronounced TimToady). It stands for: There is more than one way to do it. And with Perl, there really is; for absolutely anything, there’s a thousand ways it could be done. And I don’t mean algorithmically, I mean syntactically. To me, this is a huge problem.

A simple example:

1. print "hello";
2. print ("hello"); # parentheses are optional
3. print 'hello'; # single quotes are significant, but not in this instance
4. print qw(hello); # just like single quotes
5. print qq(hello); # just like double quotes
6. print qq.hello.; # here you need something, but who said anything about parentheses?

OOP example:

1. door->open("a little");
2. open door "a little";

That being said, it has been extremely useful. 🙂 Especially regular expressions (a whole other language in itself!)