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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Mon, 11 Feb 2013

Ubuntu developer Mike Rooney, who was blogging with Octopress, moves to WordPress

I see via Planet Ubuntu that Ubuntu developer Mike Rooney, who had been blogging with geek-favored Octopress, has now moved to WordPress.

He acknowledges that most people seem to be moving it the other way (from WordPress to Octopress), but he cites a few things that he couldn't get past in the Ruby-on-one-side, static-HTML-on-the-other world of Octopress:

  • Hard to set up on OS X
  • Doesn't like Markdown
  • Hates lack of copy flow
  • Wants portability in composing entries (from machines without his private key)

WordPress has all of this, of course. It's not geeky sexy like Octopress, or the Jekyll project on which it's based.

Acknowledging that something isn't working for you and seeking something that does? Nothing wrong with that. And a whole lot right.

By the way, I love Markdown. And you can get it in WordPress

Sat, 09 Feb 2013

GNOME 3.4.2 in OpenBSD 5.2 -- I have it running

I decided to pull out a test machine -- the old Gateway Solo 1450, circa 2002 -- and try to install GNOME 3 in OpenBSD 5.2.

As you can see from the screenshot above, I was successful. Tips from Call for Testing helped.

This is an old laptop, so there is no 3D acceleration. That means it's Fallback Mode only for GNOME 3 on this machine.

But it's a working GNOME 3.4.2. Here is what I have in /etc/rc.conf.local:

 ntpd_flags=        # enabled during install
 multicast_host=YES
 pkg_scripts="{ dbus_daemon avahi_daemon"</code>

Here is my ~/.xinitrc:

 exec /usr/local/bin/ck-launch-session /usr/local/bin/gnome-session
Thu, 07 Feb 2013

It's easy to see what's happening in OpenBSD development

Though developers for OpenBSD have a reputation -- deserved or not -- as less than warm and fuzzy, the project is nothing if not transparent in terms of letting the world know what they're working on.

I'm sure other projects are as good at detailing what has changed from one release to the next. But this is one area where OpenBSD excels.

Look at http://www.openbsd.org/plus.html for the changes between OpenBSD 5.2 and -current (the current development version). Every change is in there.

Most of what's new in the 5.2 release can be seen at http://openbsd.org/52.html, and the full changelog is at http://openbsd.org/plus52.html

The source is always available and up to date on the web -- http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/ and via the CVS version control system.

You can follow the latest in ports -- software you can compile and run -- at http://openports.se/.

It's not like other open-source projects don't make their source available because they do. But I find it very, very easy to figure out what's happening in OpenBSD because of the systematic way the project's developers go about their work, which includes detailing what they've done in these changelogs as well as in the man pages for the operating system.

It appears that some machines can run GNOME Shell in OpenBSD 5.2

If the graphical stars align, it looks like it's possible to run GNOME Shell -- and not just Fallback Mode -- in GNOME 3.x when running OpenBSD 5.2.

A lot of the progress in getting GNOME running on OpenBSD goes to the developers at m:tier (more here, who are also offering binary updates to the OpenBSD base system.

So what other BSDs offer GNOME 3 packages without a whole lot of trouble? I'm not sure any at this point.

I have run GNOME 2 and Xfce 4 in the past on both OpenBSD and FreeBSD (and Xfce 4 on DragonFlyBSD), and a familiar environment goes a long way toward making you productive in an less-familiar OS.

Wed, 06 Feb 2013

ShyPosts directory test

I am trying to "hide" everything in this directory with the ShyPosts addin for Ode. Did it work?