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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.

Tue, 23 Oct 2012

I spent the day in Xfce

I've got no beef with GNOME 3. But I still have two desktop environments installed on this Debian Wheezy system. Today I used the other one, Xfce 4.8.

Nothing to complain about. Xfce in Debian is always a little rough around the edges, most of which I've smoothed out at this point. I'm looking at Xubuntu and Fedora's Xfce spin as potential candidates for my next install.

About the only thing that's not working great in Debian Wheezy with Xfce is the touchpad on this Lenovo G555. In Wheezy with GNOME 3, the touchpad is preconfigured in such a way that it doesn't randomly delete text like it does when running Windows 7 (or previous Linux systems, for that matter). Something in this GNOME setup is taking care of the terrible Alps touchpad on this laptop, and I wish I knew exactly what.

That's because in Xfce, the touchpad defaults to not working at all. That's not much of a problem because I rarely use it. But sometimes -- pretty much when I'm watching video -- I like to use the touchpad.

I've seen xorg hacks (thanks Linux Mint Debian users!) to turn on the touchpad for Xfce, but once I do this, I get the same poor touchpad performance in Xfce AND GNOME.

So right now I'm settling for great touchpad performance in GNOME, none in Xfce. Until I figure it out.