Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Opera 11

December 22, 2010

Extensions!! Great!! Now can someone tell me why the hell it takes 30 seconds to load a page that Firefox loads in 3? It’s unusable as is.

I know I spend a lot of time lately bitching about browsers, but I can find something that really sucks about each of them, sometimes subjective, sometimes measurable. Sigh.

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Gentoo installed

December 8, 2010

I finished my Gentoo installation with only one minor hiccup. Installing gnome requires cups, which requires pdftops, which is in poppler, which was not installed. Installing poppler also requires cups, which requires pdftops, etc. After a quick google I learned the resolution was to install poppler with the USE -cups flag, then install cups. This worked fine, but is probably something the devs should fix.

After that I installed gnome, and since I’m an amateur photographer, gimp and F-Spot. F-Spot is masked, so it won’t install by default. Again, a little googling and browsing the very well written Gentoo documentation, and this problem was solved as well. So far, I’m impressed with how easy Gentoo is manage. Software installation can take a while, since everything is compiled from source, but for some packages, (openoffice, for example) there is an option to install a precompiled binary.

I’m running this in a VM, and I don’t know that I’ll ever install it on my hardware. At present I have VMs of Gentoo, Debian (the base system for my lfs), Fedora lxde, Mint and Haiku.

Yes, Haiku. I ran BeOS R5 for a while back in the day and was pretty happy with it. I run Haiku now just to see how they’re coming along. I wish I was a good enough programmer to help with development, but it’s only been a hobby for me. Well, it was a part of my job many years ago, but I was never very good at it.

short linux post

November 23, 2010

I’m taking a break from working on Linux from Scratch to do an install of Gentoo. Gentoo is really not that hard to install. The instructions are very well written and easy to follow. I screwed up the grub.conf somehow (I’m sure this was my fault, just like Bin-utils, Pass2 in lfs was my fault) but I dropped to the grub shell, fixed "root=" (I had it in the /dev/sda? form, and it needs to be in (hd0,?). I’ll fix the config file later. The nice thing about a vm is that I can interrupt in the middle of a software install (gnome, in this instance) and come back later and finish it. That’s why there’s no hurry to fix the grub config;I can just suspend the machine and not have to worry about booting.

I’m running both lfs and gentoo in vmware. I would prefer to use Virtual Box because of the the open source thing, but it doesn’t support screen resolutions or my hardware as well.

later . . .

Google Wikipedia Fail Update

November 13, 2010

Update: This is Firefox issue. I’ve tried Firefox, Chrome, Epiphany, Konqueror and Opera. Firefox is the only one that does not perform as expected. Since I am almost always logged in to Google this is a big enough problem that Firefox will probably be banned, as long as I can get adblock and flashblock equivalents to work on another browser.

OK, so I wanted to learn why cheddar cheese is orange. So I type "cheddar cheese" into google, and the first link is to Wikipedia. So I click on it, since Wikipedia is usually a good starting place to find information. Then I get this:

404 error: File not found The URL you requested was not found. Did you mean to type http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/wikipedia/en/wiki/Cheddar_cheese? You will be automatically redirected there in five seconds. Maybe you would like to look at:
* The main page
* The list of Wikimedia downloads

Which then redirects to "Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name."

So I go back to my search page, sign out of google, get exactly the same link at the top of the search results, click on it, and it works.

WTF? Can anyone explain this to me? Or better yet, explain it to Google. It seems kind of strange that they would want to force their customers to sign out of their accounts in order for searches to work properly. How else are they going to collect valid data to blackmail me about all of my cheesey searches?

Oh, and cheddar cheese apparently is orange because people like it that way, so the manufacturers add dye to it. The brand we buy here in Germany is just a normal cheese color.

Google Wikipedia Fail

November 9, 2010

OK, so I wanted to learn why cheddar cheese is orange. So I type "cheddar cheese" into google, and the first link is to Wikipedia. So I click on it, since Wikipedia is usually a good starting place to find information. Then I get this:

404 error: File not found The URL you requested was not found. Did you mean to type http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/wikipedia/en/wiki/Cheddar_cheese? You will be automatically redirected there in five seconds. Maybe you would like to look at:
* The main page
* The list of Wikimedia downloads

Which then redirects to "Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name."

So I go back to my search page, sign out of google, get exactly the same link at the top of the search results, click on it, and it works.

WTF? Can anyone explain this to me? Or better yet, explain it to Google. It seems kind of strange that they would want to force their customers to sign out of their accounts in order for searches to work properly. How else are they going to collect valid data to blackmail me about all of my cheesey searches?

Oh, and cheddar cheese apparently is orange because people like it that way, so the manufacturers add dye to it. The brand we buy here in Germany is just a normal cheese color.

Update: This may be a Google/Wikipedia/Firefox Fail. Everything appears to work normally under Opera. Haven’t tried Chrome yet. Chrome’s interface is a little obtuse for me.

Is youtube trying to suck?

October 17, 2010

This is mainly regarding what appears to be a new download strategy for their flash player. They download many small fragments (1 to 2 meg) instead of the whole video. The result is that the video I am watching has paused six times to buffer in the time it has taken me to write this post, despite the red ‘progress’ par showing that the entire video is downloaded.

The old strategy seems to have worked much better, at least on the user end of things (eleven pauses now. No, twelve. And it’s stuck.) At least the so-called ‘progress’ bar didn’t lie. If the download was slow, which you could judge by looking at the progress bar, you could pause and wait until the download caught up. Now, you just have to hope. And that hope is largely wasted, because most videos will get stuck at some point.

Youtube is just becoming a more and more frustrating experience. Autoplay, anyone? No? Tough shit. You’re gonna watch the next video anyway. (The cure for that is greasemonkey). And the new ‘end of video’ screen. Why does it appear before the end of the video? Right on top of the punchline?

Seriously, are they trying to suck?

Update: I have come to the conclusion that they are, in fact, trying to suck. Nobody could be this bad at serving video without putting significant effort into. Youtube is the only site that consistently interrupts videos every five to ten second to buffer. And don’t get me started on the ‘not available in your country’ shit. Sheesh!

You gotta be smarter than the technology.

August 3, 2010

Because technology is dumb. It’s not a replacement for common sense. It can show you where you are. It can show you where you want to want to go. It can even show you how to get there. But it can’t tell you that the road has been washed out. That’s what the signs are there for, Dummy.