Archive for March 2013

Mondays Suck

 

Monday's Suck

The clock on my computer is telling me that it’s 11:20 AM. It’s Monday, and everything has sucked today.

Work

Work drug me out of bed this morning with unresponsive web servers. Intermittent issues are always the worst. Took two hours to track down a web app that was only generating an error on one node of the cluster. Restarted the app and everything worked like a charm.

Phone

I decided last night that I wanted to root my phone. After the ICS update it’s been running so slowly sometimes it takes minutes to just make a call. Apps are barely usable. It’s pathetic really. I found a nice little article over on Lifehacker titled “How to Root the HTC Thunderbolt“. Seems promising since it’s only a couple months old.

First complication: “you’ll just need to download the batch script on this page, run it on your Windows machine, and follow all the instructions.” Ewww, Windows.

OK, this can be dealt with.

I fire up a Windows machine, download the necessary crap, and get my phone in a state that the app requires. OK, let’s fire this baby up!

crashNot only did the phone spontaneously restart, the Windows machine BSODed. I tried it twice more (because I’m stubborn that way) with the same results. It amazes me that people use Windows. What kind of POS operating system takes a complete dump running a glorified batch file? Finally gave up because I have work to do.

Tablet

My tablet is an old beater HP TouchPad that’s hacked to run CM9. Most days it does alright for itself, but lately everything is crashing all the time. I’m not sure if these later CM9 nightlys are just less stable or if the tablet is going down the crapper. Apps like GMail crash. Maps doesn’t even install due to some weird conflict. Google+ crashes. SwiftKey works but the tablet doesn’t seem to recognize that you’re typing on it so you can’t enter text. I get weird digital garbage in the conversation when I use Skype or Google Talk.

I’m about ready for something (ANYTHING) to work today. So damn frustrating. Mondays suck.

 

Experiencing KDE for the First Time. Again.

KDEWhen I started using Linux back in the late 90s, I started out with FVWM95. It’s almost identical appearance to Windows 95 was very enticing to me. I was using Windows 95 most of the time, and the fact that Linux with FVWM95 was free was really cool. After FVWM95, I moved to Enlightenment with Gnome for the cool theming capabilities. Eventually the Enlightenment portion of Gnome faded away and I was just using Gnome.

I liked Gnome. Originally I was drawn to FVWM95 because it was so similar to Windows 95, but I liked Gnome because it wasn’t.

A desktop battle started between Gnome and KDE. I figured that if Gnome and KDE were competing, it was a good idea to try KDE as well, so I threw it on a computer and gave it a try.

The first time I tried KDE, I didn’t like it. That’s probably an understatement. Many people liked it, but to me, it was terrible. I ran back to Gnome pretty quickly. I’ve never really left Gnome since then. I’ve tried KDE probably a dozen times since that first time, but I never stuck with it. Every time I tried it, my initial dislike was only reinforced.

I’ve always loved the customizability of Linux. I love browsing the Desktop Screenshots on deviantART. There are some truly creative individuals there, and some of the things they do with Linux are amazing to look at.

What does that have to do with the story? I’m getting there, I promise.

One day, when I was browsing through the latest screenshots, something happened. I saw some of the really impressive screenshots were running software I didn’t recognize. After digging a little deeper, I discovered that they were running KDE. This surprised me quite a bit, but it inspired me to give KDE another shot.

I’m currently running Ubuntu 12.04 on my primary system, so I just dropped to the command line, fired up apt-get, and minutes later, KDE was installed. I fired up the new DE, and was greeted by a fairly unfamiliar environment. It took a little bit of getting used to, but after a few hours of use, I found that I was really enjoying using it.

Wait, what?

Yep, I was really enjoying using KDE. I liked the DE that I’d been virtually repulsed by for more than a decade.

I’ve noticed a few oddities with KDE installed on Ubuntu, mostly because I’m still using KDM as my login screen. To get a more full experience of KDE, I put Kubuntu 12.10 on a spare USB key, and booted my laptop with it. Of course, everything automatically detected and the laptop started with a full KDE experience.

Not only did I enjoy using it, it’s awesome. Unless something drastically changes in the next couple months, I expect I’ll rebuild my primary system to run on Kubuntu 13.04.

Phil Schiller Displays Apple’s Desperation

Desperate AppleReading the comments made by Phil Schiller in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, you could smell the stink of desperation wafting off the pages.

“When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with. They don’t work seamlessly together.”

It’s pretty obvious that Schiller has either no idea about the Android experience, or isn’t interested in telling the truth. Of course, he went on to talk about Android fragmentation (which really has no impact on the end user at all).

This follows up a rare tweet he made regarding Android security.

To me, as an Android user, all Schiller has managed to do is display a complete and utter lack of knowledge or understanding of the Android experience and environment. He suggested that Android phones are cheap giveaways by carriers, ignoring the fact that iPhones are also given away (you can get an iPhone 4 for 99 cents on AT&T if you’re a new customer or upgrading an existing plan). This is typical of Apple, where facts have never mattered. Now as they watch the mobile market slip through their fingers, the desperation becomes more and more obvious.