Older blog entries for Mulad (starting at number 71)

I tried Nautilus 1.0. I was actually fairly impressed. I had tried earlier versions of Nautilus and was not so happy. I think I really need to turn off the image scanning bit, since that's what really seems to slow it down and make it use tons of memory. I'm still not using it as my desktop, though.

Once Mozilla, Nautilus, and Evolution stabilize, my desktop is going to go through it's greatest transformation since I started using Gnome (way back around 0.13! ;-) Heck, it might even be the greatest change since I went from OS/2 to Linux.

A few things I noticed about Nautilus:

  • The desktop icons do not move down to get out from under a panel at the top of the screen.
  • There doesn't appear to be any way to configure the Mozilla component (I really don't like serif fonts when browsing, and I like to turn off underlined links).
  • There doesn't appear to be any way to configure the text viewing widget (when viewing text, I like monospaced fontns)
  • The background drawing system doesn't appear to work with programs like xplanet.
  • I'd like a little more control over exactly how the files are sorted. For example, when viewing icons by Type, the ordering is pretty wacky. Nautilus appears to sort things by MIME type, but the types themselves don't appear to be sorted at all. It would be good to have something where media files are grouped, compressed files are grouped, documents are grouped, etc.
  • Also, the windows don't seem to remember much information, like size.. I like it when a program remembers how big it's windows were from the last time (well, usually -- sometimes it just makes problems).
  • For the Intermediate and/or Advanced users, it'd be great to have a button on the toolbar that would toggle the inclusion of dotfiles in the file listings
  • If I'm going to use Nautilus to browse the web a lot, I really need something equivalent to Netscape's Personal Toolbar, where I can put my frequently used bookmarks

I also tried the latest Evolution snapshot. I was happy to see some GPG/PGP support. Unfortunately, the composer component seems to be broken, so I can read messages, but can't write them. I also don't know if there is GPG support for sending messages. I think the broken composer is just a configuration error on my system somewhere -- I just have to find it. Evolution still has problems, though it hasn't reached the fabled 1.0:

  • It doesn't remember window sizes either.
  • It took me forever to see that you configure the message viewer widget (GtkHTML?) through Gnome's Control Center, so there should be a link to that in Evolution's menus.
  • Back when the composer did work, I don't think it could from .signatures that were named pipes.
  • Evolution also displays my signature incorrectly, and I need to figure out why that is..

Mozilla is pretty good these days, but it isn't exactly a speed demon. In comparison, any version of Netscape is blazing fast. I guess the biggest problem is that Netscape seems to handle a heavily loaded system much better than Mozilla does. If you're compiling a kernel in the background, it feels icky (to me) to be running Mozilla instead of Netscape..

Anyway, I'm hoping to move away from Netscape as my main application. I'd like to use Mozilla as a browser or a widget (such as within Nautilus) and Evolution for mail/calendaring. I just wish Mozilla used Gtk+/Gnome widgets rather than those ugly XPWidgets (or whatever they're called). Then my desktop would finally look consistent..

13 Mar 2001 (updated 13 Mar 2001 at 17:51 UTC) »

Isn't misspelling `grammar' just about as bad as misspelling `spelling'?

Well, my computer and I have been having an on again, off again relationship lately. Something is flaky when it comes to the filesystems.. I want to get a new motherboard -- one that has known-good IDE(/SCSI) chipsets. Of course, if I'm going to get a new motherboard, I'd really like to get a really kickass one, like a dual athlon system (which is still vaporware, if I remember right).

Anyway, ripping CDs is a pretty scary thing for me to do. It has been the source of the most crashes for me. Really annoying.

Well, I'd better get going and see if I can get any work done.

Moments Later...

[mike@3po][~/mp3]$ ls
Segmentation fault


/me kicks himself for not yet replacing ReiserFS with Global File System


Well, guess what? grip managed to cause my ReiserFS partition to die again. I guess reformatting didn't work. Next time, I'm trying Global File System instead.


Well, I managed to move most of my files off of my ReiserFS partiton. I reformatted -- probably good to have a RFS 3.6 partition to use with kernel 2.4.x, as opposed to the 3.5 version that I'd carried over from the 2.2.x days.. Maybe that's why reiserfsck was crashing.

Anyway, I discovered that I had a number of music CDs that I hadn't ripped yet. grip is a great tool -- the thing I like best is that you can rip a CD, eject it, let the computer keep compressing the files, and start ripping another CD. Right now, I have about 90 tracks queued up to be compressed. Too bad the Vorbis encoder isn't superfast yet ;-)

Of course, the computer really chugs when it's ripping and compressing and doing other stuff. I'll have to stop ripping for a while when I do some work later and let oggenc catch up..

fucking Linux fucking filesystems fucking can't fucking crash fucking sanely fucking...

And Fucking ReiserFuckingFS doesn't have a fucking fsck that works.

The only way I can fsck my Reiser partition right now is to copy it's contents to another (ext2) partition, format, and copy everything back..

Seeing the kupdate process with a dreaded `D' flag when doing `ps ax' doesn't exactly make me feel wonderful either. Lots of things stop working after that, like sync and shutdown.


I want to go to sleep...


[mike@3po][~]$ ls -l /dev/cdrom
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root     2923625285389647875 Dec  8 02:00 /dev/cdrom -> hdd
9 Mar 2001 (updated 9 Mar 2001 at 15:29 UTC) »

If everyone admitted their `illegal' copying, and all marched to the police stations to be put in jail, what would happen? ``I'm sorry officer, I helped my Mom copy her favorite CD to a tape so she could listen to it in her car..''

It all started innocently enough. I wrote a simple message in reply to fears about advertisers going and changing homepages on Windoze boxes:

On Mon, 5 Mar 2001 xxx@xxx.umn.edu wrote:

> Something of interest:
> http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-4931077.html

I would think home page hijacking is an easy thing to fix. It would be a
trivial task for a moderately talented programmer to write a program that
periodically checks to see if the browser homepage has been changed. If I
had a Windows box, I wouldn't hesitate to write such a utility and
distribute it freely.

Also, it may be possible to deter this activity by simply making the
browser preferences file read-only.

Certainly, this is more complicated than some people would like, but it's
a miniscule task in the grand scheme of things..

So, today, I hear from my boss that his boss heard that I was going to go teach a class on programming now. What? I guess the note got forwarded all over the place, and now people think I'm ultra-talented or something.


I guess I shouldn't have said ``...wouldn't hesitate to write...'', since my job is not a programming job -- we're not supposed to do that (much) because the tech staff would get inundated with little programming requests. I suppose I should have made it more clear that it was not a job thing, more a personal one. And I suspect that I would have had to have been bitten by this before really wanting to write such a utility..

Today in my History of Computing class, the lecture was about the time in IBM's life when the company decided to unbundle software from hardware. The decision to unbundle was made in the mid-1960s, and a task force was put together in order to figure out exactly how to do it.

They weren't concerned about how to price the software. Mostly, they wanted to know how they could `protect' their software. They thought about patents, but at the time, they didn't even know if software could be patented. Also, they didn't feel it was a good idea to flood the Patent Office with SW patents.

Next, they thought about protecting their code by making it a trade secret. Unfortunately, that doesn't work very well either, since once a trade secret is out in the open, it ceases to be a trade secret and no longer has any legal protection. It would be very hard to keep it secret, because of the large numbers of developers that would have to interact with it regularly.

Lastly, they considered copyrighting the stuff, but the folks at IBM thought that copyright protection was very weak and didn't provide for much. I'm not sure if my prof said exactly what they decided, but I suppose that all of this is why we have all sorts of crazy software licenses today.

5 Mar 2001 (updated 6 Mar 2001 at 04:03 UTC) »

What the heck is wrong with me? Bah. Total lack of drive to do any sort of school work. It's accompanied by a significant drive to do other stuff like hack on some random Gnome panel applets (which doesn't display seconds for some reason...)

I have a sense that I'd feel a lot more motivated to do the stuff I need to do if I had a gf, but that would probably just make me want to do all sorts of other stuff (like actually getting away from the apartment more than once every week or so).


My homework doesn't look too bad. I just hope I can get it done before my brain turns to mush (which will happen in a few hours).

I'm getting a little tired of all of the censorship/DMCA/etc stuff that's getting posted on Slashdot.. That's what the Your Rights Online section is for dudes..

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