Monday, April 26, 2010

Life to CURDATE();

School's almost done and the whether is cold and blizzardy. Or, at least it was a few nights ago; That's true Canadian weather for you.

I'm currently finished writing all my assignments and have a quiz and presentation left before I am free at long last. All this free time has also meant I've been tinkering around with my computer more often than usual. Take, for instance, yesterday. While no one was around to see it, I basically spent the whole day compiling on my laptop. A lot has happened since my last post and allow me to bring you up to speed.

+ Sold my Alienware machine that I previously had Gentoo on. Sad, I miss the machine, but some hardware or driver hiccups meant that it was constantly freezing. I'm wary that the problems stemmed either from a bad hard drive or the Vista drivers it came with. Perhaps it is also indicitive of some poor Kernel drivers too, I dunno. Doubtful though. One strange issue I had is that after installing Kubuntu 8.10, it would freeze if and only if the power manager was not on performance. Well such is life. Sold it, payed for another month of insurance, and purchased a beautiful Thinkpad T60 for a fraction of the Alienware's cost.

+ T60 Specs: 2.0 GHz Core Duo, 2GB DDR2 Ram, 512 MB x1400 ATI Radeon video (128 MB dedicated), 100GB 5400 rpm hard drive, 1400x1050 resolution, keyboard light, security fingerprint reader, and a decent speaker system. Total Price? $375. It was a deal to be sure, the last one in stock. Looked brand new except for the outer lid which had some scratches on it. This runs really cool, standard at 40 degrees idle to around 50-70 when working, compiling, and of course, running flash videos. It doesn't have amd64 support unfortunately, one thing I miss. But the keyboard on this thing is where it really shines. IBM and keyboards are like bread and butter. Perhaps I'll pick up an IBM Model M in my lifetime. I remember using them way back and enjoying every minute of it.

+ Installed Gentoo on the T60. Overall, things went smoothly on the third install attempt. I have issues with perfection and things weren't up to snuff the first two times. But I'm becoming more comfortable with the Gentoo environment and more prone to try fixing problems as opposed to the 'reinstall when something goes wrong' methodology which I have yet to shake off. I installed KDE 4.3.5 and that ran wonderfully.

+ Compiled a kernel for my T60. I need to enable plug-and-play usb mouse and keyboard support as those don't work yet, as well as the radeon fb compiled into the kernel. Currently it's as a module which doesn't work. However, responsiveness since the upgrade has increased wonderfully; A pre-emptive high low-latency kernel also helps.

+ Installed KDE 4.4 series unstable on Gentoo. Had some issues, will mention them in my next post. Still loved every minute of using this faster, more streamlined system.
+ Preparing my resume for my life as a cubicle slave. Just kidding though. While I have no qualms about being a code monkey/data entry clerk/ tech documentor, it's not something my ambition will sit well with over the years. I am in fact hoping to eventually work with the government on education, but we'll see where that leads me.

+ Excited to work on my own projects and plans, make some money, pay off debts (first priority), and collect more computer toys. While I love having the fastest and greatest/latest electronic toys in my paws, I also have learned to appreciate the stability and endurance of legacy machines. Remember when towers were made of steel? IBM Keyboard Model M's are still known for their quality. Nowadays, we get cheap keyboard crap built into plastic laptops such as the Toshiba A9, with one of the most gimped keyboards I've ever used. I'm still not sure which is worse: a small backspace key, or a small shift key. Both irritate me like a papercut to the eyeball.

And so, now with a moderately set up Gentoo machine with KDE I feel I am ready to start programming full force, starting with basic plasmoids and simple GUI's in QT4. I still hope to work in Java and am very proud of a Binary Search Tree I built last year for my college. Why are people still using ArrayLists and the like?

Check out my next post for KDE-specific notes and a very frustrating error I think I've gained an understanding on.

No comments: