I have moved my blog to Wordpress at theunixgeek.wordpress.com. I will still be checking back periodically on this one as well, though. 19 April 2009

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Fosik Conceptual Screenshots

In the ongoing Fosik development, I took five minutes off coding and showed off a rudimentary sketch of the Fosik interface. The T1 (test 1) build should be released sometime today or tomorrow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fosik - A GTK+ front-end to mkisofs


Oftentimes, a command-line program can be clunky and scrolling through the man pages takes time when you want to do a simple task. mkisofs is an example of this - a powerful program that wastes the user's time by making it difficult to find how to do simple things. 

Available for Linux (and other OS's if you can compile GTK+ programs on it), 
Fosik brings a graphical front-end to mkisofs to make it easy to perform simple tasks. Development began today and the first release is expected to be rolled out next month.
For more information, see the Fosik homepage and the code repository.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why I switched back to Ubuntu

Ubuntu is sometimes thought of as the beginner's distro, something that more advanced users don't care about - they think if you're advanced, you need Slackware or something where you have to build it from scratch, rewrite or add parts to the kernel to make it more compatible to your system, write your own drivers, etc, but that just takes up time. Of all the distros I've tried, Ubuntu is the fastest, most reliable, and (most of the time) most compatible.

I'm serious. Ubuntu is the fastest I've tried. Fedora and openSUSE are the other distros I've actually spent quality time with, and Ubuntu is a huge leap ahead Fedora. openSUSE just took a long time to boot up and still has a splash screen, which is dying out.

Now, I'm serious : Ubuntu is the distro that crashes the least with me. 

Of course, the last reason isn't the best. Sometimes I can only find binaries in RPM format online, which I prefer over manual compiling because sometimes it can be such a pain to compile. But, let's face it: Ubuntu has a HUGE list of available packages for download and you can find most anything there. Fedora's pyrut visual package manager is slooow and takes a long time to browse. openSUSE's visual package manager is also slow, and doesn't provide for faster package name searching like Ubuntu, but it's more acceptable than pyrut.

Now, compatibility doesn't always have to be with software - Ubuntu has currently been the only distro to recognize my Nvidia graphics card and allow me to run desktop effects. openSUSE could barely recognize it, and trying to install the drivers broke my install. Fedora, let's not even go there. It told me I didn't have an advanced enough graphics card to play SuperTux!

Let's face it - Ubuntu has been a work of art in open source. I have yet to see a distro with such a punctual release schedule, team organization, and user resources.

Thanks to all the readers for making this my most-read post with over 11,496 views Tuesday 18 March 2008 and 22,843 Wednesday 19 March 2008, with about 1000 diggs and 70-something comments! So many visited the second day that the counter stopped working!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Making OS X Leopard look like Tiger

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I've recently been nostalgic. I remember the morning of 9 of February, 2007 when decided to open my MacBook I had bought the previous night. Upon first powerup, there was something amazing about the OS that had never struck me in the Windows world. I had Tiger. The default look didn't bore me; in fact, I kept it for about two weeks before permanently switching. And now, as I switch back to the default look in Leopard, I think to myself, "How things have changed." The Mac has a completely different feel to it, compared to just on release ago. It's no longer that cute Aqua interface that makes you want to lick it - it's that new, darker, modern, look, attempted to be dubbed "illuminous" (remember that?).

So, back to my original spiel. I decided to go back to the Tiger look, although be warned that these are some caveats:
  • the Apple and Spotlight logos aren't blue
  • the dock is a bit too transparent
  • the dock has a thick line around it
But that's OK! My friend still asked me "Why'd you reinstall Tiger?" when he saw it from a few meters away ;)

So, let's begin. Make your dock transparent: to do this, in the Finder use the Go menu and select Utilities. Open the Terminal application and type "defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES; killall Dock" (without the quotes, put NO instead of YES to reverse the effect). Now download this image and make it your wallpaper and presto! Now your Leopard looks like Tiger!