Monthly Archives: August, 2016

Things I recently found I like

  1. Rollerball pens. (They are easier to write with because they require no pressure on the writing surface.) The downside is they tend to bleed through the page. But being a lefty, I simply write on one side of the paper now. 🙂
  2. Kuru Toga mechanical pencil.   Auto-fill, sharp lead, nice feel in the hand. It’s a great pencil.
  3. Glen Campbell. He really was a great singer. It’s a shame he has faded and hope his Alzheimer’s isn’t too painful for him and his family.
  4. Johnny Cash. I never appreciated him when he was alive, but now I can’t get enough of his great music. Some of it is a bit twangy, but his voice is unmistakable and better than 90% of the current crop of singers.
  5. Old game shows. (Super Password, Tattletales, Let’s Make a Deal, Double Dare with a very young Alex Trebek, Card Sharks, etc.) Thanks Buzzr TV! 🙂
  6. Old Star Trek. Sure I like Wrath of Khan, but now I like the old series much better as I’ve gotten older. The new FX they tack on for external shots makes the stories even more contemporary. 🙂
  7. Diet Sunkist.  Great soda.
  8. Diet Dr. Pepper. (Another sweet soda that is sparkly good, along with the Cherry variant!)
  9. Mozart (never was into him when I was younger.)
  10. Batman cartoons (I liked them, but now I’m more interested in them. Old age I guess.)

 

Not a bad list 🙂

My newfound love of Cinnamon

Well, I had a good run with Ubuntu MATE. It was fairly robust, with only a few glitches. I did have a devil of a time with strange WM activity (and a huge .xsession-errors file), but other than that, it was a great distro.

But I’m a fan of Mint… and have been for a few versions. (Gave my semi-monthly $20 donation to the project recently.) So I installed Mint 18 last week, but I didn’t opt for the XFCE or MATE Editions. I went straight for Cinnamon.  My 2009-era Intel-Core2-Quad and GeForce GTX 730 should be enough to make the system sing.

I re-partitioned, which meant I lost a few things along the way (I forgot to back up my banking stuff, so I was relying on my spreadsheet/download of transactions to keep track of my money. But tomorrow’s payday, so I can start fresh.)  I had only 8GB for the root partition, which meant I was limited in how much junk I could install. 🙂  You know me, I’m a stickler for trying EVERY variation of linux program to see which ones work best.  But I think I made this new root a bit large (100GB?) All I know is I’ll never run out of space now.

Of course my home directory’s a little smaller, but I keep that pruned nicely and it’ll be fine. I really should move my podcast folder to one of my external drives, though. Anyhow, the installation of Mint was flawless (as usual). It came up in no time and was loaded with the most important bits. I quickly removed Banshee (because it has troubles with large media collections) and installed my favorite apps (Gimp, Audacity, Audacious, etc.)

Things have been pretty good (only one hard lockup early on), and it’s fairly responsive. Cinnamon is full-featured and nicer (to me) than Gnome. I like Gnome 3, but I generally use Gnome when I am working, and everything else is Cinnamon/MATE/XFCE.  The fact that I don’t have an XFCE distro running right now is pretty weird, I think. But XFCE’s been getting bigger and with that, it really makes no practical sense to use it over Cinnamon now (for me. Others may disagree.)

I got myself a “mini” 68 key keyboard from (I suppose) China called the “MagicForce”.  It’s got a champagne color (metal, no less) and some knock-off cherry-mx compatible keys. It’s a nice compact keyboard (which is handy because I don’t have much room in my pull-out keyboard drawer.) It’s a great little keyboard.  Of late, I’ve been having difficulty using the black keyswitches. It has been a bit more travel than I am used to, and it caused fatigue lots of the time. So I’ll have to retire my Filco Ninja Tenkeyless. It was a great keyboard (still is, I just don’t have the finger-strength anymore.)  That’s kinda sad, really. For someone who used an Atari 800 with it’s MASSIVELY heavy keys… this is a bit of a letdown. Thankfully this MagicForce keyboard is fun to use. (and cute too!)

 

magicforce

Ain’t it cute? 🙂

“Computer” glasses and seeing clearly

I got myself some “computer” glasses the other day (made from my prescription), and I have to say it’s so much more fun not to have to look down my nose at my monitor. I use an old 4×3 19″ monitor because it’s the best picture I can get (and getting a 4×3 is hard to do anymore anyway.) When this monitor dies, I’ll have to bite the bullet and get a widescreen, I guess. It’ll suck, because I love this aspect ratio (and 1280×1024 is fine for my eyes.)

What I really want to do is buy up any good-condition used 19″ monitors so that I won’t have to use those silly widescreen junk. I don’t disparage widescreen for any reason other than I’m an old-school computer guy who used a TV as his first monitor. So I’ve been on the 4×3 aspect ratio since I was 12. And you know, the 12″ TV I had for my monitor back in the day is STILL working. Granted it doesn’t get any broadcast now, but I plugged a VCR into the RF and could STILL see the movie. How’s THAT for good engineering?

It’s not a great picture, mind you. But it’s still functional. I’ve got two LCD TV’s that are no longer working (though they did last a paltry 10 years.) Still, that’s a pretty good track record for televisions.

I guess I’ll clean my computer glasses and give my monitor a dusting… so it’ll last longer (I’ve had this LCD for 12 years…. it was expensive back in the day…. but WORTH it.)

 

Gremlins ate my mp3’s

I don’t know if it’s coincidence or just plain spooky Scooby-Doo type stuff, but every once in a while, I’ll look at an album I’ve ripped and see that it’s missing a file. It’s only missing one song, but usually it’s a song I’ve listened to before. The reason this came up recently is I was listening to my rip of Queen’s “The Game” and “Another One Bites the Dust” is missing from the tracklist.

I need to get a backup for my backup. 🙂