I am honoured to be in this exclusive club with you good sir! And thank you for the Christmas donation too, Merry Christmas :).
After several years of self-imposed KDE exile, I'm back and loving it :).
KDE and I go a long way back. When I first started using Red Hat Linux 5.0 in primary school I was fascinated by the concept of having multiple installable graphical environments instead of just one, and used Anaconda to install Gnome and KDE at the same time. I quickly settled on KDE because I thought the UI was the nicest, and it felt the most feature complete.
In 2006 (above) when I started experimenting with FreeBSD on the desktop as well as on headless servers, I blogged about my experience with getting those maddening xorg.conf files working , and installing KDE from the ports system. I was living in Malaysia at the time and we were all obsessed with The Melancholoy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which naturally made its way into everything I was blogging about at the time!
In 2008 I also briefly ran KDE with Openbox, this time when I was obsessed with Clannad:
That's why I love having a blog compared to anything else, you can go back in time and see what you were doing all those years ago. ^_^
At the same time I was also trying Xfce however, and with the release of KDE 4.0 which was more unstable than the Windows OSs I'd left behind, I gradually moved over to it, then to Gnome. I justified my decision by claiming most of my software was GTK+, and it made sense using a DE that was too.
Fast forward to 2011, and something fateful happened. Walking into my first class for a semester, I noticed our tutor was running KDE 4.6 on a ThinkPad X60, the next model up from my X40. Not only that, it was running fast!
That night, I went home and installed the KDE spin of Fedora onto my venerable ThinkPad X40. I knew Fedora had a (in my opinion an undeserved) reputation for treating KDE as a second class citizen, but it's the distribution I was most comfortable with and love how easily it can be configured with SELinux and whole drive encryption.
In an O'Reilly Nutshell (see what I did there?), I was blown away. KDE only took marginally longer to boot than Xfce, and included all the graphical bells and whistles. I was reaKquainted with Konqueror, Konsole, Kate, KNews, amaroK and the venerable KDEGames. I installed KDevelop and instantly remembered why I thought it was the finest F/OSS IDE. I was able to install VLC and Opera without worrying about dependencies!
Other than performance, perhaps most surprising still was just how well my GTK apps like Firefox, the Gimp, Inkscape and LibreOffice (with a little tweaking) looked with the Oxygen-GTK theme. Aside from the lack of subtle gradient in their title bars and a few other minor visual tells, they were otherwise indistinguishable.
A lot of things have changed since the time I used KDE 3.x, but I'm gradually getting my bearings back. No doubt you'll be seeing plenty of posts on the subject in the coming weeks.
Ah Qt, how I missed you :')
I intended to do a week of these, but so far I've only talked about three technologies I couldn't live without! Maybe its an "every second day" thing.
At the risk of boring my regular readers with the same repeated story, despite being born in Melbourne and Sydney respectfully, my sister and I went to school in Singapore. In the Lion City (or Gitmo Nation Chilli Crab for you No Agenda folk), the humidity is stubbornly high, and the temperature follows a predictable 30 degree pattern during the day, and around 24 at night. There's a reference to Jack Bauer losing his cool there somewhere.
For those not acclimatised to such weather (and famously, even for the father of the country himself), air conditioners provide a much needed reprieve, though their prohibitively steep running costs in a city state which already distributes expensive electricity means those of us who can take the heat a little better look for alternatives.
The solution is the humble house fan. Simple in construction, lightweight and affordable, the house fan is a wonder of engineering. They contain the cooling awesomeness of a ducted fan, with the familiar convenience of a box... if its a box fan of course.
As compared to the manual labour involved in operating a traditional fan (or a crude fan replacement device such as a board) most house fans feature a power cable, and are equipped with dials or buttons to control speed, rather than more rapid arm movement. This can be most beneficial, as it means one doesn't need to resort to fanning others either.
Interestingly enough, they also feature on their user interfaces the ability to set a timer for the device to shut off after a predetermined length of time, mostly to satisfy the specific concerns Koreans have over fan death:
Fan death is a widely held belief prevailing in South Korea that an electric fan left running overnight in a closed room can cause the death of those inside. Fans sold in Korea are equipped with a timer switch that turns them off after a set number of minutes, which users are frequently urged to set when going to sleep with a fan on.
For me though, the wondrous house fan isn't just about cooling me down and preventing my death in the process, but to calm me down. Little Ruben got used to the gentle, reassuring sound of house fans growing up, and they're enough to put him to sleep even now. Surprisingly, so ingrained is this association with fans and sleep, he even needs one running in his room in the dead of winter, much as other people need teddy bears or their childhood blankets. Now he just has to wonder why such a discussion lead him to speak in the third person.
Unfortunately, the humble house fan is under threat on several levels, ranging from changing attitudes to scientific folk who like to point things out.
It has been raised in several circles (see what I did there?) that despite their advertised function, fans actually posses no cooling power whatsoever. While they do help with evaporation which may cool the user of a fan down temporarily, they are incapable of cooling rooms down themselves unless they're positioned in such a way as to draw cool air in from another source. In the heat of summer, this could only come from a large block of ice or an air conditioner, which would be messy and expensive respectfully.
In Singapore and increasingly Australia, air conditioners have also started to permeate through society more pervasively, so much so that the writer of this entry attempted and largely failed to write a double entendre. Whether this is an attempt by the Carriers and Daikins of the world to spin fan manufacturers out of business is something only a cool financial advisor could answer, as he twirls from a fixed point.
Thirdly, there is a concerted effort to specifically have my beloved "box fan" made redundant with the introduction of differing shapes for the fan housing. The circular fans with bases so popular at the turn of the century are enjoying a comeback, with the durable and reliable metal being replaced by a flexible, crude oil derived substance that's lighter and breakable enough to ensure their manufacturers are able to continue to sell units to the same customers.
In any event, the house fan to me is a gloriously wonderful piece of advanced technology, and I simply couldn't live without it. Wait, weren't these posts all supposed to have a heading asking if I could live without the technological device in question?
The house fan to me is a gloriously wonderful piece of advanced technology, and I simply couldn't live without it.
Haven't seen this official art until recently, does it have to do with the upcoming forth volume perhaps? In any event, really gorgeous colours, even if Haruhi herself was ironically my least favourite character in the series ^^;.
The first time Haruhi made a visual appearance on Rubenerd.com was in this screenshot of my FreeBSD 6.1 KDE 3.5 machine. Those were the days!
It's that Yuletide season thingy, so I'm doing what any self respecting, atheistic, masculine, terribly intelligent 24 year old would do, setting my desktop backgrounds to super cute pictures and all that. 56k warning, run for the 56k hills! Slowly!
K-On! Used it JUST for Mugi's nose and antlers XD. Snow Leopard, 1920x1200
Suzumiya Haruhi and Co. I like Yuki's hat :). Leopard, 1920x1080
Toradora. Taiga doesn't look too impressed!. Fedora 14, 1024x768
Photo from our 2009 winter trip. Germany is so amazing. FreeBSD, 1280x1024
Lucky Star, in honour of their rumoured new season. Warm and happy :). OS/2, 640x480
Straight from the source:
Chen_no_Striker: Today is the day that Endless Eight ended in the Haruhi World? I never knew that.
To keep with all the moral outrage people had about that whole debacle I claimed I hated it too, but to tell the truth... it was kinda fun. I suppose I really am weird ;).
Don't go to Comic-Con or you're a sinning idol worshipper!
Last week in a post titled Comic-con gets a new attraction, PZ Myers reported that the Westboro Baptist Church headed by Fred Phelps was going to picket this week's Comic-Con on the basis that comics are riddled with false gods that won't be able to save you. In Fred's words:
The destruction of this nation is imminent — so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry.
PZ Myers responds:
I don't know why they've chosen Comic-con; maybe it's because the attendees are mostly able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, a grave sin to Phelps.
Now there isn't much love on the net right now for Fred, but he does have several good points. Firstly, 2012 proved conclusively the end of the universe is neigh. Or is that just the Earth, I forget. Secondly, there isn't a more dangerous, evil cross section of people in society than comic nerds, so naturally picketing their convention will be time well spent. They'll all be cured too.
In PZ Myer's next blog post on the subject (Pick your comic book gods) he links to a page highlighting the top ten comic book gods, yet they make no mention of Suzumiya Haruhi. For those not in the know, she is the creator of Life, The Universe and Everything. The answer to The Great Question may be 42, but Haruhi is The Question itself.
A Hitchhikers and Haruhi reference mashup, that's a first for me. Should have put some Dr Who, Gundam and Star Trek in there too I suppose, just to scare people like Fred Phelps even more.
Ah but wait, it's too late! Even as early as 2006 she turned me into a false idol worshipper and invaded my computer! And it was running FreeBSD too, that stuff makes cracking Windows and Linux look like waltzing into a coffee shop and ordering a vanilla latte with extra foam. I'm a goner!
I think I'll stop this post now, she's starting to scare me. That reminds me, I still have my Haruhiism shirt somewhere. As I said, I'm a goner. Maybe Pete or Fred or whatever his name is needs to picket my computer desk.
The poor Japanese, can't they live but one month of their lives without having a new Prime Minister thrust upon them? Fortunately I have a solution that I'm confident would work out, and save taxpayer money.
I suppose at this point you expect me to make an anime reference, because Japan is where it comes from. Well firstly I'm shocked and appalled that you'd assume I'm so much of a crass simpleton that I'd see places not for what they are but with sweeping, overt generalisations based on one of their recognisable industries.
I mean, do you expect every post I write about Ireland to mention praties floating in Guinness, or every post that mentions Singapore has to mention teh tarik and PCK? Best in Singapore and JB, and some say Batam? Really?!
Now that we've got that out of the way... we all know Suzumiya Haruhi would make the best Prime Minister.
She has drive, an "unconventional" way of solving problems and getting what she wants, the uncanny ability to make those she despises very uncomfortable, and she created the universe so if anyone were to know what makes it tick, it'd be her. And if she should falter she'd be no more or less effective than any of the six previous post holders, and better still she could just change the universe back to what it was before (as she'd rumoured to be doing so her second series never ends up appearing).
Unfortunately, despite being God she couldn't be the Emperor because of her gender, though as PM she'd wield more legislative power anyway. She could also save the Diet billions over the course of her tenure by having Konata as one of her senior ministers because they'd both be voiced by the one person.
It's pure, unmitigated genius, feel free to let me know why I'm right. Come to think of it, maybe she should come to Australia given we have no good choices in either major party.
"Kyon? This is God. You're not thinking about Mikuru again are you!?"
While we're on the subject of Haruhi, I can't wait to see the movie with English subtitles when it becomes available! From the poster though I have a couple of observation questions, or questionable observations. Wait, that first one was phrased better.
KyoAni had some ridiculously high expectations to meet when they released the second season of the blockbuster anime that was so friggen huge in 2006, and not only did they completely miss the target they started digging into a black hole void where no light or energy could escape or be released. Well to tell the truth I didn't think the Endless Eight was as bad as the press and blogging community made it out to be, but it was a missed opportunity. Here's hoping the movie delivers.