1.21.2007

a stroll through geekdom

i was beginning to fear the lure of a macbook was getting too strong. i was getting rather fed up with my laptop running sluggishly. while i know a simple reinstall of windows would have fixed that, it is always a pain. so this was making another case for a mac. but mac's cost lots of money, lots of money i have no desire to spend right now. i played around with a program called ccleaner. after cleaning up everything i don't use, my laptop feels young and nimble again.

in i still wanted a fresh look though. i was a hold out from the win 2k days still using the classic windows theme, the blue and green task bar just didn't do anything for me. after a very brief search i found a theme called royale noir that really did something for me. it has the same style at the default xp task bar, but instead of the friendly blue and green it sports a couple shades of grey. grey that i love oh so much these days. i then found skins for firefox and trillian to match. my opera skin already matched nicely.

i'm still trying to decide on a new wallpaper though, my previous wall paper was already predominantly grey, but the greys of everything else were a bit darker. i darken the existing background and looked good. currently i'm using the same image as i use for the background of the blog after doing some tweaks with neat image that gives the image a more surreal look.

with the new found performance and a fresh look i was very happy with my laptop again. the one remaining nag i had was the limited hard drive space. since it is my primary computer now, the 40GB(-6GB for dell recover garbage) just wasn't cutting it. the hard drive is also spins at a mere 4200 rpm, which doesn't help with sluggishness i'm sure. after some research i discovered they make 7200 rpm laptop hard drives with capacities of 100 GB. so one of those is on it's way to my apartment. i'm very excited about this, it'll be like i have a brand new laptop after all this. for a fraction of the cost of a macbook...

with the spacious hardrive, i plan on having a linux partition as well. i'm taking a renewed interested in linux, since vista seems kind of scary. the drm seems far too invasive, i don't drm will ever be a problem in linux. to play around with linux some i installed ubuntu on the old divx machine from flint, she had been sitting in my closet since i moved here. amazingly enough she started right up. one of the hard drives is flaking out though. as i was waiting for the newest version of ubuntu to download, i installed a two year old version of ubuntu, my usb wireless adapter didn't work. read forums and tried some things, 2 hours later still no luck. this reminded me about why i lost all interest before. once the newest version was downloaded i installed that, and everything worked perfectly then. i have not touched it since then though. i'm too lazy to use desktops these days... i need to be slouching on my sofa with my legs kicked up on the coffee table... i suppose i could get vnc running on the ubuntu box so i can use it from my laptop from the sofa... that's how i access my desktop most of the time now... god, that's pathetic...

other excitement, i just found out about "hannibal rising", movie and book. i've enjoyed most of the other movies, ad the books i've read of the series i have enjoyed so i'm looking forward to this. the most interesting thing about "hannibal rising" is how close in time the two are released, only about two months separating the two. it is also the first movie in the series actually written by thomas harris. i'm still not sure how i didn't know about this till tonight though... oh well... i'm going to pick up the book and try to read it before the movie comes out... it'll be a great achievement if i can read a book while not on vacation...

very impressive game by the colts today. while i dislike both the colts and pats. i dislike the pats more, they have recently had their moments in the spotlight. so i'm glad the colts pulled it off, even overcoming the largest playoff deficit ever. i'll be rooting for the bears in two weeks though.

7 Comments:

nkornbau said...

holy goodness that was simple. after ten minutes of fiddling around, i am now posting this comment through firefox on the linux box while sitting on the sofa using vnc to control the linux box from my laptop...

vnc was preinstalled with ubuntu, and very easy to set up through gui interfaces. i'm impressed...

any one know if you can share partitions between linux and windows. my idea: have a partition for music and videos that i can access, both read and write, from both my windows and ubuntu installs? i know the last time i looked into it ntfs didn't work too well, but i think it was possible with FAT32. any guidance is welcome.

now, back to being a geek...

10:55 PM  
k.hautz said...

ubuntu should have builtin read support for NTFS which is all you need to listen to music or view videos...afaik ntfs write capability is a mess still. FAT32 should work fine for linux as long as XP allows it, which i believe it does, it just doesnt make it easy for the average user to set up.

you also have to remember that if you buy a macbook and decide you wanna rock out in OSX you can basically forget about any program that you dont have to purchase through mac... they really dont allow much in the way of development so third party apps are few and far between.. they will sell you their version of whatever software though...

imho macs are toys for people with money that have no interest in development or supporting development. and much like a toy, eventually the novelty wears off.

11:31 PM  
nkornbau said...

yeah from my brief research on the topic, ntfs write support is still a bit unstable. fat32 should work fine, however the filesize in fat32 is limited to 4GB, which wouldn't be a problem unless i start toying with video editing again(yeah right...) i have figured out how to mount fat32 part in ubuntu, not too terribly involved...

another solution i found was an application at:

http://fs-driver.org/

it lets you access linux partitions (ext2, ext3) from windows like a normal drive. i made a ext2 partition on my laptop to try it out and it seems to work, but be noticeably slower. going to run a few benchmarks to make sure i'm not just making the slowness up...

you make very good points about the mac, i'd never have the fun i'm having now with one. and i've heard this guys mac spiel half a dozen times now and it gets less impressive every time, sure a few things are more convenient and it may be a bit prettier out of the box. but it can't really do anything a PC can't (his macbook doesn't have a sd card reader built in, that was one of the main features i made sure this guy had, otherwise i'd have to travel with a usb reader or my camera cable), and windows can clean up fine with some effort...

i think effort is the key thing... mac's just do their stuff and do it simply, which is fine for a lot of people, people who don't "get" computers... but for people who "get" computers, it is probably not the way to go... this guy, he makes it no secret that he hates computers...

anyway... off to benchmark... geez i'm geek chatty tonight...

12:11 AM  
nkornbau said...

benchmarks don't indicate any substantial difference in performance... wee...

1:04 AM  
k.hautz said...

9 out of 10 times the bottleneck in a system is the HDD. So as long as you're running a 4200 rpm ATA drive you probably wont see any sort of increased performance. Having more RAM or a larger cache can help alleviate the amount of times it accesses the drive but with drive sizes increasing, and program size increasing as well, there is only so much you can do until we abandon mechanical drives and use "flash" based drive... SATA makes the first fairly decent jump in performance for HDDs, but you should see a noticable difference going from 4200 to 7200. In fact you would probably notice it if you went from 5800 to 7200.
well its good youre felling geeky cause now i have someone i can talk nerdy to.

7:09 AM  
nkornbau said...

with the benchmarks i was mostly concerned about inefficiencies in the code that lets me access the ext2 partitions through windows, but it seems to be working on par with who windows accesses ntfs partition so that's good.

any suggestions on free hdd cloning software? i found some things that might work, i still need to evaluate them and see if they give me a warm fuzzy. i'll let the world know what i end up using.

yay we're both white and nerdy!

10:37 AM  
k.hautz said...

i've only used symantec Ghost which worked fine for NTFS and FAT32 but version 7 (which is outdated by 5 or so years now) couldnt handle ext3 when i needed to image a redhat machine.

Cant wait to see what kind of success you have with these types of programs.

11:02 AM  

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