Deep Computing

So here's another report on my Linux usage:

For some unknown reason I tried to upgrade to Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10) last weekend. Which failed epically. So I reinstalled, which has gone... less well?

Explaining the problems I'm having are incredibly complicated. Everything works well, except the dual monitor support, which is just bothersome. I have a work around that seems to work pretty well, but I'm not sure if pretty well = production ready. When I'm using it, I've taken to running all of my important windows in screen, so that if the X server panics and I have to kill it, I can pick up right where I left off with everything. I think I mostly have the problem kicked, but I'm not quite to the point where I trust it.

I've also traced down about 80% of the problem, but I don't have quite enough to file a bug report.

And the truth is that I'm adjusting pretty well to the linux world. Emacs is a giant ball of confusing, but that's to be expected, and I have it rigged to read my normal text file format and do all the right highlighting. The scope of what my fingers know how to do is pretty limited, but it's a start, and I'm purposely going slow so that I can learn things the right way. The last time I mentioned something about emacs on the blog, Jack emailed me something about emacsclient and emacs server mode, which I haven't totally absorbed yet.

My current conclusion is that I'm going to have to find some sort of new way of managing and interacting with my text editors. Rather than have a bunch of different instances of the editor open (as I might do with vim or TextMate) I'll probably figure out some way to work with two instances of emacs open, one for each screen and just move things between them. This is subject to change.

Here's the rundown:

  • Other advances made recently:
    • I have figured out a cool way to implement multiple mail profiles using mutt. I have a lot of different email addresses/identities that I need to send email from (real life contacts, professional contacts, work contacts, etc.) and being able to automatically switch? A divine thing.
  • Advances yet to be made:
    • I need to figure out/use a news reader on the new computer. This requires segmenting my current OPML file into "laptop reading" and "desktop reading."
    • I need to figure out some web-browsing solution, that really works. Vimperator seems to be the Awesome default, and while it's the best Firefox around it's still firefox, and FF doesn't impress me on a personal level. (I use a browser incidentally, and mostly for viewing static pages, not as an application platform.)
    • Still don't have my calendars in a place where I can start accessing them on linux.
    • I'm still using the laptop to serve my personal wiki/notebook(s), though I have a clone of the repository on the linux machine, which is really the inverse of how it should work.

And a thousand other things... The truth is I think it's all going pretty well. I will of course keep you up to date

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