March, 2005

Mar 05

I’m looking for a new host

There’s nothing particuarly wrong with my current host (in fact, they’re pretty good), but I’m after a few things that they just don’t provide. Unfortunately, I think find all of this stuff at a reasonable rate might not be that easy. Here’s the essential stuff:

  • Apache 2
  • PHP5
  • MySQL 4
  • mod_ruby
  • shell access
  • OpenSSL
  • IMAP mail
  • Sensible space and bandwidth, nothing crazy

Mar 05

Gentoo == XR3i?

I found this piss take of Gentoo today, I think it’s thing Alex was telling me about. Pretty funny, even if you can’t find time to read the lot. Perhaps it’s sad/worrying that I agree with a lot of the quotes. A couple of the best ones are, IMO:

“I essentially started using Gentoo because my ….ing KDE clock would never show the right time in Red Hat.”

“What other linux will let you have a vector optimized wordprocessor?”

Mar 05

KDE 3.4

I’ve been running Gentoo and KDE 3.4 on my new laptop for a week or two now and am super-impressed. Since I installed KDE 3.4 RC1 onto my new laptop, I assumed that the whole desktop was looking so nice just because of the wicked screens that Sony put in their computers, but having read a few reports from others that it generally looks way nicer than before shows that KDE has made big improvements too. There’s nothing really in particular that you can pick out, but the whole thing just feels right, if that makes any sense. I liked 3.3, but this is a major improvement for me. It’s fast too, although how much of that is down to my new processor if hard to say.

I tried Kmail in 3.3 but found it horrifically unstable when using IMAP. 3.4 also suffered from this when I used normal IMAP, although I’m happy report that the “disconnected IMAP” settings are at least fifty times more stable (at least for me). Kmail is the best e-mail program I’ve ever used – very cool. I’ve never used Kontact before, but it’s pretty nice. Last year Akregator was in beta when I used it and, to be honest, it’s not all that much better now. It’s got potential though, there’re just a few little things that are holding it back a bit. Konqueror is much faster on this machine for me (still doesn’t touch Opera for speed). I use it as my main browser now, mainly because of the way everything interacts so damn well. This is the clincher for a lot of KDE programs IMO and it makes the whole KDE thing so good. Kate, Kopete are both pretty damn cool programs too.

Plastik is in the default themes now, yippee. Although they removed the best feature of Plastik – being able to close a window with your mouse in the very top right of the screen – WHY?

Mar 05

Spain photos

Haliborange charging

I’ve finally got round to cropping some of the Spanish photos from January. I haven’t got enough time to write anything worth reading about it though, which is a shame as there are many good stories. Needless to say, the biking was amazing and Dave, Peter and I spent most of the week laughing (usually at each other). An absolutely top class holiday, just a shame it was over so fast. Same sort of time next year I reckon – Spain is a great place for winter biking. Here are a couple of photos. The others can be seen on my Flickr account.

Near the top of the Jesus Trail

Mar 05

IE7 wishlist

Microsoft have asked for what standards we’d like to see supported in IE7. Seeing as I have been known to complain about IE standards support once or twice, it’d be wrong of me not to say what I want. It’s not actually that easy, because what you really want is stuff like full CSS3 compliance (which isn’t actually a standard yet, I believe), but you need to be realistic. Anyway, here is my top five, just like Stuart Langridge did:

  1. Complete CSS2 support and all of the CSS3 selectors. In particular, I would like bugs like margin:auto; fixed, min/max height and width and ALL the selectors – parent, child, sibling, pet, best-friend, deity, etc. Selectors are great.
  2. Complete CSS2 support. Again. Pretty please.
  3. Full XHTML 1.0 support, including the mime type application/xhtml+xml.
  4. Decent PNG support. I found this IE7 article after I had started writing this post, looks promising for this one.
  5. Full SVG support – potentially ultra-great, but I know I’m dreaming.

Mar 05

Spring is in the air

There is no better time than spring. Recently I’ve been out on a couple of days that definitely qualify as spring time, even if just by the skin of their teeth. March is a crap month. I’m fully bored of the so-called winter and just want some light and energy to return to the country. It feels so close, yet there are still a couple of weeks to wait yet. To add insult to injury, it’s always a wet couple of weeks. Enough already, let’s get on with some of the good life. I’ve had a couple of good days out recently with Andy W – early doors up at the N3 singletrack heaven – and Dave and Karl Blundell, an old X-Teamer who we’ve not seen for years. Neither days were particuarly summery, but they did show hints of those perfect days and they’ve got me hyped to the max.

Brendan talks about The Plans. He’s right, there’s no better time than spring to get dreaming of what this perfect summer will entail. He is talking about biking in between jobs and I must confess to being rather jealou, although I hope he has a great week of biking or whatever he gets up to. This year I’m planning on getting a load of biking done in Scotland. I want to be fit, but I don’t care about events. I just want to be be plenty fit enough to do big rides in the hills without worry and be able to ride all the trails I want. This year my focus will be ‘soul biking’ (or whatever) – I’m going to find the best piece of six inch wide technical singletrack in the county and ride it with my friends until the grin consumes my entire face. And then I’m going to find another best piece of six inch wide singletrack in the country and ride that. Fuck yeah! Bring on the summer, I can’t stop day-dreaming about it.

Mar 05

One of those days

I’ve finally got my new Sony S3XP laptop to the stage where I can use it as my main machine. Although it arrived on Tuesday, it’s taken this long just to get the main components working the way they should under linux. What a hassle – nothing has been easy! Somewhere in there I had a day of mixed emotions:

In the morning I finally resigned myself to the fact that, without the correct driver, my Nvidia graphics card wasn’t going to display widescreen and I would need to wait quite a while until the driver was released. Not cool, I got the laptop for the screen. So I decide to bail and go kitesurfing with Ross because it’s north-westerly and there’s swell. I was obviously far too excited because as we collected our kites from the shop I realised that I’ve forgotten loads of stuff, including my harness. Bugger. Once we’re back at the flat, I suddenly realise that I’ve lost my wallet. After a bit of a think, it dawns on me that I drove away from my flat (the first time) with it on the roof. Cock, cock, cock. I’m pissed off – not just because my wallet is missing, but because this isn’t the first time I’ve driven away with stuff on the roof. We bugger about looking for it for a while, but have to write it off and head back to the shop to cancel my cards (where Stuart wasn’t making the situation much more pleasant by taking the piss – completely fair play, really). Well annoyed, we head to the beach.

Once we’re there, it’s looking great. Small, but nice surf and cross shore wind. Once we launch though, it’s not so good. I’m on a little inflatable and Ross is on a bigger foil. I spend the first five minutes cursing myself for putting up too small a kite, and then spend the next ten minutes watching Ross getting teabagged all over the place as a big squall comes in. Just as well I put up a small kite. Once the squall has passed the wind doesn’t improve and I give serious thought to giving up kitesurfing forever (but that could fill a whole other post). We pack it up and head home, no less pissed off. I’ve had a shite day.

But then things change. I go the police station in Edinburgh, just in case – they’ve got my wallet! I check my email as soon as I get in and have two emails from another Nidia 6200 owner who tells me that the drivers for our cards were released a few hours ago. Woohoo! All of a sudden I’m totally hyper and end up finding it quite a struggle to get to sleep. Although I’m sure it hasn’t come across in this lame prose, it really was a wild day of peaks and troughs. Ross – thanks for putting up with my nonsense :)