Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Quick BSD update

Updated to 9.2 tonight, set Konsole as my default terminal (bizarre bug with XFCE closing the term automatically and instantly), Vim, xchat - unconfigured as yet, and syncing Firefox.

I think that is about it...

Monday, 25 November 2013

Fitting a pottle into a pint pot

Not even a quart, but a whole pottle!

OpenMandriva continues to impress - a great return!

A day off today, and in between times I've managed to catch up on a few podcasts. If anyone is interested I'll post a list of ones I like.

Tonight, I've taxed the car online - very quick and easy, I have to say, and have managed to read a bit more of Tarbell's Magic Course - got a few sleights to practice on coins, now, and a couple of card things to try out, too.

Brought the Ibanez downstairs and managed to run through a few scales earlier, hopefully I can squeeze 10 or 15 more minutes in later, too - little and often, little and often!

I also need to try and update a bit of code on SourceForge. I need to block myself out a couple of hours to do this, I've left it too long.

I have managed to knock another couple of little tasks off my to-do list over the past couple of days. Although I confess that replacing a sidelight bulb in a Vauxhall Vectra was given up as a bad job as it was simply too fiddly!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Software added, and some ZX Spectrum links

Managed to find a little time to set up my FreeBSD laptop, so Firefox is now up and running at least, alongside LibreOffice.

The excellent BSDNow podcast/vodcast has been a real help to me, particularly the recent episode on setting up a desktop. I was part way through doing a lot of the stuff, working through the handbook, but having this all in one quick guide is fantastic.

I've also had my interest in the ZX Spectrum and Z80 programming rekindled, partly by seeing some C64 4K demos and thinking back to how I swapped my Speccy for a C64, and how I preferred Z80 assembler to 6502.

Blog links:

http://www.dbfinteractive.com/forum/index.php?topic=4473.0

http://chuntey.wordpress.com/category/z80-assembly/

http://chuntey.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/how-to-write-zx-spectrum-games-chapter-1/

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Installation, installation and reinstallation

Back to BSD.

Set up my new (to me) Thinkpad T42 last night - you really can't tell it's a refurb other than a few very light scratches, and the battery holding no more than a 41% (courtesy of KDE, that figure) charge.

Power up, and Windows XP started its installation. Hold in the power button and switch off, stick a USB key in there and into the BIOS (which appears to be a bit of an IBM custom job to me...) to choose the boot order and get ready to get a different OS on there.

First up - NetBSD.

What can I say about the installer, other than, IMHO, UGH.

I can't remember the last time I had to manually select partition sizes (yep, just like the old days, kids!), rather than it suggesting some sane defaults, and then trying to step back and ... having to go through the whole palaver again. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but for now I'll just stick with my VirtualBox version (with awesome) on my Kubuntu desktop.

Got it installed, had a little tinker and then.... decided to go with FreeBSD.

So, new USB key set up courtesy of a dd on another machine, plugged in and away we go.

Smooth as butter! Sane default partition sizes, wifi set up...

And then I decided to do it all over again. I forget why, but I have a feeling I forgot something so thought the quickest way to fix it was to spend ten minutes reinstalling.

Then came the setup - user added, check. User added to wheel, check. X installed, check. XFCE installed, check. KDE installed, check. KDM set to start on bootup check.

At this point I decided I didn't want KDM to start automatically, so after a bit of a fight with vi (as I decided to forget some commands... oops), which needed a quick reference to here and there to edit some config files, and then a forced pkg_delete to remove KDE (I think), I had a boot to the command line and XFCE starting up with X.

Next I just need to install some software, but so far so fantastic!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Just get it done

Checked back at my task management project, and here it is:
TaskDone

I was slightly, nay, totally amazed to see that the presentation dates back to March, which means I've neglected this thing for months.

Well, as I have a relatively free evening tomorrow, that is going to change. I have decided!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Good eating and task management

Went out yesterday and had a very nice lunch at The Coach and Horses in Shrewsbury, and then went out last night for a meal at Hadley Park House Hotel.

Both really nice - check my reviews on G+ and TripAdvisor for more.

Went to The Crown in Oakengates on Thursday night and had a few pints. Very nice, too.

Other than that I've been thinking about resurrecting my idea for a task management program. I'd find it pretty useful to have one that works just so, as even though taskwarrior is great it's maybe not quite what I really, really want.

I'll think about it a bit more and maybe make a start tomorrow, and if I do I'll link to it.

More in due course!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The delight of the unexpected telephone call

Took a call on my mobile this afternoon, asking if I was interested in applying for a job.

A quick run through the job description and the short answer was "Yes" - the long answer, for the record was "YES!!! IT SOUNDS FANTASTIC WHERE DO I SIGN IN BLOOD TO EVEN BE CONSIDERED?!?!"

Who knows if anything will come of it, but I've put my CV in and what-have-you, so we'll see what happens from here.

By the way I am open to any offers, if you're looking for a Project/Programme Manager and/or Business/Management Information Analyst...

Other than that, today was taken up bodging together a spreadsheet application (yep, VBA in Excel, badly written but doing the job as a proof of concept - I am most definitely not a programmer!) and a bit of guitar playing this evening.

Should have also mentioned yesterday that I took part in an online cosmology discussion - really interesting stuff.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Sunday night relaxation

Mostly getting things straight again after decorating the bedroom yesterday.

Bit of fun (hah!) cutting a metal curtain pole down to size, done by working through all eight cutting disks with my little Dremel-alike. Got there in the end, which was the main thing.

Still not got the Thinkpad yet, hopefully that will come tomorrow and I can stick... hmmm, probably NetBSD on it for a change, although it could be FreeBSD (does it really matter? The point is it's not Windows...)

I'll probably go for XFCE as the DE, but I like Awesome, too so will maybe go for that instead/as well, and then some kind of login manager... any suggestions?

Managed to squeeze a bit of guitar playing in on the Axl today - great guitar and fantastic value by the way, nothing fancy just some scales work and general picking and strumming. Loads of fun!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Painting like an old master

Well, not exactly the work of a genius but today has been taken up painting the bedroom. Got to say that The Dick Turpin Roadshow is great to listen to while rolling and brushing away!

Quite a challenge to fit it in - ceiling, walls, glossing the woodwork, but we did it.

Tonight... relaxing with a couple of well-earned beers.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Laptop madness (slight return)

I got away from work a little bit later than ideally I would have liked, but still managed to make it to one unit on a nearby industrial estate to check out some refurbed laptops... good stuff, but not quite what I was looking for.

There was a decent Toshiba for £80, which was about what I was looking to spend to be honest (more on this later), but... you know when something just doesn't quite grab you?

So, back in the car and down the dual carriageway to the market - to find the stall I wanted to check out shut! To be fair it was the end of the trading day, so I couldn't really grumble.

Then a walk over to the supermarket to pick up a loaf of bread, some raspberry jam and some antipasti (hey, it was cheap!) - you really wanted to know that, didn't you? - and then home.

And then tonight I've ordered a used Thinkpad T42 for £79 including P&P, which I'm looking forward to playing with and sticking something interesting as an OS on.

Philosophy in Pubs tomorrow night - "Is it right to keep someone alive against their will?"

Personally I struggle to answer this as soon as I get to the word "right"...

Monday, 4 November 2013

Laptop madness

Hey, the start of another week, another dilemma.

Apparently there is a stall in the local market selling used laptops... and as I am looking for a low(ish) spec machine to run something or other - probably FreeBSD - to work up some database stuff that I want to do that doesn't need masses of CPU grunt, I need to check it out.

Balanced against that I can get a refurbed Thinkpad for £80... so I need to check this stall out pronto to decide what to do.

AAAAGH.

Luckily the market is on tomorrow, so I can check it out and make the move tomorrow night.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sunday... as ever

So, what has Sunday held in store for me?

Starting with yesterday, popped out for a few drinks which was cool, and the bus ride and mile walk home helped clear my head bit!

Well, some guitar noodling, reminding me just how fantastic my Ibanez Prestige is, and my Ibanez 7 string... followed by a run out shopping for some basics, which was fine although a little busy (I like it when the supermarkets are quiet), and then some pottering around the house.

Squeezed in some time on Kubuntu and OpenSUSE, and then installed an OpenBSD VM, too, although not tried to set it up yet.

Beyond that... not a lot. Oh, a bit of magic reading and stuff, but nothing amazing.

Apart, I should say, from reading this again. And again.

Seriously, the stuff that The Partially Examined Life has been doing on this has been awesome.

More to follow during this week.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Views and reviews

Just clattered the keys on a few Amazon reviews of recent purchases, and one on the Merchant of Magic, too.

Please feel free to click through to check them out, and maybe buy something while you are there?!

Plans - well, I want to try out openBSD next, having listened to the BSD podcast about it. It's never really caught my eye before, but I'm becoming a completist!