ADV / Geek Out

For some years now, I've had crass commercialism hidden away on the book section of my site. Now I've moved it to the front page. Why, Hal, why?

  1. Every product that I encourage you to buy, I do so first because I think it's a good piece of art, and the artist deserves support.
  2. This server costs me a few of dollars a month in rent, and the domain name cost money, too. This is a better way to offset that cost than banner ads (which are much more tacky).

More Linux news. (Skip to the next section if this bores you.)

RedHat is the distro I use at home, for good or bad. Mostly good. Since I got a job, I've occasionally supported them by buying shrink-wrapped products. I plan on continuing this practice. And I thank RedHat for making their iso's available for free to college kids with no money.

Anyway, RedHat Linux 8.0 came out this week. I tried 6.0 and 7.0 when they each came out, with mixed results. So I am inclined to wait until the bugs are sorted out, at least until 8.1.

But there are a couple of drawbacks to that plan. I'm going to miss out on the newest versions of several packages that I use. One thing I especially want is a newer version of Evolution, which I've begun using for IMAP mail recently. (I like Evolution's gpg support.)

The biggest thing introduced in 8.0 is antialiased fonts. Antialiased fonts in X11 make me salivate. I've been waiting for that day for over three years. Over three years.

Should I wait, or should I go for a bugfest with antialiased fonts? The more I think about this, the more I want to try out 8.0.

I am against screen savers. Why?

  • Any good GUI should automatically blank the screen after some amount of time. For instance, XFree86 can be set up with screen blanking using xset.
  • Most screen savers are no more interesting than flying toasters. Granted, some of the programs written for xscreensaver are cool, but even the coolest graphical hack gets old after so many repetitions.
  • They waste power. Lots of it. They keep the CPU sufficiently occupied that it can not go into power saving mode. And monitors are even worse.
  • I can't sleep with a screensaver bothering me.

This week is be nice to your car week. I've already taken part in the celebrations by:

  1. Replacing the valve cover gasket that's been leaking oil for months.
  2. Putting in new oil.
  3. Replacing the fan belt that has been whining for the last 3000 miles.
  4. Replacing the worn brake pads.
  5. Taking it to the car wash, where the inside was vacuumed and cleaned.
    Note that all of the above was performed by trained professionals. I wouldn't know what to do with a brake pad.
  6. Ordered a replacement for the part of my seat that broke.
    I will attempt to make this repair. Wish me luck.