Gnome 3 part 2

Right, sorry….kinda got lost for a while. Actually there really wasn’t anything to say, it all held up like I expected, though gedit instead of emacs didn’t go over too well. Neither did epiphany instead of icecat, but I tried. All the software is good, the experience seems to scale well, even over different monitors(which I tried.) Basically if you need an easy and pretty desktop, go for gnome 3. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to play with the bouncy ball plasmoid some more….


So I have my hands on GNOME 3.0.1, and I figured it was time for a review, well not quite a review yet, more like a preview. GNOME 3, as the name indicates, is the next generation gnome desktop, and its centerpiece is the gnome shell. The central idea of gnome has always been a simple, usable environment that works out of the box, and for me at least they hit the nail on the head. They got rid of the minimize and maximize buttons, but I’ve found that you don’t really need them, and they were right, minimize doesn’t fit into the paradigm(maximize is double clicking on the title bar.) Desktops aren’t a set number, but are added as you need them, and removed when you don’t. The overall look is really nice, very elegant, though I’d prefer a bit more color in the title bars, if I remember correctly they had the close button in red early in the cycle, which I really liked and kind of miss. On the top panel, which is the only one that’s always visible, you have the activities corner, an indicator for your current window(which looks REALLY nice, in my opinion), the clock, and then your panel widgets(for lack of a better term.) The widgets aren’t self addable, and they aren’t the ones you’re used to. They cover the things like sound, wifi, battery, and accessibility, then you have the personal menu, where you can change your status(seems to do nothing), change the system settings, play with your account, lock, log out, etc. On the bottom, in a hidden panel, you have the indicator, and some other things which are amazing, like the IM integration(more on this later.) As a quick side note, you probably want to install gnome-tweak-tool, for more things for theming, have a desktop or not, etc. That’s about it for now, hopefully I’ll have another post in a few days

Restoring sound in Debian Squeeze

So I switched to Debian Squeeze(Don’t worry, I fixed it to be fully libre.) a few days ago when parabola could no longer read my home partition, which is understandably very very bad.
I Had a few issues, mainly due to my stupidity but they’ve all been easy fixes(deleted my home partitions and stuff to start from scratch to give / more room, messed up fsck since it was looking based on uuid. A quick switch to /dev style fixed that one.
Today I hit a major problem, I completely lost sound, not always muted or something, but not even the mixers would pick it up. This is how I solved it:
First run lspci, you’re looking for Audio Device, or you can just run lspci | grep Audio and have it look for you. Then you match that up to the list of sound here:, once you find the one that makes sense for your card (I was hda-intel) you run modprobe [driver name] as root, with the snd- prefix. So mine was sudo modprobe snd-hda-intel.
After that you run alsa reload as root and it should turn on sound.
Assuming that works (I suggest wearing earbuds or turning your volume up while you do this, there’s kind of a clicking noise when your audio turns on that I can hear easily.) you need to put whatever sound module you used in /etc/modules, then your alsa reload in /etc/rc.conf

BLAG Review

So, I was bored and installed blag a few days ago, talked about it on my identica acount, mainly promising a review. Well I’ve finally gotten around to that after a few days. As a bit of background BLAG is the libre fedora, more or less, and I used the beta version, which is based on fedora 12 instead of the fedora 9 based stable. In nearly every respect BLAG is exactly like fedora, looks wise. I chalk that up to the release being beta so they didn’t have the chance to put in the normal uniquely blag look, seen here in a screenshot of BLAG90k(the last release):

Blag screenshot

(Picture from

Your decision on whether it’s good or bad, I kind of like it. The system felt pretty fast, better than ubuntu/trisquel but still slower than my parabola install. It had a ton of software to pick from but there were quite a few nonfree programs installable (alienarena has nonfree art, for example.) As usual yum was slow, though I was told by a friend that this tends to be the repositories, not yum itself.  I liked the standard software it gave me, firefox for your browser, pidgin for im, you had the standard stuff but then some new ones, mainly in the internet section. It came preset with a microblog and a blogging client, for example. Basically BLAG is a cool distro if you’re not into debian/ubuntu based distros, but still want something easy to use. You do have to watch out for nonfree, like I said, but that’s probably going to be cleared up by the stable release.


I was talking to my friend Leo and I sent him a youtube link and asked him how he was watching it. He said vlc so I decided to try it. While I was watching the video just through vlc he said he used watchvideo, which I wasnt. I told him and he can verify that this works:

open up vlc, choose network stream, put in the url of the video, enjoy. You can also just do vlc [url] from the terminal

Tons of changes

So a lot’s changed since I last actually posted(that last one was a draft from august.) School’s started up, trisquel taranis has released, software freedom day has passed…. As far as I go, I completely redesigned the packaging system for rms, it’s now very close to arch’s aur. Speaking of which just yesterday I moved from my longstanding distro Trisquel to Parabola, a libre arch. The first few hours were kind of a nightmare for me, getting wifi up, waiting forever for kde to install, basically the kind of fun stuff I wanted. Now I’m pretty settled in, made some tweaks to boot speed and made colemak the default for everything except kdm(cant get it to work there.) Maybe I’ll post the line you need to make colemak default in the terminal iater and where to post it…


So today I’ve been watching these wonderful talks by a guy named Richard Buckland, who’s a lecturer down at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, AU. I’d just love to tell you guys to look him up, these are some of the most interesting things I’ve ever heard(it’s on youtube under an account called UNSWelearning) he’s under computer something. Seriously, this guy even makes machine code easy(which he teaches you, on a theoretical processor.)