Thursday, October 17, 2013


Photo credit: Mural (Banksy); Aardvark (travelnewsnamibia); Bird on a branch (Dawn Smith); Stars (bitácora de Galileo).

In the dark park sat a lark upon the bark.

Its shadow marked stark against the luminous pockmarked bulwark.

"Hark" remarked the aardvark matriarch set to embark.

"Join me Plutarch, in my arc to the celestial monarch."

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Arch linux

I've had to troubleshoot computer issues at work from time to time, and any time I can't handle it I call upon a linux power user who works for our IT guy. He's helped me with installs gone wrong (openSUSE) and when an update resulted in GRUB unable to find the partition table. Now I'm on a Fedora system which should be more stable and has the same libraries and available repositories that I needed. It's also the distribution that the developer of the software I use recommends (I had no experience with it though, thus openSUSE). In any case, we were talking shop about different distributions that we've used, while he was fixing my problems, and he mentioned Arch linux, which piqued my interest.

It's a simple and lightweight distribution (their words) that really teaches you how linux systems/installs work. You need to mount the drives yourself and install the base system, bootloader, users, network and anything else you may want (really useful Life Hacker guide here). One of the best things is that it updates on a rolling release model which is continually upgraded, instead of upgraded by reinstalling for every version.

The first install didn't go well, because I didn't understand exactly how the mounting and base install went. However, the second time through I managed to mount the correct partitions and write the files I needed to the spots that needed them. It was slightly trickier since I'm dual booting with Windows 7 and was installing from a USB key, but I made it work. I also had some issues getting Xorg to work (installed the wrong drivers), but the second time was the charm (Intel drivers). After that it was basically just a matter of installing some fonts and choosing LXDE as my desktop environment.

Eventually my goal is to use this box as an FTP server and be rid of the windows partition completely. I need it for MSPowerPoint in the mean time, so until I can figure out a stable way to display slides I have to keep it. I've been trying to use Wine to install MSPowerPointViewer, but haven't had much success with it yet (guide). It's still very much a work in progress and I'm planning on reformatting the linux partitions I made and trying it again from scratch to get it right the first time.

I'm also still trying to get the hang of the Arch User Repositories for installing things like Packer.

Blast from the CCM past

I stumbled upon a song by the O.C. Supertones from 1999 that I used to listen to on repeat. The song is from their album Chase the Sun.
Nothing catchier than Christian Ska...