about the only thing that bugged me about using linux daily was search. i like to lump most things together and find things by search, but where google desktop always turned up trumps for me in the past, on linux i had something imaginatively called “search” which indexed something for ages but finds nothing. no longer. google desktop arrives for linux. i can find stuff and things are good.
so many people i know don’t use it. so many people i know can’t find stuff they know is there somewhere. often they are the same people.
i’ve been trying to find a keyboard and mouse. these things i use everyday and most of the time. i’m always fascinated by how folks don’t seem to care very much for things that they use almost constantly, and then spend large sums on stuff they hardly touch. well, a keyboard and mouse are pretty much up there when it comes to things i want to get right.
the mouse is my biggest problem because i hate them. i had a wacom tablet and pen i liked, but dropped the pen behind my desk. i guess i’ll have to mount a rescue attempt, but it’s a big job. my desk weighs a ton and is jammed and unmovable. so first i thought i’d sort the keyboard. i read all sorts of reviews, spoke to lots of people. then i found it. and it is good, very good.
the logitech dinovo edge. it’s a pricey £100, but worth it (see above). it’s bluetooth and never loses connection. it comes with a dongle so that you don’t have to worry about configuring anything. it works wonderfully on ubuntu straight out. it’s flat and the keys don’t rise up like the giants causeway. the action is nice. the delete key is super long, which is very useful. there’s a touch sensitive volume control slider, which saves me a click and a drag, and a mute button. there’s also a small touch pad that works so well for it’s size that i find i don’t need a mouse after all. it even enables you to scroll up/down and left/right by using a circling motion around the edge. there are two left mouse buttons, one below the pad and one on the left of the keyboard so that you can use two hands. did i say that it looks beautiful? well i’m happy anyway.
there was a reference to kula in blog post i read. i can’t remember hearing of it before, so i wikipediad it. it’s good.
All Kula valuables are non-use items traded purely for purposes of enhancing one’s social status and prestige. Carefully prescribed customs and traditions surround the ceremonies that accompany the exchanges which establish strong, ideally life-long relationships between the exchange parties (karayta’u, “partners”). . . Kula valuables never remain for long in the hands of the recipients; rather, they must be passed on to other partners within a certain amount of time, thus constantly circling around the ring. However, even temporary possession brings prestige and status. . . The person owning a valuable as kitoum has full rights of ownership over it: he can keep it, sell it or even destroy it. The Kula valuable or an equivalent item must be returned to the person who owns it as kitoum. The most important Muyuw men for example own between three to seven Kula valuables as kitoum while others do not own any. The fact that at least in theory all such valuables are someone’s kitoum adds a sense of responsibility to the way they are handled, reminding the recipient that he is only a steward of somebody else’s possession. The ownership of a particular valuable is, however, often not known. Kula valuables can be exchanged as kitoum in a direct exchange between two partners, thus fully transferring the rights of ownership. . . liberality is exalted as highest virtue while meanness is condemned as shameful, create powerful pressures to “play by the rules”. Those who are perceived as holding on to valuables and as being slow to give them away soon get a bad reputation
back in 1987 bbc radio ran a 5-part series on the Monterrey fetival of 1967. i guess it was a 20th anniversary thing. Monterrey was the first big festival, though for some reason people seem only to talk about Woodstock. anyway, i recorded the whole thing on tape, carefully (but not altogether successfully) cutting out the verbiage in between tracks. i’ve been listening to those tapes for 20 years and i love them. right now i have just 2 usable tapes. but i was never worried. eventually, i figured, i’d be able to buy an album (or several) with those same performances. it never happened, though hendrix at moneterrey was released.
i spent yesterday afternoon building a computer. it worked first time, although today i found that i’d obviously stuffed up the mic connector to the motherboard. when i can be bothered i’ll crack open the case and sort it. the point, though, is that the hardware isn’t so hard.
i loaded ubuntu feisty fawn, which i love to bits. however, there are some issues. i have been trying to get the same kind of services on my new machine that i have on my mac and windows machine. i’ve been successful in installing everything i set out to, but with various degrees of buggeration required. who knew, for example, that you could install a media player that wouldn’t play mp3s without importing codecs? or that even though there is a linux version of realplayer (required to stream the bbc), that you’d need to visit a dozen help pages to get it working. even getting the proper resolution on my new 20″ widescreen took a couple of hours to get right.
so the hardware is easier than the software. i guess that’s not so surprising. but no failures yet, just a bit of aggro.
by popular request, these are the bits:
20″ Viewsonic VX2025wm Silver/Bla 1 £198.99
AMD AM2 Athlon 64 3800+ Windsor Co 1 £43.39
Asus M2NBP-VM-CSM, nVidia C19, S AM 1 £44.77
2Gb (2X1Gb) Corsair Value Select, D 1 £39.53
SilverStone ‘SUGO’ Evolution SG01B 1 £64.39
500 Gb Western Digital WD5000AAKS C 1 £62.54
Optiarc (Sony/NEC) AD-7170S-0B 18x 1 £16.99
330W Seasonic S12-330 Silent aPFC H 1 £32.00
i just watched probably the best episode of dr. who ever. a great sci-fi time-travelling plot and incredibly tight script. i love a time conundrum. The episode was called “blink”, and was by steven moffat. total class.
but what makes me smile is that . . , nope, it’s not possible to describe in less than 1000 words so i wont. . . except that at one point the doctor says “the angels have the phonebox”, and a guy listening to it for the umpteenth time (on a dvd, as it happens), says “that’s my favourite bit, i even put it on a t-shirt”.
the moment i heard that i knew that someone, somewhere was already designing the shirt. a cursory google revealed 12 results. i give it 3 days before you can buy one.
but if i were to make one what would be the first thing i’d do? ah yes, i checked:
i was playing swingball with zoe. zac comes along and says he’ll play the winner. since zoe is only 7 i’m hitting pretty slowly and occassionally bang it the wrong way to help her out. “hey”, zac says, “you’re not supposed to do that”. i explain that she’s young and that doesn’t he remember me being easy on him when he was younger? “no”, he replied, “and guess what - i got through it.”
the bbc reported today that 12 barbers have been murdered this month in Basra. I couldn’t find a recent news source on the web, but there was this from the Indy.
The revolt in Iraq against the occupation has been confined hitherto to the five- million-strong Sunni community. The growing unpopularity of al-Qa’ida in Iraq among the Sunni is partly a revulsion against its massacres of Shia by suicide bombers that lead to tit-for-tat killings of Sunni.
It is also because al-Qa’ida kills Sunni who have only limited connections with the government. Those killed include minor officials in the agriculture ministry, barbers who give un-Islamic haircuts and garbage collectors. The murder of the latter is because it is convenient for al-Qa’ida to leave large heaps of rubbish uncollected on roadsides in which to hide mines.
we took the kids to the Gormly exhibition at the hayward gallery on the south bank. as you approach the gallery you start to spot figures atop buildings. each is a metal cast of gormly’s body. some look like they’re about to jump. indeed, the police have received numerous calls reporting potential suicides because of them. the kids had fun spotting them. i think it nicely imposes a human scale on that part of london.
but the highlight of the whole thing was the cloud box, entitled ‘blind light’. a large glass box full of water vapour, visibility is about a foot. although the light is intense, you can see nothing. lost in cloud. the kids were nervous at first but ended up deliberately losing themselves and enjoying finding us again. really very good.
‘later with jools holland’ is a bbc show that showcases bands jools likes. i saw it the other night and caught the white stripes playing ‘icky thump’. if i was 14 this would be the stuff i would be into. the next day i looked it up on you tube for zac. it was there, of course. he was open mouthed. this guy rocks.