{June 30, 2007}   pre-exam procrastination

exams start on monday, so I’ve been procrastinating far too much lately. haven’t even been doing much useful with my time… I’m really not sure where it went. far too much time spent reading blogs, I think. oh, and we found a delicious mexican restaurant nearby. it has cheese. cheeese!!

I did get some sewing done yesterday, though. made a ball so that I can again try learning to juggle. :) I used this guide and this pattern, even though it’s meant for leather and all I had was a t-shirt. I stuffed it with green beans – the store across the street conveniently sells various small packets of beans. it turned out surprisingly well. :) I think I’ll make another ball later today. sewing such weird curves isn’t very easy, though, so I have to be awake and not let my mind wander.

oh yeah, and I went to go pay for net access today, but it seems that the place where we’re supposed to pay is closed on weekends. and today is the last day of the month. it’ll be interesting to see whether I have internet access on sunday. :/

meh. I just discovered that wordpress ate half of a post somehow. evil thing.

{June 26, 2007}   to snip or not to snip?

poll time!

when I post long rambling posts, should I show the whole thing in akregator or just the first bit? obviously the people who read my blog are the ones who are affected by it, not me, so I wanna know what you think.

{June 26, 2007}   konqueror and firefox

so the recent cross-platform debate got sidetracked for a minute or two with a comment on asiego’s blog. the idea of a kde-integrated version of FF is an interesting one. not sure if it’s even possible, but interesting nonetheless. probably not something I’d want though. I’d rather see konq be improved until it’s way better than ff :)

I started writing this post on the weekend, when I was rather pissed off at konq. then reality distracted me with lots of fun, so now I’ve had a bit more time to think about it. I’m still going to rant about lots of stuff, though. ranting is fun.

lately, I’ve really been wishing that konq had some of firefox’s features. konq is still my least-hated browser, and I was actually starting to even like it a bit (never thought the day would come when I would like any browser… normally they all piss me off to some extent). but it’s been extra annoying recently. firefox annoys the heck out of me in a whole different set of ways, but right now it’s only *slightly* more annoying than konq.

first there’s the old ajax problem. fancy javascript and konqueror just do not get along. it seems to be getting better lately, and one bug triggered by wordpress (which I complained about on my blog) was fixed amazingly fast (thanks whoever-that-was), but there’s still a few annoying bugs I run into regularly. gmail seems to be an unending source of problems – sometimes it works fine for months, but eventually they make some change that breaks konq again, and you still have to pretend to be firefox for it to work at all. (really, I don’t get that. why can’t they just send konq the same stuff they send ff? why send something more broken on purpose?! google confuses me sometimes.)

what else bugs me about konq? well, embedded movies still seem a bit of a gamble – some just work, some just don’t. I haven’t investigated enough to have any idea what’s going on there. luckily flash ones are in the ‘works’ category, and lately almost everyone uses flash or offers a download. it’s really just a minor annoyance at this point.

when it comes to proxies, though… well, this is more of a problem with kio itself. socks and kio don’t get along. so you can only use http proxies if you’re using kio. also, while konq has an easy way to switch between proxy and no-proxy, it doesn’t seem to have any way to switch between two different proxies. firefox has that foxyproxy plugin. I was expecting privoxy to solve that problem, since I’m using it to provide a http proxy that goes through my socks proxy… it does have fancy stuff for choosing which proxy to use, but can’t send stuff through a passworded proxy – and that’s what I have to go through to reach the chinese internet. feh. (hmm, I really should submit a bug)
I was planning to dig into the kde4 proxy code, but thiago says he’s going to be ripping it out and doing stuff, so I think I’ll wait a while and see if maybe I can help him make proxying awesome in kde 4.1.

there’s also a cool chinese translation plugin for firefox… not being able to use that in konq really bugged me until I found out about KTranslator, which works for any text, not just the browser :) although there are still some wrinkles there – it seems more designed for european languages. right now I’m getting english translations for chinese stuff, but no pinyin. maybe I just installed the wrong dictionary, though.

so, overall, the two important problems I see with konq are the javascript bugs and the lack of crazy cool plugins. I think it would be really nice if konq could have the kind of cool plugin stuff that firefox has… although both of the cool ff plugins I’ve actually seen have been things that would be better if available to kde as a whole – which makes me wonder if plugins are really as important as I thought. as for javascript… I have no idea why konq has so many problems there. I doubt there’s an easy solution, but I hope some bright programmer can figure something out.

{June 23, 2007}   storms and shopping

time is really flying by lately. one more week of these classes and then we have exams, and a week of vacation.

oh, and I’ve figured out how to not show the whole entire post. ain’t I smrt ;)
Read the rest of this entry »

{June 19, 2007}   laptop troubles

oh dear. my poor little laptop is getting sicker. :(
some months ago, probably back in winter sometime, I was silly enough to bring it out in a pub, while fairly drunk, and got a spoonful of ice cream on the edge of the keyboard. I cleaned it out the next day, and left it to dry, and it seemed to be okay – apart from the capslock key taking more effort to press, which was actually a good thing.

but a couple of months ago, it started acting up. the capslock would randomly turn itself on every once in a while. this was slowly getting more and more frequent, and about a week ago it got so annoying that I used xmodmap to switch it to a ctrl key (thinking that having ctrl bumped once in a while wouldn’t matter).
yesterday it got to the point where it was sticking ctrl down, not just hitting it for a split second. took me several minutes to figure out what was happening, since I’d already forgotten about remapping the key :) so I removed the mapping entirely. capslock now does nothing at all.

I thought this would solve things… but no.
today, my tab key has started having the same issue :( I can’t just turn off the tab, it’s such a useful key…
I’m considering taking the keyboard apart again and seeing if I can do anything, but it’s really fiddly and not easy to take apart, and I might just make things worse.
I can’t send it away to be fixed – don’t know where to send it, or if an old laptop like this would be accepted anywhere, don’t want to be without my darling laptop for months, don’t really trust other people to not make it worse somehow, and all my receipts are in a box in canada anyways.
so, I guess for now I’m living with a possessed laptop.

{June 17, 2007}   more python fun

so I finally made some progress on my ideas for chinese-practice programs.
I’ve got a little quiz app that’ll help me study (if I actually use it instead of just working on it), a script to make creating lesson files faster, and a simple thing to make looking up words in cedict easier – now I just have to paste the text and hit enter, instead of grepping the cedict file myself. :)

they’re all really quick, simple things, but I guess I’ll show a couple screenshots of the quiz app anyways. at this point it’s still got the lesson filename hardcoded in, even!
I’m hoping that someday I can make it a proper little kde app.
Zi Drill 1
Zi Drill 2

{June 14, 2007}   random babble about the week

I tend to lose track of days if I’m not blogging about them. I need to get back in the habit of writing stuff down so that I have some reference.
life’s been very up-and-down lately. some days suck, some are really great.

My appetite seems to have finally returned to normal this week, and I am incredibly thankful for that. You don’t really realise how important food is until you can’t eat it. even after I wasn’t feeling sick any more, I still had a very small appetite for a while, and was quite sick of the cafeteria food – now I can eat pretty much anything. :) yay! I’m going to try to be more careful about what I eat, though. don’t wanna upset my stomach again :/ last night we went to an indian restaurant. relatively expensive, but mmm so good. pete and jon tried to order one dish “really hot”, but it was so mild I could eat it, and I have hardly any tolerance for spicy food. next time they’ll have to try to explain that they they actually do want it hot. :)

tuesday morning I found out that if we miss a certain number of classes we can’t write the exam, so I spent a while trying to remember which days I’d been sick so that the teacher could mark them down. I still need to check with the other two teachers to see if anyone told them I was sick – I assumed someone would, but it seems not. I was a bit preoccupied with *being* sick, myself. :)

the weekend was fun – I already blogged about pizza hut, but forgot to mention it was the first time I ate pizza with a fork. :) these days I see forks so rarely, I feel weird holding one…
on sunday I met up with a friend of a friend of a friend – and later found out he’s also friends with the only guy in our group that can already speak chinese :) small world, eh?

I seem to have just done lots of small things this week – like studying for a test, procrastinating about studying… oh, I did finally do some cleaning. and I have a mosquito tent for my bed now – no more evil bugs biting me while I try to sleep, yay :) the mosquitoes here are such sneaky bastards, it’s really hard to kill them.

I think I need to start studying more, though. well, I always *mean* to.. but I should make another attempt at actually getting ahead. it’s too easy to get distracted by shiny things :)

oh yeah, and I ended up talking to some guy on jabber who said that some other guys wanted me to do a lecture on kde at the uni here, and should have emailed me…
interesting. I think I’ll put that out of my mind until said email actually arrives, though.

{June 14, 2007}   basket

I rediscovered basKet this week. back in september I started using it for organising course info, but by the end of the semester I didn’t use it much, and quickly forgot it was running at all. with the upgrade to feisty, I suddenly found it intergrated with kontact – and man is it ever shiny. :) it’s like a little piece of kde4 in my kde3 desktop :)

then I heard rumours that it might not get into kde4… meep. luckily it kinda sounds like it’s got new developers now, so maybe it’s safe after all.

actually, I realised someting today: I think I’d like to have basket as my desktop. when I have baskets with notes freely scattered around, not in columns, it really feels like what I’d like plasma to be. :) all it needs is the ability to toss in animated stuff like a cpu monitor thingummy.

{June 9, 2007}   lvm, and chinese pizza hut

whee. I switched to lvm. it, um, worked. the first time. I’m scared now ;)
I spent a lot of time making sure I was doing it right, though. wrote down all the steps I thought I needed to do, went over them all really slowly… I never found anyone who could tell me whether it was safe to put my swap partition in lvm, or whether kubuntu needed any special stuff set to make lvm work, but I went ahead anyways and everything just magically worked. the only thing outside lvm now is my boot partition.
so now I can actualy make use of my free space, and try out some other distros :) whee!

yesterday was pretty nice in general, too. slept in in the morning, had lunch, went out with the class to this tourist attraction… we rode on boats from one little island to another. they had lots of plants and birds, but they also had lots of tourists, and almost as many people selling stuff. at one point I found a nice quiet corner that reminded me of how much I love the sound of water on rocks… but later on it got way too hot.
luckily it wasn’t long before everyone decided to get food. I was a little uncertain about going to pizza hut in china, but it turned out quite well. they had nice cold drinks (which each cost more than I normally pay for a meal these days) and the pizza was.. interesting. not like normal pizza. but good. smoked salmon makes everything good. :) and then we went to dairy queen… mmm, so delicious. we were going to go to some underground market after that, but when we realised it involved taking a bus who-knows-where, me and pete decided to just head home. didn’t really want to spend the whole evening out. I think I spent the evening killing time online instead, until I finally got started on the lvm stuff :)

now maybe I should go back to kde4 stuff… or look at doing some chinese-practice stuff… or try out a new distro…
or waste more time reading blogs :)

{June 8, 2007}   kubuntu feisty

well, the update did indeed go smoothly. most of the issues I found after rebooting were weird graphical changes, like the widget style being changed and my clock mysteriously disappearing. nothing that couldn’t be fixed in a few minutes. the biggest thing was that privoxy started failing at dns a lot, but I eventually realised that it was due to a new setting in the config file, so that was easy to fix too. :)

unfortunately I haven’t seen many improvements yet, either. gmail and wordpress still mess with konqueror – supposedly the gmail fix is in 3.5.7 and I’ve got 3.5.6 :P
I probably have a newer version of kdevelop that I should go check out, though. :) and… networkmanager seems to no longer be baffled by my static ip. that’s certainly an improvement :)

[edit: ick, found a bad thing: konq 3.5.6 gets along even worse with wordpress. it’s often impossible to delete text when creating a post – how the heck did they manage that one!?]

now I’m reading about lvm, and hoping to set it up tomorrow. my partitions are a mess, so I need to do this before I can make space to try out any other distros.

I guess I should get back to kde4 stuff, too.

then there’s various coding projects, and studying, and projects that are meant to help with studying… but I’ll probably end up procrastinating instead :) I *still* haven’t bought anything that’s actually effective at killing or repelling mosquitoes.

et cetera