Frustration sets in when...

>> Monday, March 09, 2009

Last week, you may or may not know, it snowed in Charlotte. I was able to get (what I hope) were some pretty good shots walking around the near neighborhood, and I'll be sharing some of them eventually.

I'll also be getting back (yet again) to trying to work on my damn moribund novel, hoping it doesn't end up in a scrapheap the way my last project seems to have done.

The big obstacle on both scores--the reason these thoughts are related and not just random shots--is that I recently ordered a pair of laptops, which finally arrived last week. Here's one of them:

And here's the other one:

Ha, ain't I the funny one? No, here's what I did: the old Dell that I was using as my main machine is finally showing signs that the ghost is about to be given up, so I bought a new computer, and I ordered one with two 320 GB drives. Then I went and left one of the drives as it was--with Vista installed, ugh--and formatted the other drive and installed Kubuntu 8.10. And I did something cool and ridiculous and brilliantly, deliberately stupid when I did so: I could have installed Kubuntu on a FAT32 filesystem, which would have been accessible by Windows, but that's the last thing I wanted for various reasons; so, I installed Kubuntu on an EXT3 partition and now Vista doesn't even know the drive is there (I could install drivers to change that, but I won't). Meanwhile, Linux knows the NTFS drive is there, but has to ask permission before it can touch it.

So I actually do get two machines in one chasis. There will be one machine (and this is the only reason for keeping Vista at all) that can play video games and maybe watch movies, and another machine that is for getting crap done: photo editing, writing, blogging, the real stuff. Yeah, yeah, I coulda set up the machine as a 100% Vista machine and worked on it, and I know that's what Microsoft would've loved for me to do, but then I would have had to use Vista, you know? And I'm just not feeling it.

Problem is (and here we have the title of this post), I'm not feeling a lot of love for KDE 4 yet. I went ahead and installed the latest and greatest version of Kubuntu because as much as I dislike KDE 4, the reality is that KDE 3.x has reached numbered days, and I'm going to have to either get used to KDE's new incarnation or start using GNOME, and I really don't want to use GNOME (or Enlightenment or any of the other desktop environments I've looked at; not to be rude, but this is a whine, not really me asking for suggestions).

So I'm struggling to adapt to the new workspace, and I'm also struggling just to get things working. DigiKam, in particular, is refusing to play nice with GIMP, and that's a problem when you want to use DigiKam to sort through your pictures so that you can edit them in something quite a bit more powerful than DigiKam's internal editor. It took a massive upgrade from an unsupported repository to get the proper driver for the new Dell's ATI video card to even run. I'm still seeing graphical glitches on the splash screen during boot--they're not significant, but they do annoy.

And then there's the little stuff, too. Migrating files. Migrating apps. Reinstalling apps. Some of this is as simple as dropping subdirectories from the old Dell's /usr directory to the new Dell's /usr directory, but other things are proving complicated or showing weird ruffles. I had an issue yesterday with FEBE not wanting to restore a user profile migrated from the old machine. It's all little stuff, but it inevitably takes more time and sweat than you meant for it to.

So, right. There will be pictures this week. And some work will be done. And, of course, plenty of blather when I think of it.


Random Michelle K Monday, March 9, 2009 at 11:29:00 AM EDT  

1) What photo editing programs are you using on Linux? I've got photoshop to use at work, and really just need crop, resolution, and resize on the home computer.

2) White furniture? Are you kidding me? You are a bachelor. With a cat. And you have white furniture?

(suspicious look)

Eric Monday, March 9, 2009 at 11:55:00 AM EDT  

1) I use the GIMP in conjunction with UFRaw as a RAW format loader.

The photos of the computer in this post, I just took in JPEG format and then shrunk using MSPaint on an old Windows machine. But serious photos, I shoot in NEF (Nikon's RAW format) and then I play with white balance, contrast, etc. in addition to crop and resolution things; that's if I'm not doing something really fancy-shmancy like decomposing the image and adding grain and a color map to make the final product look like a black-and-white photo that's been developed with a platinum/palladium solution.

I've dabbled with some crude mashups, like the Obama-as-Bond poster that appeared on the blog last year, but my efforts on that front remain pretty crude.

2) I'm not supposed to have some ten-year-old furniture from Rooms-To-Go that's stained in various places, frayed in others, and outright falling apart on at least one armrest? I didn't know. I'm supposed to have beanbags, right? Or move the futon downstairs?

Swell, I'm not even doing the bachelor thing right, either. Great. Is there a manual or something?

Random Michelle K Monday, March 9, 2009 at 2:17:00 PM EDT  

Well, it's not that you're not living in a bachelor pad--you are. Just not a *straight* bachelor pad.


Eric Monday, March 9, 2009 at 4:16:00 PM EDT  

Do I sound defensive if I point out that the Playboys are on the dining room table, not visible in the photo?

Great, I'm doing the bachelor pad even worse that I thought I was.

Random Michelle K Monday, March 9, 2009 at 4:29:00 PM EDT  

And now your sister is going to wander by, read that you have Playboy, and then go tell your Mom. :)

And hey, the nice thing about gay men is they tend to have smashing apartments.

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