Archive for the ‘Fedora’ tag
This weekend I backed up all my data, repartitioned my hard drive, and re-installed. I needed to do this because the only thing I had on the laptop was Ubuntu, and sadly, the reality is sometimes my clients use things that require me to use Windows (and sometimes a virtual machine won’t solve that). So now I’m dual-booting Windows. I think the last time I did that was sometime before 2001, so I’ve regressed 9 years.
I took this opportunity to switch from Ubuntu to Fedora. Why? They both released new versions almost at the same time, and I grabbed the live CDs and noticed that Fedora just worked better — better support for dual monitors, for example. And some things about Ubuntu have always irked me, such as “sorry, can’t play WAV file, that’s a proprietary codec, you must install some big package of proprietary codecs.” WHAT? When did a codec become necessary to play a PCM file? Codec stands for “code/decode” and that doesn’t make sense for PCM. Anyway, these are small things, but sometimes they add up. I did not do a default install of Fedora. I don’t trust ext4, and ext3 works fine for me, so I stayed with that. I also disabled SELinux right away — no thanks, *shudder*.
The much bigger switch was ditching Thunderbird in favor of Claws. I last used Claws back in… 2003, maybe? It was called Sylpheed Claws then, and was GTK1 or so. Now it’s much nicer looking. Anyway, Fedora installed Thunderbird 3, and after giving that a small test drive I decided that my long-standing love/hate relationship with Thunderbird was due for a change. I just need a mail client that can open a yes/no dialog in less than 1.5 seconds — is that too much to ask? I’m much happier with Claws. I use email a lot, probably something like 350 emails per day, and I’ve already found Claws more capable than Thunderbird in every way but one: I can’t quite figure out how to get the functionality I got from Thunderbird’s quicktext extension. Everything else is amazing — I don’t need extensions, everything’s built in by default. I use filters extensively, and the filtering and searching in Claws is much nicer than in Thunderbird. There are a handful of other things.
One notable thing is an archiving feature. I like to move emails to a folder after I’m done with them. I had sort of a hack in Thunderbird. The key combination Ctrl+Shift+M moves the selected message(s) to the same folder used for the last move operation. This worked acceptably well, until I moved a message elsewhere and forgot that my “archive” key combo no longer sent my messages to the archive. In Claws, I set up a custom action and attached it to the Y key, and voila I have real archiving functionality (without pressing 3 keys, too). I also remapped keys so it’s more vim-like. Gmail is the client I use for my personal accounts, so now I have consistent keystroke commands between both emails and my favorite text editor.
Another notable thing is that when I send an email, the sending process happens in the background. This is so much nicer. In Thunderbird, I’d Ctrl-Enter and then have to alt-tab my way past the sending dialog and the compose window, back to the main window to keep working; in Claws, I press Ctrl+Enter to send, and I’m immediately back at the main window. This might seem silly, but it’s actually a big deal. It helps me process email quite a bit faster.
Last weekend, my brother and I attended SELF 2009. A few thoughts on it:
The mixture of sessions was interesting. There were some really good ones. I think the best session I attended was an OpenSolaris/NetBeans/Glassfish/Virtualbox/ZFS session, given by a Sun employee. He was an excellent presenter, and really showed off the strengths of the technologies in a nice way. He started up enough VMs to make his OpenSolaris laptop chew into swap, and I thought it was fun to see how it dealt with that. I’ve heard Solaris and OpenSolaris do a lot better at avoiding and managing swapping than GNU/Linux, but I couldn’t make any opinion from watching. I did think it was odd to have this session at a “Linux” (yes, they left off the GNU) conference. But I thought the session was a good addition to the conference. In other sessions, and in the hallways and expo, there was a lot more slant towards open-source software and gadgetry in general than there was towards GNU/Linux. The sessions that were about Linux or GNU/Linux were top-heavy towards topics like educational initiatives.
The Free Software Foundation had a booth in the expo hall. It was funny that they didn’t boycott the event, because I know RMS won’t speak at so-called “Linux User Groups” and insists they be called “GNU/Linux User Groups.” I guess the FSF is not unified behind that banner. Regardless, I used the opportunity to renew my membership perpetually. I’m so lazy that I need something like this to stay involved!
The expo hall was dominated by Red Hat, Fedora, and SUSE; PostgreSQL was there, but not MySQL. There was a good variety and number of vendors. It was great to see the healthy support of the event, which was free, by the way.
Clemson, SC is not easy to get to, and while the Clemson campus was attractive and functioned fine, it’s nothing you can’t find elsewhere. I ended up driving over 9 hours to get to it. I’d have preferred the technology triangle, which if nothing else is close to major airports, bus and train stops, and Red Hat.
Richard Hipp talked about the great fsync() bug, a similar talk to the one he gave at the first OpenSQL Camp. Someone asked about Tokyo Cabinet and he responded that he hasn’t found any fsync() calls in its source code. *cough* Something worth thinking about for on-disk usage (I haven’t looked at its source much myself). TC can also be used in-memory-only, and a while back I suggested that usage of it for Drizzle to replace the Memory engine; I don’t know what became of that.