Having seen some truly awesome screenshots on the Arch Linux forum,
this afternoon I tried switching from KDE (v4.6.3) to Openbox. It was
a fair bit of work to get everything installed (openbox, slim, obconf,
cairo-compmgr, nitrogen, pypanel, gmrun), and then a fair bit of
editing config files to get it looking the way I wanted.

Unfortunately, a few things were a bit buggy. When I first ran
cairo-compmgr, it worked properly, but shortly thereafter my urxvt
windows lost their transparent backgrounds and I couldn’t get them
back again. The cairo-compmgr icon disappeared from the system
tray. At one point I switched desktops and pypanel disappeared.

Also, I really like KDE’s Dolphin file manager. When I use it in
Openbox, however, it sends periodic error messages to my terminal
emulator (even though I did not start it from the command line!) and
these errors would often interrupt my workflow in vim.

For now, I’ve gone back to KDE, since everything works, and works
together, without a lot of hassle. I guess I’ll keep on the lookout
for (or learn how to create) a KDE theme with the nicely minimal look
of an Openbox theme.

If I had an older computer with limited resources, I would probably
take the time to really get Openbox working. As it is, my computer is
powerful and fast, so even KDE doesn’t make a dent in CPU usage.


Linux review: openSUSE 11.3

I installed openSUSE 11.3 in August 2010 and used it continuously until March 2011, and only stopped then due to a hardware issue that put the computer itself out of commission (not, I think, due to anything in openSUSE, but due to a defect in Dell hardware).

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The Book Depository

A great place to find books is The Book Depository. They have a wider selection than Amazon, better prices, and free shipping almost anywhere in the world. Books are shipped individually from the UK. In my experience, they only take about a week or so to arrive here in Canada. I heartily recommend The Book Depository!

bash tip: what was that command?

Can’t remember that great command you used a couple days ago?

Try this:
ian@linux:~# history | grep "command"

Substitute “command” with any part of it you still remember. You’ll get a list of everything in your command history that includes that bit of text, and the command you’re looking for should be in there somewhere.

If I run `history | grep tee', I get:

1837 man tee
2383 history | grep tee

Then I can run `man tee' again by typing `!1837'

LibreOffice 3.3 released today

LibreOffice 3.3 released today

The community-driven fork of the office productivity suit reached its first stable release today. has details, and you can check out and download LibreOffice here.

I’ve installed it on openSUSE 11.3 / Linux, with KDE 4.4.4. It looks almost exactly the same as OpenOffice, except that where OpenOffice complies with KDE’s colour theme, LibreOffice seems not to. I haven’t yet found the setting to fix that, but I’ve posted the question to their user-support mailing list.

Hello world!

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