Etc.

It’s only been two days since my last blog entry, but it feels like its been much longer. I’ve had a number of posts kicking around in my head, but I’ve been too busy to write them. I still have a few full-length items I intend to post, but for now, I’m going to do a bit of a brain dump.

  • Spanish studies are progressing. I’m still really enjoying it. I’ve completed 22 of 30 lessons from Pimsleur’s Spanish I course. I should be further, but I ended up repeating around 15 lessons when I switched from the “bait” edition, Pimsleur Instant Conversation Spanish, to the full edition. I’ll post more on that later. Meanwhile, I’m about ready to start searching eBay for Pimsleur’s Spanish II.

  • I’ve been using Firefox and its antecedents for over eight months. Only in the past few days have I figured out that CTRL+TAB lets you toggle through tabs in the current window. Boy, have I been looking for that shortcut.

  • While typing the prior bullet, I decided to check the spelling of antecedent. I automatically went to dictionary.com– it’s where I always go. What’s your favorite online dictionary? Drop a note in the comments.

  • Speaking of comments, the comment system on this site still sucks. I think I’ve finally figured out how I’m going to handle it, I just need to spend a little time on implementation. No hints. Well, maybe one.

  • Speaking of the ‘Fox, I’m continuing to use version 0.8 on my Mac after shunning it for two months. It’s mostly working well, but there are a few issues. I haven’t taken the time yet to figure out if these are problems with the browser or the Tabbrowser Extensions, but I can no longer drag-and-drop to re-order tabs within an window. Dragging tabs from one window to another continues to work.

  • After giving my last spare monitor (20″ trinitron) to my brother a couple of months ago, I’ve been itching to play with some of my old PC hardware that was laying around my basement. Having a clean garage complete with a big workbench and tons of shelf space hasn’t helped. I finally broke down this weekend and bought an el-cheapo monitor, so now I’m playing with out-of-date hardware.

  • It’s amazing how the price of technology continues to drop. The monitor I bought today, after rebates, cost me about USD 80.00 at Circuit City. It’s a 17″ flat CRT, with resolution up to 1280×1024. It looks great. It was only a couple of years ago this would have been an expensive monitor. You can’t even buy a CRT smaller than 17″ at most retailers these days… it’s just not worth it for the retailers to carry them, they are so inexpensive. Flat panels have really taken over the market.

  • To help me figure out what kind of hardware I have, I went looking for a Linux live CD (a la Knoppix) that featured hardware reporting of some kind. Live CDs already know how to scan your system, but I don’t know how to get a report of what was found. I didn’t exactly find what I was looking for, but I found a list of Linux Live CDs, containing dozens of the things. What I did find that met my needs was the Ultimate Boot CD, a bootable CD containing images of dozens of mostly DOS-based boot floppies, each containg a different utility. You boot the CD, select the image you want to use, and it boots from it. I was able to inventory my hardware with Navrátil Software System Information, or NSSI.

  • I pieced together a AMD K6-2 300 MHz system with a 9G hard drive and 384M RAM. Time remaining on my Fedora Core 2 Test 3 installation: 15 minutes. I’ll be blogging more on this later.

  • Sean is contemplating dial-up internet over VoIP. Seems vaguely Oedipal to me (dial-up over VoIP… not Sean).

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8 Responses to “Etc.”

  1. Chris Burkhardt Says:

    CTRL+TAB, wow, thanks for that. I knew how to tab through tabs in Camino, but not Firefox. I use dictionary.com also, but think there must be a better way. Lately I just copy it into a TextEdit window and spell check that way. Google also works. Some browsers have spell-check built in for form fields, that sounds nice.

  2. Micah Says:

    CRTL-PgUp and CRTL-PgDn work for switchign tabs in Mozilla on Linux. As for the dictionary, I also use dictionary.com when I’m in X, dict when I’m in the console. In fact, using Mozilla’s keywords I can type “dict [word]” into the Location bar, hit enter, and Mozilla will look it up (bookmark is http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=%s, keyword is dict). Very nifty.

  3. Jason Says:

    See, CTRL-PgUp and CTRL-PgDn are what I would expect to work, based on years of Excel (sigh). It also works on the PC version of ‘Fox. I don’t have the Powerbook with me at work today, but I’ll double check it when I get home. I don’t it works there.

    Instead of the Location bar search trick, I installed additional Mycroft search plugins. Up in the Google mini-search on the toolbar, click the Google icon for a drop-down. The “Add engines…” option will take you mycroft.mozdev.org, with hundreds of plugins. I also use one for Google Groups and Amazon, and I hacked one to search Google only for hits on this site. Been meaning to blog that one.

  4. Sean Says:

    Why<br/>

    Ok.. I will bite. what in the world could you possibly use the AMD for for these days? You could have bought one of those silly Lindows machines from Walmart for like 200 bucks and had a better base to improve upon

  5. chornbe Says:

    hey, newb…<br/>

    I’ve been using Firefox and its antecedents for over eight months. Only in the past few days have I figured out that CTRL+TAB lets you toggle through tabs in the current window. Boy, have I been looking for that shortcut.

    I happen to know you’ve also been using Windows for a very long time, and that’s a pretty standard keystroke in that world. :)

  6. chornbe Says:

    ’cause…<br/>

    Ok.. I will bite. what in the world could you possibly use the AMD for for these days? You could have bought one of those silly Lindows machines from Walmart for like 200 bucks and had a better base to improve upon

    I think he mentioned he was going thru’ old “inventory” in his garage. Dropping X, Linux is a perfect OS to run on some old, seasoned and “available” (read as: free) systems kicking around when you just wanna play or try new stuff. Myself, I’m running a P4/1.8 as my “main” machine, my two servers (one Win2k, one Linux) are PIIIs, one 866mhz, one 500mhz. I only recently (hmm… 2 years ago?) replaced my one dead server (pII/350) with the PIII/866 because it died, not because it was suffering in any way.

    End of Life in hardware only means end of official support. Most of the time the hardware remains viable as long as it works. While I enjoy the GeeWiz factor of “bigger, better, faster”, deep inside I’m a big believer in the “drive it ’til it dies” theory.

  7. chornbe Says:

    Good choice, btw…<br/>

    jason… Markdown in comments is working nicely! Good choice!!

  8. Jason Says:

    Why:<br/>

    Sean wrote:

    Ok.. I will bite. what in the world could you possibly use the AMD for for these days? You could have bought one of those silly Lindows machines from Walmart for like 200 bucks and had a better base to improve upon

    To quote Captain Kirk, “Because it’s there.” I have a weakness for old junk… you of all people should remember the VAX I once owned. I’ve been meaning to set up a Linux system for some development/learning/testing anyway. I had inteded to run a faster machine, a 450MHz PIII I think, but I can’t get it to boot. So I’m using the 300MHz AMD. Not a barn burner, but doesn’t suck the way Win2K would on the same hardware.

    Besides, if I was going to blow $200 on some hardware I don’t need, I can think of something much cooler. Check out some of the project links on the right hand side of the page.