Mar 15, 2017

i3wm as a C64 lookalike

Retro feelings are the new spring :)
So I decided to make my i3wm a C64 lookalike on top of KDE Neon (Ubuntu).
For that I used C64 TrueType v1.2 / Style, which is brilliant. The most exact font I found. Remember to disable anti-aliasing when using this font in GIMP e.g. since there was no anti-aliasing back in the days ;)

I made a "fake" C64 screen with a Ram and Rem visit (those from Re:Zero, you know, so I don't get confused with the konsole (KDE). I switched back to bash for this, just because I need a simple environment.

The C64-Wiki was very useful to get the correct colors. Thanks to the people behind the font and the wiki for keeping the spirit of this nice little computer alive with their work!

3 terminals with htop at the top
It's not emacs on the C64, calm down ;)
I made the Google Chrome theme with My Chrome Theme 
That's the fake C64 screen wallpaper. I thought Ram (!) and Rem (!) fits in perfectly ;)
Full Screen Konsole with i3bar on the bottom
Audacity. I changed the GTK-Fonts to C64 Pro
Gimp. GTK-Font C64 Pro
Konsole with some commands. It feels like the real deal.
Okay, while this is all "work in progress", I think it's a start. There are room for some improvements. And starting Vice64 in that environment, it naturally floats in :).

Feb 18, 2017

Installed KDE Neon 5.9 over Kubuntu 16.04 LTS

Yesterday I took the step and dared to upgrade a live system from Kubuntu 16.04 to KDE Neon 5.9. I didn't do a clean install to save work.

Again it turned out after several update/upgrade cycles, and force install neon-desktop with sudo apt install neon-desktop -f , the system rebooted without issues and I could go on. I still get 2 error messages regarding korcag and kgpg. The first issue doesn't seem to have something to do with the upgrade and the kgpg is to be investigated. Since the major programs like kdenlive and the multimedia players works, it seems to be consistent so far (fingers crossed). No dependencies left over.

I like what I see on the new Plasma desktop and I like to have the latest version of KDE running on top of a stable LTS base. So while the KDE team says that KDE neon is not a real distribution, for me it is and should be presented like it. Let's see how this works out over time. For now my needs are satisfied.

To be honest, most of the time, I'm not even running Plasma, since I use i3wm. But I use programs running on KDE, like the mentioned kdenlive and sometimes dolphin (but I like dired-mode in emacs). And the underlying structure is also used for kdeconnect and Konsole. Even those really bothered me when out of date. I can't understand that people think "stable" means "outdated". Stable is the newest thing that works. It does not mean you should get only security patches. Everything that is unstable is beta and has nothing to do with new features! Sigh...

Jan 29, 2017

KDE Neon and the KDE Slimbook

There is a problem I addressed from time to time with updating software on Ubuntu. Or the non-existent updates. Like having emacs 24 when emacs 25 is out for month.
Now fear no more if it comes to having the latest and greatest KDE on your machine.

Screenshot taken from neon.kde.org
KDE neon is here to solve that problem based on the Ubuntu LTS version but having always the newest version of KDE. A great idea. To be honest, I would prefer this over Kubuntu anytime. The problem with Kubuntu is the same. It lacks updates. I think the KDE team was really frustrated on pushing out a modern and great system, only to see it takes ages (until they have another even better version) to get it to the people.
However KDE says it's not a "distro". That's technically true. The distribution is Ubuntu 16.04LTS paired with a "package archive with the latest KDE software". But KDE neon is distributed in a separate image, ready to install or run as a live system from that image. So you could also say it's a distro, it's "KDE neon" in the end.
I'll check on later if it's possible, without any negative side effects, to transform a Kubuntu version to KDE neon by removing the Ubuntu KDE repositories and adding the package archive from KDE muon.

Photo from kde.slimboo.es. All rights reserved.
But there is another awesome thing that surfaced this week in the media. The KDE Slimbook, a KDE notebook running KDE neon from the start. The tech specs seems to be enough for both developing and using this productivity system:

KDE Slimbook i5 or KDE Slimbook i7

CPU
Intel i5-6200U
2.3GHz, Turbo Boost 2.8GHz
2 Core 4 Threads
3M Cache
or
Intel i7-6500U
2.5GHz, Turbo Boost 3.1GHz
2 Core 4 Threads
4M Cache

Intel Graphics HD 520, 13.3 inch Full HD 1920x1080px LED Screen
RAM 4GB, 8GB or 16GB DDR3 - 1600 Mhz, Samsung/Crucial mSata 120GB or 250GB or 500GB SSD, LED back-lighting Keyboard
Bluetooth 4.0 with Intel 3160 or 7265 AC, Wireless LAN Intel Dual Band: 3160 or 7265 N or 7265 AC, Webcam and Microphone, 2 ports USB 3.0, Mini HDMI, SD and MMC Card Reader
OS: KDE Neon
Silver Aluminium, Size 33 x 22 x 1,8 cm, Weight 1,36 kg
Battery 6800mAH high lithium battery

It's a long missed move to bring more dedicated hardware devices that comes with a fully functional GNU+Linux System. The price ranges from €729.- for the smallest system which are a great start, to €1268.- for the best available version with all expansions.
While the entry price seems a bit high, keep in mind that this is not a cheap netbook, but a full-fledged, high quality device that comes perfectly trimmed to use KDE Neon (and soon more GNU+Linux systems to choose).

Dec 15, 2016

Yes, cold brewed coffee is drinkable ⛾.

Yeah you know I'm away from drinking filter coffee. I prefer my capsule of Nespresso. But this time I tried something: Cold brewed coffee.

What is this? Coffee poured with room temperature water and leave it for 12-24 hours.

I used Lavazza Espresso coffee, which is one of the finest you can get in most regions. 1/8 coffee. That means 1 cup of coffee powder to 8 cups of water. Like I always do, I used filtered water, to get a soft water but that's totally not necessary. You  can also use normal bottled water or even tap water. I chose to let it soak for 14 hours over night. Totally convenient. Just prepare it at the evening and in the morning you have your coffee waiting for you. A french press (see photo) is very convenient to separate the powder from the water later on.
I found that it isn't that much of a different if you try it one hour less or more. So you're kind of flexible on that.


So the taste is like you can read in many places of the internet. Strong taste with not so much caffeine than normal coffee. But be clear on that, because we need much more coffee powder to brew it, it will have just enough caffeine 😁.
You'll discover that it tastes much more intensive than normally brewed coffee, but not bitter, because there are less acid pulled from the powder. That's a great feeling.
Furthermore it is said that it is better suitable for your stomach, but I can't prove that. My stomach is coffee compatible anyway. But it's worth a try if you're sensible to  it, but still want a strong tasting beverage.

So yeah, if you want to try something new, you can do it. It's easy to make, and for all the preppers and environment friendly people: You need 0 energy to brew that kind of coffee.
Have a nice day!

Tip: If you later decide you would like to have a hot coffee instead of drinking it cold, no problem. Just heat it to your likes after you pour the coffee. Do not boil, just so much heat that you can drink it. And do not heat it with the powder still in the water.

Nov 20, 2016

Ubuntu repositories are way too slow

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS... after month there is still no emacs 25.1 despite having a big feature upgrade.


I build it from source on my own. This is in no way acceptable for consumers and it's beyond me, why it takes so long to offer the new version in the Ubuntu repositories.

After the installation with sudo make install , you can remove the outdated version with sudo apt remove emacs24 emacs24-lucid emacs24-nox .
That's necessary because the package emacs uses a strange version number (46.1) resulting to overwrite emacs 25.1 on any upgrade.

This is really an annoyance, but not the only one. The repositories need to offer new versions much, much faster.

Emojis come to blogger.com

What took so long?
Maybe because there is no real developing anymore on Google's Blogger.com?
Finally a new feature has added after years of absence: Emojis!


No no, that wasn't sarcasm. This is really useful and nicely integrated. You can choose from hundreds of emojis and there is even a search where you can type what you want, or even draw the emoji you're looking for.
So this will be used a lot from myself. ☺

However in the editor it looks like crap. That's not the fault of Blogger.com though, but the problem of fonts. These emojis are font characters, not images. On a smartphone, they look good as usual, but on a computer it doesn't have an appealing look.
Well, since desktop 🖥 is dead, this isn't a big of a deal.

Trust your emoji-lust. 👀