Saturday, March 30, 2013

even later

Spring has arrived several times this year and I did the cleanup thing. My PC was getting all stuffy, opening windows to air out. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!

I have been using Mint 13 Linux with the Cinnamon Desktop. Then I added KDE Desktop because it has improved or rather my understanding of KDE has improved. The install was hurried, I put it all on one disc partition. Not  good if you are subject to change like me. I had two other options. The first was put all personal files on a USB external drive or make a separate partition for the "Home" folder which is what I did, on the main drive. Now I can change the operating system partition any time I need to, my separated personal files stay unmolested.

With that said I backed up the personal stuff to DVDs, the address book, hidden email folders and web shortcuts to flash drive, formatted the drive and installed a fresh Mint 14 with KDE. There are few quick and painless installs, ever, if you say nay, you lie or can endure more than most. A good dose of forethought, planning and resolve can help greatly and a mirror to talk to yourself.

I took a chance because when I started the install the screen went dim, stayed that way until I later installed the video card drivers after the OS was running. I was ready to trash it. If something is unfamiliar this is a normal reaction. Don't panic till you see the whites of your eyes in the mirror. A mirror is a good tool. You thought I was kidding.

Then comes the tweak-fest, getting the new setup to act like the last setup. Fonts, browser plugins for video, media codecs, working sound, internet, wireless. Then tweak the window themes, desktop icons, the panels, the clock/calender format and mouse clicks.

Go back to work, you'll notice if somethings not right yet. Hey that's the geek  life. How cool is it? Well as I mentioned I put KDE on top of another system. You can mix it up but they have different window management programs. Apples run better with apples and oranges with oranges. So this time it is just KDE and KDE's window manager. It runs smooth as expected. Only the wireless mouse is edgy at times, the wired mouse is fine. Did I mention tweaking is addicting? Tell yourself in the mirror to don't worry be happy, And quit smiling at that reflection.

Monday, March 25, 2013

the latest

Got a little discretionary spending money, bought a wireless mouse. It is small and great for a rodent, made by iHome. In my car I have a radio that is thief-locked out because the power was removed. I need to have a dealer scan and unlock the darn thing. It has a cassette player (like an 8 track), OK, it's a tape player, sheeesh! Anyway I got an adapter in the shape of a cassette tape. You slide it into the deck, has a cable to connect to a MP3 player and you hear it through the car's speakers. I bought a small MP3 device to listen to stuff I load from my laptop. Hey it's cheaper that a used car radio w/cd.

Speaking of laptops, I'm getting used to KDE desktop, I like it. My daughter came and got her laptop. I replaced a little circuit board that held the power connector socket only to discover the plug on the power supply was bent enough to cause a power shortage. Bought another jump drive, 4 gig for $6 on sale. It is so small I'll have to hide it from the cats. My next thing is wireless headphones for the laptop. Oh to roam the house without an umbilical attached. I found a Bluetooth unit but the laptop doesn't have Bluetooth, so a USB wireless will have to do. A USB wireless network device would be cool too, I'll think about it.

At the gallery we got a flat screen just for display of video art in the gallery. I've been putting slide shows and videos on it. I use VLC for the media player, it does not choke and handles a wide range of media files and does conversions too.

Mostly I've been buying small devices to tweak what I already own. Buying new systems is tempting but I need to get more mileage out of what I got for now.

Spring is here (somewhere), time to scrap the surplus hardware, PC carcasses and junk (2 boxes of floppy disc and CDs).

Now we're all caught up, the do-it list is active and things are progressing. How about you?