Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Blogs > Lumak's Guide to Random Things
User Name


OK I don't really have a good title yet but I figure I can post works in progress and other tips I've come across or other interesting things.
  1. Old Comment

    The pointlessness of gnuCash

    I did not have issues with 13.1... That is... I installed it at the start of 13.1 which was probably an older version with lesser requirements. I don't know how Pat und the team can keep a whole OS strait.

    I'm wondering how it's going to go with 13.37 and GSB3.0 x.X

    At least the newer versions of goffice don't require the gnome bindings of libgsf.
    Posted 05-14-2011 at 02:37 AM by lumak lumak is offline
    Updated 05-14-2011 at 02:40 AM by lumak
  2. Old Comment

    The pointlessness of gnuCash

    Just in case you were wondering, it's no better under Slack 13.37. And it won't build at all under Slack 13.1, unless you're willing to install newer versions of GTK+-2..
    Posted 05-13-2011 at 05:52 AM by bstern bstern is offline
  3. Old Comment

    Fluxbox - Display Message on Desktop

    Wow after testing conky out... it may be better to just use the xterm under fluxbox. Conky seems to freak things out when it's set to the root desktop, and neither xcompmgr or cairo-compmgr provide true transparent background color support in fluxbox... it seems like it's a fluxbox thing. This leaves you stuck with the fake transparency support which leaves the background jacked up until the next refresh cycle if you move the window.

    However, with conky it's more intuitive to have different colors in the message.

    # Conkyrc file for displaying just text on the screen
    background no
    alignment top_left
    gap_y 650
    gap_x 700
    font 10x20
    update_interval 3600
    own_window yes
    own_window_type desktop
    # Without own_window_argb_visual, own_window_transparent does fake transparency
    # for the background color.  argb color does not work with xcompmgr or cairo-compmgr.
    own_window_transparent yes
    draw_outline no
    draw_shades yes
    # color0 3C0B51
    color0 FFFFFF
    color1 E400FF
    ${color0}Hello ${color1}Jim.
    Posted 01-03-2011 at 10:36 AM by lumak lumak is offline
    Updated 01-27-2011 at 10:44 AM by lumak
  4. Old Comment

    LibreOffice back at RC1

    I have LibreOffice on Mac OS X**, and it works beautifully. Smoothest/prettiest/fastest implementation of OOo I have ever used. I absolutely love it. Doesn't have too many dependencies either. I don't know -- I really like it.

    **I can't install Linux on my computer because the DVD drive is broke and I have no USB stick to install it with. Linux isn't supported very well on it, either... It's a royal PITA just to get it working in a usable state.
    Posted 12-21-2010 at 09:48 PM by lupusarcanus lupusarcanus is offline
  5. Old Comment

    CSS small caps

    EDIT: revised the example to be more friendly and complete.

    After having to find a work around for the bugs in firefox relating to first-letter, I've determined that this is probably the best way to do small caps after all. If you encase only the capital letters and encase the whole small-caps phrase in the same tag, then appearances with no style or only the outer class defined will not cause any display issues. This method also makes managing small caps in a paragraph a lot easier. However, you still have to know when to stop tagging capital letters.

      <title>small caps test</title>
        /* This is needed to ensure the browser applies the same font style
         * if you globally set it else where
        h1, h1 * {
          font-family: sans-serif;
        h1 {
          font-size: 3em;
        /* using the same class for the outer and inner ensures that it will
         * look correctly when styling is removed
        .title {
          /* You may want to manually change the proportions.  Don't be tempted to use
           * 'smaller' and 'larger' as each browser displays those differently.
          font-size: 0.74em;
          text-transform: uppercase;
        .title .title {
          font-size: 1.35em;
        p:first-line {
          font-size: 0.74em;
          text-transform: uppercase;
        /* This is an invalid css style and is ignored.  :first-line is a pseudo-element
         * and therefor must only be at the last simple selector.
        p:first-line .title {
          font-size: 1.35em !important;
        /* doing "p .title:first-line"  would also be ignored because .title is an inline
         * element.  Even if you set "p .title" to an inline-block the results would be
         * the same as not defining it with the first-line because the first line of the
         * .title applies to the first line of it self not to the p
        /* This causes capitals on lines after the first to be too large. */
        p .title {
          font-size: 1.35em;
        <span class="title">
          <span class="title">T</span>his&nbsp;<!--
       --><span class="title">I</span>s&nbsp;<!--
       -->me<span class="title">SS</span>y:&nbsp;<!--
     --><span class="another">some more text</span>
      <p><span class="title">T</span>his will allow you to do a :first-line in small
     caps... sort-of. <span class="title">Y</span>ou just have to encase capitals in the 
    extra span class for a few sentences. <span class="title">G</span>o ahead and add 
    more text here if you can't see a multi-line paragraph. <span 
    class="title">U</span>nfortunatly, if you keep this up too long, lines following the 
    first line will have capitals that are too large. Case in point, this sentence 
    started with a capital that wasn't encased.
    In the example case of the first line of a paragraph in small-caps, you still have to make sure every real capital is in a span tag. AND you have to know exactly when to stop encasing capitals in the span tag otherwise they will be too large on the following lines.
    Posted 12-06-2010 at 11:16 AM by lumak lumak is offline
    Updated 12-11-2010 at 02:17 PM by lumak
  6. Old Comment

    People that complain about KDE4

    Yes Yes, QT is not dependent on KDE. That wasn't my point. However, I thought I was clear that KDE is heavily dependent on QT. Additionally, Dealing with multipule QT libs on one computer is annoying.
    Posted 12-02-2010 at 08:47 PM by lumak lumak is offline
    Updated 12-02-2010 at 08:48 PM by lumak
  7. Old Comment

    People that complain about KDE4

    Wow that was a long response... I think you missed the point of my post. Though it does answer the question presented at the start of the post (even though it was rhetorical). Thankyou. I should be more clear with the intent of the post at the start. Yes, There is always something to complain about in every user interface. Everything you said about KDE4 in respects to your situation is correct.

    My point was that people should stop complaining about it, not only to the wrong people (e.g. placing blame on the Slackware Maintainers) but about the wrong things. KDE4 is moving in a direction that no longer supports the minimalist window manger user. It's the wrong tool for them. They shouldn't use it. There is still XFCE and LXDE use them for now. Those should remain about the same throughout their future development life cycle. Additionally for those that really care about KDE3 should help improve Trinity so that it can be installed with Slackware without interfering with anything. That being, it has to probably support QT4 and or rename all the libs and tools so that people and programs won't be confused. Part of the problem with QT3 and QT4 is that they are incompatible and can not be installed along side each other easily to support compiling programs with just ./configure && make && make install. It often requires intervention on the person compiling the software and resetting environment variables that are stupidly named the same between releases of QT libs.

    And lets clear up one thing.

    KDE3 is not KDE4. They are not compatible, they are not the same, they have different goals and features.

    And I repeat, if somebody wants KDE3, they should help support Trinity to getting it stable and supported for future releases of their favorite distro. It's not coming back in any other way. All new software is going to use QT4 and the KDE maintainers are not looking back.

    Additionally, this is probably all going to happen again when QT5 comes out. Get used to it. Things move on. Programs use more and more CPU/GPU. Computers get better.
    Posted 12-01-2010 at 06:27 PM by lumak lumak is offline
  8. Old Comment

    People that complain about KDE4

    Ya'll are making a big and wrong assumption here.

    You assume that people and organizations will actually tell you what is the real story about what they like or don't like and why they make a decision.

    Organizations always give a rationalization for their decisions that will upset the fewest number of people, get the least amount of flack dumped on their head, cost them the least amount of money and is the hardest to produce a rebuttal to.

    People will usually define their answer in terms of what I call "virtual words"--words that have no physical expression (i.e. you can't take a picture of it or measure it in any way). Love, Like, Loyalty, etc are examples of these types of words. They do this for the same reasons as organizations do. To reduce the amount of flack, questions and rebuttal of their opinions. No one can be forced to explain why they don't like chocolate, you either do or you don't--you don't have to justify it.

    I think people (and me) don't like the changes in KDE is because:

    People are lazy. When the number of keystrokes or mouse clicks are increased over what they are used to or the keys or where the mouse clicks are located are changed, people react rather radically. Not because they are too lazy to put with the extra few milliseconds it takes to do the new pattern but because of the massive time it takes to retrain their muscles to the new pattern. You don't think "press Ctrl C" when you want to copy highlighted text... it just happens--the same as touch typing. Changing long established keystrokes for computer users is the same as forcing a touch typist to use a keyboard with the a, e, i, o and u keys in new locations. I've used Ctrl C to copy since 1980 when I first started using an s-100 bus, cpm computer. You try to change that on me and I would quit using computers first. There are a lot of situations like this in KDE 4.

    People really don't like software that twitches (makes movements when it should be still, things like Kate does when it shifts a line or two up or down when you move the mouse certain ways or insert a letter in a word at certain lines). It breaks their train of thought and slows down the workflow and makes them not trust the program.

    People don't like software that doesn't produce the same results every time. Kate turned my utf-8 file into utf-16 file when I saved it and I had not made any changes in settings during that session. That took me a while to figure out and fix and really upset me because it was a very important file and loosing it was scary... Needless to say, I no longer trust kate.

    People don't like having choices or abilities taken away. If for 10 years you have had the ability to turn on and off search as you type--you are going to be upset if that choice is taken away--especially if the default is on (again from Kate). And again it breaks the train of thought.

    People don't like being forced or demanded to do anything. It's not explicit but lately I've been seeing a lot of this attitude by staff and moderators on some forums: If you don't like it, shut up and go back to Windows. That makes people really start looking hard for reasons to do and say bad things about and to you. Not a good idea...

    Finally we have to consider something that most computer programmers and designers don't. Everyone has a different use for a computer; everyone uses computers differently; everyone solves problems differently and everyone has different aesthetic taste. Usually, and it's getting more common, programs are designed to solve problems based on the programmer's problem solving preferences and use keystrokes and mouse clicks in a manner that he or she prefers. As long as they are not being paid there is not much you can do about that, which is only fair--but it leaves me and many other people with not getting what they want. Which is why I am seriously considering paying money for UltraEdit for Linux instead of using Kate for free.

    To me computer users are divided into two main groups: Those that use it for entertainment and communications (which Linux programmers are a part of since they are not getting paid), and those that use it to make money. People who make money using a computer or the people who pay people to use a computer get very upset when "new and improved" means slower. Time = money, Retraining = lots of money and changes in workflow lead to mistakes--which can be very expensive. Which is why so many small business are sticking with KDE 3.5 and are so down on KDE 4...

    Those in the entertainment and communications group are not bothered by these types of changes. I often wonder if the only thing many people do with their computer is admire it and the changes they make in how it looks and then use the computer to chitter and twitter with all their friends about how "admirable" their computers are and what kinds of cute tricks it does. Whereas people like me who have spent 30 years working with computers consider them just to be a powerful tool with an incredible ability to irritate you...

    One easy cure for all this is to make software "massively" configurable. That way programmer's can build the vision they have and normal people can change it around to what they want or need. KDE 4 is only vaguely configurable and then only when you can 'find' the setting to change. One size shoe does not fit all people...

    On last thought kids... (I'm 70 years old and I consider anyone that isn't using a cane a kid). Probably most of the people working on developing OSS programs are under 30 years old. That group still believes they are immortal, but worse, they think you have to be in your 50s or 60s before your eyes start to go, your hands start to shake and twitch and your hearing starts downhill. Surprise kids. It starts in your 30s (do the math, that's not many years away for most of you) and how bad it gets and how soon it happens depends on how much loud music you listened to, how many hours you spent in front of a TV or computer screen, your drug and booze habits, your exercise and diet habits, etc. Why am I telling you this....

    Because in a few years those icons you designed with their subtle differences will all look the same to you. Those drop down menus that require perfect horizontal mouse movements to go to the side drop down menu won't be usable by you (unless you go really, really slow) due minor shakes and twitches of your hand causing the menu above or below to pop up instead. But the most irritating one is trying to resize a window by grabbing the frame and dragging it--if your hand shakes or jerks even slightly you can not make that work and missing causes other windows to pop up instead.

    Oops, I forgot the right click pop up a menu problem. I always seem to move a little when I let off or click a button which activates the top entry of the pop up menu--which always seems to be something like "Delete all", "Undo" or "Close file", things you never want to happen by accident. To make it even better, in most cases you can't change the entry or put in a blank "do nothing" entry. Easy enough to fix if the programmer realized it was a problem, but by the time they realize it is a problem (for them) they won't be doing the programming anymore--some younger person will. Why does that make me grin?....

    Enjoy your future kids, it's going to be here sooner than you think....
    Posted 12-01-2010 at 04:58 PM by kwdaniels kwdaniels is offline
  9. Old Comment

    People that complain about KDE4

    I agree that KDE 4 has gotten better. It is now actually usable. Other than problems getting Kontakt to start properly due to a timing issue relating to Akonadi, I have had no working stoppage issues relating to KDE 4 in and of itself.

    The thing that bothers me about this move to these glitzy inerfaces is that they are not necessarily real progress. They do not make one more productive than what was there before, and that at the expense of higher CPU and above all GPU costs. I think we'll soon be able to fry eggs on the GPUs needed to effectively run these glitzy UIs.

    What is really rediculous is that users actually start expecting the glitz. KDE unfortunately had no choice but to become glitzy.

    Just try getting that to work nicely over a low-bandwidth ADSL-connection, even with NX.
    Posted 11-30-2010 at 10:20 PM by tragos tragos is offline
  10. Old Comment

    People that complain about KDE4

    What I don't like is mainly the bloat and glitchyness. But it has gotten better and isn't too bad now.

    And there is nothing wrong on my opinion with Qt4, I really like it and use a few non-KDE pure Qt4 apps, and it's what I prefer to write GUI apps with.
    Posted 11-25-2010 at 08:29 AM by MTK358 MTK358 is offline
  11. Old Comment

    People that complain about KDE4

    Originally Posted by brianL View Comment
    I didn't like KDE4 when it first came out, I thought it looked eye-candyish, whereas 3 looked functional. But I've got used to it now. Some people find accepting change more difficult than others.
    I agree with you and I agree with everything that lumak wrote.
    Posted 11-25-2010 at 02:02 AM by brixtoncalling brixtoncalling is offline
  12. Old Comment

    People that complain about KDE4

    I didn't like KDE4 when it first came out, I thought it looked eye-candyish, whereas 3 looked functional. But I've got used to it now. Some people find accepting change more difficult than others.
    Posted 11-24-2010 at 03:57 PM by brianL brianL is offline
  13. Old Comment

    Slacklet - a new OS Mod Proposal

    Well work is underway... finally... I've got the core packages and tagfiles for Slacklet built on Slackware 13.1. I still need to do some tweaking especially since the wacom driver isn't working, but it's looking good. I still need some webhosting as the 20mb free from cox is probably not the best of places.
    Posted 10-17-2010 at 11:58 AM by lumak lumak is offline
  14. Old Comment

    Slackware64 nvidia-driver-compat32


    Thanks for putting these scripts out for public consumption. They work well.


    Posted 08-16-2010 at 08:38 AM by Lufbery Lufbery is offline
  15. Old Comment

    Slacklet - a new OS Mod Proposal

    Just some pondering. I recently installed Salix OS on my tablet. It's close to Slackware but is "stripped" down to be designed as "one tool per task". (Un)fortunately it uses a ton of gnome libs including gconf. Which may or may not be a good thing. Certainly it makes packaging some other things easier.

    Also, xfce is the only window manager installed. This may or may not be to your liking. It does provide a nice compromise between features and speed. Without a lot of hacking, fluxbox would be annoying with a pen and KDE would be too slow for a Pentium M + i810 chip-set.

    Most definitely I'm going to put the Slacklet idea on the back burner until I work some things out using Salix OS.
    Posted 05-09-2010 at 07:54 PM by lumak lumak is offline
  16. Old Comment

    slackware64 multilib QT issues

    Honestly, I haven't messed with it that much. It did compile and the main q4wine runs. When I ran Winetricks from the SETUP > SYSTEM SOFTWARE tabs, it said it wasn't compiled with support for winetricks and it recommended to compile using the cmake option -DWITH_WINETOOLS=ON. I'll try doing that later. I would suspect the problem would be within the winetools portion. It may require yet another trick to getting those to work. ADDITIONALLY, of winetools is some how interconnecting on a binary level with wine it self, but the tools are compiled in 64bit, then it would Segfault because you can't generally mix 32 and 64 bit that way. You may need to compile the whole q4wine (with the -DWITH_WINETOOLS-ON) as a 32bit application....

    You could try a recompile by running /etc/profile.d/ and then forcing the arch to i486 or i686.
    Posted 01-09-2010 at 01:43 PM by lumak lumak is offline
    Updated 01-09-2010 at 01:47 PM by lumak
  17. Old Comment

    slackware64 multilib QT issues

    I thought that it was a multilib problem for segfaulting when trying to run winetricks within q4wine but after finding this to solve the lib problem, i don't think so. it still segfaults.

    do you have the same issue?

    i'm running slackware64 w/updates
    Posted 12-27-2009 at 02:48 PM by agentc0re agentc0re is offline
  18. Old Comment

    One Liner Dependency Check for existing binaries

    ldd <binary>
    also works nicely
    Posted 12-19-2009 at 03:45 AM by lumak lumak is offline
  19. Old Comment

    Linux on a Tablet PC - which way to go.

    Thank you very much for your response!

    3D cube is easily solved if you have extra function buttons along the side (assuming you can get them to work.) Fortunately, I believe there is a driver that will get my Fujitsu working with the buttons in some sort of keyboard fashion. Just set it up so that you have a quick disable of the cube, or you have to hold one of the buttons while dragging to move it. OR if you can execute a move cube command through command line, then assign it to buttons on the system tray.

    I was also thinking today that the best thing to do would be to find a distro with a good repository of everything I'll need. My main machine is currently 64bit and I haven't mastered cross compiling.

    The last thing would be managing user logins and getting suspend to work and other minor tweaks.

    Figuring out a screen lock command that still allows me to enter my name and or pass with a virtual keyboard would be tricky.

    The only thing that somewhat works with windows xp tablet is that most text boxes use standard windows programming and windows usually pops up an icon for the input box.

    I suppose the best thing to do is make several backups of my current harddrive, ensure they are good backups, then take the plunge and try it out.
    Posted 12-19-2009 at 03:44 AM by lumak lumak is offline
  20. Old Comment

    having fun with bash varaibles: indirect variable references

    How did I miss that one?!

    Yeah, that's somewhat of what I was looking for. Would have helped to read the bash manual more closely >.o

    Oddly enough, Linux in a nutshell 5th edition didn't explain the ${!name[@]} and neither explains just ${!name}.

    Either way, I completely forgot the usefulness of what I was trying to do with it... something along the lines of parsing out the $QUERY_STRING, storing them as bash variables, then later referencing them by a text string.

    Anyway, you would still have to do any text processing to "name" first then store it in another variable and reference it as ${!newvar}

    name="var1 var2"
    echo ${!${name% var2}}
    bash: ${!${name% var2}}: bad substitution

    var3=${name% var2}
    echo $var3
    >> var1

    echo ${!var3}
    >> foo

    Parameter Expansion

    Expands to the names of variables whose names begin with prefix, separated by the first character of
    the IFS special variable.

    If name is an array variable, expands to the list of array indices (keys) assigned in name. If name
    is not an array, expands to 0 if name is set and null otherwise. When @ is used and the expansion
    appears within double quotes, each key expands to a separate word.
    Posted 12-19-2009 at 03:26 AM by lumak lumak is offline


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:35 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration