Happy GNU Year of 2014!

I hope in 2014 your encounters with Free Software get more and more permanent, increasing your overall happiness!

I hope the spying scandals lead many proprietary software companies to bankruptcy thus ridding us all of them.

Getting rid of poisonous sources of information #fakeliberals

There are several poisonous sources of information.

Some of them are produced by alleged liberals whom I’d rather classify as rabid ultra neo liberals who are void of human rational thought or who are intentionally trying to fool you, and to all those, I bid you farewell, rot away outside my sources of information.

I’ve grown tired of reading things that make my blood boil, and you’re the first to go, the noise to ratio has been too big, even when there were a few things I might at times agree with you, most of it is just poison on my soul.

True cat story (II)

My current cat, Hastur, likes to run from one end of the house to the other.

I had a huge turtle living in a 100 l aquarium, a bit like this one:

aquariumThe top was usually on, and the cat liked to jump onto it, but one day, it was being cleaned.

The cat jumped and… didn’t get wet.

But I had to carefully save him while laughing like a maniac.

He had his 4 members spread out horizontally in order to prevent him from falling and meowed desperately.

True cat story (I)

I once had in my house a two level glassy serving cart. Nothing as fancy as this 1000 $ USD, but it was of that fashion:

fancy_serving_cartNow imagine your cat used to run and jump on the top level.

Now imagine the top level had broken, it was being replaced and the cat didn’t know about it…

Now imagine the cat running, jumping to the top, and then landing very surprised on the bottom.

While I was rolling on the floor laughing a lot, the cat stood still some good couple of minutes trying to digest what had just happened.

I miss you, Roque ๐Ÿ™‚

Axeing email, almost Inbox Zero

I feel so proud of myself… tonight I decided to simply axe most of my email.

I have let my email get out of control again, with the practical effect that it was exponentially hard to reply on time to people.

Now I need to axe mailing lists… I don’t read any of them, and the message numbers piling up drive me into a state of email depression, which is what I call the feeling you get of anxiety because you feel you are loosing a lot, but it’s such an abundance of information that you feel helpless to even start.

I’m down to a couple dozen emails I might have to really reply or do something about them, and I’ll have to tighten the spam checks.

If I was able to get my weight under control (or at least, it’s still going down to an yet unknown baseline) then I must surely be able to get control of that part of my life.

Sorry if I haven’t replied you back… if it’s important, please do ping me again.

Samsung NP900X3C is pretty sweet!

On black friday (we don’t really have that tradition in Portugal but stores are copying it from other countries) I saw this very sweet Samsung NP900X3C (A01PTbut it cost a hairline under 1000โ‚ฌ. The ones I was really looking after were the 11.5” ones with Intel Core i7 but they cost around 1600โ‚ฌ over here. Much sweeter, but they’d really set me back a bit too much.

So… I happen to go back to the store a couple of weeks afterwards and it’s now at 777โ‚ฌ. Woot! (well, it was the laptop on display, as it was the last one).

Since I wanted it to have 8 GB of RAM rather than the 4 GB it comes with, I asked whether they’d upgrade the RAM. ยซNo problem!ยป they replied. Oopsie, problem… the RAM is non expandable after all, wielded to the board (the hidden costs of being ultra light and thin) was also a surprise for them, so as I was going to go give up on it they got me a further discount: 699โ‚ฌ. Done deal!

So of course I never even booted Windows (the story of the license refund: part I, part II, part III, and part IV should start really soon now) and quickly got Fedora 20 in it. Virtually everything works, with the exception of a couple of minor issues: the keyboard brightness, silent mode and wireless toggle don’t work, but the rest… on man…

  • Boots to graphical login prompt in 6 seconds, not counting the UEFI bios, but it’s also just a couple of seconds more.
  • Intel Core i5 is fast enough, I don’t have the slightest feeling of slowness, it seems faaaaast! Even with the scaling governor in place
  • It’s so light it almost doesn’t feel it’s there
  • The full resolution is there, not Full HD like the ones I was really looking after but 1600×900 is very good. Intel HD4000 is also quite fast, but I already knew that since I upgraded my home media center in the summer of 2012, which came with it.
  • The keys are evenly spaced, it’s quite balanced for my hands and I’m quickly adapting to the layout without any issues other than the arrow keys which are a tad small, but also rarely used.
  • The touchpad is wonderful, before configuration I was hating it (oh… no tap click) but it was just a config away. Two fingers to scroll, three finger tap for middle button paste, and it turns off while typing. Yes! I wonder if there are more gestures…
  • Audio sounds fine, but I use a bluetooth headset anyways (oh yeah, bluetooth works fine as well, already bound the mouse too)
  • Wifi is working fine, and it’s only a bore that ethernet is done via a dongle. It looks like micro-USB, but it’s probably not as the interface is already there before anything is plugged
  • The SD card reader also works fine

Jos Poortvliet’s blog about this laptop is also a good source of what should be happening, and it seems that the buttons that aren’t working should work after some help, but samsung-laptop module isn’t being loadable, so I expect that’s a Fedora beta issue, maybe on the next kernel upgrade it works better ๐Ÿ™‚

The only design issue I found, so far, is that the left USB is too close to the power cord, so when it’s plugged it’s hard to put anything in without a short extension cable, but hardly a serious issue when it’s so cool.

I’m only sorry I was in the eminence of having my WeTab just stop working at a bad timing, because even though I got a very good deal, some other important expenses have had to be delayed to 2014…

Tesla tee finally here!

I helped support the Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum campaign raised by Matthew Innman on IndieGoGo, last year, with 50 $USD with the t-shirt and sticker perks. Estimated to arrive on October 2012 but… I was one of the few unlucky ones who had to wait a bit longer. More than one year longer ๐Ÿ™‚

But I’m not sad, I’m happy the campaign succeeded at almost double the goal, which ensured the creation of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe and today I’m super happy the perks arrived.

The sticker will go to my future laptop, I’m keeping it in a safe place until I can afford it, and I couldn’t resist taking a quick pic or didn’t happen ๐Ÿ™‚

Action pic

tee + sticker

thank you letter

In the market for a laptop…

My trusty WeTab tablet is starting to give some signs of weariness, so I guess it’s time to get a new portable work device, maybe one where I can actually do some work.

System 76’s Galago Ultra Pro seems interesting, specially with 8 GB RAM and a 120 GB solid state drive, it’s under 1000 โ‚ฌ, don’t know yet how bad it’ll be with shipping from US to Portugal, but it’s quite tempting, I’ll have to check it out after FOSDEM because it’ll make quite a dent in my purse and I’d rather not do that with an upcoming journey ahead of me.

The only major problem I see with this one is the size, I’d like those specs but with 12” display size, rather than 14.1, and also below 1000 โ‚ฌ.

Any suggestions?