Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bye, Xemacs 21. Move to Emacs 23

I was a vim user for long time. And I moved to emacs world about 4 months ago.
I am getting used to it more and more. I especially liked lisp syntax to configure the environment. Currently, I am working on writing emacs plugin to look up english dictionary. I need urllib or socket with some nice parser. Anyway, getting into it and enjoying emacs.
One thing I couldn't bare on Xemacs was that it was not friendly with Korean Language system in KDE, I believe it starts from X layer. Before I fight with UTF-8 on Xemacs, I looked up and found Emacs 23 supports UTF-8 with Korean enabled out of the box!
I tried it out, and loved it. I migrated custom.el from .xemacs to .emacs file.
It is very radical move because Emacs 22 is still not in stable tree.
But, I got what I wanted and life goes on.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gentoo: tip for KDE

Yesterday, I mentioned that I am thinking of gentoo for my office machine and will be planned for later. Wrong! I did it yesterday a while after I posted the article. I admit that I was nervous a little bit because the machine contains many bits and pieces for work. If any of them failed to be migrated, it will cost me extra recovery time.
Then, I thought, "Why not?". It does not cost me loss of data. It only costs me extra work for recovery. As long as, I can bring data back, that's fine.

Things went okay. I backed up most or all of necessary data, and restored them back including pg dbs. My tool for window manager is still KDE. It took me just about a day to bring up. Full blown kde-meta compilation will take longer than that. And, slow.
To make KDE responsive and fast, I do this.

# emerge kdebase-startkde ( for basic kde)
# emerge konsole ( I always need terminal with enhanced control )
# emerge kicker kmenuedit

You can think of KDE with only these three for XFCE, stripped down version of Gnome. Then, build in anything that will be needed. For example, my favorite amarok.

# emerge amarok.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Linux: Gentoo vs. Ubuntu

I am a big fan of gentoo. I believe it is the most flexible Linux distribution. My laptops were gentoo. However, in my workplace, I use Ubuntu. My supervisor does not like tweaked solution, and I understand. If I am a manager, I don't want to solve problems harder than necessary. Our deploying target is RedHat AS and my environment is already not matching and it does not need to match. Anyway, my package will be installed with install script. Why not use Gentoo?

I would like to. That is currently a big dilemma. We are pretty busy this summer, but after the summer, let's consider :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

gentoo on slow system

This is a dilemma. Modern operating system does not like slow system with not enough memory. Let me give my old laptop as an example. This is Celeron 1.1Ghz with 256MB ram. Cache size is 256Kb. First, Windows XP, the mostly used OS these days, can survive barely with fresh install from original recovery CD (Home edition). But, as patches and service packs are added up, getting sluggish. Eventually, fully patched machine will give unusably slow machine. To use this computer, exposing to risk of unpatched status is inevitable.

Second, Windows 2000. Ha ha ha. Unless somebody has a too much time to experiment how long it takes for fully patched with gazillian times of reboot. I don't want to try, but I can imagine myself stuck in this ugly box patching and rebooting repeatedly.

Then, linux becomes the key. However, current ubuntu/kubuntu desktop release will not be happy with 256Mb ram. It will be as slow as Windows XP. We can use debian or ubuntu server and start from there. Light window manager like fluxbox or window maker with small but powerful system monitor like conky will do it. Personally, I prefer fluxbox.

When eagerness to offload unused kernel module or strip down application thanks to USE flags comes into play, gentoo brings serious dilemma. As much I don't want to be stuck updating windows machine, as the same I don't want to be stuck looking at compiling screens.

I can just compile and leave. What if emerge process failes in the middle? Okay, then use the box while compiling. That's what I do. Then, the machine is usable, but not fun. Especially, when emerging, it already lost sometimes half, sometimes fully lost cpu resource. Plus, firefox is slow!!
But, the result will be the cleanest.

The last thing that I want to see is 'update candidate, glibc.'

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

gentoo: ndiswrapper can't find CONFIG_NET_RADIO

I was very interested in tickless kernel for longer battery life on laptop. So, when I saw kernel-2.6.22 on portage, I began to emerge. Although it was 3:00 in the morning, I couldn't go to sleep without finishing the job.

My gentoo system is very slow machine. 5 year-old Intel Celeron (256KB cache) with 256MB ram. Taking so long time for kernel compilation was bothersome especially in sleepy brain. Well, finally finished, (GOSH! forgot to check how long it took. Kernel compile does not leave a log in /var/log/emerge.log )

By reboot, I found two things broken. My sound and ndiswrapper. ndiswrapper 1.44 ebuild was complaining CONFIG_NET_RADIO. At first, I thought, 'I forgot to visit networking section.' :) But, before menuconfig, grep 'NET_RADIO' .config on /usr/src/linux surprised me. Nothing!!
Okay, if an application is complaining an non-existing CONFIG option in kernel, most likely this must be gone. I found this entry from googling:

I turned on new config, CONFIG_WIRELESS_EXT, and spent compiling kernel in sleepy brain once again, rebooting, touching /etc/portage/package.mask and package.keywords for ndiswrapper, and emerging... And it was solved. modprobe successfully loaded ndiswrapper.