Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Medibuntu :P

Just read that the one of the GNU project's Free Software desktops, Gnome, is being used in a new machine which uses flesh elasticity to find breast cancer. That's an awesome reason to hack on Free Software, since its impact on the world literally IS saving lives :)

The company, SuperSonicImagine, aren't just (ab)using Free Software because it's royalty free, like many companies do. They use the Cairo vector imaging library, amongst others, in their own software and contribute patches back upstream so everyone benefits from their improvements :)

Also, if you're in a recent version of KDE 4, try opening the Akregator feed reader, opening some Web pages in its embedded Konqueror part, open Epiphany, then drag a tab from Akregator over the panel entry for Epiphany until it switches, then drop the tab into epiphany and watch it open. Pretty nice integration going on :D

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Amarok and roll

Just installed Amarok 2 via the Neon nightly build service (for Kubuntu, but still works on Debian Unstable :D ). I have to say, it is absolutely teh awesome! It really shows what KDE 4's "pillars" can do when used in combination.

Don't get me wrong, I've used Amarok 2 before. However, the first time I tried it it kept crashing and didn't have much functionality. My attempts since have been greeted with a feature-packed player, which couldn't actually add anything to the playlist other than Internet radio streams :( With the nightlies it seems to be rocking full steam ahead, and doesn't take up too much space either :)

The only problem currently is that the Qt it uses doesn't seem to have antialiasing enabled for text, but that's a very minor issue.

Now to get Nepomuk to run without making my machine crawl. Perhaps the Java backend would make it work faster?

Thursday, 9 October 2008


Firstly, thank you to everyone who gave me mobile phone advice. I've probably disregarded all of you with my eventual purchase, an OpenMoko Freerunner :D

The Freerunner is pretty nice, except of course that every piece of software on it is an utter pile of unusable fail. However, I paid for the phone and not the software, so I'm going to try and make some decent apps for it.

At the moment I'm getting responsibilities piling up though :( I've got homework assignments, Free Software Society organisation, Computer Science Society collaboration to manage, Access Space, ShefLUG and Manchester Free Software collaboration to manage, Sun Microsystems relations, out-of-hours programming for my course to catch up on, relationships, general society stuff like RockSoc and things, Free Software programming (some of my projects are in dire need of some time, which I simply don't have), I have a pile of books which I want to read, the constant barrage of email, XMPP and RSS, going to the gym (which I still haven't done), sorting water stuff, sorting rent and contracts, sorting legal bollocks, sorting TV license, sorting the electoral roll and to make matters worse I'm rather ill, resulting in painful sneezing and coughing fits (I've even had to take some days off, which means missing lectures, which means catching up :( ).

I think the way to tackle this is delegation. The Free Software Society takes up a lot of my time, but is also full of awesome people who gladly help out. By getting these people to help out, like Arthur organising the socials, it will result in a lot more free time in which to do the other stuff.

Still, I've only got the one life, so why waste it? It does annoy me though, when I spend two days attempting some Physics homework and make absolutely no progress :'( That's at least 12 hours I could have used to get something else out of the way, but unfortunately I fail at Physics too much. The solution is, of course, to work even longer on it. Bugger.

Ah well, I don't have time to blog away so I'll wrap this up now.

By the way, PubSubClient is now hosted on GitHub rather than Gitorious due to a request in my blog comments.

Until next time!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

On People

People are intelligent, sentient beings.

If you try to deny the intelligence or sentience of any human being then I suggest you give me an incredibly wide berth.

Sentience, in my mind, is the only thing of any value in the entire Universe. I don't give a crap how well you can recite Pi, or tell funny jokes, or how awesome you are at anything. If sentience is at stake, I'd bet you and I together in an effort to save it.

For those who belittle the sentience of others, I severely wish you're being ironic, or you may meet an untimely end at my hands. Yes, that is a death threat, but laws don't mean anything compared to the continuation of sentience, so I would gladly accept whatever temporal punishment may be wrought against me in a fascism such as the UK if it means an ontherwise unobtainable continuation, or possible continuation, of sentience.

Some people are crying out for bricks to reshape their skulls. However, such sentient beings are part of the solution, rather than the problem (for the time being), so the best course of action is to disassociate oneself with acts one finds disagreeable.

I hope that offers some useful philosophy for someone, as it is useful to me.