As a web developer for small business, I don’t have a need for complex project management, but I do need to keep track of time, otherwise, I’ll short-change myself and end up making $5.00 an hour! Analysis of time spent on various tasks has also helped me to identify bottlenecks in my process, making me more efficient – keeping clients and the accountant happy. Continue reading
I like to be able to search for stuff on my computer – who doesn’t? Well , I don’t enjoy searching, but I do want the ability to do so in case I loose track of something in the perfect hierarchical world that is my directory tree. From the CLI, one can invoke various search commands to do the dirty work. Even ls can find stuff for you if you grep it right. But, alas; search for me is better suited to the gui, so about two weeks ago, I got the strigi daemon indexing so I can actually do the aforementioned searches – after just a bit of drive crawling, I could find media, email messages, etc., as expected. I had some problems displaying found items when clicking on the links to them in the search results data, but at least I could see where the items are and so just go to them manually. Out of the box, strigi seemed to be working fine.
Now, I’ve got around 500GB of disk space between 4 drives with more than half of that currently free. My root partition is mounted on a 30GB disk and then media and other data are stored on other larger disks. 30GB for / is plenty of room, or so I thought. Last week I started getting error messages that my home directory was running out of free space. I dumped the trash, cleaned up some temp files, and figured that would be the end of it. The message popped up again a few more times telling me that I was quickly running out of free space, so I decided to see what was eating a drive that should be more than adequate for my root partition. Continue reading
When I installed Windows Vista, I really did like all of the translucent effects and the sub-pixel rendering. While the primary purpose of a computer is to let me work more efficiently, I am a sucker for eye candy. I feel for the Windows users because effects as provided by compiz are simply not available to them. The core plugins are pretty cool. I particularly like the way Wobbly Windows adds an almost tactile dimension to moving windows around on the desktop. The desktop cube is a great way to navigate multiple virtual desktops too.
The core plugins include:
- Cube Plugin
- Scale Plugin
- Switcher Plugin
- Wobbly Plugin
- Water Plugin
- 3D Plugin
- Animation Plugin
- Negative Plugin
- Snow Plugin
It’s not just for looks either. Compiz provides many accessibility enhancements as well. The zoom tool is awesome; the combination of “old eyes” and high res monitors really make welcome an unpixelated zoom tool easily controled by hot-keys. I can zoom in on a period so it fills both monitors without any jaggy-edged loss at all – I’m not sure why I would do that, but it’s nice to know I can.
Installation of compiz is dependent on your distro – check your favorite package manager. Gnome has a more robust integration than does KDE. XCFE does pretty good too. There are issues with dual-head systems with ATI graphics cards to be aware of too. If your using xinerama, gl, and most compiz effects will only work in one monitor. nVidia drivers seem to handle this setup just fine, however.
The screenshot is of the Switch plugin – it replaces alt-tab with an easy to navigate preview of the programs that you are switching through. You can also set up a nice ring switcher with this effect.