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Misc computers, books, television and travel

It’s been a few more days with the new Cr-48 and I’ve really developed quite a fondness for it, but there are a few nagging issues. I switched back to regular mode when I noticed that in developer mode it wasn’t sleeping properly and I had done most of the poking around that I wanted to do in the shell for now. The shell in regular mode is super basic but it allows ssh so I’m good to go. I hate the trackpad, when MJ tried it out he commented that it seemed like they were shooting for similar behavior as the Macbook Pro but I really miss having buttons, rather than the whole trackpad being a button. And since I’m switching between terminal and browser a lot centerclick is super important to me for copy/paste, and centerclick is supported with a three finger click but it’s very finicky. Using a little travel mouse alleviates this problem, but I wish it wasn’t needed, I miss the buttons on my netbook.

The sound issue I mentioned in my other post about the Cr-48 is discussed here: CR-48 sound is buggy since update. I have to admit that it was getting very frustrating, while reloading tabs or playing something else would generally fix it (no need to reboot, rebooting didn’t even occur to me) this isn’t fun when you adjust the sound in the middle of a show and your sound gets all screwy. The thread says that this is fixed in the latest build, and that update finally hit my Cr-48, so I’ve gone from Chrome OS (Official Build ede4cb9c) beta x86-mario to Chrome OS (Official Build ce79fb21) beta x86-mario. Here’s hoping.

It’s been relatively warm here in SF this week (sorry east coast friends) and I’ve found myself using this more than my netbook because my netbook actually gets hotter than the Cr-48. I also like watching pbs.org shows in bed, and the Cr-48 has a bigger screen than my netbook so it’s nice for that. It’s also impressive how well flash videos play full screen. I mentioned that I was sad that I couldn’t play music from my samba share, but for local content I discovered chrome://flags/ which shows some experimental options, including a media player and “Advanced File System” which offers USB and SD card support, I have more exploring to do to see how well these work. For now I’m listening to stations on last.fm.

But I haven’t just been playing with my new toy these past few weeks! I blogged that the release of Squeeze happened this past weekend (Announcement, Release Notes). We run exclusively Debian at work and two of my systems here at home run Debian, so I immediately dove into the Chapter 4. Upgrades from Debian 5.0 (lenny) of the release notes. Perhaps most surprising to me (as someone who doesn’t keep up with discussions surrounding Debian development) was the change in upgrade policy regarding aptitude vs apt-get: “The upgrade process for other releases recommended the use of aptitude for the upgrade. This tool is not recommended for upgrades from lenny to squeeze.” Apparently the improvements made to apt-get’s dependency tracking have made it a player again – good thing too, since I never did get used to aptitude and I’ve been happily (stubbornly) been on the apt-get bandwagon all along. I’ve now done 2 Squeeze upgrades, both of which went relatively smoothly even if the Upgrade to grub2 step in the process still scares me a little (but it has worked well so far…).

I’ve been reading too, and I am totally in love with my Nook. I used to have this crazy pile of books and magazines I’d haul around when I was in a reading mood, usually some tech book, a serious fiction book, a silly fiction book and some non-fiction book. The pile of magazines hasn’t changed, but my 4 books has been shrunk into the little Nook, much to my delight. I read Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher which was quite the treat. I picked up Cooking For Geeks (another cook book? Maybe this time I’ll start cooking more…) and am finally working on finishing Confessions of a Public Speaker and am re-reading Time Management for System Administrators hoping that more useful tidbits will sink in after a second reading. I’ve also snagged a few titles from Project Gutenberg but I have to be honest and say that after the piles of non-fiction and techie and science magazines I read, when I go for fiction I have been tending to prefer fluff rather than classics (I will finish Moby Dick some day!).

Television! I’ve been watching some. MJ and I watch a few shows together (Lie to me, Bones, House, Big Bang Theory, V, Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: DS9, Law & Order: SVU) but on my own I’ve rediscovered Eureka and have been enjoying Fringe. I have to admit that it’s certainly more TV than I’m used to, but it’s a refreshing break after work, projects and events. Plus, thanks to video4fuze I have a simple way to convert shows to be playable on my little mp3 player to watch at the gym.

Projects and events! A week and a half ago we hosted Ubuntu User Days on IRC – 20 hours of scheduled chats on various user-facing topics. This was our 3rd event, and in spite of some no-shows (we’ll have to work better on covering those next time around) much of the day went well. I did a session on Desktop Environments: Gnome, KDE, XFCE with Mackenzie Morgan, and then filled in for a missing instructor to do a very fun Command Line Q&A with Paul Tagliamonte. Tomorrow night I’m hosting another Ubuntu Hour here in San Francisco, hooray for coffee, Ubuntu chat, and meeting new people! I’ve actually been a bit conservative about events lately though since I’ve really wanted to spend time at home catching up on project work. I’ve been working with some folks on Ubuntu Women project goals, we’re chugging away with website plans and recently launched some efforts to encourage more women to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit by creating a UDS page on our wiki with some FAQ about the event and a UDS Stories page with several posts written by women in the project who have attended in-person and remotely. UDS also has implemented an Anti-Harassment Policy and the project as a whole is working on a Diversity Statement for the project (Matt Zimmerman has posted a draft in his blog here).

What else have I been up to? I’ve been much more disciplined about going to the gym lately, and am completely ruining that healthy gym-going by continuing to over-indulge in the awesome food and drinks that San Francisco has to offer (Beer! Pizza! Beer!). The scale is going in the wrong direction. MJ has a friend from back east visiting this week so over the weekend we all went out to the San Francisco Zoo on Saturday because the weather was nice and they have a baby giant anteater I was dying to see. Sunday I headed up to Heart of the City Farmers’ Market for some fresh fruit and bread, spent some time on the roof reading, got caught up on email and the three of us went out to sushi for dinner.

And in case I was getting sad about no air travel since November, MJ and I booked our flights to Los Angeles and hotel room for the Southern California Linux Expo later this month. We’ll be flying down after work on Thursday the 24th and coming home after the conference wraps up on Sunday the 27th. The Ubuntu California team will be hosting an Ubuntu booth at the conference so I’ve been working with other volunteers to get all the goodies for our table. I am really looking forward to this event, there should be a lot of awesome people there who I haven’t had the opportunity to meet in person and as always some folks who I’m looking forward to catch up with. As for other travel this year, my schedule hasn’t been firmed up but I’m planning on attending the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest in May. MJ has some work travel this year that I’m hoping to tag along with and a (working) trip back to Philadelphia sometime this year will probably happen too.


  • Leigh Honeywell

    Looking forward to seeing you in LA!

  • James

    They may be shooting for a Macbook trackpad but they missed the mark by a wide margin. Simple things like dragging across the trackpad just don’t work. Frankly I’m not certain it would be any better even if there were physical buttons.

    Tip on SSH via the basic shell – the client (at least the last time I looked) passes along the terminal emulator as xterm. Set the term variable to xterm-color on the remote system for colorey goodness.

    Is yours set to the beta or dev channel?

  • pleia2

    I had it in dev for the first few days, but I’m back in beta for now since I wanted the proper regular user experience.


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