Of Trees and Technology (Updated)

I don’t take myself that seriously, so if you are amused, I’ll laugh along with you.

So, for example, as a pretty serious woodsman with hand tools, you should not be surprised if I tell you that trees talk to me. Not in terms of language with cognitive content, but through my empathy and in my heart. They speak of acknowledgment to me, but even more is that they all speak of God’s glory. Some trees have adopted me, actually calling for my attention. By coming into friendly physical contact with them, they help my bad shoulder feel better, improving my ax strokes. Yeah, I’m a wacko tree hugger, even hugging the ones I have to cut down.

Oh, and I hear similar praise for my Father from the grass and weeds in the yard. And birds always sing praises to God. At least, that’s what I hear.

I’ve changed computer OSes again. Did it ever occur to you this is not just a good way to experiment and learn, but it also keeps the government spying agencies on their toes? Not long ago, they found a couple of ways that Linux can have spyware, though it’s quite rare and targeted. So my frequent changing teaches me, if nothing else, how to wipe the system and preserve my data. I’m really good with personal data backups and even better with installation issues people face.

So today I’m running OpenSUSE 13.2 — I haven’t messed with SUSE much in recent years. Like most Linux hobbyists, I used Red Hat some back in the late 1990s because it was the easiest thing to get. However, I soon discovered SUSE and liked it much better. During the time when Novell owned the company, SUSE lost a lot of user appeal, with way too much emphasis on the corporate market. There were only a couple of decent releases and the rest were buggy crap. That period of controversy over their business deals with Microsoft didn’t bother me nearly so much as the continued bugginess. Once they broke free and regained some independence, the quality slowly climbed back up. The current release represents what they are capable of when allowed to do their own work. I was having enough trouble with Debian to decide this was a good time for a test drive.

I also elected to stick with the 32-bit version. The difference is marginal, and I’m not suggesting it’s a bad idea to go with the new trend in making things all 64-bit. Unfortunately, there are plenty of projects that are important to my work that don’t work in 64-bit. Thus, the scale is ever-so-slightly tipped in favor with staying in legacy mode.

I’m also still using XFCE because I can’t tolerate other desktops any more. Fortunately, SUSE makes it an option during installation, and it’s fully fitted with all the necessary SUSE system management facilities. However, whoever manages this part of SUSE’s software needs an attitude adjustment. They insist on forcing you to accept their bad defaults for things like the panel. Used to, you could login the first time, delete your configs, logout and come back in with the generic XFCE defaults. Now the system simply regenerates the bad SUSE styling by default. So it takes a bit of fixing to put things where they belong. Look, buttheads at SUSE: People who use XFCE are not idiots who need hand-holding. We chose XFCE because we do not like that newbie-oriented hand-holding shit. (Open Source developers are notoriously anti-user. When someone forces them to consider the user, they still don’t understand the concept of accommodating ordinary user wishes.)

I also now have access to an Android device. As a writer, I naturally insisted on getting a keyboard for it. I ordered a folding keyboard that came in last night and I’ll be playing with it some today. For those of you amused by my computer technology stuff, you’ll start seeing some Android stuff soon. So, for example, on Android in particular, I am a huge fan of Opera. Both the regular browser and the old Opera Mini have their best use cases. The latter is a great way to just read stuff and it saves on your data transmission bandwidth. However, it tends to scale text down at odd times and it becomes unreadable.

There are precious few Linux tools ported over to Android, and some of those are not free. That means finding a different way to do the same stuff when it happens that the tablet is all I have with me. I’m not much for mere consumption of the Internet; if I can’t write and share my thoughts, I have no use for Net devices.

Thanks for stopping by to share a laugh with me.

Update: If you are going to use XFCE, I recommend you follow this guide (scroll down a ways) and disable PulseAudio. While the controls will not be the same as pictured, the similarities should be sufficient for users to figure it out. Open YaST, select Sound, look for the “other” button and configure PulseAudio by turning it off. Log out and then log back in. Your sound should still work and you won’t run into oddball issues with PulseAudio doing stupid stuff with permissions.

However, I find the whole problem with fonts isn’t just a little challenging. If you use the Infinality system, it will never be better than what you get with Win7, and anything running in WINE looks awful. If you use the Muzlocker trick, it breaks too many essential system libraries. If you just leave it alone, you may be able to tolerate it, but I got a headache just looking at it. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why SUSE makes it so damned complicated for the ordinary user to reverse their choice to cripple font rendering. Nobody else makes it that hard.

So I’m back to using Scientific Linux.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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2 Responses to Of Trees and Technology (Updated)

  1. mandala56 says:

    Well, I wasn’t laughing, exactly. The tree stuff does resonate with me, and I have a special relationship with a certain hibiscus plant that I take care of at work.


  2. Fascinating but guess I like to use the technology rather than know too much. But interesting on changes for personal protection.


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