Friday, January 25, 2008

Remote Control

Today I decided to try out a little utility called x2x. What it does, essentially, is it allows the control of two X displays with one keyboard and mouse. A little script later, I'm using my laptop's keyboard and touchpad to control my desktop. It's nice, since I'm using one of Matt's large 20" widescreens on my desktop. If I bump up the font sizes, this could work very nicely for watching movies or playing games from afar. Whenever I get around to setting up a Media Center PC, I'll do this same sort of thing: keep no input devices attached to the MCPC, but instead control it from a laptop. Or, while I'm dreaming, from a smartphone, since I don't have the cash for either a Media Center or a smartphone.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Today's fish is: Trout a la creme

Oh noes, more food. I promise that this is not a cooking blog. Nevertheless, I've found I love grilled salmon. As long as I don't do something stupid like put teriyaki sauce on it while it's cooking and so burn the sauce. Also, sardines are good on crackers with mustard, and anchovies are good on pizza. Fish is obviously not brain food: I stuff myself with it and seriously, look at me :P

My desktop keeps being mostly dead. Its latest problem is a worrying noise like a fan is brushing against something. I'd open it up and rearrange stuff, but I've been too lazy. I almost can't wait for it to fail completely so I can have more justification to build a new one. I'm thinking of building a nearly-exclusively-Asus-based machine, just because I've seen a lot of Asus's motherboards and graphics cards, and I'm impressed with their quality. Their cases, both barebone and empty, aren't too bad-looking, either. Yes, I love tweaking and customizing, and yet those silver-and-black iMacs are so tempting... want. Dell's all-in-one XPS machine would be attractive if it were more customizable, but it's almost Jobsian in its stylish looks and lack of options.

Laptop's being great, except for a worrying occasional loud click from the hard drive. I think this weekend I'll try to gather the time to back up all my 1.2 kilolocats and other files, and organize them on my server that currently holds at least three separate backup sessions.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Day of Linux

Andy Selman, one of my friends here at Purdue, asked me over to his place so we could mess around with installing Linux on his computer. Everything worked fine on the Live CD test except graphics, and we were able to install the proper driver after installing Ubuntu 7.10 to his hard drive.

Then we headed into unfamiliar territory: virtualization. Andy had the idea that he could, using Xen, boot Windows Vista while running Linux. Sure, it's possible, but we didn't get it figured out this afternoon. Instead, he served mint cocoa and venison sausage, and also some four-year-old ├╝ber-sharp cheddar.

We noticed, after installing Xen, that we couldn't select which OS to load on boot: his wireless keyboard was not working before booting. He figured that Xen had somehow messed stuff up; I don't know if maybe it did, but the problem was USB keyboard support had gotten turned off in his BIOS. Maybe Xen did that during its installation, because the keyboard worked before installation and after reenabling USB keyboard support.

I was going to stop by Einstein Bros. afterwards for some bagels and salmon cream cheese, but no, I'm not allowed to do that. They would be closed, wouldn't they?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dinner and a show

Matt went home for the weekend, so I dined solo. Dinner consisted of chicken gumbo with Louisiana Hot Sauce, some Whole Grain Fig Newtons, and two pork egg rolls with garlic hoisin sauce. Go ahead and make a face all you want, but I rather liked it.

Went to see the Crazy Monkeys, an improv comedy troupe here at Purdue. They performed at the Village Coffee House on State St. I ordered my usual caffeinated drink, a double espresso with a shot of soymilk. This was the first time I'd had frothed soymilk in a drink; most places just pour it in. The frothing gave it an interesting texture that I think I like better than the usual. They gave me a very tiny cup to drink out of, which made me feel silly and pretentious.

The Monkeys were good as usual, though I miss the first group I ever saw. Only one of them remains, yet after all these years he still has the same sense of timing and randomness that made that first group such a success. A few of the new people aren't too shabby either. Crap, I'm only 22, I shouldn't feel nostalgic about anything newer than Lego or the original Power Rangers.