16 Jul 2006

away from my powerbook

well, about 2 weeks ago, we sent off patricia's macbook because she had the discolouration problem that a lot of other people were having with their macbooks. since then, i've given her my powerbook to use while i've been using her pc laptop that has gentoo linux installed on it.

it's interesting using linux full time again, reminds me how fun making software work properly is. even though you can write correct code, making everything fit together in practice as much of an art as writing good code. however, there are some real differences:

things i really miss on my powerbook are:

1. ecto - i have to blog via the django admin interface rather than a separate app, which means there's been much more barrier to blog than just firing up an app writing to crazy rant, add a picture or two and sending it off all in 5 minutes.

2. adium - gaim is ugly as hell so i refuse to turn it on, that's why no one has seen me online on IM for the last week or so.

3. itunes - i get my ipod synced up once in a while on my powerbook, but i can't get banshee working as great as itunes does. i just want to play songs off my ipod and i have to jump through all sorts of hoops with mounting my ipod, and then use gtkpod to decode the songs and enqueue them on bmpx. very convoluted way of doing things.

4. textmate - i finally learnt a bit of lisp after years of using emacs just so that i could make some changes to debug some file-mode so files gets highlighted properly.

5. volume control hotkeys - i still haven't figured out how to bind these on linux yet, every time i need to adjust the volume, i need to move my mouse to the top of the screen and click on that tiny volume control.

6. dashboard - i never even knew i would say this, but it turns i look at my dashboard more times than i actually remember. i have to replace my F12 with asking patricia what the temperature is.

things that i don't miss on the powerbook:

1. mail - evolution does a pretty good job at handling my email and is heaps faster. only niggle is when you try to delete a whole thread, you can't just hit backspace but have to select all the messages in the thread, which is annoying.

2. netnewswire - thanks to newsgator online, i don't miss netnewswire that much. sure it is a little slower, but it is good enough for me.

3. safari - firefox on linux is a much better experience than firefox on the mac. given that all my bookmarks are online, there isn't really much i can't do on firefox except watch theshow with ze frank (which is in apple quicktime)!

4. vlc/quicktime - again, apart from not being able to play mov/wmv, playing divx and downloads from the net is extremely easy, just double click on the file from the gnome file selector. they even have neat picture thumbnails.

anyway, her macbook still isn't back yet, so i guess i might have another week of full time linux usage up my sleeve. in the meantime, i got back into some small time gentoo development by making myself close no more than 5 bugs a day. so instead, i've written a python bugzilla command line interface called pybugz to help me.

You can reply to me about this on Twitter: