Hacking in Debian is so easy (one of the reasons I switched). Take, for instance, building Emacs. This is such a piece of cake compared to the weird hoops you have to go through to get all the build dependencies on other platforms. It’s something I never tried before, simply because it was too daunting trying to figure out all the packages I need to install. But apt-get has this awesome –build-deps switch… Continue reading →
Lately I’ve been noticing significant DNS latency when visiting certain sites. This is most obvious when my browser spends ages with “Looking up some.web.server.com…” in it’s status bar. It’s particularly bad at sites like wordpress.com where many pages make reference to sub-domains of wordpress.com and typically also to google.com for analytics or ads.
While my ISP’s DNS infrastructure is pretty good, there are a couple of things I can do to improve DNS look-up, which makes page loads a lot quicker. Continue reading →
Older X.org and XFree86 used to have this neat feature where pressing Ctrl+<numpad +> and Ctrl+<numpad -> would cycle through the screen modes defined in your config file in the “Screen” section, effectively switching screen modes on the fly and letting you pan around the full virtual screen size with the mouse.
This was a really useful feature for zooming in on small details, or to blow up videos without incurring high CPU overhead.
But since about X.org 1.7 this feature seems to be missing. I’ve been researching and discovered why it’s missing, and what to do about it. Continue reading →
I’ve been experimenting with the awesometiling window manager as a replacement to KDE’s kwin, and I’ve managed to hack together a recipe for getting them up an running. It’s surprisingly simple, although the learing curve was a little steep.
Okay, so I hate working in Windows, but on my employer’s equipment at least, I must live with it. After having had this machine replaced twice (faulty Dell hardware) and rebuilt more times than I can remember (Windows BSODs), for a total of at least 3 system migrations this past year, I thought I’d better keep a list of what free software to install on top of Windows, and what adjustments to make, so that at least I don’t feel like I’m wearing a straight jacket. Here goes:
MJL20080827 — Update: I Just realised that this is one of my top-visited pages and it’s a totally disorganised and incongruent pile of… What’s worse is, I’ve never updated it since the promised update back in March 2007!
Let me clear things up (and save you wading through the whole article): If you want remote access to your openSUSE desktop from a networked thin client, then forget about X11, XDMCP, VNC or tunneling X through SSH. Use the NX protocol. You’ll need to do the following:
Install an NX client on your remote terminal(s). Nomachine has free NX clients for Linux, Mac, Windows and Solaris (even some experimental ones for PlayStation 2 and Zaurus!). If your remote terminal is running openSUSE, you could alternatively get an open-source NX client from the build service (or ask yourself: I’m running X locally, so why don’t I just use good ole SSH and X11?)
Configure your NX client to connect to the openSUSE host, then log in and enjoy!
The upshot: I’ve done this with a FreeNX server and Nomachine’s NX client for Windows XP, and it all “just works”, except maybe for some font issues with older X clients like emacs (install extra font packages from nomachine to fix that), and some transparency effect issues I noticed in kwin4, probably to do with X11 extensions missing in the NX client. Not a big deal.
Read the rest of this article for the boring background and laughable false-starts in my quest for remote desktops in X… <blush/>