Friday, 4 May 2012

So what's going on?

Life is not the same as it was, but I never expected doing what I did to change it.

I'm not a naturally obedient person, witness the fact that I'm blogging in the middle of my working day. But I've been trying to just do whatever it seems God is calling me to, and along with the gentle crumbling that goes with aging, I just don't seem to be like I was before.

There's a sense of responsibility, but also a sense of not being my own. That's a curious thing for someone who's always tried to be a radical in the Christian faith, but to an extent, even though people have relied on me, I've not had the same sense of not belonging to me. I'll need to watch this, because if it spreads across to the way I expect others to behave then there's some serious disappointment ahead. What will happen when people let everyone down, when they're tired, feeling indifferent or guilty and just simply can't get off their butts to serve others where they've committed. Expectation is not, despite what all the 'best sales people will tell you, reality.

It's been a little quiet because, yet again, I've been rebuilding computers.

My natural inclination to keep them running and work-around problems has been letting me down over the last few months. Gradually, each re-install of Sabayon has been broken by the supposedly 'safe' weekly updates. Sometimes in small ways, like icons disappearing or the package manager only starting from the command line instead of the GUI. Sometimes packages that I require being broken, like Audacity, where I need to trim and balance song files for use in meetings.

Before Christmas I did a fresh re-install of Sabayon, but that started failing & in any case the PC was struggling so I moved to a new box with faster processor etc only to find within a couple of weeks that was broken also. The reason, if anyone cares, is down to updates changes in Gnome 3 desktop (GTK) packages causing KDE to break.

While cogitating what to do last time round I installed and used Pear 3 Linux for a couple of weeks - it worked nicely, but was too Mac-like for me, and moving back to Sabayon was like coming home to an old friend. There's a new version - Comice 4 (comice is French for pear) that is still quite mac-like, though possibly a little less likely to infringe Apple's appearance. I ran it live from a USB memory stick, and it was really snappy, clean & responsive - turns out some of that was almost certainly due to the ATI 5850 graphics monster I've been using (very noisy, and makes the power supply run warm, even on idle). So after a little ado, it got installed, finishing off sorting LIBDVDCSS installation and data transfer last night.

I mentioned the graphics monster: not only is that card huge and power hungry, but it's also VERY noisy, and louder than a spinning DVD, even idling. I swapped it for my Nvidia 7900GS before doing the install, and even with the Nvidia driver installed, the desktop seems less responsive, icons taking time to open in Gnome's tablet 'application' mode. It's mildly tempting to try a modern card with passive cooling, low power draw and 1Gb DDR3, but the specs on these seem so poor that I wonder if doing so would take me backward despite the 7900 being 6 years old.

Anyway, I'm also in the process of downloading AVLinux 5.03 Tube (again). This is built on Debian, but runs a very lightweight desktop (LXDE) with many excellent audio and video editing apps. The real fly in the ointment is that it doesn't seem to have the one killer app for me - DigiKam - and it may also not be possible to install & run Firefox or Thunderbird. This will possibly go on the 'old' AMD-based box and get transferred to the chapel for use recording etc.

That'll do for now.