gusl: (Default)
For future reference, the above is how I got Ubuntu to obey my Compose file, which customizes the mapping between keyboard input and characters (in particular, for making accents, cedilla, etc), since I've been spoiled by too many years of the "US International" keyboard on Windows (a similarly-named keyboard exists on Linux, but it's best suited for Eastern European languages, e.g. '+c produces ć).

Next time I solve a long-standing problem, I will make better records.

It's a really obscure setting. I owe this knowledge to a random volunteer on FreeNode.
gusl: (Default)
Sometimes text messages don't arrive for days... and one day they all arrive together. Today I received 4 late messages, 1 from Thursday, 2 from Friday, 1 from Saturday. I've missed a bunch more messages from another friend who also has AT&T. Has anyone had similar issues? Does complaining help?

I used to have a bit of this with, but it was only a handful of cases in 2 years, to my knowledge.
gusl: (Default)
* Today I finally went ahead and did 39 critical updates including, I think, the kernel.

* I just upgraded Flash with: sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer. This worked, and I can listen to YouTube and use Google Streetview again. Did they choose the same day to stop supporting older versions of Flash?

* GMail on Firefox on Ubuntu has been having trouble attaching files about half the time. It's annoying.

* A few days ago, I lost my taskbar, and had difficulty rebuilding it. I was eventually able to add stuff back with Panel Settings > Add Widgets (thanks in part to Jeff's help). However, I still don't know how to add back the "System Settings > Display" as a widget.

* even Firefox isn't obeying my Compose file anymore: e.g. now it's making ć instead of c-cedilla and '+t produces nothing (it should produce 't). Aaahh!

As we can see, emacs is reading the Compose file (in fact, it's also reading .XCompose, which is a copy of it!):

gusl@gusl-laptop:~/Documents$ strace -e open emacs --nofork |& grep Compose
open("/usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose", O_RDONLY) = 6
open("/home/gusl/.XCompose", O_RDONLY)  = 6
open("/home/gusl/.XCompose", O_RDONLY)  = 6
open("/usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose", O_RDONLY) = 6
open("/home/gusl/.XCompose", O_RDONLY)  = 6
open("/home/gusl/.XCompose", O_RDONLY)  = 6

and the cedilla works.

But kate and Firefox aren't:
gusl@gusl-laptop:~/Documents$ strace -e open kate --nofork |& grep Compose
gusl@gusl-laptop:~/Documents$ strace -e open firefox --nofork |& grep Compose

and the cedilla doesn't work!

The point is that Firefox used to read it! I thought this was due to being a GTK app.
gusl: (Default)
Today's Windows Update screwed up my ability to select my laptop screen as my primary monitor. Now my external monitor is primary. I've restarted the machine with the external monitor connected and disconnected. Nothing helps.

Whenever I select the laptop screen and check "Use this device as primary monitor" and click Apply, it gets confused and the laptop screen is disabled. At other times, this checkbox is greyed out.

If I disconnect the external monitor, then it behaves normally... but as soon as I reconnect it, there's a change of identity, and Screen 1 becomes Screen 2 and vice-versa.

Also: closing a laptop lid should not have any side-effects besides turning off the lights on the LCD! However, signals get sent, and sounds are often made.


UPDATE: System Restore fixed it. I guess this update messed with some place in my registry...


UPDATE 2: And now I'm being nagged to Windows Update all over again... How can I tell if it's the same or a new update?
gusl: (Default)
My machine is starting the screensaver after 1 minute, which is very annoying, especially if I'm reading or watching something. Also, several times now the screensaver started within 1 or 2 seconds of me touching the computer (not enough time to prevent it from starting)

The Power Properties says that the screensaver will start after 15 minutes. The registry entry says 600 seconds (i.e. 10 minutes). And the reality is 1 minute.


UPDATE: I fixed this at "Display Properties > Screen Saver", obtained by right-clicking on the Desktop.
gusl: (Default)
Why do 'git' and 'ssh' not work inside my Cygwin shell? They do work in my MINGW shell.

When I try 'ssh', I get the following error:
<< Pseudo-terminal will not be allocated because stdin is not a terminal. >>


Why does my Emacs Cygwin append "\r" to the end of every line... but only if I started the shell after starting the R process (in the same Emacs window)?

The SHELLOPTS variable does not change. "igncr" is present before and after the R process is started:
bash-3.2$ echo $SHELLOPTS
gusl: (Default)
If I get a lesson from a Cygwin whiz, I may be able to avoid the cost of switching OSs...

My PATH variable often seems to be broken. The space inside "Program Files" causes parsing problems, but you can't tell how far it's parsed, except by painstakingly looking inside those directories and trying to run files in them.

On top of this, whenever you make a change to the default values of environment variables, you always need to start a new shell to see the change. I wish I could set these defaults in a configuration file.

My Emacs often forgets that my SHELLOPTS has "igncr" and thereafter sends "\r" to the shell with every CR, becoming useless and forcing me to kill it.

My R shell seems to run in a different environment altogether, and does not recognize the PATH that my bash shell does (both running inside the same Emacs window).

Should I blame Cygwin?
gusl: (Default)
I've seen this a lot, not just on my laptop: open your laptop, and the screen goes on and off and on and off, etc. There's a lot of variation in how many times this cycle happens (though it's usually between 1 and 3 times), and sometimes it stays off, and I can't figure out how to turn it on again... which means I need to reboot my machine and lose my work.

This happened last week.

data loss

Feb. 3rd, 2009 01:13 pm
gusl: (Default)
Almost every day I put my tablet PC through a cycle of hibernating and waking up (reloading the RAM).

About 5% of the time, the reloading fails and I need to reboot. Last night, the reloading failed worse than normal: a blue screen would flash for a split second, and my boot screen offered extra options, such as "Normal", 3 types of "Safe Mode", as well as "Last Working Configuration". None of these worked. I always got the flashing blue screen.

So I call HP Support, and tell them about this. They ask about my Recovery CD. I tell them that, since my laptop doesn't have an internal CD drive, I have a Recovery Partition instead. So he tells me to hit F11, which I do. Then he tells me that this "Recovery" will format my HD!!!!
- No way!! How do I stop that?
- you can try pressing ESC or something...

(And why does reinstalling Windows automatically reformat the HD???)

Fortunately, it turned out that formatting hadn't begun because it required clicking on an OK button. So I hit ESC instead. This immediately causes formatting to begin!!! NOOOOO!!!!! (A smarter version of myself would have turned off the computer instead of hitting ESC, rather than assuming that those programmers were HCI-aware.) It takes me 6s into the formatting to switch off the computer (thanks to the battery not having a switch). Fortunately, I have a big HD which would take much longer to format completely.

So now I can't even get a boot screen. Instead, I get a message that "NTLDR is missing". Fortunately, I made a nearly-complete backup onto my external HD two weeks ago. (And it should go without saying that I'm thankful for GMail, LiveJournal, keeping my personal data online)

Here's what I lost
* a few (~10) text files, including class notes
* journal notes from Nando's lecture proving the Central Limit Theorem
* a few pictures from my cell phone
* MS Office, student edition (hopefully I still have the DVD)

I estimate it will take ~10 hours of work to reinstall everything:
* Windows XP (+ change defaults)
* Firefox (+ ReadItLater, NextTab)
* Cygwin (+ "SHELLOPTS=:igncr")
* VPN client
* SSH client (WinSCP, I think)
* 7zip
* Emacs
* Acrobat
* MikTeX
* Jarnal
* Matlab
* PLT Scheme
* OCaml
* Eclipse
* WorkRave
* Picasa
* VLC Player

I'm tempted to switch to Linux, but (1) I doubt the tablet pen would work (2) I'm skeptical of claims that I won't have to waste time doing low-level work just to get programs installed correctly.

This is a good time to reevaluate which of the above programs are worth keeping. Does anyone recommend OpenOffice? (I won't need OneNote for tablet capabilities, since I have Windows Journal)

* when it comes to emergencies, if you have trouble with their English and/or the connection, hang up and call again.
* don't try to fix things late at night, when your mind is working sub-optimally.

The data in my HD is mostly intact, just difficult to access. I'll try to boot into Knoppix from a Live CD, and save my files onto my external HD.

In the meantime, maybe I should get my HD replaced by HP, while it's still covered by warranty. The failure from last night should be enough evidence.


UPDATE: Local geeks tell me that the 6s of formatting has almost certainly wiped out the partition table (except for the table separating the recovery partition from the rest), which should make the files very find to find. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to make a Knoppix Live CD and see what I can find.


Jan. 11th, 2006 06:25 pm
gusl: (Default)
I am currently running Fedora Core 1. Scrolling and moving windows around is very very slow. This is especially annoying when browsing with Firefox. I don't even many programs have open: just Firefox and gEdit.

top gives


3743 gus 15 0 11768 9260 8040 S 3.3 3.6 0:04 0 gnome-terminal
3624 root 15 0 59528 41M 7224 S 1.9 16.5 23:50 0 X
6615 gus 16 0 1112 1112 896 R 0.1 0.4 0:00 0 top
1 root 16 0 428 396 380 S 0.0 0.1 0:04 0 init
2 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 keventd
3 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 kapmd
4 root 34 19 0 0 0 SWN 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 ksoftirqd/0
6 root 15 0 0 0 0 SW 0.0 0.0 0:00 0 bdflush

Any tips would be highly appreciated.


gusl: (Default)

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