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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hamster and further topics

I am thoroughly disappointed in the Gnome folks for posting a pic of the new time tracker applet in 2.28 with the title "Hamster". Why should a project with that name be allowed into gnome proper. That said I do quite like the applet. I think.

Anyways, the much anticipated Gnome 2.28 was released a while ago. I have been running the development version of OpenSUSE for the past while, which has been more or less tracking the development of Gnome so by this point, all I have to say on the matter is, meh.

It's a desktop environment, and for somethings it meets my needs, and for others, I couldn't care less.

In unrelated news, I have recently filed a shwack of bugs against opensuse factory in an attempt to stabilize the desktop for myself. I have not been terribly happy with the overall stability of the development versions of opensuse, and am constantly running into stability problems an a variety of quirks.

That said, I am strongly considering moving to OpenBSD for precisely this reason. While I like to be on the bleeding edge of things, I have had quite of enough actual bleeding thank you very much.

So, in conclusion, hamsters should be shot, instability = bad, and my laptop is burning my tummy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Posting to blog from links

Well, here is the first time that I have done anything like this. The latest milestone from OpenSUSE is broken. Apparently they patched HAL with a crummy patch or something and now when you boot the OS hal crashes and you cannot access your mouse or keyboard while X is running....

Not the slickest thing that I have ever seen.

Anyways, I booted to the commandline rather than start X and am posting this comment from the links browser.

I couldn't tell you if I like the experience, but it is definitely a first for me.

Anyways, this is not meant to be a profound or indeed informative post, I just wanted to see if I could actually do it from the commandline line in text mode, and it turns out that I can.

Now I am going to go to bed just because it is that time of day.

So long.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Accuracy of a GPS in a Car

So I have been having fun the past two days driving around Canyon Meadows (here in Calgary Alberta) with my GPS collecting information to post to Open Street Map. Although I have used the GPS for most of the summer as I scooted across the country with my bike, I have not done much with it in terms of actual mapping.

Now that I am officially back in town, I figure that a little bit of mapping would be fun to do, after all there is hordes of information missing even from the community within which I live. So last night, one of my boarders and I hopped in the car and drove the alleys of NW Canyon Meadows. I was slightly disappointed to discover that when I plugged the data in JOSM, the track was jagged and in areas, clearly wrong. What could be the problem? I have used this before to map the town of Empress Alberta without much difficulty.

It occurred to me while lying in bed that maybe the problem had to do with where the GPS was stationed in the car. On our midnight saunter, the gps was held in my passengers hand somewhere around or below his lap. Could this cause the problem? Maybe the unit needs better line of site to the satellites, and even the moderate amount of flesh and metal in the way was interfering with this.

Perhaps this is bang on because I just got back from another little jaunt where I had the GPS sitting on the dash. The result is considerably better and dramatically smoother. So the moral of the story is that the best place for your GPS while in a car is somewhere near the dash or somewhere with more or less clear access to a large chunk of sky. I suppose the more sky, the better.

As a side note, the unit was reporting on average +- 3 m the second time around.