I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months recovering from a knee surgery and getting back into work so I haven’t had much time on my computer recently. Now that the year is coming to and end and things are beginning to get back on track, I’m going to try to begin posting more. More updates should be on the way soon, I just wanted to check in and let everyone know I’m still here. Thank you for reading!
Archive for the ‘ramble’ Category.
I came and logged in to The Archist this morning to check for any new comments and was very surprised by what I saw. Normally I would check the comments by just looking at the post for the comment link, today after logging in I saw a much higher number of comments than I knew of. Turns out I had quite a few in the spam filter.
Looking through those comments, I found several comments which appear to be real marked as spam. I’m not sure how they got marked, they all seemed perfectly normal and on-topic to me. Marking them as Not Spam will hopefully train the filter better. Until then, I’ll have to make sure I check these things more in-depth from now on.
That all said, if your comment was caught in the filter, I apologize for not releasing them sooner. I’ll certainly be checking things here more to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The last month has been fairly painful for me. My leg currently sits wrapped in several layers of gauze with an immobilizer surrounding it all to keep me from moving it. This is because of the surgery I recently went through to repair a torn meniscus. For the last few days it has felt like there is hot lava pouring out of my leg through the incisions and my arms feel like they’re going to fall off from walking on crutches. But the worst (I think) is now over. I’m very thankful to say everything feels like it’s healing properly, I’m just waiting for the doctor to see it tomorrow and tell me exactly how long I’ll be like this.
Due to the fact that I cannot at all bend my left knee, it gets very painful to sit at my computer for more than about fifteen minutes at a time. About all that I’ve done on my computer recently is watch my computer bust out Folding@Home workunits and mess around with Google+. I’ve also decided to move on from xmonad in search of something a little more casual. I’ve since fallen in love with Fluxbox & conky. I like the more casual approach to computing. It almost feels more fun. It almost feels more natural to size and place windows all over the desktop, as opposed to the tiling I’ve done over the last few months.
Aside from all of that, I’ve been thinking I want to get back into programming. I don’t really want to learn something new, just expand my current knowledge. I figure let’s go back to the basics, my first real interest in programming was with C++. I already have a great grasp over the basics and a decent understanding up to pointers and object oriented programming, so why not go for broke? I want to master C++ by the time I recover from this injury.
I’d like to ask you, reader, what are your favorite C++ programming resources? I would like to do some touch-ups to my basic skill set and then delve into more advanced articles and examples. Do you have any recommendations for projects, articles, chat rooms, anything? Does anyone have some words of wisdom for staying on track with projects? I’ve noticed in the past many times I would start off a project great and just burn-out or lose interest. How do you combat that?
To be honest, when I first installed xmonad, I didn’t think I would like it. I felt it had too high of a learning curve and wouldn’t be worth my initial investment. I was quite wrong, I think my search for the “perfect window-manager” may be over, at least for now.
Xmonad is a dynamic tiling window manager. It’s basic job is to manage placement of your windows, however, it can be extended to incorporate many other features such as virtual desktops, transparency and panels. By default Xmonad comes with a very minimal install, you will have no window decorations or status bars. Most users will require some level of customization to reach the desired level of functionality.
Xmonad is configured using a haskell configuration file, which you will recompile and then reload (on-the-fly, no logout required). Rinse & repeat as necessary. I’ve personally always been a bit afraid of haskell’s syntax, and still don’t really understand any of it, but I’ve figured enough out to properly configure my setup. I spent the better part of a few weekends deep in the documentation for xmonad and pulling different bits from any other xmonad.hs file I could find online. Many times this resulted in a non-working configuration, but sure enough I figured it out. Right now my configuration is working, is somewhat documented and (I think) has a decent framework to add extra functionality later on.
Most users would also like to have a panel, or even a place for status icons to sit. Following the minimalistic approach, Xmonad does not include these features in it’s core. When there is a will, there’s a way though. Xmobar is the software I am using to provide a system panel. Trayer is the software I use to provide a status icon area. Both pieces of software are very well documented, and in my experience, very easy to integrate with your Xmonad configuration
As far as performance and stability, I don’t recall having any issues whatsoever. Even at the times when my system is under a full load, xmonad still performs quickly and reliably. I also don’t think xmonad has ever actually crashed on me, except for a few botched config files of my own doing. It definitely puts your mind at ease when you feel like the system is rock solid beneath you.
Going back to the extra functionality, I haven’t found anything more I could want. Sure, I spent a week or two adding all the bells & whistles to mess around. And sure enough, I’d end up removing them to clear some of the clutter. I’ve decided to take a bare-bones approach to window-management from now on.