A new look

“I will be performing some maintenance on the web server and the forums . . . . Apologies for any inconvenience,” Philip Newborough said yesterday before begging our pardon, regarding the fact that the site and server could be down for a little while.

Yet when it came back today, CrunchBang now has a new, and very much improved, web presence on its new site. There is a lot more information available about CrunchBang right off the bat, and the forums — arguably the best in the wider Linux world — are a lot cleaner and easier to read.

In a few words: I. Love. It.

To be sure, the new site takes a little getting used to, and the navigating to the forums — what was once an almost autopilot move — took a little looking at first (big hint: Click on the Community button in the upper right). Also, want to find something? Yes, the search field in the upper right is gone, but just click on the magnifying glass in the upper right, and you’re ready to find what you’re looking for.

It seems that Corenominal has “lightened up” — that is, the background is no longer #000000 and, to paraphrase one person who posted on the forums, “grey is the new black.” While there might be some loss in contrast, it still looks very clean.

All of all, the changes are not that radical. For those who are not that jazzed about change, these changes in the site are easily adaptable because they’re somewhat intuitive. In addition, the panels of information one can read using the arrow keys on either side of the panels is very informative.

The only drawback for me — and it’s a personal one — is that now I have to try to match the background of this blog to the background of the forums. But never mind — CrunchBang is moving up in the FOSS world, and the new site is one sign that it’s moving in the right direction.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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Back to the future

Unbeknown to my daughter Mimi — and being the Ubuntu user that she is, sadly I don’t think she reads what her Dad writes in this blog (and if she does, well, consider the surprise spoiled) — she’s about to inherit yet another of Dad’s hand-me-down computers.

First things first: I currently use a ZaReason Alto 3880 laptop, which is a remarkable machine that, sadly, ZaReason doesn’t make anymore — time and improvements march on, and ZaReason has advanced this laptop series to the current Alto 4330.

My daughter, though, has been using for the past few years my old ThinkPad R40, a very sturdy, utilitaran and well-traveled laptop judging by all the stickers on the cover.

Enter a new development: Steam and Valve are ramping up gaming in Linux, and the old R40 — great for her artwork and creating 8-bit music, which takes up most of her digital life — has, well, performance issues when it comes to the higher horsepower needed for games. Her interest in games goes beyond playing them, and with this in mind, I’d like for her to have the better hardware when pitching in on the projects she wants to explore.

Personally, I blame Gabe Newell for Mimi wanting newer hardware, but never mind. Also, for those of you keeping score at home, shelling out for a new ZaReason laptop is out of the question until, at least, Christmas (especially after last week’s $600 car repair which we will not discuss. Ever).

So after saving a ThinkPad T42 from recycling doom recently, I’ve put Waldorf on it — the CrunchBang-11-20121015-i686 version, which works flawlessly (with one caveat, mentioned below) — and I’ll hand down the ZaReason to Mimi.

Now, you go girl.

In the past in other blogs, I’ve said that I am a ThinkPad guy and I have always loved the form factor. That hasn’t changed, and though I’m turning over the keys to the sports car to my daughter and relegating myself to the station wagon, I feel at home with almost any model of ThinkPad.

So back to the hardware I love while looking to the future.

One more thing: There have been installation issues in the past with Waldorf — and, for some reason, it seems to be happening mostly (if not solely) on ThinkPads — where the installation will hang at the “detect disks” point. It came up again yesterday with this current install, and while there’s an extensive discussion involving solutions here, my solution was more simple and straightforward: Disable floppy in the BIOS.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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