Monthly Archives: January 2009

A Better Image Viewer?

Dear Lazyweb,

I’m looking for a better image viewer. For years I’ve been using qiv because it load images really fast and it’s not a memory hog. Unfortunately it doesn’t work well with dual screens. The images tend to span both monitors and I really can’t pan the image around well.

What I want is something that understands XRandR so images only display on one screen. I would like a full screen mode where I can easily zoom in and pan the image. I want to be able to launch it from the command line. Extras like exif parsing and a thumbnail browser would be really nice.

Back to IceWM

After a few weeks of trying out Fluxbox on a new Fedora 10 desktop, I’m going back to my long time favorite, IceWM.  I guess I’m just too stuck in my ways to change at this point.

What brought me back to IceWM?

  • The command line in the taskbar.  Having it built into the window manager really does make a difference.  Even though I was able to bind CTRL+ALT+SPACE to launch fbrun, it couldn’t launch fast enough.  Often I would start typing before the little window came up and I’d lose a few characters to the last app in focus.  I also miss being able to hit CTRL+ENTER to get the command in a terminal.  I do that often to get the python calculator.  It’s an easy patch, I know.
  • All the built-in keyboard bindings for moving around windows.  I really like being able to quickly move between workspaces, dragging windows along with me.  I also like being able to position windows with the keyboard.  In IceWM you can hit Meta4+NumPad to place the window in that section of the screen.  Add shift to the combination to move it in that direction until it hits something.
  • I also missed the built-in CPU and Network monitors in the IceWM taskbar.  I like to know when my network or CPU usage spikes.  I probably could have found a monitor to put in the slit, but I don’t really like the idea of the slit.  I never was a WindowMaker fan.
  • If you grab the edge of a window in Fluxbox you start to resize the window.  This drove me nuts when I had Firefox all the way on the right, I would reach for its scrollbar and get the window edge instead.  The theme I was using didn’t even have size borders!  I couldn’t find any way to turn that off.

I did like a few things about Fluxbox.

  • I liked the sleek look of the toolbar.  I just wish I could have stuck a few more things into it like CPU and Network graphs or a command line.
  • It worked well with a dual-head setup.  IceWM 1.3.x has better support, but the taskbar still doesn’t span both monitors.  That bugs me a bit.
  • You could set the width of items in the taskbar to a fixed width which made it look really clean.  You could also include only minimized tasks in the taskbar which seemed like a good idea at first.  Then I realized that I’d lose track of windows once they get burried.
  • I really liked being able to switch workspaces by using the scroll wheel on the desktop or toolbar.  I’m still trying to do that in IceWM and it’s not working.

I have been wanting to try out Awesome, but I don’t think Awesome 3 is going to make Fedora for a while.  It’s waiting on XCB support to be includes in the Cairo packages.

Bugzilla cc: Preference

Here’s a tip for Bugzilla users. Have you ever added a comment to a bug or changed something about it and it sneakily added you to the cc: list? Doesn’t that drive you nuts when you’re already cc’ed on the bug through a list subscribed to the bug, or, even worse, you filed the bug. There’s a option under preferences, Automatically add me to the CC list of bugs I change with settings Always, Never, and Only if I have no role on them. Set this to Never so you have to explicitly set this to be included on the bug.

Linux Distro Meme

I don’t want to start responding to all the memes, but this one seems like a way to introduce yourself.

1) Which was your Linux distribution story?

I started using Linux on and off when you had to download Slackware on floppy disk sets. I installed it onto a UMSDOS partition and bought a book on UNIX. That was back in high school, pre-1996. During a summer job one of the techs was using “make menuconfig” to compile a kernel and said it was “Red Hat” so I used that when I started college and was still dual-booting between Win95 and Linux. A few years later I learned about the marvel of Debian and apt-get and switched. I was a strong Debian user for years until I joined Red Hat. Now RHEL5 is my desktop distro. I have it customized with IceWM, mrxvt, and custom builds of xchat and vim. I still have a Debian server running which I never intend to reinstall, just upgrade along the Debian lines. I’m trying to configure a Fedora 10 distro the way I like it so I can build some apps from trunk. I need a replacement for mrxvt, something light and includes a broadcast feature.

2) What is your preferred $your_distribution version?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, until I can recreate my environment on Fedora 10.

3) Write a short story (more like an anecdote) about your past distribution.

As a testament to Linux, I upgraded the hardware on my Debian server from a 233MHz Pentium MMX to a 2.5GHz Celeron without having to reinstall anything. Just a new kernel, a few changes for the IDE to SATA transition and it booted. Total down time, three hours.