fuzzy notepad

Tagged: linux

[blog] ZDoom on a Wii U GamePad with a Raspberry Pi

Well. That was the idea, anyway. SPOILERS: It didn’t work.

Vladimir Costescu has upped the ante and bought a day of my time this month, requesting:

It would be cool to read about you tinkering with a Raspberry Pi or similar cheap device and trying to get it to do cool stuff (where “cool stuff” is left up to your discretion).

Well it just so happens that I already have a Raspberry Pi. I got it at PyCon US, I think three years ago, when they gave every single attendee a Pi for free. I thought it was super duper cool and I spent a whole afternoon tinkering in their Raspberry Pi lab and then I came home and put it in a drawer forever because I had no idea what to use it for.

At first I thought it would be cool to rig something that would download a random wad from idgames (like vectorpoem‘s WADINFO.TXT) and just launch it and let you play it. A teeny tiny portable Doom box.

Then I realized you’d still need a mouse and keyboard (well, at least a keyboard) to actually play, which is a little bit more cumbersome and detracts from the portability a bit.

But I remembered hearing about a Linux-only project that had managed to interface with the Wii U GamePad. Run ZDoom on a light wireless controller with gyros and everything? That sounds awesome.

So off I went.

[blog] Text editor rundown

As part of my experiment to monetize my personal brand, or however we’re describing this now, I have a milestone that lets a patron impose a blog topic of their choosing on me. What could possibly go wrong?

And so, this month, Russ brings us:

You should totally write about text editors.

I totally should. I mean, wait, no I shouldn’t. I haven’t seriously used a text editor other than Vim for years.

Thankfully this was a moderately vague request, so here’s what I’ve done: I’ve subjected myself to all these hip shiny text editors that I haven’t been bothering with and taken notes of my initial impressions. I only had a few hours to devote to each, so this won’t really be a fair comparison
 but you know, life isn’t fair, so eat your peas and do your homework.

[blog] I stared into the fontconfig, and the fontconfig stared back at me

Wow! My Patreon experiment has been successful enough that I’m finally obliged to write one post per month, and this is the first such post. Let us celebrate with a post about something near and dear to everyone’s heart: fonts. Or rather, about fontconfig.

fontconfig is a pretty impressive piece of work. If you’re on Linux, it’s probably the thing that picks default fonts, handles Unicode fallback, and magically notices when new fonts are installed without having to restart anything. It’s invisible and great.

And unfortunately once in a great while it’s wrong. There is no common GUI for configuring fontconfig, so you’re stuck manually editing XML configuration files — for which the documentation is atrocious.

Lucky for you, and unlucky for me, I have twice now had to delve down this rabbit hole. Here is my story, that others may be saved from this madness.

[blog] I bought a new laptop

Wow, where the hell have I been.

That whole “dying cat” thing ruined most of my April, and I spent most of May dealing with various other life crises, and then June scrambling to catch up. I’ve started and abandoned maybe half a dozen posts in that time that I will totally maybe finish someday. In the meantime, here’s something aimless and specific to me about how I bought a thing. Par for the course, then.

[blog] GNOME 3 revisited

How did I write this? I don’t know what happened. I was just jotting down notes and prose came out.

I wrote a whole thing about Shell and Unity before, but it was kinda knee-jerk ranting. With my newfound blog fame, here’s a lame attempt at a more constructive list of specific criticisms of GNOME 3, now that I’ve actually used it for a while on my laptop.

[blog] Unity vs. GNOME Shell

For those not aware, the GNOME world is getting shaken up lately. GNOME 3.0 was released last month, with a completely redesigned interface called GNOME Shell. Meanwhile Ubuntu, the biggest GNOME-based distribution by a gigantic margin, decided that they are super special snowflakes and do not want to use GNOME Shell, so they repurposed their netbook interface, Unity, and scrambled to make it tolerable on desktops for the 11.04 Ubuntu release next week.

Our media center is running some ass-old release of Ubuntu and its main partition is too tiny to even upgrade any more, so a few days ago I bought a new drive, slapped it in, cleaned out an inch-thick layer of dust, and installed the 11.04 beta for the hell of it. After using Unity for “long enough”, I installed GNOME Shell and gave that a spin too. Here is my impression.

Quick version: They are both terrible and I am sad.