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I Moved to KDE

Posted on 2017-03-04

KDE Desktop

So this last week I finally got fed up with Gnome dragging ass. Far long ago in past, I enjoyed Gnome. It was a fast flexible desktop compared to the bloat and slowness of KDE trying to fit in so many dang desktop effects.

For a while, I had stopped using Linux on my desktop machine. I was (and still kind of am) a Mac user. The primary reason being that I'm a designer and all my design software is on there. I literally need it to get work done.

And before it's argued that Windows has that same software and I could just use Windows. First off, I despise Adobe. I use Affinity. Second, Affinity is on there, but Sketch is not. Plus, Windows feels.... off somehow. I spend too much time fighting little things.

And before it's argued that Linux has design tools that are good enough. No. No it does not. It has Krita, which is damn good art software, but it's not a Photoshop replacement. Gimp can be argued, but it's PSD support is not great. There is no alternative to Adobe or Affinity software on Linux. Especially for vector (Inkscape is cool, but missing some print based features) and page layout software (though I haven't looked into Scribus for a while).

Also, neither has anything like Sketch. Anyways, back on topic.

I'm not doing a lot of design work anymore. Mostly just web development, and that's on the side. My main job is telephone systems, and I don't need a Mac for that (though I used one and it worked). I requested, and somehow got permission, to use a Linux laptop for work. So I installed Antergos. It's a good mix between pure Arch and something with less effort like Ubuntu. When I first installed it, I chose Gnome because it was familiar (knowing what some have been saying about it).

At first, all was fine, but then.... It just started to kind of drag ass. Gnome documents seems to grind my machine to a halt every morning, and things generally took longer than I felt it should on the machine I was using. So on a while I changed things up to KDE Plasma. Because it's Linux and I can do that on Linux.

I have to say, I am impressed with it. Things feels snappy, and my battery life seems to last longer. I've been switching my applications over to QT equivalent options (for desktop integration), and Konsole has the features I needed Terminix for (tabs and split view). My one gripe (and it's ever so minor) is that I liked using the Meta key as an action key rather than a modifier. I would be great if I can find a workaround to have the Meta key trigger the Present Windows Effect. I would be golden then.

The Aldi of the Internet

Posted on 2017-02-27

Zoho Download

Zoho is a online services company that I use for email and a few other things. I am running the scouting group I'm starting on it. As far as I can see, they have a Zoho-branded product for nearly any online service. Sick of Dropbox? Then use Zoho Docs (yes it does sync, and it supports Linux). Don't feel like paying for Basecamp, then try Zoho Projects. They have help desk software, note taking apps, CRM systems, payments, password management, and even marketing tools.

It's weird in that it feels like the Aldi approach. Only, in this case, Zoho is actually building the software instead of hiring another company to do it. But It's the private label aspect. I find the idea interesting and even more interesting that you never hear about them, but they clearly are making enough money to fund more projects.

A part of me wishes they would update their logo though. It's so... chintzy. Most of their older product logos are bad semi-photo-realistic icons for the product. More recently, they've been trying to fit a modern design aesthetic. I'm seeing simplified icons and flat styles. Their marketing sites have really cleaned up as well.

Anyways. I'm not voicing much of an opinion here. Just mentioning what I see. I like their products well enough that I'm willing to pay for them.

Well Written Goes a Long Way

Posted on 2017-02-26

My sons enjoy watching the Power Rangers. When I was a wee lad, I enjoyed watching the Power Rangers. It's a kids show. Kids like it.

However, the Power Rangers is poorly written. So very poorly written. Every scene with the suits off is cringe-worthy. And when the suits are on, the heroes make semi-nonsensical puns.

This doesn't have to be this way. There are good kids shows that are well written. Ones that I allow to be on more often. Just to clarify, I'm okay with campy. I enjoy my share of camp. But it should be good as well. For example, the latest Voltron series on Netflix is very much like the Power Rangers. Five heroes fight and get in big robots that form into a larger robot. It's a kids show and it's fun for the kids (with humor and slapstick and everything), but it's also well written. It's a great show that takes a goofy premise and does something fun that doesn't drive me crazy.

The Power Rangers are also getting a big block buster movie. It looks like they're doing what Bay did to the Transformers. Make it dark and full of difficult to follow action, which some racy humor and boobs for effect. In the case of Power Rangers, it's Ranger boobs. Ask any female athlete, they'll tell you. Nothing beats having your boobs in weird cone pods so that they can move around and hurt after a while. And those heels? Makes for better jumping.

Don't Rebel Yell

Posted on 2017-02-24

There's a bit going on where protestors will go to Town Hall meetings held by Republican Congressfolk and make a ruckus. While I admire the enthusiasm, I do not think it'll do much good. These members of Congress are not in it for their constituents (I argue that members of either party are not in it for us), they are in Congress for greed and blind ideology.

Yell, call, and mail all you want. For some members, that will work and all in the area will be happy. For many though, it will not. There's no changing their minds, and yelling at public gatherings will just make them dig their heels in more then point at you saying you're the problem.

We are better off finding someone who want's to represent the people, but does not want to make a career of it, to run for office. Then we all work together (regardless of party) to elect that person because we know they will represent us and our well being.

Also get rid of gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is bullshit.

The Ad Phone

Posted on 2017-02-23

Blu R1 Hd

I just bought a new phone: a Blu R1 HD. I got it for $60 from Amazon because it has offers (read: ads on the lockscreen). It's the age old tale where things are less money because you are the product being sold. I knew it had ads when I bought it. Some may be bothered by the ads. Others may flash the phone to remove the ads. I just simply don't care. Ads do not bother me much. I am aware of them and how creepy they can be. In some occasions, I find ads intrusive enough that I willingly pay to have them removed (like Youtube Red). Other times, I do not care. My cheap, $100 phone was had for $60 because ads on my phone do not bother me.