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Clearly this is something that needs to be covered in more detail.

Edit: This is pretty outdated. Ubuntu still has the bad habit of installing GIJ though. I’ve had a lot of success just finding GIJ in Synaptic and locking it (Package->Lock Version) in an uninstalled state. This appears to only work within Synaptic, but it seems to recognize openjdk as the runtime and doesn’t break anything.

Maybe it’s my trust of open-source friendly yet proprietary companies, but when I use Java, I want it from Sun, not an open-source knock-off. For all the highlights of the open-source philosophy, there are times when something open-source is clearly inferior, at least at a specific moment in time. GIJ is a Java runtime that seems compatible, but makes Java dirt slow. Alternatives are still good for everybody in the end, so GIJ doesn’t offend me, but in Ubuntu’s Feisty repository, GIJ is required to run Eclipse. It’s maddening, it makes Eclipse run at a fraction of the speed, but to uninstall it is to uninstall Eclipse. At least until the people at Ubuntu notice this.

For now I can only offer a solution that shouldn’t need to exist. Make sure the package “sun-java6-jre” is installed, then add the line “/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun” is to the top of the file “/etc/eclipse/java_home” as root. Afterwards, Eclipse should be almost… too fast.

While I update this blog on a strict when-I-feel-like it basis, any missing posts over the four weeks (and beyond) is outside of my control. My computer is broken.

While none of my problems were truly terrifying (as in, my hard drive is perfectly fine), I still had one of the weirdest problems ever. My computer kept freezing. It happens to everybody, you’re using the computer and suddenly everything just stops. Mine was different though, it wasn’t a software problem. I tried using Windows when Ubuntu kept freezing but it froze too and I got worried. Then my computer started freezing before an OS could start, while the BIOS was loading.

I freaked, removed every non-mission critical piece of hardware, and cursed the man who invented the PC. I ordered some new memory but it took me 8 days to get ahold of it. For some reason UPS required someone to sign for it (usually they just leave it), and between two attempts to deliver the package to the wrong address, the delivery man knocked quietly enough to go unnoticed by my roommates. A notice that nearly flew away with the wind became my only connection to the package. I went to UPS’s customer service place to pick it up, but they closed before I could reach it. And so it goes.

Once I finally got ahold of the memory it had not effect. I brought it to a repair place and they returned it to me a few days later saying it was the power supply and it wasn’t. Now they seem to think it’s the motherboard. I have an Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe. It’s the most expensive part of my computer because I decided that I wanted a quality motherboard since it was the only part I didn’t intend to change in the future and it ends up being the first thing to break down.

Asus now wants me to send it to them, but I’d rather they just give me my money back. Besides the fact that I’ll have to wait a while for it to make the trip back here, I have this cold feeling that tells me it’ll arrive at my doorstep still broken. I’ve had some bad experiences with hardware manufacturers sending back refurbished hardware that other people sent to them. I’m sure some people send in hardware that can be easily fixed and sent to other customers but all I’ve ever gotten back is unfixible hardware that belong in the garbage.

This has taken away countless hours of coding from me, as well as money, time and it’s even hurting my grades. I’m taking two computer courses in college right now. I don’t have a car so getting to a repair shop or mailing a broken motherboard is a huge hassle that requires me to ask large favors of people around me. I don’t have any choice but to send the motherboard back in, but I wonder if I’ll ever get it fixed without a replacement.

Update: 6 weeks later… it looks like I’ve got a working computer again. I still don’t know what was wrong other than it was the motherboard. Asus sent me back someone else’s motherboard, which I know because they left the original owner’s settings intact, something that they shouldn’t have done. I’ll probably never buy from Asus again. To be fair, it looks like they sent me a working motherboard, so it could be worse, but meeting the most basic requirements isn’t enough. This motherboard was supposed to be something I could trust, that’s why I spent the extra money on it. Now I’m stuck with it, wondering when this one is going to break down.


November 26th, 2006

I’ve put up one of those “About Me” pages I hear so much about. It details my long and sordid history, although only when it relates to programming. Hopefully it doesn’t make me sound like too much of a nerd.

That’s a lost cause isn’t it?

Firefox is So 2005

October 30th, 2006

Firefox 2.0 has been out for many days now, but why bother? Honestly, it’s a nice improvement over 1.5, but ever since Opera removed the ads and started giving it away for free it’s going to be very hard to wrench me away.

Opera has been slowly and effectively perfected over time into the perfect experience for hardcore browsing that any major browser has to offer. It has lots of little seemingly annoying features that you can’t live without as you begin using them. Like sessions, the trashcan that stores the history of closed tabs, the detailed hovering status bar, the way Opera centers the mouse when you auto-scroll, paste & go, all of it starts to become a requirement in your browsing experience.

While it lacks Firefox’s biggest advantage, extensions, it makes up for it by not usually needing them. Unless it’s overly specific, Opera might have it already. Extensions are often poor and bulk up Firefox while Opera has many little bonuses already built in seamlessly.  Opera keeps things simple on the outside, and additional cool features (like email, bittorrent, and irc) are hidden just below the surface if you’d ever want them. For example, Opera even has its own Greasemonkey-like capabilities that are superior to Greasemonkey itself.

Except for the rare moron blocking you out because you use Opera (although you can hide that you’re using Opera anyway, another built-in feature) its hard to find a site that doesn’t work properly. I like Firefox, but it still has to catch up.

Runaway Brain

October 30th, 2006

Isn’t it just like Sam and Fuzzy to unlock some childhood memories of mine? I remember seeing commercials for a Mickey Mouse “movie” (it was actually a short played alongside some movies) that was surprisingly creepy. Basically, Mickey Mouse gets his brain swapped with an evil creature, who of course goes after Mickey’s girlfriend Minnie.  I spotted what I thought was some sort of shortened version a year or two later on TV and it was really bizzare for something as innocent as Mickey Mouse.

Anyway, years later I finally find out what the hell that was all about. I watched it again, and it has some pretty good animation, but I still can’t believe Disney actually made it. Go watch it here and be amazed.

Law & Order: CSI

October 6th, 2006

They destroyed it! Argh! One of my favorite shows, Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been retooled. Not only did they cut out their old DA and Captain, but they’ve turned it into CSI! The first episode of the season actually has Eames being kidnapped in a cliched “complex” set of murders with a predictable surprise ending. There’s even gratuitous blood and torture. I know the show is doing badly but I’d rather it be canceled than bastardized (Simpsons anyone?). At least Chris Noth is still sticking around for this season, but he’s more likely to replace D’Onofrio than anything else. Man. A show that slick could never be sustainable could it?

Just had to put that out there.

Webcomics – Comics with Web

September 14th, 2006

There are plenty of funny webcomics on the Internet. I read something like, half of them. It always amazes me how hilarious people with no artistic talent whatsoever manage to ignore the rules and make webcomics nonetheless. Now for no reason whatsoever, here are some examples…

  • Concerned – This webcomic uses a mod for Half Life 2 called Garry’s Mod which changes the game from a first-person shooter into a sandbox where you can manipulate everything in the game. The author takes screenshots after positioning the characters and adds voiceboxes.
  • Alien Loves Predator – Take a pun on a classic film and add pictures of action figures in New York settings. Also, voiceboxes.
  • xkcd – Okay, this fellow does in fact draw his comics, but they’re poorly draw stick figures. He instead resorts to hilarious nerdy humor to fill the void.
  • 8-bit Theater – Arguably the best sprite comic on the Internet, it uses sprites from video games instead of fancy drawings.
  • Dinosaur Comics – This is easily the least artistically innovative comic ever made, the clever individual who makes it decided to take any time he would have spent drawing the comic and instead use it for amazing dialog and advanced philosophical concepts. Since he has no time for drawing, he simply uses the same comic over and over again. There’s nearly 900 comics as of this writing.


September 5th, 2006

This is very fascinating, someone has managed to get Flash 8 (no, not the player) running on Ubuntu Linux. I made a harrowing attempt at this a while back, and managed to get a buggy Flash 6 running, but that was a long time ago and wine has improved a lot since then.

I’m going to make a (futile) attempt at switching temporarily to Ubuntu while I’m not buying a new copy of Windows XP for my new computer in a few days. The only thing really holding me back are random programs I’m completely dependent on. With wine maybe I could just avoid buying a copy of XP until it’s dirt cheap when Windows Vista has come out.

Eh, who am I kidding, I’m writing this very post in Windows Live Writer. I won’t last twelve hours.

I get my feed updates via Gmail (it’s a long story) and I got this one two weeks ago. I was planning on posting it right away, but then I figured it’d be in bad taste if the world actually ended on August 22nd. Boy would my face be red! Be sure to the sidebar.

Speaking of Boing Boing… FC64 got boingboinged.