Posted tagged ‘computer’

Back to Mandriva 2010.0 (and my soundcard again)

July 13, 2010

After working with Mandriva 2010.1 Beta 2  I’m back to 2010.0 .

The main problem was the proprietary nvidia driver which doesn’t work properly under 2010.1 with my GeForce 8600 GTS. Since I need 3D acceleration and am not planning to buy new hardware, I had to revert to 2010.0. Acceleration is much more important for me than msec improvements and all the other nice things in 2010.1. 2010.0 just works for me.

I’ve noticed that you get a slightly different system even when installing from the same CD. In Windows, you get different bugs with every reinstall, in Linux you sometimes get slightly different configurations (esp. in the case of authorisations). This time, I had a lucky install that even supports my weird soundcard and 5.1 out of the box!

Can’t wait!

July 1, 2010

3 days till Mandriva 2010.1 comes out!

2nd day of using Mandriva 2010.1 Beta 2 – my impressions!

May 8, 2010

It’s my second day of using Mandriva 2010.1 Beta 2, Free version. My nVidia card didn’t want to work with the One version, so I installed the Free one. It wasn’t an upgrade but not exactly a clean install either – I kept the home directory of a previous installation (2010.0).

  • Installer: the function to add a password to GRUB is nice.
  • Boot time: I don’t think anything changed. My desktop PC always takes long to boot because of its 3 HDD’s and a great number of partitions.
  • GNOME 2.30: Stable. Lots of small improvements as compared to 2.28. Love the new Nautilus with 2 panes! Now I can use something more modern-looking than GNOME Commander.
  • Msec: the new msec is sooooo cool! It’s much more structured now and much simpler to use because there are so many security profiles. Also it’s now possible to run some checks every day, others every week etc. It’s very wise, helps save system resources.
  • Printing: Beta 1 couldn’t see my printer (Epson Stylus Photo 915), Beta 2 works great with it. The new printer settings window is very good.
  • Sound: PulseAudio now works flawlessly, even with my weird external soundcard.
  • Apps & Other Stuff: Mirage (a really awesome Banshee plugin) works a bit differently now. Took a couple of minutes to figure out, but that didn’t upset me really. LightsOff is a very nice game. Got Adobe Flash working in no time.
  • Bugs: Nothing serious so far. Though Firefox crashed twice as I was typing this post.
  • Weirdness: when the cursor is in the window of a Qt-based application, it switches its theme to the same one as in the login manager. Outside that window, it goes back to normal. Examples are Opera, Qsynth and the tiny app I use for my C-motech 3G modem.

Overall: Mandriva 2010 Spring will be a great release! It’s very stable & has lots of improvements.

Thoughts About Tagging & The Future of File Management

April 9, 2010

I must admit I haven’t been much of a tagger. But I must also admit that maintaining a structured folder tree requires time & effort, and becomes terribly messy when the user is lazy (like me!)

This great article made me think about tagging files and I realised that it’s a GREAT idea!!!

A simple example. Suppose I’m classifying my music library. If I organise it as a tree of folders and sub-folders, each level of the hierarchy will be a classification according to a single criterion. If my folder tree looks like this…
Genre -> Artist -> Album

… then I first classify my music into genres, then classify each genre into artists etc.

These categories are fairly rigid because I can’t assign an artist to several genres or an album to several artists. But sometimes I need to do it because an artist may release albums belonging to several genres or several artists may collaborate on one album. So I either have to make duplicates of songs to locate them in several categories or I have to remain with a music collection that isn’t very well organised.

Now let’s imagine I classify my files using tags. Of course, I would still create a more or less reasonable folder structure. But tags would allow me to create more flexible categorisations. If an artist releases a crossover album and then a pop album, I would just tag them this way and wouldn’t wonder whether I should put that artist into the Crossover or the Pop subfolder. Or if I can’t really identify the genre of a particular album (e. g. “hmm, is it epic metal or symphonic metal?”) I would just attach both tags.

Besides, I could add other, more personal tags to songs, like “makes me cry”, “aggressive”, “funny lyrics” etc. and be able to quickly see (and play) all the songs that make me cry, all the songs that I find aggressive, or all the songs that have funny lyrics. Without bothering to think “WTF, where on earth did I put this song???” Given the fact that most people use their home computer for storing and managing information they feel emotional about, that would make interaction with the computer more comfortable and personal.

I made this last generalisation because the idea expressed in The Grip, the Trip, and the Slip is about making ALL kinds of files taggable (?) and manageable with tags. And I really like the idea.

GNOME 3 is meant to feel good to both geeks and “normal” people. And most non-geek people (at least those I’ve asked) don’t think in terms of “finding a file and doing something with it”. They think in terms of “launching an application and opening a file with it”. So tagging would really make working with files much easier for such users.

Nevertheless, some people made a very good point that we shouldn’t discard traditional file management. First, many people have really got used to it and wouldn’t want to change it; second, there’s an excellent point that Horace made (in the comments): having all those tags would make switching to another OS problematic because the metadata would probably disappear or be unreadable by the other OS. My suggestion is that we could have two file management programs (a “tree viewer” and a “tag viewer“) or at least two modes in the file manager.