KDE, how it annoys me

Less battery life, better graphics, beautiful widgets and an annoying sense of betrayal to the Gnome developers. Why a sense of betrayal when I say that I hate it, because it does have some great features!

My favorite kde setup, with Dilbert on the front page!

My favorite kde setup, with Dilbert on the front page!

I have used Gnome or Unity for most of my linux running days and really get how to use them and why they are great graphical interfaces but there was always something missing, something that is well integrated to the KDE plasma desktop: Widgets. These little boxes of quick, useful information make it great to turn on and immediately see what you need (for me it is the latest Dilbert comic and my CPU stats.

The only Desktop that hasn’t got much attention by me has really been kde because of its very windows-like appearance and also because of the system requirements. The GUI is very heavy on resources in comparison to both Gnome and Unity 2D, Unity itself is right on par with kde. Why make a GUI so resource intensive though, is there a reason? Yes, there is a great reason that is very apparent to how polished it looks and how brilliant it acts.

All in all kde does annoy me but it also is a very useful desktop environment once it finally loads up (being used to much faster sign in times with Gnome and Unity). So, even though I do not like some of the features it totes because they slow it down it is much greater than many GUIs though Elementary OS is even better with their polish as they make changes to also better improve the programs which it totes (noise is a great media player interface). I hope that I can learn to like it over the next few weeks and I will post an update after using it as my main GUI for at least a week maybe two.

“Disposable”

What does disposable mean? The dictionary definition I’ve learner is that if something is deposable it can be thrown out once it is used but what isn’t disposable by that definition?
Everything is disposable and the difference is made not by whether it can be thrown away but by when it will be thrown out. Somethings have a useful life of years, a laptop for instance, while others have a usable lifespan of almost 6 minutes after first time use, plastic silverware. Either way these items can be considered disposable but one is a purchase that puts over $200 into play while the other costs scarcely $1. The term disposable also applies to clothing, video games, consoles and even furniture (though that is harder to dispose of) . In the world I was raised cars were not disposable and my dad drove his cars until they were no longer useful in transportation anymore. In a consumer based society it is expected that these things are disposable and people should buy new cars and sell their old ones frequently but why would people do this if there is no guarantee that this car will even be as good as the old car or even be as great as you expect it to be?
My ’92 sonoma is a great truck and gets me to work, school and back home without stuttering but it does break down quite a bit. The problem with keeping my truck is not seen clearly to me since there has been so much money spent to get my truck into the condition that it is in and there is no way to get that money back unless the truck is used and driven to the ground. Yet this truck is, at this point, considered almost as disposable as a plastic fork to some of my friends and family and they justify it by saying words like unreliable and inefficient to make their point of trying to sell it.
I do not want to, nor will I, get rid of my truck yet. The only way to get money out of it is to continue it’s service until it is beyond repair or the repair outweighs the price of the trucks worth. Though my truck is considered disposable so is my dads laptop in my opinion but as he refuses to upgrade I will continue to refuse to get a new car, “if it works, don’t fix it.” This is why I keep my truck, because it has value even if that value is only to me.

Cheaply living…

I regularly shop at the 99 cents only stores and Habitat for Humanity Restore (where I work) but does this save any money or waste it?

During the next week I’m going to go about my every day life and try avoiding the 99 cent store and only shop at grocery stores for food (Target and Walmart count in this case). This experiment is to see if I spend more money on longer lasting food or less money on crap. Dollar stores pull people in by saying that the dollar doesn’t matter because whatever you get there is most likely worth significantly more in the regular stores. This notion is wrong because that dollar did take time to earn and it could be better spent on items of a better quality even though they may be slightly more expensive. This also makes sweets more of a treat, I can easily eat a box of Swiss Rolls but it is $1.79 for a box and is very unhealthy so if I do get a box I need to make it last a few days at least but it should last about a month!

I’m not telling anyone to do like me and just stop going to the dollar  store but try to look for the value while I do the same thing. Pretzels are one thing I get there often and I’ll have to get another brand but I can do it and I hope to better understand what that dollar spent on pretzels is truly worth. Is it better to get a smaller bag for 99 cents or a large bag for $3.29. I’ll tell you what I find after a week.

Dealing with Dell

At one point I seriously considered riping my hard drive out myself thinking that Dell would be annoying to call. However, this was not the case and I actually and I was incredibly impressed with how they handled my first and second call. Most calls I have made to computer and technology companies are located in other countries and I cannot understand them through the thick accent but when I called Dell I was greeted by nice people who had an accent but it was not as bad as experiences with Dells Best Buy line (most horrible relationship ever!) where I could barely hear them and the told me they had to replace the entire computer or have it sent to Dell through Best Buy.

During my 30 minute conversation there are some questions that they did not ask such as, “did you try restarting it?” and I was grateful they knew I had a 1st grade education in electronics (though this is the first thing I would ask if someone called with a software problem who did not know about computers). So, my computer does have a hard drive problem and it was confirmed, 3 times including this one with Dell on the line, by the built-in Diagnostic software. They said that someone will be calling in the next 3 days to schedule a time to meet and get this sucker fixed!

In the meanwhile I am using a live USB drive with CrunchBang installed and having a great time with it. I will try to post some screenshots later but for now it’s just running live I’m going to install it onto a flashdrive tonight hopefully and I’ll get back to you on how that goes.

BTW, is anyone else with a Dell XPS 13 having trouble with their hard drive? leave a comment!

The Tundra, It’s Frozen.

I find that I say silly of unwarranted things when I am tired, the most recent of which was when I walked into my grandmas house saying that  “it’s frozen” after we drove through a blizzard to get there and my mom asked me what is frozen and I state, without pausing for a second, “The Tundra.” She cracked up laughing and I laughed for a minute after I realized I had just said the obvious in an unusual manner. the frozen tundra refers mostly to cold places that are barren and I thought this was appropriate as a joke, how  many people would think it was funny though? I was just stating the obvious the only thing that I did was state it in an odd way. Maybe it’s just me but humor really depends on a number of factors including but not necessarily needing the  following: Alcohol content of viewers blood, history of audience, how tired the audience is, and if you know the person. The last one is really important, if you know a person and they know your dad and you make the same jokes new material, even if you think that it’s new, might have already been taken because you think alike.

The famous (or infamous) “why did the chicken cross the road?” has been used so many times that it no longer seems funny because it has been exhausted and if a stand up comedian told you that joke you would probably throw fruit at him (please don’t comedians are nice people!) but he  has brought up a joke that is know to have been funny at one point and even more your friends jokes might become as boring so it sometimes helps to just try something on the spot, sometimes saying something completely and utterly obvious can be funny.

I’m not a comedian but I think trying something new has worked in other areas, why not here? Have a good New Year!

Annoyance at its Core

I have been annoyed at things that don’t matter or are very small but something like getting classes in college is not small, it is very big,  it’s like planning for the rest of your life! Why is it that when I’m in real life situations like this that makes me want to write about them though? Annoyance is a great motivator for writing and I always have my computer with me to take advantage of that fact. The fact is that when I am annoyed I want to write about it, my words about it are sparing and fleeting as I type my annoyances out of my system and by the end of it there is none left to yell at the person or organization that is being annoying because at the end it really might  not be their fault at all. Most likely it is getting to the end of the day and people are humans and WILL make mistakes eventually.

Life has many mistakes but at least it helps to work them out, even though I can be waiting 30 minutes to straighten it out I will be pleased with the result unless it messes up my schedule. Anytime I can exchange time for annoyance I will do it, being mad, angry, or having steam coming out of your ears while getting something done is not good, just relax, take your time, and try to be patient.

Keep a happy face

My Truck has broke down once again and I looked online for an answer about the problem right after I took it to pepboys and I’m glad I took it in immediately! According to aa1car.com it might be a BIG engine problem that I am especially not geared to deal with and not ready to pay for, meaning this might be the last time I have a big problem with it or still be a nuisance to me for a few more years.

Any time that I have tried to look into a problem I seem to find the most expensive solution online then go in ready for it, this time the oil pressure was down 2 days after getting my oil changed! So it might be an engine problem or they might have put something on loose and it came even more loose after I left and drove it around. Why  do I keep a car that is having problem after problem? Well it might stem from my dads drive it till it dies mentality (which in Michigan meant 10 years at most for general cars) or it might be that I have $500 to fix it but I don’t have
$7000-$10000 to buy a new truck, I’ve seen one with $18,000 listing price and one of the mirrors were broken and he’s constantly working on it! (I know, I am completely overusing exclamation points)  Either way my ’92 Sonoma has over $2000 in labor and parts cost in it and according to bluebook it is worth about $1,800 I really hope that no one crashes into me otherwise I am completely screwed because there is no way I can keep up with the repair bills I’ve been getting and getting a new car because someone totals mine (which happened to my 2002 Ford Escape last year.

I really hope that I will spend less than a newer used car would cost to keep this truck running but I am getting skeptical at this point.