sábado, 4 de setembro de 2010

With the time spent with the family, and not having my own computer with me right now, I've been away from linux hacking for almost three weeks. I hadn't given it much though until now, but after joining Sabayon's group on facebook, I remembered how much I like it, and I remembered that I kinda miss fooling around the system, and I miss having a REAL development environment with my favorite tools to work with. So, I decided to install Sabayon linux on this computer, replacing the old debian install I had on this disk that hasn't been used in months. The reason I still have it here is that grub is managing the booting of the operating systems, and I don't have the time to work around it, leaving only windows installed, since formating isn't an option at this time. Too much crap to back-up manually from inside windows, too little time to do it properly.
So I was thinking about what I needed, and how I could get it, while browsing through old drafts, when I found a tutorial I had written a long time ago and never posted, when I decided that maybe I can install what I want, fix it all up and post how to do it. Maybe I can get some experience points in tutorial writing.
Can't really post a step-by-step instruction set right now since Sabayon is still downloading, but I can describe the problem at hand.
Now, the first issue is that windows can't break during the process or hell will be raised and I'll sleep on the couch (kidding, I hope). So windows has to be able to boot, and needs access to everything on it's own partition plus everything on a second partition that will be used for sharing files between both operating systems. The old partition scheme is going to be reused, but the filesystems need changing, since the sharing partition is a FAT32 partition (don't ask me why, 'cause I have no clue). That one needs to become an NTFS filesystem. The windows one will remain untouched, as will the swap partition. However, the boot partition needs to be resized and changed to ext3 (why? Because I want to.) That leaves the root partition for sabayon and new partition for home, because of the extra safety it ensures that if I have to do something to the root or if I feel like changing distro, I can keep my personal files safely stored and untouched.
So, here we go, this is the intro post for an upcoming tutorial(s). I plan to make Sabayon become as user friendly to my girlfriend as I can, but still providing her with all her favorite applications, which means that I'll have to setup some windows applications under wine (Sims 3 comes to mind), meaning that I can give some pointers to anybody interested along the way. Just a way to give a bit back to the world and to ease the load on other members of the linux community. So, long story put short, I'll be sharing a bit of knowledge and a few linux recipes over the next weeks, so feel free to use them.

quinta-feira, 2 de setembro de 2010

VB was put on hold today since real life got in the way of learning. From running errands with my love in the morning to a trip to a certain clinic in the afternoon, to taking care of my kid up until now, my day has been pretty busy.
I'm really apprehensive about a decision I made today. I got to choose my medication today. Actually, I wasn't really offered a choice, but I took my chances anyway and spoke my mind. Hell, if I'm paying someone to listen to me, I might as well use that, right? There is an issue though. And not a minor one at that. After a lot of failed attempts at finding a therapist, back in 2007 a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless out of respect for his privacy, told me that he had been treated quite successfully in the past years in some clinic. Desperate, seeking salvation from my own mind and from the thoughts that run through it at that time, and pressured by my family and my girlfriend at that time to seek medical help, I decided to give it a go.
Right now I'm remembering all that happened during that time... I started treatment in mid October. My first anti-depressive medication worked wonders, starting from day one to produce visible changes in my mood. I still remember the first few days fondly... It was quite a rush, all the world seemed brighter, I started noticing stuff I had never acknowledged before. Hell, if my own life wasn't such a mess at that time, I'd say I would have felt quite happy. The drugs worked really well during the month that followed, my mood quite better, the thoughts of suicide completely banished from my mind, I started regaining my former love for learning, even my writing improved quality. Apparently it worked like magic, except for one not so minor detail. It simply killed my libido. I said that to my therapist back then. She said that even if it was only very rarely registered, the possibility existed, and had been documented before. We changed the pills. I wanted sex. Hell, its only fair, right? A guy needs his fun, and at the time, sex and drugs were my only possibilities of fun. At least those were the only two things that gave me pleasure back then. The next anti-depressives weren't nearly as effective, but they gave me back my libido. I could have sex again, apparently. Except that my girlfriend wasn't exactly receptive to it, even though it was her that made me commit to changing drugs.
So, why would a guy go through that again? Really, I mean, why would I risk going back to the same drug that supposedly removed my sex drive? Especially when I'm living with my girlfriend (who, in case you haven't figured out, or aren't familiar with my story, isn't the same person as the one I was with at the time. She's the one that proved to me that I had a sex drive after the drug change.)? That was the exact question that my therapist asked.
I answered her. I wasn't even aware that I had an answer to the question, but I did. Hell, I wasn't even aware that I wanted to give the first drug a chance until the words "I want to try the other one again." left my mouth. But I caught her off-guard as much as I did the same to myself. Yet I spoke with such conviction, and with such reason that she let me have my way. Right now, I still doubt myself, but at that moment there was no doubt at all in my mind. I asked her: "What if the drug itself wasn't the problem? What if the lack of interest from my former partner was the real cause of the dysfunction? Because with the time that has past since then, and with a clearer sight of the facts, I think that was the reason."
I may be right, or I may be wrong. If I'm right, then I have in my hands the best substance to help me deal with my depression. I don't want to be wrong, because it would be a damn bad month for both of us if I am...
It is a risk, but every choice one makes in life is one. And the possibility of having a solution to my problems in my hands it's a risk worth taking. I'm sure she'll understand my choice. I hope she understands my choice...

quarta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2010

After a lot of time spend reading and programming code in visual basic, after almost 500 pages read, and several hundred lines of code written, tested and dissected, while trying to understand a completely alien IDE (which actually looks functional), I reached the brilliant conclusion that my time would have been much better spent practicing java, which is platform independent, and which I should really practice if I want a chance at getting a developer's job in Lisbon, instead of wasting time trying to figure out a language that can only be used on microsoft systems.
Mono developers are doing a great job, just like wine developers did (do), but the fact that microsoft's technologies are only fully compatible with their-selves in most cases.
It wouldn't be half bad if my specialization wasn't in open-source solutions. While I do feel that my knowledge has been expanded a bit, I can't help but feel that the headache and the time spent away from my kid wasn't really worth it. Why would I finally acknowledge VB's existence? Because I'm waiting for a contact for a second job interview for a position as a network admin and programmer that specifically asked in the required skills section the ability to program in VB.
I've left the first interview with a really bad feeling about the job. Apparently, they have several other divisions spread across the country, and they're using Outlook to keep coordinated. I know that Outlook is a great program, really useful in several ways, but keeping a whole company connected? File-sharing, developing, human resources, accounting... all that managed through outlook? I wonder...
Apparently the position is for a technician that can manage the network AND develop a solution to connect the several divisions of the company. Plus, the supervisor isn't anything even remotely close to an IT guy. He's an electrical engineer or something like that... I have yet to talk to the guy, but I don't feel very confident about this... I have the weird feeling that whoever fills the position is gonna be really under-payed if I really understood it. Wonder if that isn't the real reason for such low certifications asked. Besides the VB skills, everything else was pretty much common knowledge (or am I assuming that people in general know much more then they do?! I don't think so...). Still, I feel unease about this. I'll just wait to see what happens, but in the case I am hired, and stuff really is what I am thinking it is, I'm getting the hell out of there as soon as any other company hires me. I won't quit just to go back to being unemployed, and I may end up really enjoying the challenge, but one thing is to accept a challenge, another is to become a slave.
Lets see how it goes...

Noise: Jetson and Junkie - Hell is Hell
I really liked this release. Just in case anybody wants to listen/download, here's the link: http://www.phonotactics.info/?p=366