MeeGo vs. Smeegol
by brian hefele

I've been using MeeGo as my secondary OS (well, my primary OS on my secondary machine) for a week, week and a half or so now, and I'm still pretty happy with it. Stability is not quite where I'd like it to be, the wifi driver randomly seems to crash (without notice, except that all network activity disappears), and Evolution is not sending mail properly (at all). Minor issues add up, and I would not feel comfortable recommending MeeGo to anyone who wasn't a hacker, or who didn't have extremely kind hacker friends. Yet, if you do have a bit of patience, it's still less of a struggle than any other desktop linux I've ever run, and its performance on weak hardware is nothing to sneeze at.

I was excited to learn that the OpenSUSE team had taken the Meego UI and applied it to a (theoretically) slim version of OpenSUSE. The result is, for now, at least, known as Smeegol. There are some very convincing reasons to try this out - Smeegol uses NetworkManager, which is an amazing tool. Far more packages are available, since OpenSUSE is already a strong distro. Also, additional social networks are available for the front page - including FaceBook (boo) and Flickr (yay).

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categories: nix, software, review
date: 2011-02-06 00:08:29

Cygwin, Moblin, and MeeGo
by brian hefele

I have sort of quasi-permanently borrowed an EeePC with Windows XP. I have been using it a bit lately, and realized that I hate how slow Windows is to boot on such a machine (never been quick on any machine, though), I hate the aesthetics of pre-Vista Windows, and I hate the overall Windows experience (having no comfortable command line is a big fright). Since the machine is not really mine, installing a new OS (something in a BSD, please?) seemed like a pretty bad idea. First idea: Cygwin.

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categories: nix, software, review
date: 2011-01-27 16:41:11

flac2mp3
by brian hefele

Having decided that I'm better off downloading lossless files from Bandcamp &c., and preferring to save a bit of space by sourcing FLAC files, I finally did something that I should have done a long time ago. The annoying issue for me has always been the extra work necessary in preserving metadata when using a 'flac -d -c input.flac | lame - output.mp3' process. My solution, which works well for me and is being made available here for others, is a simple shell script - flac2mp3.

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categories: nix, script, software
date: 2010-11-27 03:05:25