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Category: linux

02/23/11 12:28- ID#53694

Wacom linux frustrations...

I don't use a mouse at home because I have borderline RSI. Instead, I have a Wacom Bamboo tablet and stylus that I use for all kinds of input from simple pointing-and-clicking to drawing and painting on pressure-sensitive applications such as mypaint. A major frustration has been to make it work with any and all flavours of linux. Fedora has treated me no better than the *buntus.

I have a simple question. How can I assign functions to the two buttons on the stylus? I currently use one button as a right-click and the other one as a "grab and scroll" middle-click button. Is it SO tough to figure this out in linux? Apparently, it is. This supposedly authoritative "manual" for the wacom linux driver does not help me at all because it's so dense and jargon ridden. And no one in ubuntu forums answers these sort of questions:

I am so frustrated. The linux community is nothing better than a mass of self-centred mirror-image RTFM-chanting zealots who have zero empathy or patience for anyone other than themselves and their ad nauseum omg-M$-is-so-evil-and-you-are-so-dumb-for-using-it agendas.

I am going to try this piece of code from this forum this evening. I wish I understood what it's doing!

  1. !/bin/bash
  2. If you set XSW in your environment it will override the
  3. script's default of /usr/bin/xsetwacom.
  4. If you set PAD and/or STYLUS then those override the script's
  5. defaults of 'Wacom Bamboo pad' and 'Wacom Bamboo' which are
  6. known correct for Ubuntu 9.04
  1. [ Do not change this bit: ]

test "x$XSW" = "x" && XSW=/usr/bin/xsetwacom
test -x $XSW || { echo "Cannot find xsetwacom in /usr/bin"; exit 1; }

test "x$PAD" = "x" && PAD="Wacom BambooFun 4x5 pad"
test "x$STYLUS" = "x" && STYLUS="Wacom BambooFun 4x5"

pad () {
$XSW set "$PAD" "$@"

stylus () {
$XSW set "$STYLUS" "$@"
  1. [ Configurability from here down.]
  1. Define the Bamboo buttons
pad AbsWDn "CORE KEY - "        # circle zoom in
pad AbsWUp "CORE KEY + "        # circle zoom out
pad Stripldn "CORE KEY - "        # strip in
pad Striplup "CORE KEY + "        # strip zoom out
pad Button1 "CORE KEY CTRL /z"        # key 1 () fill frame
pad Button4 "CORE KEY SHIFT"        # key 4 (FN2) SHIFT

stylus TPCButton "off"            # side switch mode
stylus mode "Absolute"            # positioning mode
stylus Button1 "Button 1"        # pentip click left
stylus Button2 "CORE KEY /x"        # Lower side switch click right
stylus Button3 "Button 3"        # Upper side switch click middle

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Words: 413
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/23/11 12:36

Category: linux

02/23/11 04:23- ID#53691

Linux: Clear as Mud.

So I tried to configure the xorg (wth?) wacom drivers using a text editor called gedit (wth?). When I opened it this bit of gibberish was waiting for me:

WALTOP needs a patched kernel driver, that isn't in mainline lk yet, so for now just let it fall through and be picked up by evdev instead.

Seriously? Am I supposed to nod in agreement or throw rocks at the screen?

This is why regular folks might not really want to go anywhere near any kind of linux. I have seen linux distributions with holier-that-thou taglines such as "software for humans". Does their definition of "humans" comes from a dictionary buried under Martian craters?!

Words: 115
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/23/11 04:50

Category: dance

02/21/11 11:07- ID#53679

Look who's dancing...

At the Texas Salsa Congress!!

Too bad I can't be there to drool over their performance...

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Words: 26
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/21/11 11:36

Category: eating out

02/21/11 09:15- ID#53678

Only butter on toast.

I was reminded recently why I don't eat out anymore. Vegetarian fare, even in prominently vegetarian restaurants such as Merge is so disappointing. I had their "smothered sweet potato fries" with some dairy-substitute called "daiya" last week. It was a hastily put-together mish-mash of soggy fried sweet potato fingers, a cheesy semi-solid bland-tasting thing that I can't describe very well, a smattering of bland french-lentils and wilted bland spinach - all put together in an environmentally unfriendly styrofoam box.

Call me a snob if you want, but I am very sure that I could take each one of these simple components and cook them so that I would want to eat the resulting meal for an entire week without getting bored. I couldn't even get through that one meal from Merge. It was just too bland and too uninteresting. I can see why people turn up their noses at the mention of "vegetarian". Self-proclaimed vegetarian-specialty restaurants such a Merge tarnish what it means to be vegetarian.

Why should I eat bland uninteresting things and pay for it too when I know that I can do a million times better at home?! It's so ridiculous that I forget this fact every now and then. This entry should serve as a reminder. The only thing worth eating out is butter on hot fresh-toasted bread - because really, no one could possibly mess that up however hard they tried.
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Words: 236
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/21/11 10:24

Category: dance

02/21/11 01:04- ID#53666

Salsa Rhythm

After an insane amount of clapping-along to a zillion songs, I think I finally have it.

So in this video the rhythm is a 3-2, Pa Pa Pa Pa-Pa clave.

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &.
Pa & 2 Pa 3 & Pa & 5 & Pa & Pa & 8 &

Most of the times, the clave itself is just not discernible. I was trying very hard to listen for individual instruments and their phrasing to discern the clave. I think, in the process, I just stopped hearing the music.

The easiest way is to close your eyes and feel where the music undulates and then snaps back and then repeats this cycle over and over again. The undulation is the three slower-paced beats (Pa Pa Pa) and the snapping back is the quick two beats Pa-Pa. I wonder if Sarah and Sean are listening for this pattern when they dance. It is still hard for me to tell what techniques people are using to decide when to take that first step in any style.


Words: 163
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/21/11 01:28

Category: dance

02/16/11 10:21- ID#53628

It's not a competition?!

Get real. When you are the ONLY one flopped in a totally unseemly heap on your mat, while a class of accomplished gymnasts is gracefully twisting into the epic urdhva dhanurasana (or the upright bow) all around you...
(including 1st-time-yogis-by-self-admission such as (e:Paul) and (e:Terry)), you have to admit, it starts to feel like someone gave you the ticket to the Olympics but you accidentally ended up in the competition ring instead of chilling out as a spectator on the stands with buttered and oh-so-salty popcorn. That was, in a nutshell, yoga class today.

But like any regulated sports event, you get detected as a fake very soon and ejected from the ring. Thankfully, I didn't get thrown out of class for ungracefulness but instead, took a massive skid on ice and lacerated my right knee (on the top of a bruise from smashing into a wall on Monday) as I walked back from Pricerite. On the bright side of this minor discomfort, all desire to master the dhanurasana TODAY has been bled out very effectively. I am back to eating massive amounts of chocolate hazelnut butter from my second 1lb bottle - this time blended with yogurt and mixed with frozen blueberries.

It could have been worse though. I could have slipped on ice and impaled my head on a cast-iron fence on the corner of Oakland and Bryant if (e:Paul) and (e:Terry) had not stabilized me in time.

The moral of this tale is almost every second person you see on the street or anywhere really, has had a secret gymnastic past and if you stalked them enough you might also find that they dance the salsa infinitely better than you ever can or will. The trick is to find opportune times to take mighty spills on the pavement and split your knee wide open so that you couldn't care less about your complete lack of skills at transforming yourself into an inverted ancient weapon or doing superawesomecrazy shines at salsa congresses.
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Words: 340
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/17/11 01:10

Category: linux

02/16/11 12:34- ID#53624

Distro Decision

I tried out a zillion live-CDs over the past week and the most appealing and uncluttered distro has to be lubuntu. Not only does it not assume that I am an idiot and need a million applications cluttering my operating system, its default browser is Chromium and not Firefox. These two things alone make it super-attractive.

EDIT: I hate lubuntu. It's clunky and quite awful when it comes to remembering any settings. I have switched to WattOS for now.

EDIT2: WattOS was okay but it had its own set of troubles... foremost being lack of activity in its support forums. Just one person supports that distro and that is a surefire recipe for very-long-wait-times and even more frustration. So I switched to Peppermint Ice (runs on LXDE/Openbox desktop environment on top of a Maverick 10.10 kernel). It's very fast compared to ubuntu and has no application bloat because everything is cloud-based. It's almost like a pre-release functioning Chrome OS.

EDIT3: Peppermint Ice was an unstable error-popping joke. I think the whole idea was to have the user install and use the OS for a day or so before unleashing an update from hell on their computers and have it boot to some inane terminal instead of the GUI so that windoze-converts will have an seismic what-do-I-do-NOW panic-attack. I had to google the "startx" command. Peppermint, you are ditched. I am now on Linux Mint on one laptop, Fedora on another (both gnome) and a stripped-down heavily-modified and patched WinXP (I know. I know.) on my oldest laptop.

BodhiLinux came close in terms of minimalism but I just could not figure out how to change simple display options under the Enlightenment GUI. Dual monitor setup was a nightmare. Changing the brightness of the screen required me to learn command line linux. Changing the display resolution was a complicated 1 hour google-hunt without a definite answer. The disappointment list just goes on lengthening.

Deskop Ubuntu has some unwieldy application-bloat. I liked the spiffy-looking Ubuntu-Netbook version but it has bloatware as well. Xubuntu was very display-tweak unfriendly. I am not competent enough yet to build linux from scratch. Someday, I will. Till then, I am settling for a semi-permanent lubuntu install on my Toshiba U305 S7467. I will miss the extremely light version of XP I used to run on the U305. It was just 0.7GB, took 12s to boot, ran just 12 background processes and took up less than 2% of system resources at any given time.

I don't know if and when I will reach that level of hacking comfort with lubuntu. It took me quite sometime to reach that state in XP. I never transitioned to Vista and it's newer evil cousins simply because their bloat was unbearable. I don't think any OS should occupy more than 2GB at the most and take up less than 3% of system resources when it's running.

Or maybe Chrome OS will come out before I get too comfortable with linux. Who knows...
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Words: 495
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 03/15/11 12:45

Category: dance

02/15/11 10:20- ID#53622

Reverse baby-freeze

I tried around 12 times to do a baby freeze on my left side. Here's a breakdown statistic of the results:
  • Crash-landed on my head - (2)
  • Crash-landed on my left hip - (2)
  • Flopped around like a dying fish - (3)
  • Leaned too far and felt my elbows give way under me - (2)
  • Stopped and stared at the floor in disgust for 10 seconds - (1)
  • Acquired a nasty 5-minute-cramp on my left upper arm - (1)
  • Acquired a bruise on my left temple - (1)

It's impossible. My body just doesn't want to rotate on my right forearm and my left elbow just doesn't stay put on my left waist and slips off the minute I try to stabilize it.

On the other hand, baby-freezing to my right is a happier state of affairs. I managed to stretch the time I could hold the freeze to a whole 30 seconds today. And so I celebrated with another 1/4 lb of Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. I am dangerously close to a nut butter overload and opening the 2nd bottle. Thankfully, the 3rd bottle belongs to (e:Paul).

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Words: 178
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/15/11 10:20

Category: linux

02/15/11 06:16- ID#53620

Linux Command Line

Don't you want to bash your head in when Linux GUI is dense and so extremely useless? No? Well, I do. So I am thrilled to have found a site that throws a command line bash 24/7:

And I have lot of admiration for William E. Shotts because he wrote this


and put the PDF online for free:


Words: 71
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/15/11 06:16

Category: the odes

02/15/11 11:36- ID#53616 pmobl


I do have two hairy left feet.

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Words: 9
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/15/11 11:36



New Site Wide Comments

tinypliny said to tinypliny
The footwork is SO fancy!...

tinypliny said to joe
I think that Tee in black with the dark blue monster would have made a good lamp shade....

tinypliny said to joe
Well.... did you climb one? And where is the photographic evidence??...

tinypliny said to joe
What is a keypress?...