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Evolving Desktop

The past few months I've switched from using a hard drive install of Knoppix to Kanotix. Near as I can tell Kanotix is a version of Knoppix that is designed to be more trouble free when installing it to the hard drive. It's based on Debian sid rather than a mix of testing, stable and unstable like Knoppix. Knoppix works great as a live cd linux, from what I can tell so far, Kanotix is better for hard drive installs. I've had less trouble installing exotic applications than I've had before when running a Knoppix based hard drive install.

Kano, the creator of Kanotix has written some nice scripts for installing various software and fixing various broken things with Knoppix. My favorites are the ones for installing mplayer. Easiest time I've ever had installing it. Make sure and run them in the order they're listed on the page though. You can't install the codecs after installing mplayer [for instance.] The scripts are great, even if the documentation is a little lacking on the page. Most are self-explanatory, but what does "remove-gateway.sh" do? I guess if you don't know you probably don't need it...

My latest adventure has been the switch to using the window manager Ratpoison. This has taken some getting used to but I think it's been worthwhile. The main idea with ratpoison is to reduce the distractions of a gui interface --everytime you move your hands from the keyboard to the mouse efficency is reduced. Not to mention all the other stuff going on on most desktops. Instant message client bleeping at me, conversations on irc, even the wallpaper on my desktop. All of this adds up to a distracting environment. At least, it does for me.

Now, with ratpoison I only see one application on the screen at a time. Takes some getting used to but I think I like it. My chess rating has improved. Hehe, I used to play chess while chatting online and checking my email, etc. Not the way I would play in a tournament, so why should I play that way at home?



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