02 June 2014

The first Tizen phone

TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Gizmodo, and The Verge today have sizable articles discussing the the first Tizen-powered phone to hit the market: the Samsung Z.

The range of tone and angles in the articles is fascinating. They also aptly demonstrate my third law of the Internet: For every opinion, there is an equal and opposite opinion. For example, The Verge says, "The phone will have a major disadvantage right out of the gate--[it] won't have access to the vast ecosystem of Android apps that has been built up over recent years." But TechCrunch reports, "The Z will include access to a Tizen app store, which means buyers can expect a few thousand native apps. [The] Open Mobile application compatibility later [sic] will enable the handset to run Android apps too."

I wasn't expecting anyone would actually ever bring a Tizen-powered phone to market, so I haven't been following development of this open-source mobile OS. But I will now be doing so and am wishing the phone well.

26 October 2013

node: No such file or directory

TL;DR: When installing the nodejs package on Debian, you'll probably need to install nodejs-legacy along with it.

If you are trying to use Node.js on Debian, you might get a node: No such file or directory error. I did. The root of the problem is that, 'Both LinuxNode (package "node") and node.js (package "nodejs") are designed to be accessed through the command name "node"' (bug #614907). Debian's solution is to make Node.js access happen through the nodejs command, move the command that previously used the node command to ax25-node, and (it seems) to let nobody use the node command.

Of course this breaks everything that expects the node command to invoke Node.js, and that's why you see the error. Fortunately, the Debian solution also has a workaround: package nodejs-legacy installs a symlink from node to nodejs.

08 September 2013


Quicktile is an nifty Python script by Stephan Sokolow that lets you tile windows in non-tiling window managers. I am currently using it with Xfce and Fluxbox (with and without xcompmgr). So far it has been pretty sweet.

The default key-bindings assume you have a numeric keypad, which my main lappy lacks. So, I cobbled together the following quicktile.cfg. It uses the alphabetic keys on the right side of a QWERTY keyboard, with key locations mapping to tile location. It also uses Windows+Alt to mask the commands instead of the original Ctrl+Windows.
cfg_schema = 1
UseWorkarea = True
ModMask = Mod1 Mod4

C = move-to-center
H = horizontal-maximize
V = vertical-maximize
0 = maximize
b = bottom-left
n = bottom
m = bottom-right
j = left
k = middle
l = right
i = top-left
o = top
p = top-right
KP_Enter = monitor-switch

16 June 2013

Controlling thumbnails in Thunar

Maybe I'm weird, but I don't like seeing thumbnails of my PDF documents in my file manager. This post pointed the way toward fixing that in Thunar. More concisely, Thunar uses a package called tumbler to generate thumbnails, and this is controlled by a config file. So, begin by making a local copy of the config file:

$ mkdir ~/.config/tumbler/
$ cp /etc/xdg/tumbler/tumbler.rc ~/.config/tumbler/

and then edit the local tumbler.rc file as needed to disable the unwanted thumbnailers:

# PDF/PS thumbnailer

You'll also have to delete the unwanted thumbnails from ~/.thumbnails/normal. I have a ~/.thumbnails/large as well, and those might need to be deleted too.