Skip to main content

Penguin Power

Penguin PowerThere's an place at the intersection of East Colonial and North Ferncreek called Ice Cold Auto Air. They've been there so long (since 1964) they've become something of a landmark. Right under their sign they have this heavily customized VW minibus which has been painted up in various color schemes for years. Recently it was given yet another paint job and given something of a name.

It's now called "Penguin Power."

Penguin Power InteriorIt looks all cute and interesting from the outside, but a quick peek into the interior tells a slightly different tale.

The panels are missing from inside the doors. The dash had been reconstructed from "home brew" materials, and spray painted interesting shades. Wires dangle from beneath the dash and some feed directly through the front sheet metal to the lights outside. Some of the interior material is torn, exposing yellow filler foam. The interior looks like it's usable, but it's definitely not the kind of vehicle you'd find on any major auto dealer. Instead, it draws material from a vehicle that provided great service and utility (the VW Minibus) and reconstructs it into something that only looks like it might be usable. And yet the people who built this probably think it's the coolest thing on the road.

There's a metaphor in all of this for Linux.

I came across Theodore Ts'o's Google+ rant against Gnome 3.4 (yes, that Ted Ts'o), and it resonated with my experiences using Gnome 3.4 on Fedora 17. His needs are simple, but apparently he's not "the simpleton user that Gnome wants to server." When I think about Gnome 3.4 I think about that little vehicle, which was chopped and shorted to remove any real utility to carry anything except the driver and the passenger, with the interior that's left in pretty much of a shambles. Gnome 3 has had just about everything of real utility that was in Gnome 2 stripped out, and what's left is in pretty much of a shambles. Yes, it looks cute and all from a distance, but the closer you get the more you realize what it can't do compared to a real van/desktop system.

I don't know yet what I'll do with Fedora 17. As I wrote earlier I can use Cinnamon to return a fair amount of Gnome 2's usability and utility back to the desktop. I don't want Cinnamon to do much. I just want windows that work the way I expect windows to work and a decent command line terminal. Simple stuff. If I wanted Gnome 3's intense kind of annoyance I'd go install Windows 8 and Metro. At least if I work at it I can get back to the older Windows 7 desktop.

I don't know. Maybe I am getting too old for all of this. This intense love for all things tablet, driven by Apple's iPad, is driving majors like Microsoft and projects like Gnome 3, KDE 4, and Ubuntu over a cliff and trying to take us all with them. I've got entries covering Linux going back to 2005. I didn't realize how good I had it until I went back and looked at Suse 10 (KDE 3), Ubuntu 7, and Mandriva 2008. Right now I'm hanging onto Fedora 14 precisely because I know it works the way I want, realizing I really need to move forward to a much more current kernel and the latest developer tools and packages.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I guess I'll figure something out.

Comments

  1. I've never seen a short version of that bus. Very cool and thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.