Right now, it’s unbelievably cold. We’ve already hit our freezing mark this winter, but today’s bluster from the north has me chilled to the bones. Bundle up; tonight’s gonna be a cold and lonely one.
Currently listening to VAST’s album “April”. Mostly stuff done on a side-project and some demos. I wish this band would put out something that’s a top-notch production with polished surfaces like their first two albums. The intimacy of imperfection is fine, but please, wow my socks off again.
Speaking of not wowing my socks off, this upgrade to Debian on my laptop hasn’t been all rainbows and puppies. Luckily I had the forethought, back when I first put Ubuntu on this, to set aside a separate partition for my /home directory, because that allows me to keep all of my files, customizations, and configuration settings between OS installations. That allowed me to practically hit the ground running with minimal time configuring the new install. It’s a nice ideal.
But, be that as it may, some of the config differences between Ubuntu and Debian left me with some very weird problems. The Compiz compositor isn’t installed by default on Debian Squeeze (weird, I know), and my Xorg user config was configured to use it. This comically resulted in windows with no GUI chrome (titlebar, status bar, menus, etc), because the compositor draws those; Xorg only draws the window contents. I installed Compiz and its config tool and all was fixed. Also, the Debian variant of Gnome doesn’t provide GUI options to force passwords on resume from Hibernate or Standby, which is a damn handy feature from the Ubuntu version. A few minutes in GConf (at /apps/gnome-power-manager/lock) fixed that.
However, somewhere along the way I may have installed a package or driver or flipped a config switch to cause Xorg to hang on resume. Like, I press the power button after a hibernate/standby, the computer wakes up and resumes, initializes the display, provides me with the Xlock login dialog, wherein I enter the password, then X draws the background image and halts. The mouse is movable, but the video is locked. Can’t even switch to a virtual terminal, but I can log into the laptop via SSH from another host. The only hint I can find is in /var/log/messages where it mentions “bonobo-activation-server cannot associate with desktop session”. Bonobo is a deprecated part of the Gnome GUI framework, but for some reason, some part of Gnome is still using it and hanging when trying to hand off control of the display from Xlock/Xscreensaver to Compiz. Kinda pisses me off, because this worked in Ubuntu. What did they do to make it work?
As a stopgap measure, I simply disabled the password requirement on resume. It’s insecure, but there it is. Why file a bug report? It works as designed!
Speaking of productive, this was a productive week at work. I’ll cap to actually putting my head in the game. If only I’d do that all the time, my life would be easier. At least it’d feel more fulfilling. I hate dragging my feet and/or ass; it’s half my issue with my life/job/hobbies.
So there’s my update. Maybe some time I’ll drop some mad science on you people to show that I can have deep thoughts on occasion. I used to do that waaaay back in the day. But like any muscle, if you don’t exercise it, it will atrophy. And boy howdy, it sure has.