Monthly Archives: September 2010

Learning to type

At some point I figured I should learn touch typing. Most of the stuff I write happens through a keyboard, whether it is code, assignments or blog posts or something completly different. So since I type a lot, I might as well learn how to do it properly, and hopefully increase my typing speed while I’m at it. Anyways, turns out there are a bunch of programs that help you learn/train touch typing. I tried a few but settled with using KTouch for a couple of reasons:

*It provides small sets of words (or letter combinations in the earlier stages) so that you get some practise with each letter before moving on to the next one. Later exercises then combines new letters with the ones you already know.

*Unlike a few others I check it displays a keyboard on screen, indicating which finger you should use to type the current letter. It also shows the colored map for which letter is associated to which finger at all times.

* It can graph your progress, including letters-per-minute, and words-per-minute.

* It shows you how many errors (misspellings) you have done, and list which letters you need to work on more.

*It was already in the Ubuntu/Debian repositories, so all I had to do in order to install it was to open the Software Center and search for it.

When stars version numbers align

Like most browser developers, Opera posts recent development builds of their browser. Earlier today I noticed they had released a new snapshot, and one of the changes was to update the version number of Presto (the rendering engine) to 2.6.35.

Now, as some of you may know, 2.6.35 is also the latest stable version of the Linux kernel. While it’s probably just a coincidence, I thought it was nice to spot a familiar number.

Compiling your own kernel

While it may sound complicated, compiling your own Linux kernel is actually pretty easy. All you need to do is follow the proper instructions like this. Actually, if you’ve managed to set up an Arch box, compiling the kernel should be no problem.

Basically you download the latest kernel, unpack it, configure it (using some really nice menu with all options available), compile it and change a few lines so that grub (or your favorite bootloader) is able to find it. Apart from some initial problems where I had forgotten to copy over some new files, it was pretty straight-forward. I was really happy seeing the computer go from selecting my newly compiled kernel at boot-up, to booting without errors and presenting me with a login prompt at the end. All in all it was a fun thing to do, not as hard as I expected, and I may have earned some geek cred in the process.

I’m still amazed at how easy it was compared to what I expected. Especially I was surprised that it was way easier than compiling Firefox, which I struggled with for quite a while before I got something that didn’t fail to build.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog. With any luck I will be writing stuff here, mainly related to programming, music, books or whatever I’m interested in at the moment. In additions I will most likely set up a section with some projects I work on or have done in the past. That’s the plan anyway. Stay tuned for more…