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Re: Very slim Desktop Manager

On Thu, 13 Nov 2008 20:10:41 +0100
NN_il_Confusionario <pinkof.pallus@tiscalinet.it> wrote:

> > Well, have you tried sc?
> As I said, I never used any spreadsheet (or word processor, for that
> matter).

Well, I tried it and found it has too many disadvantages.

> > > apt-cache show bmv
> > > apt-cache show fbi
> > 
> > Those are not pdf viewers.
> Yes, they are and I use them. But I understand that I was no so clear.

apt-cache show bmv:
  Description: PostScript viewer for SVGAlib
apt-cache show fbi:
  Description: Linux frame buffer image viewer

The fbi package apparently includes another program, fbgs, with which
you can view pdf. But bmv and fbi are not pdf viewers. Besides that, I
don't have a framebuffer (but I'll recompile the kernel and try it out),
so they probably won't work anyway.

> One needs a previous conversion, which in case of fbi in integrated in
> the script fbgs in the fbi package, and for bmv can be obtained with a
> trivial script which calls pdf2dsc before bmv (I use pdf2dsc and not
> pdf2ps or whatever for space and speed reasons)

That's what I said earlier: It's easier just to use a readily
available pdf viewer than it is to figure out if it's possible to
convert it to something else (or do with it whatever else might be
helpful) before you can view it. I even have to change the kernel
configuration, recompile and install a new kernel and reboot. Otoh,
once you are set up for it, it probably doesn't make a difference.

When I started using Linux, there was no such thing as a framebuffer or
svgalib, so it wouldn't have been possible ...

> (as "pdf viewer" I am interested in some screen-equivalent of looking
> at a printed pdf. I have no need for more advanced features which
> might be included in .pdf files)

They can be very useful.

> > Have you ever used MS access?
> no. I have also never seen it. And I have also always heard very bad
> things about its native file format. (Even worser things than the .doc
> format, from the easy of corruption point of view)

Other than that the databases in its native format were limited to 2GB,
I've never had a problem with it at work. It's the one application MS
did a good job on.

> > There is no commandline substitute for
> > that --- no GUI substitute either, unfortunately.
> Once I heard about rekall. What happened to that application?

It looks very interesting, I didn't know about that one. Next time I
need to use a database, I'll try it out.

> > try qalculate
> no, thanks. It is a X application, I already a working non-X solution
> for my needs. As you can see, I am non so flexible as you, or mybe I
> am too old for this. 

With dc or bc, you need to figure out how to use them. An hour later or
so you might be able to calculate 2+5. With qalculate (or other GUI
calculators), you type 2+5 and get the result, just like you do with a
calculator. dc only says "stack empty", whatever that's supposed to

Sure it works, but it's not feasible to spend hours for every program I
haven't used before or don't use frequently to figure out how to use it.

> After unpacking 37.7MB of additional disk space will be used.
> so much space and so many (gnome) libraries for a calculator? That
> makes sense only when one is a gnome user. And I expect that
> qalculate-kde from etch makes sense only for kde users.

You could as well question using a computer at all. So much hardware and
space and money and time and electricity spent for a calculator like dc
or bc? You're better off buying a calculator in a supermarket or obtain
one for free from someone who gives them away in an advertising

40MB today are what has been maybe 2k about 15 years ago.

lee@cat:~$ ls -la /usr/bin/dc
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 31976 2007-12-02 15:25 /usr/bin/dc

30k for a claculator! That might still work on a ZX Spectrum 48k.

The point is, that's how things are today. For the same
basic functionality, you need a lot more space and more powerful
hardware than many years ago, and you can get that for a lot less money
than you could many years ago. The difference is that until not so many
years ago, you were mott waiting for the computer to finish doing
something. Today, you don't need to wait. If you want to try a
particular program and it needs libraries, what does it matter? Next
time you want to try another program, and it eventually uses the
libraries you installed last time.

> PS/2: gnuplot has also svgalib output.

So? You can't reasonably replace a spreadsheet with bc or dc and

> I have now found with google that there are image manipulations
> programs for dos (http://www.opus.co.tt/dave/indexall.htm lists some
> of them). Even a gpl one [vp386], which unfortunately uses dos4gw and
> so it should not work under dosemu.

How many of them don't have some kind of GUI? How many of them can work
with NEF files?

You can do much of what you can do with gimp with command line programs,
and sometimes it is the more efficient or easier way. Some things are
easier and/or more efficiently done via a GUI. Software like gimp is a
good example for what can be done via a GUI easier/more efficiently and
not at all with command line programs.

BTW, are you really still using dosemu?

> I do not know gaim, I cannot answer. But from what I see with
> "apt-cache show gaim" I expect that the answer that somebody else has
> already given makes sense.

imagemagick? It's very useful, I use it in a script that automatically
processes all NEFs in a directory. But it cannot replace being able to
work directly on an image and to obsere the results immediately. You
could emulate that to some extend by processing the image, viewing it,
processing it again, etc., but that won't be very efficient.

It's like playing a piano without hands: You can find another way, but
it won't work as well.

> > I tend to
> > leave things running which I'm going to use again sooner or later
> > anyway
> me too, but in a very different way

Yeah --- I tried screen, it's really nice. Maybe I'll set it up for
IMAP use once I got a framebuffer; I might end up with something very

> evidently we have different ways to look at things. But it might
> simply be that I have no idea of what to look for in a forum; I never
> had reasons to be intersted in them.

Both, I guess. For browsing a forum --- at least not that one --- lynx
is not useable. If links2 can display graphics on the console, I might
be able to use it.

> > You can't even scroll,
> What is scroll? If it is the horizontal analogue of Ctrl-n and Ctrl-p 
> the you can enable it in lynx (first, turn word wrap off).

I don't know what Ctrl-n/p would do. PageUp and PageDown work, but I'm
mostly scrolling with either the cursor keys or with space. I'm using
kbdrate -r 30 -d 250 on consoles (I don't remember if it was possible
to get it any faster) and xset r rate 240 100 in .xinitrc. I hate slow
moving cursors, and that setting, in a side effect, makes scrolling

BTW, I've just found an interesting font for xterm:

It reminds me of console fonts, and I'm trying out yeahconsole. Now I
can use screen in yeahconsoles xterm. That might reduce the number of
terminals I usually happen to keep open.

Hm, and I figured out how to use mutt for IMAP. Pretty cool to have it
running this way ...

> > and if you want to follow a link, you have to fumble your
> > way through all the links from the top of the page until you finally
> > get to the one you want to follow.
> strange that an xterm user says that (search mouse in man lynx)

Mouse support is not available in my consoles ... I stopped using the
program for that (gpm?) long ago because I didn't need it.

> > That isn't exactly useable,
> evidently is not usable for you, and I am not trying to change that.
> > and it is not user friendly.
> lynx is like many unixes and many humans: it selectively choses its
> friends.

Is it a web browser or not? If it's a web browser, it should be able to
display most web pages in such a way that they are easy to read and to
use, as long as those pages don't violate standards. Obviously, it can
do that only for a few web pages, not for most of them.
> > Icons are not annoying or useless most of the time.
> well, we are discovering the important principle that different humans
> have different opinions and different needs.

Yeah, I know that, but that they do doesn't mean that icons are
annoying and useless.

> Without a
> window manager the dimension of the window can be a problem (in some
> rare cases I have even found programs which seem to ignore geometry in
> .Xresouces or the like)

Oh, I didn't think of that.

> > Which features would that be?
> If I remember correctly some threads in mailing lists like
> debian-italian a few (1? 2? ...) years ago have something about the
> difference about mozilla on win32 and linux. But it might be that I
> have read about this elswere, sorry, I do not remember exactly. 

That I was using both is a bit longer ago. Even if there were
differences in features, I never noticed any.

> > > much better integration between "win32 console application *in
> > > full screen*" and "win32 GUI application" than the default
> > > integration in linux/*BSD between vt consoles and X.
> > 
> > In which way?
> an easy example: cut and paste (note: I was speaking of _vt consoles_
> not xterms). However the win method is so silly that my method (attach
> my console screeen in a xterm) is faster, but the point is that win
> has its (silly) method by default (i.e. it was consciously included
> in the plans for windows).

I'm not sure what you mean? I don't remember any way to mark and copy
something in a fullscreen dosbox and then paste it into a GUI program
under windoze before 2000. With 2000, the full screen dosbox was gone.
That doesn't mean it wasn't possible, I never really used windoze
before 2000 --- and not really after that, either, I only had to deal
with it at work.

I think I vaguely remember that it wasn't possible to mark something in
a Linux console (using gpm) and then paste it somewhere under X11, but
I can be wrong.

> > The dos boxes they had seem to have disappeared, and you
> > could always have only one.
> I was speaking of "win32 console", which is a different NT subsystem
> from "DOS" (and from "posix", and from "win32 gui", an from "NT
> native"). 

Well, then I don't know what it is. A command line (like
command.com/exe) under any type of windoze is a dosbox for me.

> Oh well, I remeber when they included a "Korn shell" in their posix
> suite for win 2000, and David Korn declared that it was a non standard
> one.

No surprise, MS avoids standards as much as they can get away with.
Anyway, you wouldn't get that by default, would you?

> I have heard that their more modern versions of the SFU is better
> (but I have never seen them), and in any case cygwin is decent.


The problem with cygwin is, hm, to put it simply, that everything is
missing. Moreover, if you really want to use it, you have to fumble
with filenames that have spaces and the chaotic disorganization of the
files on computers running windoze. They spread the files all over the
place so that you never know where to find anything, and every program
that wants to messes with system files and/or mingles its own files
between them as much as it wants. It's impossible to keep the system
separated from applications and data. It's horrible ...

> I am also told that decent shells in command.com style exist (4nt ? I
> know 4dos and it is amazing how it is so capable, given the dos
> limitations).

They do (or did, but who would still use them?). But you don't get them
by default.

> > The server isn't doing it for me now, and I don't want to pipe every
> > mail manually through the filters ...
> fetchmail and a local server?

That won't work: You cannot reject mail before accepting it when you're
using fetchmail. That only works with direct delivery (from sending MTAs
to the recieving MTA on your machine). And for direct delivery, it's
highly preferable to have a static IP (which I don't have), though you
can do it with a dynamic one.

Anyway, what I'm using atm is patched together. I need to get a full
size tower case (they are hard to get here) and some SCSI cables so that
I can use the disks I have. When I have that, I'll reinstall to switch
to ia64. Once I'm set up, I'll have to do something about the mails.

> > Using the cheapest card available doesn't mean that it is a good
> > card for the resolutions used for X11.
> Yes, but is is nonetheless absolutely adequate for the (gimp/kino)
> video editing that that amd64 PC must do. So it cannot be so bad.

That doesn't mean that this card produces a good picture. I've had a
Geforce 5200 or so, and it was "adequate", but the picture wasn't very
good. Same is with an ATI mach32 and Cirrus cards, if you still have
cards that old. I was told that it has to do something with the quality
of the chips used and with what bandwidth/frequencies the chips can
handle. If the chips are not good, the electrical signals are not as
steep (or whatever) as they should be, which results in a "softened out"
picture, most noticeable in the contours of things. It's very
noticeable with fonts, they will appear blurred, and afair you are
also losing contrast. The higher the resolution, the higher the
frequencies and the more bandwidth is required, and the cheap chips
have their problems with that. It's not (so much) a problem in textmode
because the frequencies and bandwidth are lower --- something like that.

If it's true or not, I could see the difference between the Geforce
5200 and the 7800GTX I have now.

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