Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Experiment (part 2)

Yes, my experiment into using various distributions of Linux is still going. My laptop now solely uses Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) as its OS, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how simple it was to pick up. I'm still very much a novice at using it as I still rely nearly entirely on the GUI to do things for me. The only terminal command I really know and feel comfortable using is
sudo apt-get install (package name)
to install packages. OK, I can also delete my / directory, but that doesn't count. I can do pretty much everything that I want to do with it though. If I want to really learn to use the CLI I'll use a different distro.

There's a story behind how my laptop came to solely run Ubuntu; one in which it went through 4 operating systems in one weekend. It began when I decided that I was sick of Windows XP and installed Windows 7 on it instead. However, it wanted the CPU to run at its maximum clock speed all the time which killed the battery life faster than an injection of cyanide, and I had to do a lot of faffing about with Windows XP drivers just to get the wireless adapter to work. For those who don't know computer-speak, here's the English translation: Windows 7 = battery went flat fast.

The next day I tried Ubuntu 9.04 on it, which was an unmitigated disaster. It did not like the integrated "graphics" at all (graphics in quotations because the day Intel make a good IGP [integrated graphics processor] is the day I burn all my AMD systems). So much so in fact that it wouldn't even load the GUI at some points.

I got rid of that very quickly and put Ubuntu 9.10RC on it instead, which I was extremely impressed with. The wireless adapter worked perfectly out of the box, as did the IGP, the function keys on the keyboard and the best part was that the CPU wasn't begging for mercy under the weight of Windows.

I apologise for all the computer-speak but that's inevitable when I start talking about computers. I guess these things happen when you crap on about the things you love.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanks TPG!

Last night I decided that I'd be good and go to bed early, given that I have an exam in three hours, but I decided to treat myself by buying Borderlands and leaving it to download overnight so it'd be ready to play by the time I got back from the exam. So I leave my computer on and go to sleep. It's downloading slowly because our internet here always slows to a crawl from about the time that TPG's engineers clock out until morning, but I know it should pick up at some point during the night.

However, I woke up at 4:30am this morning and decided to check on how it was going (this isn't why I woke up though!) and I was extremely disappointed to find out that it had downloaded just 14% of the game and the connection seemed to have timed out. After playing around with Steam and the router for half an hour I managed to get it to start downloading again, but it was still downloading slower than a legless dog.

Half an hour later I got up again because by this stage the sun was starting to rise again and I can't go to sleep when the sun is up and check again. It's still crawling along so I changed the preferred download server again and browsed Whirlpool for a while. Suddenly 6am rolls around and BAM! It's like someone kicked the internet connection in the rear because suddenly the download speed jumps from ~100KB/s to 1.4MB/s like it should be. So thanks for turning the magic speed button on again TPG, I really do enjoy playing around for an hour in the early morning only to have the internet speeds that we're supposed to get kick in at 6am on the dot. In the twenty minutes I've been typing this twice as much of the game has downloaded than was downloaded between 11pm and 6am. So now it's 6:20am, I have an exam in 2 1/2 hours and I'm incapable of getting more sleep. Thanks, TPG.

P.S. I am quite aware that my sleep issues are not the fault of TPG as it was my decision to play around with stuff, but I'm still frustrated. They're going to be getting some phone calls from me in the near future.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The history of the name "Troy's Fortress"

What's that? You're wondering why my blog is called what it's called? Well then, take a seat by the fire (yes, there's a fire for the purposes of this post) and allow me to explain.

It goes back to a city I created in SimCity 4 about 3 years ago which I named Troy's Fortress. I ripped the name off from a friend's SimCity 4 city which he called a fortress named after himself, which in turn was ripped off from a song from the soundtrack from The OC that was popular with some of my group of friends at the time called Fortress (I couldn't stand that show, but they loved it).

Feeling ripped off? I would too. Here's a picture of the original Troy's Fortress though: