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Showing posts from 2013

Starting to use systemd instead of sysv init

I've starting my first attempts at using systemd.  For the moment, I'm quite impressed.  Despite the negativity i see on the web, this is a novel solution to a problem that has plagued unix from the start.  The init system needed to change and I'm pleased with this solution.

Using it is remarkably simple. Instead of writing a nasty shell script that everybody simply cloned without understanding, you simply use a configuration file that defines what you want rather than now to do it.  This is a big distinction from classic rc.local and SysVInit style solutions.

One configuration file handles the full life-cycle for your linux services: starting, stopping, restarting, etc.

I see several advantages to this approach:
1. Reduced opportunity to lock up a system
2. Simple installation
3. Consistency
4. Reliable stopping and restarting (often an issue with rc.d files.)
5. More declarative rather than procedural means simpler and less likely to break

Systemd also significantly redu…

10 practical tips for daily business use of voice recognition

I enjoy using speech recognition software to write articles or papers. I find it extremely productive but there are definitely some tips you can follow to make your experience more enjoyable.

Here are my tips for using speech recognition and other related techniques:
1. Since neither Dragon Dictate nor Microsoft Speech Recognition (MSR) work in every application, you'll do well to keep MS Word running at all times. That way you can easily cut and paste from Word into your other applications.  
2. Watch out for homonyms!  Things that sound the same but aren't the same.  “There”, “Their”, “They're”. “Its”, “It's”. “Too”, “Two”, “To”.  You get the idea.  Your spelling checker will not flag them (although a good grammar checker might)  Remember, a dictation package will never make a spelling mistake but it can certainly choose the wrong word.
3. Learn the shortcut keys for your common apps so that you can quickly maneuver.
4. Consider a quick launcher like Baydenslickrun

Using a Chromebook can alter your work habits in a good way

My wife bought me a Chromebook for Christmas.  I have been very interested by this technology for some time now. It's not that it is so innovative. It's that it is forcing me to be more cloud-oriented than I am already.

The Chromebook is very light and has a 12" screen.  The keyboard is pretty flat and resembles the keyboard you'd find on a Macbook.  I don't know how similar the feel is but it is certainly sufficient for typing. I'm writing this article using the Chromebook right now.

I'm not going to spend much time on the Chromebook itself -- you can read about the specs anywhere. The real impact, as I said earlier, is on your working habits.  I work in IT and am also studying on my PhD.  I do a lot of writing so a good keyboard, clear screen, and access to research materials is key to me.

The keyboard does not have function keys (F1 - F10) nor page-up and page-down keys, nor inse…