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marcmagus: (regexp)
Friday, November 7th, 2008 02:43 pm

Last night I did my occasional emerge -avtuND world. There was a recursive block happening because two packages had been moved into a third, so e2fsprogs was blocking e2fsprogs-lib, and vice-versa, with sys-libs/com_err and sys-libs/ss also involved. Fortunately, I had the thought "these sound important" and went to do some Googling before I attempted to resolve it for myself, so I avoided the fate of many who got stuck with a non-functional Portage midway through the update (ouch).

Let me comment on that, actually: if you're doing this update, be very careful. Your wget probably depends on com_err, so after emerging com_err you will be unable to fetch the distfiles for e2fsprogs-lib, which is what you need to resupply com_err under the new packaging. Make sure to fetch all needed distfiles before unmerging com_err! In fact, do some research on this for yourself.

So, that went fine. Then I did my usual world update, and left it to go overnight while I went to sleep. I know I heard my music start from my at job at 10am. Sometime between then and noon, it stopped. When I got up, I couldn't get any display at all. I actually hard-reset the darn thing. I've been experiencing intermittent problems of varying degrees (irssi segfaulted, firefox has done all kinds of special things, either my window manager or X has outright crashed, etc.) all day. I'm not sure what's wrong. I've been selectively remerging things in case it helps. (revdep-rebuild continues to show nothing needing rebuilding, and everything in /etc is up to date.) This is really frustrating.

I still love Gentoo, I'm just a little irritated with it right now.

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 12:16 am

I know there are some people out there with graphic design experience, and some people out there who spend a lot of time looking at text in a terminal window, and even some who are both. I'm looking for a little advice.

See, there's this problem with the default settings for most terminal emulators: the colors suck. I use a black background because I find it more comfortable to look at. There seem to be studies going in both directions on the dark/light background question, so I'd just as soon skip it. Most of the colors are pretty easy to read, but both blue and bright blue on black are a strain.

So I think I want to change the palette for the ANSI colors on the terminal. I've done some research (hoping to find a website which had a bunch of palettes and screen shots of them, honestly, but with no luck) and learned a bit about it, but haven't found anything really satisfactory. I think I'm going to have to roll my own.

From my research, I've come up with a few guidelines for what it should look like which seem reasonable to me. I'd value input on what I'm thinking, as well as color suggestions.

  • The ANSI colors are black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, and grey, plus a corresponding bright version of each (bright black is dark grey, bright grey is white).
  • Ideally, the colors should remain as true to the spec as possible, and should certainly be recognizable as those colors.
  • The colors must have sufficient contrast from black to be easily readable when text is <color>/black.
  • The colors should be readily distinguished from one another, as they're often used to convey information.
  • As often as feasible, the colors should have sufficient contrast with one another to provide readable text. At the very least, bright secondaries should be visible against their dark primary complements.
  • I am given to understand that similar perceived brightness reduces fatigue, so ideally the set of dark colors (black excluded) should be about the same perceived brightness, and the set of bright colors (dark grey excluded) should be about the same perceived brightness. I am currently looking at the W3C accessibility standard of perceived brightness, but am open to alternatives. I'm really not sure I trust the numbers I'm getting out of this. (Blue is really dark, but is it that really dark?
  • Perhaps as a result of blue being so very dark, many colors are impressively readable against it as a background, which is kind of useful. It would be nifty to be able to preserve that, though I'd accept if that's not possible.

It recently occurred to me to fiddle with my monitor brightness/contrast/whatever settings. On my work monitor, dialing contrast to max seems to make the blues more visible, but I don't know what those settings really do. Is this a good approach, or is it going to be counterproductive?

Something really needs to be done. 0x0000ff:0x000000 is only readable if I work really hard at it, and blue doesn't go any brighter without becoming less blue.

marcmagus: Me playing cribbage in regency attire (Default)
Thursday, March 13th, 2008 08:03 pm

I have finally succeeded in my quest, to get XKB to easily set up the keyboard in an arbitrary fashion, not limited to the options presented in the rules database, using the system database for everything I'm not explicitly overriding, without needing to edit any system files or have any special privileges!

This should allow me to map CapsLock to Super (or Esc, or something else, I'm still playing) on any computer I have an account on.

Most of you probably don't care about the details... )