My new self-built “Mac” (really a Ubuntu machine)

I have been wanting to blog about this for ages. So in November last year I decided that my old trusty Athlon XP that has served me for years was really due for replacement. It was still fast enough to run vim and Firefox and such, but the machine became annoying as soon as I switched to Gmail last Summer. The machine could just not keep up with me typing e-mail in the browser. For a very long time I have been wanting to buy a Mac Pro (or Powermac G5 before), in the end I chose for a different solution.

So I ended up buying components for a Intel Core 2 Quad, 4G RAM and RAID1 on pretty fast SATA2 disks. I bought the cheapest PCI-e video card available to drive my dual Iiyama displays. After assembling the machine myself, I loaded it with the 64-bit version of Ubuntu. Figuring out the partitions (software RAID and LVM) took a while (apparently I needed another install DVD image for this) but after that the installation process was fantastic. Completely flawless, everything worked out of the box.

The end result: my own self-built “Mac”. Everything works in Ubuntu, also suspend (what I would buy a desktop Mac for). The configuration I have right now would be impossible to get from Apple for 500 euros, and works as flawless as the Macs I have. Plus, it runs Linux which I still prefer over Mac OS X for programming tasks.

Really, really glad that I ended up getting this as my new desktop machine. I am pretty sure that my next desktop machine (which I will get in 4 years or so :) will again be a Linux machine and not a Mac. Though for laptops I still prefer Macs, sorry ;)

Oh yea, what I did learn was that I could also just have upgraded the browser to Firefox 3 on the old Athlon. Oh well, it is still amazing to watch a Quad core compile GTK+.

Dear Philip,

Even though you do really have a point that the current GtkTreeModel interface is way too complex, I am getting very, very tired about the way you are trying to get this across. We have discussed your ideas in person some time ago already and I am very well aware of the direction in which you want to head.

You are comparing GtkTreeModel and DataTable in .NET and saying that GtkTreeModel is not generic like IList is. That is a correct observation, because GtkTreeModel was not at all designed to be a generic model. Note it was named GtkTreeModel, not GModel, GtkGenericModel or whatever. It was designed to be a model for GtkTreeView and nothing else. And yes, it is being misused.

So why was GtkTreeView not designed like that? Well, you give the answer to that yourself in your earlier blog entry: we did not have a collection framework.

Doing it right, like .NET does, requires a collection framework. You are talking about IList and IList is a part of .NET’s collection framework. I am not at all opposed to walk this route and introduce proper models in GTK+ and GtkTreeView can then also use these. But it is not at all fair to keep comparing .NET’s generic data binding with the current non-generic GtkTreeModel.

For some reason you feel obliged to mention that the .NET implementation will only access data of visible entries. You know that for GtkTreeView the same holds if you are using fixed height mode. And you also know that I have been working on patches that will remove the validation process that has to iterate over the entire model in advance, making it possible to work with very large models without using fixed height mode. In fact, this will deprecate fixed height mode.

It is easy to pick on work people have been maintaining in their spare time, but it does not provide a form of motivation nor encouragement.

No lowlands this year

This year’s lowlands festival started on Friday. For the last six editions I have been there, but we are missing out on this one. Also because it was sold out incredibly early, I think they broke a record with that. More importantly, we are not going because the line-up totally sucks this year. In a news article today they reviewed the Friday evening and mentioned there was dance, rock and even metal. Like having metal is special, I mean the previous incarnations of lowlands always had a very large share of punk, metal and alternative bands. Unfortunately, that has really been on the decline over the last few years. This also attracted a different kind of people and the real authentic “lowlands feel” that I felt during the first time I went really started to evaporate in the last few years.

Too bad really. We’re opting for proper concerts instead these days (and living in Amsterdam is very helpful for that :). We will be seeing Korpiklaani at Pagan Fest in September and hopefully we might even catch Enserifum when they hit the Netherlands. Seems like Anti-Flag will be playing the Melkweg in November.

Oh yeah, the studies are done now and I should be receiving my BSc and MSc certificates on Friday (both in Computer Science, surprise). So I have been getting back into GTK+ in my spare time now wooooo. Should definitely be playing more guitar and bass guitar as well.