Screenshots from developers : 2002 vs. 2015

Here is a nice collection of screenshots (with some comments) from some really hardcore developers – people who are behind things like operating systems and programming languages, not the latest hipster startup that nobody will remember n three years.  Better even, the screenshots were taken in 2002 and now, 13 years later, reiterated.

desktop_bwk_2015 Two things I found interesting here:

  1. Pretty much everyone calls their setup “boring”, yet it’s obviously slow functional that very little changes over time.
  2. Some of these screenshots feature setups so basic, that for those people who are not too familiar with the applications used, it would be difficult to choose which screenshot is from 2002 and which one is from 2015.

And while I’m nowhere near that level of developer, I still have to say that my desktop hasn’t changed much in the last 13 years either.  I am spending my days in the MATE Desktop Environment, which is a fork of Gnome to maintain the awesome Gnome 2 interface and not all that craziness of Gnome 3.  And like many other people featured here, I mostly use the browser and a gadzillion of terminal windows for my work.  I also have Vim keybindings burnt into my fingers, and I can’t imagine switching to something else ever.  Here’s how it looks today.

desktop

I’m sure there must be a screenshot of my desktop from back in the days somewhere on this blog, but I don’t think I’ll find it.

Microsoft Desktop Backgrounds

After the upgrade to Fedora 22 last night, I was looking for a new desktop background image, to change the mood.  Surprisingly, one of the top search results pointed me to the Microsoft website, which has a selection of some really good background images.   Backyard bonfire works well for me.

Backyard bonfire
Backyard bonfire

 

nightrain – PHP packager for native applications on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS

PHP Nightrain is a packager written in Python for the PHP Programming Language. Using this tool you can convert your PHP/HTML/CSS/Javascript application to a Native Desktop Application. Currently, PHP Nightrain supports the Windows, Mac (OS X) and the Linux operating systems.  This is basically PhoneGap for desktop.

Chrome Remote Desktop goes mobile

I missed the announcement last month, but these are good enough news to share even later: Google Chrome Remote Desktop now works with your Android device.

chrome remote access

 

This is obviously for Windows and Macs machines, but these are usually the ones needing remote access anyway.  Linux people have always known how to access their machines remotely.

I love you, MATE!

Three seconds after switching to MATE Desktop, I am in love.  It’s been a long while now that I’ve been trying to get used to Gnome 3, gave up, switched to KDE 4, which is better, but nowhere near as good as Gnome 2.  All of a sudden, all those distant memories of a useful, stable, working desktop environment which is completely out of your way are a reality again.

mate

 

I’ve only done it on my home laptop for now.  But with positive feelings that strong, I think my work laptop will be switched over on Monday.   Huge thank you goes to both everyone who made Gnome 2 an awesome desktop and those who forked the MATE.  Please keep it up!

Fixing screen resolution on Linux with xrandr

Not the best start of the week today.  For some weird reason my desktop’s screen resolution crashed into a safe 1024×768 mode today.  No updates, no changes in configuration, not even a reboot – just in the middle of the working morning.  I’ve tried to fix it to no avail, installed updates, and even rebooted.  Nothing seemed to help.  Google to the rescue, and I find this handy page that shows step by step how to use xrandr to fix things.  I knew about xrandr for a few years now, but it’sbeen decades since I had to use it, so I’m rusty.  15 seconds later I have the following script ready:

#!/bin/bash

#gtf 1280 1024 60
xrandr --newmode "1280x1024_60.00"  108.88  1280 1360 1496 1712  1024 1025 1028 1060  -HSync +Vsync
xrandr --addmode VGA1 1280x1024_60.00
xrandr --output VGA1 --mode 1280x1024_60.00

Run it once and all is back to normal. In fact, after a few minutes in 1024×768 mode, it feels like I have a better monitor now than I used to. They say, you need to lose something to really appreciate what you have. Until today I thought I had a crappy old monitor. But just a few minutes in a lower resolution make me appreciate it a lot now.