Another look at KDE 4

Last time I wrote about KDE 4, I said that it wasn’t very usable for me.  Recenlty, the much praised upgrade to KDE 4.2 became available via Fedora updates.  So I got it and switched to KDE for a couple of days.

What can I say?  Quite an improvement indeed.  Mostly stable, with only a few issues, which are nicely balanced out by nice desktop effects, overall graphics, and plasmoids.  A few things moved around and I had to look for them (such as keyboard shortcuts for switching between desktops), but overall it was a pleasant experience.

Why am I back to Gnome for now?  Because of the following:

  • couldn’t manage to make KDE 4.2 work properly with two monitors (major issue)
  • got a bit annoyed by KDE 4.2 not waking up properly from suspend  (not always, but often enough)
  • also got annoyed by it not always coming back properly from screensaver mode
  • couldn’t find graphical configuration for power managment (my laptop kept suspending when idle for 5 minutes with no power plugged in)
  • a few other minor things here and there

I’m sure I’ll be back to KDE very soon.  The progress between KDE 4 and KDE 4.2 is huge and if it goes like this, then I won’t have to wait long.

A better world with multiple inboxes in Gmail

Google has recently added a super mega cool feature to Gmail – multiple inboxes.  For me, it was an instant boost in productivity and huge improvement in the way I handle email. However, while I was sharing my excitement with friends and co-workers, I’ve received quite a few cold looks and “so what?”s.

Multiple inboxes in Gmail

So, what’s so cool about multiple inboxes?  Here is how I enjoy them so far.

I’ve setup forwarding on all my email accounts so that all messages end up in the single Gmail account of mine.  This means that I have the same mailbox for personal emails, work emails, blog related emails, spam, and so on and so forth.  All that email is handled with a multitude of labels and filters.  And overall it works pretty well.

However, there was a little annoyance in my daily routine.  As part of my job I have to review and monitor Subversion commits from several programmers that work in our office.  Commit notifications come to me in the form of emails, and since they are rather high priority, they are labeled automatically, but not archived.  They stay in the main inbox until I read and archive them manually.  Also, as part of my consulting work for another company, I have to go through their commits as well.  These too are labeled separately, but end up in the main inbox.  And, additionally, I am using Gmail as a task manager for things that should be done eventually.  For that I have emails with tasks, labeled separately, and starred.   Not a huge mess, but not the ideal solution, especially when it mixes up with direct messages from work and friends.

Once Gmail got the multiple inboxes feature, I modified my filters to archive commit messages from both companies automatically (but not mark them as read).  Then I created three additional inboxes – one for tasks, and two for commit messages.  The tasks inbox lists all starred messages with a certain label.  Commit inboxes list messages with labels for each company.  Now I have my main inbox for direct messages from friends and work, and the rest of the things that I need to keep an eye on are right there, in front of me, but re-organized a bit to give me some breathing room.
With this new feature I can keep my main inbox message count much closer to zero, while still have some lose ends in case I need to argue over a commit or keep a few more things on the task list.  Excellento!

Big thanks to Gmail team – well done.

Frost / Nixon

Frost / Nixon

A few days ago I went to see “Frost / Nixon“.   A movie with the one of the USA presidents in the title?  Just a few days since the whole world has watched the most hyped up inauguration of the USA president in history?  And just a few days since I’ve watched another political movie about yet another predisent of the USA – “W.“?  Yes, of course.  Plus there was a surprisingly high rating over at IMDB.

And it happens to be a really good movie.  I’m a total loser when it comes to history, so I can’t really say how accurate the film is, but from the movies point of view it was excellent.  I really liked the simplicity of the overall setup – it felt like everything happened in the single room, even though it is not true.  It also felt like there were only two people in the film, even though that wasn’t true either.  It felt like there was nothing else, even though that again wasn’t true.  It’s just that type of a movie which has a lot of tiny details which are unnoticable on their own, but which build up the film to be what it is.

Another thing which I thought was done really well, was the drama.  A big man with the weight of his mistakes and, seemingly, the whole country pointing fingers at him – yet resistent to accept his guilt, finding ways to see everything from other perspective, however feeling the burden deep inside.  And then another man, much smaller one, but with his head high due to all the publicity and success around him.  And like they say in the film, there is this moment in the ring where a challenger receives the first punch from the title holder and suddenly, in split second, understands the seriousness of the situation.  This was built up and shown very well.

As noted above – tonnes of work went into making of this film and the result is great.  Because of all the acting, camera work, light, make-up, sound work, etc, etc, etc this film is one of those fresh breezes even though it has an “oldish” touch to it.

5 stars.  Recommended, even if you are not into politics.

The Spirit

The Spirit

The trailer for “The Spirit” was really nice and I wanted to see the movie.  However, when I checked IMDB page and saw the 5.something rating, I got worried.  There are many examples when my personal rating differs a lot from the IMDB one, but 5.something is always a cautious sign.

And since there wasn’t much else to see, I still went for it.  Unfortunately, this time IMDB was quite right.  The film feels like a leftover from “Sin City”.  There is nothing original about it.  Nothing much to enjoy. And, honestly, nothing much to see in it.  Most of the time is spent in silly dialogues and monologues.  And these are so silly that they actually harm the good acting that could have been done.
The only scene to remember is the one with Samuel Jackson dressed as a German nazi, and Scarlett Johansson helping him out.  Everything is else is boring, overdone, and unoriginal.

3 stars it is.