Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas, and Merry New Year

If you think that switching the “happy” and the “merry” above were supposed to be making some kind of a statement, you’re over-thinking it. I wasn’t trying to be deep in any way.

After a fairly uneventful week before Christmas, I now have a week or so off, before I have to go back to work. Andrea and I will be going to visit my parents, and probably spending quite a bit of time with Jer, Terilyn, and my goddaughter Alexis. I’m very much looking forward to it; it seems like I haven’t been home in a while, although it probably hasn’t been that long. (I just hope I can go near Alexis this time, without sending her into a crying jag…)

If I haven’t mentioned it before, Andrea and I don’t get each other Christmas presents. I had planned, however, to get her some kind of Best of Queen CD, but I just ran out of time, and didn’t get to a music store. Maybe in the new year, some time. I figured it wouldn’t actually count as a “Christmas present”, since I’d like it just as much as she would, so it wouldn’t really be just for her, it would be for both of us. (Andrea, if you read this, I will get it for you some time; it’s just a question of when.)

If you’ve been following my Ubuntu saga, you know that my one problem with using Ubuntu is that I haven’t found a good HTML editor yet—one that I can customize to my heart’s content. I’ve since discovered that gedit has a “snippets” plugin that you can use to insert common things for you, so I’ve started using that, similar to how I use HTML Kit on Windows. It isn’t as full-featured as HTML Kit, though; so what I’ve started doing is that I begin the post in gedit, until it’s mostly done, and then I open it in HTML Kit—running under wine—to finish it off, with some of the more complex macros I created.

In the future, I hope to use Eclipse for the whole job. As a Java developer—or at least, an architect who works with teams of Java developers—I’ve already started using Eclipse anyway, since it’s becoming the standard for Java development. I’ve asked for a book on Eclipse, and writing Eclipse plugins, for Christmas, so if I get that, I’ll be able to start right away. (It’s possible they won’t be able to get it for me, though; I don’t know how easy it will be to find.)

On an unrelated note, I got a new laptop for work. It’s a much better machine, although it still only has a 40GB hard drive; I’ll have to be careful what I install, I guess. I’m typing this post on it right now, and I’m still getting used to the keyboard. It might take a while. (Technically, that probably should have said: “I typed this post on it, and, at the time, was still getting used to the keyboard.”)

Speaking of Ubuntu—although I stopped speaking about it a couple of paragraphs ago—I was playing around with Beryl, on my old laptop. Unfortunately, although it was a very cool visual interface, it didn’t work very well; it kept crashing. I’m hoping that it was the laptop, and that it will work better on the new machine. (There were numerous indications that my old laptop had hardware problems, especially to do with the graphics card, so I don’t think it’s too optimistic to hope that.) A colleague has been using Beryl on his machine, and loves it, so I’m sure it’s not buggy on everyone’s computer. But I can’t give up on Beryl now; I’ve been showing it to all of my colleagues at work, and they’re all blown away by it. I need to keep impressing them!

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