November 10, 2007

Eye Candy

Filed under: Linux, Tech — Chris @ 11:24 pm

The difference between “Desktop Plane” and “Desktop Wall” in the Ubuntu “Visual Effects” options (aka CompizConfig Settings) is that the latter allows windows to overlap a viewport* and the former does not. (Along with this comes a lot of incidental options and visual fillips, like the ability to drag a window entirely from one viewport to another.) Although this does not sound like a big productivity booster, I’m going to give the Wall a chance.

I’m not going to give the “Desktop Cube” a chance, because it won’t let me place viewports above and below, as well as left and right, seemingly out of some wrong-headed sense of pseudo-three-dimensional literalism (although your “cube” can have an arbitrary number of faces, they must be arranged linearly from left to right: Euclidian topologies only).

* For some reason the “Desktop Plane,” “Desktop Wall,” and “Desktop Cube” options all use viewports and not workspaces**, so they don’t work well with the Gnome Workspace Switcher.

** For some other reason, Gnome has two distinct ways of implementing virtual desktops (viewports and workspaces) even though theres no discernible advantage to one over the other (except for compatibility with this application or that).

[UPDATE] Visual Effects lead to intermittent system freezes. Fun! Going back to boring old workspaces.


Problems, I’ve Had A Few (Fresh Pasta Edition)

Filed under: Food, Not Tech — Chris @ 10:45 pm

The problem with making fresh pasta dough by the well method is that, if your eggs should overtop their flour walls, they will move quite rapidly towards the edge of the counter and, from there, to the floor. In my case, I actually managed to let a significant quantity of egg matter seep into the dishwasher.*

The problem with making fresh ravioli is that it’s actually quite tricky and you’re bound to screw it up the first time, especially if you’d like to stuff them with a mash of fresh pumpkins that is unexpectedly wet. (You’ve got to walk before you run, kids.)

The problem with Mario Batali is he doesn’t say any of this in his recipes.

* Bonus tip: there’s no way to save a pasta dough once you’ve incorporated too much flour (e.g., because you started desperately flinging it at a rapidly advancing torrent of eggs). The dough quite decidely “locks” and won’t react to additional liquid/eggs in any useful way.

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