Synergy on Fedora and Slacko Puppy 5.5


I have two computers on my lab bench: the Franken-Computer that I wrote about a few weeks ago, and another regular computer running ‘Slacko Puppy 5.5’ (which is a lightweight Slackware build) I have had these two systems going for a few months, and have had two sets of keyboards and mice, but knew I didn’t want to waste all that good useful desk-space with an extra keyboard and mouse.

I had initially thought that I would put in a KVM switch and just switch the inputs whenever I needed to, but instead I installed Synergy on both systems and now I am able to use both computers just as if it were only one! Really awesome.

I simply move my mouse off the edge of the screen, and voila!!! it appears on the other system!

I didn’t have any trouble setting up the Synergy client on the Fedora system, but I did run into a bit of trouble on Slackware. I had to track down a pesky dependency that Synergy needed, but a few minutes googling led me to it with little trouble.


Dual Screen VESA Mount All In One FrankenComputer Hack

I am converting an old Compaq Laptop and A Dell Flat-Screen Desktop Monitor into an All-In-One computer with one power supply and dual Displays.


I took the display panel off the rear mount, and behind it there is just enough space to mount the power supply for the laptop motherboard.


And here I tied the power input to the same input the monitor shares.


Here is the first bench-test connected to the lower display.


Here is the notebook motherboard mounted to the back of the display and many of the connections routed.

It is aliiiiiiive!!!! Booted into Fedora 18 with both displays active.

Here is a better picture of the rear, showing how I routed all the data and power lines.

The final project. Complete.
Working, mounted to the wall, and ready for action!!!


In Love With The Return Key


My first computer was an ATARI 1200XL
I was in seventh heaven! I can still remember the smell of the plastic when I opened the box,
(it was used, but still in the box) and I remember the sound that 5-1/4″ floppy would make when it was seeking.
I had an INDUS GT drive (which was pretty fancy for its day) and I had an ATARI tape drive as well. The tapes were fun, you were supposed to use ‘real data tapes’ because they were of higher quality, and would retain the data better, but I never could afford them: so I just used erased music tapes. (which never lasted very long)
I would spend many hours up at night laboriously typing BASIC commands, and learning how to write programs myself. I had a few books, and some old Atari magazines to go on, but a lot of what I learned was by experiment.j

I would craft this work of art, and then when the last line was done, I would pause a second, and then type: RUN, and press the return key……………..

That moment of expectation, and the (often unpredictable) results is an aspect of computing that I miss. Now I am grounded in expectation of what a computer ‘should’ do. I don’t modify my experience; I don’t create new programs.
I do use the computer to create, and to code, but on another level; in a more sanitized operating world. Sometimes I miss that wonder and amazement from executing my program just to see what it would do.


Idiots Working For Best-Buy & Other Pet Peeves.


So I go out to look at the new iPad 2 at ‘Best Buy’, just to see if I like the white better than the black. (Turns out I do, and plan to get the white instead of the black this time around)

In any case, I get there, and start looking, not more than a few moments go by before two separate people come up to see if I need ‘help’. Now under normal circumstances, if I am looking for some help there is never anyone remotely near, but sure enough now they are all around.
I am grateful, but “No I don’t need any help, thank you ever so much.”

One of these sales-guys then starts to talk to another guy who is looking at a 15″ MBP, and is asking questions.
Customer: How much memory does this have?
Employee: 500 Gigs.
Now, I am not about to butt in, and tell this guy that in-fact it doesn’t have 500 gigs of ‘Memory’, but that it has 500 GB of hard disk storage…NOOOOO, I keep my mouth shut.
Customer: How durable is it?
Employee: Oh you can’t hurt it, its solid state.
if I had been drinking something; I would have spit it across the room, that model wasn’t standard with a SSD, it had a normal drive, no solid state here!
Customer: “Can I use any program with this computer?”
Employee: “Yep its fast enough for just about anything”
Now in one sense that is true, that Macbook probably can handle just about anything you throw at it, but this customer was clearly not from the ‘Mac world’ and so might have been asking if it would run his copy of word from his old XP box. No word of clarification from the ‘Best Buy guy’, just a blanket: ”Yep”
This is why I don’t spend much time in that store, and rarely buy anything there, its that pimpled kid that thinks that he knows it all just because he can replace a power supply. I can only grit my teeth and shake my head.