The good news and the bad news

Hi all, Trent here with a long-overdue update.

As those of you who have been following The Linux Critic blog for a while now probably already know, I was unemployed for a good chunk of 2009, and one of the things I did to keep myself sharp in the world of technology was this blog.

Well, I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is, I found a job! And it’s a good one! My commute is 45 minutes each way, but it’s for a great company, and I have a lot of autonomy to figure out how to do things, which is the way I like it.

However, the bad news is, I haven’t had the time or inclination to keep up with this blog!

My good friends Joe and Patrick have been kind enough to contribute here and there over the past two months, but I have been dreadfully remiss in tackling some of the topics about which I really still want to write!

So, I want to give some assurances to those of you who have been waiting eagerly for another review, rumination, rescue, or rant (and you know who you are out there ;)).

One, I’m not abandoning this blog. I put a lot of work into Linux Critic over the summer and fall and I love what it has become, and I think it can become a lot more.

Two, while I won’t be posting three or four articles a week anymore like I had been, I still plan to get into a regular cycle of new posts on a variety of topics I still want to tackle.

Here are a few things I have in mind for upcoming topics if you keep an eye out:

  • Ubuntu 9.10 and the upgrade process on my old laptop
  • Linux Mint and my main desktop rebuild
  • My ongoing search for an Amarok replacement in a world without KDE
  • Linux offerings disappearing and reappearing from major PC vendors’ product lists

… and much, much more!

So for those of you still paying attention, thanks for sticking around, and keep watching, there’s more to come!

— Trent

19 thoughts on “The good news and the bad news

  1. Congrats, Trent! I had a feeling that this was most likely the reason why one of my favorite blogs was in a bit of a standstill. I’m very glad to hear that you found something good

    I don’t know if you’ve taken this into consideration but perhaps it’s time that you go another person or two involved in the blog. That’ll certainly take some of the pressure off of you to contribute all of the time and it’ll get some new blood flowing through the blog. Just a suggestion.

    Once again, congratulations and hope to read some new posts real soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Algol, I appreciate your kind words. Glad you’re still paying attention!

      Thankfully, I already have Joe and Patrick contributing the occasional quality piece to help fill in for me while I get settled in at my new job and figure out where this is going.

  2. Trent, I too have good news and bad news. First the bad news. You’re an idiot. Okay, I realize that may not exactly be news, ๐Ÿ™‚ but you’re declaring KDE3 to be dead way too soon.

    Vector Linux has just released a new KDE 3 release

    Madscientist, AKA Tim Pearson, the man behind the KDE3 Kubuntu release, left this message on my blog.

    Hey, you might be interested in the development I’ve done on KDE3.5 since 3.5.10…I’m looking at setting up a new SVN branch on for it soon, but for now some of the main patches are available here:

    Bugfixes, Compiz integration enhancements, ICC color profile support, and much more!

    Someone tried to send me a message about somebody wanting to work on KDE3 for opensuse.

    Last and certainly least comes my little homemade distro, Kiara, based on Slax. It’s been upgraded 7 times, downloaded approximately 70 times. I have to tell you honestly, it’s much better than I ever expected it to be. And it just so happens that today, I released TWO version of Kiara 08 today “Plain” and “Elegant”. They really do look great, and since I ported everything I could from one place Slackware 12.2, it’s really solid.

    Check out these tasty screenshots! Congrats on things working out for you.

    • Trent, I too have good news and bad news. First the bad news. Youโ€™re an idiot.

      Hey! ๐Ÿ˜ก


      Okay, I realize that may not exactly be news, but youโ€™re declaring KDE3 to be dead way too soon.

      Vector Linux has just released a new KDE 3 release

      Yes and no. To me, it is. I just found myself getting too worked up over it, so I decided that KDE was “dead” to me at least, and that rather than fight and struggle to keep KDE 3.5.* working in a world that seemingly had already moved on, I figured I’d move on myself and explore other roads entirely.

      That said, I didn’t know that anyone besides yourself has been giving KDE 3 any attention.

      And kudos to you, sir…. Kiara is shaping up impressively!!!!

      I’m sorry I kind of abandoned you to it; I found myself just needing to move away from the whole subject, and now I don’t really have the time or energy to delve into the work involved in creating/maintaining a new distro.

      You’ll forgive me if I indulge in using your new distro, however. Or at least give it a try or two. I’m intrigued by what you’ve done with it!

  3. PS Hey unless I wasn’t clear, thanks to made scientist, there is a Karmic KDE3 release.

    So don’t you you feel foolish… but in a really good way… for declaring a world without KDE3 Not yet, my friend, not yet!

    I have been using KDE4 occasionally with Karmic., it’s not terrible. It’s my second favorite KDE. I don’t know what it is, it’s useable, it’s just not much fun. Unless you like the widgets, I guess. The issue isn’t KDE4 being terrible, Again, “not terrible” You can quote me. If KDE4 were replacing any other desktop, I’d love it. KDE3 is just too awesome to die. That’s the issue.

  4. Hi Trent, congratulations on the new job – any company that gives you a high sense of autonomy is clearly a good one in my book.

    After just about getting Fluxbox perfect after being inspired by your blog, you go and move onto LXDE – job or no job, I can’t keep up!

    Good luck with the job, thanks for the link and I’ll be looking forward to future posts.

    • Thanks, Mr. Searles, I was amused and flattered by your mentioning of my hiatus. Sometimes I forget that I’m not the only one who reads Linux Critic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      As for LXDE, it’s a desktop environment to watch. I think some pretty interesting and exciting stuff is going to be coming from that direction soon, and when my friend Joe offered to do a writeup of his thoughts on his own recent experience on LXDE, I thought it fit really well with my own notions on the subject.

  5. Trent, congratulations on the new job ! Sounds like a good one. I really enjoy your blog, and don’t mind waiting for new posts. Have you also tried MEPIS (for KDE 3.5?) Although the next release, 8.5, is going KDE 4, the one now (8.0) seems good. I was using it in virtualization and have used it in the past with very pleasant results. The current release is based on debian sarge.

    • Thanks for the congrats, Tom.

      I haven’t tried MEPIS; when I saw that the next release is going KDE4, I figured I’d give the whole distro a miss and focus on my latest fascination, Linux Mint. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Well I haven’t had a chance to really test out KDE 4 yet, so my opinion is reserved. Personally, I’m not going to ditch a distro (MEPIS) that I’ve had great success with in the past and that still offers KDE 3.5 to those who want it. Right now, I have Ubuntu on an old laptop however there is NO sound. I am extremely unhappy at the complicated methods that are suggested in Ubuntu Forums to fix the issue. If I can get the lappy to “see” a burned CD, I’m going to re-install MEPIS. I’d be willing to try Mint, but need to burn a CD at a slower rate. I assume you’re aware that Mint just released it’s newest version, 8 ?

        • I assume youโ€™re aware that Mint just released itโ€™s newest version, 8 ?

          Yup. Downloaded, burned to disc, and I will likely be installing it on my laptop at home tonight or tomorrow night.

          • Trent, just thought you’d be amused to know…I’ve now installed Linux Mint 8 on my newer laptop. I’m really enjoying it, no issues so far (except ATI driver and that’s not Mint’s fault). Planning to redo my older laptop with Mint so that they can coordinate. Mint has VERY quickly become a new favorite – looks great (their Gnome appearance has won me over and I was a long-time KDE fanboy), and has all the apps I need for games or development.

    • Nope. But look at it this way, hernan: I didn’t leave Slackware so much as Slackware left me.

      But it’s all good. I needed a change anyway, and this definitely shook things up.

  6. I would be honored if you used Kiara, so i yes, I will forgive you for honoring me.

    More than that, I think you’re just the kind of person it’s intended for. Kiara is the only distro I know of (I’ll bet there are other tiny startups) that is comitted to running KDE3 forever. That’s my commitment. Even if I personally switch to KDE4, Kiara stays KDE3 The setup tools are part of the plan to build Kiara to run as the live root to a home partition on the hard drive, and to use the live CD format as an extra layer of security in the event that I have to use the same Slackware 12.2 for an extended time.

    I understand how the anxiety and frustration. about losing KDE3 could make you just want to give up. I’ve had two of my favorite distros drop KDE3. Well, Kiara isn’t going to drop KDE3. Get comfortable with Kiara, and you are comfortable with the worst case scenario.

    You can install it to hard drive if you like, but I’m building it as a live CD, so your hard drive is free to run something newer, if maybe you need sometime access to newer applications. Or you can use your hard drive to support some of the other great things that people are doing to keep KDE3 alive. I especially recommend Vector Linux, one of the very finest smaller distros out there… slackware based, by the way!

  7. Congrats on finding work! I’ll keep checking back to find new posts – your writing is always fun to absorb. Maybe your new boss will see the value in you having a creative outlet and let you write on their dime from time to time.

    Good luck and thanks for your effort on this blog!


  8. Pingback: The ongoing role of my old Toshiba laptop « The Linux Critic

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