Life\’s Direction

Acer Aspire One vs HP 2133 Mininote

Posted in Uncategorized by lifesdirection on December 14, 2008

Introduction

I dont know quite who reads this blog but I had an abnormally high hit-rate yesterday when I posted some thoughts about the netbooks I own and have owned in the past, namely my previous HP 2133 and my current Acer Aspire One (Which I am currently using to write this post).

I dont typically write any sort of hardware or software reviews on my blog but there seems to be an interest out there from my readers, lets get on with it shall we?

The Machines

HP 2133 – The model I had was the highest available, the 160GB hard disk bluetooth and 6-cell battery all with 2 GB RAM. VIA 1.6 CPU

Acer Aspire One – Staples demo model, 8GB SSD, 512MB RAM Intel Atom

Cons

I will talk about each machines short comings first, keep in mind that I am bias, and I will focus mainly on Linux, though I did run Windows XP on the mininote for some time.

HP 2133

The stupid battery (6-cell)  made the machine awkard to use because the battery came in the way of opening the LCD to a reasonable angle, that was annoying, The hardware was not linux compatible.  While they (HP) was able to cludge together a SLED install (Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop) which sucks because its old, unusable and difficult to maintain, the hardware at best was hacked together, I couldn’t not get compiz to work well, I did spend time downloading and compiling the drivers of the via website (which apparently have now been open sourced, hopefully someone can fix them). The CPU was ok but it didn’t scale properly (In Linux as well). HP is a bunch of cheapos, they didn’t give a case with their netbook and up until recently they were non-existent, thats just cheap when I could get an ASUS EEE PC for dirt cheap and get a proper envelope for it.

Did I mention it came with Vista?  That was stupid, REALLY STUPID, Windows Vista requires at least 2GB RAM and a dual-core 2.5+ to run reasonably, instead they tried to cram it on an under-powered machine as the result was a phenominally slow boot time and slow response in general from the machine.  Speed increased greatly with Windows XP, but if you want to run Vista hey, “Dogs to their vommit like fools to their folly”.

Acer Aspire One

It could just be the model I have but the keyboard on this thing sucks, it has the ’7′ shaped enter key that is non-standard so whenever I get to hitting enter it looks like this\.   Much mockery from my friends on IM.  Another con to this netbook is the battery life, its not bad but it only gives me 2.5 hours.

* A note about the Acer Aspire One is that it was just under 4x the price of my HP 2133, I got it for 250CAD.

The Pros

HP 2133

Best Keyboard on the market hands down, this thing is great! its like a whole new world compared the the Aspire One.  The case was built quite solid, definatly a good peice of workmanship.  The CPU was also quite snappy in Windows XP (my unit came with Vista).  I have read reviews of people complaining about the speed of the VIA CPU but I dont know why.  This machine is definatly a winner if you run Windows XP on it.

The display was also very very impressive, the resolution was nice and the glossy screen made a definite difference, also I noticed Apple copied HPs design display in their new line of notebooks.

Acer Aspire One

This unit is great for linux users, I immediately removed Linspire so I dont really have any comments towards it, I opted for a Ubuntu 8.10 install with netbook remix (see my previous post for links).  The hardware is on a different level with regards to compatibility, the only thing that currently requires proprietary drivers is the atheros chipset but they work well with Linux anyway and, have been recently released into the wild.  No thanks broadcom, I dont need your crap, not here :)

Physcially the machine is more durable, it scratches easy but because of its light weight its less likely to happen and I don’t have to worry about scratching an aluminum casing, and Acer gave me an envelope with the unit, that is revolutionary way way way way better than what HP did for me (nothing).  The machine is solid but light weight.

Conclusion

I like both, but for a linux user the Aspire was best for me, though If I could choose between the two I would choose neither, I would go for the HP 1000 Mininote, its the like te HP 2133 except the hardware is actually Linux Compatible (Atom based).

I hope this post has helped some of you who are looking for infromation on Ubuntu and either of these netbooks, feel free to comment I will respond to your comments as soon as I am able.

School’s out

Posted in Uncategorized by lifesdirection on December 14, 2008

Schools out so I have more time to blog,  a few notes on the tech side, I sold my HP 2133 because the hardware wasnt very good (Linux compatible) and work bought me a Dell D630 which works rather well.

I bought instead of an HP 2133, an Acer Aspire One which is a far better Linux PC tha tthe mini-note, the hardware is based on Atom and is all intel so I was able to successfully install Ubuntu Netbook Remix.  I will spare you the details just click the link.

I honestly think every netbook should come with this software an many people that have the compatible hardware are running this on their MPCs.  If you own an Acer Aspire one you can read the HOWTO guide here.  I was able to get my Aspire One for 250, it was sort of used as it was the staples demo model.

The HP 2133 is a good windows machine, to be honest, I  really miss the keyboard and wonderfull display (high resolution), if you are looking for a Linux netbook get the HP 1000.

More to come a little later, Paul is here think we are gonna do some geeking on opensolaris.

Comments on Heiddegger – Being and Time – Section #34

Posted in Uncategorized by lifesdirection on October 16, 2008

Despite Heiddegger’s best efforts to refrain from ending up with Da sein being existentialist in nature he fails, he during explaining language has to give some sort of means for language to project out of and thus adminst that ‘speaking forth’ or ‘saying’ have to come from a being, this is not an abstract concept as the point of origin for speech and language is ‘the being’ in its ‘disclosedness’ is after all an existential form.

Heiddeger then goes on to explain that having discourse or talking is equal to having a ‘state-of-mind’ as existing for the purposes of discourse thus placing both the concept of ‘to be’ and ‘being’ on the same level, not one before the other.

There are some concerns however that stem from Heiddeger’s breif description of disclosure, he claims that being silent and hearing are both possibilities of speech.

To this I would argue, you cannot say that the absence of something entails is presence. If a child is making alot of noise with pots and pans and yelling loudly, I cannot claim that they are in a state of silence as a means of communication because they are not silent, being silent is having the absence of speech or noise. It might be said that the individuals intent is to communicate but this form of communication or language is not discourse as it is the absence of communication originating from a being.

In Heiddegger’s description of communication, making assertions or giving information, being silent cannot be construed in any way to be this without knowing the context.

4th Reading and Response

Posted in Uncategorized by lifesdirection on October 2, 2008

Comments on Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations (40-)

40.  It is nonsensical to present an argument that is redundant, we not tha the bearer of a name does is not limited to the existance of the subject.  This might be true of the definition is N, however definitions when used as names are not dependant upon physical space but upon logical space (not Philosophical Formal Logic).

42.  Why has Wittgenstein reduced body language to a joke, it is as much if not MORE of a language then written word.  It comprises 70% of communication and is universal.  Wittgenstien has missed the mark.  He really should be focusing on Languages that are more pervasive.  Perhaps them he could bring into account for the Logical Structure of the offensive gesture one of his students made to him.

44.  Excalibur was broken in peices only makes sense under the premise that Excalibur is the name for an object, not a proper noun, you cannot break a person or place into peices.

45. Wrong, this is an error in Grammar One can say “This proves it”.  There is no bearer of “this” because it is out of context,  The usage of this is not limited to a name.

47.  The rejection of this question is far simpler than outlined,  the more immediate issue is that judging an object to be composite is far to contingent on a number of things: education, intelligence, opinion, proper functionning of the senses…

65.  Hallelulijah Vindication!

67. The problem lies in the solution of Wittgensteins ‘playing with words’ while words might describe properties the dont describe circumstance or ‘state of affairs’  In order not to play games with words we would have to have a word for every state of affairs possible.  Absurd!

69.  Game – Equipment that aides and/or Structured behavior for the sake of entertainment.

70.  The same could be said for the common expression “Tell me something”  The problem with both of these examples is a matter of expectations management and not the use of language.  If someone wanted a ‘sort of game’ not that kind… then it is up to the requestor to qualify his request.

241. Surely Wittgenstieng is not claiming that there is no absolute knowledge?  Find two people that will agree on something and all of a sudden that dictates its truth value?  Sureley not!

257. Oh come on!  Tell me is an academic really going to beg the question of accessibility of language!  Surely he puts his education at stake by questioning its use!  Can a word exist it if is unknown to someone, surely a child can name his pain and he does understand the word.  Using the word does not constitute knowing the pain or accuratly descrivbing the pain but one cannot question vocabulary as it is understood.  Consider the word “post-modern”  find a layperson that does not understand this word.  It is very easy! yet academics use it all the time in he post-modern era!   Do you understand the vocabulary that is limited to your vocation?  Certainly you do!

Silence

Posted in -LIFE-, -MTN- by lifesdirection on September 28, 2008

I wrote this post on the plane to a conference a few months ago and noticed it on my USB key, so I thought I would post it.

A good friend gently reminded me that they felt I had been becoming increasingly cynical and abrupt in my comments and in my speech.  For the longest time I had accepted that perhaps my ‘brashness’ as some might call was a result of the way God made me.  It has come to my attention through conversation and the very timely reading of “The Way of the Heart” that perhaps this is not the case.

While there is meritt in the argument that we have been created in the image of God (Gen 1:27) and that some people’s personality (emphasis on “personality” being distinct and different from character) reflect God in different ways (for example the merciful and the just) this has long been my excuse in seeing the world as black and white with very little grey in it.

I have understood literature such as “Wild at Heart” to justify this kind of character.  While this type of literature has been helpfull to some degree, I have fallen into using it as an excuse for my behavior.

When I read in 1 Cor 13, a passage gravely misquoted in the context of marriage, it states that Love perservers through all circumstances.  This has come to light when reflecting on my words, and for the most part I realize that squandering speech on meaningless things that will all one day “come to pass” as my father would say, has been prominent not only in my life but in our culture as well.
There are things, many things that are better left unsaid.  “Fire of the soul” has been explained to me well as in Nouwen’s book “The Way of the Heart”, which I will at this point encourage you to read, it is very very accessible and a short read, though quite profound in its brevity.  I have not realized that too many words has allowed for some of the ‘fire of the soul’ to escape. And things that ought to have been left in Communion with God, have escaped and lost their value and conversation.  I have invaded the own privacy of my soul in a sense.

Perhaps more profound monastic spiritual disciplines should be a focal point in these next years, Solitutde, Silence and Prayer as covered by Nouwen.

3rd Reading and Response

Posted in 20th Cent. Phil. by lifesdirection on September 25, 2008

On Philosophical Investigations:

The Philisophical Investigations by Wittgenstein seem to be a far more accessible peice than the former tractatus, the difference in my opinion is comparable to the difference between night and day.  In this writing Wittgentstein seems to take alot more carefull steps in explaining what he means and in explaining the context of his statements.

As per my previous readings and response I will number the point which I am referring to:

1.  Objects reffered to as a sound?  Perhaps interchangable with a word but, the verbal language of communication and the audible language of communication have different implications and they are both “sound” based.

What object does body language represent if sounds represent objects?

Grammar fills in the “assumptions” that Wittgenstieng is talking about

4.  The ‘script’ is to vague and undefined of a term to be using, Wittgenstein has not defined what kind of script he is referring to, colloquially a script dictates the actions and words of actors in a play or is used to run commands on a computer in sequence.

5.  Children learn vocabulary first, usually nouns as they are simple and can be represented by objects that are tangible, they then learn the intangible words which are not and cannot be represented by objects but instead actions, so we can see that not all words represent objects as claimed in point 1.  Intangible words are verbs, adjectives, pronouns an adverbs while these communicate they do not represent objects necessarily and must be learned in context.

7.  What is mean by the reference (2)

8.  “shews the assistant”  there is no word in english “shew” I think they mean “show” but this error occurs many many times in the book and is unnacceptable for a text book because of the frequency of the error.

9.  Wittgentstieng seems to avoid the concept of “context”

17  We have different kinds of word. (should it not be words)?

18.   I disagree, I think that it is the “contents” of a language that allow us to imagine a form of life as language in its broad definition and as Wittgenstein has used it previously is content agnostic,  A language is the idea of communicating and the qualifier for that idea in terms of its classification is its contents.  for example body-language, verbal-language etc…

2nd Reading & Response

Posted in 20th Cent. Phil. by lifesdirection on September 18, 2008

Homework #2

Introduction:

The more I read of Wittengstien the less respect I gain for him as a philospher, he has essentially come up with a clever language and framework for saying nothing.  In all honesty I do feel sorry for him, while I thought that in the former readings perhaps there was something I was not understanding,

I am quite saddened to read his works, he essentially has never claimed anything nor has he said anyhting new without discounting it completely.  It is frustrating to read his thought patterns as they are quite circular, except instead of comming around full-swing to completion, often at the end they are trapped in contradiction.  I am at a loss to even comprehend how his work was able to win a doctorate in phliosophy.

The following are my comments on points 5.6 – 7 of the Tractus

5.6 – What kind of language? Which one? What about all the non-literate languages?  Art, Music, love.  If our limits are set by our language does this then mean that we should learn more languages in order to increase our understanding of language and question and fact?

6.4 – What about 4.06? propositions can be true or false, these are values, the contradiction is obvious furthermore, if the proposition has no value does it sit in between true and false?  Then it is not knowledge, then truly as propositions exist they are valueless.

6.41 – Value has value by definition, the author has made a mistake in using the same word he is trying to define in his definiion.

6.421 – What do ethics transcend exactly? space? time?  Most definatly not culture, as ethics exist inside of a culture to determine right or wrong.
- what is meant by aesthetics?  The definition is completely different from ethics, aesthetics is the study of beuty.

6.43 – Language has these limits with regards to anything: good and evil, hot or cold, fat or skinny, bright or dark etc…  what is so special about good or bad?  The limit is language not unquantifiable attributes such as good or bad.

6.4311 – This is so absurd I don’t know where to begin.  Eternity is outside time, or transcendant of time, death and life and the present do not transcend time, how can one simply declare that both of these dimensions can exist inside of one-another

6.4312 – If the answer is outside space and time then Wittgenstien cannot claim that eternal life is in the present because ‘time’ by definition has a tense.

6.432 – Heretic. You cannot claim that God exists with boundaries it is contradictory to core theism.

6.431 – What is the context to this statment?  Furthermore it might be suggested that a ‘problem’ and its ‘solution’ are more a question of ethics.  Problems and Solutions are not questions of epistemology at least in regards to their evaluation.

6.44 – Is Wittgenstien saying that the world does not exist?

6.45 – What is ‘sub specie aeterni’

6.5 – This statement is no true, take the simple question: “How did you feel when your father died?”  I have stated a question where by the respondant may not have adequate language to answer with but I have still asked the question.

6.51 – to deny the skeptic is to deny the epistemologist.

6.52 – who is ‘we’?  What is ‘the answer’ For someone declares that riddles don’t exist (6.5).  Wittgenstien certainly knows how to speak in them.

6.522 – Cannot language be developed to express these ‘mystical things’?  Furthermore I would question these ‘mystical things’ and humorously suggest that they might be God in the world.

6.53 & 7 – Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Proverbs 17:27-28

1st Class Reading & Response

Posted in 20th Cent. Phil. by lifesdirection on September 9, 2008

Introduction

It has been a very interesting introduction, a breif overview of all the diferent branches of Philosophy, it would appear mostly accessible except for the section on structuralism.

I am starting to see that there is alot of overlap in terms of what branches of Philosophy cover what ideas. For example, it would appear platonism and phenominology when reffering for example to objects of coniousness.

Another interesting rabbit hole that I have found is Scholasticism. I will have to delve into this school of thought as it intrigues me, mainly it was studied by catholic philosophers and I am interested to see how they handle the problem of the existence of God. Most philosiphers stay away from God as ‘God’ is a complex idea, not only that but they are fearfull of dealing with the implications of taking his existence for granted and being pigeon-holed into a belief system that looses scholastic credibility as ‘God’ is the answer to many many things that philosophers ask questions about.

I will have to read-up a bit on Marxism, as I am not too knowledgable on the subject, I suppose it is because I have never heard of Karl Marx outside of the political areana.

It is most interesting to observe the thoughts and ideas that shape our culture, to be educated on the main sources or thoughts underwhich this culture is shaped on, it helps to be more critical of our culture as you hear the ideas and their form from the source.

Feminist Philosphy – It is interesting to interact with the opposite sex, they were created where man fell short, that is to say they are the ‘other half’, completing the image of God that we (men and women) were created in.  The perspective on issues and the way women are able to address different issues should prove to be most informative.

Wittgenstein (p 137-147)

Introduction

It would appear as though Wittgenstein was a perfectionist, he only published one work and it got him a doctorate, he never published anything else but when he died, they published over 12 books from his writings and notes.
Wittgenstein saw philosphy as an oppurtunity to “dissolve” problems which were in his opinion primarily language based.  It seems to be a little bit of a broad stroke to paint all Philosophical problems as being language based however there is some merrit that clearing up the language issues surrounding problems helps us to understand the crux of the issues.

Wittgenstein definatly has something to say about hermaneutics, I can see how his ideas were influential particularly in light of how subjective the english language is, my very limited knowledge of biblical translation has helped to highlight how fickle and fragile the english language is.

I do however disagree with applying this idea to philosophy in general as I dont beleive that language is _the_ issue, it does help to have common vocabulary and terms but this would only help to clarify questions, language by no means can inherently provide answers to questions themselves.  A broad example can be taken into consideration from the area of Academics in general, while there are defined vocabularies for each discipline, use of these vocabularies often makes expert knowledge in an area of study inaccessible to the general public, there must exist a middle point or lowest common denominator where language is understood.  I do however sympathize with the academics for example, it would be most awkward to have to spell out the meaning of the word ‘postmodern’ or ‘postmodernism’ everytime I wanted to use this term.  Language is a tool, there are good tools and there are bad tools.

Remark #1

This is a very esoteric view of the world, in general, it seems as though a better use of language would be ‘the truth’.  However at the caution of the Straw Man Fallacy I will continue using the vocabulary of the critic.

1.11 – There exists and impossibility with this premis from a human perspective, one will never have ‘all the facts’ as Wittgenstein put it, because if they did they would be omniscient, they would be in fact ‘God’.

1.13 – I dont know what the authors view on metaphysics is so it is hard to critisize his view on ‘the world’ as being merely logical.  Regardless it seems as though he is leaving out the exoteric world.

1.21 – This premise undermines the make-up of an argument, the critic in a sense is claiming that premis’s can be false while a conclusions truth value remains the same.  For example, lets take the simple equation: n1-A=B, n2-B=C, p=C=A.  In this simple equation one cannot acertain that while premise n2 is false, the conclusion remains true.  This is absurd.

Remark #2

2.0121 – With regards to imagination, there are no conventional boundaries as the imagination is not bound by logic, consider a small boy who imagines that he can fly, it is possible that inside the definition of existentialism this could be true however we are dealing with logic.  Imagination is not bound by logic.  With regards to space and time, it is however true that these objects and events cannot occur outside of their respective paradigms as they would loose their inherent definition the moment they left, that is to say that a spatial object would no longer be a spatial object if it left ‘space’.  In a sense the critic is stating the obvious or arguing in circles.

2.0122 – I understand this to be simply worded as objects, contain their attributes based on their enviroments (or states of affairs) perhaps the analogy can be drawn with water, if the water is hot, it is steam, it is still water but its attributes have changed as a result of it’s state of affairs, similarly if the water is very cold it is ice, it is still the same water but its enviroment has changed from the original state of affairs (as listed above ‘hot’).

2.0123 – This statement makes knowing an object impossible as it is impossible to experience or know and object outside all the possibilities therefore we cannot know anything as we cannot percieve objects in any state of affairs.  Knowledge is therefore unattainable.
2.01231 – How can one decipher between internal and external ‘properties’ when dealing with absolute knowledge (supposing the above is true).  This further proves my above comment and it seems that the author has contradicted himself.  Furthermore, external or physical properties are empirical, and cannot be evaluated in a framework that is theoretical as would all internal properties be.  I may however be evaluating this premise under the guise of a spatial definition.

2.0131 – It seems the author is having trouble defining properties and enviroment, eluding to the fact that an object exists in all of its states of affairs including those enviroments that cause the state of affairs. Later articulated in 2.0141

2.021 – If objects cannot be composite then what makes up their form, if the form of an object dictates its properties in a state of affairs then perhaps the objects form does not belong to the object but is dependant on the state of affairs, one cannot assert that the form of an object is not related to its state of affairs but instead must understand that the ‘state of affairs’ is a composite matter, therefore it cannot be asserted that objects are not composite.

2.0211 – Please explain, if the world had no substence then it would not exist.

2.0232 – If objects can be colorless then what dictates properties in an object — this guy is crazy.

2.0251 – Now he starts to define his vocabulary, it is quite excasperating, knowing full well the fallacies of language that Wittgenstein only now, half way through this reading starts to define his vocabulary, he should have done this before he started.

2.027 – Please explain.

2.0272 – Previously the author stated that we cannot know objects unless we know all their properties, how can we know objects of only a certain configuration of their properties then exist?  How are they to be identified?

The whole picture paradigm is not that clear, also I find wittgenstein’s writings to be a little bit backwards, in general he uses vocubulary in a non-conventional way and then explains the vocabulary after he has used it!

Terms of the course and Terms of the book

There seems to be confusion with regards to the two major branches of 20th Century Philsophy, the book describes them as “Contenential” and “Anglo-American” and the course outline (and Dr. Li) describes them as “Contenential” and “Analytical”.

The concept of Post-modernism seems to be quite analogous according to the book, it gives little peices of a definition without being able to define this school of thought as being represented by a common idea. The best we seem to have is that it has evolved into a rejection of modernity, but without any solid definition, only to claim that modernity is not acheivable and ultimate truth cannot be known and is unattainable

I’m interested to know a little more about proccess philosophy, if it is indeed anything like proccess theology (which is absurd, and violates the character of God according to ‘core theism’).

I noticed that in the dissection of the term “Analytical Philosophy” there remiains (as expected with any Arts discipline) alot of ambiguity, personally this is intimidating most of my education being in the sciences frowns upon and to a large extent shuns ambiguity, but alas this is a 3rd year philosophy class and I will just have to ‘deal with it;’, in the post-modern spirit of not having the ability to know any absolute truths… This is starting to sound quite dystopian.

In the introduction to Marxism, it is interesting to read about how some philosophers have been attempting to wed different philosphical ideas and beleif systems.

Vocabulary

With regards to vocabulary there have been a few words I have learned:
Phenominology
Exestentialism
Marxism
Scholasticism
Constructionalism
Deconstructionalism
Anglo-American
Neo-Thomism
Neo-Scholasticism

HP 2133 Mini-note with Xubuntu and Windows XP

Posted in Uncategorized by lifesdirection on June 4, 2008

My dearest wife helped me save up for an HP mini-note and so for my birthday we bought one.  These are my experiences so far, I would like to hear some of yours too.

I first got the machine with Vista, my patience quickly ran out as I waited for this bloated operating system to fire up over and over and over.

I then thought to myself, I should put Xubuntu on this machine, the process for xubuntu was relatively easy, I had to use the xforcevesa kernel option to get the display to work and use ndiswrapper for the wireless card.

I was running all find and dandy for a few days then I noticed I had a problem.  my battery was EXTREMELY slow to charge (33 hours) charge time.  This was obviously an ACPI issue and I have not been able to solve it.

I then settled for WindowsXP, I installed all the stock drivers available at HP, and the machine runs well I have to say.  I would have liked to run Xubuntu on the machine but I need good power managment.

I have yet to try OS X on this machine but because of the processor, chipset, display and other quirky hardware I assume it will fail dismaly.

The screen and keyboard have been good, they are probably the most enjoyable parts of this machine.  I didnt get an Eeepc because the keyboard to me was unusable.  I am still making more than the normal amount of typos on this keyboard but it is pretty good for its size and application.

The screen has been a bit challenging, I run it at the full 1280×768 resolution but crank up the DPI and the font settings on my applications, this allows me a crisp display with large typeface.

The most educational part of this whole thing was getting an ubuntu install ISO and a Windows XP install base onto a USB key.  I used pendrive linux and modified the boot params (syslinux.conf) to allow for boot options, this allowed me to pass the xforcevesa kernel option at boot.

I can write up some instructions if there are those interested.

mini-note users?  What have been your experience?  Did anyone get the SLES model?  I dont understand why they wouldnt give me the linux option on the top of the line model.  I think HP is a little backwards with regards to this, they must think that Linux is for the cheap I would disagree.

ZenBurn – Helpfull colors to help your eyes!

Posted in -TECH- by lifesdirection on June 4, 2008

My eyes have been hurting recently,

I realized that there were a few things that I could do to combat the plight of the technology worker, tweak my computer’s user interface.

I have been looking for a while for a good color scheme for alot of the ‘terminal’ based work that I do.  As I sit infront of a Terminal of some sort for most of my job and hobby, it was getting more important that I find one less-straining on the eyes.  I believe I have done that.

In the screenshot I have used the ‘ZenBurn‘ color scheme for putty, this color scheme.  I also use a different font, one that comes with Vista, it is called “Consolas”.  Furthermore sub-pixel rendering is turned on in the various operating systems that I use,  This makes the text more readable when using an LCD display.

I find personally that the easier my display enviroment is on my eyes the more productive I become.  I am able to concentrate longer and stay more focused at the task at hand.  Spend some time on your computer, adjust your interface on the programs you use, unfortunatly some operating systems will not allow you to do this but most will, Vista (shudder), XP via (UX Theme Patcher), Gnome/KDE will allow you to do this nativlely OS X may require you to purchase a themeing utility such as shapeshifter.

What are some of the things that you do to make your computing experience more comfortable?

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