Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Notes: Look for password manager

Phishing attacks are worrisome and increasingly sophisticated. I shouldn't have to check the URL bar myself -- a password manager in my browser should do that (and I should trust it enough to be suspicious if it doesn't autofill for a site I know). This will also allow me to strengthen my password-generation methods relatively painlessly.

Issues:
1. Losing the encrypted password file is catastrophic. Must be aggressively (but safely) backed up.
2. Access on other machines. Should I even be logging in on other machines, anyway? Do I really need this?

I must isolate myself from OS changes, and ideally against browser changes as well. Something with a plugin for FF and Chrome (for Linux/OSX/Windows) would be satisfactory.

Should there be a web frontend so I can retrieve my stuff? Must be javascript so my unencrypted shit never touches the server unencrypted. (Is the browser, of all places, REALLY where I want to be unencrypting this, anyway?) I would need to trust the vendor.

Hmm.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ion3 -> awesome?

I just bought a 24" external monitor and have been fiddling with a dual-screen setup (laptop at 1280x800, external at 1920x1080). The problem, of course, is that this is not a rectangle.

xrandr gives me lots of options, but ion3 was stubbornly insisting that my laptop's screen was 1080px tall.

I ended up trying out the window manager 'awesome'. So far so good: tiling and stacking modes. It supports a bunch of predefined layouts which focus on one master window and a bunch of secondaries. This matches the way I work, and the way I've set up my ion3 workspaces. Rearranging is more freeform than ion3. I'm bothered that I can't save workspace layouts the way I can in ion3 (because windowless frames aren't an entity unto themselves).

It understands non-rectangular virtual screens, though, which is what I'm after.

[Edit: I've since tried dwm and xmonad, but I've lazily stuck with awesome because its default configuration is a bit nicer. Don't want to edit some .h file and recompile. Don't want to have to do too much config to get menu bar with time, list of virtual desktops, window titles, etc. Happy so far, though -- could use any of awesome, dwm, or xmonad.]

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 Install Notes

These are my notes (mostly for myself, but maybe useful to someone else) about a clean install of Ubuntu 10.04 on a Macbook. Previously running 8.10. Will update these notes as I get things working.

How to get Macbook version:
sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name
(It's "MacBook2,1" for me.)

I installed ion3 and brought my old configs over. gdm shows me an ion3 session. xdm and slim do not work because they cannot start xorg (xorg can't set up the display with the intel drivers; no obvious command-line differences).

Window Manager:

I prefer to use an ~/.xsession, so I made this file in /usr/share/xsessions/:
[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Xsession
Comment=Run ~/.xsession
Exec=/etc/X11/Xsession
Type=Application
My ~/.xsession starts up various apps (mainly xscreensaver, gnome-power-manager, and ivman) then execs /usr/bin/ion3. Everything works smoothly. (Info on creating an .xsession file.)

Networking:

Wired connection works fine out of the box. I installed wicd, but I couldn't connect to any wireless networks until I uninstalled network-manager:
sudo aptitude remove network-manager
aptitude complained that ubuntu-desktop recommends network-manager-gnome, but you can do it anyway and everything works fine.

Trackpad:

gsynaptics and gpointing-device-settings both work for configuring the trackpad, but all the settings are lost on reboot. The New Hotness for storing configuration settings is udev, so and I have a synaptics config file at /lib/udev/rules.d/66-xorg-synaptics.rules, but I either screwed up writing the configs or applying them, so I just added calls to synclient(1) to my ~/.xsession.

xscreensaver instead of gnome-screensaver:

I prefer xscreensaver, so I start it in my ~/.xsession. ion3 knows it's my preferred screensaver, so I can lock the screen just fine. I removed gnome-screensaver entirely to prevent it from being started, ever. Seems to work.

Gnome sounds

There are some sounds when I click buttons in gtk applications. Turning sounds off in a gnome session doesn't help. Just remove the directory in /usr/share/sounds?