Display XML/HTML code tags in Blog posts

I had trouble displaying my previous post, containing xml tags. This blog post here helped me get over my difficulty. Basically you need to transcode "<" and ">" with "&lt;" and "&gt;" respectively, or they will be rendered as code tags and your post will not be displayed as expected.

I used centricle's online encode/decode tool to easily convert my code, rather than manually transcode, a rather cumbersome task. I still had to manually convert leading spaces.

#! crunchbang openbox menus

#! default menu opens with a right click on desktop. This menu is static and needs to be maintained by the user. Middle click opens an auto-populated window/desktop menu. Left click has no associated menu.

Debian menu, although installed, is not configured/enabled. This is what I targetted. Left click -> Debian menu.

I kept the right click and middle click menus undisturbed, but added the debian-menu to the left click.

Confirm debian-menu exists.
$ dpkg -l menu

$ vi .config/openbox/rc.xml

First, we enable the Debian menu. Look for this section, and uncomment the following lines, as under:

<!-- default menu file (or custom one in $HOME/.config/openbox/) -->
<!-- system menu files on Debian systems -->

Next, we trigger the Debian menu on Left click. In the same file, look for this section, and add entry for left click, as under.

<context name="Root">
  <!-- Menus -->
  <mousebind button="Left" action="Press">
    <action name="ShowMenu">
  <mousebind button="Middle" action="Press">
    <action name="ShowMenu">
  <mousebind button="Right" action="Press">
    <action name="ShowMenu">

Save the file, and restart Openbox. Or
$ openbox --reconfigure

Left click anywhere on the desktop... Voila!

We can also configure a Keyboard Shortcut, like the other menus activated by Super (aka Windows) key combinations.
Super+Space Main Menu
Super+Tab Client Menu

Super+Menu Debian Menu
We will use the Menu key, found to the right of SpaceBar among the right AltGr/Ctrl keys on my GB keyboard. Your keyboard might have a slightly different layout. If you can't find the Menu key, or don't want to use the Menu key, simply substitute your preferred key wherever I mention the Menu key.

So, we reopen the same file again.
$ vi .config/openbox/rc.xml

And look for the following section, to add an entry for Debian Menu among the othe menu keybindings, as under:

<keybind key="W-Menu">
  <action name="ShowMenu">
<keybind key="W-Tab">
  <action name="ShowMenu">
<keybind key="W-space">
  <action name="ShowMenu">

Now save the file and restart OpenBox. Hit Super+Menu from anywhere, not just in front of an empty desktop, but even when your desktop might be hidden under various windows. No need to minimise all windows to find some space to click to get your Menu!

Have fun...!

#! crunchbang 10 statler r20110207

For a while now, I have been hearing and thinking about crunchbang linux, or #! as the community calls it. So finally, I decided to dive in and install crunchbang-10-20110207-openbox-i686 on my spare laptop.

I have been recommending Linux Mint Debian XFCE lately to newbies. I am rethinking that now. It seems LMDX still has a lot of dependencies on Gnome and other bloatwares hanging on from its legacy days. For example, the XFCE Edition uses Gnome-Terminal rather than XFCE-Terminal. IMHO, that defeats the purpose of not wanting to use Gnome.

#! seems to be smoother and slicker at first glance. I like what I see, although the initial install used almost 2G of diskspace. There is a lot of gnome/etc bloatware which shouldn't have made it to this supposedly minimalist openbox distribution. Mint seems not much worse compared to this. (But compare this to my debian-wheezy laptop setup, with everything I need, on about 650M diskspace!!)

dd if=crunchbang-10-20110207-openbox-i686.iso of=/dev/{usb-drive}
was sufficient and simple to make a usb key for testing or install.

For some strange reason, I had trouble booting #! cd/usb. Apparently, it could be due to my screen - max resolution 1024x768. I almost gave up before I understood the issue. Wonder who the #! developers are targetting?

So I edit the grub boot menu, and append vga=773, and only then was I able to boot #! cd/usb to test or install. The install was fairly smooth with no major concerns, except that the drive partitioner seemed to be creating partitions not ending on cylinder boundaries. I reinstalled, after manually partitioning my drive with fdisk.

So, now I have a pristine install of #! waiting to be devoured.

Initial tasks were to update the system:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

#! /etc/apt/sources.list points to German servers, instead of UK ones, which lagged, due to about twice the network distance/time. It was fairly simple to replace de with uk. Since, #! tracks debian-stable (squeeze), and the installer contents are about 8mths old, about ~250M of initial upgrades were waiting. Squeeze is stable and updates shouldn't be frequent, except the security ones.

Then, I installed some of my missing favourites:
- rdate
- localepurge
- ncdu
- tmux
- most

Keep an eye here for my #! adventures... :-)

cyanogenmod 7.1.0

Finally, after a long wait, CM 7.1 has been released for my ZTE Blade. The last (supposedly) stable release CM 7.0.3 wasn't that stable. 7.1.0-RC1, the subsequent Release Candidate was more stable. Even this had Battery drain issues, Apps leaking, GPS reboots, etc.

Check out the CM Change Log. I am well pleased with this release. It seems stable, and I have a nice feeling about this. My battery is still going strong (65%) after 2 days, although admittedly I haven't used it much. Before this, the phone would have died in two days.

Ideally, I would like to get out of the Android loop, and would like emdebian or a similar mainstream OS to take over. Android seems getting deeper in the Java sh!t and other patent issues, and becoming bloatware with each update. Google Apps are being closed source and very network/memory/disk hog with consequent battery drain. All I need is my contacts/calendar to be cloud-synced on an ad-hoc basis. I can get rid of all other Google Apps from my phone.

Opera cpu/memory leaks and Flash

i have been a long term user of opera, as i like it's light resource demands. one particular concern has been the long running issue of cpu/memory leaks. opera seems to continue consuming cpu/memory as it runs longer. so you need to periodically *restart* it. this problem exacerbates after visiting websites with flash. sometimes, it gets so bad, that i have to kill -9 ... i usually disable plugins, or only enable on-demand. but there are times when i need flash.

$ ps ux | grep opera
gives some clue. seems to me that opera plugin handling is badly written, when I see
note the double slashes in the path, instead of a single slash.

i found some others having similar problems. perhaps they might help. although, they seem to be historical issues, i still have problems with opera 11.51, the latest release.

>> extremely high CPU usage by opera plugin wrapper process http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1288274

>> build 4464 (intel linux) and operapluginwrapper http://www.archivum.info/opera.beta/2009-07/00030/build-4464-(intel-linux)-and-operapluginwrapper.html

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