I “invented” dark mode 11 years ago…

June 18, 2020

All the hype about “dark mode” in applications and desktops makes sense to me.

A mild gray background with white text on it is infinitely more environmentally friendly, and also hugely better for the eyeballs.

Observe the documentation I did for my Tribes2 anti-cheat program called “DefenseTurret” about 11 years ago. At the time it was a bit “uncouth”. Now it would appeal to the “youth”.

Also, I’m now running KDE, see the next post…


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 I am writing this from Kubuntu….

After my previous rant about how crap Gnome/Ubuntu/Mint/Mate is, I decided to go back to the only desktop that seemed semi-viable a decade ago.



I actually have most of the day-to-day shit running, Skype, Telegram, Teams, VSCode and everything.

Taking this screenshot was still a bit of a mission, since I can’t directly paste the image yet, since KDE’s snipping tool still needs some tweaking.

Konsole, the KDE taskbar, keyboard bindings, autocomplete, everything just really works much better than I thought it would.

It has still taken me a day of tweaking and getting shit sorted out to “sane” defaults, but it has certainly been a breeze compared to <insert shitty gnome style desktop manager>, and <sorry-for-yourbugreport-but-we-don’t think-this-is-how-a-desktopshould-work-wontfix-gofuckyourself> style responses.

I tried KDE about 10 years ago, and it was the closest I came to a “windows like” experience on the desktop. I’m glad to see that “ze germans” has made it even better. KDE Plasma fucking rocks, very closely to the Win64 desktop.

Now, if only Kubuntu installed with some defaults (and I’m literally talking basic config files here) that made it seem 99% native to windows users, then Linux would stand a chance at the desktop.

The fact that Ubuntu has flip-flopped between toolkits, window managers, task managers and bullshit for the last decade has done them no good.

Kubuntu, I must say, has finally convinced me that there is hope.

As I’m typing this, I have basically everything I need, and as an added bonus — lazarus-ide to work on a small side project to talk to my inverter. I’ve forgotten how low-level Pascal/Delphi style coding can be, and best yet, I can compile my project for 10 different targets. I haven’t written Pascal code in two decades, yet I can see why I loved it back in the day. Getting back in the saddle has been a bit of a <alt-tab-google-fest>, but as things are coming back, I can honestly say. Fuck C, and it’s crappy string manipulation.

Pascal is strangely enough as close to the “machine” as C is, but a little bit more safe. It was great for doing day-to-day shit, and I even coded graphical demos using inline assembler in Pascal. All of that shit still remains today, and is surprisingly still utterly usable.

Side note: I was considering using Mono/.NET for my inverter application until I found out how shite THAT stuff still is… Dabbling the application up in lazarus and Pascal basically took me a day, and I’m rusty at Pascal.

And here we are, freepascal, and an IDE that was started in 1999 kicking the ass out of any lowlevel+combined GUI platform development environment I can find. And I’m actually doing it on a Linux desktop environment that only makes me gag and swear every 5th minute, instead of every 10 seconds.

I’m talking RS232 to an inverter, bluetooth to my batteries, bitflipping and doing lowlevel shit, and I STILL have a good old easy Form/Widget style environment to tie it all together.

This literally took me about 12 hours to code, and like I said my Pascal is beyond rusty.

I will revise my previous rant, and say that if you’re not running KDE on a Linux desktop you are either a sadist, or a martyr.

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 It’s 2020, and linux still can’t do a desktop for humans

June 9, 2020

So, I’ve been trying linux mint, and Ubuntu. First in virtual machines, then in an actual partition on my desktop for the last week.

It still sucks. At least the XWindows clipboard thing is (mildly sorted out, but not quite).

After a few VM installations, which got me quite excited since it seemed slick, I resized a partition and installed Mint, (Mate edition) first. Fuck me, could I not get some basic shit done, like creating a custom hotkey for running a shell prompt with some arguments. Cue hours of googling, and once again having to edit files and all kindsa shit.

Clipboard is better, but still fucked. Try and find a way in Mint to just select text in a terminal, and have it automatically copied to the clipboard. gnome-terminal can’t do it. mate-terminal can’t do it. All the stuff I take for granted every day on a windows desktop. Several googles later, nah brah…

Realistically, it’s still just not ready. Ok, let’s try again…

Gave up on Mate…

Then installed Mint Cinnamon edition, which was a bit more successful, at least I could edit keyboard shortcuts consistently. My base requirement being Windows-R to run something, Windows-S to snip a screenshot, etc, etc.

Then install wine, to be able to run winbox. All cool, it works. Try and change the icon for the shortcut. Jesus christ. Install scan tools, extract .PE executable icons, finally have a working shortcut. With the icon I wanted…

Great, start installing vscode, whatsapp, telegram. All swimmingly. Perfomance is amazing, until my taskbar tarts running out of taskbar space, so right click the panel and “Edit”

I can change everything except create more taskbar space (e.g doubling up the number of open windows/icons in the panel). Apparently it’s not supported, and the bugs are closed as WONTFIX by <whomeverthefuckdevelops gnome/cinnammon/mate/whatever the fucking branch is>

Several annoyed hours later.

Boot back to windows, I run putty, resize my taskbar, and do all the shit that I normally do. It’s been a decade of fucking X11/Xorg/KDE/Gnome/Mate/Cinnamon/Insert_Your_name_and_desktop_manager here.

And Linux still can’t even come close to beating the Windows 95, or OS2 desktop experience.

I love Linux, just keep it the fuck away from my desktop thank-you-very-much.

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4 responses to “It’s 2020, and linux still can’t do a desktop for humans”
  1. Robby says:

    I’m thinking you may have some more advanced requirements but for the majority, Linux works pretty well as a desktop. I’ve done hundreds of desktop installs specifically for business over the years and for the most part, it works very well.

    Certainly in terms of productivity, I find Linux desktops to be a cut above Windows. Updates are slick and (almost) never break anything. Security is better. And customisation out of the box is a step above.

    I’d agree that doing some things is harder than it should be but that’s the exception rather than the norm.

    My 2 cents …

    • admin says:

      I don’t think wanting a clipboard to work, and having a taskbar that allows more than one line of tasks is “Advanced”.

      Out of the box, neither of the mentioned distributions gave me an experience where I felt productive. The worst/best part is that it is possible to get these things working. Just no “out of the box”. And getting copy and paste to work is a rule, that shouldn’t be an “Exception”, with millions of tweaks.

      In windows, I use the snipping tool, select a part of the screen, and copy it straight into a forum, or blog post. That’s hardly advanced. Try doing that without ending up with gF4hal)#v(aZzRZ6$PAKXvY( like I just pasted: or file://home/roelf/Desktop/screenshots/xxxx.png in the post.

      That’s basic shit man. I pasted a picture, not a link to a file. The clipboard can contain multimedia, and Chrome happily supports that. Unless you’re on a linux desktop. In which case refer to developers that feel it’s not required, goodluck-with-that-bugreport-wontfix style comments.

  2. Regardt van de Vyver says:

    Maybe give a poke at WSL2.0 on Windows 10 – gives you ‘most’ of a full Linux experience on local machine.

    Been using it this side and has pretty much made my dev efforts in vscode ‘native’.


    • admin says:

      Have been using WSL for a while now, but considering how good the built-in Win64 stuff such as SSH, etc, has become, I’ve not really required WSL, since most of my work (as always) is remote.

      VSCode on win64, with the remote-ssh plugin is the way to write code! What that has done for dev’s is fucking amazing.

      Also, I’m still surprised how this decades old blog still gets hits and replies on posts, like a few days after a post ? How does this happen? I thought everything was facebook these days ? Are things like pingbacks and that sorta thing still working ?


 The litany against fear

August 29, 2017

“I will not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
I will face my fear.
I will let it pass through me.
When the fear has gone,there shall be nothing.
Only I will remain.”




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 My very last call to Telkom

July 6, 2015



Today, I cheerfully made what was hopefully my very last call to Telkom’s 10210 non-service centre. It took 35 minutes for someone to answer my call and 10 minutes to slowly (sorry sir, the system is slow) cancel both my residential ADSL services. I cancelled my two 6mbps (paid for 10mbps) lines that I’ve been line-bonding for years in order to achieve a smell of broadband just a smidgeon under 11Mbps.

The reason I cancelled both lines today, is because I got 100mbps uncapped Fibre from Vumatel, and Cool ISP (cisp.co.za) this past Friday.

It has only taken 15 years for decent Broadband to come to suburban South Africa. No thanks to any government institution for that. They have done everything in their power to hamper the private internet service provision industry in South Africa.


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1 response to “My very last call to Telkom”
  1. Iwan says:

    Dude, give me a call. Iwan: 0727358037.


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