Modern Magic Nostalgia


Hey guys. Work and some health related things kept me out for a while. Anyway, let us get back to business. So, a relative of mine asked my help in setting up a Gentoo installation for college. He has been using Ubuntu for a year or so right now and he felt that he wanted to explore more. I advised him to use BSD, but he wasn’t ready for it, not just yet. He wanted help with Gentoo as he was focused on source based distributions. Most of my readers know about my love-hate affair with Gentoo. Still, I wanted to help him out. It was no hassle of course, but he was sort of confused after the whole thing. Gotta see how long he sticks with it.

When it comes to Linux, nothing beats the awesomeness of source based distributions. But time and other constraints have almost put them out of business. Gentoo is still the go to source based distribution and for a good reason. The other choices from back then are either dead or dormant, with very little to no active updates. If you checked out some of my earlier posts, I had spoken a lot about Lunar Linux, a fork of Sorcerer GNU/Linux (later Sorcerer OS). At a time, it was my Linux distro of choice. It is still under development, but not as extensively as it used to be. Source Mage is another fork of Sorcerer. It had a larger team back then, but their latest updates, at least in their webpage dates to 2017. Both Lunar and Source Mage are git managed right now, so you could pull the sources and build your own. But I wonder how many people still do it, at least in comparison with the much more straightforward installation of Gentoo.

Personally, I really loved Sorcerer and its forks Lunar and Source Mage. The simple philosophy of using nothing more than bash scripts to fetch, install and update a package was a testament to KISS, instead of using complex programs and tools other distros used to manage packages. Even the installation routines were pretty simple compared to Gentoo. That’s why it was pretty easy to sort of shift between Sorcerer and Lunar for me. Kyle Sallee’s Sorcerer was way ahead of its time back then and it is a shame that it is dead now. Anyway, while I was recuperating, I had time to put an older iso on another one of my Thinkpads and was able to hack a few shit and cast a few spells here and there and was finally able to set it up for use right now. It was awesome and took me back to that time when I used to do this kinda shit at 3AM in the morning with some bullshit still overdue at 8 in the morning. Exciting times.



Anyway, seen above are a couple of obligatory screenshots. I went for CRT green for this machine, as I initially used back then. WM is xmonad with my old config and the font is Monaco. Wallpaper is Pinstripe from my old collection. If you guys need anything else, please ping me.

P.S. Right click on the images and open them. If original size is compromised, please delete the width parameter following ? towards the end of the image address and reload. You will have the original size.


Going by tradition, how about a mundane screenshot of my EEE at the hospital. I am still using OpenBSD on this machine and ScrotWM is the window manager (SpectreWM, as it is called these days!). I love the Bats family wallpaper. The font is Dina, pixelsize 15. If there is any question, please let me know. Oh, the colors by the way are based on the famous Gentoo default config, both the Xdefaults and vim theme.

Click on the image for full view.

I am the Goddamn Batman!

Now, the wallpaper. Click for full view.

Bats Family

Scrotwm – Linux

Continuing with the Scrotwm rant. Naturally I have moved to scrotwm on my Linux boxes as well. Installing scrotwm in Linux is a little bit tricky, since a certain lorder script is neede first to successfully run make, and generate the scrotwm binary. I am not going to explain it right here. Instead I will simply link a great howto posted over at frostglow. This howto talks about Gentoo, but the method will work on any Linux distribution. Follow the link below for a detailed howto.

Compiling scrotwm 0.9.5 on Gentoo Linux

Here is a supporting screenshot of scrotwm running on my Lunar Linux box. Click on the picture for full view. The colors are from thayer, and available in my .Xdefaults over at github.


ScrotWM – Mission Accomplished?

Don’t forget, its ‘W’. If you had looked into my screenshots posted here, you might have seen that I mostly use dwm, evilwm and fluxbox. Of course there are a couple of screens I had posted back when I was using XMonad as well. But the reason I went away from XMonad was the haskell dependecy and since I wanted something much lighter. True, I claimed XMonad for life and all, but please ignore it. 😀

I had been thinking about giving scrotwm a go for a long time. But never actually did. But aragon’s scrotwm FreeBSD port appeared a few days ago, so I thought of giving it a shot. Now I am sold.  I think I will stick with scrotwm as far as my tiling wm needs are concerned. I find managing windows much easier, and moving them requires no effort. Also the config can be changed runtime and recompile is not required. The best part, the default keybindings are so simple, that work straight out of the box, and the config file requires no complex editing. So I am using scrotwm predominantly alongside fluxbox these days. My mundane .scrotwm.conf is also available over at my github page. So interested people can download the same. Here is a screenshot of scrotwm in action on my FreeBSD7.2 powered EEEPc. The colors in this screenshot comes from the Warm Colors section in my .Xdefaults. The vim color scheme is dante and it is also available in my github page. Click on the picture for full view.


Beastie on my EEE PC

freebsd-logoA couple of days ago I decided to try out the latest 7.2 FreeBSD release. So it was time to spice up my test box, my EEE PC 1000H. Install went fine, and obviously the ethernet card detected fine, and X got the resolution right as well. I had to add the EmptyInput entry in my xorg.conf to make my keyboard and touchpad responsive.

Wireless obviously doesn’t work, since there is no support for the Ralink 2860 chipset, but it was not so important for me. My other main Lenovo laptop is what I primarily use to do work related stuff, and it runs Lunar with wireless working perfectly. So whenever I am lazy and wanna work in my bed, its no problem.

Anyway I have a minimal FreeBSD setup on this little machine, and use dwm, evilwm, and fluxbox. mc takes care of file operations, and firefox3 and opera take care of browsing needs. Webcam doesn’t work, but I don’t have any use for that. So its definitely not a deal breaker. If ethernet hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t have tried further. But thats not the case, thankfully.

So here is a screenshot of FreeBSD7.2 in action on my EEE. The screenshot shows dwm 5.5 and Fluxbox in action. Akira for the win by the way.


EEE Pc Screenshot

As promised, here is the EEE screenshot. The lunar update did take a while. Since I started the update and left to meet a friend, I couldn’t configure the kernel when it was built. So I had to recompile the kernel, when the updates had finished. I use the framebuffer quite frequently, so I recompiled with framebuffer support, so that took a little longer. Anyway this is how my setup looks like ony my EEE. Window manager is dwm5.5 and the wallpaper is self made. Of late I have been blown away by Haruna Yabuki, and I am still in a fan boy mode. It will probably stay that way for sometime. This picture of hers is one of my favorite pictures. So that necessitated the need to make a quick wallpaper. Also I am no artist, so this wallpaper is a very amateurish attempt, so please don’t mind. Anyway here is the screen. Click for full view.


My configs

Ok, I see some requests here for my configs. My configs are already available over at my dotfiles page for a long time. I should have linked that page here long time ago. anyway here is the link for my dotfiles page. Interested people can find all my relevant configs over there.

My dotfiles Page

The Xdefaults over there corresponds to the previous dwm shot I had posted. It is extremely colorful, and not many people may like it. I change my colors all the time, but I love this color setup and I keep going back for some reason. My zshrc is optimized for FreeBSD, so chances are it might look a little bit strange on Linux boxes. You might have to tweak just a little bit, to get the root login part right on your linux box. But it should be very easy, so I am letting you guys handle it all by yourselves. Also, if you look at my .xinitrc, you might realize I alternate between, dwm, evilwm, fluxbox, larswm, and the good old twm. Mostly it’s been dwm and evilwm. My dwm config.h is also available over there.

As far as fonts go, make sure you have terminus, and artwiz font packages installed, and the relevant fontpaths defined in your xorg.conf, else they might not be rendered properly. But you can always change the fonts, according to your tastes, so you need not use the same font setup that I am accustomed to. If there are any other stuff needed, like fonts, wallpaper etc., just drop a comment, I will make sure to make them available.

A little rambling + Lunar Linux – dwm Screenshot

Well, its around 4AM here right now, I just finished debugging some piece of code, and I can finally crash right now. Anyway I have planned to update my blog with atleast two posts everday, given the fact I am really busy these days. On the paranormal front, a lot of things have happened, and one of my favorite radio shows is going high places with the kind of guests who have started to show up on the program. Will talk about it in detail tomorrow. Just before I crash right now, I am gonna post a screenshot of my laptop screen. As I had mentioned eralier, I have moved to Lunar Linux, and it has become my primary OS. And since I wanted a very lean system, decided to just have evilwm and dwm as primary windowmanagers. The following screen is of dwm5.4.1 in action. If anyone needs my configs, just drop a comment. Anyway here is the screen.

Lunar Linux+dwm5.4.1