November 23rd, 2003

fire juggling

Qwerty sucks (warning: geeky computer post)

Before I describe the computer geekiness, pmb was in town, so the day's first order of business was of course some juggling geekiness with him and j3h. We had some sweet runs of 10-club singles feed and random 2/3 feed. Whee! goteam, chocolatesmudge, and Katie managed to find pressing needs to attend to (NaNoWriMo and shopping I think), presumably in order to avoid being hit by flying objects. Very wise of them. The cat was not so wise, at one point standing directly under me and Peter practicing five ball tricks. But fortunately there were no, um, incidents.

Once the fun was over I came back to my apartment and set to some serious hacking with the new iBook. With my trusty copy of "Mac OS X for Unix Geeks" (nice book BTW), I managed to install the developer tools, Fink, and X windows. Not bad for one day.

Currently I am stuck on the X Windows keyboard configuration. X windows seems to assume that like any red-blooded meat-eating gun-toting freedom-loving American, I use the Qwerty keyboard arrangement. No! I spit on that keyboard arrangement! I happen to be a freedom-loving gun-fearing white-meat-eating barefoot club-juggling Dvorak-typing hippie, and proud of it! Mac OS X respects my unusual lifestyle choices, X Windows snubs them.

I remember fighting this battle in the Linux world, and winning through clever use of configuration files. But it was a tough fight, and I now keep my XF86Config-4 file carefully archived in case I ever have to fight it again.

The Fink version of XFree86 for the Mac, however, has no XF86Config file! How does it configure itself? I don't know.

My iBook came with OS 10.2.8. I'm thinking perhaps if I buy version 10.3, which supposedly has a nicely integrated version of X windows, it will respect my right of keyboard choice. That of course means spending money, and I have no guarantee it will work. Grr.
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