Valid HTML 4.0!

Don't just sit there on your thoughts; let the world know how you feel!

A collection of opinions, rants and writings by a grouchy old cynic. Any facts contained within are accidental.

Linux related:

Rant 1: Open source operating system
Shades of Orwell
Still using a 386 or 486?
Some tips for beginning in Linux
Configuring XFree86 in Linux
Old example of using LILO
Not quite at cruising altitude.
Back it up!
Free today, free tomorrow
If you try, you can fail.


Miscellaneous texts mostly stuff I've written but have yet to convert to html.

My personal hell with TaxCut99 software
Is BeOS really free?
You give away the first "fix".

Personalized Desktop
Mine suits me.

Everybody has their own preferences for the way they work and how their computer screen presents their software to them. In some other operating systems, you are limited to merely fiddling with the colors and pretty pictures. In Linux and FreeBSD, you have the XFree86 X Window System (XFree86(tm) Home Page). You have an incredible amount of flexibility and choices. See for some idea of this variety.

The following is presented for those who may be unfamiliar with the fvwm2 window manager or the customization of "desktops" in general, other than changing icons around on a mostly static, one-proprietary-way-fits-all kind of desktop.

I use the fvwm2 window manager ( It is small, fast, and easy for me (a non-programmer) to extensively customize to suit my habits and tastes. It may not suit you. Isn't Linux, the GPL and Open Source about choice?
Have some fun with it.

My rather cluttered, oversized ~/.fvwm2rc file:
fvwm2rc-grouch-buttons 41,877 bytes
It has a gigantic pile of background and decor stuff that I never use anymore, since I prefer a simple brown background now. Note that it may look even worse in your browser than it actually is. The mini icons used in the button bar are here: grouchicons.tgz 3,479 bytes. You probably want to use some already on your system or create your own. These are 16x16 .xpm icons.

Screenshot, desk1, fvwm2 window manager 51,782 bytes
Custom button bar (single-click launch), along the right side, using mini-icons:

FvwmPager, in lower right:

To the left of the pager is xdaliclock:

  exec xdaliclock \
  -font -*-lucidatypewriter-bold-r-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-*-* \
  -cycle -noseconds -transparent -geometry +620+560

Screenshot, desk5, fvwm2 window manager 82,431 bytes
Notice that green cascading menu in the center. This is a pop-up menu activated by a left mouse click on any blank area of the desktop. It is entirely customizable. Mine reflects my preferences, naturally.