Monthly Archives: December 2008

Atomicity

During my daily browsing of the web, I read about a concept that I have never considered before: atomicity. This concept usually refers to database transactions and means that the transaction will either completely succeed or completely fail. Journaled filesystems make use of this system in the event of a crash. Before your computer commits data to the disc, it logs what it will do to a file, called a journal, before actually committing the change, called a transaction. If the computer crashes before it finishes writing the data to the disk then the log will be incomplete. When the computer restarts, the filesystem’s journal will be replayed; incomplete entries are ignored and reverted to the most recent complete entry. Thus, if the data was not written correctly and completely, it will not be written at all.
For more information:

http://donner.cs.uni-magdeburg.de/bs/lehre/wise0001/bs2/journaling/journal-design.pdf

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Changing the default X11 Cursor

Very trivial.

Unpack your cursor package to ~/.icons/.

The directory structure should be:

~/.icons
~/.icons/theme_name
~/.icons/theme_name/cursors

Create a symbolic link between ~/.icons/default and the theme_name and restart X.

ln -s ~/.icons/theme_name ~/.icons/default

If you have any issues, remove the symbolic link:

rm ~/.icons/default

create a ~/.icons/default directory

mkdir ~/.icons/default

and insert the following file (index.theme) into the ~/.icons/default directory:

touch ~/.icons/default/index.theme
vi ~/.icons/default/index.theme
   1 [Icon Theme]
   2 Inherit=theme_name

Done; easy.

Using xbindkeys to manage media buttons

More often that not, a keyboard will have extra functionality keys that you can bind to different operations.  Xbindkeys makes it easier to make each key perform a specific task.

First, run “xbindkeys -k” to determine the code for a key.  For example:

"Scheme Command"
m:0x0 + c:160
NoSymbol

Then change the “Scheme Command” section to the command that you want to run when the key is pressed.   For example:

"amixer set Master 5%+"
m:0x0 + c:176
NoSymbol

Place your newly created command in ~/.xbindkeysrc and add xbindkeys to your ~/.xinitrc.

xf86-video-intel-2.4.3

The latest Xorg video driver for Intel chipsets will probably cause a slowdown in rendering due to a switch from TTM to GEM. GEM is only supported in kernel 2.6.28 and above so it’s recommended that you stick with drivers released before 2.4.3.

More information: http://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=13922

http://www.x.org/wiki/ttm