B.Sc. Thesis Almost Finished!

During the last couple of weeks, I've been busy working on my B.Sc. thesis in economics. After some initial hesitation I wrote the thesis using a text only Debian system on my iBook. I first planned to write the thesis using Google Docs which I could have used in the several locations I divided my time during the working week.

After some experimentation with Google Docs I finally took the bull by the horns and decided to write the paper using the tools installed in my Debian laptop. For writing the paper, I used Emacs with AUCTeX using the longlines-mode. I typeset it using LaTeX and KOMA script. Unfortunately, I still have some problems with the bibliography style defined by my school. I just can't figure out e.g. how to remove the full stop after year in the bibliography provided by chicago.bst.

I just hope I'll get the bibliography style fixed as soon as possible. If I succeed in hacking the .bst file there will be no reason not to write my M.Sc. thesis with this combination of very stable software. Of course, there remains the possibility of exporting the paper to rtf, format it with the official Word style provided by the school and format the bibliography by hand.

But being so close to finishing the thesis I would rather not cheat like that...

Experimenting with bleeding edge using an iBook

Last weekend, after successfully upgrading my 1 GHz PC from Debian stable to unstable, I got the crazy idea that I should upgrade the fully functioning Debian stable on my iBook (600Mhz, 384 Mb) to either Debian testing or unstable. I had already forgotten the udev problems I had encountered and finally solved on this Pentium box.

It was a bad idea. I did not succeed in getting the X configured -- I just had a black screen with a colored horizontal stripe on the bottom half of the screen. Reset, reboot and again. Reset, reconfigure and reboot. Again. And again.

Second try: I burned the CD for Arch Linux. Arch did not give me any more usable X. After some googling around I succeed in getting at least a weird split screen TWM on the screen instead of the now familiar black screen. But still I had no functioning keyboard nor was the touchpad functioning.

After this, I was willing to live on the command line for a while as the Arch at least booted extremely quickly. But then I realized the PPC repositories were not nearly as good and up-to-date as the repositories for 386 Arch.

Ok. After two days of experimenting I decided to go back to the point where I started all this. I had, after all, been quite happy with Debian stable...

Free online BSD Magazine 3/2010 published

Many Linux users have heard about BSD family of Unix operating systems, but few have had the courage to install a BSD to be used on a regular basis.

Nowadays, most users could probably do their everyday computing with some of the more mainstream BSDs just as easily as with Ubuntu or some other desktop oriented Linux distribution. If you are one of those Linux users, you should have a look at the free online BSD Magazine.

But don't stop there! If you have an extra old computer somewhere, you might as well like to install some BSD variant on it. Those of you who are just looking for an easy-to-install-and-use BSD would probably be very happy with PC-BSD 8.0 released last week. Some of the highlights of the latest release are:
* FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE-P2
* KDE 4.3.5

* Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
* Run in Live mode directly from DVD
* Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly
* Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64