Friday, 4 May 2012

PhD week 9: I have become precise

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This week, I gave my laptop a complete overhaul by deleting the Windows Vista partition I still had from when I purchased the thing, and upgrading my operating system to Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. It was a straightforward, painless process that went very smoothly. The only niggles are those things that you don't do very often, but would've been easier had you remembered backing them up. Backing up the .bash-history file is one such example.

The big change that I have encountered, coming from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, is the Unity desktop environment. I'm actually rather enjoying it, actually. I find the behaviour of Alt + Tab takes a bit of getting used to (and the icons could be smaller), but generally I am happy with the changeover.

One of the things that took me the most time though, was setting up a keyboard shortcut to my text editor. I was easily able to make my way to System settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts and create a new shortcut, but to my dismay it told me it was disabled. After far too long searching on the internet and getting confused about the gconf editor, I finally find a bug that seems to deal with the issue. I prepare to comment on it, and then read the workaround proposed.

Click the + button and add a name to remember the shortcut and the specific command you want to execute. Click Apply. Find the name in the list and click the RIGHT HALF of the row. "Disabled" should change to "New accelerator". (My emphasis)
Man, I felt stupid.

All in all, it's been a great week. As well as the successful computer cleanup, I learned this week that two papers on which I am an author have been accepted! Always good news to receive, and it's handy heading into a PhD with a few publications up one's sleeve. I also had a pleasant afternoon on Tuesday looking at a number of Irenimus specimens, and starting to think carefully about useful anatomical features for their identification, and how might be best to record them.

   Fleming CA. 1962. New Zealand biogeography—A paleontologist's approach. Tuatara 10(2): 53–108
   Ray ET. 2003. Learning XML. Cambridge, Mass.: O'Reilly
   McCulloch D. 2010. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years London: Penguin
   Psalms 48–51

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