December 30, 2008

Two screens without rebooting, with xrandr

December 30, 2008 - Categories: geek

Dual screens can improve your productivity by up to 50%. It’s one of the reasons why I like working at home – I can hook the desktop’s monitor up to my laptop for even more coding goodness. I could hook the Cintiq up if I ran X across a network connection, but three screens would just spoil me rotten. ;)

I used to switch my xorg.conf manually depending on whether I wanted a dual-screen or single-screen setup, but that required closing all my applications and restarting X. I wondered if there was a better way to do it. I came across Ubuntu Forums: Switch view modes (twinview) without leaving/reconfiguring X?, which led me to HOWTO: YES! There IS an easy way of trying out Xorg.conf without reloading X. The main post wasn’t helpful, but the segment “HOWTO: Make use of RandR 1.2 – or the ability to stick with one X configuration and dynamically add or remove screens and change display setups dynamically” was. I checked if xrandr was on my system, and it was. I removed the unnecessary lines from my xorg.conf and added the lines about SubSection “Display”… and it worked. Hooray!

For future reference, here’s the command I used to set up my dual-screen display:

xrandr --output LVDS --right-of VGA-0   

This rocks.

Not personal enough

December 30, 2008 - Categories: life, reflection

It took me a while to write to the bottom of that one, to break through the confusion and anger and get to some kind of understanding. I’m probably not going to post all of that, because now that I’m looking at it through the slightly-numbed lens of a good cry and a cat-cuddle, it’s a bit much for something triggered by a few words from two people.

It’d be good for me to share the summary, though.

For many people, a slightly-personalized version of my yearly update was a good reminder in a convenient format and a prompt to perhaps reflect on their own year and plan the next. Most people replied back with their own updates and plans, and I’m in the middle of many enjoyable conversations that branched off from there.

For some people, though, it wasn’t personalized enough. After lots of scribbling, writing, and a surprising anger at unrealistic expectations, I realized that my feelings about this can probably be traced to these things:

The glass is at least half-full, and if we focus on that part, it’ll be much better than focusing on the empty part.

UPDATE: I figured out some more while cooking dinner! I realized that one way to get around my shyness is to keep track of which people prefer fully-personalized e-mail, and ask _them_ to write first so I can reply. ;)