Amsterdam Peek, Gnome 3 & a New Hobby

written by André Gawron, 25. May 2011

As you may have noticed, I've been busy not writing any blog posts in the last couple of months - this doesn't mean I've been slacking off though. In February, with a bunch of friends, I visited the dutch city Amsterdam and took a ton of pictures we were walking around in the city. Unfortunately, I'm still not able to present every picture taken although it has been three month since then - same goes with pictures from Munich which I was visiting end of March. As you may see, I focused the last months on traveling and spending the first shafts of sunlight with friends.

Software-wise a lot has happend in the last weeks: Gnome 3 moved from testing to the extra repositories of my linux distribution of choice: Arch Linux. I was caught a little bit off guard and since I also use Arch at my workplace I had to spent time to configure it until it fits my suits again and - suprisingly - it does so quite well. It was a lot of fiddling and searching on the interwebz but so far I'm satisfied with the results.

Gnome 3 and the Hyper key

Before the launch of Gnome 3 I heavily relied on Gnome-Do which is accessed via the Hyper key itself. With Gnome 3 though, the Hyper1 key is used to switch into the Activities-Overlay whose omnisearch is utterly slow compared to Gnome-Do's. So, basically, Gnome-Do and all of my other shortcuts which incoporates the Hyper key stopped working. Not. Cool.

I tried to get used to the new way of opening and managing applications but I failed. As soon as I found out that the right Hyper key was still working as expected, I felt more comfortable with changing my habit to hitting the left instead of the right one. But, you know, it still felt a little bit awkward.

I don't know why, but one day - I guess about a week after installing Gnome 3 - I was looking for some keyboard setting and stumbled upon the dialog I already knew of Gnome 2 - Keyboard Layout Options. I remembered that you can change several keybindings and positions to special keys like the CTRL, ALT and, in fact, the Hyper (a.k.a. Windows-key on most keyboards) there. I found the option Hyper is mapped to Win-keys, ticked it and voilá! The Hyper key and therefore every shortcut I set up is working again!

After this tweak, and some minor changes (like another theme), I enjoy Gnome 3 so far - I never was one of the high customizers. As long as I can set my own shortcuts, I'm happy. But I'm still missing at least one thing: I used Gnome 2 with Compiz and their tool to create shortcuts from an area you specifiy with the mouse was easy to use and totally fit my use cases. I still have to find an alternative for that.

Update: scrot does the job quite fine.

A Story to Tell

As another action to improve my English, and after reading Stephen King's Just After Sunset and Roald Dahl's Kiss Kiss respectively, I found myself in the mood to start writing short stories on my own. I already did that a couple of years ago to actually improve my German - and it worked. At least my grades in German classes suddenly got better and better.

Yes, I know. I hardly have time to blog, when shall I write a short story? I did not give an ETA. I'll do it, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not able to present anything in the coming weeks.

Be patient! I'll let you know as soon as I have something interesting to share :-)

  1. or Super key