Monday, January 2, 2017

a good arch derivative

From what I'm seeing so far (after about a month and a half), Antergos seems like a very solid distro. As advertised, Antergos provides an easy way to get an Arch system up and running, ready to go out-of-the-box.

The installer provides a choice of desktops. I went with Openbox, but still the installer (called "cnchi") downloaded a ton of packages (cnchi showed 779 packages being installed). The system's loaded with useful apps. The number of installed packages appears to have no effect on the system's performance while running Openbox; everything's snappy and crisp.

The Pamac package manager is fun to play around with, but for package management I'm using pacman, from the command line, same as with my Arch installation. Antergos uses the Arch repos, plus an Antergos repo for some packages, as pamac shows in this shot.

The following yaourt command shows the packages that come from the "antergos" repo:

$ yaourt -Q | grep antergos
antergos/antergos-keyring 20150806-1 (antergos-base)
antergos/antergos-mirrorlist 20161107-2 (antergos-base)
antergos/antergos-openbox-setup 0.3.1-2
antergos/antergos-repo-priority 1.0.4-2 (antergos-base)
antergos/antergos-wallpapers 0.7-1
antergos/antergos-welcome 0.0.2-2
antergos/galculator 2.1.4-4 (mate-extra)
antergos/light-locker-settings 1.5.2-3
antergos/lightdm-webkit2-greeter 2.2.1-1 (system)
antergos/numix-frost-themes 3.6.6-1 (themes themes::gtk)
antergos/numix-icon-theme 1:0.r1890.2-1
antergos/numix-icon-theme-square 1:0.r83_8-1
antergos/obkey 1.0-4
antergos/openbox-menu 0.8.0-1
antergos/package-query 1.8.r380-2
antergos/pamac 4.1.6-2
antergos/paranoid 1.1.1-2
antergos/plank-theme-numix 0.1-1
antergos/ttf-google-fonts 20160408.r423-1
antergos/waldorf-ui-theme 0.07-1
antergos/yaourt 1.8.1-1

I'm using Antergos' Numix-Frost theme for Openbox, with a few key launchers on the tint2 panel and a customized menu that has all of my Openbox-related tools under one submenu:

But I also have the Antergos Applications menu available:

A "clean" shot from (empty) workspace #3:

antergos greeter screen background

In Antergos, the backgrounds for the LightDM greeter screen are stored in the /usr/share/antergos/wallpapers directory, and you can copy files into there to make them available to choose from at the greeter screen.

The icon at the upper-right corner opens up a panel along the right side for previewing and selecting from available backgrounds.

Seems appropriate for January. Clicking on the digital clock gives you the login window.

To get screenshots of the login screen, I first added the xorg-server-xephyr package from the Arch repos:

$ sudo pacman -S xorg-server-xephyr

Then I used dm-tool to start a nested display of the greeter screen, and took screenshots of that using xfce4-screenshooter with a delay (note: Alt-F4 gets you back to the desktop) (also see dm-tool --help):

$ dm-tool add-nested-seat --fullscreen


The Toronto Raptors have a rookie power forward in their starting lineup -- 6'9" Pasccal Siakam, a native of Cameroon, the small Central African country.

Siakam averages fewer than 20 minutes of playing time per game. He's getting only about 5 points (and less than 4 rebounds) per game. Those kinds of numbers won't impress anyone.

Yet, Siakam has played in every game this season. In fact, he has started every game this season -- for a Raptors team that currently holds the 2nd-best record (23-10) in the Eastern Conference.

Obviously, Raptors coach Dwane Casey sees something. And I bet he's seeing some of what folks down in Las Cruces saw the past two years. At New Mexico State, Siakam was the WAC Freshman of the Year for the 2014-15 season. In 2015-16, he was good for 20.2 points per game and 11.6 rebounds per game, shooting almost 54% from the field.

I didn't think he'd be an NBA starter in his rookie year, but there he is. And it looks like he's got a high ceiling, as they say.

Here's how he did in Toronto's 123-114 win over the Lakers last night: 31 minutes, 3 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 5 personal fouls. Doin' the dirty work, apparently.

For more, see this article: Raptors Rookie Pascal Siakam Is Something Special

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Debian 8 ("Jessie") doesn't have a huge number of available Openbox themes, but creating a new Openbox theme from an existing one takes only a few minutes. System-wide themes are stored in the /usr/share/themes directory, and user-specific themes can be placed in ~/.local/share/themes. Just look for the themerc config file. The config file uses hexadecimal color codes, and of course one can find a number of sites out there for picking hex codes and viewing the corresponding colors.

I've been using the Onyx theme, which uses shades of blue for the selected menu items. The following shot shows the Onyx theme in the Openbox Configuration Manager (aka "obconf"), with my right-click desktop menu opened up:

To create a new theme called Onyx-Silver, I copied the /usr/share/themes/Onyx directory to ~/.local/share/themes, renamed the new directory as ~/.local/share/themes/Onyx-Silver, and edited the ~/.local/share/themes/Onyx-Silver/openbox-3/themerc file as follows.


!! Selected menu item raised splitvertical gradient #6d95de #2b829d #f8f8f8


!! Selected menu item raised splitvertical gradient #a5a5a5 #929292 #f8f8f8

As well, I changed the color of the window buttons when the cursor is hovering over them.


!! Window buttons
window.*.button.*.bg: parentrelative* flat splitvertical gradient border
window.inactive.button.* parentrelative
window.*.button.* flat splitvertical gradient border* #398dc6* #236d83* #236d83


!! Window buttons
window.*.button.*.bg: parentrelative* flat splitvertical gradient border
window.inactive.button.* parentrelative
window.*.button.* flat splitvertical gradient border* #c5c5c5* #878989* #236d83

Then I simply saved the file and ran obconf, where the new theme was available to select.

For more info on Openbox theme specifications, see:

Monday, December 26, 2016

yin and yang - shadow cannot exist without light


In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang ... describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, expanding and contracting) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality symbolized by yin and yang...

...Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation. The yin yang (i.e. taijitu symbol) shows a balance between two opposites with a portion of the opposite element in each section.

In Taoist metaphysics, distinctions between good and bad, along with other dichotomous moral judgments, are perceptual, not real; so, the duality of yin and yang is an indivisible whole...

Monday, December 19, 2016

back: the silver and black

With Sunday's 19-16 victory at San Diego, the Oakland Raiders clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2002, which was the last time the Raiders won an NFL title. They can clinch the AFC West by winning their last two games (at home vs. the Colts, then at Denver), but if they falter they could lose out to the Kansas City Chiefs for the division title based on the head-to-head tiebreaker (the Chiefs beat the Raiders twice this season).

some key performers:

- Derek Carr, QB, 63,5% pass completions, 3705 passing yards, 25 TDs against 6 INTs.

- Latavius Murray, RB, 737 rushing yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 12 rushing TDs.

- Amari Cooper, WR, 74 receptions, 1038 receiving yards, 4 TD catches.

- Michael Crabtree, WR: 77 receptions, 866 receiving yards, 8 TD catches.

tearin' it up early

A couple of guards getting off to good starts early this season in the NBA:

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City. Westbrook leads the league in points per game (30.4); he's dishing out 11.0 assists per game, good enough for 2nd in the league; and when you include his 10.5 rebounds per game, he's averaging a triple-double -- nobody's done that for an entire season since Oscar Robertson, back in the 60s! Westbrook has collected 13 triple-doubles so far this season. He had 18 triple-doubles last season, tying Magic Johnson's mark from the 1981-82 season (Robertson had 41 back in '61-'62).

Classic shot of Oscar Robertson playing college ball at Cincinnati

James Harden, Houston. Harden is the league's 5th-leading scorer, pouring in 27.7 points per game, and he leads the league in assists (11.8). He's also been grabbing 8.0 rebounds per game. Not bad.

These two guys also hold the top two spots in the league in free throw attempts (Westbrook - 10.4, Harden - 10.3). Both guys shoot well from the charity stripe -- Westbrook is hitting on about 81% of his tries and Harden comes in a few notches higher, at about 84%. Thus, Harden leads the league in free throws made per game (8.6) and Westbrook stands 3rd at 8.4. The ability to get to the line often -- and to collect lots of "free" points -- qualifies as an art form, one that separates the elite players from the rest.

I don't know if Westbrook and Harden can continue to put up these numbers throughout the entire season. Probably not. Westbrook's triple-double numbers certainly impress, and probably make him the leading MVP candidate so far, but I'm amazed that Harden is scoring so much while also leading the NBA in assists! I didn't think he had it in him!

* * *

Side note: Cleveland's LeBron James is quietly putting up some killer numbers of his own, and for one of the NBA's elite teams (the Cavs currently sport a 19-6 won/loss record, third-best in the league): 25.0 ppg, 9.0 apg, 7.6 rpg, 51.7% shooting from the field, 35.2% on 3-point tries. Outstanding, and still (perhaps) the best all-around player in pro basketball.

The Powerful LeBron James

* * *

Early-season sharp-shooting:

Steph Curry, Golden State: 3.8 made 3-pointers per game, tops in the league. Curry's shooting 40.3% on 9.4 three-point tries per game. He's also 2nd in the league in free throw percentage (93.2% on 5.2 tries per game). Blazing!

Kevin Durant, Golden State: Burying 53.8% of his shots from the field, 40.9% of his three-point tries, and 86.2% from the free throw line. Those numbers make me think of a guy named Larry Bird.

Courtney Lee, Knicks: 45.4% FGs, 86.4% FTs, 47.4% 3-pointers.

Channing Frye, in limited minutes with Cleveland: 44.6% FGs, 94.1% FTs, 47.1% 3-pointers.

George Hill, Utah: 53.4% FGs, 88.4% FTs, 45.6% 3-pointers.

C.J. McCollum, Portland: 47.8% FGs, 90.8% FTs, 45.5% 3-pointers.