(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tue, 27 Mar 2012

Ebooks Cost Too Much

Some time ago I read the dead-tree version of the book Daemon, by Daniel Suarez. A very good book, and one I was glad to see now had a sequel. I was less pleased when I went to the Barnes & Noble website to see how much the ebook would cost (I have a 1st gen nook) - $9.99. Just out of curiosity, I checked the kindle price, and it was the same. I'm sorry, $9.99 is way too much for an ebook. I'm willing to pay more for physical books, but not an ephemeral digital version, even if it's in an open format like epub. I can't be alone - I would buy *many* more ebooks if they were at or below $3.00. It seems to me publishers are losing money by jacking up ebook prices (I've noticed authors selling direct through Amazon or B&N to tend to charge less, it's just the publishers trying to hang on to an obsolete business model). In the end, I picked up an almost-new hardcover for $1.93 on half.com (just under $6.00 with shipping), and I have the physical book.

posted at: 13:51 | path: / | permalink | cost, daemon, ebooks, epub, nook

Sun, 18 Mar 2012

WTF is Tracker and Why is it Using All of My Memory?

Recently, I updated by Debian testing XFCE desktop. Nothing unusual there, I've been using Debian for many years and after the gnome3 disaster, have pretty much settled on XFCE. This update brought in a surprise, however. My desktop with 3GB of RAM was sluggish, and 'top' showed I was using all my RAM *and* 500MB of swap. Hmmm...

slugmax@foo:~$ ps ax -o rss,user,command | sort -nr | head -n 10 1445784 slugmax /usr/lib/tracker/tracker-miner-fs ...

What. The. Fuck. I'd never heard of 'tracker-miner-fs' before, yet here it was soaking up half my RAM. I look to see where this thing is starting.

slugmax@foo:~$ ack-grep -a tracker /etc/ /etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-store.desktop 24:Name[sl]=Shramba tracker 53:Exec=/usr/lib/tracker/tracker-store 64:X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Product=tracker /etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-miner-fs.desktop 50:Exec=/usr/lib/tracker/tracker-miner-fs ...

So a bloated Gnome utility is being started by my XFCE session manager? Sure enough, checking the XFCE settings reveals the desktop search tool tracker has been set to autostart at login. Here are the packages installed, probably brought in as a "dependency", since I had given Gnome3 a try.

root@foo:/etc/xdg/autostart# dpkg -l | grep tracker ii libtracker-client-0.8-0 metadata database, indexer and search tool - library ii libtracker-extract-0.12-0 tracker extractor library ii libtracker-miner-0.12-0 tracker data miner library ii libtracker-sparql-0.12-0 metadata database, indexer and search tool - library ii tracker metadata database, indexer and search tool ii tracker-extract metadata database, indexer and search tool - metadata extractors ii tracker-gui metadata database, indexer and search tool - GNOME frontends ii tracker-miner-evolution metadata database, indexer and search tool - evolution plugin ii tracker-miner-fs metadata database, indexer and search tool - filesystem indexer ii tracker-utils metadata database, indexer and search tool - commandline tools ...

But why was this enabled in XFCE, by default and with no warning? A bit of searching showed some other guy wondering the same thing about his KDE desktop. So lemme get this straight, a bloated Gnome desktop search utility (reminds me of the last bloated desktop search utility from Gnome, called "beagle") is being started with my XFCE desktop session? I stopped using Gnome to get away from these ridiculous, un-customizable and unusable utilities meant for the unwashed masses. GNU findutils and pdfgrep work just fine for me, thanks. Mutt lets me search my email in a myriad of ways. So next time at least ask me if I want this thing.

posted at: 20:36 | path: / | permalink | bloat, debian, desktop search, linux, memory, tracker, wtf