Thursday, April 24, 2008


I just got a new workstation at work. It's a rather powerful box running a customized openSUSE 10.3. This is quite an upgrade. One of the most visible differences between this system and my old one is the fact that I can finally switch from KDE (3.5.7) to GNOME (2.20). It's not that I'm such a GNOME fan - but it's what I'm used to on Debian, and I'd rather use it over KDE until I switch to an alternative window manager.

It took a few hours for me to realize that I got absorbed in personalizing my new box. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, the process of setting up a new machine does that to me - I lose track of time and priorities. The amount of details involved is quite amazing.

A problem that came up at an early stage was the fact that I could not launch one of my favorite tools - gnome-about-me. This is the perfect tool for a self-absorbed geek - you get a chance to setup your own persona: photo, email, home address, blog, home page, etc. I was trying to personalize the dialog box that comes up when you try to unlock the workstation after the screen-saver has kicked in: I wanted it to show my photo, as well as my name and username.

The tool is sadly missing from my box. I'm not sure why this happened - it's either the fault of our IT department, or an openSUSE problem. I decided it was probably possible to do without it. I guessed that gnome-about-me saves my personal info somewhere in my account, and tried searching for it on my home PC using grep. I lost my patience after a few minutes, and decided to leave it be - I happen to be more lazy than self-absorbed.

A few minutes later I stumbled upon a file named .face in my home PC home directory.
file ~/.face
told me that it's a GIF image, and
display ~/.face
confirmed that it was made in my own image.

So I just copied over that file from my home PC to my new workstation with scp, and was happy to discover my own face looking at me from the workstation unlock dialog box.

As for the whereabouts of the other details in my personal about box - I haven't the foggiest. And I intend to keep it this way.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks!!! I almost gave up. Why is it so hard to find the profile picture?! Took me half an hour before I stumbled across your blog. Regards, Philipp