Appendicitis and all things Appendix

I’ve had an interesting week, last Sunday I was feeling pretty sick and wrecked all day long with a bit of vomiting really early in the morning, I didn’t think too much of it thinking that it was probably just a bit of food poisoning and that I would get over it relatively quickly.

Well I went to work on Monday feeling like death but as the day wore on I felt better and better. I went to Mum and Dad’s place and told Mum how bad I was feeling, she asked me about the pain, told me she thought it was Appendicitis and that I should goto the doctor.

My next step was getting on a bus to Brisbane, and I felt fine, but following Doctor Mum’s best advice my next stop was to a real doctor in Taringa and then Emergency. The doctor in emergency wasn’t entirely sure about it, but the surgeon penciled me in for surgery the next day. I was out the day after.

There has been alot said about the public health system here in Queensland with some possible poor decisions made by the current or previous governments, however I was happy with the experience. It’s possible that it’s due to the fact I was considered an emergency or to a quiet week, but my experience was extremely positive.

Open Office Preferences Dialog

The OpenOffice 2 preferences dialog boxes are downright terrible. To select which document format to Save As, you have to select “Text Document” from one dropdown box and then change a second dropdown to “Microsoft Word”, then to edit the preference for Calc, you have to change the first dropdown box, which automatically changes the second back to where ever the setting is for Calc. It’s completely unintuitive.

I think it stems from the beginning of their preferences dialog, it has a tree navigation down the left and updates a pane on the right. It seems to be standard to have a tabbed interface for preferences, bringing up a second modal window if necessary. It seems like the OOO guys are sacrificing screen real estate for intuitiveness.

Multiple Monitors on Ubuntu

I’ve spent a couple of days trying to get multiple monitors working on my desktop at home. I wanted to get it working in a similar way to Windows with Ultramon. This basically puts an individual task bar on your extra monitors. While there isn’t any real documentation on how to do this at the moment it is simple. The setup should be using Xinerama, without using it, the monitors act as separate computers with a common keyboard and mouse.

If you are using Gnome, right-click on any of the existing panels and select “New Panel”. This will give you an extra panel which you can drag to wherever you like on the second screen. To add functionality, right-click on the new panel and select “Add to panel” this let’s you add desktop switchers, application menus and application switchers.

Dave has been trying to get a similar thing working with remote computers as the second head. He is currently using x2x which uses the VNC protocol, but I don’t think it will allow him to use Xinerama. He found another project that may allow him to get all the flexibility he wants, DMX.

Spike Magazine

A new Australian volleyball magazine called Spike has just started being published. While the website isn’t really too pretty, the publication is great. It has a good combination of beach and indoor and the articles are well written and informative. I hope they keep up the good work.