As I mentioned in a previous post, I needed something different to occupy my mind with than reading rules books, such as Dungeons&Dragons in its fifth edition. I read some books on philosophy, music, and spent time with music engraving using LilyPond and Frescobaldi.
Frescobaldi comes with many helpful tools, and an assistant for different applications (e.g. engraving vocal leadsheets, or a guitar, and bass tablature) but I want to understand the lilypond document structure, and so I practiced writing the code by hand. Somewhere along the way I was reminded of LyX, and LaTeX, so I read up on both, installed it, and quickly realized that this was exactly what I needed.
I've noticed my preference for writing plain text over using word-processors before, namely when using distraction-free editors such as PyRoom, or just gedit. And I loved writing in qed on my Atari Clone/Milan, too.
Now, with LaTeX I get to write plain text with markup, and receive a well-set text at the press of a button, or keyboard command. (It's relatively easy, and LyX is supportive.) LilyPond can be used within LaTeX documents, too. So, now I have the tools to write and publish for music tuition, and do it all in one document.
During the process of getting to know LaTeX I picked up work on a novel again, and finally visited an important chapter, which had been hidden from my inner eye before.
I didn't stop there, instead I went on, and installed emacs and org-mode and since then use it to organize TODO lists, projects, diary, and calendar entries. I get weary learning the keyboard commands, and I am rewarded by working faster, and with more joy. Keyboard commands are great. I can surf the web more gracefully now, using keyboard commands with Firefox.
Then, last night I had the impulse to install Arch Linux on my desktop computer. I failed the first time, messing up my GRUB file for the other operating systems, but I was not discouraged, and read the Beginner's Guide again, browsed the web, read up on GRUB configuration, and then succeeded in installing Arch Linux with the Gnome 3, and MATE desktop environments. MATE is more my cup of tea; there's just less distraction for me. After getting accustomed to Arch, and MATE, I installed Tex Live, LyX, Texmaker, LilyPond, Frescobaldi, emacs /w org-mode, and Python 3 along with the Eric IDE. No media stuff. So, when I start the desktop and choose Arch Linux I can sit and work on my LaTeX documents, engrave music, and learn to program with Python.
Getting the Arch Linux installation right was an initiatory step.
Since LibreOffice, and the odt format is used for Basic Fantasy publications, I will continue to use it for Basic Fantasy supplements, and the German translation.
Operating Systems in use (updated)
- Ubuntu Studio 14.04.1 (xfce, MATE, awesome wm) for audio (ardour3), and graphics (krita, inkscape, gimp), the occasional dvd (vlc), and some rare games (mahjongg - I beat the one minute threshold for solving the hard game left-handedly with my graphic tablet), as well as GNUCash, and other useful software.
- Arch Linux (Mate, awesome WM) set up as a rather distraction-free environment, especially now that I use awesome.
- Ubuntu 14.04.1 (MATE, Unity) on my netbook.
Random RPG thought of the month
"Rolemaster's Orientation roll is probably the most underrated roll of all."
Donna Tartt 'Die geheime Geschichte'; Mason Currey 'Daily Rituals', Cody Jackson 'Learning to Program Using Python'
P.S.: One of those eco light bulbs just died on me... Is that a sign? Return to candles!