Prep for Akademy

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In preparation for Akademy I wanted to swap out the drive from my laptop — which is full of work-work things — and drop in a new one with stuff I actually want to have with me at Akademy, like git clones of various repositories. I spent a few hours wrestling with my Lenovo x121e (AMD) laptop and FreeBSD, which taught me the following:

  1. You can update the BIOS from a USB stick using only Linux tools, and
  2. FreeBSD does not like it when the SATA controller is in compatibility mode, and either hangs or fails to find the hard drive at all; in AHCI mode things are fine, but
  3. Even the updated BIOS cannot boot from GPT partitions, so I had to be careful during installation to manually do an MBR / fdisk-based installation (this seems to preclude ZFS as well), and then
  4. Wireless isn’t automatically detected (but the WAN modem is), and suspend-resume doesn’t resume.

This makes for  less-than-stellar performance for a conference laptop; I’ll fiddle with it a little before departing for Berlin in two weeks time (isn’t Akademy in Brno? Yes, it is, but the most effective train journey takes me to Berlin first to catch up with the trainful of KDE people at 12:46 from HBf), so I may end up being a FreeBSD person sporting an OpenSUSE laptop.

For development purposes — sort of as a quick counterpart to the FreeBSD VM where I’m doing qt5-based things for KDE applications — I installed a project Neon VM. This way, too, I can check that I’m not breaking anything on non-FreeBSD systems. What I’m seeing on the desktop in that VM is not very encouraging to me, though. As used as I am to the current KDE software on OpenSUSE or FreeBSD (4.12 or whatever), the newer software feels weird and arbitrarily changed and oddly slow. That last bit might be due to VirtualBox, I don’t really know. I’ll have to attend some of the VDG or HCI topics to get a better feeling for the (visual) changes already made.