My Recommended WordPress Themes and Plugins

After having used WordPress for a number of years, I’ve really started to get into more plugins that help me present and share my content the way I want. I’ve also gone through some themes and picked one I like, including versions for desktop and mobile. Here’s my recommendations for WordPress themes and plugins…

Themes

Twenty Eleven

twentyeleven2Twenty Eleven is still my WordPress theme of choice. It’s feature-full, clean, elegant, and problem free from my experience.

Please note it’s not actively updated so you may need to Google around for fixes. For example, I wrote a post on how to fix the featured image that is buggy in the default Twenty Eleven theme.

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How to Install Amarok 1.4 on CentOS 5

Update 2014-11-11: I have fixed the instructions as I discovered the old instructions no longer work smoothly. This worked for me earlier today when I needed a fresh Amarok install.

How to Install Amarok 1.4 on CentOS 5

I love CentOS 5 particularly because of KDE 3.5, which I just can’t seem to get on without, and Amarok which is a great music player. Here’s how to install it with all the bells and whistles, including mp3 support..

  1. yum install gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly –enablerepo=rpmforge
  2. yum install xine xine-lib –enablerepo=rpmforge
  3. yum install amarok.x86_64 –enablerepo=epel

As you can see, you’ll need the EPEL and RPMForge repositories for CentoS 5.

These simple steps worked for me out of the box on a CentOS 5.10 x86_64 KDE Desktop OS install.

Note I personally disable all third party repos by default to avoid conflicts with CentOS packages hence the ‘enablerepo’ arguments. No ‘yum priorities’ were used on the repos.

Note also on an x86_64 install you might start getting i386 package dependencies installed which are not really needed hence I installed with a ‘.x86_64’ suffix where needed in the commands above.

Better Colour Schemes for PuTTY

Update 2014-09-20: Try the Consolas font instead of the default Courier New. It’s slightly smaller but still quite readable and permits a narrow 80×40 window which I can lay out side-by-side 3 times on my desktop (1920×1080) without overlapping. That’s something you can’t do with Courier New at 80×40. Give it a try under Putty Configuration > Window > Appearance > Font Settings.

Better Colour Schemes for PuTTY

Check out the igvita.com colour schemes for putty. They’re very good and a big improvement on the default colour scheme. If I have to use a terminal on windows, putty is it and these colour schemes really make a difference in the usability of the terminal.

CentOS 5 + KDE 3.5 = A nice, productive desktop

In my travails to find a nice KDE 3.5 (as opposed to KDE 4) desktop, I’ve finally landed on CentOS 5 and, with a little tweaking, I think I can finally live with this distribution.

In my travails to find a nice KDE 3.5 (as opposed to KDE 4) desktop, I’ve finally landed on CentOS 5 and, with a little tweaking, I think I can finally live with this distribution.

I can’t deal with KDE 4. Not yet. I just hope KDE brings it up to the standards of KDE 3.5 and I hope the distros polish it quite a bit more.  Unfortunately, it has some regressions in the key areas that really affect me (konsole, kedit/kwrite/kate), etc.

One little nitpick against CentOS’s KDE which I never experienced in Gentoo’s KDE: Window focus issues. These issues come up seemingly randomly when switching between konsoles. Try quickly ALT-TAB’ing between konsoles. Quite quickly it gets “stuck”. This cascades into a mouse cursor and keyboard input problem. Clicking around the desktop or taskbar eventually gets you back but it happens frequently enough to be annoying.

But, I found an alleviation to this problem that fixes most of the issues: KDE’s Desktop Settings Wizard. Just run it and it will reset all your desktop settings (you’ve been warned). Select KDE behaviour when it asks. It does seem to have fixed window focus issues. At least they don’t happen as often as they used to.

So, if you’re a KDE 4 refugee looking for a KDE 3.5 desktop like I was, try CentOS 5. It’s probably the last long-term support distro to ship with KDE 3.5. Get it while you can!

Disdaining Gentoo (Part 2)

In a previous post I mentioned I ditched gentoo for ubuntu and then switched to kubuntu shortly after. This is all in a span of a week or two. Well, I just switched again.

In a previous post I mentioned I ditched gentoo for ubuntu and then switched to kubuntu shortly after. This is all in a span of a week or two. Well, I just switched again.

I’ve switched…back to CentOS 5. I picked this desktop once before because it still had KDE 3.5. It was a 64bit version before and it didn’t feel quite right at all. A buddy of mine guessed that distros haven’t tweaked 64bit versions as nicely as 32bit versions which have been around forever.

My problem with kubuntu is mainly KDE 4. There are some regressions I really don’t like. Konsole is much more limited now. Copy&pasting in konsole seems buggy too (copied and pasted a large shell command and it works in kde 3.5 but not 4). Kedit and kwrite are gone which I find disappointing. I had gotten into the habit of using each one for different tasks.

So, my plan is to ride CentOS 5 for as long as possible or at least as long as it takes for KDE 4 to get really polished and featureful by the distros.