Saturday, July 21, 2007

A red mouse pointer in Linux - The REALLY Important Things in Life ;)

For the moment -and for the last year or so- I'm running the free Linux distro "blag" from the UK. It's based on RedHat's Fedora Core 6 project, with a lot of stuff removed so that it fits on a single CD, and also a nice look, with custom visuals/login screen/backgrounds.

What it lacks, apparently like Fedora Core 6, is a set of NICE COLOUR mouse pointers. blag includes the default black cursors dubbed "bluecurve" and a white colour variation of the same. I didn't like those. I wanted a big red mouse pointer in Linux and the Gnome desktop.

Well, to make a long story short: I pulled my hair reading all the contradicting and conflicting info on changing mouse pointers. Most of the stuff on the net is seriously outdated. For instance you often find results from XFree86 lists several years back saying that Linux mouse cursors can only be black and white.

Here's how to install beautiful RED mouse pointers in blag 6K, and Fedora Core 6.x or higher for that matter:

I have settled on one of two choices: "red mix" and "Komix". I'll let you guys decide which ones are better...

1. As root, from a shell do
cd /usr/share/icons

2. If you want Komix...
tar xvfz ./Komix-0.1.tar.gz
tar xvfz ./Komix-0.1/Komix-Red-Regular.tar.gz
tar xvfz ./Komix-0.1/Komix-Red-Large.tar.gz

Go to System->Preferences->Mouse
Click on the "Pointer" tab, scroll down and find Komix_Red below LBlueCurve. Click on that option. DONE!

3. If you want "red mix"
tar xvfz ./5605-cursor_mix.tgz
Go to System->Preferences->Mouse
Click on the "Pointer" tab, scroll down and find "cursor_mix" at bottom. Click on that option. DONE!

There you have, a nice red mouse pointer that you can ALWAYS see, even with the corner of your eye.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Argentina cartoonist and comic genius died today... Roberto Fontanarrosa, we will miss you!

Today cartoonist, writer and humorist Roberto Fontanarrosa passed away.

Fontanarrosa was born in Rosario in 1944. Comic-clopedia describes him accurately: "He was a representative of the Argentinan sharp humor cartoonists that made their appearance in the 1970s. A very productive artist, he drew satirical comics and cartoons in such magazines as Boom, Hortensia, and (to this day) on the daily newspaper Clarín. Several compilation albums of his gags have appeared ('¿Who is Fontanarrosa?', 'Fontanarrosa and the medical doctors', 'Fontanarrosa and politics', 'Fontanarrosa and Relationships', 'The Sex of Fontanarrosa'). He has created numerous characters, the two most famous are the gaucho 'Inodoro Pereyra' and 'Boogie, el Aceitoso'".

If you are reading this outside Argentina, let me tell you that one of the characters of his comic, Inodoro Pereyra, a lone gaucho traveling the pampas with the companion of his talking/thinking dog, is a classic for argentineans.

I discovered him at around age 12, when I first read "Boogie, el aceitoso" (translated as "Boogie, the oily one" or the "slicky one").

Best described at Everything2, here: "First conceived when the Vietnam war was fresh in the mass unconscious of the world's peoples, Boogie is an extreme caricature of one impression the rest of the world gets from the United States. Since his birth in 1972 to the quiet retirement he faced in the late 90's, Boogie has participated in every major armed conflict that has involved the United States and is familiar with every imaginable form of inflicting pain on his fellow man (and oftentimes woman too). During peacetime, if it can so be called, for Boogie hates the word, Boogie is a professional assassin or a bodyguard, a mercenary. Occasionally, when his usual profession hits a slump, he will also accept other jobs such as babysitter (he'll give the kids plastic explosives for them to craft little animals) or romantic escort (you must understand that although he is a man, that lump you feel when slow dancing with him is in fact his revolver)."

If you read Spanish, you can have a laugh here by reading Roberto´s speech at the Spanish Language International Congress

But if you need any proof of Roberto Fontanarrosa´s genius, here´s an animation of one of his comics, with an embedded anti-war message, to boot... I don´t know about you, but if I were a foreigner, I would learn Spanish just to understand the funny animal names of this comic masterpiece, which reads as a mix of Darwin's theories of the Evolution of the Species, and a touch of "Discovery Channel" documentaries ...

(Too funny!. You can understand the meaning of it even if you don't understand a word of Spanish... he begins describing an imaginary cold dry plain... and the cold winds, and the 'threatening clouds' and then the whole ecosystem in that plain, funny creatures with even funnier names, that are eaten by predators one after the other until... watch and you'll understand :).

If you want to practise your Spanish, you can find almost all of Fontanarrosa's books on

In short: the World lost one genius today. Goodbye Roberto Fontanarrosa, we will miss you dearly...