Tag: geek

Configuring MPV

I used VLC for a very long time. No longer. The other day I was watching something and I noticed how dull the colors were. It did fit the theme of the video though so I just assumed that it was a thing, except then I ran into a very colorful screenshot from the same video. What gives? In 2011, when fansubbing was huge, 10bit was the “new big thing.” It encodes colors into 10 bits into the standard 8, which results in much better colors. At least it should, as it seems VLC wasn’t able to handle that.

Example of 10bit difference

A way to extract an image from Firefox

The problem I faced: I was scrolling through a hashtag‘s timeline in Tweetdeck, when I spotted a nice image. I wanted to retweet it, but that failed: turns out the tweet was deleted in the meanwhile. This usually means that either the artist themselves deleted the tweet for some reason, or it was stolen in the first place and (by some miracle) it was moderated.

In this case it seems to have been the latter, so finding the image through the author’s profile was not an option. As Tweetdeck displays images as CSS backgrounds in the timeline, right-click “Open image in new tab” was not an option. Since the tweet was deleted, its URL was invalidated too, so I couldn’t give that to Saucenao or similar to find matches either.

However, while digging through the Firefox Dev Tools, I noticed that the context menu when right clicking the URL of the background-image had an item “Copy image data URL”. This turned out to be just what I needed.

Pasting the copied (data blob) URL to the address bar I got the image that I could magnify so that I could decipher the artist’s signature on it. (It turned out to have been a partial image so Saucenao couldn’t help either.) After a few tries I found the artist’s profile and there the original post. Yay.






スマート電球っていいね… と思っちゃった。わざわざベッドから起きなくても消せるし、スマホから操作もできるし、遠距離で点けたり消したりできるし、明度も調整できるし、強いでしょう?とか思いながらも結局金出すほどやりたいことでもなかった。そして今年の夏、ようつべでルームツアーやインテリア動画にハマった時期に紹介の動画を見たら結局衝動買いしちゃった。なぜかというとその辺飲みに行った店の内観がめっちゃササって、それっぽくできるじゃない?と思ったから。

Dual screen workspaces in Ubuntu 17.10

I expected the aardvark to break a couple of things. They switched back from Unity to Gnome, so even more than usual, I feared the system might not even start.

Compared to that, things went quite smoothly. One problem I ran into is how Gnome devs apparently never used a dual screen setup, and thought it would be a good idea to only switch workspaces on the main screen, and keep the other screen static. Needless to say, that’s not how workspaces are supposed to work.

Android and Unicode ID3 tags

For a while now I’ve been noticing that certain songs’ ID3 tags are broken when played on my Android phone. I use Black Player which in turn uses the built in Android music libraries – but I’ve checked in a number of other players too just in case and the problem persists.

My music library is extremely multilingual (and most of those languages I don’t even speak), so it’s full of UTF characters. Some of them seem to break Android’s encoding recognition. Sadly some of these triggers are pretty common, resulting in borked last.fm scrobbles. (And of course last.fm can’t be expected to be so smart as to fix all those automatically.)

Adding an SSL domain

Setting up SSL at first was a laugh. The other day though I fell victim to a sale where they gave away 10 year .tech domain registrations for a measly $40. Considering that’s basically 90%, I enthusiastically picked up a personal domain for future use.

Then again I don’t have plans of setting up a personal portfolio site for now (though I used to have one a decade ago), so I wanted to just redirect it to valerauko.net instead. That’s where things got ugly.

rm -rf

There are few things as scary as the command rm -rf. It deletes everything (it’s allowed to) without asking, recursively. Use it in the wrong place or on the wrong target and welcome to the “oh fuck” zone.

I don’t think I’ve ever had it run amok though, mostly because I don’t use the -f switch much. If something can’t be trivially deleted then it should ask me just in case. There are really damn scary stories out there about how bugs combined with rm -rf can ruin stuff.

I don’t exactly know how I ended up in the situation I did. The root of all evil was a hardlink to a directory on my server. I thought Ubuntu didn’t allow that (my server runs Ubuntu too and I just tested locally that it doesn’t let me create one), but it was still there in my www folder, pointing at the folder that contained my blog’s stuff.

Yeah, past tense.

Ubuntu DNS errors

Basically every Ubuntu upgrade I run into this issue of my network connection dropping all the time – at least it looks that way. What temporarily solves it is clicking the “Auto Ethernet” item in the Network menu, but when it happens once every few minutes, it gets pretty frustrating. Especially since plenty of JavaScript based sites don’t handle sudden errors like that properly so I often ended up clicking on the retweet button a bunch of times before I realized something was wrong and confirmed it was my connection (again) in the browser’s console.

It kept throwing errors like DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG and various other DNS related errors (NXDOMAIN, NO_INTERNET). Searching the net gives plenty of options for possible points of failure, and fixing the NetworkManager.conf (that was overwritten during the upgrade) helped me before.

Clementine DBus changes with Ubuntu 17.04

My #nowplaying poster for Clementine stopped working with the upgrade to Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty. After short debugging with D-feet it turned out that there were some changes to the way it interacts with DBus – which is, I guess, also the reason why it can be controlled properly through the Media menu now.

However, I was (am) totally ignorant re: DBus, so figuring out how this pretty complex system worked, in one hour, still slightly tipsy, past 2am, was not exactly a simple task. Though it was still faster and easier than getting vsftpd to work properly (sober and early afternoon), as there I just gave up and apt-get purged it.