Tag: geek

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.


I hate my body

I mean it. I don’t mean it in the emo teen way of being unsatisfied with my body. It’s vexing that my body doesn’t work the way I want it to. And even if it’s got a relatively high uptime, just as with an ISP, if it goes down even just once a week, then that ISP is shit – and my uptime’s not that good.


That S

As you may have noticed, my site is now secured by Let’s Encrypt. They’re an EFF-backed org who provide free certs to encrypt. There’s still plenty of fine tuning to do still, but it’s pretty simple to use so I’m not concerned. In the first place, I’m not familiar with the practicalities of using encryption on my server, so there’s still plenty to learn.


Earphones

About a year ago, I played so much LLSIF that the earphone jack on my phone broke. The jack is right where I hold the phone and I guess it didn’t appreciate the constant pressure. At the time I only just got the phone so I didn’t feel like returning it for fixing, so instead I bought bluetooth earphones. This proved to be a good choice, since a few months later I started going to the gym every day and not having to carry around my phone to have music is great there.

I bought Jabra Rox, and it’s working just fine to this day. Its batteries last for 2-4 hours depending on volume, which is sufficient for me as I mostly listen to music commuting and in the gym (which totals a little over 2 hours). The sound is all right too. There’s enough bass to satisfy me and the rest works just fine too.


Hyperproxy

What I wanted to achieve: be able to play KanColle while visiting my family in Hungary, without all the geolocking hassle. There is an update scheduled for the time I’m gone, so I can’t avoid reloading the game. Which means that I need a VPN or proxy in Japan so that DMM won’t block me out.

Plan: set up a Raspberry Pi box behind my router and use that as proxy.