• Uncategorized

    “The Great Firewall of Belgium” active

    Since today, Belgium has got it’s own version of “The Great Firewall of China”. The biggest Belgian ISPs are blocking access to several web sites, often related to child porn. The idea already existed for several months, but the implementation was probably accelerated after a Dutch guy recently created a website where he posted detailed personal information about child abusers in Belgium. While publishing such detailed private information is forbidden in Belgium, it was very difficult to take real action against the website, because it operated from abroad. So now this website is not accessible anymore from most Belgian ISPs. People who try to access this website, get redirected to…

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Fix bad performance with NVidia 177.80 drivers

    Since I upgraded to Nvidia’s beta driver series which were supposed to improve performance for KDE 4 (including the now stable version 177.80), my GNOME desktop on my system with a Geforce 6600 GT graphics card, felt a lot slower. It was most noticeable when browsing the web with Firefox. When quickly scrolling a web page with my mouse’s scroll wheel, X started eating 100% of CPU time and the image on the screen started lagging behind a lot. Also just rendering a page seemed to be much slower. Disabling smooth scrolling in Firefox, did not help at all. Searching on the web, I found out that I’m not the…

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Braindead error message of the day

    Today this popped up on my GNOME desktop after logging in: Unable to mount 50.0 GB Encrypted Data DBus error org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken. Filed as GNOME bug #552985.

  • Uncategorized

    Hiding failure thanks to photo editing

    Today, there were two funny pictures in the newspaper. You’ve surely seen the picture of 4 Iranian missiles which were launched recently in Iran. It appears that the pictures have been edited to hide the failure of one of the missiles: on the original picture one of the missiles is still on its launch pad. Apparently on the Iranian TV, yet another edited version was shown: on that picture the launch pad with the missle has been removed completely. This and other funny photo editing failures can be found in the Photoshop Disasters blog.

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Getting nice anti-aliased fonts in Debian

    Since about a year I’m using Debian on an Apple Powerbook G4 PowerPC laptop. Mandriva does not have an active PowerPC port anymore, I don’t really like Ubuntu (and their PowerPC port does not get the same priority anymore as the x86 ports), so Debian was an obvious choice for me, and I have never regretted this. One of the things that annoyed me however, was the default looks of fonts. Some fonts (especially in Firefox) did not look anti-aliased, while those that were, did not look as nice as I’m used to from Mandriva. At that time, I did not found anything better than compiling a more recent version…

  • Uncategorized

    Apple forcing its own web browser to iTunes users

    It seems that recently, Apple started pushing its Safari web browser to all Windows users having iTunes installed. I’ve never been an Apple fan: I think the OS is certainly not more userfriendly in contrast to what some people say, and although it is somewhat Unix based, they removed and re-implemented half of it (I’m thinking of things like launchd, broken NIS support and others), which is terrible for people used to *nix. And I have my doubts about the hardware too: apparently the latest generation Macbook Pro still come with way too less USB ports to work comfortobly, the international keyboards are different from standard PC keyboards, and I’m…

  • Uncategorized

    Updated Serendipity

    I just updated Serendipity, the software that is behind this web log, to version 1.3. The update went very smooth: I am using Subversion to manage this software, so a simple svn switch to Serendipity’s 1.3 branch and a few clicks to update the configuration file, sufficed to make everything up to date! I should play around a bit to see what improvements this brought me and whether the multi-language stuff finally works correctly (which I doubt, but one never knows…).

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Distribution review progress

    Currently I am trying out Mandriva 2008.0, OpenSUSE 103 and Ubuntu Gutsy in the hope of writing a detailed comparative review soon. Don’t expect it soon, as I’m currently still collecting basic information, and I have not started writing yet. And from my experience I gathered with the “What’s new in Mandriva 2008.0” article, I know that the writing alone will take a long time… Anyway, here already some early observations: The Mandriva installer is by far the best. OpenSUSE’s installer crashes in Virtualbox, and Ubuntu’s live installer requires a system with 320 MB of RAM and the alternative installer is text only. Mandriva has the best support for running…