* Posts by Gerhard den Hollander

223 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Feb 2007


Wayland takes the wheel as Red Hat bids farewell to X.org

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Screensaver

I do.

I've been compiling the latest xscreensaver on whatever happens to be my current Linux desktop since xscreensaver 1.14 ( I think, the one with nose guy added).

So far I've ran it on convex, sunos, Solaris, irix, whatever the Unix was on a Dec alpha and various Linux flavors.

It also runs on my iPhone but I haven't figured out how to get it to run automatically if

1) it's plugged in

2) not closed ( well the protective cover is not closed)

3) not horizontal

USB Cart of Death: The wheeled scourge that drove Windows devs to despair

Gerhard den Hollander

Docking stations

With the ( to me) recent switch to usb-c connected docking stations which drive multiple monitors of different resolution, at least one nice, sound, a bunch of legacy USB Shit from sometimes literally the previous Millennium, mice with built in color changing leds bought for less than 5 ucu from some Chinese Ali baba clone website, connected to a USB hub in one of those monitors and then plugging in usb3 disk drives in the same slot that a microsecond ago was syncing iTunes to their phone, yes, USB induced bsods are making a comeback.

Esp If the aforementioned docking station was being powered by the power brick from their first laptop from over a decade ago which was already plugged in and nicely cable tied to the bottom of the desk.

Videoconferencing fatigue is real, study finds

Gerhard den Hollander

What a negativity

In the comments.

Having experienced wfh and in person office and now enjoying the benefit of hybrid working, I try to schedule my days such that most meetings can happen in person as much as possible and use the wfh days to focus.

Having endured both, a day filled with in person meetings is not much fun, but a day filled with video meetings is soul draining, despair inducing and brain melting.

At least I got the washing done.

And even there is the rub, after a really bad day of really bad meetings, hanging around the coffee machine and sharing the grief w/ colleagues is a lit better than trying to explain to your partner why your day left you soulless.

Or some days in stead of the coffee machine the beer fridge. Or maybe som9ne had a decent bottle of red in their office drawer for just this kind of emergency.

Whereas drinking after work in a wfh situation just marks you as an alcoholic.

Remembering the time Windows accidentally sent Poland to the bottom of the sea

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Rome or Vatican?

it's the only city to contain an entire country

Beta driver turned heads in the hospital

Gerhard den Hollander

I prefer multiple monitors, one of which is in portrait mode, the rest in landscape ...

Whenever people in the office got a new monitor, IT was kind enough to donate the (now) spare monitor to me, so I now have 4 of them on my desk.

Not yet terry pratchett level, but quite handy and useful

Resilience is overrated when it's not advertised

Gerhard den Hollander

Wouldnt he have noticed ?

That the server had only half the expected CPU and only half the expected memory ?

Or was he administering so many machines he didnt know how much meory/cpu there was supposed to be in this one ?

I'm assuming that since there was telnet to the machine he could have checked the amount of memory and amount of CPUs ?

Can noise-cancelling buds beat headphones? We spent 20 hours flying to find out

Gerhard den Hollander

aeropex / aftershokz

thumbs up to the ppl mentioning aftershokz

Perfect if you go anywhere where being aware of your surroundings can be vital for your survival (which is pretty much everywhere outside the house, and quite a lot of places in the house)

Also really nice when on the plane you can hear the stewardess is asking you something (not what they are asking, but at least that they are asking).

Indeede, they are not noise cancelling, but unless you're in the back of a Tu-154 between the engines an appropriate playlist can drown out the background noise just as well (Helloween, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Tool, the mighty Mogwai)

And since they're bone conducting, you can use any kind of earplugs to block out all the other sounds (or so they say, I've never tried)

One of the world's most prominent blockchain apps looks like being binned

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Today you could just search\replace 'blockchain' in this

remember, you cannot type blockchain without typing AI

Shocks from a hairy jumper crashed a PC, but the boss wouldn't believe it

Gerhard den Hollander

And the fun that could be had by rotating these mouse mats 90 degrees ....

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss

Gerhard den Hollander

Supreme Head of Information Technology

At some point we ended up with someone in charge of IT who did not really have the required skills (neither technical nor interpersonal) so we started referring to him as the supreme head of information technology.

Which he overheard

He liked it so much he started signing his emails with it

We never managed to get him business cards with that title on it

My God, it's full of tabs: Vivaldi's coolest new features shine on phones and cars

Gerhard den Hollander

OperaGX , to me at least the spiritual succesor to Opera.

You can ignore all the gaming bits, it actually is a really great browser that does almost everything I need it to do (YMMV)

Two signs in the comms cabinet said 'Do not unplug'. Guess what happened

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Physical Methods Trump Signs in Any Language

plugs that only a specialised plug could fit into still get unplugged to see if it will take a charger.

I even had a cable that was not only marked ``do not unplug'' but even duct-taped to the scoket being removed just because someone needed a wall socket, and this one was nearest

Evernote's fall from grace is complete, with sale to Italian app maker

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Zawinki's Law...

They tried to make evernote read your email , as well as read all your other data ...

did not go well

AMD’s latest, greatest Radeon graphics card $600 cheaper than Nvidia’s top RTX 4090

Gerhard den Hollander

fans ....

I'm actually more interested in the fans, ever since I had to share an office with a coworker who had a slightly off fan on his videocard ...

it's a bit like Vetinari's clock ... the annoying tick would be regular, and just as you were gettingused to it, the fan would change speed (or whatever it is) and the tick would be different ....

Tetchy trainee turned the lights down low to teach turgid lecturer a lesson

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Old School

Exactly that ...

plus, it forced you to pay attention, rather then to think you'd have the printouts of the ppt so you can sleep through the lecture ...

Sheesh, whatever happened to bumming the course notes from your fellow students in exchnage for a few beers because you happened to miss the early morning class .... usually because someone had bummed your notes in exchange for a few beers the night before ....

Besides that ..

you had monitors ?

Luxury ...

we had a teacher who made handwritten notes on the blackboard

in about as legible a handwriting as my own

and who kept talking while making these notes

which meant he had his back to the class, and was even less comprehensible then

Fixing an upside-down USB plug: A case of supporting the insupportable

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Wrong RAM

Maybe he used to replace ram in Sun Ultra machines.

I think it was the U60 where you had to press down on the ram so hard the motherboard literally started bending before the ram would fit.

And this was proper Sun original sun certified memory ...

we found that the (relatively) cheaper 3rdparty memory would fit a lot easier (still requiring ridiculous amounts of force though).

but the sight of my colleague bearing down his full weight on the ram, and the mobo bending was quite something

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Smoke

Those are the extra e-lectrons he picked up ....

BOFH and the case of the disappearing teaspoons

Gerhard den Hollander

Im tempted to hit the Report abuse button here ....

Axing SFTW is akin to abuse ,,,

And no official communication from el reg ?

First userfriendly.org .. now this ....

Mouse hiding in cable tray cheesed off its bemused user

Gerhard den Hollander

Had a colleague running a big computational job on a sun monster (48 cpus back when that was a lot). To prevent anyone from using that machine we'd disabled remote login for normal users and swapped the dual monitors ( gorgeous 21inchers) for a single 17inch one. Job was running for 3 weeks ( out of an estimated 5) when a colleague spilt coffee on his own keyboard.

And decided to swap it.

Gerhard den Hollander

Swapping PS/2 mice ?

I hope the user remembered to poweroff the machine between swapping PS/2 connected mice ...

or maybe the mice happened to be safe

I've seen at least 2 machines where the user managed to blow up the ps/2 ports by hotswapping a mice with another (optical) mice .

Post-quantum crypto cracked in an hour with one core of an ancient Xeon

Gerhard den Hollander


Elliptic curves.

We'rent those the things Willey used to prove Fermats last theorem.

Elliptic curves are full of hidden depths and unexpected shortcuts.

Getting that syncing feeling after an Exchange restore

Gerhard den Hollander

When was the last time you tested your backups by doing a restore ?

Tell me about that .....


If I accidentally deleted a folder , how long would it take to restore ?

Shall we try ?

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

Gerhard den Hollander

Walk and talk

never under estimate the benefit of just spending a day in a client office, nibbling biscuits and just talking (and listening)

Old-school editor Vim hits version 9 with faster scripting language

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Vigor

Sadly not even vim9 includes vigor

Windows 11 22H2 is almost here. Is it ready for the enterprise?

Gerhard den Hollander

Much ado about nothing

I may be the odd one out here, but I was volunteered to be the Guinea pig to have his machine upgraded, but other than some cosmetic changed ( I like rounded corners, had them on Linux since kde2) and some changes to the start menu ( which don't really bother as I hardly use the start menu) I have not noticed anything much

A miserable work week spent toiling inside 'the metaverse'

Gerhard den Hollander

Eye strain

Having to wear monitors a few inches from your eye will always cause eyestrain after a while.

Your eyes need to unfocus regularly.

One of the biggest helps combating eyestrain when working from home the last few years was putting a little gap between 2 of the monitors so I can gaze out through the window behind into the distance without even having to turn my head.

Doesn't matter that the view is just the street.

The next time your program is 'not responding,' (do not) try these steps

Gerhard den Hollander

not responding ....

The whole, ohhh the app looks like it has started immediately, now it's sitting there not responding is just the app doing everything and cleaning the kitchensync as part of it's startup process .

It just throws something at the screen quickly, so that it looks it has started

And then it goes off and does silly shit like looking online for an update, using a webaddress that is no longer valid (but the fix for that is in the update ), trying to make a rolling snapshot of it's internal database

having a quiet laugh at the contents of your Pictures folder

reading your email, and replying to 5 random of them

and all the while forgetting to send a sign of life to windows, so that the app literally is not responding .

We used to have splash screens for that

Email domain for NPM lib with 6m downloads a week grabbed by expert to make a point

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Six million times a week!

it's how npm programming works

whenever you do an npm build, npm goes out to the internet and downloads any missing dependencies, so anyone who creates a new npm project (whether to quickly test something, homework or ....) will need to include some packages, most of which will include foreach

npm (at least by default) fetches fresh dependencies for each project.

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: No software can be trusted

And need to be absolutely sure of yourself .

Many languages have the equivalent of C's smashing the stack for fun and profit

or the odd corner case where the user supplies a 4G+1 character string as input

An international incident or just some finger trouble at the console?

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Typing is not a good idea.

Well ... if I had a beer for every tme someone copied/pasted something that didnt work because they accindetally copied (pick your choice), the enclosing quotes, the pre or post whitespace, the punctuation mark, the ALL CAPITALS that followed the 4 character queue they had to type in.

Heck, they at least once managed to include the next line after I'd helpfully put the magic word on a single line by itself to prevent all of the above .....

Fedora starts to simplify Linux graphics handling

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Yikes.....I haven't heard ANY useful answers to this question...please help!

> Personally I do not use any of this X-over-the-network stuff and never have, I'm afraid.

> The sysadmin types I talk to use ssh and so on, command-line stuff, and don't care about desktops much.

I use it on a daily basis, working from home on a windows box, cygwin/X , ssh into the linux box at work, run linux GUI stuff.

Same when working in the office, we have a few dozen powerful linux boxes in the server room, ssh into a few of them, start our software, use the GUI to set the computations, let the computations run, see the QC screens being X11 forwarded to my local box, ssh into the next machine onward and upward.

yes, theoretically you can do this with VNX or !M or rdesktop or ... but anyone who says that has never tried to do this on a day to day basis .. i can have 3 smallish progress monitoring thingies in the top left corner of my left most monitor to see whats going on on all 3 machines, trying to see the same thing with VNS is a nightmare

Sorry, remote X is awesome ..

heck, i've been running jobs on machine across the globe using X11 forwarding over the equivalent of ISDN lines where the fact I could do GUI forwarding saved the company a fair amount in plane tickets (and saved me a huge amount of sleepless nights and jetlags)

Heresy: Hare programming language an alternative to C

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Now C hare....

And perl for scripting.

The Swiss army chain saw of scripting languages

Atlassian outage lingers, sparking data loss fears

Gerhard den Hollander

I think thats the problem right there ?

Is there even a way to backup jura and confluence data ?

In such a way that it can be restored?

The latter an oft-overlooked issue w/ backups

Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Been there, done that, tipped the swear jar

I just cleaned up a piece of code about to go commercial, that childishly I know, featured all kinds of punes (or play on words) around the fact that the description could be abbreviated to R.E.A.P and so had to remove the Non Timetus Messor window title, or the little scythe in the icon ... or ....

Food for thought on the return to the office

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: chocolate

Being the IT guy I was once upon a time asked to assist in cleaning the hot beverage machine as the person who usually did it was on vacation.

I'll spare you the details, but I'll never ever drink hot chocolate from such a machine again.

And the person who normally did this was very thorough. What I saw was just the accumulation I'd a week and a bit.

If the machine is not properly cleaned, what's in there can probably be trained to do telemarketing .

Coffee has a separate circuit.

To err is human. To really tmux things up requires an engineer

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Moar visibility

Have an upvote for using screen.

Same here, multiple screen sessions

In theory each machine has it's own xterm in which i have a screen session running.

However many a times the temptation to just ssh into the next machine in stead of spawning yet another xterm is too big.

Hence my shell prompts also include the machine name, current working directory and effective user

(or depending on what I do some other critical bits of information, like whether i'm looking at release or debug builds or )

Windows box won't boot? SystemRescue 9 may help

Gerhard den Hollander

Das Knoppix

I still have a knoppix DVD around, and if I dig hard enough I should be able to find that USB stick that was knoppix bootable

I also for years have used my trusty Knoppix CD as a tea coaster (no beer during work hours) once I no longer needed it because I had the DVD/USB combo.

I should probably make myself a new one just because I can

Is it decadent that I use four different computers each day, at different times?

Gerhard den Hollander

Only 4 sheesh...

Looking around I see about a dozen books lying around, plus a few hundred in the book case.

Including Dickens xmas stories. There used to be a complete set of Discworld books. But it seems the one ppl return to me are not the ones I lent them ( I now have 2 Eric's and men at arms is missing and there are 3 more where I'm reasonably sure I know who has them)

I've heard about e-readers, have even tried 2 different ones. They are not for me... Sorry.

Even when traveling light I try to take at least a few ( and buy more at the airport)

Playing jigsaw on my roof: They can ID you from your hygiene habits

Gerhard den Hollander

Waste paper bins

Over here we have recycling bins to discard paper etc in.

You put the bin once a month at the curbside and they get emptied.

Paper/cardboard only, no general waste allowed.

Miscreants get fined.

Therefore all bins are labeled with you home address

Plus anyone who has my name and knows the village I live in can lookup my address and phone number in the online phone directory

Microsoft: What's that? A patch for make-me-admin vuln? Sorry – can't hear you. Have a new jumper instead

Gerhard den Hollander

In retrospect, they should have helped shoveling the burning coal overboard...

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions

Gerhard den Hollander



Back in the previous Millennium had a proof of concept car that used a joystick in stead of a steering wheel.

Since steering wheels are not what you'd want to enter your body when you hit something this made sense from a safety point of view

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: How to deal with calls

Dear sir,

As per your request, I am sending you this email in relation to our telephone earlier (around 1:56 AM ).

The problem is still not solved. Please refer to our telephone conversation for details about this problem.

As it is imperative that this problem is solved, I've cc:ed my manager.

Kind regards,

Ex-org? Not at all! Three and a half years after X.Org Server 1.20, 1.21 is released

Gerhard den Hollander


Xscreensaver does not work under Wayland

I'm not going to give up a tool I've been using for 30 years (1.13 I think) just because some newfangled kid on the block doesn't want me to.

All I want for Christmas is a delivery address that a delivery courier can find

Gerhard den Hollander

``we know what you did'' is even more worrying


``we know where the bodies are buried''

is also a good one

(the correct answer likely to be ``at the cemetry'' )

What if Chrome broke features of the web and Google forgot to tell anyone? Oh wait, that's exactly what happened

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

Oddly enough I'm reading (and posting) this using OperaGX.

I've switched back to opera dureing the pandemic, and was surprised it how good it (once again) is.

It may not have everything you need (though I would be interested to hear what) but it certainly has everything I need, and things that I cannot really do without anymore (workspaces for the win).

Firewalls? Pfft – it's no match for my mighty spares-bin PC

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Guess what I found!

But honestly, isn't this way much more fun ?

From book shop to tat bazaar to cloud behemoth to grocer, what's Amazon up to now? Augmented-reality hairstyles

Gerhard den Hollander

A cut above the rest

Hairkut 2000

DBA heroes don't always wear capes. Sometimes they just have a bunch of forgotten permissions

Gerhard den Hollander

> A rare breed in the boss stakes, for sure. Then again, this is his story after all.

Very nicely put ... well done

How do you save an ailing sales pitch? Just burn down the client's office with their own whiteboard

Gerhard den Hollander

Re: Lies

I was wondering the same thing ...

unless the whiteboard was accepting only 110V and there was supposed to be a transformer in between to take the 220 and downgrade it to 11 and with only the cable they fed it directly 220 ?

And yes, I have accidentally blown up a PC ones that was sent back to our office from a remote location that used 110 and I forgot to check the setting before plugging it into 220

but other than the prongy bits at the end I've never had an issue with cables ...

and I've had a few colleagues who moved from a 110V country to overhere, and they've all happily used plugconverters and extension cords without any of their electornic toys going bang

This product is terrible. Can you deliver it in 20 years’ time when it becomes popular?

Gerhard den Hollander

I just want to thank you for introducing the word ``zob'' to my vocabulary ..

Ah ... zodd off you silly english k-nig-hts ...