29. July, 2014
To help people to learn how to make good photos (and what lighting, distance, focal length, aperture, ISO, etc. means), Jon Arnold created a game called “CameraSim” that looks a lot like an ego shooter. But instead of enemies, you have several stages where you can shoot photos.
Gamification for the win!
20. June, 2014
Soon, we’ll have computers with 1024 cores but that won’t help unless software developers write code that make use of them.
To do that, you need a fundamental understanding on how threads work and what parallel algorithms are and what the real-world problems might be.
Dmitry Vyukov has created a web site “1024cores” which gives you both an introduction to the basics (what are we talking about? which tools to we have? what is a memory model and why should I care?) as well as some practical algorithms like concurrent skip lists with detailed descriptions of the problems that you will encounter and how to fix them.
If you want to know what the discussion is all about or if you want to polish your knowledge or if you need a specific solution, this is a good place to start :-)
7. May, 2014
“Non-interactive” and “debugger” seem to be contradictory but bear with me. YouDebug is a tool which allows you to debug a running Java application with a script.
How could this be useful? From the website:
[...]your program fails at a customer’s site with an exception, but you can’t (or don’t want to) reproduce the problem on your computer[...]
Sounds like a familiar problem: Customer has a problem but they can’t give you access for security, legal or technical reasons. You can’t go there (too far away) of even if you could, security won’t let you touch anything.
In a nutshell, YouDebug is a debugger that is controlled by a Groovy script:
This sets a breakpoint in line 7 of “SubStringTest” and then prints the value of the local variable “s”.
Granted, it’s more time-consuming then doing it yourself (and you may need several attempts to get at the bottom of things) but you don’t have to install an IDE at your customer site, you don’t have to bring the source code along and technically, the customer is already running code that you wrote so from a legal and security point of view, this isn’t much different.
3. May, 2014
Disabled people aren’t handicapped, they are getting obstructed.
17. April, 2014
This article contains a good summary of the Heartbleed bug and it’s consequences.
Want to know whether you’re affected? Check sites you use here: filippo.io/Heartbleed/
Note: You will want to check the issue date of the certificate as well. If it was issued before the April 8th, 2014, you may still be vulnerable since an attacker might have stolen the private keys.
27. March, 2014
With KDE 4.11, a new annoying feature was added: The window manager now moves a window beyond the screen edge. The original idea was to make the scroll bar easily accessible.
But a lot of people didn’t like this for various reasons.
My reason is that I use clicking on the window border to move a window to the front. By careful arrangement of the windows on my second monitor, I can easily switch between 5 windows by moving them against the screen edge: That way, I can use the mile high menu bar trick to position the mouse and one click to bring the window to the front (and no, I can’t use the usual click to front behavior; I know much better than the computer when I want to change the stacking order and when not).
With the window border hidden beyond the screen edge, this wasn’t possible anymore.
Here is a script that solved the issue for me: Snap to Deco 1.1
Once downloaded, the script needs to be installed via
> plasmapkg -t kwinscript -i filename.kwinscript
which unpacks and copies files to ~/.kde4/share/apps/kwin/scripts/ but doesn’t activate them. In order to activate, use the scripts KCM (KConfig Module) graphical interface:
> kcmshell4 kwinscripts
and tick the required script.