Monday, September 25, 2006

Gnome-VFS is getting old

Alexander Larrson (RedHat) has been a developer and maintainter of Gnome-VFS for a while now.
He said in this mail a few days back, that he thinks it's time to replace Gnome-VFS.


While the idea behind Gnome-VFS is bloody briliant, its architecture and other stuff are getting old. I sure hope the replacement will be good, but I don't really doubt about that.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


In all the excitement of Upstart by Scott James Remnant, you might have forgotten this other project by the same guy, Teardown.
The target of Teardown is best described with the usecase on the Teardown wiki page:

Matt is a laptop user, when he shuts down his laptop he doesn't want to have to wait for almost a minute before the laptop has actually powered off.

What it actually does, is remove all redundant and unnecessary symlinks to init scripts in the rc directories. Most scripts only send a TERM signal to their corresponding processes while this is also done by sendsigs. So most of them are redundant. On the teardown wikipage you can find a list of init scripts the developers found where only sending a TERM signal or doing nothing at all!

To those who are thinking, "What the **** is TERM signal?", Teardown just makes your computer shutdown within a few seconds (read: very fast compared to the current shutdown process).

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

1 Ubuntu user + 1 Ubuntu user = 2 Ubuntu users

Help the Ubuntu counter, add yourself and your machines running Ubuntu, to the Ubuntu counter project.

I am Ubuntu user #7442:

The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 7442

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Beagle a dog I like & Rhythmbox or Banshee

Beagle a dog I like

As I told you, I reinstalled my Ubuntu PC a few days ago, and since I had some bad experience with Beagle destroying my filesystem in the past, I didn't use it on my old install. But today I gave it another shot, since a lot has happened for Beagle between the old and the new Ubuntu.To be honest, I don't like dogs so much, but this one, man do I like it. Now I can't imagine how I could have ever lived without it. Really great.

Rhythmbox or Banshee

A struggle continuing on my desktop is the choice between Banshee and Rhythmbox, I still can't decide which one is going to be my default player. In the near future I am going to write a comparison from my point of view with the advantages and disadvantages, in my opinion, of the two competitors.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Help Firefox win the battle

Help Firefox win the battle against Internet Explorer. This time not by reporting bugs, helping developers, promote it amongst friends and family.

But with a plain old game of checkers, go play.

Vote for your Linux preferences launched its 2006 Desktop Linux survey on August 21, asking users of Linux desktops to identify what distributions they use, as well as their choice of windowing environment (KDE, GNOME, etc.), web browsers, email clients, and Windows-on-Linux solutions.

Well I think it might be a good idea to tell about your preferences, so go vote now!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Long time, no blog - Some time, long blog

Well it has been over almost two months since my last blog post.
I've been busy with all kinds of things, working, helping charity, having vacation, partying. But I thought it was time to add another post to my blog.

Two days ago I reinstalled my Ubuntu PC. I was still using an install which originated from an early beta, which I updated to another beta. Then I installed XGL using one of the nastiest methods and updated to another beta and finnaly to the stable after that.
Well the system was all sluggish and instable because of my crappy XGL install. So I decided it was time for a reinstall. And woopidoo, does this baby run like a charm now. This time without XGL.
I changed the human window theme because I was bored of it and I still affiliated the caramel color with a sluggish system :).
While browsing through the themes that come standard with every Ubuntu install I found one called Silicon, and man do I like it. I especially like the colors (grayish brown) of the title bar and the nice buttons on it, and of course the "not rounded shape" of the window borders.

Of course I was also bored with the fancy shining orange folder icons. So I decided to go with the Tango icon theme on which the Human icon theme is based. The button icons are almost all the same, and it has some nice mat blue colored folder icons.

The next day a friend of mine called me, and we were talking about some things and at one moment he said: "Oh by the way I just installed Ubuntu on a PC I had spare.". Ofcourse I was totally flabbergasted, because I didn't expect him to, so the duration of the phonecall got extended a bit (1.5 hours). I explained a lot of things, from where Linux comes from, where the Canonical gets its funds, who Mark Shuttleworth is, what philosophy drives most opensourcers have, how the community takes part in all this, etc, etc.
He got more and more interested and maybe Ubuntu has another (parttime) user. At one point in the conversation he asked me what KDE was and to what he could compare it (of all the things I told him). Well saying he could compare it with Gnome here would be a plain lie :). So my answer was: "Rommel" (Garbage). I told him it's a desktop environment like Gnome is, and explained him some of the differences. After like two sentences he was completely cured from the KDE idea.
While I was argumenting why Gnome and especially GTK are so great (although he is not an IT person, but a technician nonetheless), I got excited about using GTK again myself. So I decided to install MonoDevelop.The last version of MonoDevelop I installed, on my old Ubuntu install, was I believe a 0.8 and it lacked a lot of things one needs. But the 0.10 shipped with Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake is pretty good, it lacks some things, but it is absolutely useful.

I'll wrap it up because this post is getting pretty long. Probably Ubuntu is getting another user, the father of one of my collegues is willing to give Ubuntu a shot. So I'm going to install Ubuntu on his PC coming thursday and friday and he will try it for a while and then decide to keep on using it, or maybe reverting back to Windows. One advantage is he is very open minded for inovation. He might just love Ubuntu ;).

To prevent these long posts in the future I will try to make some time to at least blog once every week.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Je kunt zeggen van Belgen wat je wil

Maar wij kunnen nog wel iets van ze leren.
Zie alhier een artikel op ZDNet.

ODF for the win!

Nu Nederland nog.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

True Hitchhiker

Happy Towel Day!
"...any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with." - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Check out Dennis' Towel Day entry!

R.I.P. Douglas Adams

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tomorrow is the day

As I informed all of you almost a month ago, the big day is tomorrow.

Because most (if not all) of the shops in The Netherlands will be closed tomorrow, I hereby inform you to go get a towel today if you don't have one ;)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

80s Videoclips

The fact that the 80s probably produced the most awkward music videos of all time isn't anything new.

But today I found one from Finnish origin on Google Video that just beats the rest in every aspect. I had to laugh out loud, especially about the background dancers.

The 80s, what a wonderfull era.

Friday, May 05, 2006

One way or another

If Microsoft Office doesn't come to ODF, then ODF will come to Microsoft Office.

If you don't like plug-ins, use a better Office suite, like

Friday, April 28, 2006

Package Mayhem

Today I found a little bug in gnome-about-me, the application used to set all personal data of a user (Name, Address, etc). I didn't find a package on launchpad that said gnome-about-me, so I posted it under gnome-desktop.
And as you can read in the comments on the bugreport I got a wonderful tip I found valuable enough to blog about ;)

Sebastien Bacher:
Thanks for your bug. About the right package:
$ dpkg -S gnome-about-me
gnome-control-center: /usr/bin/gnome-about-me

Type "dpgk -S " followed by a binary name, and you will get the name of the package containing it.

Simply Great.

Update: Read the comments for some really useful tips by "Anonymous".

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Edgy ...

Today the name for the Ubuntu Dapper +1 release has been published.
It will be "Edgy Eft".

And know what, I dislike it, I don't want a reptile I want a fish.

Anyone interested in a petition for "Edgy Eel"?
I just like the sound of that.

Microsoft Internet Explorer being more correct than Firefox

To give some credit to the Microsoft Internet Explorer developers, after bashing them in my last post, I thought it was fair to post the following discovery.

I was making a form in HTML, but it showed up in MSIE with some space above and beneath it. Ofcourse my reaction was, "oh no, not again" (just like the bowl of petunias).
Looking into the subject deeper I made a shocking discovery. The MSIE developers are actually more correct here than the Firefox (Gecko engine) developers. Not that the lather are wrong, the MSIE ones are just more correct.

As can be read in this W3 encouragement, developers should give the <form> element the following CSS option by default: "margin: 1.33em 0". Which tells us the form should have a default margin to its top and botton of 1.33em.

I can tell you one thing, I was flabbergasted ;)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Why exactly do people use Microsoft Internet Explorer?

The last few days I have been working on a website I am making for someone. The website must be readable and look good in Microsoft Internet Explorer (the application some refer to as a browser).
I lost about 5 hours trying to work around some bugs in MSIE way of rendering CSS2. Later I will make a post about these specific bugs and their fixes, although I am thinking of making a seperate blog to post about all MSIE quirks I stumble upon.

Earlier this day I received a video showing the weakness of MSIE in another way, it will always be the weaker child. The video is quite funny actually:

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Eurocontrol: "Is this flight 6, over?"

Uh well, I seemed to have missed something somewhere.
I just posted a bug and got a comment, telling me to test Ubuntu Dapper Drake Flight 6 for this.

And I was like, is there a Flight 6 already?

For everyone who has missed it too, here is the release information, and the download page for cd images.

Friday, March 31, 2006


Moodle is a free, OpenSource course management system for online learning.
Yesterday at the Löss seminar at my school I heard about the project for the first time.
(For some reason I always mentally picture a noodle eating cow when hearing the name "Moodle", probably just me.)

At my school (Hogeschool Zuyd) we have a semilar system called Blackboard which is propriatary software. The seminar yesterday got me interested and so I went on a journey today to see what this OpenSource alternative had to offer. Mainly because teachers as well as students at my school are often complaining about Blackboard.

And WOW, does this "noodle eating cow" look great. I have only played with the online demo for an hour now. After that the demo was resetted. Lucky for me I made a backup of the created course and could easily restore it after the reset. I loved what I saw, great functionality. A clean and clear interface, which however could be improved on some minor points I discovered during this one hour session.

After a while I discovered it is translated in Dutch (and many other languages for that matter) too. This is surely a great topic to make and hold a presentation about at our school one day on behalf of the HSZLUUG.

I will keep you updated on the subject.

(Thanks go out to the Löss for letting me know about this project and for letting me participate in the seminar for free.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Driver's Seat

Yesterday (2006-03-24) I succeeded for my drivers licence, or in Dutch 'rijbewijs'.

So be carefull on the roads ;)

Big day countdown.

Exactly two months to go.

Details will follow shortly.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Pomme & Kelly

I was just working at school with Dennis Laumen and we took a 10 minute break.

It was a good idea to surf to Google Videos, we found the videos of Pomme & Kelly. They are like the Chinese Backstreet Boys:

only difference, they're girls and apparently Dutch.

This is the video we found, it's a lipsync of Aretha Franklin - Respect:

It even seems there is a complete online Idols version, where you can link your own made musicvideo and compete with others.

Don't you just love the internet.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sunglasses at night

After using my old hackergotchi for half a year now I finally decided to change it to a new more fashionable one.

I am not sure yet if it is more Corey Hart style or more Benjamin Mako Hill style, oh well what does it matter anyway, behold...

The old one:
My old avatar

The new one:
My old avatar

What a difference.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wallpaper payback

A friend of mine (Collin van Banning) downloaded the Breezy Live CD about half a year ago and was really enthousiastic. First thing I did the coming weekend was install Ubuntu on his laptop. Needed some additional memory which I got from another Ubuntu-NL member (thanks again Hein-Pieter). Since that weekend, he started to love Ubuntu more and more, and is now even handing out Live CDs to other people.

That same friend made a picture on his vacation to Switserland in December 2005, which I liked so much I have had it as a desktop wallpaper ever since. So I decided to ask him for releasing this picture under the Creative Commons, he agreed on the idea, I edited the picture where needed and uploaded it to
It got accepted last night and is now an official wallpaper.

An easy and good way for people to contribute without posting bugreports or coding.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

PHP Object Generator

Just found this nice generator.

One who, or that which, generates, begets, causes, or produces.
By Wiktionary

Well it produces things, automatically, which is always a good thing for us lazy Software Engineers. The following is said on their website:
By generating PHP objects with integrated CRUD methods, POG gives you a head start in any project. The time you save can be spent on more interesting areas of your project.

I just tested it, and it looks really cool and timesaving.

Bravo Tango

When I saw the new iconset in Ubuntu the orange Tango one as seen at Jeff Waugh's Blogpost, I was in doubt. It looks really good, but than again, it isn't really that Gnome HIG compliant.

So I posted this issue as a bug, not to really report it as a bug but more to get some clarification on the subject.
And well I got it, from the Dictator himself.

The bugreport can be found at launchpad.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Reactie op DRM lied van Dennis Kaarsemaker

Wil ik bij deze even reageren op de blogpost van Dennis Kaarsemaker daar hij geen reactie mogelijkheid heeft op zijn eigen blog.

Pure genialiteit!
Leuk vooral als je even het nummer opzet om de melodie te pakken te krijgen.
Vervolgens hardop met je hoofdtelefoon op begint te zingen met de lyrics voor je
Even stopt om te horen dat je zusje zegt: "Wat je nu zingt klopt helemaal niet."

Ik denk dat we nog maar eens een Ubuntu-NL meeting moeten houden, en dan maar meteen de nieuwe versie van je grote DRM lied opnemen.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Congratulations Wikipedia

1 Million articles on Wikipedia, congratulations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vliegenmeppers en metrosexuele eenden

I just ran the new Ubuntu 6.04 Dapper Drake (Flight 4) Live CD.
It looks really promising, all kinds of cool new things, and although I can't test this really because I am using a Live CD, it does feel a lot faster.

Using an alpha assures you will run upon a few bugs, I found 7 this evening, mostly small ones, and reported them all using Launchpad - Malone.

Maybe I will test my XS4All VOIP tomorrow with Ekiga, (Treenaks get ready for some questions ;)).

Friday, February 17, 2006

What details are for

Todat I received a new kernel image through the Ubuntu updater.
I expanded the Details to read a bit more about it, and this is
what I saw:

Version 2.6.12-10.28:

"MOMMY MOMMY! Soyuz eated my previous upload!! MOMMYYYYY!!!!!"

aka: "The let reupload 10.27 and hope.."

You just got to love it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tux Tax

We can't make it more fun, but we can make it easier.

As the slogan of the Dutch tax collectors office goes.
They really gave that slogan some strength.


Maybe a little too late, but hey, they made a Linux app.

Belastingdienst we love you.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NTFS write support

Well I just came home from the Irish Pub where I went for a drink with two friends. And like every geek I always check my comp before going to sleep and check the familiar newspages.
And I read about the release of the new 2.6.15 kernel. Skipping through the list of major changes I read the following.

NTFS write support: NTFS finally implements write support so "vim /ntfs/foo.txt" works. You can write(2) to a file even beyond the end of the existing file. Resident non-resident files and are supported. Sparse files can also be written and holes will be filed appropriately. truncate(2), ftruncate(2) and open(2) with O_TRUNC flag also works. There're some limitations with heavily fragmented files which you won't be allowed to change. Also, notice that creation/deletion of files and directories is still not supported and mmap(2) based writes is still not complete (commit)

"Well hooray that looks promising." was what I thought.

Monday, January 02, 2006

I'm pickin' up good intentions

Happy new year everybody.
I just wanted to wish you all the best for 2006 and let you know I am still alive.

Normally I don't have any good intentions for the upcoming year, but well I must admit I couldn't elude from the one I made for 2006.
Which is of course to Blog a little bit more.
And I'll promise you the last week of December has enough things to blog about. So stay tuned :)