geek stuff

My name in the modern world

My last name is a technical hurdle. At least, for many people. In this high-tech, modern, globalized society, one would expect that a simple accented character shouldn’t be an issue. After all, even a small child can write Stüvel correctly with a stick in the mud.

Moving from pwsafe to KeePass

My favourite password management tool, pwsafe, is getting old. It’s no longer part of Ubuntu and I’ve had to compile it myself for quite a while now. It’s also not supported on Android, and shows other signs of aging.

Installing Windows 8 with different product key

New laptops often are shipped with the Windows product key stored in the EFI/BIOS/whatever. The result is that you don’t get a product key prompt any more. Great for reinstalls, as copying the key by hand is very error-prone.

Start XBMC from remote

The Android XBMC Remote app has a “Power on” button. This button sends a wake-on-lan (WOL) packet to the XBMC server, so that it can wake up. However, my XBMC server runs all kinds of server stuff, so I don’t want to let it sleep.

Eclipse doesn't support AES-encrypted SSH keys

Today all of a sudden I couldn’t commit to CVS any more. Eclipse refused to accept my SSH key passphrase. When trying to load the file, Eclipse tells me ‘failed to decrypt id_rsa’.

Song title fades in AfterEffects

I’ve been working on a video of our live performance in Winston Kingdom using Adobe AfterEffects. To show the title of a song at the start and end of the song, I used a script to automate the fading.

Why doesn't Windows have a package manager?

After I uninstalled Visual Studio 2005 Pro I got this very long message (I’ve included it at the bottom of this blog post) telling me to manuall uninstall twenty other programs, in the correct order.

Removing duplicate mails

To sync my mail between computers I use offlineimap on a secure filesystem. Today I mistakenly ran offlineimap before mounting the secure filesystem, which caused it to duplicate all emails. Not wanting to do any manual work to fix this, I wrote a small Python 3 program that repaired the damage.

The current state of Big Brother

Big Brother is watching you. More and more invasions of your rights are done in the quest for “digital rights management” and “protection of intellectual property”. Check out Farhad Manjoo’s post Why 2024 Will Be Like Nineteen Eighty-Four, as he describes it much better than I ever could.

Cleaning up an Ubuntu system

Ubuntu uses quite a nifty package manager. It keeps track of which file belongs to which package. Not only that - it also keeps track of which packages you requested, and which were installed as a dependency.