geek stuff

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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.

Toying with Voronoi diagrams

For my Master of Science degree I have to work with Voronoi diagrams. They can be easily visualized (and toyed with) with the DotPlacer applet. Just enable the “Voronoi” check box, and add some points!

I can only get health insurance by breaking the law

I wrote an updated version of this blog post in 2016, and keep the list of f*ckups up to date there: My Name in the Modern World. My last name is Stüvel.

ValueError & Mercurial

I’ve been playing with Mercurial’s hooks lately. After I updated to the latest version (0.9.5) and toying a bit more with the hooks, I got this error after a hg push:

More power from your mobile's battery

I’m the happy owner of a Motorola Razr V3. Its battery used to last quite long, but now that it’s getting older it’s drained very quickly. At some point, I could charge it at night, talk a few minutes during the day, and when I got home in the evening the battery would be empty.

Highlighting the current line & column in VIM

It’s already in the VIM help file, but I never found it until now. To highlight the current row/line and the current column use this in your .vimrc: au WinLeave * set nocursorline nocursorcolumn au WinEnter * set cursorline cursorcolumn set cursorline cursorcolumn I found this quite useful while programming.

Safely copy a SQLite database

It’s trivially easy to copy a SQLite database. It’s less trivial to do this in a way that won’t corrupt it. Here’s how: $ sqlite3 some.db sqlite> begin immediate; <press CTRL+Z> $ cp some.