Life hack: fuck them laces!

Thursday, April 5th, 2018 | Gadgets, Insights, Vocabulary | No Comments

Doing laces is art. It seems there’s even a cult among younger people nowadays how to lace their shoes. So it’s been a thing lately to not show laces at all and I got told to just knot them and put the laces inside of the shoes. Well, that worked quite well but I also like my comfort zone, and sharing it with knotted fibre kinda ruined the experience.

So, I was looking for another solution and my brain came up with … Aderendhülse. What?! (That’s German for ferrule) Yes, I had to learn a new word for this minuscule life hack. The German one that is.

Anyway, here is my solution. Just get yourself some ferrules fro the D.I.Y. retailer, thread in the laces and crush it!! After that, just cut the ends off. Done.

No more lace knoting for me, and I don’t have to share the snug inside of my sneakers with random clews.


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Fedora 26 / Gnome 3 Hi DPI Settings and Quirks

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 | Insights, Linux, Quirks, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I was about to release another “post-installation tasks” post when I thought it might be a good idea to focus on a specific topic first: Hi DPI (aka 4k resolution monitors) and how Fedora, my weapon of choice, is performing. Fedora ships with Gnome 3 on Wayland. So this will be my starting point.

Set-up Gnome to use Hi DPI mode

This sounds to easy. But rest assured, this is only the first general steps as a lot of apps, even Gnome (3.24.2) itself, does not respect / support this setting consistently. (here are two native Gnome examples of mixed Hi Res and Low Res components Example 1 Example 2)

Still, for me the overall experience is finally worth setting up a Hi DPI desktop environment.

Install Gnome Tweak Tool

$ sudo dnf install gnome-tweak-tool

Fire it up, go to “Window” and set the Hi DPI mode to 2x. (In the near future Gnome wants to support arbitrary scaling factors, on a per device i.e. monitor basis. Looking forward to that!) You may need to log in and out of your session for the setting to take effect.

Update 25.08.17 There is another Gnome setting, and after that Gnome itself renders just fine! Bliss! Thanks Michael Reinartz for pointing this out!

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 2

Apps that work well out of the box (on my machine)

Firefox 55.0.1
Thunderbird 52.2.1
Opera 47

and after the “Update 25.08.17” hint:
Audacious 3.8.2 (Winamp Interface)
Terminal 3.24.2

Apps that scale well after some handiwork

Chromium 60 (maybe Chrome – I don’t use it right now)
Chromium needs a special parameter: --force-device-scale-factor=2, just add it to a copy of the .desktop file in your personal user space.

cp /usr/share/applications/chromium-browser.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Put that parameter just behind the executable:

Exec=/usr/bin/chromium-browser %U --force-device-scale-factor=2

eclipse 4.7 Oxygen

I use a launch script for eclipse, just add export SWT_GTK3=0 to it. The export UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 fixed a problem with disappearing menus in eclipse. I can omit the entry without problems, I just leave it here in case you might need it.

export SWT_GTK3=0
./eclipse/eclipse -showlocation

Apps that do not scale at all (yet)

Audacity 2.1.3
They say you need to recompile it with wxWidgets --with-gtk=3

Gimp 2.8
There are themes available with hi res icons but I will just wait for 2.9 as it should support Hi DPI natively.

At least the full screen mode looks nice 😉


As you can see Hi DPI is still work in progress. Still, I figure Hi DPI usable by now and will not go back. Looking at a “printed screen” is just too amazing.

Hope I gave you some insights and if you have something to add just leave a comment. Thanks!

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Røde NT-USB microphone – great value for money

Saturday, July 1st, 2017 | Gadgets, Language, Linux, Tech-savvy | No Comments

Today I spend some MusicStore gift vouchers (thanks Rob & Tobi) buying a decent microphone. A Røde NT-USB.

Maybe for podcasting, maybe streaming, maybe recording of music.

First thing that came to my mind was reading a small story for my daughter. So I plugged in the mic – which was the first “challenge”. Sometimes “pro” audio devices only work with Mac and Windoze machines, but the Røde NT-USB just worked out of the box (Linux, Fedora 25). After that I launched Audacity, saw the rec level was a bit weak, maxed out the input using the audio settings and hit record. From my POV the result was awesome. So I just kept on reading the story, only using the Audacity compressor plug-in (default settings) afterwards. Then I added a small intro/outro acoustic guitar jingle. That’s it. No-frills recording with very nice results.

Thanks Røde, you made my day 🙂

Here is the result (a 96k cbr mono mp3 mixdown). Sorry, German only 🙂 Remember, this is a one take and I have no experience doing lectures – so don’t expect too much.

Eine Meerjungfrau im Schwimmbad (Maren von Klitzing)

Der Kater mit den goldenen Pfoten (Käthe Recheis)

Source: Märchen und Kindergeschichten

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Three letter words taken from “Game of Thrones”

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 | Books, Insights, Language, Quirks, Reviews, Vocabulary | No Comments

Reading “Game of Thrones” I realized I couldn’t translate a lot of three letter words. Most long words are phonetic or somehow make sense of their own, but three letters without a hint … try it yourself, how many of the following words can you translate? (click on a word to see the translation)

to cog
to jet
to err

Now that you know the hard three letter words go and get yourself a copy of the brilliant Song of Ice and Fire series.

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Spelling quirk: one vs. two “l”

Friday, October 21st, 2011 | Language, Quirks | 4 Comments

I always do the same spelling mistakes. I cannot spell “interesting” or its German equivalent. In German it’s “interessant” – and I tend to mix up the double “s” – sometimes I write double “r” instead – I guess because I think it’s an aggregation of “inter” and “resse”. Makes no sense at all, but confuses me so hard that even in English – where there is no problem whatsoever with “interesting” – I tend to foobar this word from time to time. (… but I can spell beautiful despite some New Zealand folks I talked to 🙂 )

There is one thing that puzzles me on a regular basis. Let’s call it the “l”-case. I never figured out when to use one or two “l”s. There may be a rule, but how come these words are written as they are:

stateful vs. beautiful vs. awful vs. full
until vs till

Why do you describe something that is aware of its state (so full of state) as stateful? Why something that is full of beauty as beautiful??

One more term that does not fit directly is “already”. Hmm, “already” vs … well, not “allready”, but still – already looks like an aggregation of “all” and “ready”. I could try to Google the origin of this – maybe there is even an easy explanation or mnemonic trick. Yet, I guess it could be a tedious thing to look up. Ah, grammar …

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Determining poly image map coordinates

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 | (X)HTML/CSS, Quirks, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I am currently working on a “self inflicted” project where I record all my old tapes. Expect a post about this soon. Doing so I took pictures of my tapes, linking the displayed tapes to their corresponding playlist. As this can result in non-rectangular shapes I am using poly image maps, but determining the coordinates became a drag, as my ancient Photoshop 5.5 only displays one x/y coordinate at a time. Writing this post I dl the current GIMP, because I want to know whether this tool lets you get a list of all coordinates of a polygon at once.

Anyway, googling I found Eleomap, a pretty neat online tool that lets you enter a link to a web-accessible picture (no upload supported) and draw your shapes right onto the picture. It supports multiple shapes and multiple maps. You need to get used to the usage a little bit (RTFM), but after that you will be able to get your poly coordinates in no time.

P.S. The GIMP dl just finished, I installed it, and – how could it be any different – it provides a brilliant image map tool (Filters -> Web -> Imagemap) – how kewl is that?

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eclipse shortcuts

Thursday, August 12th, 2010 | IDE, Java, Quirks | 2 Comments

Kids, after a hard day’s labour I Crtl-Alt-S’ed myself into the team sync perspective to commit my stuff. After doing so this conversation happened in our team room today:

What was the shortcut for getting back to the Java perspective again?
Hmm, dunno, hit Ctrl-Shift-L
What’s that?
That’s the shortcut for the shortcuts.

True Story. 😎

P.S. Technically Ctrl-Alt-S doesn’t mean “switch to the team sync perspective” but “sync with repo” implicating a switch to the team sync perspective.
P.P.S. Don’t tell me to use Ctrl-Shift-F8 – first, it’s not “switch to Java perspective” and second that’s the dumbest non-accessible shortcut ever. I always reassign it to Ctrl-Tab thus being far more convenient IMHO.
P.P.P.S. Yes, I know you can assign a shortcut to the not bound by default Java perspective.
P.P.P.P.S. If you are still reading this you didn’t get the post’s joke. It’s not about the Java perspective at all. 😀

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New word(s): 9 terms for being sick

Friday, January 1st, 2010 | Language, Quirks, Vocabulary | 4 Comments

What’s a better way to celebrate new year’s eve than attending your bro’s wedding (congratz again, Tim and Thilo), having a hip hop battle where you ruin your wedding suit’s trousers and discussing the vast variety of words for “throwing up” with an English army man. A great night indeed!

I was pretty proud I already knew 7 words – impressing the crowd, embarrassing me performing the appropriate gestures with my new friend from the UK to each way. Jo taught me one more, to honk. My wife then gave me the last one, which I first didn’t take as a way to do it but more as a descriptive term – but people really say something like “to be sick on the floor”.

Okay, enough of an introduction, here is my list of words for being sick:

  1. throw up – the well known term
  2. vomit – slightly informal
  3. puke – colloquial
  4. The “sound” descriptive ones (my favourites!):

  5. barf – a big shot straight forward
  6. hurl – like a barf, but done in an 120°+ horizontal angle 😀
  7. huee – the sound you make just before you ralph! (dont know the spelling though)
  8. ralph – the sound you make after a few huees! 😀
  9. New since last night:

  10. honk – new word from Jo, I am sorry I forgot the appropriate occasion for this one
  11. be sick – new word from Liz

Impressive, right? Don’t take me wrong, I am not specially attached to this topic, it’s just a fun thing to discuss at a late night party with a few drunkards. Dictionaries even provide a few more terms, but that’s kinda like cheating. Consider giving it a try next time you are at a party with a few friends that don’t mind talking about, well, being sick 🙂

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Geek joke

Thursday, November 26th, 2009 | Language, Misc, Quirks | 1 Comment

Today somebody posted a nice geek joke in our team chat, it seems to be quite common, but nevertheless it was new to me:

Why do programmers always confuse Halloween and Christmas?
Because 31 Oct = 25 Dec.

If you dont get it, read the Mathematical jokes Wikipedia article for an explanation. But I assume that people who dont get it right away wont find it funny even after reading the explanation. Revenga of the nerds! Merry Christmas 😀

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Harddrive cleanup: returned from oblivion

Saturday, October 31st, 2009 | Language, Misc, Quirks | No Comments



So funny! Cleaning up my hard drive I found this lolcat … scary shit indeed! 😀
For more of them have a look at my favourite lolcatz or visit icanhascheezburger!