Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

openSuse: Disable Tray Software Updater

I don’t like the Software Update icon in the system tray, nor do I like its functionality, because it fails every so often when trying to update software – the usual reason is that it fails to resolve dependencies. Instead, I’ve been using this command (as root):

zypper update -lR (-l = –auto-agree-licenses; -R = –force-resolution)

Now, how to get rid of the icon? Fire up yast, and uninstall:

  • In KDE 4 (default in openSuse up to version 12.3): apper
  • In KDE 5 (openSuse Leap/Tumbleweed): plasma5-pk-updates

Hope this helps someone save some time googling.


2016/03/26 at 00:05

2015 im Rückblick

Die haben einen Jahresbericht 2015 für dieses Blog erstellt.

Hier ist ein Auszug:

Die Konzerthalle im Sydney Opernhaus fasst 2.700 Personen. Dieses Blog wurde in 2015 etwa 11.000 mal besucht. Wenn es ein Konzert im Sydney Opernhaus wäre, würde es etwa 4 ausverkaufte Aufführungen benötigen um so viele Besucher zu haben, wie dieses Blog.

Klicke hier um den vollständigen Bericht zu sehen.

2016/01/01 at 16:00

VirtualBox: Snapshots filling up disk, what to do

So this has happened to me again. I didn’t pay attention to VirtualBox snapshots filling up my „vm“ partition. Yesterday, less than 2 GB were left, so I eventually thought of deleting snapshots.

vbox-snapshotsIn VirtualBox (VBox), deleting a snapshot means merging it with the originally created virtual disk image (VDI) file (in my case, Suse13.vdi). But that works only if there’s enough space on the partition for that operation. As I found, to merge a 10 GB snapshot file into a 15 GB original VDI file, you need at least 5 GB free space for the temporary files that VBox creates. Unfortunately, there’s no way to instruct VBox to use space on another partition for those temporary files.

What I found after a lot of googling was that most people revert to cloning the virtual machine (VM), then discarding the original VM (that is, deleting the original VDI file and all the snapshot files), then creating a new VM using the cloned VDI. Similar problem here, since there’s no way to tell VBox to create the VDI clone on a different partition, you’re stuck when there’s not enough space on your disk. For that reason, you can’t use the graphical VBox interface, but you can use the command-line interface. On Linux, that would be a command like this:

vboxmanage clonevdi linux/Suse13.vdi /mnt/goobay1/Suse13clone.vdi

For me, that created a VDI clone on another partition — so far, so good. Unfortunately, that clone wouldn’t boot. Not sure if that could be fixed — I gave up fiddling to get it working after half an hour.

Eventually, I found a solution on the Net that was too obvious to find out myself: Simply move the snapshot files to another partition, create symbolic links in the original location, then merge the snapshot files. D’uh. It goes like this (on Unix-style operating systems):

(1) Find where the snapshot files are. They’re normally near your VDI file, in a folder called Snapshots.

(2) Move the snapshot files with commands like this:

Atlas/vm/linux/Suse13/Snapshots> mv {eadb26a3-df2b-4481-be35-abbc5fdc27a4}.vdi /mnt/goobay1/MyLinuxSnapshotsNew/

(3) Create symbolic links:

Atlas/vm/linux/Suse13/Snapshots> ln -s /mnt/goobay1/MyLinuxSnapshotsNew/\{eadb26a3-df2b-4481-be35-abbc5fdc27a4\}.vdi .

In the example above, that „shrunk“ the file size from 9 GB to 75 bytes, thus freeing up 9 GB on the VM’s partition. I did likewise for another snapshot file, which together freed up 25 GB, more than enough to eventually delete (merge) the snapshot files. (After a successful merge, VBox will delete what it thinks is the snapshot file, but that’s actually the symbolic link. To free up space on your „remote“ partition, you’ll then manually have to delete the snapshot file.)

Important: Make sure your VM is shut down properly. Don’t suspend it or even leave it running!

Important: Before deleting (merging) the snapshots from the VBox graphical interface, make sure your VM is happy with the symbolic links, and still starts up. If it doesn’t, you can still remove the symbolic link, and move back the original snapshot file. (This won’t solve the problem of not having enough disk space, but at least it will leave your VM working.) Starting up the VM when one or more snapshot files are on a „remote“ partition may take a little longer than usual; don’t worry, that’s expected.

Takeaway: Don’t use VBox snapshots, unless you know what you’re doing (which I obviously didn’t). From now, what I do is to simply copy the VDI file from time to time, which gives me a backup in case the VDI file gets borked for some reason.

Good luck!

2015/01/08 at 09:01

Happy New Year, and happy new Free Software Foundation video

Happy New Year, Frohes Neues Jahr!

The FSF (Free Software Foundation) released a video called User Liberation just before 2014 was over, but I’ve only just had a look. It’s sweet and short, have a look!

2015/01/03 at 16:09

2013 wird geprüft

Die fertigten einen Jahresbericht dieses Blogs für das Jahr 2013 an.

Hier ist ein Auszug:

Eine Cable Car in San Francisco fasst 60 Personen. Dieses Blog wurde in 2013 etwa 2.500 mal besucht. Eine Cable Car würde etwa 42 Fahrten benötigen um alle Besucher dieses Blogs zu transportieren.

Klicke hier um den vollständigen Bericht zu sehen.

2014/01/01 at 23:10

In afwachting van Mails

In afwachting van Mails

Bei mancher Spam frage ich mich, welches Übersetzungsprogramm der Spammer eigentlich benutzt. Kreative Sprachgestaltung wie diese hier schaffe ich mit den Tools für Normalsterbliche jedenfalls nicht:

Lieber benützer,

Ihre beiden eingehenden E-Mails wurden am ungeklärten Status aufgrund der jüngsten Upgrade auf unserer Datenbank gespeichert,

Um den Empfang der Nachrichten Klicken Sie sich anzumelden und warten antwortet aus Yahoo.

Continue Reading 2012/05/03 at 08:50

So Far

My last blog entry is of March 2010. That’s one and a half years ago. I wonder what this means. I also wonder why, from the WordPress stats, more than one person is still looking at this blog each day. Anyway, it’s this time of the year again (in the Northern hemisphere at least) where people start looking back, looking inside, reconsidering. Following the crowd, so am I.

Recently, I’ve noticed that my excitement about social media is declining sharply. I don’t think this is just due to autumn. I’ve never been a trend setter, but certainly a dedicated follower of trends. Whatever is new, hip, trendy, I’m with it. Naturally, I’ve seen trends I follow longer term become mainstream, while trends I eventually lost interest in went away. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the last 20 and guesses about the next 20 years.

Internet? I had no idea of it, but I was on CompuServe in 1992, enjoying to be able to chat with people on the other side of the planet. I had started using computers at 28, and networking, across continents, seemed to me like exactly what those machines had been invented for. World Wide Web? Like Bill Gates, I discovered it in 1995, diving straight into it without a second thought, even trying to make a living out of it (like so many others, and just like them I ended up in what’s known today as the dotcom bubble burst). Mailing lists, forums, wikis? I’m all for these things. Google? I was so happy when it launched – there were too many Internet specialists around before it did. One year later, everyone had become a Web specialist in a way, even venture capitalists, and I think Google contributed significantly to making the dotcom bubble burst.

Next century, next millennium. Wikipedia? I had the same idea in the year 2000, only that I would have based its economics on something similar to Google Ads. MySpace? Kind of boring to me, I had been on Geocities before. There was Facebook, the „MySpace for academics“. I underestimated it, deeming it as boring as MySpace. (And I still do, but I don’t think I still underestimate it. Kind of hard to do so, when 10% of the world population are there.) Blogs? I was a reader, and didn’t see much reason to become a writer. Eventually, I did, but don’t ask me why. Probably because everyone else did. And/or maybe because WordPress is such a brilliant piece of software. I love great software.

Facebook? I eventually gave in and joined, although I consider it an Orwellian machine invented by the CIA. I’ve been on Facebook for a while, obediently sharing stuff from Amnesty International, Avaaz, Greenpeace, Foodwatch, and other NGOs on that platform. And saying thanks to people who wish me a happy birthday. Twitter? I became a big fan of that platform because of the aspect of immediate, unfiltered news. By now, I’ve sent 782 tweets, I’m following 33 people, and 87 people are following me. And even with those small numbers, the signal to noise ratio has become what I consider unreasonable. There are tools like Summify or Twitterfall, but to me it feels like they gloss over the problem, rather than solve it. I still follow Twitter, but with reduced enthusiasm.

To paraphrase Immanuel Kant, „think for yourself“. Gathering more and more information from outside (which is becoming ever easier to do) doesn’t help you think for yourself. After so many years being into it myself, I’d even say it hinders me from doing so. Or, as George Harrison put it, „the farther one travels, the less one knows, the less one really knows“. He wrote that almost 30 years before the WWW took off. For me, the formula of „data -> knowledge -> wisdom“ is starting to become obsolete. I guess that’s because it was never true.

Am I saying the Internet is, at the end of the day, a bad thing, or that the information flow/overflow caused by it has more bad than good aspects? Certainly not. I’ve merely started a process of reconsidering what’s in it for me, for the people around me, for my kids, and so on. I’m delighted to see that the Internet brought the Arab Spring, and I congratulate the brave people in Northern Africa who’ve made use of the Internet to shake off decades of oppression, and finally start establishing freedom and humanity instead. They were able to do so, however, because their oppressors were old and Internet-agnostic. The Internet was the right tool at the right time – from now on, oppressors will know what to do about it. There won’t be a Chinese Spring with the help of the Internet, for example. This is over.

What’s coming up? In 2015, Facebook will be alive and kicking. I guess at least 1.5 billion people will have a Facebook account by then, tripling the 2011 figure. Likewise, Twitter. In 2020, however, Facebook, Twitter, and similar social networks will be nothing but a memory, albeit a strong memory, because so many participated „back then“. In 2030, you’ll have to google for the Wikipedia entry for Facebook to be able to explain it to your children (or grandchildren). By that time, people would simply call you crazy, and probably call the ambulance, if you even considered publishing as many personal data on the Internet as it seems reasonable to do in 2011. That will be a no-no in 20 years.

So what will remain, grow, flourish? Google will. Wikipedia will. New things will come up that I can’t even think of at this point. The Internet in general will be around, dominating every aspect of life, although at reduced speed, so to speak. Long-term aspects will become much more relevant and dominant, short-term things like Facebook comments or Twitter tweets will be more or less on the ban list. Why? Because the Internet will get more and more under the influence of entities such as governments, authorities, intelligence agencies, corporations, et cetera – certainly not a good thing. This will be seconded by a general conception of being eager to regain the ability to „think for yourself“, though, which certainly is a good thing. On balance, will there be more good, or rather more evil?

Rest assured, there will be more good than evil. 200 years ago, people were hanged for theft. (This still happens today, but not in most parts of the world.) Torture was regarded as a regular and justified way to get confessions – why else would criminals admit a crime? (Torture is still everywhere, but it’s regarded as a crime in most places now.) Mankind is moving ahead, never back (at least long term). That’s why the Internet won’t turn into a medium of brain control. Rather than that, it will become increasingly what it started out as – a medium of/for innovation. (If you’re saying it started out as a military network, then you’re probably also saying you need to guard against the surveillance Americans do from their moon bases.)

I’m a musician. In 1980, record companies would not care about my music because they were more interested in marketing mainstream crap. For that reason, I’d not be able to make a living from music at that time. In 2011, you can produce mainstream crap music, and still not be able to make a living out of it, because people will simply steal your music, rather than paying for it. Is that any better than record companies ignoring you? I don’t know, but it shows that, while the Internet has changed (and still changes) everything, lots of things stay the same, although often enough for different reasons.

2011/09/29 at 01:46

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