07 March 2012
Service Announcements: Currently No Commenting
Gotta fix things
A short service announcement: Due to a persistent SPAMmer who managed to get by my first line of defenses, commenting is for the moment turned off. Sorry for the inconvenience. This spammer doesn't manage to actually post comments, but I get a lot of notifications (and moderated comments are in the system). I'll fix things soon.
14 March 2012
Ελευθερία του λόγου
Είμαι αυτή την στιγμή στο hackerspace.gr και ακούω μια ομιλία, "... από μια σειρά "παρουσιάσεων, με θέμα την ελευθερία του λόγου και την προστασία των επικοινωνιών στο Internet" (βλέπε εδώ).
Μέχρι τώρα μιλάμε για κρυπτογραφία για να φτάσουμε μάλλον σε θέματα όπως το PGP. Δηλαδή κάτι που ξέρω αρκετά καλά. Το κάνει αρκετά καλά, νομίζω ότι και οι αρχάριοι θα το πιάσουν το θέμα.
Να δούμε και μετά τι θα ακούσουμε...
16 March 2012
Where to find all the setxkbmap options
They're not in the man page, but you've got them already
When configuring a keyboard on a unixish machine running X (aka X11,
the X Windows System), nowadays the way to configure things is using
setxkbmap(1). There's some good documentation in the manpage, but at
some point the man page tells us only that there are options one can
configure... but not what those possible options are. At first I went on
a broad search through the web, until I figured that the directory path
given at the top of the man page is a strong hint. In fact the list of
predefined options can be found right on the system, in:
In that file we first find a list of keyboard "model" names, to be used
setxkbmap -model thinkpad
Next come the keyboard layouts, for various languages and
configurations. These can be combined, like here where I'm using the
Swiss (German) and the US keyboard alternatively - the stuff in the
parenthesis is the "variant" - Swiss keyboards come in German or
The last big part of the list are all the "options" for setting up
various keys and key combinations. So in my Swiss+US combo, I'm
switching languages using Alt+Space (which is pretty close to how it's
done on a Mac, given that the left Alt key is right next to the space
bar). There are tons of options to switch keyboard layouts. I also have
the Caps Lock key configured as a Control key - since in an X.org setup,
lots of stuff are done with the Ctrl key and I'm never using CapsLock
setxkbmap -option 'grp:alt_space_toggle,ctrl:nocaps' 'ch(de),us'
Multiple options are separated by comma. I'm single-quoting them, so no
shell confusion - don't think it's strictly necessary.
There's also tons of options to set up various of the extra keys to be
found on any average PC keyboard (5th level key anyone?) and for stuff
like how to use the numerical keypad. Just have a look, it's right in
20 March 2012
An Evening at the Hackerspace
Learning lots of stuff
I spent this evening at the hackerspace.gr, in the company of my friends graffic and tralala and a few other good people there. The time spent there was not only fun, but very productive for me:
- I learned that for a dynamic IP (road warrior) IPsec VPN setup on OpenBSD, I can use the interface name instead of an IP (ike dynamic esp from iwn0 to any), which had baffled me for a week or so.
- I learned how to set up dhclient to keep setting my own dns server entry, ignoring the one set from the dhcp server (put supersede domain-name-servers xx.xx.xx.xx into /etc/dhclient.conf), again on OpenBSD
- By total coincidence we talked about a cheap router I had bought, which has a really useless built-in software... and Vassilis who sat opposite me heard it and told me that I happened to have bought a device that I could put OpenWRT on it.
- ... and I even managed to work a tiny little bit on a project.
In difference to the last 2 times I was there, it was a quiet evening, but totally worth it, for fun and profit!
23 March 2012
Getting 39 Pictures out of 1 Film with the Canon F-1N
A little economy never hurt
I've been loading 35 mm film (aka 135) for ages, but it wasn't until a short while ago, that I read somewhere a tip about how to do things differently. While I always had loaded my film from the left side of the camera, this guy (whose site I've unfortunately forgotten) claimed that it's better to load the film from the right side. Well, he's right. I've improved a bit on the system with the Canon F-1N and this is how I get 39 pictures from a normal "36 frames" 35mm film now....
Continue reading "Getting 39 Pictures out of 1 Film with the Canon F-1N"
24 March 2012
Hiking to the Ziria Peak
Winter is over down here, but in the mountains there was some snow left last weekend. I was with the alpine club "Cristallis" hiking to the top of the Ζήρεια (Ziria) mountains, on the Peloponnese.
On Saturday we went to the hut, where one group had arrived earlier. As soon as I came in, I started getting busy, as I had promised to do swiss "Chäshörnli" for everybody. (Recipe in Greek) This is a dish of pasta with swiss Emmentaler cheese, served with apple sauce. I had prepared the apple sauce the evening before (and carried it up to the hut, but there wasn't so much of it). Now I cooked the pasta, while the others raffled the cheese and cut the onions.
Then I did the "frying in the pan" thing, preparing the meal for the ten of us. It was a bit of a challenge, as the only usable pan in the hut was a dented aluminium thing. Most of the cheese probably got stuck to the pan, not to the pasta. We had a good evening anyway. Later I went to sleep outside, since I'm not so fond of sleeping in large quarters, while I enjoy sleeping under the stars. In fact I woke up at night some times, gazed at the stars and wondered how I should manage to fall asleep again with such a view.
Next morning we went up to the peak, approximately 700m of height difference (2376m). There was a bit of snow. Since the day before a large group had been to the peak, there were a lot of steps frozen into the snow, which made choosing your steps sometimes a bit complicated. Anyway, we got up there, all the time enjoying a great view all around. The sun was shining, the air was pretty much clear. We got back safe and happy, headed to the traditional taverna and then back to Athens. I sure have seen enough snow this winter, but this weekend was fun.