I am all for eye candy, but the new overshooting compiz cube is maybe a bit too realistic, at least on 3 cups of coffee and an empty stomach.
I looked for a damping factor in CCSM, had to get a new python-gtk on the way (PyGtk 2.12.0 or later required) and at least got something I could live with by turning the acceleration down and the speed up. Not exactly intuitive.


Browseable backups with rdiff-backup and archfs

Note: archfs is now rdiff-backup-fs (see comment below).
In contrast to tools like rsnapshot, which always backs up full versions, rdiff-backup saves only incremental changes in diff files, which takes much less space (and can take a lot of time, too). Because of this it is rather unsuitable for browsing different versions, which is where archfs cuts in.
You need:
  • rdiff-backup (Python script, in main repo)
  • librsync (from repos, or patched sources, see below)
  • Keep (rdiff-backup-frontend, e.g. from the community repos)
  • archfs
  • fuse-devel


More Virtual Box: USB devices

Actually, the last remaining device I need Windows for (apart from the printing issue) is my Sony HI-MD audio recorder. The usual Sony support bullshit: software and standards are closed source, the system is too dated and unpopular for any viable Linux hack (though there are some people in Berlin working on it), and Wine is useless with anything involving a USB connection.

On Kile forgetting shortcuts

The Kile-KDE4 version installed on Archimedes (SuSE 10.3) kept forgetting user-defined shortcuts when restarted. This was a bug, which has been fixed in newer svn versions (like this one).


Change "Open containing folder" in Firefox

In the Firefox downloads dialog, the containing folder is opened in Nautilus, which is a nuisance as well as an eyesore on my nice KDE4 desktop.
Two solutions are proposed on the web.
The first (from Rubylution), more elegant, is to fiddle with the about:config in Firefox by defining 3 new preferences: network.protocol-handler.expose.file = true (Boolean), network.protocol-handler.external.file = true (Boolean) and network.protocol-handler.app.file = konqueror (String). See the link for detailed instructions. Sadly, this had no effect, I still got Nautilus.
By the way, there is no way to delete erroneous preferences from about:config in Firefox, you have to edit ~/.mozilla/firefox/<yourprofile>/prefs.js by hand and restart Firefox.
The second (from hombrepac.com.ar) method stealthily substitutes Nautilus with Konqueror in the KDE mimetype handling. This basically makes Nautilus unusable, which might be a problem if you are an occasional Gnome user.
Well, I'm not - and this time, it worked.
Update: Newer Firefox versions (confirmed with FF 3.6.6) apparently detect KDE's default file manager - anyway, the downloads folder is opened in Konqueror without me having to do anything about it.

Canary Islands?

As mentioned previously, we love blog statistics (right, procrastinating again). And it's nice to see where our visitors come from. Still, the Statcounter algorithm exhibits a geographical recklessness of almost Shakespearean dimensions.
Last time I looked (5 seconds ago, out of my window), Constance University was about here. Close, but no cigar.
Out-of-office notice: Sailing off the Bohemian coast…


Brute force presentation clock

Prerequisites: KDE 4.2, Superkaramba, Acrobat reader.
The idea is to force the relative placement of the Adobe Reader and a Karamba clock widget. This doesn't work with Plasma widgets and the Okular presentation mode, as both seem to override Kwin placement rules (plasma is desktop-integrated anyway).
Get a suitable Karamba clock or countdown widget from kde-look.org (small and preferably with transparency) and put it onto your dektop.
Back up your present window rules:


How to fake footnotes…

…at the bottom of a LaTeX figure page. Not very elegant, but here goes:

\caption{Some really important figure.\protect\footnotemark[1]}
\hspace*{1em}\footnotesize{$^1$Ceci n'est pas une annotation.}

Adjust the number by hand and fiddle with the spacing until it looks like a footnote.


Disable file system check at boot

Just a self-reminder: the file system check at boot can be disabled or tuned with tune2fs. See this blog or man tune2fs for details.
E. g., to disable it completely on the /dev/sdx drive, use sudo tune2fs -c 0 -i 0 /dev/sdx