Topic: General Peeve, unpeeved
(link)

8:36am, Wednesday 29 August 2007

I was going to write a bit about one of me pet peeves, which is people who use the word notice when they mean show: "That's a small detail, it won't notice."

Then I checked the OED and unexpectedly I found:

notice, v. 3. e. intr. To be seen, to be noticeable, to show.

What a surprise! And that usage dates from 1961. One of the quotations given is from "Only Fools and Horses" which certainly places it as contemporary usage rather than traditional.

Topic: Computers Spam of the day
(link)

3:19pm, Friday 10 August 2007

From 419-style spam:

Contact them ASAP to avoid the increas of the cheepment, the cheeping fee has been paid

Cheep!

Topic: Computers Floating around
(link)

2:10pm, Tuesday 7 August 2007

My work desktop's hard disk died (again) so I did a fresh Debian Etch install. I thought I'd try out Gnome - stop laughing at the back. But it hides the root window. How could I live without my trusty floatbg?

  1. run gconf-editor (that probably lives in a menu somewhere)
  2. change apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop to false
  3. in Desktop/Preferences/Sessions, add floatbg as a startup program

Ta-daa!

Topic: Computers Haiku error messages
(link)

12:54pm, Friday 20 July 2007

These are quite old, but they're still wonderful...

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.

I am now thinking calm Zen-like thoughts regarding a recalcitrant LDAP server...

Topic: Computers Adventures in UTF-8
(link)

12:08pm, Wednesday 18 July 2007

I read that the new release of Debian had vastly improved UTF-8 support, so I gave it a whirl.

It was very simple - "dpkg-reconfigure locales" just about covers it - but I have to say that all the UTF-8 support in the world isn't going to help if, for historical reasons, your .bashrc contains the line

export LESSCHARSET=iso8859

(Oops.)

One unexpected side-effect is that all the Russian spam which had previously rendered as "??? ??? ???" now looks like this: "ЮР. УСЛУГИ (ПОДРОБНЕЕ)". Babelfish reckons that's some sort of 419 scam...

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Dave Holland <dave@biff.org.uk>
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