Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Note to self: Midnight Commander mouse support when running in screen

Usability discovery of the day:
When running Midnight Commander within a GNU Screen terminal, the mouse cannot by default be used to manipulate the cursor. However, starting mc with the command-line switch -x enables the mouse support once more. Very handy!
(See also: mc Wiki.)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Windows 7 Update kept wanting me to restart my computer...

Everytime I tried to check for Windows updates, I was only shown "Restart your computer to install important updates", though I already had restarted the computer several times.

At last I found the culprit: In the registry under [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update], there was a key tellingly named "RestartRequired" (and otherwise empty). As soon as I had deleted that and checked updates again, I was shown a long list of updates.

Simple as that. As to why it hadn't been deleted: search me.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

A task switcher I use all day

I love the program VistaSwitcher and can only recommend it warmly (it runs on Windows XP or higher (despite its name) and is freeware).
With ALT+TAB you get a list with previews of all windows (instead of the uninformative block of icons that Windows otherwise displays). Additionally, ALT+(whichever key sits above TAB on your keyboard layout) lets you switch between all windows of the current application.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

On occasion of today's weather

(thick, impenetrable white fog even now at 11 o'clock)
Im Nebel

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Einsam ist jeder Busch und Stein,
Kein Baum sieht den andern,
Jeder ist allein.

Voll Freunden war mir die Welt,
Als noch mein Leben licht war;
Nun, da der Nebel fällt,
Ist keiner mehr sichtbar.

Wahrlich, keiner ist weise,
Der nicht das Dunkel kennt,
Das unentrinnbar und leise
Von allen ihn trennt.

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Leben ist Einsamsein.
Kein Mensch kennt den andern,
Jeder ist allein.

Hermann Hesse

We worked extensively on this poem in our German lessons in 9th or 10th grade, interpreting and translating to a number of secondary languages we were capable of, and making a little public exhibit of our results at the end. We were the class with Spanish as the 3rd foreign language, so we had English, French, Spanish and Latin available by default (not sure if anyone did it in Latin though), and then some of us knew additional languages: One girl was of Brazilian parentage, another one of Serbian, there may have been one or two more in the mix. I did a Danish translation!

So although I rarely feel as lonely as Hesse describes, I do have a special bond to this poem, among a few others.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

First Snow(e)

So now we've got our first snow for the season (there was already some snow or snow-rain yesterday, but today it is remaining on the ground). That's a full week earlier than in my first winter here, 2003, and I think the earliest I have experienced yet.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

dict.cc Becomes Multilingual

My favourite German-English online dictionary, dict.cc, is becoming more than that — they are matching up German and English with Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and a lot of other languages (you can actually add your own!).  I think that is great news, since I had earlier searched in vain for any online German-Swedish, German-Danish or even English-Danish dictionary, and the English-Swedish dictionary that I regularly use is a bit userunfriendly at times (anther one, tyda.se, may be a bit more comfy).

Here is the English part of the mail that was sent to me to inform me about the news and inviting me to contribute to the Danish vocabulary (I guess I'll do some there but be more active on the Swedish part).

I'm Paul Hemetsberger, the maintainer of dict.cc. I'm contacting you because your user profile with dict.cc suggests Danish language skills.

Currently dict.cc is in the process of expanding from a German-English to a multilingual dictionary and I'd like to ask you for your help.
Would you be willing to contribute a little bit of your time to help building up a Danish-German / Danish-Englisch online dictionary?

To give it a try, please see some of the proposed entries here:
http://deda.contribute.dict.cc/ for Danish-German translations
http://enda.contribute.dict.cc/ for Danish-English translations
Click "review" to support proposals or suggest changes.

These are the basic guidelines for adding and changing terms:

Please use the Danish-German forum to clarify problems not specified there:
The findings of these discussions will be added to the guidelines over time.

You can get in touch with other participating users here:
http://deda.users.dict.cc/hall-of-fame/ (Danish-German)
http://enda.users.dict.cc/hall-of-fame/ (Danish-English)

To build up basic vocabulary for both Danish-German and Danish-English quickly, you can use the buildup tool:
Just enter the Danish translation(s) that match both the German and the English term displayed.

Your help would be greatly appreciated! Please give it a try!
Thank you very much in advance!

Best wishes and greetings from Vienna,
Paul Hemetsberger

PS: Feel free to forward this message to friends. The more participants the better!

Ing. Paul Christian Hemetsberger | www.hemetsberger.com
Erdbergstr. 10/55, 1030 Wien, Austria | +43-699-19437670
Visit www.dict.cc - the online German-English dictionary!
Let me extend the inviation to you, dear reader, for any language that fits you!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Wowed by Obama (again)

I watched US President Obama's press conference live this evening and was once again impressed by his sensible, measured words, as well as by how he was keeping command of the room of journalists, who at times would pose rather snarky questions.
Here is the video of the whole thing, and here a reasonable summary (in refreshing contrast to the typical repuglican raving madness that I couldn't entirely avoid while searching for a replay for you).
Given enough time, I could go on and on... let me just say this:
  • I agreed with a great lot of his points (including, one of the main topics, his treading very carefully concerning Iran and only applying fierceness when and where appropriate);
  • I cannot stop being so happy to see an intelligent, thinking, witty and balanced person in this powerful position, and wish we could have more of his kind in politics internationally.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Saturday, 13 June 2009

The Future of Software Testing [geek alert]

Last night I saw a good "Google Tech Talk" presentation by software-testing professor James Whittaker (at the time of the talk working for MS, now at Google) on "The Future of Testing".
Further reading: Whittaker's blog and a series of webinars on uTest.com.