Tucows retires its downloads

🕒︎ - 2021-01-24

Oh no, Tucows are closing down their venerable download service - where are all the Windows 98 users going to download their renamed and trojaned versions of GIMP from now?!

I usually recoil slightly with surprise when I run whois on a domain and see Tucows as the registrar, but apparently they do many other things than distribute questionable installers for software surrounded by heaps of dodgy adverts.

Sleeping My Day Away "cover" #music

🕚︎ - 2021-01-23

The Danish national broadcasting tv show "Morgensang" (Morning Song) did a cover of D-A-D's rock anthem "Sleeping My Day Away" the other day. Fun!

Here is the original, for reference.

TL-SG105E - a little switch with a twist #hardware

🕥︎ - 2021-01-21

Working from home, I needed some network ports at my desk - I had stolen the network cable from the printer and used that for the work laptop, but that's kind of annoying when I need to print, and then have to re-log on to the VPN after moving the cable back to the laptop.

Also, I might want another laptop for video-conferencing, and I didn't want to have multiple cables going from the router (creating more blinking lights) across the room to the desk like a savage, so I went looking for a little cheap switch.

Sorting by price ascending I started going down the list and found the TP-Link Easy Smart TL-SG105E - it looked a good size, has cutouts for mounting it on the wall/table, and what looked like a pretty low power consumption, so I ordered one.

When it arrived I drilled a couple of holes on the underside of the table and mounted it there, next to the power strip, and plugged in some network cables.

The manual said that the switch would request an IP-address by dhcp, so after a quick inspection of syslog on my home network server, I got the IP and logged in.

The switch immediately asked me to change the password, good, and I then looked through the menus. It is impressive how much can be configured in a basic 5-port switch costing 161 DKK!

One option intrigued me: "LED On/Off". It defaulted to On, so I switched it Off, expecting that the power LED would be turned off and that the LEDs on the network ports would keep blinking.


Much to my delight, all the LEDs turned off, no light pollution at all. I wish my ISP's router could do the same.

The TP-Link SG105E? After a whole day of experience - recommended.

Down the rabbithole #gnus #nntp #feedbase #lantern

🕚︎ - 2021-01-18

An innocent question about a warning from Gnus on Reddit led me down a rabbit hole: "Unexpected error message when starting Gnus".

My Gnus didn't show that warning message. Why? Because I had gnus-read-active-file set to nil. Reading the Gnus manual makes it abundantly clear that the default 'some is superior to nil, so I changed to that.

Now I also get the error, once for Feedbase, once for Lantern and once for each of my email (nnml) servers. Hm.

The error is because those servers don't support "LIST NEWSGROUPS". It turns out that I never implemented "LIST NEWSGROUPS" in Feedbase and Lantern - because I had configured Gnus in a way so it didn't issue it in the first place!

So I implemented "LIST NEWSGROUPS" in Feedbase's nntpd and in Lantern's nntpd.

Ok, good, now I have an answer: I only get those messages for my email servers.

With the changed configuration of gnus-read-active-file Gnus now issues a "LIST NEWSGROUP" at start-up and displays descriptions in the *Group* buffer. I actually don't want to see the descriptions, so I changed my gnus-group-line-format to not include %D. This also has the nice side effect that "LIST NEWSGROUPS" is no longer issued at start-up and the warning isn't shown for the (remaining) servers that don't support it. So now I also have a suggestion on how to avoid the warning.

Backing up my closet server

🕑︎ - 2021-01-16

Hm, backing up my "closet" server took almost an entire day:

--------------[ Session statistics ]--------------
StartTime 1610129605.00 (Fri Jan  8 19:13:25 2021)
EndTime 1610215763.66 (Sat Jan  9 19:09:23 2021)
ElapsedTime 86158.66 (23 hours 55 minutes 58.66 seconds)
SourceFiles 3139332
SourceFileSize 1020064979159 (950 GB)
MirrorFiles 3075601
MirrorFileSize 1020831786704 (951 GB)
NewFiles 204031
NewFileSize 33490928359 (31.2 GB)
DeletedFiles 140300
DeletedFileSize 34220568133 (31.9 GB)
ChangedFiles 31337
ChangedSourceSize 15721366415 (14.6 GB)
ChangedMirrorSize 15758534186 (14.7 GB)
IncrementFiles 375683
IncrementFileSize 38022063321 (35.4 GB)
TotalDestinationSizeChange 37255255776 (34.7 GB)
Errors 0

This is using rdiff-backup 1.3.3 backing up an NVMe SSD to a 3.5" USB-3 harddisk.

It might be time to look into another solution. I do like how rdiff-backup lets me browse and copy from the most recent backup directly though... Any suggestions? Maybe rdiff-backup 2 is faster? Email me.

The next Debian release #debian #free software

🕡︎ - 2021-01-14

Debian just started "freezing" the distribution, which is what happens in the time leading up to a new release.

The upcoming release will be Debian 11, codenamed "bullseye".

Reading the announcement made me think of how upgrading my server (which runs Debian stable) over the years has been quite uneventful.

Here are my upgrade notes over the years:

I didn't write about upgrading to 5 (lenny), and the note on 4 (etch) is ambigious; Debian keeps on trucking, which is great.

Citroën C-zero key case replacement #cars

🕖︎ - 2021-01-12

Some time ago I dropped the key to my Citroën C-zero and as the key hit the ground, one corner was damaged. The next time I used the key in the ignition, it fell apart, and I lost one of the two button "shields".

Kind of annoying, but not the end of the world, I removed the other button shield, taped the key case together and everything worked. But exposing the rubber-buttons to the elements might not be a great idea, and it doesn't look so nice.

Finding the correct replacement was not that easy, as none of the sellers of key cases seem to list the Citroën C-zero as a matching model, but I finally found this product on AliExpress: KEYYOU Flip Car Key Case For Peugeot 4007 ET 4008 For Citroen C-Crosser C4 Aircross Replacement 2 Button Remote Key Shell MIT11R.

It took almost 5 weeks to arrive from China, but it's the right one!

It was a little tricky moving over the metal part of the key (getting the spring right), but I succeeded at last, and now it looks nice and seems to be exactly the same as the old broken shell. Recommended!

Lille langebro


India: Republic Day (72).


Lewis Carroll (189).

Auschwitz liberated (Holocaust Memorial Day) (76).

Debut of this open calendar (20).