Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2011-11-30

An advent calendar for nerds

By popular request: my postscript hack to produce a four-fours advent calendar.

Each of 24 printed pages bears a label such as 4+4/4-4 or 4+4×4+4. Print, fold e.g. as shown below, insert pralines, tape to a convenient wall.

I'm not very happy about the postscript code for the square root sign and still less about the presence of 4² and 44, but the result is good enough to be fun. (Update: Everyone who got a calendar in 2011 suggested improvements, which I have incorporated.)

And here's the advent.ps postscript file and, for those with substandard printers, the same thing as PDF.

ADSL from Deutsche Telekom

So just now, as I was writing up the advent calendar a door-to-door salesman came asking whether I might want to purchase lovely phone and internet connectivity from Telekom.

Now I need to vent.

I was a Telekom customer for years. Not very happy, but also not unhappy and changes seemed risky. So when I needed more bandwidth, early in July 2009, I ordered an upgrade. (more…)

2011-11-28

Baselines

The text we've all learned to read is arranged in lines: Horizontal baseline, regularly sized letters, regular line height, lines neither too narrow nor too wide.

Anyone who breaks those rules disturbs the mind's reading and distracts from the content. Minor violations cause minor disturbance.

Which is fine, I suppose. Ask any advertising agency. If you violate the right norm you can make the brain sit up and take notice of a message it would otherwise skip. Drink Coca-Cola. But it's not something a GUI program should do. GUI programs should form the thinnest possible barrier between user and data. (more…)

2011-11-22

Libertango, the 2011 version

I've wanted more RAM and a third monitor for a while. Upgrade time. I hate upgrading hardware, it's the worst of chores.

The new hardware is a Zotac Fusion ITX A motherboard including a Radeon 6310 graphics blah, a passive Radeon HD5450 graphics card (actually a 5430 chip), and the rest is from from the previous libertango: (more…)

A Mikrotik IPsec policy bug

The short version: Mikrotik RouterOS doesn't support multiple, redundantly configured IPsec links. Amazon's cloud services use just that. Pain ensues. I haven't found any workaround I really like.

The long version: (more…)