Thank You Facebook!

Today I got an email with link to a facebook page. Actually I’ve seen this link before but ignored it because it links to facebook. But today I opened that page. I was reading a bit, following some links to other pages, coming back, reading more. And suddenly I got this:

This sucks. Why should I login after this page has been showed for 5 minutes? Additionally you can see how completely retarded facebook is: The text on the page is in german, some navigation help texts are in Kannada and the login window is in english.

First I thought “facebook sucks” and started searching for other complaints about facebook. But facebook (and google+ and twitter and…) collect all the braindamaged morons which were annoying everybody in IRC 10 years ago. Now IRC is again the nice and friendly place it was 20 years ago.

Thank you Facebook!

Multimeter Upgrade

What is worse than a battery powered multimeter?

A battery powered multimeter with an empty battery.

That’s why I have to upgrade this multimeter with a power socket, a step-down converter to support a wide input voltage range, and an isolated DC-DC converter to isolate the input voltage from the multimeter circuits.

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ELV sucks

A friend gave me a link to an ELV product which I copied and pasted into my browsers URL bar. ELV then presented me with this completely useless warning on their webpage:

elv-sucks

Additionally they set a shit load of cookies. Obviously one or more of them are used to prevent this retarded warning.

I wonder why should I run an anti-virus program when I access a website? Especially when my browser is running on a Linux box behind an OpenBSD firewall? I’m sorry but I haven’t seens something this retarded ever.

So my recommendation is:

Fuck ELV. Never ever ever ever never ever buy something from ELV!

Also don’t visit their site, block and delete all their cookies.

LZWDecode a PDF File

Today I wanted to dissect a PDF file. Running pdf2ps quickly showed some big lumps of binary data. Looking a bit closer I found out that it is run through the filters ASCII85Decode and LZWDecode. After failing to decode this myself I searched again on the net and found the following blog entry:

Converting a PDF to PS without the LZWDecode filter

So just run the following commands:

qpdf --stream-data=uncompress original.pdf decoded.pdf
pdftops decoded.pdf decoded.ps

Avrdude Prints Part ID

Yesterday I saw the following error message of avrdude a bit too often:

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e930f
avrdude: Expected signature for ATmega168 is 1E 94 06
Double check chip, or use -F to override this check.

Since I have a random mix of atmega 48, 88 and 168 and even some ‘p’ and ‘pa’ versions I often just try and get the error message. Then I try avrdude with some other part ID and often get more errors.

That’s why I wrote a patch (and log message) for avrdude (trunk @r1298). It just adds the device id to the output after the signature which has been found:

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e930f (probably m88p)
avrdude: Expected signature for ATmega168 is 1E 94 06
Double check chip, or use -F to override this check.

This looks much better :)

Yes, I could use a microscope to read the part number from the chip but that’s too cumbersome. I prefer a solution where the software is telling me which part it is.

Reset Resolution of X Server after Program Crash

Today I played Warzone 2100. In the second mission in the beta camp I gave orders to build defenses, factories and other things. Then I loaded the transporter and started it to get to the missions map. But then the program crashed and left the X server in a pretty low resolution.

Now how do I reset the resolution?

Easy, the following line does the trick:

xrandr -s 1920x1080

You may have to choose the proper resolution for your monitor. Just entering xrandr without any options shows the available resolutions.