Fixing random sound drops with Ubuntu; only sound device is “Dummy Output”

The title says it all; at some point Ubuntu 18.04 stops playing sound and the only available sound device is "Dummy Output". Apart from rebooting (which fixes the issue) this command executed from the terminal fixes the issue: pulseaudio -k && sudo alsa force-reload Contributed by user Kim, source: https://superuser.com/questions/17312/restart-ubuntu-sound-processes-via-command-line

parchive: protecting backups against data corruption

As time goes by, my [place appropriate interval] backups may not grow much, but the size of my entire data archive exceeds the largest available hard disks (don't ask). Taking into account correctness guarantees by hard disk manufacturers, transmission errors over the network and who knows what else, I don't feel confident that I'll flip … Continue reading parchive: protecting backups against data corruption

Ansible local_action privilege de-escalation or: how to wait for a reboot

I increasingly use Ansible not only for glorious tasks like setting up my various VMs I use for prototyping but also for mundane things like resetting my personal laptop every time I get a new one or break it (dedicated readers of this blog will know me to do that a lot [2],[3],[4]). Most of … Continue reading Ansible local_action privilege de-escalation or: how to wait for a reboot

Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-571G-51TH)

Having failed the 3rd repair attempt at the Thinkpad E540 [1] I gave up and bought the next best laptop from the nearby store that somehow is usable for programming. Behold: the Acter Inspire E15. 8GB RAM, i5, matte screen (1920x1080). It worked out of the box with the SSD transplant from the old Lenovo, … Continue reading Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-571G-51TH)

Ubuntu 14.04 on the Lenovo Thinkpad E540

Update 25.03.2015: I strongly recommend against the Thinkpad Edge 540. There seems to be a systematic manufacturing problem with keyboards in many Edge models. Mine broke down a week after ordering, I installed a replacement keyboard which broke within two weeks of installing.   For details see: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/11e-Windows-E-and-Edge-series/thinkpad-edge-15-keyboard-problem/td-p/406731/page/8 Original text: After not being so long … Continue reading Ubuntu 14.04 on the Lenovo Thinkpad E540

Formatting USB flash drives for write speed

Flash drives enjoy a reputation for being fast and that certainly goes for high-end models with their elaborate memory controllers and multi-bank layouts. A fundamental "problem" with current flash memory technology is that writing even a single bit of information requires that an entire block of flash memory is reset first [1], which greatly reduces … Continue reading Formatting USB flash drives for write speed