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

Running varnish as unprivileged user

Since I haven't found any documentation on the topic of running varnish as non-root, I proudly present: how to run varnish as non-root. A warning ahead: this will require fiddling with init scripts, so make sure to keep backups. Also, scripts will be overwritten with each package update. Changes to /etc/init.d/varnish Ulimit calls are not … Continue reading Running varnish as unprivileged user

Running a website on ip6

I started quite a while ago moving a pet project to ip6. While it doesn't involve any programming per se, it turned out to be quite a complicated process involving multiple configuration steps. Thus, for your enjoyment I present: running a website on ip6 with Ubuntu 14.04 (older versions won't work because their kernel doesn't … Continue reading Running a website on ip6

Linux picking the best access point in a WLAN with repeaters

In many larger WLAN setups you'll find repeaters or extenders which spread the WLAN to farther places on the floor. Often they are set up in such a way that they use the same WLAN name (SSID) and password. In that case the WLAN hardware on your laptop will pick the best access point and … Continue reading Linux picking the best access point in a WLAN with repeaters

Smaller brightness steps with the Asus N56VB and Ubuntu

Ubuntu on the laptop is definitely maturing. We're way past "at least it boots" and now that survival is ensured, it is time for luxury illnesses. One of those on the Asus N56VB is handling of screen brightness which, for my taste, comes in too steep steps. Especially the minimum brightness is still too bright … Continue reading Smaller brightness steps with the Asus N56VB and Ubuntu

Running windows games with steam on a hybrid graphics card

I don't play much, but when I do, it's Sid Meier's Civilization on a Windows installation boxed into a VM. Earlier this year I got tricked by a Humble-Bundle offer into buying Civilization V, which came with the "trojan horse" of a steam account. Had I known the prerequisite of a Steam account before hand, … Continue reading Running windows games with steam on a hybrid graphics card

Automatically regulating volume on a USB headset with Ubuntu

When you connect an external speaker or headset to your computer you normally expect the sound to play over those and you'd also expect the integrated speakers to mute. Windows does that well and you'd expect that Ubuntu can do that as well, unfortunately it doesn't. Not without some scripting. So here we go: The … Continue reading Automatically regulating volume on a USB headset with Ubuntu