News archive November 2018 - Koos van den Hout

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2018-11-28 Using mice adopted to my hands 1 year ago
The old rsi problem was acting up again, just like I had RSI in 1999.

One of the things I now did was add a left-side mouse on the linux desktop at home. I have used a left-side mouse for a number of years on a linux desktop and used the instructions from the xmodmap manpage:
       Many  pointers are designed such that the first button is pressed using
       the index finger of the right hand.  People who  are  left-handed  fre‐
       quently  find  that  it is more comfortable to reverse the button codes
       that get generated so that the primary  button  is  pressed  using  the
       index  finger  of  the  left  hand.   This  could be done on a 3 button
       pointer as follows:
       %  xmodmap -e "pointer = 3 2 1"
But I now have two USB mice, one with a forward/backward button and a clearly right-handed design and one simple one on the left. And it is possible to selectively swap mouse buttons on only one input device with xinput.

The list of all inputs:
koos@thompson:~$ xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse           id=9    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech Optical USB Mouse                id=10   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Burr-Brown from TI               USB Audio CODEC  id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ VIA Technologies Inc. USB Audio Device    id=11   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ daskeyboard                               id=12   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ daskeyboard                               id=13   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Dell WMI hotkeys                          id=14   [slave  keyboard (3)]
Setting the button order happens with xinput set-button-map which needs an ID. Solution in .xsession:
xinput set-button-map $(xinput list --id-only "Logitech Optical USB Mouse") 3 2 1

Oh, and in that other operating system I use (Windows) one of the problems is the user can't set mouse button order per device. And technical specifications of left-handed mice do not list whether the buttons are swapped in hardware.

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2018-11-25 New country in the amateur radio logs 1 year ago
This weekend I had some time and energy to power up the amateur radio set and trying to get interesting contacts. All in FT8 digital mode as the local interference levels are high. I do my voice contacts at the radio club or out in the field.

This Saturday I managed to make a contact with 5T2AI on Mauritania, a new country in amateur radio for me. At first the other station did not receive me but using the power amplifier helped to make the contact.

I also did a lot of attempts to get a contact with the current radio expedition to Rodriguez Islands but failed.

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2018-11-23 Automatic ls colours can be slow 1 year ago
I noticed certain commands taking a while to start, including a simple ls. At last I got annoyed enough to diagnose the whole situation and found out the problem is the combination of symbolic links in the listed directory pointing to filesystems behind automounter, one mounted filesystem coming from a NAS with sleeping disk and ls --color doing a stat() on the target of a symbolic link to find the type of the target file to be able to select a colour.

My solution: find the source of the alias and disable it.

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2018-11-20 Fixing old deeplinks to twitter 1 year ago
Remember the twitter #! hashbang urls? I'd rather not. Those URLs were active from 2010 to 2012 and have been eliminated. But I got reminded today as it seems they are now silently failing. I checked the archive of my own website to fix all those links.

I try to keep all old URLs working. Unless the content completely goes away.

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2018-11-16 Changing the way I listen to podcasts 1 year ago
I bought the iRiver ifp-795 in May 2005 to listen to podcasts, mostly while cycling to and from work.

But I need to find time to download new episodes on the laptop and copy them in the right order to the storage of the mp3 player. There is an another device which can do all this and can play the mp3 files too: my android smartphone.

So I looked for an Android podcast player which can deal with podcast feeds not in its own directory. After reading an overview article and browsing the play store I found RadioPublic and managed to add my favourite podcasts.

Adding a feed it didn't know was a bit harder than expected. I want to listen to The ICQ Amateur / Ham Radio Podcast but it wasn't listed. So I tried to add the RSS feed myself by typing the URL which failed. Adding it only worked out after I opened the RSS feed in my browser on android and copied and pasted the url to the 'search' field.

The application has a nice playlist and I can order the downloaded episodes in such a way that I don't get several episodes from the same show in a row.

Ok, I found one downside: it seems impossible to add an mp3 downloaded via the browser to the RadioPublic playlist.

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2018-11-05 De gevolgen van DSL interleave 1 year ago
Ping stats Gisterenavond dus toegekomen aan het vervangen van het vdsl modem na de eerdere storing en ineens viel me wat op in de ping stats: tijdens het gebruik van de fritzbox was de round trip tijd lager en stabieler, de uitschieters naar boven komen dus puur van de vdsl laag. De fritzbox zet de interleave uit (fast/fast), de huidige modemdriver in de vigor op fast down en interleaved up.

Misschien toch eens een andere vdsl driver proberen op de vigor.
Read the rest of De gevolgen van DSL interleave

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2018-11-02 Stroomstoring afgelopen dinsdag 1 year ago
Er was een stroomstoring afgelopen dinsdag. Ik ontdekte dat op een hele typische manier: ik werd wakker voor de tijd van opstaan, wat me wel vaker overkomt en ik wilde op de wekker kijken maar die was donker.

Uiteindelijk was de stroomstoring van 06:23 tot 08:07, in een aardig gebied rondom ons huis. Helaas was er in de ochtenddrukte geen tijd om te testen wat het gevolg van deze uitval was voor het storingsniveau op de amateur radio HF banden.

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2018-11-02 Een hikkende internet verbinding 1 year ago
Sinds woensdagmiddag hikt de VDSL verbinding. Op het VDSL modem lijkt alles prima in orde, maar toch hapert verkeer erg regelmatig.

Ik laat mtr lopen en ik zie ineens een patroon ontstaan:
                             Last  50 pings
 1. 124.ae0.xr4.1d12.xs4all. ..................................................
 2. 0.ae1.dr12.d12.xs4all.ne ..................................................
 3. outgate.idefix.net       b23.....>b3b22...>c3b22.....>b3b22...>c3b22.....?
 4. 2001:980:14ca:1::23      b11.....>b1b.1...>b2b.1.....>b1b.....>b2b11.....?

Scale:  .:38 ms  1:154 ms  2:347 ms  3:616 ms  a:963 ms  b:1387 ms  c:1888 ms  >
Blijkbaar is eens in de 9 of 11 seconden er een vertraging gedurende 5 seconden. Tijd voor een rondje diagnose. De eerste verdachte is het vdsl modem, want het vdsl modem zelf benaderen hikt ook met dezelfde regelmaat. Volgens de switch waar het modem aanzit is er op ethernet niveau niets mis.

Toevoeging: Na een herstart functioneerde het VDSL modem helemaal niet meer. Het lijkt er op dat het slachtoffer geworden is van de stroomstoring van dinsdagmorgen. Er is een nieuwe onderweg. Het VDSL modem is ouder dan 2 jaar, dus daar zit zeker geen garantie meer op.

Op dit moment werkt de verbinding naar buiten met het Fritz!box 7360v1 modem van xs4all. Met de nodige IPv4 portforwards zijn diverse zaken in ieder geval weer bereikbaar over IPv4 en kunnen we over IPv4 naar buiten.
Read the rest of Een hikkende internet verbinding

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