[Thu Jun 22 11:33:18 CDT 2017]

My oldest son passed me the link to an article titled Please stop sending me your shitty Word documents. I agree with the contents. I cannot say how many times I have received Word documents attached to an email that truly only contained simple, boring text. Why bother with a Word document? To the arguments used by the author I'd add one more: the possibility of including malicious software via macros. Most of the times, it's just not worth the price, really. {link to this entry}

[Fri Jun 16 15:10:25 CDT 2017]

After a recent install of Debian 8 (jessie) on my laptop and restoring all the home files from another machine, I noticed some strange issue. For whatever reason, every now and then, the system appeared to freeze and it became unresponsive. It didn't happen very often. Only 2-3 times per session (and my sessions last between 8 and 9 hours!). However, it was quite annoying. So, when I finally found the time to troubleshoot the problem, I noticed the following errors in the syslog:

Jun 14 11:52:15 tangier pulseaudio[1968]: Failed to create sink input: sink is suspended.
As I said, the appearance of the error always happened together with a strange GUI freeze. The mouse still moved, and things appeared to be working. However, I couldn't select any window to bring it to the forefront or type anything anywhere. The solution appears to be documented here. Simply run the following command:
$ rm -r ~/.pulse ~/.pulse-cookie ~/.config/pulse
Alternatively, you can do as I did and simply rename those directories. Just in case. {link to this entry}

[Fri Jun 16 15:08:16 CDT 2017]

Not sure if I will ever use any of these solutions because the default GUI client for Spotify on Linux works fine for me. However, here is a link to Sconsify and another one to Despotify, two console clients for the music service. {link to this entry}

[Wed Jun 14 15:26:51 CDT 2017]

Here is how to end an existing GNU Screen session:

$ screen -ls 
3890.work

$ screen -r -d 3890.work

(Ctrl + A)

:quit
{link to this entry}

[Sat Jun 3 17:26:47 CDT 2017]

Here is an article worth reading: 30 best practices for software development and testing, by Michael Foord. {link to this entry}

[Sat Jun 3 15:23:34 CDT 2017]

Are you a big user of IRC? Do you find those constant messages letting you know when people join or quit the channels annoying? This document explains how to change the default settings on your IRC client. I use XChat, and it worked fine. Basically, running the following command on the server tab does the trick for all channels:

/set irc_conf_mode on
{link to this entry}

[Sat Jun 3 15:17:03 CDT 2017]

If you run GNOME 3, you may have noticed a bunch of tracker processes eating up way too much CPU time every now and then, especially when you firt log into your computer. In that case, you may be interested in these instructions to disable GNOME Tracker. For the most part, it worked fine on my Debian 8 (jessie) system, but I had to introduce some changes. Here are the updated steps:

$ sudo tracker-control -t
$ cd ~/.config/autostart
$ cp -v /etc/xdg/autostart/tracker-* .
$ for FILE in `ls tracker-*`; do echo Hidden=true >> $FILE; done
$ rm -rf ~/.cache/tracker ~/.local/share/tracker
{link to this entry}