read.stefanangrick

After Google's much-publicised decision to replace Google Talk with Hangouts and drop XMPP support in the process, many people have been looking for alternative XMPP servers that allow connecting through standards-based clients and support federation with other servers. Here are a few servers I recommend.px.gif

Read more...

Ever since I started using Fail2ban and Logwatch to monitor unauthorized login attempts and system logs on my server, I have been looking for an easy way to regularly receive encrypted status reports from both programmes by email. After playing around with gpg-mailgate for some time (useful tutorial here), I decided to opt for a simpler solution and told both programmes to send their reports to a specific user on my system. These messages are then retrieved by a simple cron script and emailed to me at regular intervals. Here is how I did it.px.gif

Read more...

While viruses on Linux are rare, I have always found it a sensible precaution to scan incoming messages for malware. It helps me weed out the occasional Windows virus that gets sent my way and keeps me from forwarding malicious attachments to friends. A common feature to most antivirus software for Windows, email scanning can be easily set up for most email clients on Linux. Plugins for ClamAV are available for Thunderbird (here) and Claws Mail (here), so set-up is fairly straightforward here, but the same functionality can be added to Evolution and Sylpheed by use of a simple bash script.px.gif

Read more...

I've always been a big fan of Gnome Shell since its release in 2011. However, one thing that always bothered me was the Gnome icon set, specifically the folder images. In contrast to the rest of Gnome Shell, which looks very clean and modern, the folder icons of the default Gnome icon theme look pretty outdated. I therefore prefer sticking with the default Ubuntu icon theme, or rather Ubuntu-mono-dark to be more precise, since its monochrome tray icons work great with the rest of Gnome Shell. However, since the release of Precise Pangolin, which ships with Gnome 3.4, I've noticed a problem with the keyboard icon, which appears next to the user menu in the upper right corner when you use input methods like iBus. Right after you log on, the keyboard icon starts jumping around, changing size every few milliseconds. This usually stops at some point, but still, it's a major annoyance and enough to put a few people off using the theme I imagine. There is a way to fix it, though.px.gif

Read more...

Installing a Japanese IME on Android can be a little tricky since the semi-official OpenWnn IME (jp.co.omronsoft.openwnn), which is included in Japanese Android systems, is not available on the Android Market. Sure, there are alternatives, like Simeji or various OpenWnn derivatives, but if you look carefully, you will notice that they usually do not provide their source code and list full internet access as a requirement. If you feel uncomfortable with the thought of transmitting everything you type (including passwords) to a third party, this post is for you.px.gif

Read more...

When I recently tried to open my favourite Java webcam applet in Firefox on Ubuntu Natty 11.04, I was surprised to find that it wasn't working. Issues with legacy Java applications are common now that the Java world is moving towards OpenJDK as the future standard. In certain cases you may have to use an older version of Java to get your applet to work. This will tell you how to install Sun Java 6 and set your system to use it as the default virtual machine for local Java applications and web applets in your browser.px.gif

Read more...

After a two-week long battle trying to get Realtek's RTL8188CE WiFi network card to work on Ubuntu Natty 11.04, countless reinstalls and email exchanges with Realtek's customer support, I finally managed to get Realtek's PCI Express Mini WiFi card to establish a stable connection. I figured I'd share my findings with the world and save other users some trouble.px.gif

Read more...

Many mobile phones in Japan come equipped with IrDA ports which allow for data transfer with other IrDA enabled devices. It's a cheap and easy way to send contact details from one phone to another, or to transfer content from your phone to your computer, and it's a lot easier to set up on Linux than I had expected.px.gif

Read more...

Until a few years ago, if you frequently travelled to Asia or wanted to send a message in an East Asian language, you usually had no choice but to buy a mobile phone from the country you're communicating with. At that time, only a limited number of phones were capable of handling Unicode and displaying East Asian character sets. Thankfully, with the advent of smart phones, and especially Google's open source Android operating system, this has changed, and mobile phones have become much more international. Today it is possible to have one mobile phone and install support for a whole set of different languages.px.gif

Read more...

If you are as excited about the upcoming release of GIMP 2.8 as me, then it's probably for the new single-window mode that will debut with GIMP's next release. GIMP, the “GNU Image Manipulation Program”, has traditionally used a very unique interface consisting of a workspace and two floating toolbars. By far one of the most controversial design decisions in the open source world, this has lead to the creation of a number of forks which tried to combine all of GIMP's windows into one. Finally, though, starting with version 2.8, a single window mode will find its way into the official GIMP version.px.gif

Read more...