That sums it up

Dear Reader,

This tweet by Brian Pedaci says it well:



On the bright side, peaceful transition of power is one of the corner stones of democracy.

The republicans have send intellectually challenged puppets to the White House before. A poor actor Ronald Reagan (VP G. H. W. Bush)  and a failed businessman George W. Bush (VP Dick Cheney). This time they combined those features with a poor TV personality and four times bankruptcy filing businessman. Like the two before him, he got a hawkish VP at his side. All eyes on Mike Pence.

Interesting times ahead,

Engine Room


Something good on TV

Dear Reader,

Usually Glynsky makes TV recommendations on Diablog. Since he is still busy and I found something good, let me fill in.

The following is a British documentary. Adam Curtis has released HyperNormalisation on BBC iPlayer.

You Brits can watch it here:

Outside of the UK you can either use a VPN or a Proxy. By now you do know how to get those, don’t you? Or you search online for other sources. I have seen copies out there already. And here is what The Guardian has to say about it.

The roughly two hours are spent well, the movie is worth your time.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room


How does a true NYer talk?

Dear Reader,

Diablog is neither neutral, nor are we shy with words. While some are more British, aka polite, I am more American, or blunt, or rude.

One of the NY icons, Robert De Niro, talked about voting in the upcoming election. It was part of a campaign to motivate people to go and vote. And he talked like the true NYer he is. Listen and see yourself:

Do I have to mention, that I agree with Mr. De Niro? I didn’t think so.

Stay sane,

Engine Room


Happy 25th Birthday Linux

Dear Reader,

This post is a bit late, if you consider Linus Torvald’s announcement on the usenet group comp.os.minix on August 25th, 1991, the birth date of Linux. Or a bit early, if you consider his first release of Kernel version 0.01 on September 17th, 1991, the actual birthday.

So we are somewhat in the middle toasting to Linux.

It is a peculiar feeling.  On the one hand, Linux is quite new. What is 25 years? Yet, it feels like I have been using it forever. And I could not imagine working without it.

And you should celebrate too. Whether you are using a smartphone or tablet with Android (market share ~ 80%), or because you are reading this post. Both are powered by Linux. One could claim, 90% of the internet is powered by Linux. Certainly our server is, like ~ 90 % of all web servers.

And Linux is running on many other devices you are using. In all likelihood your router at home and at the office is running on Linux, as well as your satellite navigation system and your TV. Of the 500 fastest super computers 497 are running on Linux.

The next outstanding issue, still Linus is running the show. Along with by now thousands or tens of thousands of volunteers. Because although the first 10,000 lines of code in version 0.01 were written by Linus, within less than two years hundreds of the best hackers in the world had added much more to it.

Linux was the first free open source software project of that magnitude. And it is the largest.

So, happy birthday Linux!

And thank you so much to Linus and the countless people making it happen every day.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

PS: Isn’t it about time, you kiss good-bye to bloody Windows on your laptop or desktop, and give Linux a go?


New Hardware

Dear Reader,

One of the reasons for my prolonged silence on Diablog was broken hardware. No, not the server, everything is fine there. The server received plenty of updates and improvements under the hood, all installed behind the curtain, you did not notice. Except for even shorter loading times maybe.

After a mere five years my high class, high quality, expensive Thinkpad notebook by Lenovo failed. The lid/display broke at one of the hinges. The display is the most expensive part of a notebook. Replacing it usually costs almost as much as an entire new machine. Thus, I decided to replace the Thinkpad.

Granted, the machine had been used a lot, it traveled a lot, and I admit to not handling it in the most gentle way all the time. Nevertheless, I had expected twice the life time. Tough luck, all of a sudden I was in need of a new laptop.

Over the past couple of years I had decided already, that my next machine would not be a Lenovo again. Lenovo installs spyware and maleware. No thanks.  HP computers are suspected of the same, HP was out of the question too. Dell offers linux laptops, but they are not the most reliable in terms of hardware any more. Plus, they glue in hardware, like the battery. That limits the life time of the laptop to the battery life, in other words three to four years. What a stupid waste.

So I had chosen an independent supplier of high quality laptops without any operating system – aka Microsoft crap – and without any of that UEFI shit, where Microsoft thinks, it can dictate what other operating system you can install. Thanks, but no thanks. I want a clean machine and bought one.

The new laptop arrived and I installed my preferred linux distribution, LMDE. The next step would have been to transfer my home folder from old to new and be done within an hour.

Since the laptop came from a linux sprecialist, my expectation was for everything to work out of the box. Yet, it did not. I had ignored the basic linux lesson: check whether your hardware is supported. My bad.

My graphic card was not supported, the laptop ran in software rendering mode. That means, all processors were running at up to 90% capacity. And that in turn reduced the run on battery from the promised 8-10 hours to a mere two hours. Not possible.

After unsuccessfully trying to fix that by myself, a conversation with the friendly supplier got the answer: the hardware was too new. And LMDE. using a slightly older kernel, lacked the required drivers. The newer kernel would not come into LMDE for another one or two years.

Luckily, by now other distributions are using my preferred desktop environment, Cinnamon. So I switched distribution. But now the software programs or applications were of a different version, mostly older ones. LMDE uses an older kernel, but the applications are cutting edge. LinuxMint is the other way around, newer kernel, but slightly older application versions. Bugger.

Copying the home folder was not an option anymore. Instead, I had to transfer the data by individual application. And I had to redo all my settings, making everything look and behave the way I want it. After a few updates and changes, I am now where I want to be. Everything works brilliantly. Everything looks and behaves the way I want it to. No spyware on the machine, no maleware, just clean, neat free open source software.

Consider me a very happy camper. And now I should have time for Diablog again.

By the way, has anyone seen or heard of Glynsky?

Stay tuned,

Engine Room