October 6, 2014

A weekend with the Acer Chromebook 13 FHD (AKA nyan-big)

I spent the weekend using almost exclusively my Chromebook 13, on a single charge Saturday and Sunday. Keyboard I think I like the keyboard better now than I used to when I first tried it. It gets nowhere near the ThinkPad X230 one, though; appart from the coating, which my (backlit) X230 unfortunately does not have. Screen While the screen appeared very grainy to me on first sight, having only used IPS screens in the past year, I got used to it over the weekend. ... Read more

October 2, 2014

Acer Chromebook 13 (FHD): Initial impressions

Today, I received my Acer Chromebook 13, in the glorious FullHD variant with 4GB RAM. For those of you who don’t know it, the Acer Chromebook 13 is a 13.3 inch chromebook powered by a Tegra K1 cpu. This version cannot be ordered currently, only pre-orders were shipped yesterday (at least here in Germany). I cannot even review it on Amazon (despite having it bought there), as they have not enabled reviews for it yet. ... Read more

September 25, 2014

hardlink 0.3.0 released; xattr support

Today I not only submitted my bachelor thesis to the printing company, I also released a new version of hardlink, my file deduplication tool. hardlink 0.3 now features support for xattr support, contributed by Tom Keel at Intel. If this does not work correctly, please blame him. I also added support for a –minimum-size option. Most of the other code has been tested since the upload of RC1 to experimental in September 2012. ... Read more

September 24, 2014

APT 1.1~exp3 released to experimental: First step to sandboxed fetcher methods

Today, we worked, with the help of ioerror on IRC, on reducing the attack surface in our fetcher methods. There are three things that we looked at: 1. Reducing privileges by setting a new user and group 2. chroot() 3. seccomp-bpf sandbox Today, we implemented the first of them. Starting with 1.1~exp3, the APT directories /var/cache/apt/archives and /var/lib/apt/lists are owned by the “_apt” user (username suggested by pabs). The methods switch to that user shortly after the start. ... Read more

August 6, 2014

Configuring an OpenWRT Router as a repeater for a FRITZ!Box with working Multicast

Since some time, those crappy Fritz!Box devices do not support WDS anymore, but rather a proprietary solution created by AVM. Now what happens if you have devices in another room that need/want wired access (like TVs, Playstations) or if you want to extend the range of your network? Buying another Fritz!Box is not very cost efficient - What I did was to buy a cheap TP-Link TL-WR841N (can be bought for 18 euros) and installed OpenWRT on it. ... Read more

April 9, 2014

ThinkPad X230 UEFI broken by setting a setting

Today, I decided to set my X230 back to UEFI-only boot, after having changed that for a bios upgrade recently (to fix a resume bug). I then choose to save the settings and received several error messages telling me that the system ran out of resources (probably storage space for UEFI variables). I rebooted my machine, and saw no logo appearing. Just something like an underscore on a text console. The system appears to boot normally otherwise, and once the i915 module is loaded (and we’re switching away from UEFI’s Graphical Output Protocol [GOP]) the screen works correctly. ... Read more

January 6, 2014

python-apt now native Python 3 code

Today I made an important change to the python-apt code: It is now native Python 3 code (but also works under Python 2). The previous versions all run 2to3 during the build process to create a Python 3 version. This is no longer needed, as the code is now identical. As part of that change, python-apt now only supports Python 2.7, Python 3.3, and newer. I’m using some features only present in 3. ... Read more

October 21, 2013

python-apt 0.9 released

I released python-apt 0.9. This completely removes support for the old API from the code base (it was disabled for the entirety of 0.8 in Debian, and in Ubuntu since saucy). Highlights: * Cleanup: Complete removal of old-api support code * Bug fix: Various coverty bug fixes by Michael Vogt * Bug fix: Correctly handles multi-arch dependencies in apt.debfile, so packagekit and gdebi can now install local multi-arch packages correctly * Bug fix: A segmentation fault has been fixed. ... Read more

September 7, 2013

Review: ThinkPad X230

This week, a few hours after Lenovo announced the X240, I bought an X230. Normally, the X230 model I bought comes with a Core i5-3320M CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD. My model was a special set including a second 4GB RAM stick and a 128 GB mSATA Plextor SSD. It came without Windows; and the ThinkVantage button is black instead of blue and has no label. I put a fresh installation of unstable on it and tweaked it to save more power when on battery (enabled RC6++, and enabled autosuspend and other powertop suggestions with a script in /etc/pm/power. ... Read more

April 9, 2013

apt-show-versions rewrite in C++ (more than 10 times faster)

The script apt-show-versions is developed by another Debian Developer called Christoph Martin in Perl. Recently, it turned out that apt-show-versions is too slow for some users; so I decided to rewrite his program using APT’s C++ API. I expect this to be part of a future APT release, rendering the original apt-show-versions obsolete. The rewrite is sadly not 100% backwards compatible to the original version; as some option names had to be renamed due to our command-line parser not supporting option names like -nh, and some other options were dropped because they are hard to support (like –status-file and –lists-dir) with our command-line parsing. ... Read more

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