• 5.1 optical audio out in Ubuntu Gutsy

    Finally, the moment has arrived! After trying on at least five GNU/Linux distributions and FreeBSD, 5.1 surround sound via S/PDIF (aka. IEC958) finally works, on the latest stable version of the new wunderkind of distributions, Ubuntu Gutsy. The instructions were easy enough, and what follows is a version you can pretty much copy to the command line. Note that these are for ASUS P5K-E motherboards (which have the Analog AD1988B sound chip) - they may not work for you.

  • Morning sight

    One more reason for walking to work: The strange things you may encounter. Like this morning, when I saw a tree from which black little birds were flying, like autumn leaves, in the hundreds, all in the same general direction, perpendicularly across the fence, not as one, but in a steady stream, out of sight, and then returning in a parallel stream.

  • How to switch keyboard layouts on the Windows XP login screen

    Do you use several keyboard layouts in Windows XP? Ever been annoyed that the layout at the login screen is locked to the installation default? Here's how to fix it, with a simple registry hack.

  • Scientific American sells customers' addresses!

    I dislike paperwork, despise advertising, hate spam, and loathe companies trading addresses without my consent, which is why I'm seriously pissed off after finding a "special" offer piece of snail mail from New Scientist in my mail box this evening.

  • How to be (almost) paperless

    The paperless office has become the poster child of a stagnated IT revolution. I won't say "failed", because there are ways to get rid of almost all your paper, and gain a lot of efficiency at the same time. It works. Virtually the only time I print is when someone requires a written signature.

  • FreeBSD vs Linux - A home user's perspective

    Short version: If you'd like more control over your software (compiled and binaries), try FreeBSD. It's got the latest apps, and is a lot more predictable than Linux.

  • "Defunct hiring process" follow-up

    I got offered (and accepted) the job at the company which called me five minutes after getting home from the "post-rejection" meeting. Cambridge Technology Partners gave a much better deal. The moral of the story: If the risk is all on your side, just say no!

  • Confessions of an ex(?) newbie

    Today Months ago it hit me that I should properly ask forgiveness for my crimes committed against the IT community. I have, in no particular order:

  • Keyboard wishlist

    As a follow-up to the great keyboard rant by Rob Manuel, here are a few suggestions rants to the keyboard manufacturers.

  • Reader's Diggest*: A New Kind of Science, by Stephen Wolfram

    Cellular automata can produce patterns which could some day be useful to most of the sciences.