This page contains random thoughts and impressions by me.

  1. 2017-01-19

  2. 2017-01-18

  3. 2017-01-17

  4. 2017-01-16

    • Christian Kruse

      Cory Doctorow wites about DRM products and that they are defective by design. He asks a good question: if DRM is so good for us, then why aren’t DRM products labeled as such?

      In our open letter on DRM labelling – a letter signed by a diverse coalition of rights holders, public interest groups, and publishers – we ask the FTC to take action to ensure that people know what they’re getting when they buy products encumbered with DRM.

      He further points out that DRM is often designed as a kill switch:

      What’s more, most modern DRM is designed for “renewability” – which is a DRM-vendor euphemism for a remote kill-switch. These DRM tools phone home periodically for updates, and install these updates without user intervention, and then disable some or all of the features that were there when you bought the product.

      Interesting read!

  5. 2017-01-13

  6. 2017-01-11

    • Christian Kruse

      In reply to

      Of course things like software quality, bad UX (e.g. still none of the hands-off/continuity features work) are a reason for me: why would I pay the „Apple tax“ if „it simply works“ is no longer true?

      Another reason is the hardware, and that’s a complex one. On one hand Apple hardware is really good, e.g. the touchpads are the best I know. But on the other hand they do stupid things like soldering the SSD and RAM onto the board or gluing the battery. At least the SSD should not be soldered, as I use my hard disks heavily (due to big databases) it is likely that it breaks before the computer is broken.

      Also software freedom is a reason. I like the ideals behind the GNU project and think this is the right way.

      But my absolutely main reason is performance. Linux performs so much better… I have a script touching and inserting about 2 million rows, one at a time. My Linux finishes the job within two hours, while my macbook needs six(!!) hours to complete the task. The overall performance is so much better, and disk I/O is in its own league.

  7. 2017-01-10

    • Christian Kruse

      Nicolas Perriault wrote a nice article about switching away from the Mac to a Linux desktop. He has a similar vita (computer-wise) as me:

      I was a Linux user 10 years ago but moved to being a Mac one, mainly because I was tired of maintaining an often broken system (hello xorg.conf), and Apple had quite an appealing offer at the time: a well-maintained Unix platform matching beautiful hardware, sought-after UX, access to editor apps like Photoshop and MS Office, so best of both worlds.

      I, too, was a Linux user (Gentoo, to be accurate) until some time in 2006 (iirc) and I too got tired repairing my system over and over again. Now he is switching back to Linux:

      To be frank, I was a happy Apple user in the early years, then the shine started to fade; messing up your system after upgrades became more frequent, Apple apps grown more and more bloated and intrusive (hello iTunes), UX started turning Kafkaian at times, too often I was finding myself tweaking and repairing stuff from the terminal…

      My reasons are are a bit different, but I can relate to that.

  8. 2017-01-09

  9. 2017-01-08

    • Christian Kruse

      For my Emacs using friends: this is an interesting article about a possible Org workflow. The author seems to use Org-mode for about a year and describes the features he can’t live without:

      I’m writing this short guide in an effort to introduce the features in org-mode which I’ve found I can’t live without. I’ll go over how I use org-mode, and it’s powerful built-in summary/calendar view known as org-agenda, in both my work and in my hobby projects. I also include some details about how everything was implemented, or at the very least provide the reader with references to understand my code. This guide is only an introduction to my workflow and is by no means self-contained!

      I read these descriptions with curiosity, I often take a thing or two out of them I didn’t know before. For example last week I learned about the org-agenda-follow-mode, a true piece of heaven!

    • Christian Kruse

      In this interesting article Wesley Moore writes about switching away from macOS. He writes about his motivation and reasons:

      • Access to regularly updated, pro hardware.
      • Not restricted to Apple hardware that makes choices that I don’t value, such as:
        • Removing the Esc key.
        • Removing all legacy ports necessitating the use of dongles for everything.
        • Prioritising thinness and weight over everything else.
      • Access to hardware that Apple doesn’t make, such as 2-in-1 laptops.
      • Getting comfortable with an alternative before I’m forced to.
      • The ability to inspect and contribute to the OS I use.
      • Using an OS where developers are first-class citizens.

      I can understand his reasons: I for myself have similar problems with Apple nowadays (besides the moral issues). Interestingly he also favors elementary OS:

      Elementary is stunning and definitely my favourite. It won’t appeal to everyone but their philosophies and direction really resonate with me.

      I’m trying out elementary as well (using it for a week now, I am pretty happy with it), so it was nice to read that somebody else likes it as well - especially since loads of Linux users I know think that this not the way Linux is supposed to be.

  10. 2017-01-07

    • Christian Kruse

      Manton Reece writes about silos:

      The message is clear. The only web site that you can trust to last and have your interests at heart is the web site with your name on it.

  11. 2017-01-05

  12. 2016-12-15

  13. 2016-12-14

  14. 2016-12-13

  15. 2016-12-12

    • Christian Kruse

      Over the weekend I have been moving my stuff from a dedicated server to three DigitalOcean droplets (affiliate link). I’m down from 60 EUR to about 20 EUR. Yay! :)

      I also took the chance and moved my configuration to deployment via ansible. What a relief!

      I also have to admit, I’m impressed by the work DO did, it is really fast to create a new droplet. It is just a matter of under a minute.

  16. 2016-12-08

  17. 2016-12-07

  18. 2016-12-05

  19. 2016-11-24

    • Christian Kruse

      The last week I have been writing on a new iOS project. I hadn’t had so much fun during work for ages.

      Learning new things is fun, and the iOS ecosystem is pretty neat!

  20. 2016-11-18

  21. 2016-11-17

  22. 2016-11-15

    • Christian Kruse

      I’m rolling on the floor laughing – „It took millions of years for mankind to evolve. Now they’re hunched over cellphones, playing with your balls.”

  23. 2016-11-14

    • Christian Kruse

      In reply to

      I think we should create a new term for this type of problems:

      to jeena: to fuck up your computers with weird and esoteric problems.

      you jeenad your hardware!

  24. 2016-10-29

    • Christian Kruse

      I have to face it: I’m no longer target audience for a MacBook Pro. They dropped all ports, still only 16GB RAM and still an old CPU. This is not what I expect from a pro notebook. I like the idea of the touch bar, but it doesn’t compensate the missing features.

      After careful consideration we decided not to buy a new MBP but instead bought a Tuxedo Notebook which I can get with 32GB RAM, a fast i7 Kaby lake CPU and a lot of ports (inluding a network port).

  25. 2016-10-26

  26. 2016-10-25

  27. 2016-10-18

  28. 2016-10-14

    • Christian Kruse

      Does Google really do hiring tests like this? I can’t belive it, this seems so dumb. The answers the guy gave have all been correct and the recruiter obviously didn’t know anything about CS.

      If this is true that would explain a lot…

  29. 2016-10-13

  30. 2016-10-11

  31. 2016-10-10

  32. 2016-10-06

    • Christian Kruse

      It is impressive how none of the shiny new iOS-macOS features work for me.

      • Handoff? Doesn’t work at all, never has, neither synchronized tabs nor email nor accepting calls on my mac or the iPad.
      • Universal Clipboard? Doesn’t work.
      • Unlock with watch? Doesn’t work, I don’t even get the box to enable it.

      I did the complete Apple dance more than once (disable/enable iCloud, disable/enable 2 factor authentication, reboot devices, etc, pp). And the worst of all: I am not able to debug that. How would I?

      Just works my ass.