// LeechBlock - Firefox Add-on to (temporarily) block time-wasting websites

LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool. It is a Firefox extension to block time-wasting sites, distracting yourself e.g. from working effectively. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.

See LeechBlock for installation instructions. Perfect to focus your attention when working on boring things. :-)

// Adobe Flash 64bit for Linux returns

Adobe dropped the experimental, native 64bit Linux support officially in the mid of 2010.1) Therefore, there was no alternative to the slow but safe 32bit wrapper, provided by the flashplugin-installer package.

But there's life in the old dog yet: Adobe released a new 64bit Labs version yesterday. If you want to use it, you may be interested in some manual installation instructions and/or a 64bit Flash installation/update script for Ubuntu Linux.

The last released version got serious security vulnerabilities.

// FileBot - automatic renaming utility for TV shows

FileBot is an Open Source, cross platform renaming utility, targeting TV shows.

Main features:2)

I wrote an article about it, see FileBot for screenshots, installation instructions and usage tips (e.g. how to get localized episode names).

// Full disk encryption with Ubuntu (9.04 Jaunty or newer), LVM and LUKS

I wrote a detailed guide on how to install an encrypted Ubuntu Linux:

The setup is using LUKS and Logical Volume Manager (LVM) to get a secure and flexible system. And to make nearly everybody succeed, there is even a crypt-setup bash script, making the installation faster and easier.

Have fun. :-)

// Ebfe's Anti-B00TKIT Project

The “Ebfe's Anti-B00TKIT Project” is a simple but effective protection against Bootkits, suitable for daily usage. It makes it possible to know if your bootloader was manipulated before booting from disk. A really interesting tool for high-security environments and paranoid persons. :-P

Bootkits3) are used to attack a full disk encryption4) (amongst other things). All “common” data is encrypted on such systems except a small, “special” part: the bootloader. Expressed in simplified terms, the bootloader is needed to store a program which prompts the user for the password to decipher the data and start the encrypted operating system. Bootkits are trying to manipulate the bootloader, making it possible to log the password the user enters and store it within the unencrypted part of the disk afterwards. The user does not see this, he simply gets the normal encryption password promt to start the system. This enables the attacker to come back later to read out the plain, unencrypted password the bootkit stored for him.

Ebfe's Anti-B00TKIT provides a CD to boot from before booting from disk. The program on CD reads out the Master Boot Record entries and displays their checksums (this does only need a few seconds). If all checksums are OK, you can going on to boot from disk by pressing a key. If the checksums are not the same as every day, your harddisk's bootloader was manipulated. To make this check more comfortable, you can create a custom CD containing your original MBR checksums. The CD is able to highlight non-matching checksums automatically then.

Visit the project website for screenshots, how-to and download.

for example the Stoned Bootkit on MS Windows
e.g. LUKS on Ubuntu or TrueCrypt on Windows

// New versions of "monobook" and "vector" released (templates for DokuWiki)

I just released updated versions of “monobook” and “vector” (mostly bug-fixes). These templates are bringing you the traditional or current MediaWiki/Wikipedia look and feel for your DokuWiki.

Have fun. :-)

// R.I.P. coffeemaker

Our coffeemaker at the office died today. :-( :-( :-(

Dead coffeemaker :-(

And how should a geek be able to work without coffee? Therefore we are going to buy this one ASAP:
Philips HD 5410/00 Cafe Gourmet :-D

// Pingdroid - Ping.fm client for Android

Pingdroid is a free and simple Ping.fm Android client. Search for “Pingdroid” at the Market (or use the Pingdroid QR Code) to install it. The project's website provides some screenshots.

If you don't know Ping.fm, give it a try. It is a powerful service, allowing you to update your status on over 30 different social networks and services at once, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Indenti.ca and more.

// Fixing not working backlight controls on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid @ HP Compaq 615 notebook

Ubuntu generally works like a charm on the HP Compaq 615 low-budget notebook. I own one since ~1 year, using the proprietary ATI Radeon driver provided by Ubuntu's Hardware Driver Assistant for the on-board Radeon HD 3200 graphic card. Never had any problems with it.

However, since Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid the display background lighting controls/buttons do not work properly with the proprietary driver recommended by Ubuntu's Hardware Driver Assistant (System→Administration→Hardware Drivers). To fix this problem, simply upgrade to the newest ATI Radeon Driver provided by AMD:

  1. Deactivate the currently used proprietary ATI Radeon driver (System→Administration→Hardware Drivers) and reboot afterwards to be on the safe side.
  2. Download the newest driver from http://support.amd.com/: Download graphics drivers → Integrated Motherboard Graphics → Radeon HD 3xxx Series → Radeon HD 3200 Series → Linux x86_64 (for 64bit systems) or Linux x86 (for 32bit systems)
  3. Open a terminal, make the downloaded ati-driver-installer-<version>.run file executable and start it with superuser privileges:
    chmod a+rx /path/to/ati-driver-installer-<version>.run
    sudo /path/to/ati-sriver-installer-<version>.run
  4. An installation wizard will start → Install Driver → Automatic. After rebooting your system, everything should be fine. You may delete the downloaded file now.

Please note: you have to do this again after you are installing a kernel update. If the new driver is not compatible to your kernel, you can always switch back to the one shipped with Ubuntu.

Update 2010-11-03: backlight controls are working out of the box on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick and the proprietary ATI driver provided by Ubuntu's additional driver wizard.

// Fixing the lack of support for transparent PNG images in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6: my favorites

It is an old problem, but still actual: MSIE 5.5/6 does not support alpha channel transparency in PNG (at least in PNG-24). If you google it, you will get many results. The reason why I am blogging about is the different quality and heaviness of the thousands of existing fixes, it is not easy to know which are the good ones if you never used them. Therefore I want to share my personal favorites. I'm creating websites for years now, and there are two freely available fixes which always did the job for me:5)

as long as you as you ignore the flaw that JavaScript has to be active
licensed under LGPL
licensed under GPL

// Anleitung: QR-Code-Visitenkarte erstellen

QR-Codes auf Visitenkarten sind wirklich nützlich, da die Kontaktdaten als vCard darin gespeichert werden können. Dies macht das Importieren der Kontaktdaten via Mobiltelefon für andere sehr schnell und einfach.

An hochwertige QR-Code-Visitenkarten zu kommen ist einfach:

  1. Öffne http://goQR.me um einen QR-Code zu erstellen. Selektiere den vCard Tab und gebe deine Daten ein. Klicke anschließend auf das Visitenkarten-Symbol um den Onlineshop zu öffnen.
    Screenshot: 1. Daten eingeben 2. Klicke auf das Visitenkarten-Symbol um den Klamotten-Shop zu öffnen.
  2. Wähle die Art Visitenkarte, die dir am besten gefällt. Dein QR-Code (in hoher Auflösung) und die eingegebenen Kontaktdaten wurden automatisch übernommen.
  3. Gestalten. Du kannst zusätzliche Bilder oder Text hinzufügen, nutze dazu einfach die angebotenen Online-Werkzeuge.
    Screenshot: customizing-Werkzeuge
  4. Bestellen. Einfach, oder? :-)

Tipps und Tricks

  • Du brauchst dich nicht um die Auflösung der QR-Code-Grafik zu kümmern. goQR.me erstellt automatisch einen hochauflösenden QR-Code sobald du den Onlineshop öffnest.
  • Du kannst auch farbige QR-Codes auf goQR.me erstellen. Klicke einfach auf den “Optionen”-Knopf um ein entsprechendes Menü zu öffnen.

Disclosure: goQR.me wird von meiner Firma betrieben.

// How to create a QR Code business card

QR Codes on business cards are really useful because you can use them to store your contact data as vCard. This makes importing your data on mobiles very quick and comfortable for others.

Getting high quality QR Code business cards is really easy:

  1. Open http://goQR.me to create the QR Code. Select the vCard tab and enter your data. Click on the business card icon afterwards to open the shop.
    Screenshot: 1. Enter the data 2. Click on the business card logo to open the shop.
  2. Choose the type of business card you like. Your QR Code (in a high resolution) and provided contact data is automatically applied on them.
  3. Customize it. You can add additional pictures and text as you like, simply use the provided tools if you wish.
    Screenshot: customizing tools
  4. Order it. Quiet simple, isn't it? :-)

Tips and tricks

  • Don't care about the QR Code resolution. goQR.me creates a high quality QR Code automatically if you are opening the shop.
  • You can colorize you QR Code at goQR.me. Have a look at the “Options” button.

Disclosure: goQR.me is a service of my company.

I'm no native speaker (English)
Please let me know if you find any errors (I want to improve my English skills). Thank you!
QR Code: URL of current page
QR Code: URL of current page start (generated for current page)