Thunderbird to systray

Til version 3 of Thunderbird, or more exactly icedove, I used the add-on New Mail Icon to free the busy space in task list that the Thunderbird process uses even though I have this window very rarely in foreground. But it seems that there is no further development in this project, so this software isn’t compatible to the actual major release…

On my main desktop I thought I have to live with that, but on my notebook screen there is a lack of space, more than ever, so I had to search for an alternative tool. On my way I found a tool (no add-on) called AllTray, it’s available in the Debian/Ubuntu repository. That can dock any window to your tray, so it doesn’t depend on Thunderbird, you can also dock a terminal or your editor or even a complete (Oracle VM) VirtualBox instance.

For my Thunderbird problem it’s a half of the solution, because this tool doesn’t tell me whether there are unread mails. But after some more research I found a real add-on called FireTray that does the desired trick. So more space for other junk ;-)

Serv local printer

I have an old printer, an HP Laserjet 6P. It is very reliable and fast, so no need to buy a new one. But there is a problem (I thought), this printer has no network interface, it is connected with a parallel port to my host. Some minutes ago I racked my head how to use this printer with my notebook. Now I’m wondering how easy it is using cups!!

On the server side (the machine that is connected to the printer) you just have to modify this printer and check the field called “Share This Printer”, and in the administration tab just enable “Share printers connected to this system” and “Allow printing from the Internet”.

On your client you only have to publish your server. To do it for the complete system write the following line in your /etc/cups/client.conf , to set this server only for your local user account write it to your users $HOME/.cups/client.conf :


You just have to specify the port if your server is not listening on the default port 631.

That’s it! Open a document and try to print! I still cannot believe that it is that easy ;)

Thanks to the cups-team

Need more bandwidth!

Today I got my new notebook, an IdeaPad. I had some concerns about the glare display, never used glare displays but it seems to be no problem and I don’t have a choice, Lenovo doesn’t sell that kind of notebooks without glare displays.

This laptop comes with Windows XP and of course I have to fix this bug ;)

But before I’ll delete the Windows installation and install a proper os the original system has to be backed up (I want to test some things before I decide whether to buy the laptop). So I installed the first release of „Ύπνος“ to my USB flash drive and booted into it. To back up the hard drive I mounted a piece of my main machine’s hard drive via sshfs to the laptop and copied the laptop’s hard drive to the other machine:

root@sidux /tmp % mkdir mount
root@sidux /tmp % sshfs user@ mount/
root@sidux /tmp % dd if=/dev/sda of=/tmp/mount/neu.ddi ibs=1024k obs=8192

Ok, the notebook’s drive keeps 160 GB and I just have a 99 ct fast ethernet switch, so you can calculate the time I have to wait… That sucks, doesn’t anyone have a gigabit switch lying around? I would prefer Cisco switches ;)

Hopefully the backup will finish today, so I can play a little bit with the laptop and its luxurious 1.280x720 screen resolution on the 10’’ glare display.

Which country is the most stupid

Today I had a conversation with a scientist from Bulgaria who is working with microarrays. He told me some practical experiences of his work. It was very interesting and I learned a lot of things, in spite of the fact that I gave a lecture about microarrays some time ago.

In this talk he said a wonderful sentence:

Früher dachte ich immer die Russen wären dumm, bis ich die Amerikaner kennen gelernt habe!

English translation: Some years ago I thought the Russians are stupid, until I got to know the Americans.

Topic was the structuring of websites of companies. If he has a question he always has to search through the web because everyone tells him the answer is anywhere in there! affymetrix for example has thousands of user manuals, the intersection of all of these papers is very small, but one paper has hundreds of pages… And I think he is totally right. The arrangement of information today is very terrible, to find what you are searching about is some kind of art! But he doesn’t mince matters. I really like Eastern Europeans ;)

He invented me to his lab tomorrow so I can see how this affymetrix machinery produces the data that I get to analyze.

Little quickie through Germany

Oh no, not that kind of quickie you might think about! Rumpel an me decided more or less spontaneously to go to Bonn and visit one of our former employee Martin and additionally take a little look at SIGINT in Cologne.

So we rent a car at Sixt on Friday morning and met Martin at 5 pm in his flat. Of course our trip was very analog, we didn’t have any navigation device, just printed a route calculated by Google maps and rely to male instinct on the way through Germany and the high traffic in Ruhr Valley at Friday afternoon before holiday… What should I say, of course everything went totally well and we had a lot of fun in our little car! You can see some pictures at picasa.

Quickie through Germany
Quickie through Germany

Of course it was a great weekend! We’ve seen a lot of fascination places of Bonn and Cologne like Cologne cathedral, big ships on Rhine or Media Center in Cologne. The events at SIGINT were also interesting, where it cannot be compared with the Chaos Communcation Congress in Berlin. In Cologne you’ll always get a chair and the queues are very short. Nevertheless the topics are of high quality.

All in all it was an excellent trip, even it was very expensive.

Martin Scharm

stuff. just for the records.

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