The Need For Better Passwords

Every time I read a story about breached or stolen accounts, like the one linked to below, I am reminded that not having a good solution for passwords can be devastating.

It's critical, especially for businesses, to have strong passwords, and that goes for anywhere the business operates. Online banking and domain registrars are obvious targets for hackers, but a strong password on those particular services is likely going to be less inconvenient than something more often accessed, and by more people, like email.

How I blocked auto-play video ads

I hate annoying advertisements. I understand that site owners get paid using ads, and I'm all for that, which is why I don't use a browser plugin to block them. The ads I do hate are pop-ups, pop-unders, and anything that makes noise without being enabled manually. If you hate those stupid video ads that automatically play, with or without audio, here is how I blocked them on

Dual Monitor and KDE

    I got a new system, and in trying to get the Radeon HD 5450 to output to 3 monitors at once, I booted to an old install of Linux Mint. After updating, and far too much fiddling with drivers and kernels, and rebooting, I got it to work, albeit not consistently. I decided to switch to Mint from Ubuntu on my main install, hoping that I would have better luck with a fresh install than I did with an incorrectly updated system.

Restrict a Drawing Tablet to Single Monitor

This is a short how-to for restricting a drawing tablet (also known as a graphics tablet) to a single screen. When you have 2, 3, or 4 (or more) monitors, input devices might not work exactly how you want them to because of the difference between desktop size and monitor size (when using big desktop or xinerama. As an example, I have 2x22" monitors, each capable of displaying 1680x1050. My desktop size is therefore 3360x1080, and that is what my tablet maps to.

Taking Notes in Linux for Students

Taking notes is an important part of school life, especially in college and university where the content is often presented at a faster pace than in earlier levels. In the upper levels, computers are often used by students in the classroom, so I'm going to try out a few different options available to me on Ubuntu Linux 13.04. Users of other releases or distributions (such as Fedora, openSuse, Arch) will likely have to modify the install instructions based on their setup.

Thunderbird stuck / frozen at initializing

Does your Thunderbird load some of your messages, only to get stuck with the "initializing..." message at the bottom right corner of the screen?

I was getting this error, and it would persist after killing and restarting thunderbird. I have multiple accounts, all of which use IMAP. Some of the accounts would synchronize, but then one would get stuck.

On one of the German OpenSuse forums, I found a hint which solved my problem.

Timelapse Script - WIP

#  Uses uvccapture
#  The ultimate destination for the shot.
last_file=$(ls -tr | tail -1 | cut -c 1-5)
str_last_file="$(echo $last_file | sed 's/0*//')"
new_file=`printf "%05d" $(($str_last_file+1))`

Theme Chromium's New Tab with CSS!

Screenshot of new tab page
Problem with new logo

I decided that I want to change Chromium's default "New Tab" page that is shown when you open a tab manually. I used Chromium's inspect element feature to check the styling on the page. I couldn't see where the styling was coming from, but I found the CSS selectors that I would be using. While looking for the css file for the default styling, I came across an empty file at ~/.config/chromium/Default/User\ StyleSheets/Custom.css

Drupal Set up Checklist

Here is my basic procedure for setting up a new Drupal site. I'm using Drupal 7.## and my server configuration may vary from yours, so these might not be appropriate instructions for everyone. Also, don't use the links. They're just examples!