nsg's blog

My thoughts since '05


It feels a little like talking about the elephant in the room talking about COVID-19 in the middle of it. This post will mostly focus on a few personal reflections that the entire thing have changed for me. The beginning I remember the news around new year about the new SARS virus that was going on in Wuhan, China. I was not that worried from the beginnig, this was not the first time we had a virus going on in Asia that stayed there.

I bought a few things

It was a full year since I wrote something here last time, then it was my then failed laptop journey. Since then things has happened, I have for example bought a new Laptop, watch, computer monitor and my car that I mentioned here did finally arrive. Let’s talk about them in chronological order! The car I have never owned a car, living in the city it has never felt like something I needed.

Lenovo No More

I did write about my journey with my Lenovo and this is the second part. I called the place I bought it from the next day, I fixed an DOA (Dead On Arrival) document from Lenovo Support and I took the time chatting a little with the support guy. The problem was well known and it’s is some form of problem between or inside IME (Intel Management Engine) he believed.

How I bricked by new Lenovo

I did it, I finally bought a laptop computer. I’m not writing this on the new laptop, and this is the reason and my journey. I have been a full time Linux user for over the course of a decade, and part time for another ten. The last 10 years or so things have been mostly free from troubles. As a laptop I have been using an Asus UX31A, and it has been rock stable with almost no problems.

Daylight Saving Time

I have never liked Daylight Saving Time (DST), It has always been a hassle to change timezone twice a year. I’m off balance for a week and it can be confusing with people missing appointments. The European Union did have a web based poll going around earlier this month. The exact numbers do not really matters but the spread is interesting with about equal parts of “Remove DST”, “Keep DST year around” and “No change”.

GitHub - The central spot for code

The acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft brought up a few emotions and a few old thoughts of mine. GitHub had been the defacto community for code sharing for everything from FOSS projects to large businesses for some time now. Most people have an account, so you can expect people to be able to comment, make pull requests and so on. It is also large advantage to keep the code, issues and workflow at the same spot where the community is.

Fuzzy Bash completion

The ssh command has included bash completion in most systems, for example you can complete common host names and on some systems even hosts previously connected to from the known_hosts file, but this file do not contain useful hostnames since many years due to security reasons. At work we I connect to hundred of hosts and I can’t use the known_hosts for for tab completion. I use ^r a lot to search for old entries and that works in a few cases.

This year

Time is interesting, what is a day for you? A complete rotation around earth axis, or from when the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky, until the next one? It’s not the same, think about it. Independent of with one you choose you have about 365 and a quarter of days until the next year starts. We will celebrate it rounded down to 365 to make things simpler, and catch up the missing time in 2020 with an extra full day.


One of the things I always liked with Ubuntu it is “A better Debian Unstable”. Same package format and OS layout. A reasonable mix between new packages, and stability and QA. I have been using Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Ubuntu Mate, Elementary OS, Ubuntu Budgie and Ubuntu GNOME now for over a decade as my main distros and there is a reason for that, deb packages and the ecosystem.


One big thing for me over the last few years is containers, security confinement and sandboxes. It’s not a new thing, but in the Linux space a lot of interesting tooling around these technologies has appeared over the last years. One of them are Firejail, it’s a simple tool that can apply security constraints to an application. For example, I write this in the Markdown editor Abricotine now. All scary syscalls dropped, contained and in it’s own network namespace with no network access.