May 042014

Since Google Reader shutdown its service in the middle of last year, Tiny Tiny RSS is one of the better alternatives that one could use for aggregating and reading RSS feeds. Next to the official Android app which unfortunately isn’t free of charge, there is an alternative called TTRSS-Reader which even supports offline synchronization. This combination makes me very happy. But one thing that bothered me since a while, was that subscribing to new feeds was very easy during the days of Google Reader. Today I finally figured out how to setup Firefox to automatically subscribe to a Tiny Tiny RSS instance.

First go to the about:config page in your Firefox and search for the keys starting with browser.contentHandlers. Here we can configure a title and a URI which is later given as choice when subscribing to a feed. E.g:

  • browser.contentHandlers.types.1.title: My Tiny Tiny RSS
  • browser.contentHandlers.types.1.type: application/vnd.mozilla.maybe.feed
  • browser.contentHandlers.types.1.uri: URL of your TT-RSS instance

The subscriber URL for TT-RSS looks like the following. Of course you have to substitute the domain name with your domain:

At the end, the Firefox configuration should look similar to this screenshot:


After the configuration is done, you have to restart Firefox. If you then browse to a Web site with a RSS feed and you click on it, the Firefox feed subscribtion page will appear. There you eventually can select the newly created entry for Tiny Tiny RSS:

Subscribe feed

After selecting the entry, you’ll be redirected to your Tiny Tiny RSS instance, where you can configure the feed settings such as category and more.

With this last piece of configuration, there is definitely nothing left anymore that makes me miss the time with Google Reader. ­čÖé

Apr 202014

Finally the day arrived, that I can say, I’m a Linux user since 10 years. On April 19 2004, I started my stage1 Gentoo Linux installation on my main workstation box. Since then, I changed my main desktop to Gnome, I adapted my work flow according to what’s possible with open source tools and I never looked back again to my old time with proprietary Windows tools.

However, I already made my first Linux experience a few years earlier than 2004. As far as I still remember, my first Linux distribution ever was SUSE Linux 7.0, which I was able to install without problems on an old computer of mine. I was kind of lost with this new concept that every small functionality is a program by itself, and why are these applications called so weird anyway? A bit later, I wanted to build a dedicated game and file server for LAN parties and it should run with an easy to maintain and lightweight alternative to Windows. The component that I was proud of the most in this server was a Promise SX4000 RAID controller which supported RAID5. I made sure that it was supporting Linux before buying it. At that time I learned the hard way, that Linux support doesn’t magically mean that the driver code is integrated into the upstream Linux kernel and therefore is supported by every Linux distribution. First, there were only some binary modules available, so my distribution for the server was Red Hat Linux 7.2. At that time RPMs were still some kind of annoying black magic to me, as there was no automated dependency resolving available by default. I didn’t know about yum which was optionally available already. Eventually, I never really could make the server work properly in the way how I imagined. Also, I learned from my geek friends, that there is Gentoo, which would be the best Linux distribution anyway. With Gentoo Linux I finally succeeded to install my RAID adapter and I started learning a basic principle, which I still think it’s true today: “If some open source software doesn’t work how you want, you simply don’t try hard enough”. I then also started using Gentoo on my Apple iBook G3, which released me from some Apple Java 1.4 Swing weirdness I experienced during the University programming exercises. These achievements showed me… Linux, ehmn Gentoo Linux, is the way to go. ­čÖé

You may wonder, why I still remember exactly when I originally setup my Gentoo workstation. Simply, because thanks of the rolling release model of Gentoo, I’m still running the same installation since then. I still have my emerge.log around with the entire update history since day one. You want some goodies?

  • First emerged package:
         Mon Apr 19 14:47:13 2004 >>> sys-apps/portage-2.0.50-r6
           merge time: 28 seconds.
  • Original toolchain:
         Mon Apr 19 15:00:50 2004 >>> sys-devel/binutils-
           merge time: 4 minutes and 45 seconds.
         Mon Apr 19 15:41:29 2004 >>> sys-devel/gcc-3.3.2-r5
           merge time: 39 minutes and 34 seconds.
         Mon Apr 19 16:09:44 2004 >>> sys-libs/glibc-2.3.2-r9
           merge time: 28 minutes.
  • Original desktop environment and browser:
         Tue Apr 20 14:51:33 2004 >>> x11-base/xfree-4.3.0-r5
           merge time: 17 minutes and 26 seconds.
         Wed Apr 21 02:10:24 2004 >>> gnome-base/gnome-2.4.2
           merge time: 3 seconds.
         Wed Apr 21 11:18:36 2004 >>> net-www/mozilla-firefox-0.8-r2
           merge time: 42 minutes and 9 seconds.

It’s really interesting to dig around in this file. As you can see, it took a few days to compile the entire system, but at the end, I had a system which satisfied my expectations and still serves me well today.

With help of the emerge.log, I can also make some interesting comparisons on how PC hardware evolved. Building back then on a single core AMD Athlon XP and LibreOffice today on a six core AMD Phenom II, which is also rather antique already:

     Thu Sep 23 23:56:56 2004 >>> app-office/openoffice-1.1.2
       merge time: 6 hours, 18 minutes and 15 seconds.

     Sun Feb  9 11:35:57 2014 >>> app-office/libreoffice-
       merge time: 1 hour, 2 minutes and 32 seconds.

If you are interested in more details of my Gentoo emerge history or if you know some tools to automatically analyze or graph the emerge.log, please leave me a comment below.

So how did I evolve during the last 10 years using Linux? I became an IT professional for Linux engineering, I was witnessing how open source software was gaining acceptance in the most conservative IT environments on one side and driving innovation and efficiency on the other side. This wouldn’t have been possible without Gentoo, which taught me to dig into documentation and community reports to solve the problems. A big thanks to Gentoo and the entire Linux and open source community for all their support and motivation! I had a great time with you for the last 10 years. At the beginning, I could have never imagined that today the majority of people are running a Linux-based mobile phone or that Linux is evolving so rapidly as gaming platform. I’m looking forward to the next 10 years with Linux and open source software…

Sep 262007

For organizing our move to the shared flat I was looking for a small, simple to use Wiki for collecting ideas and coordinating our flat inventory. After a little search I found DokuWiki. It can be easily installed by every Linux distribution’s package manager. Unfortunately the stable Debian package was not the newest version and annoyed me with banners that there are some upgrades available. So I tried again with the newest version from the developers site. After unpacking, the directory has to be made accessible through your Web server and after running the install.php where you actually only create the administrator user, the Wiki is already prepared to use. In the default configuration there is no database needed. But the strength of this Wiki is that it can be expanded by more sophisticated configurations using MySQL or an LDAP back-end for user administration. The syntax is quite simple and similar to other Wiki systems. Also my friends were surprised by the usability of this piece of Open Source software. So if you are planning to use a powerful but simple Wiki software, keep an eye on DokuWiki.

Aug 162007

Most of you may have a similar problem. A lot of friends are present in the Internet but all of them use a different instant messenger. There are ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, Jabber and a lot more. With multi-protocol messenger like Pidgin (former Gaim) or Adium it is not that laborious to manage all your contacts anymore. But still you would like to reduce your number of accounts as much as possible.

Once more open source software gives an example how it could be. The protocol is called XMPP and originally used by Jabber. When Google introduced their own messenger GoogleTalk in 2005 they made the wise decision to also use XMPP instead of inventing a new protocol. The next big thing is that everybody with a Gmail account can also use this credentials for GoogleTalk. One account connects you to your friends of two networks. Why is not everything in information technology so handy?

Now you are maybe wondering that Gaim/Pidgin does not support GoogleTalk. But it does support Jabber/XMPP. So it is an easy thing to set up your GoogleTalk account. Enter your Gmail address as “Screen Name”; the server is not “” but “” and the connect server is “”. As resource you can leave “Home”. Finished and ready for chatting…

Sep 102006

An den verschiedensten Enden gab es in letzter Zeit Neuigkeiten ├╝ber den Open Source Internet Browser Firefox. Um die schlechte Nachricht schon einmal vorwegzunehmen, der Releasetermin von Firefox 2.0, welcher im August 2006 angesetzt war, konnte nicht eingehalten werden. Daf├╝r hat sich die Oregon State University Linux User Group etwas einfallen lassen und einen Kornkreis in Form des Firefox Logos getrampelt.

Auch die Leute bei Mozilla selber sorgen daf├╝r, dass das Warten auf die n├Ąchste Firefox Version nicht langweilig wird und verspricht jedem Firefox Benutzer, der noch bis am 15. September einen Neubenutzer gewinnen kann, dass deren Namen in der 2.0 Version des Programms verewigt wird. Damit sich nicht nur die Verbreitung des Browsers sondern auch dessen Kundenn├Ąhe vergr├Âssert, wurde im August eine Umfrage ├╝ber die gew├╝nschten Features anderer Browser durchgef├╝hrt. Die Auswertung ergab als w├╝nschenswertesten Punkt eine integrierte PDF Engine wie im Apple Safari.

Dass sich das Projekt auf dem richtigen Weg befindet, zeigte im Juli der 200 Millionste Download von Firefox. Computerbase zeigt schliesslich, dass er nicht nur heruntergeladen, sondern vor allem von interessierten Computerbenutzern rege genutzt wird. Mit knapp 57% kann sich der Open Source Browser recht deutlich gegen den Microsoft Internet Explorer (35%) und Opera (6%) durchsetzen.

Und als richtiges Schmankerl zum Schluss gibt jetzt auch noch die Firefox 2.0 Beta 2. Erstmals sind jetzt auch ├änderungen in der grafischen Oberfl├Ąche sichtbar. F├╝r die neue Version wurde ein neues Theme erstellt. Neue glossy-like Icons, sowie Tabs, die schattiert werden, wenn sie im Hintergrund sind, soll die ├ťbersicht verbessern. Hie und da sind aber nach meinem Geschmack noch einige Verbesserungen anzubringen. Wie schon fr├╝her erw├Ąhnt, besitzt jedes Tab einen eigenen Close-Button. Beim Starten wird zudem gefragt, ob man die Tabs der letzten Sitzung wieder herstellen soll. Die RSS Integration sowie das Extensions (neuerdings “Add-ons”) Menu wurden ├╝berarbeitet. Etwas sehr sinnvolles Neues ist die Rechtschreibepr├╝fung f├╝r Eingabefelder in Webseiten. Bisher hatte ich noch keine Probleme mit der Beta 2 und so kann ich allen, die schon jetzt die neuen Features ausprobieren wollen, empfehlen, diese Version zu installieren. Sonst bleibt nur das Warten auf den n├Ąchsten offiziellen Releasetermin, welcher nun auf den 24. Oktober lautet.

Jun 142006

…ist nicht nur ein bekanntes Browsergame der UNHCR (Fl├╝chtlingskommissariat der Vereinten Nationen), sondern auch ein GTK+ basierter Player f├╝r den Gnome-Desktop zum Empfang von Radio-Streams. Die Sourcen gibt es hier zum Download. Installiert wird Last Exit wie gewohnt mit ./configure && make && make install. Falls es noch zu Problemen mit GConf kommt, kann man im Ubuntu-Forum nachlesen, wie diese zu beheben sind. Im Gegensatz zum offiziellen QT-basierten Player funktioniert Last Exit jedoch noch nicht so zuverl├Ąssig. Bei mir verabschiedet er sich ab und zu mit einem Segmentation Fault. Auch ist die pers├Ânliche Radiostation ausgegraut und kann nicht angew├Ąhlt werden. Aber f├╝r alle, die ihre Gnome Installation nicht mit QT belasten wollen, ist Last Exit trotzdem noch eine brauchbare Alternative.

last exit screenshot

Mar 232006

Die von mir am meisten verwendete Applikation ist in einer neuen Alphaversion erschienen. Die implementierten ├änderungen betreffen bisher vor allem das Back-end betreffend der History und den Bookmarks des Browsers. Die auff├Ąlligste ├änderung f├╝r den Benutzer sind die separaten “Close”-Buttons an den einzelnen Tabs. Laut der Firefox 2.0 Roadmap will man die finale Version etwa mitte Sommer herausbringen. Bis dahin ist also noch viel Zeit. Wer sich schon jetzt ├╝ber die zu erwartenden Neuerungen informieren will, kann das in der Firefox 2 Features-Liste machen. Leider wurde aber der verbesserte Downloadmanager bereits wieder von der Liste gestrichen. Wer sich nun bereits an das Preview wagen will (ich habe es nat├╝rlich schon l├Ąngst getan), kann sich die passende Version vom Mozilla FTP herunterladen. Da dies die erste Version des 2.0 Zweigs ist, ist zu beachten, dass leider s├Ąmtliche Extensions noch nicht funktionieren.

Quelle: Bon Echo Alpha 1 Available