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Archive for May, 2013

Just go read the article “Carnivorous plant has deleted most of its junk DNA” to learn about genetics and to contemplate the word ‘bladderwort‘. If I still ran a weekly post for “word of the week”, ‘bladderwort‘ would have been a winner!

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Ubuntu 13.04 Is Not Perfect

I’m very happy with Ubuntu on my netbook, but I did find a nasty problem: the “Shutdown or Restart” dialog is completely unreadable! All I see is a more or less transparent milky white rectangle with a grey border… Random clicking does give results, but I haven’t yet memorized the position of the choices offered – and I don’t feel I should memorize them!

Am I the only one to notice this? I don’t often shut down or restart my machine, but this is too annoying not to complain about it.

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While cleaning up yet another small part of my office, I found these brochures between other papers. Do you remember those computers?

Brochures for TI TM990/189, Commodore PET, Rockwell AIM 65, Synertek VIM-1 and ITT 2020 Micro Computer

Remember those computers? These were the brochures for TI TM990/189, Commodore PET, Rockwell AIM 65, Synertek VIM-1 and ITT 2020 Micro Computer, from the very early 1980’s.

The brochures must date from the years 1980 or 1981, I think – I bought a Sinclair ZX-81 in 1982, and these brochures must have been part of my selection process. I even noted the approximate prices for several of them:

Synertek VIM 1 14.000 BEF
TI TM 990/189 16.000 BEF
Rockwell AIM 65 17.000 BEF
ITT 2020 54.000 BEF

According to the EconStats site, a Belgian franc in 1980 would have been worth two and a half times a franc of today. For those of you unfamiliar with the pre-euro currency rates: thousand BEF (Belgian francs) correspond to approximately 25€. So in current money, those old and admittedly limited computers would cost:

Synertek VIM 1 875 €
TI TM 990/189 1.000 €
Rockwell AIM 65 1.062 €
ITT 2020 3.375 €

No wonder I hesitated to buy any of them, even though I really wanted to get my hands on one of them. Micro-computers were so new then that there wasn’t much to read about them, you really needed to touch and use them in order to grok them. And no, there was no Internet in those days, remember?

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It’s been here for a couple of weeks, and it installs fine through the OTA installer if you have previous versions of CM10 on your Samsung Galaxy S Plus: CM10 Release 2.5 by ivendor. Contrary to some reports on the XDA forum I have no problems with the camera ;-)

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We have returned from our trip more than a week ago, yet I can’t help but think about it every day… In summary: my wife and I spent 4 days on a trip to and in the French region of the Vosges Mountains – on a motorcycle, of course, and in the company of a few good friends.

In just four days we chalked up 1395 kilometers; we drove about half of those on the small and twisty rural roads of north-eastern France – just what we wanted! We also drove a part of the ‘Route des vins d’Alsace’ under a sunny sky.

Touring the Alsace vineyards (Beblenheim, FR)

Touring the Alsace vineyards (Beblenheim, FR)

The BMW R1100S turns out to be great for this kind of use. The bike handles the curvy roads beautifully, and it is very comfortable: it never made me feel tired. My wife enjoyed the tour as well, even though the last time she rode along was more than 15 years ago. In fact, the riding was so much fun that I mostly failed to stop and take pictures. What more can you want? More of the same, of course!

We found the remnants of snow in the Markstein ski resort (FR)

We found the remnants of snow in the Markstein ski resort (FR)

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If you’re like me and you don’t like the fact that by default a search in the Dash also returns products you can buy online, don’t worry. Just start up a command shell and execute a simple command:

sudo apt-get remove unity-shell-shopping

Then log out and log in again, and what annoyed you will be gone ;-)

For a few more tips on tweaking the Raring Ringtail, check out “7 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)“.

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I have always been fond of typography, but this is a special font: Font Awesome only contains icons. They may be simple icons, but they do look good. No suprises there: these icons were developed for the Bootstrap framework used by Twitter.

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