General, Uncategorized

The Power of ‘Trollaboration’

I stumbled recently upon an article at http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Raspberry-Pi-Web-Server that describes how to setup a Web-Server. While seemingly legit at first glimpse, the last step caught my eye:

(A strong word of warning though: The steps in Part 10 basically describe how you completely lock yourself out of your Raspberry System !!)

This is a perfect example of how collaborative systems like Wikis can be easily subverted by a few malicious users.

Since everyone is supposed to edit these articles I tried to remove the section and wrote an explanation in the “discussion” section why everyone should try to verify information to a certain degree for himself / herself (in this case via “man <commad>” instead of blindly relying on the presented information.

From the furious comments I gathered that the mods would already have removed the offending section long ago, or at least approve of me doing it for them, and at first it seemed that my changes were accepted.

But the following day, the article was reverted back to its former state, and my explanation in the discussion section gone with it as well. Seems like the people at the site don’t have either the ressources nor the necessary expertiese to run a technical wiki.

General, Uncategorized

SSD Optimization

Besides using tools that usually are included with your SSD and aim to configure and optimize the settings of your operating system (like Samsung Magician), the first thing you should do is to update your “Intel Rapid Storage Technology”  (Intel RST) driver.

Formerly known as the Intel Matrix Storage Manager, this system driver not only optimizes RAID access but also improves performance of single drives and as such has a major impact on the performance of consumer hardware.

You can download it either through Intel’s site or from driver sites such as Computerbase. The driver is dependent on your Chipset version (you need either read through the readme’s on Intel’s site or use other facilities like Computerbase who present what driver version supports which chipset version in a more comfortable manner. To find out your chipset version, refer to the device manager in Windows and check the “IDE ATA/ATAPI-Controller” section:

Updating the iaStor.sys driver (the main system driver behind Intel’s RST) might also solve some weird problems your might’ve encountered with older drivers, like for example a non-working (empty) SMART status tables.

The following screenshots shows how random write IOPS doubled after the iaStor.sys update:

General, Uncategorized

Get rid of Firefox about:home snippet animations

about:home snippets started to appear around the release of Firefox 12 (?). The Mozilla team has provided a couple of default snippets (mostly around the theme “Android / Firefox / Mobile”) but there were also special event-related cases like the burning torch during olympics (which gained quite a questionable reputation for constantly using CPU cyles and causing a high CPU load for certain users).

I – for one – just find them annoying. I expect an about:home tab to be minimalistic – a search bar and the optional  quick access  to session / download / management is all i need.

So here’s a small How-To regarding the removal of the animations:

Download SQLite Manager Addon
- select “chromeappsstore.sqlite”, press “Go”
- from tables, select “webappsstore2″, and go to the “View” tab to see the
table contents. There are several interesting key-fields related to about:home
snippets: “snippets”, “snippets-update-url” and “snippets-last-update”.
- prepend the “snippets” key with a string of your choice (i used “–disabled–”)
- press “OK” and confirm the table update
- you should see no more animations starting from now on

 

There are also 2 different methods, as described in the user comments at http://support.mozilla.org/de/questions/933177 that I didn’t try myself:

Method 1:

Set another page as your home page for the time being

Method 2:

  1. set the browser.aboutHomeSnippets.updateUrl pref to an empty string
  2. reset the browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone pref to the default via the right-click context menu.
  3. close Firefox
  4. delete the chromeappsstore.sqlite file in the Firefox Profile Folder
  5. restart Firefox

Method 3: Use css-instruction overrides in userContent.css:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document url(“about:home”)
{ .fire {display:none !important}
#snippetContainer div.snippet { display: none; !important}
)