Notes and reviews, mostly about Linux and Windows software and hardware

Updated: 2023-12-30
Created: 2000

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Computing technology notes
Computing blog Information and opinions on software and hardware systems
Linux sysadm notes
Linux authentication or authorization A collection of data and links on the features, performance and use of some of authorization or authentication systems in Linux.
Linux file systems A collection of data and links on the features, performance and use of some of the many file systems supported by Linux.
Linux Btrfs A collection of notes and links on the features, performance and use of some of the Btrfs filesystem.
Linux storage A collection of data and links on the features, performance and use of some of the many aspects of storage in Linux.
Linux fonts Extensive discussion of the concept involved in font systems, of the several font systems used in a typical GNU/Linux system, and pointers to what I think are the best fonts.
Linux printing An overview of how printing works and a description of main Linux spoolers, printer command languages, printable formats, document processors, renderers and rasterizers.
Linux sound and ALSA An extensive description of ALSA structure, concepts, drivers, application setup, many configuration issues, and troubleshooting.
Linux sound latency Discussion of sound latency issues on PCs using ALSA, with advice on how to improve latency, and links.
Linux NVIDIA How to setup X windows for an NVIDIA graphics card using the NVIDIA or the X drivers, and how to fix common problems.
Linux packet writing to CDs and DVDs How to use packet writing tools to fill incrementally CDs and DVDs.
Notes about the KDE My notes on various aspects of KDE use and configuration.
Linux H323 Concepts, setup and configuration using OpenH323.
Linux WiFi A discussions of the issues and tradeoffs in using 802.11 based wireless networking, with a list of the drivers and chipsets that seem to be best supported.
Linux introductions
Package management: why A discussion of package management, why it is useful, how it should be done, and the limitations of most current package management systems.
Ownerships and permissions details An introduction to how Linux handles ownership and access permissions and how to solve typical problems, most importantly crossing access domain boundaries.
Driver authoring An introduction to writing drivers for Linux, with pointers to sample code and other resources.
iptables introduction An illustration and discussion of the most important aspects of Linux Netfilter and iptables, with recommendations on how to structure a set of directives, and a well commented basic example.
Practical advice on writing zone files An introduction to writing configuration files for the BIND DNS server with examples.
UNIX code pragmatics My list of UNIX-style coding principles.
Linux sample configuration files
ALSA Examples of ALSA library configuration files, in particular for software based sharing of a device and routing of multiple channels.
APT Sample configuration files for APT, including distribution and package version pinning.
EMACS EMACS lisp, in particular my site-emacs.el.
exim4 A subset of my exim4 configuration, with some useful techniques.
Fontconfig Much improved and commented configuration for the regrettable Fontconfig client side font system.
IPv6 Examples of IPv6 related setup and configuration, with DNS and tunneling configuration.
Mozilla Some Mozilla and Firefox XUL custmization, for example a nice Chatzilla CSS style.
OpenH323 Some sample configuration for the OpenH323 servers.
OpenSSL Extensive parametric setup for using OpenSSL as a small certification authority, with the ability to generate wildcard and multiple site certificates.
PPP and Diald Some examples of configuration for the PPP and diald dæmons, including cost optimizing rules for diald for various UK ISPs.
Privoxy Improved filter and site rules for the filtering using Privoxy.
shell Some of my shell scripts. They are useful in their own with, but also as example of how shell scripts ought to be written.
X11 A variety of well written and commented configurations for the X server, including font configuration and modelines.
Sources and documentation
sabiwatts-120916.tar.gzip (LSM) My shell script to tweak some of the Linux kernel parameters that influence power consumption, for either normal power consumption and better performance and latency, or low power consumption at the cost of worse performance and latency. It has been somewhat inspired by a similar script and more remotely by laptop-mode.
sabifire-20200310.tar.gzip (LSM) My shell script to set up a set of Netfilter (a.k.a. iptables) rules suitable for an internet leaf node, either as a standalone system or the gateway for a single subnet. Its logic is outlined in my draft Linux iptables notes.
sabishape-120819.tar.gzip (LSM) My shell script to configure a network interface for traffic shaping for an ADSL or cable (or dialup) line. I wrote this for the same reasons (work around bad ISP router configuration, prioritize interactive traffic) as the WonderShaper script, and it has some useful advantages over it.
team-3.11.tar.gzip (LSM) A buffered parallel filter I wrote, useful for speeding up backups, in particular to tape, but not just. It takes care to use advising and/or streaming or direct IO if available to maximize efficiency and minimize memory usage.
cled-2.5.tar.gzip (README) My cleanup and rewrite of a line discipline driver for UNIX (System V 3.2) that contains an input line editing facility, a bit like GNU readline but kernel level, and a lot leaner.
dokde (manual page) A rewrite of the startkde script used to start a KDE session. It has been extended, documented, and its source has been much cleaned up.
DocBook Some related materials I have created or rewritten, mostly a CSS stylesheets to render large subsets of DocBook in Mozilla directly, some extension DTDs, and some example of short documents or templates in DocBook, which I have neatly formatted or reformatted for clarity.
catalogs-20030311.tar.gzip Clean, carefully collected compilation I have made of SGML and XML catalogs for many common SGML and XML applications.
IPv6 address ranges Researching in various documents I have made a list of the various types and roles of common IPv6 prefixes and address ranges.
Hardware notes and reviews Various tips and comments on several pieces of hardware, mostly those I have purchased, thus usually for PCs.
Multihead (>= 4) video card options A presentation and discussion of the options for an efficient setup with 4 or more monitors on a PC system.
Older Linux notes
Notes Comments on various aspects of Linux based systems and development (continued in the computing blog)
Reviews Opinions on Linux based software and projects (continued in the computing blog)
MS Windows
Notes Tips and information mostly useful to MS Windows systems administrators, but also to users who have system administration issues.
Computer science notes
Papers and books. Links or bibliographics entries and sometimes quotes for several of the articles and books that I think are of particular importance.
Obscure computer science research Links or bibliographic entries for several items of computer science technology and research that have fallen into undeserved obscurity.
In progress notes A list of computer science subjects that eventually I would write something about.
Persistence and integration for library APIs A discussion of the issues when designing a library API, in particular as to how to provide data persistency, and how to design for easier integration with other software.


Various notes
Miscellaneous blog[feed] Information and opinion on non computing subjects, mostly shopping
Shopping notes about online, and mostly London and Oxford shopping (continued in the miscellaneous blog)
Book notes and reviews. Some reviews of some non computer books I have read, and comments on their contents.
Games notes and reviews Discussions and (very informal) reviews of some of the PC videogames I play, particularly those with a Linux port.
Topic notes
Notes on The Matrix Some random comments about the film trilogy The Matrix, with particular attention to some subtle (or even unsubtle) details that are easily missed, and to the relationship to computer science concepts.
Latin idioms Several idiomatic phrases, mostly in Latin, with English translation.

Some similar resources

Ayke van Laetham, Chris Siebenmann, BITBACH, Malcolm Rowe, Toptal contractors, Jelmer Vernooij, Benjamin Pollack, Steve Kemp, Long Term Storage, Leszek Urbanski, Brian Candler, Joe Landman, clusterbuffer, Miles Wolbe, James Furness, Ian Wienand, John Murray, Parand Darugar, David Dorward, Jim Carter, Sune Vuorela, Julio Merino, Alex Beal, Ralf Hoffmann, Sylvestre.

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