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Changing screen brightness in accordance with human perception

Since the kernel update to version 3.16 in Arch Linux the function keys for changing screen brightness in my laptop have ceased to work (at least in Openbox). While I was struggling with the problem, I discovered that xbacklight works well and gives a nice smooth transition effect between brightness levels, so I decided to use it instead. But it did not work exactly in a way I expected it to.

Migrating Ruby on Rails applications from Heroku to Openshift

I’ve been using Heroku quite happily for some time now, and I still think of it as of a good platform for development purposes or hosting small web applications. However, I have not used any paid features of Heroku, because the initial step from $0 to $35 for one dyno is a bit too much for my taste.

But fortunately the IT world constantly evolves and from time to time something new pops up. And if it seems interesting, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t try it out.

MPlayer's features for geeks: watching movies in a terminal

The idea of watching movies in a text console may seem weird at the beginning, but it’s not as weird as you would think. I actually used it recently two or three times as a fallback solution, that allowed me to continue watching in spite of crashed graphical environment. Because if you like to play with bleeding-edge software, things tend to blow up from time to time. And if things blow up, it’s good to have some kind of “plan B”.

Conky in Enlightenment 17

I’ve been following Enlightenment for the last few years, hoping that it would finally stabilize enough to be suitable for daily use. And of course I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t try to use it after a stable 0.17 has been released. But apparently Conky behaves differently on E17 and Openbox. And what would life become without Conky, may I ask?

There are actually two aspects here. We need to ensure that Conky looks and behaves properly, and we need to find a way to launch it after logging in.

A fairytail about Ruby on Rails, Heroku and migrating data to a new database schema

Since I like testing new stuff, and this website serves me very well as a nice small guinea pig for any kind of experimentation (mostly trying out web frameworks and different deployment options), I ended up needing to migrate website’s data to a new database schema. And this time I switched from Play Framework 1.2 to Ruby on Rails 3.2. Of course, I could have modified my models to use the old schema, but that would be less interesting and probably not worth the hassle for a not-critical-so-let’s-have-fun application.

Speed up and clean up Gajim's history

After few years of using Gajim, the history of all messages, statuses, etc. can grow up to quite large size. In my case the logs.db file consumed 128MB of disk space.

Searching through the conversation history (in the Conversation History window) can take up to few seconds for each query. And after removing and adding various XMPP/Jabber (or Facebook Chat) accounts, there’s a lot of unnecessary Jabber IDs left in the database.

So let’s take a look at how to speed things up and remove unnecessary data form logs.db (but whether it will work for you or not, substantially depends on how you’ve been using Gajim and what you keep in Gajim’s history).

Volume change notifications in Openbox

If you’re here, you probably want to know how to configure notifications for volume change actions, just like it is in most of current less-geeky GNU/Linux distributions and window managers.

So if you press the volume up/volume down button, you want to see some notification with a beautiful icon and current volume percentage, like this: Volume notification

And if you press the mute button you are expecting something comparable to: Muted volume notification