The Road goes ever on and on

Following is my own (very minor!) adaptation of J.R.R.Tolkien's walking poem which I sing to my sons at night. This poem appears in various forms both in The Hobbit and in LOTR. I have not yet committed to memory the version sung by Frodo in the chapter "Three Is Company" — it's stanzas are a different format to those sung/spoken by Bilbo, and do not fit easily to the tune sung by Bilbo in the LOTR movie, nor to the tune sung by The Starlit Jewel which you can find on youtube. I might fiddle with them one day and create my own tune to use as a chorus or a coda.

Anyway, here it is. I have taken both of the versions which Bilbo recites in LOTR and put the stanzas from The Hobbit in the middle. I like how it ends with "My evening-rest and sleep to meet". The boys may get the hint one day...

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Implementing a caching-only DNS on openSUSE

Lately I've been noticing significant DNS latency when visiting certain sites. This is most obvious when my browser spends ages with "Looking up some.web.server.com..." in it's status bar. It's particularly bad at sites like wordpress.com where many pages make reference to sub-domains of wordpress.com and typically also to google.com for analytics or ads.

While my ISP's DNS infrastructure is pretty good, there are a couple of things I can do to improve DNS look-up, which makes page loads a lot quicker.

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What happened to my Ctrl-+/- zoom in Xorg?

Older X.org and XFree86 used to have this neat feature where pressing Ctrl+<numpad +> and Ctrl+<numpad -> would cycle through the screen modes defined in your config file in the "Screen" section, effectively switching screen modes on the fly and letting you pan around the full virtual screen size with the mouse.

This was a really useful feature for zooming in on small details, or to blow up videos without incurring high CPU overhead.

But since about X.org 1.7 this feature seems to be missing.  I've been researching and discovered why it's missing, and what to do about it.

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Dark colours in NetBeans

Okay I'm still on the hunt for the elusive dark colour look-and-feel for NetBeans. I found this site that has great information about the NimROD L&F. This sets the widgets to a dark colour (or you could customise your own colours with NimROD).


Note that this is separate from the NetBeans colour themes which control editor colours. For that, I quite like Twilight and Aloha, although each needs tweaking to fix highlight colours for things such as breakpoints and step colours, or for highlighting code differences. Still, it's a good start.

KDE Konsole's title bar and prompt

I spent the past hour fiddling with Konsole, trying to get it to honor my Bash prompt in the title bar (using the usual ESC char tricks you can find anywhere). Finally found it: In the Profile settings, under Tabs, change the tab tiles to %w (or pick "Window title set by Shell" from the drop-down Insert list to the right).