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Mozilla, get rid of spaces from Firefox installers

Today I chanced upon an old bug report for Firefox, that I had reported about a year back.

Well, it's more of a "Feature Request" than a "Bug Report".

Anyway, here's the bug report in question:

So, what's the issue?

The *issue* at hand is that the Firefox installers for Windows and OS X have spaces in the filenames. I absolutely despise filenames with spaces, perhaps only after coming to the world of Linux. Any sysadmin would admit that filenames with spaces are an absolute pain to work with. One mistake, and poof, there goes your important file. Sure, there is shell quoting to work around that, but still it is a very unpleasant experience working with such files.

Also, I personally feel that filenames which don't contain spaces and instead use underscores, hyphens, or dots look much neater and are easier to work with.

Since the Firefox installer for Linux uses a hyphen instead of a space in the filename, why a similar naming convention is not applied for the Windows and OS X installers is beyond me.

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Interesting Links - June 2013

Here are some of the things I found interesting in June.


  • Whonix is a privacy oriented distro, which uses virtualization (in a very interesting way) to achieve its goals.

  • Red Hat opts for GNOME 3's Classic Mode by default. Red Hat's Denise Dumas said — "the last thing we want to do is disrupt our customers' workflows". I guess it is OK to disrupt your users' (read: non-customers') workflow.

  • Tails 0.19 has been released without any major changes. You should still upgrade, though.

  • The debian multimedia repository's domain was grabbed by someone unknown to its maintainers, and as a result users have been warned to remove the repo from their sources.list file.

  • If you hate the default git log output, here's a way to make it better. Read the comments on that page for more suggestions.


  • The EFF guys have come up with a very nice and interactive animation explaining, how Tor works.

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NewsFox Review

With Google Reader slated to be taken off life support on 1st July 2013, people are rushing to find alternatives. Due to this, some old feed aggregator services have seen massive bumps in terms of number of users, while many more new services are springing up, hoping to get a share of the pie.

So, why is Google killing Reader?

They claim that the user base is declining, implying that not many people are interested in Reader. But with so much opposition coming from the users (you can search the web to get an idea), one has to wonder if this really is the cause. In my humble opinion — and that of many others — promoting Google Plus seems to be the real reason.

That said, I personally am not affected by this change. Why, you may ask? This is because I never used Google Reader in the first place. In fact, I have never used a web based feed reader/aggregator. Instead, I use NewsFox.

What is NewsFox?

NewsFox is an old school, three-paned feed reading addon for Firefox.

Below are the primary reasons I use NewsFox:

  • Firstly, I don't prefer web based feed aggregators as that involves maintaining yet another online account, and these days we are already overwhelmed with innumerable online accounts. Also, by using web based feed readers, we are exposed to the same privacy issues that exist with the usage of Google Search, Facebook, etc.

  • Secondly, I believe that a feed reader should be tightly integrated with the web browser, as the content ultimately leads us to web pages. There are many desktop based feed readers, but they open the feed contents in a browser anyway. Some do have integrated web renderers, but they aren't comparable to full-fledged web browsers.

  • Lastly, of all the browser based feed readers, I like NewsFox the best. An honourable mention goes to Opera's integrated feed reader, but I only use Opera occasionally, so it can never replace NewsFox for me.

This article intends to serve as a review, as well as a tutorial, for NewsFox. So, let's get started!

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Why aria2 is awesome

A short post with some words of praise for aria2.

Today I was on an extremely bad network, but I needed to download some important packages (wicd + deps) for my Arch Linux machine.

I did:

# pacman -S wicd-gtk

The packages were just 1.17 MiB in size, so I hoped that the download would go well.

Unfortunately, pacman — the package manager for Arch Linux — didn't like the network at all and the download kept failing with messages such as:

error: failed retrieving file 'wpa_supplicant-2.0-4-i686.pkg.tar.xz' from : Resolving timed out after 10000 milliseconds


error: failed retrieving file 'wpa_supplicant-2.0-4-i686.pkg.tar.xz' from : Operation too slow. Less than 1 bytes/sec transferred the last 10 seconds

pacman uses curl for downloading, if I am not mistaken, so maybe it's curl's fault. Anyway, I decided to give aria2 a try.

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Downloading torrent files with aria2

aria2 is a nifty command line download manager — similar to, but much more powerful than — wget.

This post is not a review of aria2 (maybe I'll do one some day), rather it focuses on one of its features which has bugged me for a while.

aria2 can — among other things — be used to download torrents. You just pass a torrent file or a URL pointing to one, to aria2c (the actual name of the binary) and it starts downloading the torrent contents.

But, I use rtorrent to download torrents, and just want to download the .torrent file with aria2. But, since aria2 simply starts downloading the torrent contents instead of just the file, I was forced to use wget for downloading the file.

Even after searching all over the internet, I couldn't find a way to do so with aria2.

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Viewing and Dealing with Hard Tabs in Vim

While doing a cat on some files, I noticed that some of the text wasn't aligning properly as it does with Vim.

After thinking for a while, I realized that it was due to the <Tab> characters present in those files. I used to use hard tabs instead of spaces (also called soft tabs) a long time back. Later, I started using soft tabs by putting set expandtab in my ~/.vimrc.

The problematic files contained a mixture of both hard, as well as soft tabs, resulting in misalignment of text in some places.

List the hard tabs

To fix this, i.e., remove hard tabs, the first thing that needs to be done is listing them. This can be done using:

:set list

on the Vim command line.

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Fix for sudo's NOPASSWD directive not working in Arch Linux

For the past few days, I was having trouble with sudo on my Arch Linux machine.

The problem was that sudo was asking me to enter my password even for the commands I was using with the NOPASSWD directive.

Searching the Arch forums, bug tracker, mailing list etc., yielded no hint about this problem.

Then I checked if the sudo or pam packages were updated recently. Nope, the problem started occuring much later after they were updated.

Scratching my head, I fired up:

# visudo

as well as:

# man sudoers

and started verifying the entries in my /etc/sudoers file line-by-line. I couldn't find any problem with any of the entries and no sudo options had been changed upstream.

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