Rodney Gedda's piece of the Web

February 28, 2019
by Rodney Gedda

Standards-based VPN service?

I’m wondering if there is a standards-based, open source friendly VPN service out there.

While I’m not paranoid it would be good to have some sort of broad network security when I’m out and about, in addition to SSL.

Fastmail is a good example of standards-based email service. And it’s an Australian company!

Short of rolling your own, is there anything in the VPN space that is comparable to Fastmail?

You hear a lot of conflicting reviews when it comes to VPNs, so it’s difficult to know what to believe.

It might end up being a case of trial and error.

January 31, 2019
by Rodney Gedda

Smooth path to Gutenberg

My upgrade to WordPress 5 completed without a hitch and I’m now familiarising myself with the new Gutenberg editor.

So far, so good. I’ve heard a few horror stories of things breaking as a result of the upgrade, but no such problems here.

There is already a healthy ecosytem of third-party blocks for Gutenberg, such as CoBlocks.

CoBocks for Gutenberg.

Now to get used to Gutenberg…

December 30, 2018
by Rodney Gedda

Happy Holidays 2018

All the best for the holiday season as we head into 2019.

May your New Year be a prosperous one, with more sagacity and sentiment, and less superstition and segregation.

is it really 2018?

Flashback to 1818 inside a new building in Sydney.

Any plans for 2019? I’m working on a few exciting projects involving open source software and cloud services. I hope to make a bit of noise about them soon.

November 25, 2018
by Rodney Gedda

More usability options

Nate is now approaching one year of usability & productivity. Awesome stuff!

A couple of things I noticed recently relate to notifications.

  • Discover, the KDE front-end to Flatpak, among other things, does not have a notification icon and the naming is inconsistent:

Discover’s missing icon and inconsistent naming

If I were to offer a recommendation I’d say have the right-click entries as “Open Discover“, “See Updates” and “Configure Discover“. Keep the Discover name consistent throughout the app and config.

  • Another relates to KDE Connect, an awesome app for integrating Android with the Linux desktop.

Duplicate SMS notifications from KDE Connect

More duplicate SMS notifications from KDE Connect.

When you receive an SMS it will display as KDE notification, but the problem is three or so duplicates show up. Once is enough.

  • Lastly, LibreOffice’s icons appear twice in the standard Plasma panel. Other KDE and non-KDE apps, like Firefox, display and underscore under their panel icon after being started. For some reason LibreOffice spawns a new one, which takes up real estate.

LibreOffice’s second panel icon (far left and second one is far right).

October 29, 2018
by Rodney Gedda

Nasty Nouveau problem

I had a problem with using way too much shared memory with the Nouveau driver.

High memory use – with Nouveau







The shared memory was taking up all the physical memory and swap space making the system unusable.

Switching to the proprietary driver (or switching to the Intel card) seems to have resolved the issue.


August 31, 2018
by Rodney Gedda

Is secure boot becoming mandatory?

The gift that keeps on… is now making it difficult for me to install Linux on it.

Back in the good old days you used to be able to install a boot loader to the MBR of the first hard drive and away you go. Apparently this doesn’t work anymore. I installed KaOS on it and while it seemed to install fine the darn thing won’t boot.

Want to add an EFI source? Now it seems you have to enable secure boot to add a “trusted” source. Any every USB key is trusted, right?

Grr… I’ll figure something out.

July 31, 2018
by Rodney Gedda

Delta Chat bridges chat and email

Delta Chat in action.

I found this great little app on the F-Droid store that allows you to bring some sanity to chat.

Delta Chat is essentially an email client that form-factors the text to be a chat message. People can chat as they would using any other chat app with all messages sent to an inbox as well. You can “chat email” anyone.

There is no central server (just your email server) and messages can be encrypted.

June 30, 2018
by Rodney Gedda

Vivid pic

I took this great photo of a light dinosaur at Sydney’s recent Vivid festival. A lucky touch indeed.

Illuminated dinosaur at Vivid.

Illuminated dinosaur at Vivid.

I’ve worked with photographers all my career, but I’m still very much an amateur. And here’s one from a rooftop bar…

A vivid rooftop…