Thursday 30 April

Please don’t think I have a lovely working environment where I work remotely and I have an immaculate, tidy, uncluttered desk with an immaculate, tidy, uncluttered desktop.

I have several irritations that are all very minor (given the current climate) but are irritating nevertheless.

Periodically, I am tempted to re-install Arch cleanly from scratch to see whether that would resolve some of these issues but that would take me a while (an Arch install is fairly straightforward but I do need to encrypt the disk) and this might potentially leave me back in exactly the same situation. Also I’d have to dig out my annotated notes from last time and where did I put those ?

  1. Writing this post in Markdown mode in Emacs doesn’t automatically wrap text so I have to manually format it using M-q. That should be easy to research and trivial to fix but I never seem to get round to it.

‘Those who forget the past are condemned to relive it’ - George Santayana

  1. During boot, my computer fleetingly reports highlighted in red text
    'Failed to start VirtualBox linux module'

This is also irritating and I have wasted a lot of time trying to resolve and eliminate this message to no avail. I have uninstalled and re-installed VirtualBox, using the Oracle distributed version and the AUR version. However, VirtualBox works perfectly OK and as I use it so frequently, I just try to ignore it and avert my gaze during boot.

But that one liner error message nags away, silently, quietly, insidiously like a dripping water tap used by the military during prolonged interrogations.

  1. I use a transparent proxy utility (written by a clever Oracle colleague) that handles networking seamlessly when I connect and disconnect from the corporate VPN. I have used this utility for years. A few weeks ago, it suddenly stopped working. I started to try to track it down and it involved routing tables, IP tables and ‘resolv.conf’. My eyes glazed over.

I experimented with the command-line OpenConnect VPN client and that worked perfectly in conjunction with the transparent proxy utility so it would appear to be an issue with the Gnome Network Manager VPN (also OpenConnect) software. Coincidentally, I noticed this was upgraded this morning so it might be worth wasting more time and testing again.

  1. I use Tasks in Thunderbird rather than ToDo lists in orgmode. That irritates me.

  2. The automatic Gnome screen saver does not work for me. Again it used to but stopped working. All the settings are correctly configured.