Burkart Lingner

Compare files via drag’n’drop

  • August 11, 2012 16:32

As much as I like the Linux command line, there are times when it’s easier to use a point-and-click interface. One such example is when I need to compare two files in different directories. Typing out the full paths on the console can be tedious whereas it would be much simpler to just drag’n’drop two files from a Nautilus window onto a comparison tool. Unfortunately I didn’t know of any such tool – so I wrote one myself.

Command line magic: Open with VLC

  • February 26, 2012 20:11

I like to use Linux, currently in the form of Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric”. One thing that has been bothering me is the way how default applications are handled. Setting VLC as my video player of choice with the GUI is tedious, but thankfully this is Linux which means a (somewhat long) one-liner on the command line will do the job.

LaTeX listings: MATLAB / Octave block comments

  • January 17, 2012 17:49

The listings package is a great tool to typeset source code beautifully and according to one’s personal taste due to a range of customizable settings. Among the many languages supported off the shelf is MATLAB and its free software sibling GNU Octave. Unfortunately the latest version 1.4 of the listings package dates back to February 2007 which might be the reason why block comments for MATLAB and Octave are not supported by default.

Merging web server log files

  • December 7, 2011 22:43

The log files for my web server are split into chunks of six weeks. This is what my web host provides me with, but it’s hardly satisfactory. What I wanted was a tool that merges all those partial log files into a single big one. Unfortunately I couldn’t find such a program – so I wrote one myself.

Configuration branches with Git

  • November 3, 2011 21:01

Every day that I use Git in my projects I wonder how I ever managed to do without it. Easy branching is arguably one of Git’s best features – and I discovered a new way to utilize it.

EXIF time offset correction done right

  • October 7, 2011 16:02

More than once I’ve found myself in a situation where I had happily taken pictures with my digital camera only to discover afterwards that the camera-internal clock was running fast or slow. Whether it’s seconds to a few minutes or whole hour increments due to a forgotten daylight savings time adjustment or travel beyond one timezone – there are situations when you want that time stored in the picture’s meta data to be precise. Thankfully known offsets can be corrected with the help of Phil Harvey’s great piece of software ExifTool, however there are a few tricky details.

TikZample (I): Euro symbol construction

  • September 29, 2011 17:24

With abandoned I have to use my own blog to publish some of the nice-looking TikZ graphics I created in the past. Today’s pick is the Euro symbol and its construction. Interestingly the logo is created from a set of geometric rules, so the TikZ code makes heavy use of coordinate calculations.

The other noteworthy part about the code is the command \myarc used to draw arc segments…

LaTeX listings: Emphasize the backslash, too

  • April 24, 2011 18:02

It always striked me as odd that the listings package doesn’t include the leading backslash of (La)TeX commands when emphasizing them. Thankfully you can change that behavior by i.e. setting \lstset{\texcsstyle=*\bfseries} (note the asterisk). Unfortunately this cuts the connection between the styling of LaTeX commands and that defined as keywordstyle. In order to have LaTeX commands and the leading backslash styled just like keywords in any other language, use


in the document’s preamble. The actual keyword style is changed via


Good-looking line breaks with the listings package

  • April 24, 2011 17:48

If you want to typeset source code in LaTeX you’ll probably end up using the listings package. The output looks good and you have quite a few options to customize it to your taste. Some of those options deal with how long lines are wrapped. Personally, I like them to look this way:

E-Mails bei Strato nicht mehr automatisch löschen

  • October 25, 2010 23:38

Seit ein paar Monaten verwende ich Strato als meinen E-Mail-Provider. Dank IMAP ist das Abrufen komfortabel, 1 GiB an Speicherplatz ist mehr als genug, ich kann beliebige Adressen anlegen und dank meiner Website dort ist das alles eh schon im Preis inbegriffen. Alles super soweit, aber gerade mußte ich feststellen, daß mein Posteingang lediglich 2 Monate in die Vergangenheit reicht und alle älteren Mails verschwunden sind. Na toll.