Forced breaks - a good thing

Posted on Sunday, August 22, 2010 by Nicki

All of us that work with computers are guilty of one thing: we don't take enough breaks to give our eyes a break, leading to fatigue at the end of the day. Ubuntu 10.04 has functionality built-in to help you manage not working for too long at a time. You can set the duration of the work interval as well as of the break, and you can postpone breaks. I'm definitely going to use this, and also look for a similar app for Windows.

You can find the Typing break configuration under System/Preferences/Keyboard on the Typing Break tab

Here is a screenshot of the functionality.

To umlaut or not

Posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by Nicki

A recent project required the bulk insert of data into a table in SQL Server. The file contained data with umlaut (ü) and accent (É) characters.

The vanilla BULK INSERT did not work very well with this, changing it to other characters. After quite a bit of googling, I found the solution was to add

WITH (codepage = '1252')

to the BULK INSERT statement. The default codepage on most Windows computers appear to be 437. The lowercase umlaut's code is 252 in the ANSI table. Character 252 in codepage 437 is 'n', so that's what you'll end up with in your data rather than the umlaut.

Ubuntu - speakers not muted when inserting earphone jack - SOLUTION

Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2010 by Nicki

I recently installed ubuntu 10.04 on a laptop, and found that the built-in speakers are not muted when inserting the earphone jack. After I googled a bit, I found the solution:

run alsamixer
use the left and right arrow keys to move between items, look for the Headphone Jack Sense item, it should say [Off] at the end, and MM in the box.
Press m to change it to 00.

From now on the built-in speakers should be muted when inserting the earphone jack.