Recommended read: Is `sudo` almost useless? - Information Security Stack Exchange https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/232924/is-sudo-almost-useless
Determining What Motherboard You're Using, On Linux (1 mins read).
How to determine what motherboard the machine you're using is reporting, on the command-line with Linux.
I recently asked if anyone I knew had one of the new models but got no responses (via my blog, or Twitter).
I've got an XPS 13 9343 and love it - largely form factor, but also the 3K screen - and have been wondering about upgrading recently, in part due to USB-C and fingerprint sensor, not for any other reason.
According to the Arch Wiki entry for the new XPS it's mostly alright, but doesn't seem to have fingerprint support.
May be that it needs to get upstreamed by the folks at Ubuntu.
In case it's a point of interest, the highest-end one has a 4K screen (RRP £1768.00)
I'd say go for the slightly newer one, with the caveat that if you stick with the Ubuntu build it comes with, it'll probably be alright, but if you want to re-install/install a different OS, it'll likely not work as well, and may require a more up-to-date kernel - as I decided to use Arch at the time it meant I always had the latest kernels, so as they added support for the drivers upstream, I was getting them pretty quickly, whereas friends with non-cutting edge kernels didn't have as much luck.
I really do recommend Dell for the XPS based on my existing one, and would be very interested to see how you get on with it, if you do get it, so it can inform my decision to buy one while I'm in quarantine and don't need my laptop to be as functional as I would if I were travelling.
Being a Bad POSIX Citizen (2 mins read).
Owning up to using GNU coreutils, even on BSDs, because I'm lazy.
Recommended read: Developers shouldn't distribute their own software https://drewdevault.com/2019/12/09/Developers-shouldnt-distribute.html
Locking Your Machine Before Suspending Using systemd (2 mins read).
How to get systemd to automagically lock your machine before it suspends.
This is a great resource to highlight the difficulty of creating temporary files safely - something I've tried to share before but without these great examples.
Its especially bad if using a shared CI/CD server and putting downloaded files into /tmp as you don't know whether it'll be clobbered / stolen by others on the instance
Recommended read: Safely Creating And Using Temporary Files https://www.netmeister.org/blog/mktemp.html
Recommended read: Running on Intel? If you want security, disable hyper-threading, says Linux kernel maintainer https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/29/intel_disable_hyper_threading_linux_kernel_maintainer/
This is a great, fairly well balanced, look at the latest proposal from http://0pointer.de/lennart/ about user management on Linux systems. An interesting proposal with pros and cons - it'll be interesting to see what comes of it.
Recommended read: Pack Your Bags – Systemd Is Taking You To A New Home https://hackaday.com/2019/10/16/pack-your-bags-systemd-is-taking-you-to-a-new-home/
I've found that I can use Vim for just about everything I do day-to-day (be it personal or professional work) but just not with Java. I feel I need too much of IntelliJ's functionality, and that's OK! I'm happy to admit that it is a better experience for me.
Recommended read: Modding, Vim, i3, and Efficiency https://nora.codes/post/modding-vim-i3-and-efficiency/
FOSDEM 2019 (31 mins read).
Recapping my time at the Free and Open Source Developers Europe Meeting conference in Brussels.
Leaving BTRFS as my primary filesystem (5 mins read).
Why I'm moving away from using BTRFS as the primary filesystem on my personal devices, and why it had nothing to do with BTRFS itself.