Nikolaus Rath's Website

Why you should give Mercurial a shot

Git has arguable become the most widely used version control system in the open-source and free software communities. However, if you can live without GitHub and don't need to manage a code base as large as e.g. the Linux kernel, you are much better of using Mercurial. Here is why.

Resolving (apparent) Windows Update freeze when "Checking for Updates"

I recently set up a fresh Windows 7 system. While the installation completed without hassles, I was worried that an attempt to run Windows Update seemed to freeze in the "Checking for Updates" state.

The problem with Windows problems

In my opinion, there are two major issues that make fixing any problems with a Windows system a major headache. The first one is the completely absence of error messages, and the second one is the preponderance of bad advice on …

What's wrong with Gnus

Gnus is a mail user agent (MUA) and newsreader written in Emacs Lisp. It is famous for being very configurable, and for being one of the few MUAs that come with a decent editor to compose your messages (by virtue of actually running inside Emacs). I have switched between Gnus and Thunderbird as my primary MUA several times over the years and recently switched to Gnus again. This time, however, I made an additional resolution: should I encounter any problems …

SSD Caching under Linux

I recently found myself with a spare 128 GB SSD disk and decided to try my hand at setting up SSD caching under Linux. My personal desktop system so far stored all data on traditional spinning disks. However, a little while ago I got a new computer at work that comes exclusively with SSD storage, and since then I've become increasingly annoyed with the disk performance of my personal system. Using SSD caching seemed like an appealing option to increase …

Mercurial for Git Users (and vice versa)

As a long-time Mercurial user, I recently learned to use Git. This article describes the differences that I found most interesting. It is primarily targeted at people who know only one of the systems and are interested in the other.