Category Archives: ui/ux

How to hide Tumblr likes from certain users with AdBlock

You know the ones – those Tumblr users who just can’t get enough of your style or “aesthetic.” (What would you call them? “Tumblr groupies?” Maybe. “Tumblr crushes” implies mutual lurve of curated content, not one-sided pining.)

They “like” every post you make and reblog a lot. But the liking. The compulsive heart-clicking. You weary of it.

Anyway, say you actually do like the user, but you just want to hide their 20 million clicks of the “heart” button from clogging up your activity page AND your activity quickbox from the Tumblr dash. Well, now if you’re an AdBlock user, I have some rules for you that work as of October 2015!

This solution is great because you’ll still see the user’s posts, asks, reblogs, and all that. Only the likes will be blocked with AdBlock. This should work on AdBlock Plus and AdBlock Pro without any or much modification, but I haven’t tried it on those.

Let’s pretend we’re going to block a user named noisyuser. Without further ado, here are the rules and instructions on how to paste them into AdBlock!

Copy these rules into your clipboard:[data-tumblelog-name="noisyuser"][data-tumblelog-name="noisyuser"]

And, if you’re particularly annoyed, you can hide their avatar from your “top 4” bar on the activity page with this rule:[title="noisyuser"]

Now, click the AdBlock icon in your browser menu bar. Click Options, click Customize at the top (this may differ in other flavors of AdBlock), and then click Manually Edit Your Filters. Click Edit on the bigger list – make sure you don’t click edit on the Disabled Filters list.

Now, paste the above rules at the bottom of the Filters list.

IMPORTANT: CHANGE THE USERNAME noisyuser to the tumblr username of the person whose likes you want to hide, THEN click save.

Presto – a single refresh of your Activity page or Dash should hide all the likes you don’t want to see, while allowing reblogs and other notifications through.

Missing man pages on CentOS, or reason № INT_OVERFLOW why I hate CentOS/RHEL sofa king much.

I can’t remember all of find’s arcane incantations. Nobody can.

$ man find
No manual entry for find

wat. find is clearly installed, of course. man pages? nope.

Search search search. Searchity search. Horrible relevancy because what are you gonna get when you think you’re smart, do rpm -ql findutils and note that /usr/share/man/man1/find.1.gz doesn’t exist, and then start searching for how to find packages with missing files using Red Hat’s primitive yum and rpm commands.

It was only when I gave up and searched on “centos missing man pages” that I found the answer.

# yum install man-pages

Yes, seriously.

$ cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 6.5 (Final)

Released 1 December 2013. So I guess I can’t ask what fucking year it is.

Removing Google Plus pollution from Google News with AdBlock

For those of you still clinging to Google News like I am – mainly because you have neither the time nor the energy to make a user stylesheet to give Yahoo News a decent UI – you’re probably vexed with the continuing incursion of Google+ effluent into what is supposed to be a news site.

I’ll try to condense the obligatory Google Plus rant down real small this time: I DO NOT CARE ABOUT GOOGLE PLUS.  I WILL NOT USE IT.  STOP PUTTING IT IN MY NEWS, OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER. IT’S NOT POLITE TO POOP IN PUBLIC.

Since Google doesn’t care that nobody wants Google+, the above isn’t likely to happen, so I’ve temporarily solved the problem by blocking useless crap from Google Plus by using Adblock in Chrome. Similar techniques work for the various Adblocks in various Browsers; usually you can right-click on a steaming pile of content you don’t want, then click the AdBlock context menu, then (here’s the trick) click “Block an ad in this page,” and not “Block this ad.” Once you do that you can mouse around until you’ve highlighted the steaming Plus pile and left the rest of the content relatively intact, and add that rule to Adblock.

So far, here’s the only rule I’ve needed to de-Plus Google News for myself:[class="gpost-bubble"]

Enjoy. I’ll try to keep the above ruleset updated if I find myself needing to add more before I can replace Google News as I’ve replaced GMail and Google search. (I’m taking suggestions on replacements for News, Docs aka Drive, and Voice – the latter I’d happily pay for.)

Maybe someday I’ll get around to writing some user stylesheets that A) block Google Plus garbage from most other Google properties, and/or B) give similar services like Yahoo News a tolerable UI. Don’t hold your breath on either, though. I don’t have enough time for B, and A would require me to continue using Google properties when I am actively trying to disentangle myself from them as fast as possible.

Remember, Google, nobody wants to come to your obnoxious nerd tumbleweed party.

You’ve cleaned your GMail inbox, so why is extra mail still showing in Thunderbird (or whatever email client?)

If you’re using Thunderbird or another IMAP email client with GMail, you might have – if you’re disorganized like me – let 10,000 messages pile up and then decided some Sunday to get to Inbox Zero. So you go to the GMail web UI and lather/rinse/repeat on archiving those 10,000 messages in the very inefficient ways that GMail allows you to do so. (Somebody please tell me in comments if there’s an easy way to say “find me all messages older than X and archive them” in GMail, because try as I might, I could not find a way to do it in one swell foop and had to click like 500 times).

And then you go to Thunderbird or your IMAP email client and let it chew on the GMail inbox and … WTF, there are still like 387 messages left. Which you can’t see in your Inbox on GMail. What.

So it should be obvious this is a clickbait post for confused people on search engines so they can just find it and have their problem fixed. I like making these kinds of posts.

If you haven’t disabled GMail’s stupid “tabs” then that is where the mystery emails are hiding.

I still had a “Social” tab and a “Promotions” tab, but those tabs are only semantics within the GMail web user interface. The messages still live in your Inbox, and that’s why your IMAP client displays them there.

To fix:

  1. Turn off the stupid GMail tabs. Settings > Inbox > and disable all the tabs. Bam! Mystery messages now visible in the GMail web inbox.
  2. Archive them in whatever terrible way is the only way you can archive tons of messages in GMail since it’s not easy (again if it IS easy please comment and I will update).
  3. Check your IMAP client, let it chew on the Inbox, and rejoice!


How to install bigger (or prettier) mouse cursors on Linux Mint Cinnamon

So, this turned out to be not as easy as I’d like, especially for Mint, but here’s a quick HOWTO and two related bugs.

  1. Visit the somewhat unpromising-appearing for all sorts of bells and whistles which may or may not work with Cinnamon on Linux Mint; however, mouse cursors (“X11 Mouse Themes” as they are called on should work.
  2. Obsidian X11 mouse cursor theme image

    Obsidian X11 mouse cursor theme

    Pick and download a theme. I wanted BIGGER mouse cursors – unfindable mouse pointers are the bane of tons of screen real estate and small default cursors; nothing to do with my age and eyesight – so I downloaded the Obsidian Cursors 1.0 theme, but there are tons of choices.

  3. You’ll get a .bz2 file; uncompress it and you will find two folders and an “index.theme” file.  Here’s where the above-mentioned bugs come in; sadly, you can’t yet in Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” just right-click that file and install the theme. :(
  4. Create the directory ~/.icons if it does not exist. In the shell, this can be accomplished by running mkdir -p ~/.icons
  5. Move the directory containing your downloaded cursor theme to ~/.icons.  In my case, I did mv ~/Downloads/Obsidian ~/.icons
  6. Go to Menu > System Tools > System Settings > Themes > Other Settings > Mouse Pointer. You should now be able to choose Obsidian. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the pointers are scalable at this time, but it’s there!

If you are really looking for BIGGER mouse pointers in Linux Mint and don’t like Obsidian – and the jury’s still out for me – there is a theme called “Aero Mouse Cursors with Drop Shadow” which contains a set of extra-large cursors that you can try.