Get your mails quick using claws-mail

I've been a long time advocate and user of Mozilla Thunderbird as email client, but with version 3 the already bloated software just got worse, and most of its new features were just useless to me, so I started searching for a much more lightweight graphical email client, and found claws-mail to be a perfect fit.
I now use it since a few months and am really happy with it, it's blazing fast and really only provides useful features at its core, while leaving more up to plugins.
One such plugin I use is RSSyl, which aggregates your feeds like a bunch of mail folders, and each entry is presented like an email.
There even is a Windows port of claws-mail (together with gpg4win), so even Windows users can try it!

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 27 Sep 2010 at 19:00
Categories: Software Comments

Useful Mozilla Firefox extensions

Here are a few Mozilla Firefox extensions I've really come to appreciate in my years of browsing the web, they might be useful for you too:

  • AdBlock Plus - you can't use the internet without it, as it blocks all those annoying banners and pop-ups
  • NoScript - a must in today's age of malicious JavaScript & co., blocks the execution of scripts and other content until you approve it
  • FAYT - get back the old "Find as you type" search-bar, with the prev/next buttons! No idea why they removed them ...
  • Firefox Sync (formerly known as Mozilla Weave) - keeps your bookmarks, preferences etc. in sync while using differente computers, useful for us mobile students
  • WebDeveloper - various tools of great value to website developers

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 26 Sep 2010 at 19:00
Categories: Software Comments


A few computer & programming books suggestions:

  • C Programming: A Modern Approach, 2nd edition, by K.N. King - awesome C book, it really goes over the whole language logically, is updated to the C99 standard, and is awesome as a reference too, I consider this my bible
  • The Art of Multiprocessor Programming, 1st edition, by M. Herlihy & N. Shavit - all you ever wanted to know about parallel programming, including lock-free data structures, examples are in Java
  • Digital Design and Computer Architecture, 1st edition, by D. Harris and S.Harris - great book about how your processor is actually designed, what it's made up of, ...
  • Algorithms in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference, 1st edition, by G. Heineman, G. Pollice and S. Selkow - great reference book for most common algorithms
  • Thinking in Java, 4th edition, by Bruce Eckel - great Java programming book, covers Java 1.5/1.6, a free version of the 3rd edition is available
  • Effective Java: A Programming Language Guide, 2nd edition, by Joshua Bloch - tips & tricks to become a better Java developer, very recommended

And a few fantasy books suggestions, as we all like to relax from time to time and escape into slightly more adventurous and magical worlds:

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien - seriously, if you've never read this, buy it immediately, it's one of the best books ever written
  • The Mistborn Trilogy, by Brandon Sanderson - awesome, totally new supernatural way to do things, kick-ass heroine, and surprising twists at every turn of the page
  • The Belgariad and The Mallorean, by David Eddings - 10 books total, a classic epic fantasy series, with magic, evil gods, a company of heroes, ...
  • The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher - contemporary fantasy series, set in Chicago, lots of creatures populate our world here, currently book 12 is out, up to 11 in paperback

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 25 Sep 2010 at 19:05
Categories: Longi, Programming, C99 Comments


Went to the Warm-Up party at ETHZ's StuZ² yesterday evening, not that bad, but not really that great either, the place was a bit cramped at times and they really need to add some better ventilation system, it was stifling inside most of the time!
Now a study-laden week-end is awaiting me, yay...
Next week:

  • Thursday, ESF 2010 at ETH Hönggerberg, biggest swiss students party, everyone who doesn't know what to do that evening, go there!
  • Friday, Inkognito 2010 at Härterei, it's our students association's semester-party

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 24 Sep 2010 at 18:05
Categories: Longi Comments

27C3, we're coming!

Again this year I'll be present at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin, along with a bunch of friends. I've been to 23C3, 25C3 and now it's time for 27C3. I really hope that it's gonne be awesome like the last times, the venue is really great, and the talks are usually very interesting and diverse. This year they changed how tickets are handled, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 24 Sep 2010 at 17:54
Categories: Longi, CCC Comments


I've now been hosting my blog here on a Linode 512 vserver since January, and I'm really satisfied with it, I've never had any problems or outages, the performance is quite good, and their control panel and other resources really rock! Satisfied customer here, I'd recommend them to anyone searching for a good vserver offer.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 24 Sep 2010 at 17:47
Categories: Website Comments

Rote Fabrik is awesome!

Let's get back to blogging a little, now that I have some more time... ;)
Last saturday I went to FrOSCamp 2010 at ETH Zürich (my former college). The conference was quite good with a few interesting talks, but it could have been publicized better, me and a friend of mine just got wind of it by chance thanks to some online article, there was no info-mail to Computer Science students for example, which could have helped increase the turnout...
After the last talk me and a friend, who's just transferred from Lugano (TI) to Zürich to complete his Master of Informatics in Distributed Systems at ETHZ, went to the Rote Fabrik for a night of partying. We choose the place pretty randomly, and since we never went there before, we didn't know what to expect at all. And oh boy, did we choose well! The place is really awesome, it's an old factory made of red bricks (hence the name "Rote Fabrik"), it subscribes to the "alternative" theme, for example to enter you have to climb over the fence. Quite fun! Inside the area there's a restaurant, several bars and several venues for music. The whole place was well kept and very clean, and the food was very good. Normal-to-low prices for Zürich standards.
We first caught the tail of a show by "Tim & Puma Mimi", it's basically a swiss dude playing flute and electronic music, and a japanese girl singing japanese vocals over it; it was... different, but really cool, and they had a few very good songs.
Later the main event was a rock-concert by "The Maccabees" in the big hall, which was really good, but I personally preferred the opening band "Jamaica", they really had some awesome music there!
Getting back home was quite an odissey too, as I managed to pretty much miss all the connections I could miss and ended up waiting around for trains and stuff for hours, need to plan that better next time.
And there will be a next time, as I really was positively impressed by the venue!

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 24 Sep 2010 at 17:44
Categories: Longi Comments

Goodbye ETHZ, Hello UZH!

I've left ETH Zürich behind me, as I really didn't feel their theory-heavy curriculum to be right for me, and I'm now a student at the University of Zürich, following the "Bachelor of Science in Computer Science RO 2008" courses, specializing in "Software-Systems", which I hope will be a much more practice-oriented course.
The first year is together with the students specializing in "Business Informatics", so I also have a few business-related classes, such as Financial Accounting and IT in Companies, which I don't mind, as I find them quite interesting and useful. After the first week I can honestly say I like the place, there's a very friendly athmosphere and I've met a lot of nice and fun new people.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 24 Sep 2010 at 17:06
Categories: Longi, UZH Comments

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