KDE 4/Plasma system tray not displaying applications, notifications appearing twice

October 18, 2014

So I was trying to get RSIBreak working on my machine today, and for some reason it simply wasn’t displaying an icon in the Plasma system tray as it was meant to.

It took some searching around, but eventually I came across a comment on a KDE bug report that had the answer.

I opened up ~/.kde/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc, searched for “systemtray“, and lo and behold, there were two Containments, both using the systemtray plugin. It seems that at some point during the history of my KDE installation, I ended up with two system trays, just with one that wasn’t visible.

After running kquitapp plasma to kill the desktop, I removed the first systemtray entry (I made an educated guess and decided that the first one was probably the one I didn’t want any more), saved the file and restarted Plasma.

Suddenly, not only did RSIBreak appear in my system tray, but so did a couple of other applications which I forgot I had installed. This also fixed the problem I was having with all KDE notifications appearing on screen twice, which was really rather annoying and I’m not sure how I coped with it for so long…

The r8169 driver and mysterious network problems

October 18, 2014

A few months ago, a friend of mine was having a problem. When he hooked up his Toshiba laptop to the Ethernet port in his bedroom, it would work under Windows, but not under Linux. When he hooked it up to the port in the room next door, it would work under both.

I headed over with my Samsung Ultrabook, and sure enough – it worked fine under Windows, but not Linux, while the room next door worked under both.

As it turns out, both our laptops used Realtek RTL8168-series Ethernet controllers, which are normally handled just fine by the r8169 driver, which can be found in the kernel mainline. However, Realtek also releases a r8168 driver (available in Debian as r8168-dkms). Upon installing that, everything worked fine.

(At some point I should probably go back and figure out why it didn’t work under r8169 so I can file a bug…)


April 12, 2014

Accepting a position on the Graduate Development Program will involve a change in your personal circumstances. For some, it may mean leaving home and relocating, for others, it will be your first full-time role, and for others, it will mean new work and a new team. Please outline what sort of changes you anticipate you will need to consider to commence work.

As much as I hate writing answers to selection criteria, sometimes the questions posed do make me think.

Vagrant, NFS synced folders, permissions and bindfs on CentOS 6

January 18, 2014

Over at the DigiACTive blog, I’ve posted about the fun and games I had with Vagrant, NFS, bindfs and CentOS. I hope it helps some other poor developer skip the frustration I experienced.

Vagrant, NFS Synced Folders, Permissions and Bindfs on CentOS 6

AEC releases WA Senate documents under FOI

January 18, 2014

Happy new year, and to celebrate, have some FOI documents.

The AEC released 106 pages of documents in response to my FOI request regarding the Western Australian Senate recount. Documents are here.

I may write some more analysis here when I get around to it.

This is what I do to procrastinate

November 8, 2013


Let’s see how this goes.

The polling awaits

September 6, 2013

So, it has come to this. As I write, the polls will be open in less than 12 hours.

As an AEC official, it is of course my duty to refrain from the public political discourse. However, this I can say – I am proud to live in a country where the pen(cil) is indeed mightier than the sword. Tomorrow’s result, whichever way it swings, will almost certainly be accepted as legitimate. There will be no riots in the streets, no soldiers or policemen terrorising civilians, no tanks standing by to crush dissent. I am blessed to live in a country with a strong liberal democratic tradition; where the ideas of the rule of law and freedom of speech are so strongly rooted that I can take them for granted. I turn up to work tomorrow morning in the knowledge that so many around the world would happily give up their lives for the sake of free and fair elections.

As a Christian, it is also my firm conviction that governments rise and fall according to the will of God. This is, of course, not to say that all governments have a divine seal of approval or that everything done in the name of the state is morally right; but I know that whatever happens – no matter which parties form Government and which form the Opposition – the will of God shall ultimately prevail.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Romans 13:1 (ESV)

This I find reassuring. My hope does not lie in politicians, fallible as they are – it lies in the plans of the Lord. However, that is not to render what we do here on earth entirely insignificant.

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)

It is thus my prayer that the 14,703,354 electors of the Commonwealth will exercise their duty tomorrow with careful (and where relevant, prayerful!) consideration, and that our leaders – no matter the party from which they come – shall be blessed with wisdom, skill and diligence.

So it’s bedtime for me. Polling is open from 8am to 6pm tomorrow, and remember… number every box (in the House of Representatives, at least!) to make your vote count!


  • Enrolled electors: 14,703,354 (source)
  • Election day polling places: 7,133 (source, with abolitions and duplicate locations filtered)
  • Pre-poll polling places: 867 (source, with duplicate locations filtered)
  • Overseas missions: 106 (including military polling teams) (source)
  • Mobile polling locations (hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, remote areas): 2,938 (source, with duplicates removed)
  • Antarctic polling stations: 4