Linux

Computer time: Windows against the rest of the world

I am not sure, but Windows seems to be the only operating system, that wants the computer clock to be set to the local time zone instead of universal standard time (UTC). Maybe that is a relic of the times when Microsoft thought that the internet was not very important for the future of computing. All other operating systems apparently use UTC: MacOS, Android, Linux, BSD, ... However, if you are dual-booting your computer, you can get into trouble. Not all operating systems detect automatically a dual boot install and adjust their behaviour in order to be compatible with Windows.

Remote desktop sessions to your Helsinki University work computer

SnapGene running remotely

If you have a work laptop, you can take it home to do work. But what if you have a desktop computer and need to access it from home? The technology to make this possible exists for more than 20 years, but if you think that University IT has made this easy for you, you would be wrong. In fact, I don't know anybody who knows how to do this easily.

English

The magic sequence to wake up Apple's SuperDrive on Linux

sudo apt-get install sg3-utils (only needed the first time)
ls /dev (to check whether sr0 or sr1, usually it's sr0 unless you had already other USB drives connected)
sg_raw /dev/sr0 EA 00 00 00 00 00 01

Deleting files with "illegal characters"

In the cross-platform environment of our university, at least three different OS connect to the smb shared group directories. Apparently Macs are able to save files with characters that are not allowed on other platforms and which cannot be easily deleted. Recently we had several files which ended with a '.' (dot) or a ' ' (space), and we were not able to remove them via the GUI. In Windows 7, I managed via the command line with:
delete "file." or
delete "file "

Windows changes my computers clock

If I am not mistaken, Windows is the only OS, that uses local time for the system clock (instead of UTC). This means that in multiple boot configurations, every restart of the system into Windows will screw up the system time. In order to reset it (in Ubuntu 16.04), use
sudo timedatectl set-timezone Etc/UTC

Accessing shared folders in VirtualBox (Linux guest)

Transferring files from the host to the guest OS and vice-versa doesn't work out-of-the-box when you install VirtualBox from the Ubuntu repositories and download an Ubuntu VirtualBox image (e.g. from http://www.osboxes.org/virtualbox-images). After installing the guest additions, drag-and-drop didn't seem to work for me and I needed to set up a "Shared Folder". After setting it up via the GUI, it doesn't automatically appear on the guest desktop. You need to mount it:

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