It seemed a nice idea to create a little site with tips about various things using the .tips top-level domain. Here it is! A collection of tips from the Grumpy Old Techie.

August 10, 2018

The Google Page That Google Haters Don’t Want You to Know About

There is a lot of false information around about the way Google stores information about you and how they use it. You can however have full control of your Google Account by visiting If you want to benefit from technology you need to learn how to manage it. This link was found on Lauren Weinstein’s Blog If you are interested in Internet Privacy and Security visit Lauren Weinstein’s Blog you will get lots of useful information. Read more

July 12, 2018

Outlook is rubbish!

Microsoft Outlook especially older versions is junk, but you probably knew that already. For some reason Outlook often sends out a message with incorrect syntax e.g. “[email protected]”. Mail servers like postfix will reject these messages but Outlook will not warn its user that there is a problem. Instead it will keep the message in the outbox and continously retry sending. If you are a postfix admin you can strip the apostrophes with a command filter. Read more

December 26, 2017

Creative Soap forms

I previously posted a tip about making your own soap. If you do make your own soap you will often have a problem with suitable forms for the soap. If you want to make round “bars” of soap instead of square or retangular, life often becomes difficult. You will find lots of ideas by searching for soap forms but the best I found was to use a pringles can. The only problem is that you can only use it once, but it is not a real problem if you like pringles. Read more

October 23, 2017

Change vim 8.0 .vimrc behaviour back to sanity

When a user doesn’t have a /.vimrc file in vim 8.0 (and possibly later) vim loads the default configuration file after the systemwide vimrc file created by the system administrator. This overides any settings the system administrator made. This is of course totally unexpected and frustrating especially when you upgrade from earlier versions. Some may even call it insane and it is definitely not expected behaviour. Anyway below is a way to prevent that from happening. Read more

August 26, 2017

UNIX - Use sed to edit files

sed is one of the commands that have been around forever on Unix systems. sed is a stream editor that you can use to perform basic text transformations on an input stream (a file or input from a pipeline). Want to use sed to edit a file in place? Well, to replace every ’e’ with an ‘o’, in a file named ‘foo’, you can do: sed -i.bak s/e/o/g foo And you’ll get a backup of the original in a file named ‘foo. Read more

August 26, 2017

FREEBSD - Show open sockets

Most people know the netstat command to show you everything about the state of the network on your machine. You can also use sockstat to list all the open sockets on your system. Below are the sockstat options. sockstat -4 Show AF_INET (IPv4) sockets. sockstat -6 Show AF_INET6 (IPv6) sockets. sockstat -c Show connected sockets. sockstat -j jid Show only sockets belonging to the specified jail ID. sockstat -L Only show Internet sockets if the local and foreign addresses are not in the loopback network prefix 127. Read more

August 26, 2017

UNIX - Specify file and disk size output

If you want df, ls or du and other commands to display disk sizes in kilobytes instead of 512 byte blocks, set BLOCKSIZE in your environment to ‘K’. You can also use ‘M’ for Megabytes or ‘G’ for Gigabytes. If you want them to automatically select the best size then use df -h for example.

July 19, 2017

WSUS is not setup and forget

Windows Software Update Services provides a way for Windows sysadmins to control the distribution of updates to windows computers. It also helps to save a lot of bandwidth if you don’t have a superfast internet connection. Unfortunately many think that it is easy to setup and maintain. On newer version of Windows Server it is easy to setup but it needs a lot of care and feeding. I you want to run WSUS you will have to run the “Server Cleanup Wizard” at least once a month, or run Invoke-WSUSCleanup in a scheduled task. Read more

July 18, 2017

Don't post fake news

Before you post or share links on social media do all of us a favour and quickly fact check for fake news. URLs similar to is also a giveaway. In fact I would regard anything ending in .online or .info somewhat suspect.

© Arnold Greyling 2022