Category Archives: Computers

Optimal Window Sizing on Windows RDP

If you use Windows Remote Desktop (RDP) on multiple machines with different screen resolutions, you’ve probably had an RDP window that’s too small (hard to see details) or too large (requires you to use scroll bars) for your current display. Microsoft has long had an option for handling this – called smart sizing – but it’s not available in the RDP config GUI. You can turn it on or off by right-clicking the RDP window border and checking/unchecking the smart sizing option or you can set it as the default for an RDP config by opening the RDP config file in a text editor and adding the line “smart sizing:i:1” anywhere in the file.

Microsoft has the smart sizing option in its documentation but I didn’t see any official how-to docs on it. This 2012 blog entry covers smart sizing in a little more detail.

September 2019 Wallpapers

I’m going to try putting wallpaper I collect up as posts so others can (hopefully) enjoy it and I’m going to name the posts by month because I’m not organized or consistent enough to do themes.

I’ll credit the author when I know who created these. Usually I just find them on Reddit, Twitter, or a similar site and don’t know the origin.



Alien Bar


Stanford Design Thinking Process


Mountain Forest


Deep Blue Sea



Forest Rays

Honey Bee


Rainy Night – Source

The Agile Manifesto and 12 Principles

I created Word versions of the Agile Manifesto and 12 Principles to use as posters and quick references for my work team and other interested colleagues. Here they are, along with the sources.

Agile Manifesto  in Microsoft Word

12 Principles Based on the Agile Manifesto in Microsoft Word

Sources: and


Writing an Effective Python Command Line Interface


This post is worth reviewing to see if your Python code will benefit. The suggestions here are at least somewhat portable to other languages. I used to write lots of command line apps and I’ve found that a good command line UI can be much better than a GUI for many use cases.

How to Fix Thin Scrollbars in Gnome 3

If your scrollbars are too thin in Gnome 3, this is worth a try.

1  Open a terminal.
2  Go to ~/.config/gtk-3.0/
3  Open the gtk.css file for editing. Create this file if it doesn’t exist.
4  Add the following text to the gtk.css file:

.scrollbar.vertical slider,
scrollbar.vertical slider {
min-width: 15px;

5  Save the  gtk.css file and log out and back in to Gnome.
6  When you log back in, you should see the scrollbars on apps like the Firefox browser and terminals changed to the value you entered in the gtk.css file.

You may have to tinker with the min-width to get the scrollbar thickness you want but hopefully this resolves your problem. Thanks to the folks on this ubuntuforums thread for the answer.

My environment is CentOS 7 and Gnome Shell 3.25.4, but this problem seems to be more generally related to Gnome 3.

If you want to know your Gnome Shell version, the easiest way to find it is to open a terminal and type gnome-shell –version.

If this doesn’t resolve your issue, I’d like to hear about your situation. I understand if registering to comment is too much work though … 🙂


How to Fix Firefox Scrolling in Gnome 3

If you’re having slow and jerky scrolling in Firefox with Gnome 3, this is worth a try, especially if your Chrome scrolling is fine.

1  Open firefox.
2  Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and hit Enter.
3  Type mousewheel.min_line_scroll_amount into the search bar.
4  Double click the row that shows up, enter a higher number (I use 30) and press Enter.

You may have to tinker with the mousewheel.min_line_scroll_amount to get the behavior you want but hopefully this resolves your problem. Thanks to the folks on this reddit thread for the answer.

My environment is CentOS 7 and Firefox 60, but this problem seems to be generally related to recent (e.g. ~2018) Firefox on recent Gnome.

Association for Computing Machinery Releases New Code of Ethics

In this Scientific American article, Cherri M. Pancake, current president of the Association for Computing Machinery, discusses the release of a new ACM code of ethics.

I’ve worked in computer science for more than 20 years and seen firsthand that our profession badly needs an up to date and well defined code of ethics. I’m looking forward to seeing what individuals and companies do to adopt and improve this code.


Facebook is an unregulated private intelligence agency

The New York Times has an article on Facebook’s tracking and data collection patents worth reading by everyone who uses the internet, which obviously includes you if you’re reading this. Their review reveals that Facebook “has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users’ lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you’re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die.”

I don’t have a problem with Facebook operating as a social network, even though it’s a lousy one that traps and isolates users. I do have a problem with it allowing Russia and other malevolent powers to influence elections. The biggest problem with Facebook is fundamental to its design and the key to how it makes money: Facebook is a private intelligence agency that operates without the legal oversight and constraints of government agencies. It’s a corporation concerned solely with maximizing profits, which it does by continually increasing the scope and depth of information gathering against its users and anyone else it can track. The cost of using Facebook, or allowing Facebook to track you, is surrendering your personal information to a corporation that will sell that information to virtually anyone who will pay for it.