Saturday, 22 July 2017

NetBeans on CentOS 7

The default appearance of NetBeans on Linux is not so good. Here are some settings you can use to improve it.

Menu Appearance

When using the GTK look and feel with the default GNOME Shell Adwaita theme popup menus are drawn without borders. This can be fixed by installing the NetBeans plugin from

Recommended GNOME Shell font settings

Font settings can be changed using gnome-tweak-tool. I recommend “DejaVu Sans Book” for the interface and “DejaVu Sans Mono Book” for monospace. These fonts render well on Linux and include a large number of Unicode characters. Use “Slight” hinting and “Rgba” anti-aliasing for LCD monitors.

In addition create the file $HOME/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf and run the command fc-cache:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM 'fonts.dtd'>
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="rgba">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="hinting">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="antialias">
  <match target="font">
    <edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter">

OpenJDK with patches

JetBrains, the creators of the IntelliJ IDEA IDE, maintain a version of OpenJDK patched for better font rendering on Linux. This can be downloaded from

The default JDK used for rendering NetBeans can be set in the NetBeans installation directory in file “netbeans-8.2/etc/netbeans.conf”: 


Also in netbeans.conf add the following to netbeans_default_options: 

-J-Dswing.aatext=TRUE -J-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on

NetBeans font settings

In NetBeans Options→Fonts & Colors be sure to select “Monospace” to avoid a bug where Japanese characters are not rendered.

For my taste the default line spacing is too big. To match the line spacing used by Sublime Text edit the file $HOME/.netbeans/8.2/config/Editors/Preferences/org-netbeans-modules-editor-settings-CustomPreferences.xml and add the lines:

<entry javaType="java.lang.Float" name="line-height-correction" xml:space="preserve">

Sony VPCEH2P0E and Windows 10

At first I was worried about installing Windows 10 on my aging Sony VPCEH2P0E laptop because of Intel's stated position that they did not support the HD3000 chipset for that version of Windows.

The drivers available via Windows Update (version dated 2016-05-19) run great and I have not experienced any issues.

I have upgraded a few parts since the initial purchase: 8GB RAM, 500GB SSD and a 5GHz WiFi dongle. This is still a very useful machine and Windows 10 seems to perform better than the original Windows 7 install.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Censored by The Guardian

This comment was censored by The Guardian.

Thursday, 4 August 2016


Takarazuka's latest footcare centre!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Brexit and the democratic process

You have to regard the success of the Leave campaign as being an endorsement of the democratic process.

A group of people keen for the UK to leave the EU form a single issue political party (UKIP) and campaign and stand for election. Despite being (sometimes) represented and supported by loons and fruitcakes their candidates, over time, succeed in winning local, parliamentary and European elections.

They use this power base and links with Eurosceptic groups within the Conservative Party to pressure the Government into agreeing to a referendum on a UK exit from the EU.

Despite the massed ranks of the political elite, business leaders, the media, foreign heads of state and assorted celebrity gobshites they succeeded in winning the required share of the vote agreed to by all parties prior to the vote taking place.

The correct way for any group to achieve its aims in a democratic society, no?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Review: Sky Beer Taste Drink

Gyomu Super is the Japanese equivalent of Lidl. A no-frills supermarket with (mostly) decent quality products at great prices.

When I spotted this can with the "BEER TASTE DRINK" promise and the 50 JPY (£0.32) price tag I knew I had to try some.

I was making Japanese curry that evening so I left the can cooling in the refrigerator all afternoon in the hope of masking any noxious aftertastes.

The 350ml can is an import from South Korea. I have had some of my worst "beer like drink" experiences in South Korea so my expectations were high.

I wasn't wearing my reading glasses when I bought it and thought the alcohol content was 7% ABV. That level of industrial alcohol in a 50 JPY beverage would likely kill or blind the average drinker. Luckily I was wrong and the actual strength was 0.7% ABV.

It poured with rich, foamy head that would put many lager style beers to shame. The colour was an acceptable pale yellow that could easily pass for lager even in well lit rooms. It tasted of virtually nothing. There was a very faint chemical hint but it basically tasted like carbonated tap water.

0/5 Don't buy it. It is not worth the ridiculously low price.