Slow Download Speeds on Steam For Linux

I’ve been getting horrendously slow speeds on Linux Steam (~500k/s) and 5-6Mb/s on Windows, and only now found out why. There’s a ticket on GitHub for this:

https://github.com/ValveSoftware/steam-for-linux/issues/3401

In short, the client is very aggressive on its DNS requests, which normally causes it to be throttled by servers, leading to really slow downloads. However, using dnsmasq allows the requests to be cached locally and offload the requests.

Even though the instructions are for Arch, they worked for me:

  1. Install dnsmasq
  2. Modify /etc/dnsmasq.config and add the line listen-address=127.0.0.1
  3. Restart the dnsmasq service (systemctl restart dnsmasq.service) or reboot your machine

Enjoy the speed

The Rise of Open Source Software

There’s a nice CNBC documentary talking about OSS and how it’s pretty much taken over the world. Proof if it was needed that open source is better than closed source in pretty much every scenario.

I say “pretty much” since there are definitely certain scenarios where open source is not the best option, such as proprietary encryption algorithms or something that is company-confidential.

The Fall and Rise of MasterCard

MasterCard seems to be making a lot of good choices recently with its branding showing up in a lot of high-profile cards.

Monzo, Revolut, Starling, Curve, Tide, and more are all MasterCard branded.

I used to have a MasterCard Credit Card by (IIRC) MBNA (remember them?) which I took out initially because I was going to Germany and back then (early noughties), I was advised that MasterCard was more prevalent in the European continent than Visa was, so make sure I had a MasterCard handy in case I ended up in a place that did not take Visa.

I didn’t even use that card.

Fast forward several years later, and suddenly I got a letter saying MBNA were transferring me onto Barclaycard Visa — which was the same as the other credit cards I had. So I ended up with multiple Barclaycard Visa cards, and no MasterCards.

The fact MBNA transferred me off MasterCard made me wonder why. Was there an issue with MasterCard? Were they like AmEx and causing problems with merchants? I shall never know.

I’ve been with Visa pretty much my entire adult life, and aside from that period above where I had a MasterCard, never had a MasterCard.

Eventually I decided to look at Monzo and Revolut, getting accounts successfully setup in both. Both issued MasterCard Debit cards. Starling’s app wouldn’t run on my device.

Monzo is rapidly becoming my main day-to-day account, whereas my Barclaycard is for things like larger purchases, bills, fuel, etc.

It’s strange since my last MasterCard experience, they’ve gone and pretty much disappeared, to coming back and almost every new card out there is MasterCard Debit….

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