All posts by Jim

Software engineer from Crete living in Switzerland; C# & Azure paladin; economics hobbyist; firearm enthusiast; perpetually tormented by 3 beautiful women :-)

Signs that you need a coffee, #1

You go to the office coffee maker.

You press the button to start the machine.

While the coffee is dripping, you open a sugar bag.

…and then you throw the sugar to the trash can, and the bag into the coffee 🙂

If you do that more than once in a sigle morning, just take the day off. You’re not gonna get any work done anyway !


Do-It-Yourself: Cappuccino Freddo — Rev. 2

Almost 6 years ago, I posted a guide on how to eas­ily make “cap­puc­cino freddo” cof­fee at home and accord­ing to my web stats, it’s still a very pop­u­lar post. Since then how­ever, I have sim­pli­fied and improved my tech­nique and I think it’s time to refresh the guide.

Reblog from George Adamopoulos : a great guide on how to make the famous greek-style cold coffee, Capuccino Freddo. It’s a must 🙂

Kanton Schwyz – Quellensteuertarif in excel form

Some things are so simple and so useful, that not seeing them being done drives me crazy.

One such thing is the Withholding Tax (Quellensteuer) tarifs in Switzerland. Every canton publishes them, as of course they must. But it’s only in PDF form. Sure, that’s useful too… if you don’t want to do actual work.

So I’ve downloaded the pdf for Kanton Schwyz, where I live, and via the magic of Notepad++ and regular expressions I’ve converted it into a spreadsheet with two sheets, with and without church tax (Kirchensteuer). Of course, they are given without any warranty, I’m not responsible for errors, if you go bankrupt it’s your own fault etc etc.

One thing to note is that columns D,F and the rest with the % header are percentages. So 0.21 means 0.21%, not 21%.

I hope you find that useful. I’ll be posting the new ones for 2014, 2015 and so on. If you find any error or anything that can be improved (without too much work :-)), please let me know.

Download here : Kanton Schwyz – Quellensteuer 2013 .

How to make Visual Studio 2012 look (almost) the same as 2010

If you’re like me, you HATE HATE HATE the look of VS 2012. It’s not only ugly; it’s unergonomic.

So naturally, a number of people have worked to make VS 2012 look like 2010. VS 2010’s look, IMNSHO, was a lot clearer and developer-friendlier.

So here’s a list of steps that have been tested and work :

0. Close both VS 2012 and VS 2010

1. If you haven’t already, install VS 2012 Update 2 or later (here)

2. With Update 2 or later, a new theme called “Blue” is available alongside “Dark” (the default) and “Light”. Select this one (you can find it in Tools -> Options -> Environment -> General) and click OK.


3. Download the “Visual Studio Icon Patcher” from MS CodePlex (here)

4. Unzip it in a new folder

5. Open Visual Studio Command Prompt (use “Run as an Administrator”). In the command prompt, enter the following commands :

cd whatever-folder-you-have-unzipped-the-file-in


You’re now in the VSIP prompt. Continue typing (obviously you have to hit enter after each line –but you knew that already) :

backup -v=2012





Done ! The outcome looks like this :


Important note : The commands in step #5 assume that you have both VS 2012 and 2010 installed on your machine. If you don’t, you need to a) “extract” from a machine with VS 2010 installed b) copy the folder created (it’s called Images, and it’s placed under the new folder in which you unzipped Visual Studio Icon Patcher) and c) “inject” it in the target machine (i.e. the dev PC with VS 2012).

Welcome !

Hi everybody !

I’m Jim Andrakakis. I’m a senior software engineer from Greece; with roots from Crete, raised mostly in Athens and since 2012 living in Switzerland, near Zürich. I’ve been coding since I was ten, and will probably continue until I’ve malloc()’d a block in the Great Heap In The Sky. I’m an incurable coffee addict, a finance and economics hobbyist, a firearm enthusiast, a cryptography aficionado(*) and I’m perpetually tormented by 3 beautiful women 😊

As my friends know, my official first name is not Jim, it’s Dimitrios (usually used as “Dimitris” in Greece). Jim is the equivalent in English. There’s a small backstory to why I introduce myself this way, but it’s not important.

Also: why “dandraka”? Well obviously it’s an abbreviation (first letter of first name + part the surname) but more importantly it’s a small piece of personal history. It was the username I got when I worked, briefly, for the Muon Spectrometer in the ATLAS experiment of CERN. When I complained that I was used from other systems to a slightly different username, “dandrak”, a brilliant physist I met there suggested that that would sound like a washing machine model -so I guess I dodged that bullet 😊

So that’s my new blog, which I started after Jux announced that they would be shutting down. Real pity; it was a great platform, I loved it.

From now on I’ll be posting here my random thoughts, recipes, code and what-have-you.

But if you stop reading now and go to a beach, nobody will blame you

Enjoy !

(*) please don’t confuse cryptography with “crypto”, i.e. anything to do with bitcoin and crypto-“currencies”. For what it’s worth (which is not much) I believe that the blockchain (the mathematical concept that underpins most cryptocurrencies) has the potential to facilitate some useful applications. But caught in the mania of bitcoin, which is an almost ridiculous concept, it has been blown completely out of proportion. Thus any effort to apply blockchain in a useful way is invariably doomed, due to it being so unbelievably overhyped.