Ahhhhh what is this

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 10:54 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

I'm switching my laptop from VMWare to VirtualBox (basically cloning the already working version from my desktop, which has things properly set up for email, etc) -- and ran into issues with networking. And at first I thought it was because I hadn't set up dnsmasq properly, or that it was this old issue with setting up dhcp that I vaguely remembered having to deal with the first time.

But after fixing all that, still nothing. And uh. It turns out the solution was to rename the interfaces from eth0/eth1 to eth4/eth5.

I have no idea what just happened, other than that my computers have decided that it's fun to mess with me.

(I think the main reason I'm leery of sysad stuff is that every time I come back to edit something, I have to basically start from scratch. I should try to figure out how to easily document my actions when I work on the sysadmin side of things, so I can find out what I just did, two months from now.

It's really easy for code, e.g., git status, git stash, but the same trial and error approach I do for code just leads to confusion when I try to remember what I just did when it comes to working on my system...)

(I'm beginning to think that the other reason I find sysadminning so hard is that I only rarely can figure out from the instructions which parameters are arbitrary, and which parameters must be based on values from your system. For instance, in:

VBoxManage dhcpserver add –netname (the internal network name e.g. intnet) –ip <your RFC 1918 address> (e.g. 192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x, 172.16.x.x)\
–netmask <your subnet mask> (e.g. –lowerip <your lower IP range> (e.g. –upperip <your upper IP range> (e.g.
  • --netname is arbitrary
  • --ip is sort of arbitrary, but I thought it had to be based off an already assigned ip address
  • -- netmask is always just for my purposes
  • --lowerip/--upperip are arbitrary, but since I was confused about --ip before...

Also in the GUI, there's an adapter IP and the DHCP server IP, and it's not clear whether the --ip is for the former or the latter. It turns out it's the former, but good heavens how do people know? I basically had to plug in reasonable-seeming values and restarting stuff to test, with the only feedback being that it either failed or succeeded, and no way of telling which of the inputs was the reason for the failure, or if it was none of those.

UGH. Not my favorite thing in the world.)

afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Temporarily staying in my brother's room / the guest bedroom, sharing with my aunt who's visiting from the US for a month. All this means that I get to use my brother's monitor in a dual-screen set up (...I should see if I can clear out space so I can do the same when I move back to my room)

It's so much better than flipping back and forth between spaces (Spaces?), which is what I was doing before, but I'm finding it tricky to adjust to how my mouse may not be in the screen that I'm looking at right now. It's very easy to lose track of my mouse or active window. The mouse issue is sort of helped by Mouse Locator, which shows a large version of my cursor when I hit some hotkeys.

The absolute best solution, taking the idea from [personal profile] synecdochic, would be to have eyetracking software that would move he mouse to the screen you're looking at (>_>). Since that doesn't exist, I'm playing with the idea of trying to make hotkeye that would reset the mouse to the center of the primary screen or the secondary screen, and at the same time highlight the currently active window.

Maybe something with applescript, though from experience that's going to be slow... hm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I stumbled across the TECHKnitting blog and whoa, wow. I wanna knit like that when I grow up :)

Have gone through most of the entries, and even the smallest tips (such as this one which gives advice for pushing the left needle back when moving stitches around, without hurting your finger.

Equally awesome, she has an entry where she lays out how to fix a dropped stitch down the side, especially pointing out why the dropped stitch down the side looks so hard, and not twenty-four hours after I read that entry, I'd used the knowledge to fix something -- thrice!

Saved me having to undo and redo several hundred stitches each time :)

Got the second backup drive finally. She's Western Digital, 2TB, USB 3.0 and not too expensive. She also hase a name.

naming system )
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
But I accidentally renamed my main laptop volume to "/me nuzzles"

(I can at least tell when approximately it happened? :-))
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I run my dev environment (ubuntu) in a VM on my laptop, because that makes things a lot easier for me. Unfortunately

cmd+alt+fn + f1 through f6 = virtual terminal mode

(I don't need the full gnome mode, and the terminal I get to by logging in via the GUI login is weird. It seems to be bigger than my actual window size and all output is way past the lower edge of my screen, so when I type, I can't see what I'm typing, and after I run a command, I have to hit enter approximately half a gajillion times before I can find my output.)

apt-get install console-data
dpkg-reconfigure console-data

(installing and configuring console-data has let me set the terminal keyboard to dvorak, rather than qwerty. It's not a big deal; I usually just ssh into my dev environment using the Terminal application, but it's been a minor annoyance, that now is fixed yay :D)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I have realized that I have a ton of crap that I don't need/don't use, and that these are so many that by now they're actually preventing me from finding the things that I really want to try out, so I have been cleaning up everything.

This weekend was cleaning out all the apps I've downloaded. While doing so, I decided to create an account that's all my own (I have my own credit card now, which wasn't the case when I first was trying to download apps, so I needed to share an account -- even though everything that I wanted was free. Bleh!)

Anyway, it turns out that it is possible to combine the contents of different itunes accounts into one on my computer/whatever gadgets. Yay. However, if I wanted to update the apps in the future, I'd need to sign onto the account I'd bought it as. Bleh.

So! I've been transferring over those applications that I've been interested in to my new account, by deleting from the old, then redownloading to the new. Some of them, the ones where I want to keep my data, I'm keeping on the old account. I'll deal with them another day. Since I'm already auditing my accounts, now also seemed the perfect time to delete stuff I don't want.

And now things feel so clean! And as an added bonus, I may be able to start looking at paid apps, and eventually maybe even buy something if I really want it. I haven't wanted to before, because I haven't been able to *g*

Speaking of buying stuff, I got a box set of 64-color crayons. I was in the toy store with friends, and I saw them and they are only like 160 pesos. Based on how unattainable I used to consider them, I thought they'd be closer to, what, 500 pesos or something. So aaaaah I have crayons :D :D :D And I feel ridiculously fulfilled. (Ability to buy stuff that you used to fantasize over as a kid, for the win ;-) I had crayons, but they were inherited from my older siblings. These are new! And feel so good)

Spent most of Saturday out with friends. Had lunch ([livejournal.com profile] habeo's treat -- belated happy birthday to you :p), wandered the mall with a substantial chunk of that time spent in Toy Kingdom and Cyberzone, and then ended up at [livejournal.com profile] iruka11's house eating pizza, playing foozball (the last game was epic \o/ we had our own sports-announcer type commentator \o/ who managed to kick my ass even as he was doing the commentating >_<), hitting Bob (the practice dummy) with fists and padded arnis sticks, and playing Rock Band / Band Hero / etc until past midnight.

I managed to get past beginner level to easy on the guitar, and to medium on the drums (it's embarrassing, but it was the first time I'd played either so I eased myself in XD I only managed to kill us like five times the entire night...)

So that was my weekend :) And now it's Sunday, so I'm with family again, trying to ignore the sweltering heat, and cleaning up the crap on my computer. (Phew.)

wheee the future

Sunday, July 4th, 2010 04:05 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Huh, so I was playing with my dad's iPad just today (he finally let me pry it from his hands), and I am loving it in a way that I did not expect. I knew it would be useful, you know? I just didn't realize how much I'd enjoy using it.

It's smooth and coherent in a way that my netbook (as much as I love it for being tiny and hardworking and long-lasting) is not.

Sooooo now I'm thinking about user experience and how essential it is (like, it is something so essential it should be core, not just added on afterwards. Which should be obvious, and yet sometimes in the rush to add stuff, it's easy to forget that whatever new that's added should be seamless. Which, again, is something I knew, but not something I'd digested until now).

In that same vein, 52 weeks of user experience -- twice weekly entries about being a designer and improving user experience -- is great *g*

New RAM!

Monday, February 22nd, 2010 11:50 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I didn't buy it just because I was waiting, I swear...

I've been wanting to buy new RAM for a while now, but the place I was originally looking at has been out of the brand I want for months now. Hadn't had time to do the shopping until now. While I was there and looking at stuff, I also started seriously playing with the thought of buying a netbook for travel; it just needs to be strong enough to run a browser and let me SSH into my server with minimal painfulness. And also be light and small enough that I can carry it around easily, and have a good enough battery life that I don't need to constantly be looking for a wall socket to charge it -- something like an afternoon's worth, with just a bit extra allowance to be safe. Oh, and I hope to find one with no OS installed, so I don't have to go through the extra step of uninstalling Windows.

I need to do some research on what is a good balance between price and ability -- I really really am not planning on getting fancy with it! -- but I've at least gotten a feel for the price range and range of battery life etc.

I know a couple of you have netbooks. Are they worth it? (Is there any one brand I should avoid or any one I should run to? *g*)

ANYWAY my current laptop is now at 4 gigs, up from the original 2. That, plus I recently upgraded to Snow Leopard, and, well, everything is running quite zippy. We'll see how it feels after Firefox has been on a bit, but right now, I have a virtual machine running, and I don't feel it at all -- before Snow Leopard, running a VM would slow my machine down to a crawl especially on startup and shutdown. After upgrading to Snow Leopard, running a VM was doable, but it made certain actions feel slightly hmmm, sticky/tacky.

Feeling very very very cheerful at the newfound speed ^______^ (And now and now, I'm playing with the thought of running my dev env on a virtual machine, instead of SSHing to my server. Possibilities! Maybe!)

OH and also, I'm feeling quite pleased that I managed to install the RAM myself. As much as I love software, the hardware side of things intimidates me. I always worry that I'm going to break something somehow (not entirely unjustified... the first time we had a lab in electronics, I burnt out three or four cheaps -- luckily the cheap kinds). I have tried my hardest not to have to fiddle with any hardware since. And today I installed RAM on my laptop \o/

(This is the generation of macbooks where it is easy to install RAM. But I'm still quite pleased with myself ;-))
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Okay, here's one thing that bothers me: occasionally, I stop being able to connect to my brother's computer on our home network. Let's call this computer "brother".

So I'll still see "brother" under the Shared section of the Finder sidebar, but double-clicking on it gives me a "Connection failed", and clicking "Connect as" on the upper right either has no visible effect, or gives a pop-up with the text "The server “brother” may not exist or it is unavailable at this time. Check the server name or IP address, check your network connection, and then try again."

In Console (Applications > Utilities > Terminal), there's this error message in the system log:
SharePointBrowser::handleOpenCallBack returned 64

Judicious googling tells me that indicates the remote server is down, which is not true! My laptop just thinks it is. No amount of flushing dnscache (whether by doing dscacheutil -flushcache, or killall -HUP mDNSResolver) could fix it. It's also not a network setup issue, because I've been able to connect to this computer before and if I restart, etc, I'll be able to connect to it again.

I just spent the evening digging into this, because it frustrates me so, and I think I've finally got some solutions that work well enough that I want to share (also note them down so I can find them when I next need them!):

three things that worked for me under the cut )

And there! I haven't managed to google up *any* solution to this kind of issue (except for advice to restart, but again that's not always feasible), so I've tried to put down everything that I could, and maybe it can help someone else in the future.

Future self, if this happens to you again, please remember to look at this entry.

Wait, What

Monday, December 28th, 2009 10:58 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Spent the afternoon in the car with my mom running various errands and we got to talking. It turns out that mom was a systems programmer way back in the day of mainframes, and knows COBOL and assembly. And dad taught himself C in order to build a rudimentary inventory system (on a microcomputer? is that the thing?) -- this was for their first company, so late 80s/very early 90s.

I am floored. I was vaguely aware that she'd had a job involving computers and banks, but I did not realize the extent. Why did they not tell me this earlier? D:

(Note: Dad never taught me C; mom never taught me assembly. I wonder what would have happened if they had, though? I suspect murder and mayhem!)

Anyway, I found myself promising to teach her how to master excel -- or at least work it enough to run totals for her job. I suspect murder and mayhem! Whoo!
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Lately I've been seeing Growl Notifications of a Google Chrome being mounted on my Mac, while I'm not running Chrome, and without my having done any action on my part. (I have been keeping Chrome around out of curiosity because I want to try the beta, but I haven't run it in a while).

I do not know what's been going on, but I can't find any way to turn it off -- I can't even figure out where to start looking. ps aux | grep -i google (look for "google" in all running processes) just shows me a GoogleTalkPlugin... and I don't know what that is for either, or where it is from.

I suspect there's something that's just trying to be helpful, but since I don't know what it is, and I don't recall giving anything permission to do this, I don't like it :p And not remembering whether I gave it permission or not, may be my memory being faulty, but whether I gave it permission before or not, I can't find any way to turn it off now.

So now I'm trying to figure out how to purge Google Talk Plugin and Google Chrome from my system. Anyone run into any of this behavior before? Any idea how to stop it?

ETA: Mrrrr, found it. Google Software Update was installed automatically on my computer, probably when I installed Gears, or checked out Google Earth or Google Chrome. I don't mind being asked for permission to check for updates when I start a program, but having something automatically update without notification or permission makes me twitchy, so I've removed all the google software I don't need, leaving only gears.

I'll also do this as well: http://www.google.com/support/installer/bin/answer.py?answer=100386 and hope that doesn't kill gears.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
etc etc, you know the drill.

If a major submarine backbone is damaged, reducing much of Asia's internet capacity by 75%, and there is nobody online to listen because we're all busy taking hammers to our computers in frustration...

eh, I dunno!

Expect me to be scarce until this is fixed (hopefully that won't be more than a day or so). In the meantime, I'm off to curl up with a good book :)


Watching this wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APCN_2_%28cable_system%29

Two screens!

Friday, June 19th, 2009 11:18 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I finally remembered to dig out the power supply cable, so now I have my brother's old 15-inch LCD monitor on and connected to my laptop.

I'm trying to use the laptop as my primary point of interaction, and moving things that I rarely switch over to, or that I want to keep on in the background on the secondary monitor.

IRC is now over there to my left *points*. So is the PDF/ebook I occasionally flip to when I want to read something briefly in between tasks.

TV shows may go there as well, though I'm still thinking about that. On balance, the screens *feel* about the same size? It could be because my brother's old LCD only supports up to 1024x728, whereas my laptop can do a higher resolution. It may also be that my laptop is only 13 inches (13.3?) but is wider, whereas my brother's old LCD... no, my new LCD monitor is just 15 inches.

I wonder if this will make me more productive? Seems worth a shot. I should try coding something...

And should I move some of the coding stuff to the left, so that I don't need to alt tab between coding windows? So much to figure out. So exciting!

One thing that's helping me transition, and is helping me switch between applications, no matter which monitor I'm currently in, are the global hotkeys I set up using Quicksilver.

f12 for IRC
cmd+f12 for Terminal
shift+f12 for Firefox
alt+f12 for Twitter

I've mostly been using the first two, but I'm now finding much greater need for / much greater value for the last two as well :)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I love my grandpa <3 He's a bit of a gadget geek. Up to now he's focused on cameras and phones, but today he got his first computer. He saw Dad's iMac in my room when he visited during our last family reunion, grew envious, and decided to get one of his own.

My brother took care of buying a 20-inch iMac (gorgeoussss) and setting it up. Right now, grandpa's reading Chinese news on it. HE CAN READ NEWS WITHOUT HUNCHING OVER A NEWSPAPER WITH A MAGNIFYING GLASS GUYS THIS ROCKS.

Okay, so he might have turned his computer into the world's most expensive magnifying glass *laugh* But he rocks and is pretty cool at it. There are a few other things I know he's interested in, and I might be able to show him them once he gets used enough to using a computer to do something other than reading.

PS. Guys, translating geek to English for my parents is hard enough; geek to Chinese for my grandpa is so much harder!

PPS. Would just like to tell you guys that [personal profile] rb is sweet and gorgeous, and that she linked me to her series of simple accessibility hints on ATMac and it is amazing!