Friday, April 29, 2016

MacBook Air with 64GB disk can't to shit

I've paired my MBA down to the bare essentials and it's just performing like crap. No matter what I do every week I spend a few hours trying to delete more and more less essential applications. One thing that cooked my goose is that one of my deepest dependencies is XCode and I had uninstalled it. As a side effect I would get random popups asking me to reinstall XCode and the command line extensions. Just no fun at all even though I had anywhere from 5 to 15GB free depending on what was in the trash.

Today I decided to start my SSD upgrade but that did not go well. I performed a time machine backup and while it seemed to be backed up it had not. The restore failed. So I had to reverse everything I had performed and do another backup onto a different disk.

The checklist looked like:

  • timemachine backup everything
  • install the new SSD
  • power up + CMD+R
  • format the new drive
  • install the OS and make sure it's the same version
Same version?
  • log into the machine with a new (different) temporary userid
  • launch finder and navigate to apps/utilities
  • launch the migration app and follow
Different version?
  • Log into the machine with a new (different) temporary userid
  • upgrade the OS to the same version as the timemachine backup
  • you'll reboot a few times
  • log into the machine with a new (different) temporary userid
  • launch finder and navigate to apps/utilities
  • launch the migration app and follow
when restoring from the timemachine backup there is are some options to restore users, delete users and so on. Read it carefully.

UPDATE It has been a few days since the drive upgrade. The machine is doing the same work it was doing before the upgrade. Only one app seemed to be wonky with two instances running at the same time. I hope I deleted the correct one.

Camping tools

What is the obsession with firesteel? While it's the new Flint and steel; just slightly more reliable with a slightly shorter lifetime. The reality is that lighters are safe and reliable. BBQ lighters with extended flame mouth, triggers and safetys are available everywhere.

And if you're going to use a firestarter then you probably need other skills as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The ultimate disaster recovery

I'm watching a presentation on Camlistore from 2016 and it's one I have seen before. I've also been watching "Fear of the dead" which asks me to think about a few different scenarios. But while Camlistore is meant to be storage for life or storage of life ... given my life experience and code-life experience how much of this matters to me any more?

In 30 years as a professional/journeyman programmer I have written millions of lines of code. Most of it belongs to my employers or customers but a good deal belongs to me. There have been countless experiments that I've used to learn, experience and experiment. But even as I think about all that code there is no way I would want to DR any of it in the short term let alone in the long term. On the other hand having copies of photos and videos would be handy and nice.


In the case of a zombie attack and the end of days I do not think any of that is going to matter. Also, "we" know so much more now about programming and devices that if we had to reboot all of society I do not imagine that we would be looking at linux, windows or osx anymore.

I suppose it would have been nice to see my answer to Microsoft's DBCC interview question but at the time there was no way to capture that info; and the same could be said for the Amazon javascript text editor or card shuffling an dealing programs.

I guess what I'm saying is that beyond the normal lifespan of a project and part way into it's half-life just let it go. [a] you'll spend more time reverse engineering it instead of rewriting a modern version. [b] frankly by the time you're reached the half-life there has been enough attrition both personnel and cognitive that starting over is better for everyone.

Which brings me to my final point. The absolute core of the "work" needs to be implemented in a very descriptive and easy to reconstruct DSL. And with relative deference to Donald Knuth and Literate Programming the challenge is that literate programming's execution is difficult.

PS: one thing to take from Literate Programming is code around the documentation instead of documentation around the code. I think the modern version of this a variation on markdown.

I'm giving you the finger

I was in traffic just a few minutes ago waiting at a stop light to enter into the intersection to make a left hand turn when this Joker decides to run in front of the car when he clearly had a do not cross on the crosswalk. At the time I decided to wait and give him one of those silly smirks that could be taken anyway when I really needed to know how to satisfied I was with the fact that he was walking in front of my car and putting us both at risk. In the past the universal signal for that has been the finger and so I think it needs to be reinstated as such.

If you f****** and you deserve the finger then somebody should be there to give it to you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

camping gear must have

youtube recommended hat I watch some videos; presumably based on my amazon and google searches. One video that kept popping up was "camping gear you gotta have". Here's the list:

  • SOS20K - 20K miliamp USB battery that will charge 4 devices at once and comes with a solar panel for recharging. In truth there are a number of problems. [a] it's a LI battery so don't let it overheat [b] max battery life is achieved NOT using the solar [c] it costs $149. One comment the reviewer made was that the included D-ring could hold 15K pounds. I didn't think the battery weighed that much.
  • Zyntony Torch - it has a number of interesting features. waterproof, bright, rechargeable, configurable. But the one ridiculous feature is the bluetooth. It's a well known fact that BT is a battery magnet. The straplight looks like a more practical flashlight.
  • The Mach2 hammock from Clark Outdoor looks like a nice product. I think my only concern is the price and the exaggerated way the video described the straps. I think it would have bee nice to have a 2 person ground version, which they offer, I have yet to see the video and I'm not sure how stable it would be in the air.... and you need 4 perfect trees for that. (reminder they are expensive.)
  • Biolite stove. The last few places I've been camping don't have anything to burn. In their kickstarter video they showed a stove for 3rd world countries etc... I liked it and would rather have one of those instead of a small camping model.
And honorable mention goes to campfire in a can. It's not offered by amazon and the price is $179 for the 2 in 1 model. I'm not sure I'd use it for cooking but a portable fire pit for those 2 to 3 days a year when my wife wants to roast marshmallows makes perfect sense.

Android phone locks quick capture

I discovered a new feature on my Android phone this morning. Over the last couple of weeks I had been accidentally pressing the power button and the phone has been turning on the camera application and I haven't quite understood why. This morning I started playing with the power button then I realized that when the phone is off with the display turned off click once in order to turn on the login screen then click twice and the camera pops up allowing you to take a quick photo or a quick video.

Now that I've been going through all of this kerfuffle with the GoPro I wonder whether or not it wouldn't be a good idea to get a waterproof Android phone. And that way I could leave my GoPro for action videos.

Gopro for vlogging

After sitting on the sidelines and trying to videotape my daughter's soccer game using my GoPro I think I finally understand why people do not regularly along with their GoPros and maybe why my GoPro is not the right device for the use case I selected.

Even though the GoPro has a very wide viewing angle the expectation seems to be that the objects in view are humongous.

One piece of video that I shot was at the soccer game and once my daughter was beyond ten or fifteen feet she rapidly became a speck on the screen. Another piece of video that I shot was at the Family Pool. Once my daughter moved away from the edge of the pool Which is closest to me she also became very small very quickly.

What does this mean? In conclusion Louisville Pro is an action cam or maybe a personal area cam. It does not seem to be an everyday video recorder.

Monday, April 25, 2016

photo sync is finally catching up

The quick description of the problem: enabling photo sync to iCloud has crashed my network. I could not figure out what was going on... but I finally changed from wireless to wired and it started to make progress. Now it's almost finished.

Used the wired network.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Facebook is STILL NOT your friend

My wife and most of our family loves Facebook. I imagine your does too. But imagine my surprise when I clicked on the post on her timeline only to discover that the website required me to login with my Facebook credentials. Like most application developers at Facebook the mission is to capture eyeballs and sell clicks.

In this case my wife has given this company access to all of her pictures which they will use by posting to her timeline and we have no idea whether or not they are going to honor the security settings like GPS etc.

Frankly if you are going to set your security so that you have to approve all pictures that you're tagged in then make sure you know exactly what you are giving up when you think you're getting something for free.


another bad day for open source

One of the hallmarks of a good open source project is just how complicated it is to install, configure and maintain. Happily gitlab and the ...