piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
first my new iomega external 2T drive conked. that's the second iomega drive that died way too soon, and i am not using these drives a lot; just for backups. needless to say, i won't be buying iomega anymore.

then my mac pro lost its video output. since we have high-end graphics cards just laying around the house, that didn't seem like a big problem. but with the new card (which is confirmed to be working) the mac didn't even boot. put the old card back in, nope, not booting either. i swtched everything to the mac mini, but that would'nt even turn on -- i had originally started using the mac pro because the mini was flakey. so the mac pro went to the shop. last time we used the shop, maybe 2 years ago, we got the machine back the next day. now we were told it could be as long as 10 days. macs are either getting very popular, or are breaking more. this is the only mac shop in town, so there's no alternative either.

not only are we lucky that we have high end graphics cards laying around, but we also have spare computers. no spare mac, no, but a spare PC dual-booting into win2000 and fedora. i don't care for fedora, and especially not v11, which screwed up the sound. debian is my favourite, but i figured this was a good time to try out ubuntu, which has been praised far and wide.

downloaded ubuntu, burnt it to CD, and tried it. looked clean and simple if a bit too kawaii with its large, colourful icons and all. it offered an install while leaving previous installations intact, so i started that process. during which it needed to resize the partitions on the drive so it could add itself on a new partition.

i usually repartition with partition magic, a reliable work horse which never once screwed anything up for me. but since symantec (bastards) killed it after buying the developer, powerquest, that option is running out now; it can't handle ext4 filesystems nor newer windows systems. so i let ubuntu handle the repartitioning.

bad idea. somewhere during the process the screen went a sickly bright green and ubuntu hung. and of course when i finally shut the machine off and tried to reboot fedora from disk, that wasn't possible (just into windows, which is on its own drive). the monitor remained green (i knew the monitor wasn't the problem since it still displayed normal colours when turned off and then on again).

rebooted ubuntu off the CD, but the monitor was still green and ubuntu hung.

i cursed a little.

then shut the machine off again, unplugged the power, unplugged the video cable and restarted, fortunately that reset everything and ubuntu came up in full colour. allright. finally i could get on with it.

it's ... i can see why a lot of people would praise it; it's quite simple, pretty, and user-friendly -- for people used to windows or to no computers at all. to somebody who knows linux, it's kinda "linux for dummies". i'm pretty much gonna change everything in the GUI because i find the unity desktop insipid; it stands in my way more than it facilitates what i want to do. and the file manager isn't much to write home about -- what is that, nautilus? anyone know of a GOOD file manager?

but first to see whether it can read hfs filesystems without too many gyrations.

but i am feeling good about not losing all my mojo during the obstacles, and keeping at it instead of retreating to my room to read escapist novels. and minecraft runs on it. ;)
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
documenting problem and solution all in one place.

all of a sudden i'm getting this once per hour in my system log:
10/12/17 3:00:00 AM com.apple.launchd[1] (0x10f050.cron[29922]) Could not setup Mach task special port 9: (os/kern) no access

click only if you want to know what's behind this )
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>Label</key>
<string>account.ChromeExportBookmarks.Launchd</string>
<key>LowPriorityIO</key>
<true/>
<key>ProgramArguments</key>
<array>
<string>/bin/sh</string>
<string>/Users/account/ChromeExportBookmarks.sh</string>
</array>
<key>ServiceDescription</key>
<string>backup chrome bookmarks for launchbar</string>
<key>StandardOutPath</key>
<string>/dev/null</string>
<key>StartInterval</key>
<integer>3600</integer>
<key>WorkingDirectory</key>
<string>/Users/account</string>
</dict>
</plist>

tested, and work perfectly. now my chrome bookmarks are getting exported once every hour (3600 seconds) and converted to launchbar requirements (that's what ChromeExportBookmarks.sh does).

i don't really like having to hardcode the path to my home directory, but launchd does not require a shell, so i can't just use ~.

lingon is incredibly easy to use; i didn't even read any instructions before putting this together.

i'm feeling accomplished now. :)
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
on mac osx:

lookupd -flushcache
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
when emptying the trash, i get "The operation cannot be completed because the item [some file] is in use." as far as i can see, it's not.

terminal. root.

lsof [filename] should generally show which app is hanging onto this file. nifty detail: open trash folder, type "lsof " (note trailing space) into terminal window, drag file in question from trash into terminal; that'll put the filename there complete with path. after lsof finds it, one can then close the app.

except it doesn't work in this case. lsof doesn't know about this file. something is b0rken.

force-quitting and relaunching the finder doesn't release the file either.

oh well. rm -f [filename] to the rescue.

that's very unixy though. i would like to know whether there's a more mac way of restoring order in trash land.

oh, and we now have over a foot of snow, and i don't want to drive anywhere, so the cats are getting canned food from the emergency reserves. i almost wish i hadn't whined about how it wasn't real good snow yesterday. :)
piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
i am to some degree coming out of my logeyness. today i managed to get up and take a shower before it got dark, even though i hadn't gotten to bed untl 7 in the morning -- back in the throes of insomnia again. i also walked to the convenience store and bought a can of "inflate-a-tire", since the truck's right rear tire (which has slowly leaked for months) was way too low to drive on it, and our little compressor thingie is b0rken. then i went to buy cat food and candy for the paramour's care package.

back home, and logeyness returned in force, so i am just sorta hanging around. am fiddling with a new sock pattern -- what i usually do when knitting socks is to double up with extra, thinner yarn for heels and toes, because otherwise they just wear out too fast. today i thought that if i use tunisian crochet, it'd create a thicker fabric as well (and without the nubbles that single crochet makes, which my feet have never liked). so now i am experimenting with doing short rows in tunisian, which i've never done before.

that'll keep me busy for the rest of the night, i am sure.

oh, and i got X11 installed on drynwyn (mac), so i can play with inkscape, which is an open source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to illustrator, freehand, coreldraw, using the W3C standard scalable vector graphics (SVG) file format. oh boy, has inkspace ever improved since i last looked at it! it's marvelous! also, X11 plays well with the mac so far; i can switch back and forth easily between it and the mac's own window manager (whatever that is called; i am still such a pitiful mac newbie). this means that i can now also use the gimp on drynwyn, which is currently downloading.

p.s: oh gee thanks, jon stewart -- i really needed to see saddam hussein with his shirt off tonight! *shudder*

piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
after all these years of lusting after one, but not being able to justify buying one new, since all of our work was linux or windows related. but some of it is now on macs as well, and i've inherited a little G4 because, well, it has problems, and its owner sloughed it off after not being able to solve them quickly.

the problems consist of random crashes and freezes. i distinguish the two because in some cases it is able to detect that it's about to crash, and asks me to reboot, while in others it just freezes up -- total freezes, which can't be broken out of with any magic key combinations. it does the latter a lot, *sigh* -- a couple of times an hour if i actually use it consistently during that time.

being as i know nothing whatsoever about macs, this is something of an adventure. i have two guesses right off -- memory, and video card problems (which could also be memory, i guess). google helped in finding one other possibility -- extensions, the examination of which i am saving for later. i've acquired a memory tester, and it finds nothing amiss, but of course a running OSX doesn't allow for all memory to be properly examined. but i can't boot into single user mode from which i could do this, and i can't find why not. i've got a root user enabled. but when i press command-s during boot (i wish somebody would be clear about just when i have to press them, and for how long, if that matters), the system either boots up as usual, or freezes right there. i don't think "open firmware" is installed, but just in case i tried pressing command-option-o-f during startup, and it resulted in nothing either.

any ideas from knowledgeable mac users?

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piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2014

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