Ivor O’Connor

August 31, 2009

I’m Too Easily Aggravated…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 12:55 am

black_130x89I need a MP3 player to avoid getting aggravated while running. I’m thinking perhaps the SanDisk Sansa Clip. Very inexpensive, small, and of high quality. Probably all I need. The 2GB model goes for $24 on NewEgg. $25.98 with tax and shipping. Less than half the suggested retail price shown on the SanDisk website.

(Did I mention it’s not Apple and accepts standard MP3 formatted music? In other words it doesn’t have all the crappy limitations Apple forces you to put up with…)SansaClipInHand


August 29, 2009

I Hate Swimming, Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 9:42 pm

swimp3_technology_6Half the fun of swimming in the ocean is the ride. Not knowing what you’ll see in the water. Could it be dolphins, seals, rays, large fish, etc.. Perhaps it’s the thrill of bumping into jelly fish or worse. Putting your hand in one is great. Face butting them is even more thrilling. What scares me the most is swimming through thick kelp beds where something may bite because it doesn’t see the big picture. Then there are the ocean conditions. Navigating through the fog early in the morning and getting completely turned around is scary. Sure the fog only lasts a few hours but where will you be then? There is even fun associated with rough seas. Having to suck air through the spray on one side can be fun. It’s a bit less fun getting motion sickness from dish washer conditions but still it can be a fun experience. Swimming behind somebody who is repeatedly throwing up is less fun.

Swimming in a pool is so incredibly boring it’s almost impossible to have fun. I really do hate it. To make it less painful I bought the finis swiMp3 player shown in the picture here. I’ve been using them for a few months now. They really do work and help alleviate the tedium. I now power my way through the swims by listening to my favorite music. In the process I’ve learned what types of songs motivate me and which ones don’t. Sometimes it’s even fun!

The MP3 player works with Ubuntu and Linux in general. Just plug the MP3 player into the USB port and it appears as a mounted file system. I suppose you can store documents on it if you wanted to. Sound quality is so-so. I have the volume set to max. I have it attached so it makes contact behind my ears, not the temples before my ears as shown on their website. Seems to work best for me there. Unless my head is out of the water as it is when I’m on the kick board. Then I put them over my ears as if they were headphones. I’m not sure but the speakers may have partially blown out. I’ll probably have to exchange them. Other than the volume being too low there’s the problem of playlists. There is no such concept. It plays whatever songs you’ve downloaded. I suppose this is ok as long as you are the only person using them. Perhaps this is a design feature. It forces everybody to buy one since nobody wants to listen to somebody elses music.

Despite these minor irritants I highly recommend this product. They make pool swimming almost bearable.


Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:09 pm

“Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s true isn’t it? Wit is the great equalizer. Can it be practiced?

August 26, 2009

Justice Dept. Releases Torture Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 2:11 am

bo090825It’s hard to turn on the news these last couple days without hearing about the CIA torture cases. It seems like we haven’t learned the Nuremberg trial lessons. We executed anybody who participated in torturing. If they were merely following orders we executed them anyways. Along with those who ordered the torturing. Something about any human so depraved as to follow bad orders like waterboarding were immediately executed. We executed the Japanese if they happened to be in the same town the waterboarding was taking place. I suspect because they did not look like white Americans but that’s just my opinion.

So what’s going on with us? Why aren’t we executing everybody who was involved with the CIA torturing right on up to the top?

In fact international law demands this. The law we largely wrote and forced much of the World to sign.

I doubt justice will be done. After all there’s no real difference between the Obama administration and the Bush administraion. I’ll keep hoping though…

Germans’ have been demonized to such an extent we Americans do not realize what it was really like and the similarities.

Nazi leader Hermann Goering’s last days were spent with Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking intelligence officer and psychologist who was granted free access by the Allies to all the prisoners held in the Nuremberg jail. Gilbert kept a journal of his observations of the proceedings and his conversations with the prisoners, which he later published in the book Nuremberg Diary. The following quote was a part of a conversation Gilbert held with a dejected Hermann Goering in his cell on the evening of 18 April 1946, as the trials were halted for a three-day Easter recess:

Sweating in his cell in the evening, Goering was defensive and deflated and not very happy over the turn the trial was taking. He said that he had no control over the actions or the defense of the others, and that he had never been anti-Semitic himself, had not believed these atrocities, and that several Jews had offered to testify in his behalf… Later in the conversation, Gilbert recorded Goering’s observations.

“Goering: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece.

Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Goering: Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

This so reminds me of the Bush and Obama administration… How do we stop the needless killings of hundreds of thousands, some estimate millions, of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan? With FOX news and all the other media channels doing their thing. Nobody seems to have time to actually put things in perspective. Perhaps that’s it. Everybody is so busy earning a living that they have never had the time to educate themselves…

August 21, 2009

My Backup Script For GIT

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 9:19 pm

There are problems with using rsync as a backup tool making git a much better backup solution. Here are a few of the problems

  1. Changing a local file name means that the remote backup will have two files. The old file name and the new one. This tends to get very wasteful.
  2. There is no compression on the remote backup site. So every text type file takes up roughly 10x more space than git uses.
  3. Version control is handled automatically with git.
  4. If you make updates from another computer you will not get those updates to your main computer without lots of tender loving care. Git handles this with no trouble.

So I made myself a little script as follows and put a reference to it in cron:

echo $(date +%F[%T])  >> /tmp/working-dir-bkup.log 2>&1
cd ~/common/working-dir >> /tmp/working-dir-bkup.log 2>&1
git add -A >> /tmp/working-dirc-bkup.log 2>&1
git commit -m”cron” >> /tmp/working-dir-bkup.log 2>&1
git push working-dir master >> /tmp/working-dir-bkup.log 2>&1
echo $(date +%F[%T])  >> /tmp/working-dir-bkup.log 2>&1

August 11, 2009

My GIT Tutorial For Ubuntu: PART 2

Filed under: git — Tags: , , , , — ioconnor @ 6:36 pm

How do you push your changes to a new remote repository if you created the local repository with “git init”? Most developers probably start their projects using git on their local hard disk. When it comes time to making a remote repository for other people to pull from do the following:

Make a bare bone git repository on the server and then push to it from the head of your local repository:

ssh your-user@www.your-server.com
mkdir -p ~/some-path/…/…/your-repo.git
cd ~/some-path/…/…/your-repo.git
git –bare init

cd your-local-git-repository
git remote add origin your-user@www.your-server.com:some-path/…/…/your-repo.git
git push origin master

Notice the syntax of the “remote add”. There is no “ssh://” as shown in some tutorials. And it’s important to avoid hard coding the path on the remote server by using the colon. If you get a
fatal: ‘your-repo.git’ does not appear to be a git repository
error when doing the push you can remove the origin with the command “git remote rm orgin” and continue trying the add until you get it right.


  1. You probably need to set up your ssh keys first as described in a past post here.
  2. The first part of this git tutorial started here.

August 9, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 11:44 pm


This was published today, 2009.08.09, and it got me thinking. How much of what our governement started has it actually successfully completed? Anything?!

August 8, 2009

Bogus Unemployment Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:43 am

So this month 270,000 jobs were lost yet our unemployment went from 9.5 to 9.4 percent. This apparent absurdity is explained by saying some 270,000+ people decided they no longer desire to work and removed themselves from the job pool.

Unemployment numbers have been redefined over time. If you look at the actual stats you’ll see it has changed 11 times over the last 18 years! They say “Not strictly comparable with data for prior years”! What does this mean exactly? The link they give http://www.bls.gov/cps/eetech_methods.pdf for an explanation does not explain things.

I think the numbers are merely to help keep us lemmings in line. It’s working.

August 7, 2009

Google’s Latest Insanely Great Idea

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 11:12 pm

Google is not without fault. Only hiring people younger than themselves for many many years should have landed them huge fines. And even now they refuse to give any tools to track your ranking and in fact say it’s illegal to use your own automated tools to do so. I’m surprised they have managed to stay out of the courts. (Would somebody with deep pockets please take google to court until they publish free tools to keep business up-to-date on their rankings.)

However I love googles products. Products like docs, gmail, gears, and now checkout are insanely great. I’m writing this post so as to remind me to start using “checkout“. I don’t know when I’ll get the time but I will! I most certainly will…

Teaching vim to my kids

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 10:15 pm

I think my kids need to know vim like the back of their hands. However I’ve been unable to teach them. Fortunately there is a tutorial for vim that comes included in the install. (I just discovered it.) I skimmed the tutorial and it looks basic enough for anybody to use as a start for learning vim. Just type in “vimtutor” from the command line.

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