Ivor O’Connor

December 26, 2012

Linux Mint 14 XFCE Software Manager Badly Designed

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:14 pm

It is too slow and there is no reason for this. It’s badly designed.

Currently if you select this, “Applicatons Menu==>System==>Software Manager”, nothing happens for what seems like 20 seconds!!! Enough time for the user to think “WTF, did it crash before it even launched”. Or “did it launch and is in the background”? Enough time for me to search for it and open up other windows to start diagnosing the problem before it suddenly pops up and says it is reading files.

This whole problem could be fixed by having the software pop-up with a box so the user knows he actually did select the software manager and isn’t going crazy.

2013-01-09 UPDATE: I’m patiently waiting for the Software Manager’s Search Results. I think it is broken. I have done a fresh install. A couple of them since I commented here. To fix other things. Yet one of the CPUs is pegged at 100% waiting for mintinstall and taking 599MBs. This is one package that should be avoided. I’ll use synaptic and apt-get from now on. Had to kill -9 the monstrosity.


December 21, 2012

Setting Links After A Fresh Linux Install

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:35 am

After a fresh installation I set things so my data is separate from everything else. It mostly includes changing directories to be links to places I control. It’s important because of all the various Linux distributions that do no allow automatic upgrades. Here it is:


December 18, 2012

Synchronizing Multiple Websites Simultaneously With Git

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:28 pm

I want to run on multiple sites for redundancy and scalability while I do my development work locally. The script I added a couple of days ago will initialize the local area and one remote. This script here is used to add additional remote sites. Again it is assumed you have already setup ssh properly so no passwords or port numbers need be specified. (See my past posts if you don’t know how to handle non standard port numbers or setup automatic logins.) Once finished you can add an alias like “alias pushall=’for i in `git remote`; do git push $i; done;'” or update the .bashrc file with the code shown in the script itself.


December 16, 2012

Guy Kawasaki Drops Apple? (What took him so long!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:41 pm

When I used to pay to be a card carrying apple developer in the 80s I read his books from top to bottom. They were excellent and taught me much about what I think proper GUI design is. However by the 90s I was able to move past Apple and have never looked back. In all fairness Guy is not a free man and can’t change immediately. So it has taken him a bit longer!

Finally though, a few days ago, he publicly said he no longer uses anything Apple. Here’s an investment tip for everybody. Sell your Apple stock now before it devalues any further! Without Steve Jobs at the helm with his massive reality distorting fields telling the lemmings what to buy Apple is in trouble!

I find it interesting Guy uses the Samsung Galaxy S3 instead of the Samsung Google Nexus 3. Sure the Galaxy S3 is better than the iPhone5. But the Nexus 3s and 4s are the flagship phones Google uses for development. The Nexus phone doesn’t come tied to a carrier. It doesn’t come pre-installed with crap-ware you can’t remove. And Nexus phones get the latest OS updates along with being virtually un-brickable.

Easy Git Setup

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:44 am

Every new project requires a few steps to setup the git repositories and put the information on the webserver. Usually you want to do your work locally in your own git repository and then push the changes to the server’s git repository and to the website. I’ve noticed all the guides on the internet show conflicting steps on how to do this. Furthermore they all have you entering the steps manually on the local side, then logging in the remote side, and then again on the local side. In various permutations. It’s all very confusing. So I put everything in a single bash file that runs once on the local side. It sets up the local git directory. The remote git directory. And it publishes the results to the website. There is no fussing about on the remote web server because everything on the remote server is done by this local bash script. I have seen another script written in python that can be run on the server to set up the remote side but why mess with the remote side at all when everything can be done in bash locally!

A future todo item will be to setup multiple remote web servers at once. So a single push updates every web server. I see that as another script that this script can call when complete or called from the CLI everytime there is a new site to be added.

I used this script to setup a new site last night by typing something like (changed the names for obvious reasons but hopefully didn’t introduce any typos):
./setupgits.bsh   /home/ioconnor/projectx   ioconnor@ioconnor.com   /home/ioconnor/git/projectx.git   /home/ioconnor/public_html/projectx


December 15, 2012

XFCE Panel Preferences/Etc..

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 1:53 am

I just stumbled on the optimal, for me, XFCE panel setting. I have two screens stacked on top of each other and what seems to work best for me is:


    • Mode: Deskbar/Horizontal
    • Output: Automatic
    • Don’t reserve space on borders


    • Application Menu
    • Directory menu
    • Notification Area
    • Orage Panel Clock
    • Show Desktop
    • Window Buttons

And for the “Orage clock Preferences:

    • Line 1: %x sans 12
    • Line 2 %Y-%m-%d (%V) sans 10

Then under “Settings->’Window Manager'” Advanced:

    • Snap windows to screen border
    • Wrap workspaces when the pointer reaches the screen edge

And under “Settings->’Workspaces'”

    • Set the number to ‘1’

When I say stumbled I mean the putting the panel on the top of the top monitor so it takes up its own space. I had the bar at various other locations and nothing really worked out for me. Can’t believe how long I have been moving it about in every which way when the best solution is so obvious. I hope XFCE never changes!

December 11, 2012

Crowd Sourcing Cell Phone Coverage

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:43 pm

Sales reps will always point to wonderful maps showing you will be getting fabulous coverage. However reality is always different. For years I have wistfully thought of writing an app that would crowd source coverage. It would take into account:

  1. The phone. Some phones have better reception than others because they don’t have good antennaes or perhaps too many crapware applications preinstalled slowing everything down.
  2. The time. Traffic jambs in the morning also cause traffic jambs on the cell phone networks. So any map should include a time travel setting so one can see when the network is stressed. Ideally one would be able to see when some big event had taken place by the degradation of the network on the maps at that time.  Or one could go back historically and see when cell phone coverage was added in the community of their interest. (Assuming it was added.)
  3. Weather conditions. When it rains cell phone towers operate at about 1/10th their capability. So weather would need to be added to the time display.
  4. The carrier. This is obvious.

Root Metrics does some of this. It is an application one can download for free too. Not many people are currently using this application in my area so I’m having to paint the maps myself. I’ve got three phones to do this with, each on a separate carrier, and I now have a routine. When I get in the car I turn on all the phones and set them for thirty minutes of continuous logging. My Net10 which uses AT&T is the worst. I’m using it to literally paint the map black everywhere I go. My Straight Talk using Verizon is the best. It is usually painting the maps green. I’m not sure what to do about this because I want to sell that Verizon phone and Nexus 4 does not support the CDMA network Verizon uses. Maybe the future Nexus 5 will support Verizon in 2014? I suppose after I finish painting everything in a 30 mile radius black I’ll switch from Net10/AT&T to T-Mobile.

I’m kind of spiteful. I want others to see just how bad Net10/AT&T is before I switch off of them. Since very few others are using this application in my area the black spots I add will probably stay for the next couple of years. And I will be gleefully referring anybody who asks what carrier they should use to look at the maps at http://rootmetrics.com/compare-carriers/

Don’t be a dumb dumb dad. Tell the kid there are several carriers offering the same deals at the same prices but that the deciding factor must be the maps Root Metrics supplies for the areas they must use their cell phones in.

December 3, 2012

Performance Based Marketing?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 2:35 pm

I was hit up by another marketing company last week. I told them I was only concerned about their product if they were performance based. That I had to have a way to measure and quantify traffic they generated. That I would only pay them a subset of the additional profit they brought in. And finally anything they purchased with my money, with my approval naturally, would be the mine and not theirs if they failed.

Their senior accounts executive agreed over the phone but this is what was sent to me:

It was pleasure connecting with you recently, and I’m sending you info on our SEO program per your request.
As background information ,did you know that nearly 90% of consumers now use the internet as their primary search vehicle?
So, in order to succeed in today’s market, you have to attract the customers with the tools they’re currently using: computers, iPads, and smart phones.
In response, I’d like to introduce you to our Search Engine Optimization Program, one of our most popular programs, offered by Vanguard Business Solutions, a key partner of ours.
Our Vanguard partner offers you low-cost SEO programs that help increase your online visibilitygrow your customer base, andstrengthen your in-store sales!
The net result is your business will be optimized to the first page on the (Google, Yahoo, & Bing) search engine inquiries, so more customers can find you quickly and easily!
With our Vanguar partnership, we’ll first help you attract more clients to your business. Then, we’ll help you process your increased sales volume with our wholesale direct rates! It’s a win-win combination.
 As a special incentive, you receive a $100 monthly discount from Vanguard when you process with us!
To learn more about our programs, please visit our web site: bogus.com and check out our video on our Search Engine Optimization section.

Afterwards, I’ll be happy to get together with you in order to determine the best plan for your business model.  
Best regards,

So I clicked on all of their included information but their link to the web site was bad. Their attachments were huge but had no substance. So I looked up Performance-based Marketing on the wiki. The article is lacking. Is this concept so hard? What I’ll do in the future is tell them exactly what I expect and how we will both measure it. I’m all for honest advertising so I’ll give them a framework to perform in.

XFCE Mint 14 with 64 bits.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:08 am

So this weekend I upgraded two more laptops to XFCE Mint 14 with 64 bits. These computers now are snappy. I couldn’t download XFCE but all it took was a “sudo apt-get install xfce14” and then logging out and logging in while specifying xfce.

Hulu works. Dropbox works. Chrome works. Everything seems to work wonderfully. (Haven’t tried VMWare yet.) But most importantly these laptops are very snappy now. By changing the backgrounds, putting the most common apps on the desktop, and putting a vanishing panel at the bottom these laptops look and behave just the way I want. This OS is the best I’ve ever experienced. I haven’t been this happy since NT came out.

2012-12-03 Update: Dual monitors apparently are not supported with the default installation.  Reading http://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=6738 I found I have “Monitor 1 (LVDS1)” and “Monitor 2 (VGA1)”. I did “sudo apt-get install arandr” and then typed arandr and graphically configured my dual monitors. Then killed and restarted synergyc.  It was easy and I was lucky.

2012-12-03 Update: I’ve also included this beautiful background. People now think I’m running windows 8. I like the look and I like to brag that this is what windows 8 should have been. (From http://www.mbwallpapers.com/windows-8/windows-8-wallpaper-color-walls)


December 2, 2012

SSH Over Non-Standard Ports

Filed under: cli, howto, Linux, mint 14 xfce, SSH, tutorial, ubuntu — ioconnor @ 12:35 am

My ~/.ssh/config file had something like:

Host bb
Hostname blahblah.com
Port 1234
User ioconnor

so I only had to type “ssh bb” but it’s confusing. Now I’ve changed the config file to:

Host blahblah.com
Port 1234

and use the familiar form of “ssh ioconnor@blahblah.com”. Now all additional utilities that may ride on top of ssh are not confused and can work as they were designed. Much more elegant though not as fancy.

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