Ivor O’Connor

February 24, 2013

Synergy Misguided.

Filed under: Synergy — ioconnor @ 12:17 am

Synergy is not backwards compatible!

Every comp must have the same version or they won’t communicate.  Further more they do not have older versions to install from on their website. They don’t even have references to some of the versions they have released in their blog. Nor a way to easily leave a message. If they do at all. So in situations where the server can not be upgraded google must be used to find an old version of the software somewhere on the net.

I understand the developer lost his revenue. However making things not backwards compatible in this manner…


February 23, 2013

Ressurection Of Opera

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:45 am

Opera has ditched their browser. They are laying off hundreds of programmers. And adopting chrome and web whatever. It’s really sad.

I wonder if they could have gained market share by simply adopting the short cut keys used by Chrome and Firefox? And when the two were different then adopt Chrome’s settings. Thereby making the browser friendly to newbs. They didn’t, lost market share, and now are forced to adopt the engines of others.

They have not been doing any marketing. I’ve virtually forgotten all about them and have not used them in years. I won’t do that again. I’m going to install Opera and try to use it as my primary browser. If at all possible I’ll use Opera for everything. I’d much rather support Opera than Chrome or Firefox. Chrome has become the evil empire and Firefox is deeply lost in committee meetings.

Well the Opera download script at their site thought I was running Ubuntu. I was worried they didn’t have a download for Mint. But they do so I clicked on it and it downloaded without problems. However when I went to install this fresh download I was informed there was a more up-to-date version in the software repository?!? Maybe they should work on that so nobody wastes time downloading? Ideally they should only have something downloadable if the repository is behind.

Installing from the mint repository got me 12.14.1738-1linuxmint. I’m not sure what makes this a more recent version than the 12.14.1728 I just downloaded fro their site. Perhaps it was the “-1linuxmint” at the end in the repository?

Well a ctl-k still attempts to pull up an email client. Bad. The address bar still has a search area to the right. Bad. They should emulate chrome as much as possible. Ctl-t does not work either. Ctl-n sort of works as expected. The browser seems to work on most sites but is a bit slow.

Tried downloading a page I’m developing and it took minutes and rendered the jquery improperly.

I’m going to try to live on Opera and hope I find some things really good there… However I can’t give up Chrome because Opera doesn’t render properly enough of the time. Opera needs to make things so there is no need what so ever to have another browser up. This is why they are losing.

Why Does Grooming Feel So Good?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:37 am

I just trimmed my hair and shaved my face. Why’s it feel so good? Reminds me of trimming my fingernails. That feels great too.

Why does this feel so good? Have people done studies on this?

February 19, 2013

The Vim Vundle: spf13-vim

Filed under: bash, IDE, vi, vim, vundle — ioconnor @ 5:41 am

The SPF13 vundle is quite interesting. It is a pre-configured IDE for vim. It comes with quite a few of the best sub-vundles already built in. And works on Windows and Macintoshes just as it does on Linux. However it totally changes vim the look of vim and removes the modifications you may already be comfortable with. When finished installing your vim will look nothing like anything you may have been comfortable with before.

Take the install script and copy it into a file. Run that file. Be prepared to spend hours learning the new tools!

February 18, 2013

Tutorial On Automatically Moving Home To Ram Drive And Back On Startup And Shutdown

Filed under: bash, howto, laptop, Linux, mint 14 xfce, rsync, SSD, tutorial, ubuntu — ioconnor @ 6:36 pm

This posting is meant to compliment the “Linux Mint 14 SSD Settings” and “The Best Linux Directory Structure?“posting. The idea is to move the home directory automatically at start up and shutdown to and from the ram disk. If you are using a ram disk then your computer is very fast. Possibly more importantly you are not wearing out your hard disk or SSD because all the applications that would normally write willy-nilly to the home directory are now fooled into RAM. If you don’t have the computer automatically doing these steps you might forget. So have the computer do them for you!

Firstly everybody should know how to recover in case during boot up the home directory is pointing to a non existent directory. You’ll need to boot up from a USB stick and follow these steps which I do so often I’m pulling them from memory:

  1. sudo mkdir /blah
  2. sudo mount /dev/sda1 /blah
  3. cd /blah/home
  4. sudo rm you
  5. sudo ln -s base you
  6. sudo shutdown -h now

Secondly make a log file in the home directory since this is all about mucking with the home directory

  1. sudo touch /home/log
  2. sudo chmod 777 /home/log

Thirdly follow the directions for /etc/fstab found in my “Linux Mint 14 SSD Settings” posting. I would follow all of the directions there, even for /etc/rc.local, whether or not you have a SSD drive.

Fourthly add the following code which will copy the ram drive back to the hard disk when the computer shutsdown.

Make a file called /etc/init.d/diskhome.sh and put in it something like the following but change the username:


ivorPrintAndLog() {
tStamp=$(date +%Y-%m-%d@%T)
echo “$tStamp $1”
echo “$tStamp $1” >> /home/log

fUserOnDisk=$(ls -l /home | grep “$argUser -> base”)
#echo “fUserOnDisk: ‘$fUserOnDisk'”
fUserOnRam=$(ls -l /home | grep “$argUser -> /tmp/”)
#echo “fUserOnRam: ‘$fUserOnRam'”

if [ “$fUserOnDisk” ]; then
if [ “$fUserOnRam” ]; then # On disk and ram!
sOut=”Script needs fixing because it reports ‘$argUser’ has home on both ram and disk.”
else # On disk but not ram
sOut=”User ‘$argUser’ is already residing on disk so nothing to do.”
if [ “$fUserOnRam” ]; then # Not disk but ram
sOut=”Moving ram contents for user: ‘$argUser’ to disk.”
ivorPrintAndLog “$sOut”
rsync -av –delete /tmp/home/base /home
cd /home
sudo rm $argUser
sudo ln -s base $argUser
cd –
sOut=”Moved information to disk successfully”
else # Not disk and not ram
sOut=”Error with script: User: ‘$argUser’ is not on disk or ram.”

ivorPrintAndLog “$sOut”

Make it executable and put links to it from the appropriate places

chmod +x /etc/init.d
cd /etc/rc0.d
sudo ln -s ../init.d/diskhome.sh K99diskhome.sh
cd ../rc6.d
sudo ln -s ../init.d/diskhome.sh K99diskhome.sh

Fifthly update /etc/rc.local so it copies the home directory to ram by adding the following lines into the /etc/rc.local

ivorPrintAndLog() {
tStamp=$(date +%Y-%m-%d@%T)
echo “$tStamp $1”
echo “$tStamp $1” >> /home/log

fUserOnDisk=$(ls -l /home | grep “$argUser -> base”)
echo “fUserOnDisk: ‘$fUserOnDisk'”
#fUserOnRam=$(ls -l /home | grep “$argUser -> /tmp/”)
echo “fUserOnRam: ‘$fUserOnRam'”

blah() {
if [ “$fUserOnDisk” ]; then
if [ “$fUserOnRam” ]; then # On disk and ram!
sOut=”Script needs fixing because it reports ‘$argUser’ has home on both ram and disk.”
else # On disk but not ram
sOut=”Moving disk contents for user: ‘$argUser’ to ram.”
ivorPrintAndLog “$sOut”
rsync -av /home/base /tmp/home
cd /home
sudo rm $argUser
sudo ln -s /tmp/home/base $argUser
cd –
sOut=”Moved information to ram successfully”
if [ “$fUserOnRam” ]; then # Not disk but ram
sOut=”User ‘$argUser’ is already residing in ram so nothing to do.”
else # Not disk and not ram
sOut=”Error with script: User: ‘$argUser’ is not on disk or ram.”
ivorPrintAndLog “$sOut”


Finally, the sixth step, rename your home directory to “base” and put a link to it. In my case:

    1. sudo mv ivor base
    2. sudo ln -s base ivor

That is all there is to it. The next time you reboot you should find your home directory on the tmp ram drive. Now there are a few problems. Like your home directory is too large. Or you would like to manually backup. The following commands may help:

    1. cd; du -h | sort -h
      Figure out how much space your home directory is using
    2. cd; sudo mkdir /home/Downloads; chmod 777 /home/Downloads; mv Downloads/* /home/downloads/; rm Downloads; ln -s /home/Downloads Downloads
      Basically just moving your Downloads directory which is probably rarely used to another place so it is not copied on to the ram disk. Maybe there are other directories that could also be moved because they take up lots of space and rarely get used. Like pictures, music, etc..
    3. Periodically check your ram disk usage. Mine is usually under 1GB which is less than 50% of it’s capability. (The RAM drives default to half your installed ram and the assumption is you have 4 GBs or more of RAM on your system.)
      df -h
    4. Verify everything is working:
      ls -l /home # Your home drive should be a link pointing to the ram drive.
    5. cat /home/log
      #Your log file should show the files were copied on startup and shutdown.
    6. Backup your ram drive from time to time using the bold red line above. Maybe even make it into an alias like this:
      echo ‘alias bkup=”rsync -av –delete /tmp/home/base /home”‘ >> ~/.bashrc

I’ve used these steps on a few computers and they work for me. However if you run into problems let me know and I’ll update this with the fixes.

February 16, 2013

Hoopla From The Tesla Kerfuffle

Filed under: Elon Musk, Tesla, Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:27 pm

Did Musk plan the whole kerfuffle with the NY times out ahead of time? I really think so. He has very ambitious production plans that have never been realized in the history of the auto industry. And even if he somehow magically ramps up production from 0 to 60 in 1 second he has more car orders to fill than can be done in 2013. He probably has a backlog that is getting close to 24 months even if his factories turn out the number of cars he hopes it can. So this PR fight with the NY Times can’t hurt him and only serves as a Streisand effect to put his company on the cover of every magazine and newspaper. To make Tesla known in every remote village in the middle on nowhere across the planet. So planning out a fight like this is pure genius.

Already others have repeated the authors trip without any problems. I’m also enjoying how the author is constantly rewriting. His latest brilliant defense has been to take Musk’s apology about the authors bad experience given before the initial article was written and time displace it to now. As if Musk were now apologizing and claiming it would be better to have more charging centers. The second reality bending defense is to state the car lost 70% of it’s power over night because it was cold outside. This could be true but the context is not right. If it takes 7 watts to keep the battery pack warm and the car starts out with 10 watts then it is true. However if the car starts out with 1000 watts then it would have only lost .7% and be insignificant. The author started the night with the battery discharged and so can claim the battery lost a huge percentage.

Anyways, I would not be surprised to see a new crowd sourced application for the Tesla. An app allowing proud Tesla owners to publish their car’s black box data to the net so everybody can see just how good they have it. Tesla probably already has developed this and will be making it available for free shortly. They are probably waiting to get the timing on this just right to do the most PR for their company.

People are now clinging to the factoid Musk did not address the issue of how much power was lost overnight. I suspect he’s purposely backed them on to this factoid where they desperately huddle. However the aforementioned app will probably show the energy usage needed to keep the batteries warm at various temperatures. A chart with temperature on one axis and energy usage on the other axis. With this their final factoid will vanish like an iceberg with a polar bear on it. Hopefully these polar bears will be left wanting to buy a Tesla to show they can adapt…

February 13, 2013

Tesla Had Better Have Black Boxes!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:22 am

Elon Musk has said there are black boxes inside the Tesla Model S’ that keep track of all things relevant. He apparently is using this information in a previous lawsuit against some bogus company. Now however it appears another bogus company in America, the NY Times, is stating what are hopefully outright lies. So either there are “black boxes” inside the cars and what I think are bogus stories can rightfully end the careers of sleazy reporters. Or Elon will richly deserve the abuse he will certainly get from people with non-altruistic interests.

I’m oh so very very much hoping that Tesla pulls out the black-boxes and turns this into a PR bonanza that boosts their sales way beyond their most hopeful expectations.

UPDATE 2013-02-14 =============================== It turns out that this NY Times reviewer has a long career of supporting big oil. All except the last three articles he has ever written have been in support of big oil. His last three articles have been negative reviews about electric cars. Go figure. Anyways this reporter keeps changing his story as the days go on. Now the reporter, Broder, is trying to defend his article by saying owners can’t be responsible for checking the expected mileage and charge if needed before driving! Similar to saying current car owners can’t be expected to check their gas gauge and fill-up if needed. Fortunately Elon has pulled the logs, not that it now matters since Broder has changed his story so much, and reports:

Here’s a brief list of issues Musk gleaned from the logs:

“When the facts didn’t suit his opinion, he simply changed the facts,” Musk said of Broder. “Our request of The New York Times is simple and fair: please investigate this article and determine the truth.”

I’m wondering if the oil industry will pay for his retirement after he has been fired from the NY Times… This story is playing out very much like the one with Top Gear. Top Gear eventually came clean and said their article was actually meant to be a fictional “what if” story and had nothing to do with reality.

You’d think everybody would have learned by now there are logs in these Tesla cars. Perhaps supporters of fossil fuel can’t learn…

February 8, 2013

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are Public Enemy Number One, Says IEA

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:14 pm

International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol made no bones about his opinion on fossil fuel subsidies. I’m glad the obvious is now being said at the highest levels. What makes this worth repeating though are the links and information in the article about how fossil fuel is being subsidized. Following the money is the quickest way to rid ourselves of fossil fuel.

“Fox News” might be a strong second though. In the spirit of “Where’s Waldo” how many “untruths” can you find in this “Fox News” video below on the left? (The picture on the right is a useful reference.)

Best Tesla S Review Yet

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:52 pm
Things learned:

  1. A huge pod that acts as a key is responsible for the handles that automatically pop out as you get close. Can this be controlled instead by your smart phone?
  2. Almost up to Mercedes and BMW quality in the interior. However not quite.
  3. A brief introduction to how the 17″ display works and what can be done with it.
  4. Apparently the wheel wells and body are very heavily padded with noise insulating materials to minimize road noise to levels never before reached.
  5. Heaviest car in its class by far. At 4600lbs it’s quite quite heavy. (No mention of what a normal car this size weighs though.)
  6. There is traction control to prevent the tires from spinning during acceleration. It can be turned off to impress your junior high kids if desired. (And how long must we wait for this car to have four wheel drive and the 0-60 in under 3 seconds four wheel drive should allow?)
  7. Important controls are always at the same spot on the 17″ display so drivers can use muscle memory.
  8. Too many glossy reflective surfaces make it difficult to drive. Apparently with the sun roof open even the 17″ display becomes a problem. This needs to be fixed since unlike the reviewer I refuse to wear sunglasses.
  9. Price is about 70K for bare car or 110K with all the options.
  10. “Range anxiety” keeps this car from being better than BMWs and Mercedes. So until charging centers are ubiquitous this car is limited. (I’m overly impressed with the term “range anxiety”. It’s the first time I’ve heard it.)

Ok, seriously, Tesla read my blog and immediately created a smart phone app to control the doors and then some. You can read about it here: http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/08/tesla-releases-mobile-phone-app-for-model-s-vehicle/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29

As much as I like this car I’m going to pass until it has four wheel drive and no side mirrors. I know laws require the side mirrors and it is not Tesla’s fault. I also know Tesla is trying to get our government to understand they are sea anchors and can be replaced with video to dramatically increase mileage. By then batteries will hold 50 to 100% more energy possibly increasing driving range to a thousand miles. With the plethora of free charging centers Tesla is making “range anxiety” will surely be no more.

“Boy Scouts” Need To Change Their Name To “Scouts”

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 2:57 pm

Or something similar. They can not exclude gay kids because the gay kids will just lie to continue to stalk straight boys. And if they can’t exclude gays then they won’t be able to exclude women because that is being sexist. Besides by then all activities will need to be handled in such a way as to take into account sexual aggressive boy kids. So the Scout organization might as well proactively make all their functions acceptable to both sexes and let everybody in before they lose more money to attorneys. At this point it is as impossible as protecting sandcastles from the incoming tide. The Boy Scouts need to wake up and adapt using much the same skills as they attempt to impart on their members. Or perish.

And a more disturbing thought. How many pedophiles are currently in the Boy Scouts. Forcing this organization to handle both sexes will go a longs ways towards cleaning out the pedophiles from their ranks.

Am I missing anything else? Here is what triggered this post. I didn’t actually watch the video.

Boy Scouts Put Off Decision on Ending Gay Ban

The Boy Scouts of America has delayed a decision on whether to end its longstanding ban on gay members and leaders. The ban was put up for review at a board meeting this week, but Scout leaders now say the organization will decide at a national convention in May. Click here to watch our interview with a leading campaigner against the ban, Zach Wahls, founder of the group Scouts for Equality

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