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Journal Journal: Slimy 1

Having to carefully unselect crap I don't want installed on every Java update? Slimy
Rechecking the "stay logged in" button on facebook for me? Slimy
There's so much slimy stuff. Found a new one today. That Win 7 VM I mentioned, it wanted me to upgrade IE. Which I want to do - no problem. As I'm about to hit the Download button I see a small line further down "Download non-enhanced version." My gut tells me I don't want enhanced - do a quick google and I'm right. Non-enhanced means just the browser. Enhanced means that I'm selecting bing and some MSN junk. It used to be a check box and you had to unclick it. Apparently too many people did.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Storage is Cheap but Come On Windows 1

EDIT: I cleaned up restore points and that got the space used down to 27.4 GB - still crazy.
I have a Fedora 20 vm that I run in VirtualBox on my Mac. It gives me access to some tools I like, and it lets me run a web server that's closer to what a production environment would look like.
Yesterday I got around to setting up another VM. This one is Windows 7. I started the same as I did the Fedora image, with a 25 GB hard drive. That was fine for the windows install but I thought I'd check out the new community edition of Visual Studio. When I went to install it, it told me I didn't have enough free disk space. So I made the "hard drive" bigger - I bumped it up to 30 GB. The install worked then, but I have under 600 MB of free space on the drive. I have only installed Chrome and VS. That's it. WIndows 7, Chrome and VS are 30 GB. I've installed a bunch of stuff on my Fedora VM - Apache, MySQL, KDevelop, QT and the QT tools and so on. Lots of stuff and it is sitting at 18 GB right now.
Fortunately it's easy to give the Windows VM more space - it just surprised me I'd need so much.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Things I Can't Avoid Knowing 5

I spend a decent amount of time at Reddit. The key is finding good subreddits. I usually hop on Facebook a time or two a day as well. As an expat it is a good way to connect back to home.
Anyway what's interesting to me is that sometimes things happen and those sites just go kerbonkers. Like, for example, if it rains in Phoenix my facebook feed will be absolutely full of it and I'll see it about a million times.
With reddit it is more noticeable because certain events will show up in multiple subreddits multiple times and on other sites like Slashdot and Hacker News. Yesterday I'm pretty sure a probe landed on a comet and MS open sourced .net. I'm not sure, but I think I saw something about it - about a million times.
Not totally related - the other site I spend a lot of time on is youtube. I watch a lot of starcraft and some different shows like tabletop and I enjoy music videos too. I should write a post just about youtube now that I think about it. Anyway - yesterday I saw something there for the first time where I recognized another user. I guess the real surprise is that with g+ it didn't happen sooner, but still it was funny.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A World Clock with an Analog Face 2

I'm still learning a lot about my Mac and getting better at using it. Today I was going over trackpad gestures and learned that there is this "Notification Center" that I can pull out by swiping in from the side with 2 fingers. I had no idea it was there. It's mostly useless. I don't care about stock quotes. I don't use any of the Apple calendar, reminder or other stuff. But I did think that the world clock thing was a good idea.
On my living room computer that is hooked to my TV I have 3 time widgets I keep up. It's Win 7 and each widget is set to one of the 3 time zones where we have family. I figured I could have something similar in the notification center on my laptop. The thing is, as far as I can tell there is no way to change the way it represents the time. It does it with little analog clock faces. I can't think of a worse way to do that. There is no way to look at it and know if the time displayed is AM or PM. It makes me have to think too much.
I read somewhere that third parties can create widgets for this space. I'll have to look into it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing 2

The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing
This is just a beautiful piece of writing. It doesn't match my experience perfectly but so many notes really resonate with me. It's funny, I've been on this Steve Jobs video binge lately and this just fits right in.
I had to scroll down to start reading the piece, which threw me for a second, but again - I really recommend reading this. It's so well done. I will be thinking about it and quoting it for a long time to come.

User Journal

Journal Journal: My Spine 4

I have a herniated disc (disk?) (Apparently disk if I follow AMA guidelines. huh.) in my neck. Apparently in a common place. It's protruding pretty far into my spine and pushing on my spinal cord. I think it's also in contact with nerve roots. I don't know all the right terms. I make my wife crazy because medical stuff doesn't interest me. It's like car maintenance. I just want to hand it off to people who know. But since it looks like I need surgery, I have to be more involved in this as it's somewhat serious - people digging around in your neck and spine.
The first neurosurgeon I saw took a look at the MRI, did an exam and said I need surgery immediately. Normally that'd be it, but I've had it drilled into me that when it comes to surgery and stuff you always get a second opinion. (As much as I hate to do that.) So Monday I'll see another guy here in Budapest who is apparently one of the better doctors in the world for this kind of stuff.
If he agrees that I need surgery (and I think he will) then I have to decide where to do it. Hospitals here in Hungary are a little lighter on the care side than what I'd get in the U.S. There might be an option with a private hospital here, or I may look into having it done in Germany where there is another doctor who is pretty good at this stuff.
What's crazy though is if I did have it here, the doctor tells me the cost would be about 1800 euros. As an American, that is an insane number. Yes, during the hospital stay I'd have to provide my own medication and toilet paper - but dang, 1800 euros? I'm guessing the Germany route I'd be looking at a minimum of 20000 euros. My insurance would cover the majority of it. If I went home to the US I'm guessing it would be as expensive or more than the private hospital route in Germany.
I only have one spine - so I'm a little torn. Need to do more research, which I hate.
Oh - and here's the other thing I've learned. Hungarians aren't fans of pain killers. It took a lot for me to get some rather mild medication. They started me on what was the equivalent of ibuprofen. The doctor was worried about giving me something stronger and I was thinking, "Dude, back in the US I'd be knocking back 325 milligrams of Percocet." That was when it was really bad. I actually feel a lot better now, though I have to be very careful about how I move and I have constant numbness in my left hand.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mounting My Old System Drive Via USB and a quick note about Synergy 1

2 things. One is longer than the other so I'll start with the shorter.

Synergy has decided that they'll charge for downloads. This is totally fine with me and they are fully within their rights. They have not changed the licensing on the code, it is still FOSS. So I went to their nightly build directory and grabbed the rpm I needed today from there. It's a good project to support I just figure I'll do it on my terms. This was easier than grabbing the source and going that route.

Now to the longer part. A little while back the hard drive in my Fedora box starting getting flaky. I was going to buy a new drive but a friend offered one he wasn't using so I took that instead. Then that one started getting flaky so the other day I went out and bought a new hard drive. Same size, different manufacturer.

Then I tried to clone the old drive to the new drive with Clonezilla. The process completed but the new drive wouldn't boot. It mostly did but got stuck - I think because so much hadn't been able to be copied due to bad sectors on the original disk. So I figured it's not hard to do a fresh install and I went that route.

I put the new disk in, pulled the old disk out and installed Fedora. I have done it enough times that I can step through everything pretty quickly. But that quickness made me forget about a couple items on the old drive that I wanted. So I grabbed our little harness that lets me connect sata drives via usb.

When I install Fedora I let the installer configure my storage and I take the defaults. No problems. But when I plugged in via USB I saw the root partition right away but not the LVM partition. Checking with the lvm tools I see that I have two volumes with the same name and I'm not sure which is which. Fortunately vgdisplay will tell you lots of interesting things about your volume groups including their UUID. So for two items that looked identical to me, I could see the UUID of each. And fortunately vgrename takes a UUID as an argument and that let me rename the old volume and then bring it up. Once I activated it, it was automounted and I could use Dolphin to see and grab the files I wanted.

In the future when installing I should probably choose a non-default volume name to avoid this kind of thing. Or make it a post-install step to change what's on the box.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I did not intend to neglect you 2

I haven't posted in a bit. I was travelling and then busy when I got back.

I spent a week-end in Vajta and then a few days later I was in Athens for a week. Greece is a very pretty place. The weather was fantastic. Vajta was also really nice. Here in Hungary we are getting into fall and that may be my favorite season. Growing up in the Southwest I didn't experience such a high degree of change every year and I'm really loving it now.

I finally figured out something today that was really unexpected. When the 64 bit version of Chrome became available for Linux I installed it. It's nice but I did notice something right away. Mouseover wasn't working. This is a huge pain. Especially as I'm a heavy user of gmail and google drive. But even little things like reading the mouse over joke for xkcd became a pain.

Anyhow I just figured it was a problem with Chrome. Today as it was bugging me again I decided to look and see if anyone was talking about it. I found this synergy bug report. I would never have guessed that synergy was the problem. And I have the server automatically start when I log in - so even when I don't have my laptop at my desk, the server is still running on my desktop. So even when I "wasn't using" synergy I still had the problem.

Now that it is fixed I'm pretty happy.

When I read this report, I immediately shut the server down and instantly Chrome became normal and everything worked. The comments for the bug report said that turning off hardware acceleration in chrome helped. So I did that. And now I can use synergy and Chrome is working normally. Very interesting stuff.

edit - is the free beer at work part of the problem? (In the paragraph under the heading "Life at Synergy Si..." -- and I'm kidding. I want free beer at my work now.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Android International 5

Google struggles dealing with people who are in one place but want to use a language from another place.

It's gotten better in chrome on a computer. I can pretty much search in chrome and get my results in English. But on android it's a mess.

When I search in Android Chrome - I get and I haven't found a way to get it to use

Today I decided to start using 2 factor authentication with gmail. Seems like a good idea and it's free so why not? Once I turned it on and set it up on my computer then I went to my phone. On my Android phone it said, "Now you need to go to the web." and took me to a form in Hungarian. There was no option to switch it to English.

Everything in my phone is set to use English but this is all completely ignored in favor of where the browser has decided that I am physically located. Does that make sense to you? It does not make sense to me. I want it in US English - no matter where I am in the world.

It's a weird thing. On the one hand I love that they are willing to sms the codes to any number world wide (though I switched to the app). So in some ways they are way ahead of others. But then you run into something that is just so backwards. And finding a way to send feedback to Google? Not so easy.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Subscriptions Are Over ~ Busy Penguin 2

I enquired about when subscription renewal would be available again and the reply I got was that the subscription process will not be coming back. Must not make enough income to make it worthwhile. I liked seeing stories a little early and would try to quickly email and warn of dupes when I could. But it is a business. So it goes.

A long, long time ago I registered a domain that I thought would be awesome to use for a number of purposes. Actually I thought the best use of this would be as a name for a craft beer. But I thought it would be good for almost anything but I never actually did anything with it. I just had a static html page with a photo of a 'sleeping' armadillo taken on a road near my home when I was living in Florida.

I ended up selling it to a band. The page they have now has a cool little cover image - I like it. I didn't make any profit on the deal but I enjoyed doing it.

It made me want to register something else that may be useful someday. It's not easy to do. I ended up with I have no idea what I'll do with it. Right now I think it could be a clever Linux site but I don't have the time or desire to do it. I don't think it would be a good beer name. Sleeping Armadillo was genius. Busy Penguin was just the best I could get that day. I like it, don't get me wrong, just not sure at all what I'll do with it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Northern Ireland at Hungary

Went with some friends tonight to watch Hungary play Northern Ireland in their Euro Cup qualifier match.

It was held at Groupama Arena. It was my first time there and it is a very nice facility. We bought lower priced tickets but it still felt like we were very close, especially compared to what it is like at Ferenc PuskÃs Stadium.

It was 0 - 0 through the first 75 minutes. I felt like Hungary had the majority of the possession over that time and the bulk of the scoring chances. They had a corner and I told one of my friends, "It would be a shame if Hungary don't get something more than a draw out of this match." Seconds later they scored.

It was fun and I was pretty excited. Unfortunately Hungary appeared to finish playing defense at around 80 minutes and ended up losing 2 to 1. Really a disappointing result. They could have and should have won.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Drive Died - Can't Subscribe 3

The drive died but not before I got copied what I wanted copied. Clonezilla failed and then it just totally tanked. So I just put in the drive I was trying to clone over to and did a fresh install. Now I'm copying back some stuff.

My Slashdot subscription ended and you can't buy it any more. The page seems to say this is temporary but I wonder if that is going away?

As I was doing my setup after installation I found some helpful notes from past journal entries. I need to collect all that stuff in one place.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Seagate - At least I got a heads up 6

Booted up my Fedora box at work this morning but instead of starting normally it put me in emergency mode with a message to check the logs. On the whole I'm very pleased with this development. It gave me a prompt to give it the root password and then I could view the logs with journalctl from there.

Unfortunately though the resolution of the text was such that I couldn't read most of it - it went off the screen. So that's a bit of a problem. I had the system start up to the default state and then I was able to look at the logs in Konsole - which was a lot nicer. Looks like the hard drive is on its way out the door.

I ran smartmon and double checked. So now I'm copying everything off that I might be worried about. (In addition to my normal backups. I like to do this just in case.) And I think I've found the Western Digital drive that I'll be buying to replace this Seagate drive that is toast.

From what I've read WD is much more reliable than Seagate. Though I can't complain. It is the original drive that came with the machine and I bought in 2010. I don't think 4 years is an impressive time for a drive to last but I don't think it is terrible either.

But kudos to Fedora for alerting me to the problem and giving me time to plan ahead. The system still seems to run fine, I'm typing this JE from it - but I know that this wont stay true. And probably I could route around the damage for a while but I'd rather not. Storage is too cheap nowadays. I'll be picking up another TB drive for about $50.

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