Inside 206-105

Existential Pontification and Generalized Abstract Digressions

Toolbox

The Unix ecosystem, in many ways, constitutes a person’s toolbox for hacking away at all sorts of problems, including programming or email or browsing. Topics about the toolbox and about sharpening the saw.

Ubuntu Precise upgrade (Thinkpad/Xmonad)

It is once again time for Ubuntu upgrades. I upgraded from Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot to Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (12.04), which is an LTS release. Very few things broke (hooray!) The Monospace font changed to something new, with very wide glyph size. The old font was DejaVuSansMono, which I switched back to. Xournal stopped compiling; somehow […]

Reduce Ubuntu latency by disabling mDNS

This is a very quick and easy fix that has made latency on Ubuntu servers I maintain go from three to four seconds to instantaneous. If you've noticed that you have high latency on ssh or scp (or even other software like remctl), and you have control over your server, try this on the server: […]

How to build i686 glibc on Ubuntu

An “easy”, two-step process: Apply this patch for i686. (Why they haven't fixed this in the trunk, I have no idea.) Configure with CFLAGS="-U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -fno-stack-protector -O2" (this disables fortify source and stack protection which Ubuntu enables by default but interferes with glibc. You need to keep optimizations on, because glibc won't build without it.) You’ll […]

Transparent xmobar

Things I should be working on: graduate school personal statements. What I actually spent the last five hours working on: transparent xmobar. It uses the horrible “grab Pixmap from root X window” hack. You can grab the patch here but I haven’t put in enough effort to actually make this a configurable option; if you […]

Ubuntu Oneiric upgrade (Thinkpad/Xmonad)

I upgraded from Ubuntu Natty Narwhal to Oneiric Ocelot (11.10) today. Lots of things broke. In order: “Could not calculate the upgrade.” No indication of what the error might be; in my case, the error ended up being old orphan OpenAFS kernel modules (for whom no kernel modules existed). I also took the opportunity to […]

A new vision for Mendeley

I use Mendeley because it lets me easily search for papers I care about. Unfortunately, that seems to be all Mendeley has been doing for me... and that’s a damn shame. Maybe it’s because I’m an undergraduate, still dipping my toe into an ocean of academic research. Mendeley was aimed at practicing researchers, but not […]

Multi-monitor xmobar placement on Gnome

This post describes how to change which monitor xmobar shows up on in a multi-monitor setup. This had always been an annoyance for me, since on an initial switch to multi-monitor, xmobar would be living on the correct monitor, but if I ever restarted XMonad thereafter, it would migrate to my other monitor, much to […]

Mailbox: Advice for a sup first-timer

What is the Mailbox? It's a selection of interesting email conversations from my mailbox, which I can use in place of writing original content when I’m feeling lazy. I got the idea from Matt Might, who has a set of wonderful suggestions for low-cost academic blogging. From: Brent Yorgey I see you are a contributor […]

Android 2.x Sensor Simulator

OpenIntents has a nifty application called SensorSimulator which allows you feed an Android application accelerometer, orientation and temperature sensor data. Unfortunately, it doesn't work well on the newer Android 2.x series of devices. In particular: The mocked API presented to the user is different from the true API. This is due in part to the […]

A suggestion for indent/php.vim

To: John Wellesz First off, I'd like to thank you for authoring the php.vim indentation plugin. Recent experiences with some other indentation plugins made me realize how annoying editing can be without a good indentation plugin, and php.vim mostly has served me well over the years. However, I do have a suggestion for the default […]