Tag Archives: bugs

airport-express

My old AirPort Expresses might as well be bricks [Update: Windows saves the day]

So I have a few of those lit­tle power-brick sized AirPort Express WiFi units: In the past, I have found them incred­i­bly use­ful.  They pack away eas­ily and can turn any wired con­nec­tion into a wire­less one or can act as a self-contained bases­ta­tion for mul­ti­ple WiFi devices. Since I have one or two spares and needed one for an upcom­ing thing, I used a pen­cil to push the lit­tle recessed reset but­ton and plugged it in, caus­ing it to revert to fac­tory defaults.  I then loaded up AirPort Utility on my lap­top and was told the device is too old for this ver­sion of AirPort Utility.  Why don’t you down­load an older AirPort Utility, instead? So I did, only to be told upon installing that my OS was too new.  Understandable.  No big deal.  I had just installed OS X Mountain Lion.  I went to another machine that still had Lion on it and tried there.  Same prob­lem.  I think it needs Snow Leopard. At this point, the AirPort Express is a brick.  It’s fully func­tional, it is just stuck at fac­tory defaults and I have no way to con­fig­ure it.  I can only hope that I do not have to recon­fig­ure one of the AirPort Express units I actively use in my home net­work.

EDIT: I was (even­tu­ally) able to get it work­ing by boot­ing an old Windows sys­tem, down­load­ing the Windows ver­sion of the old AirPort Utility, and then plug­ging the AirPort Express directly into the PC.  (It was not able to see the Express if it was sim­ply plugged into the house wired net­work that already has other AirPort devices on it.)

Posted in: Dear Diary Gadgets

Update

For those that only look at new posts and new feed items, never going back to look at old posts, my Upcoming.org issues were resolved. It was a mem­ory problem–the squishy grey kind, not the sil­i­con chip kind.

Ebenezer’s lack of hair means you can clearly see his expres­sions and mus­cu­la­ture. He makes some really great “ew” faces when pre­sented with some­thing that falls in the DO NOT WANT cat­e­gory. This morn­ing I once again got a thought that occa­sion­ally arises but I have never blogged about. When he does that typ­i­cal Halloween-cat stretch with the arched back, the yawn, and the laid-back ears, he looks less like a cat and more like an audio-animatronic car­i­ca­ture of a cat, like the cats in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland–at least, the ones before they mod­i­fied the ride to make it more like the film (which was orig­i­nally based on the ride... so, uhhh.....) Maybe those cats are still there. The last time I was at D-Land, Pirates was closed to do the afore­men­tioned refur­bish­ing.

I do not like 25 degrees F. No, sir, I do not like it.

Posted in: Dear Diary

Upcoming Issues

It seems that Upcoming.org is about as dead to me as Dodgeball was. The required Yahoo account migra­tion on Upcoming is work­ing just about as well as the Google account migra­tion did with Dodgeball–actually, slightly worse. 8 months later, I was finally able to sign in to Dodgeball. Maybe I’ll have good news to report about Upcoming in 8 months.’till then, rest assured that I’m going to Ignite Portland, I just can’t actu­ally RSVP.

For some rea­son I signed up to Upcoming using a really, really old Yahoo account that I had pretty much depri­vated (and totally for­got that I still had.) Couple that with some con­fu­sion between login name (brienigma) and dis­play name (BrianEnigma) and, well, the prob­lems existed entirely between key­board and chair. Things were fixed up in less than 24 hours (in stark con­trast to Dodgeball that now mag­i­cally works for me, but I have friends with the same issue I had that still can’t log in.)

Three cheers to Neil and every­one else at Upcoming!

Posted in: Dear Diary Portland

Firefox 2.0 Annoyances

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2007/01/

One of the things about Firefox 2.0 for the Mac that bugs me (and only the Mac version–the Linux ver­sion is not afflicted by this) is that when you attempt to drag and drop a link from the URL bar to the book­mark bar, a tooltip say­ing “Drag and drop this icon to cre­ate a link to this page” pops up that actu­ally gets in the way of being able to drop the link. An arti­cle at LifeHacker points out a way to fix the problem–by dis­abling browser.chrome.toolbar_tips in about:config, but this pretty much using a tac­ti­cal nuke to kill a mos­quito. It dis­ables ALL tooltips, EVERYWHERE, includ­ing the use­ful ones. I use CookieSafe and Adblock Plus, which have use­ful tooltips to tell you about the page. Other peo­ple use a weather plu­gin that shows details in a tooltip. Those crafty peo­ple who put title= attrib­utes in links are unseen.

I have found a bet­ter way, but it involves some shell com­mands, so isn’t for every­one. First quit Firefox and run the fol­low­ing com­mands.
fibonacci:~ brian$ cd /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome/
fibonacci:/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome brian$ mkdir tmp
fibonacci:/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome brian$ cd tmp
fibonacci:/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome/tmp brian$ unzip -q ../en-US.jar
fibonacci:/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome/tmp brian$ vim locale/browser/browser.dtd

You don’t have to use vi or vim to edit the file. Any text edi­tor will do. You just have to find this line:
<!ENTITY proxyIcon.tooltip "Drag and drop this icon to create a link to this page">
...and change it to this:
<!ENTITY proxyIcon.tooltip "">

Then fol­low it up with these com­mands (to back up the chrome file, then store your changes):
fibonacci:/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome/tmp brian$ cp ../en-US.jar ../en-US.jar.BACKUP
fibonacci:/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/chrome/tmp brian$ zip -r -0 ../en-US.jar *

And that’s it. It works like a charm.

Posted in: Code Software

Double-U Tea Eff?!?!

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2006/09/

BUGS
By default, Linux fol­lows an opti­mistic mem­ory allo­ca­tion strat­egy. This means that when mal­loc() returns non-NULL there is no guar­an­tee that the mem­ory really is avail­able. This is a really bad bug. In case it turns out that the sys­tem is out of mem­ory, one or more processes will be killed by the infa­mous OOM killer. In case Linux is employed under cir­cum­stances where it would be less desir­able to sud­denly lose some ran­domly picked processes, and more­over the ker­nel ver­sion is suf­fi­ciently recent, one can switch off this over­com­mit­ting behav­ior using a com­mand like
# echo 2 > /proc/sys/vm/overcommit_memory
See also the ker­nel Documentation direc­tory, files vm/overcommit-accounting and sysctl/vm.txt.

- the mal­loc man­ual page, empha­sis (ital­ics) added

Yes, kid­dies, mal­loc() returns non-null results when you have no mem­ory left. You can even start to use that mem­ory, but at some point you hit the bar­rier between what you requested and what was really avail­able, and things go explodey and the ker­nel goes on a ran­dom killing spree. I quote, “this is a really bad bug.”

Posted in: Code

Regurgitating an Interesting Article

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2005/12/

I am feel­ing much less sick now. Plus, I have enough chicken soup to drown a baby (or bap­tize a baby, depend­ing on your inten­tions.)

Why McDonald&apos;s Fries Taste So Good is an arti­cle (linked from Digg) which was used in Fast Food Nation. It describes a lit­tle bit of the his­tory of their fries, but mostly focuses on the chem­i­cal indus­try of fla­vors, scents, and col­ors. Originally, the fries were well received because they were cooked in over 90% beef tal­low. They switched to veg­etable oil in &apos;90, but had to make up for the fla­vor. Legally, they just have to say that it con­tains a “nat­ural fla­vor,” but they have admit­ted that part of that fla­vor comes from an ani­mal source. I have known many veg­e­tar­i­ans in the past that have had no prob­lem eat­ing the fries. I guess it all depends on your def­i­n­i­tion or rea­sons for being veg­e­tar­ian. Due to the potency of these kinds of things, the ani­mal prod­uct has to be a minus­cule amount — maybe one part per bil­lion (the exam­ple they gave was that one drop of fla­vor was enough for five swim­ming pools.) It does not mat­ter one way or the other to me — I just do not like the taste of their fries.

Surprising fact: on aver­age, Americans now eat about four serv­ings of french fries every week. Who are these aver­age Americans? Most peo­ple I know have fries less than once a month, although a few might have them as much as once a week.

Carmine/Carminic Acid/Cohineal Extract is made from des­ic­cated bug bod­ies. 70,000 of the Dactylopius Coccus Costa, a small insect from Peru that eats red cac­tus berries, get used to make a pound of pink dye. Think about that next time you have a Dannon straw­berry yogurt or Ocean Spray pink grape­fruit juice. Again, it is parts per bil­lion, but still...

The “nat­ural” vs. “arti­fi­cial” flavor/color des­ig­na­tion is entirely arbi­trary. For some rea­son, I thought nat­ural was bet­ter (as do many peo­ple out there), but the same chem­i­cal can be either nat­ural or arti­fi­cial depend­ing on how it was syn­the­sized. Actually tak­ing a banana and leech­ing out chem­i­cals from it (by using other chem­i­cals) is nat­ural. Creating the same exact chem­i­cals by mix­ing things in test-tubes is arti­fi­cial. Chemically, they are both the same thing, but one is cheaper because you do not need real bananas.

Posted in: Dear Diary Food

Bugs, Cats, and Robots

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2004/12/

Recently at work, I have been bug fix­ing. Most of the big bugs are gone, with just minor stuff remain­ing. It ends up being sim­ple, mind­less rep­e­ti­tion — no inven­tion, no inno­va­tion. You pull up a bug report, you find the line of microc­ode that is mis­be­hav­ing, you mark the bug as fixed, lather, rinse, repeat. Pull the lever, push the but­ton, just like on the fac­tory line. It ends up being sim­ple, mind­less rep­e­ti­tion. Vacation will be nice.

As I write this, the cats are across the room, “girl fight­ing.” They are each stand­ing on their hind-legs, doing some sort of patty-cake hand-slap stuff with their front.

iRo­bot is yet another in a series of sci­ence fic­tion books adapted to film result­ing in a steamin&apos; pile of poo. I still have high hopes for the Hithiker&apos;s Guide movie. I just learned today that the guy who plays the office clown/slacker, Tim, on the BBC show The Office is play­ing Arthur Dent. The whole series has been loaded into the iPod and I have been lis­ten­ing to the books at work. I am not sure I have really re-read/listened to the book since I first read it in Jr. High. The two ver­sions of the BBC audio drama as well as the TV show leave out (or change) a bunch of details that I had com­pletely for­got­ten.

Posted in: Movies Work