Archive for September, 2006

Don’t worry, I know I need smaller posts…

School

Holy crap, school has already started! Luckily, my schedule isn’t too intense (read: class starts at 2pm every day). heh. But… No more vacation!!!!! :'( I’m taking two computer courses, Advanced Software Engineering (CPSC 410) and Distributed Systems (CPSC 416), 20th Century Wolrd History (HIST 103), as well as the English Grammar course I’m doing through distance ed. My history class has an unheard of EIGHT required texts (four per term)! They’re not as expensive as computer texts, but they’re not cheap, either. I did some pricing, and if I get all eight of the history books NEW, then it’ll set me back about 300 bucks. Ew…

Anyways, I got a lot of stuff I’ve been meaning to blog about.

K2

Got new (old) rollerblades: K2 Ascent Softboots. They’re in really good condition and were only $30! Wooooh! Way better than my old Bauer pair. Discovered later that they’re women’s rollerblades. … Hmmm… Oh well. They’re comfortable and they’re not pink, so I don’t mind. But wow, rollerblading is just so much more enjoyable with a decent pair of boots.

While I was at the consignment store, I was thinking of armour… knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. Well, probably don’t need elbow pads, I can’t remember ever hurting my elbows in a wipe-out. Knee pads? Nope, never land on my knees! I’ll probably get wrist guards later and continue skating without a helmet. It’s not like I’m not doing aggressive inline, or something.

Well, looks like I’ll get knee pads, after all…. for when I want to practise jumping off speedbumps. 🙁 But, it only took about a day before I was back on ’em! I’ve since done a nice skate starting at Stanley Park and ending at Science World. Many times! Totally awesome. According to gmap pedometer, it’s about 13 or 14 kilometres, so it’s a pretty good workout, too. Last time I did it, I did it in 50 minutes. Whooo.

Note: I’ve actually messed my leg up a second time in the same spot. This time, it wasn’t so dramatic, either. I basically stood up, rolled across the street, and fell over. Doh. How to look a fool….

Network Manager

Spent a day tinkering w/NetworkManager on both my desktop and laptop, trying to get it to work. Discovered the rt2500 (http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/) wireless drivers are not (yet) compatible with NetworkManager, so I gave up on the desktop – not really useful on the desktop, anyways. The laptop, however, should have been working with it’s orinoco_cs card. Decided I’d try a more recent version before filing a bug report. Plus, I thought this would actually increase the utility of my laptop, if I could get it to work. Somehow, I came to the conclusion that I might as well try out the unstable Ubuntu (Edgy), while I’m at it. It was interesting seeing some changes, and I should note that NetworkManager 0.6.3 works fine with orinoco_cs. At least, I don’t have to file that bug report! However, I ended up backing up my data and reinstalling Dapper. Fresh & clean. eheh. >.< I’ll stay away from Edgy until it’s closer to the release date – a while yet.

Linux USB Troubleshooting

After I tried inserting two cards, at the same, time into my USB2.0 card reader, my USB 2.0 devices started crapping out. This failure was present even after a complete reboot! dmesg reported that the devices were not accepting addresses.


[4308240.499000] usb 4-3: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 11
[4308240.602000] usb 4-3: device descriptor read/64, error -32
[4308240.806000] usb 4-3: device descriptor read/64, error -32
[4308241.009000] usb 4-3: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 12
[4308241.112000] usb 4-3: device descriptor read/64, error -32
[4308241.316000] usb 4-3: device descriptor read/64, error -32
[4308241.519000] usb 4-3: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 13
[4308241.921000] usb 4-3: device not accepting address 13, error -32
[4308242.023000] usb 4-3: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 14
[4308242.425000] usb 4-3: device not accepting address 14, error -32

Some googling led me to linux-usb.org. Not sure why, exactly, but removing the module and forcing it to start again when inserting the USB mass storage device (again) seemed to work:

sudo rmmod ehci-hcd

Yay! Now, for some reason, I have to do this every time I start the computer, before any of my mass storage USB2 devices will work… >.< Oh well, on with life.

rsync

I’ve heard rsync referred to many times before, but never got around to actually spending a few minutes trying it out. This is almost exactly what I need for keeping data between my laptop and my desktop in sync. I currently have a text file on my laptop that contains a couple of rsync commands that I’ve found useful. I start with them as a template and customize them a little each time I do it, depending on what I’m doing. I’ll have to search a bit to see if there’s a graphical app that wraps it up more nicely.

BarCamp Vancouver

OMG, this looks like it was so good! I wasn’t able to attend (and I didn’t have anything to present), but thanks to the online content, anyone that’s interested can take a look. I’ve been slowly sponging. The introductions are entertaining; they had free (not Free) beer!

New Stuff

I got a few new things before going on holiday: 256MB of RAM for my laptop (now totalling 512), a printer/scanner/fax/copier (brother MFC-420CN), and an audio player (Cowon iAUDIO U2). The audio player is awesome. It has an FM Radio, voice recorder, and also plays WMA and, more importantly, OGG files. It’s also super small (like a pack of gum), has a decent amount of storage (1GB), has a great menu system and interface with tonnes of features, and is even reasonably sexy. One thing I found surprisingly useful was the loop feature. While testing some Japanese audio material (in OGG format), I had trouble making out what the voice said. So I scanned back a bit before the piece in question, set a mark by pressing the REC button, let it play a while until the section I wanted to listen to was over and I pushed the REC button again to mark the end of the section. It would then loop on this section until I pressed the REC button a third time, causing it to continue, as normal. Very useful!

I bought the printer because I hate our existing printer, and I hate having to walk upstairs to use it. It has this really annoying habit of mindlessly feeding paper through instead of actually printing on it… and not just a single sheet, but huge clumps at a time! Then it has the nerve to run out of paper and stop printing. Die! This way I also get a scanner & copier in my room. It was cheap, gets good reviews, has an ethernet port, and brother provides drivers for Linux. It’s also got extensive fax features, which I will probably never use. So far, I’ve only gotten around to setting up printing, and I’ve done that with a crossover cable, sadly.

I bought the RAM simply because it was time… and I was buying other stuff.