March 2006 archive

How To Fix alt-b in Newer gnome-terminal

In my newest Ubuntu install, alt-b no longer moves the cursor back a word. It opens a menu. That’s really obnoxious. Fortunately you can fix it:

Note: To use the Alt-F and Alt-B shortcuts in GNOME terminal, you need to disable its keyboard shortcuts. To disable them, select Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts… from the menu and check both disable boxes. [source]

Ahh. Much better.

Posted by Bryan on March 29, 2006 | Filed under: Geek | 0 comments

The Joy of Joy School

We went sledding again last weekend. It was a lot like the first trip, nothing too new to write about. Except Ily and I were just talking about it again and I remembered something. You see last time, when Isaac was going down the hill all by himself, he ran into someone’s sled and got hit in the head. It hurt and he didn’t want to sled any more. I talked him into going down the hill with me a few more times and that was it. This time, there were less people there, and he was having fun going down with Ily or me, but we were getting a little tired. We really wanted him to go down by himself.

At this point I need to pause and explain a bit about Joy School. Joy School is a pre-school program that a group of parents can do with their kids. Ily and some friends have been doing this all school year, and it’s been really great. Every lesson has a title such as, “The Joy of Sharing and Service,” or, “The Joy of Confidence and Trying.” Each one comes with a little song that goes with the lesson that all the kids learn, and fun activities to reinforce the ideas. Isaac really likes these songs and learns them well. They get stuck in my head too (and it doesn’t help that they all use one of maybe three melodies, but I digress).

OK, back up on the sledding hill. I’m trying to talk Isaac into going down the hill by himself. “Look Isaac, there’s nobody else near us today. You can do it, c’mon.” It’s not working, “No!” he firmly tells me, and sets his bottom lip. Ily is sitting watching this, and suddenly she breaks into song,

When a thing is hard to do I won’t sit and cry

I will sing a happy tune and try, try, try

Before she has said the last “try” Isaac, in almost robotic fashion, snaps into action, grabs the sled and, still scowling a bit even, pushes off down the hill.

“What is this magic Ily knows?” I wondered to myself in astonishment. Isaac trudged back up the hill and continued sledding by himself the rest of the day. He had a great time, and he wouldn’t even let me go down with him again. Amazing what a little Joy can do for someone.

Posted by Bryan on March 23, 2006 | Filed under: Family News | 1 comment

Focus Follows Mouse on Windows

More on making my windoze box work like my linux box. Focus follows mouse, copy to clipboard by only highlighting, pasting with the middle button, and sinking windows to the bottom of the pile with a right-click, all with the True X-Mouse Gizmo. It’s very nice. The only downside is that if you want to change the default settings it takes a registry hack. Since my new standard issue work laptop doesn’t have a middle mouse button I’ll need to do this.

Dang, if all these tweaks work well enough maybe I won’t have enough motivation to install linux on this thing…nah, I’m sure I still will!

Posted by Bryan on March 13, 2006 | Filed under: Geek | 0 comments

Virtual Desktops on Windows

I love multiple virtual desktops. I have to work on windoze sometimes at work, which doesn’t have virtual desktops, but I found Virtual Dimension, and it rocks!

Posted by Bryan on March 13, 2006 | Filed under: Geek | 0 comments

Knee-Deep at Alta

Part way through the day on Friday, I realized I was skiing down
the hill and the only sound I could hear was the squeaking of my
boots. I couldn’t hear other people, I couldn’t hear my edges
scraping across ice—basically all I could hear was the silence of
fine, dry, knee-deep Utah powder. It was turning out to be one
awesome day of skiing at Alta. I
have the difficult assignment of interviewing internship candidates at
BYU for my company, so once or twice a year they fly me down to Utah
to meet with the hopefulls. As I’ve done before, I decided to take an
extra day for myself after the interviews and go skiing. My sister,
Julie, skied with me and we had a blast.

My interviews were Thursday and it snowed most of the day. Friday
was the ski day. There was about 6 inches of powder, and a relatively
small crowd at the hill. The soft snow was very forgiving on the
steeps, and I felt like I was skiing better than I ever had in my
life. If I hadn’t bought some sunscreen at lunch I might have had the
worst sunburn of my life too. It was that nice out. I forgot about
the terrible traffic that we’d had on the way up pretty quickly (two
accidents!). The way home was slow going too, but that was OK,
memories of ripping down the hill were very comforting.

(Sorry, neither of us remembered a camera, so no pictures)

Posted by Bryan on March 12, 2006 | Filed under: Family News | 2 comments

Root Partition Full

If you’ve tried to access the website in the past few days you haven’t been able to. I’m sorry. This will be way too much information for many of you, but so I don’t forget I’ll write down just what happened and how I fixed it. For the less interested, just know that I’m on top of it, and that the system is back up. Yay!

Here is the sequence of events that lead to this, as far as I can re-create them. First, I don’t remember how long ago, but I installed Mandriva Linux on this machine. I probably had it automatically partition the hard drive, probably for a desktop setup. This created a root partition and a /home partition. It made the root partition about 6 GB, and all the rest of the hard drive went for /home. I put a second network card in the machine and set it up as a router for my home network. I configured samba to serve files on the network card that the home network was on, eth0. Since then I have installed the postgresql database, which by default keeps all its data in /var/lib. Also, a goodly amount of log files have accumulated. I don’t know how much space this was all using before, but I made a change that started using a whole lot more recently, and not on purpose. I bought a linksys router, so I disabled eth0 on this machine. This caused samba, actually nmbd, to write lots of error messages to about 4 or 5 different log files: /var/log/messages, /var/log/syslog, /var/log/daemons/warnings, /var/log/daemons/errors, and I think /var/log/mail/warnings too, all saying it couldn’t find eth0. All of these log files had grown into the hundreds of megabytes range in size. Finally, Ily saw the whole machine crash when she tried to open a rather large attachment in gmail. Firefox probably saved it to /tmp, which became the straw that broke the camel’s back. Of course this happened shortly after I left town for a few days, hence it didn’t get fixed until today. Ahh computers, you gotta love 'em. At least with Linux it’s easy to figure exactly what when wrong like this.

Needless to say, I reconfigured samba, deleted some log files, and for good measure I removed a whole bunch of cached rpms. My root partition has 2 GB free now. I hope that lasts until I can figure out how to non-destructively resize ext3 partitions!

Posted by Bryan on March 11, 2006 | Filed under: About This Site Geek | 0 comments



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