Richard Jones' Log Richard Jones' Log: PublicMemory

Sat, 26 Apr 2014
Those neck-supporting pillows for flying? You're using them wrong!

OK folks, something I learned about those horseshoe-shaped pillows: they don't go around your neck. They're basically useless like that.

First up: make sure you get one that joins up at the open end - some sort of clip fastener to hold the ends together.

Then: it goes around the back of your head with the bottom of the horseshoe behind your neck and the open end clipped together but pointing up. If you're doing it right, that sucker will fit very snugly over the back of your head to the point that it'll stay stuck on when you move your head away from the headrest.

Doing this will mean that your head is held in place vertically and horizontally.

Note: I lost the pillow I had that joined together with a clip and bought another that didn't but was made of "memory foam" and it worked just as well.

Sat, 27 Mar 2010
Mouse warping with my MacBook + DVI

For future reference when I plug my MacBook into my LG monitor using DVI and see my mouse jumping all over the place I need to delete /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUpstreamUserClient.kext.


Wed, 07 Feb 2007
Dear Interwebs: HOWTO Run X11 on an LG L204WT LCD Monitor

This is a reprint of the information from this forum discussion. The modeline is:

Modeline  "1680x1050@61"   146.25   1680 1772 1948 2204   1050 1053 1059 1089 +hsync -vsync

I'm running a VGA cable plugged into a DVI socket, which I hope to replace with an actual DVI cable soon. I'm hoping that it will still work...

Update: yep, the DVI cable works fine.

Update2 : DVI works without the need for the above modeline, thanks to EDID (thanks for the hint, Toby). Make sure you've got your i2c module loaded (Load "i2c" in the "Module" section).

Thu, 03 Mar 2005
More HTPC investigation

I'm not sure we'll ever see the VIA EPIA SP motherboard for sale in Australia, so I'm starting to look into other options. I just priced up a Shuttle-based Athlon 64 system (after reading a nice HOWTO on the subject) and it came in at just over $1200. That's definitely in the running then.

Fri, 14 Jan 2005
Mini-ITX vs. MiniMac

MiniMac $1550, Mini-ITX $1220. Both are configured to have DVD-RW, 80GB HD, 512MB RAM, wireless networking and digital TV capture. On the downside, the ITX system has fans, but they're supposed to be quiet. In its favour, the ITX system has S/PDIF audio out, which the Mac can't do.

Mini-ITX components* (from Aus PC Market - I'm pretty sure I could get cheaper components locally):

$286.00VIA M-10000 MiniITX Motherboard w/1Ghz CPU - 1xPCI 1xDDR, Video/audio/LAN/TVout/Firewire
$176.00PC-3200 512mb Corsair 184-pin DDR SDRAM (200mhz XMS3200 CAS 3) w/heatspreader
$143.00Black 2699 Mini-ITX desktop case w/external fanless PSU, suit VIA Eden / M-Series, takes SlimCD, 1x PCI slot
$242.00 + $33.00Pioneer Tray-loading Slim DVD-RW+DL, 8x DVD±R, 4x DVD±RW, 2.4x Dual Layer+R plus IDE/Power adapter GHA-K003 for Slim CD-ROM (GHA-SR242)
$126.50Maxtor 80GB DiamondMax Plus9 ATA133 IDE Hard drive, 7200RPM, 2mb cache (I'd probably spend another $80 and get 200GB)
$71.50Skymaster USB2 802.11g 54mbps Wireless Network Dongle (or I could just go with the cable, which would cut $120 off the Mac price too)
$146.30AverTV DVB-T 771 digital terrestrial TV PCI card w/remote control

And, it'd be a bit of fun to actually build the thing :)

Update: Linux distro to run on it. And a HOWTO for good measure.

Update 2: OK, this so wasn't supposed to be a Mac-bashing exercise, but rather hopefully the first in a series on my adventures in build-your-own-PVR-land.

*Prices are Aussie of course.

Mon, 13 Sep 2004
Fixing POSKeyErrors in Zope2.7

There's instructions at ZopeLab's cookbook on how to get in and fix POSKeyErrors. In my case, the objects are relatively anonymous BTrees, so finding them in order to delete them proves to be quite ... challenging. The following allows me to just pluck the offending object (as reported by from the pickle jar, and have a good look at it:

>>> from import configure;configure('zope-8000/zope.conf')
>>> from Zope import app; root = app()
>>> from ZODB.POSException import POSKeyError
>>> from ZODB.utils import p64
>>> o = root._p_jar[p64(0x277FEL)]
>>> o
OOBucket([('566', -1920968609), ...])

Note the configure line - that's necessary in Zope 2.7. Now, from the structure of the tree, I can hopefully determine where it might fit into our application (which makes heavy use of BTrees - something I'm starting to regret, with all the POSKeyErrors I'm pretty much constantly getting.

(yes, Zope's keeping me pretty busy these days)

Wed, 14 Jul 2004
New daily read, Daddy Types

Daddy Types does seem to have an obsession with strollers, but there's some other good stuff there.

Thu, 06 May 2004
Coffee Supply

I keep losing Alan's Coffee for Connoisseurs web address, so here it goes into the public memory pool :)

Just placed an order for some Organic Timor Arabica (one of my favourites) and thought I'd give the yummy-sounding Cafe de Cuba a try ("Sweet golden syrup nose and smooth, full bodied middle palate sliding into a rich soft finish.").

Wed, 05 May 2004
Store to memory: OS X file opening

Opening a file in a directory like "/usr" in OS X programs is tricky, given that Apple doesn't want users to know about such places. Thanks to Toby, I now have a couple of ways of getting there:

  1. If it's a file I just want to open with the default program for its type, then I can use the open command, like "open index.html", or
  2. If I'm stuck using the file dialog, then the apple-shift-G keystroke will let me type a directory location manually.

Ta, Toby :)