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Is anyone else out there having trouble with Typekit and Safari?

What was happening: I’d try to load a page that uses Typekit fonts, and I’d get an eternal rainbow beachball which froze up the whole program, until I eventually had to Force Quit Safari.

Temporary work-around: I added use.typekit.com to my /etc/hosts file, to block that whole subdomain on my laptop.

Solution: Turns out the problem was caused by SafariBlock, a Safari port of AdBlock! Since AdBlock has been made a Safari extension, I have no need for SafariBlock anymore, so I deactivated it (in Safari’s preferences panel), and then deleted it (the folder’s in /Library/InputManagers). I’ve removed that line from my /etc/hosts, and I get to see fancy Typekit fonts now. Yay!

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Remember last year, when my Linksys wifi router just suddenly stopped working for no discernible reason, and I went out and bought a Belkin wifi router as a replacement? Yesterday, the Belkin wifi router stopped working, for no discernible reason.

Unlike the Linksys (which turned itself off entirely), the Belkin still works as a router, but it no longer acts as a wifi hotspot. I’ve currently got net through an Ethernet cable plugged into the router. If we had a second cable to spare, [livejournal.com profile] bugsybanana could surf at the same time, but we don’t, so we’ve been switching back and forth with need. Just like old times!

And it’s 102°F (“feels like 107°”, WeatherDock tells me), so I don’t really feel like going outside right now. Maybe in two or three hours it’ll have cooled off back into the double digits. I do have to do some shopping, though. We’re almost out of bagels, and we need Brillo pads to clean off the pan I used last night to make pasta sauce. Here’s the sort of thing a lack of Brillo pads leads to:

Me: <looking in cabinet under sink> I don’t see any Brillo pads.
BB: They probably all rusted.
Me: Rust never sleeps.
BB: Colorless green ideas do that for it. But they aren’t happy about it.

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Are there any standard Unix command-line programs for converting number-like strings into numbers, and vice-versa? For example, converting…

  • 1,000,000.00
  • 1000000
  • 1e6
  • 1 * 10^6

…easily into one-another?

I'm back

Aug. 17th, 2009 09:35 pm
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I have successfully raised my computer from the dead.

Seems it was just the hard drive. I swapped out the old, dead 100 GB drive for the 320 GB drive I had sitting around. There were a lot of screws involved, and I had to zip out to the hardware store at one point to get a better #00 Phillips-head screwdriver than the one I was using, but aside from that things went pretty well. Oh, and Migration Assistant bogged down while porting my Applications folder across, so I had to finish that up by hand.

So I’m back, with 200+ GB of free hard drive space that I don’t know what to do with.

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So I hauled my laptop to Tekserve (saving NYC Mac-owners' asses since 1987), and the helpful guy at the repairs counter was successful in getting my machine to boot off a network volume. He ran some diagnostic tools (fsck?) and concluded that my hard drive is horked. He was unable to figure out why I couldn't boot from an install DVD; that's apparently something that happens sometimes when a hard drive goes bad, or it may mean my DVD drive went bad too in a display of component solidarity. But it doesn't seem to be the logic board, which is what I'd been fearing.

This is actually good news! It just so happens that I've got this old replacement hard drive that I ordered last year when I started running low on drive space. When I saw how much of a pain in the ass it was to swap drives out in this model, I just deleted a bunch of unnecessary files instead, and wound up never installing it, but it's still sitting right here a few feet behind me.

It also just so happens that I've got a replacement DVD drive sitting in our study, as well. I ordered this three years back, after some books fell on my laptop and I thought my DVD drive was damaged. (Damn, there's some decent drawing on that page. I need to get back up to that skill level.)

Since I'm doing all my repairs myself, Tekserve didn't charge me anything for the twenty minutes or so of staff time I took up. (The Coke machine still isn't working, though.)

The next step is figuring out a way to print out the PDF I've got on my desktop (and therefore on my backup drive) that tells me how to open up my machine. Then, I need a large, clean, flat surface. There's a special tool -- something like a dental pick -- I'm supposed to use to disengage catches above the DVD slot, and nobody sells it, but I think I can improvise something out of a paper clip.
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Typing this from Chris's computer (Windows Vista, MSIE -- oh, the pain!) because my laptop is fucked.

Last night I was getting a barred circle on startup, an error message I'd never even heard of before, and I thought it was well and truly, deeply, permanently fucked, to the point of needing to buy a new one (which I can't even come close to affording right now), or at least a new motherboard (which I can't afford either). It was refusing to boot off a Leopard install disk.

This morning, after zapping the PRAM, I'm getting the question-mark-folder icon, which I at least recognize. I managed to get it to eject the Leopard disk, so I figure it's only moderately fucked, and I'm getting ready for another go at it. With any luck, a full hard drive wipe and reinstall, followed by restoring from my (fortunately recent) backup will put things right.

But I dunno. I've been fighting with this thing since Tuesday night. This isn't the first wipe-and-restore. So we'll see.

Update: Nope, it's hosed. Won't boot from the system install DVD. This will probably take a visit to an actual professional to even try and fix, and I just don't have the money to spare. Fuck. I don't suppose anyone's got a 15" PowerBook G4 that they were planning to throw out...?
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OK, found a way to keep links from opening new windows in Safari. Here it is:

Step 1: Install GreaseKit. (GreaseKit is the Safari port of Greasemonkey, a Firefox add-on that lets you run arbitrary JavaScript code to modify web pages as they download.)

Step 2: Install _blank Must Die, a userscript that strips the target="_blank" attributes out of link tags.

Step 3: Quit and relaunch Safari.

Step 4: Sigh with relief when Twitter links no longer spawn new windows.

Note for Firefox users: That userscript in Step 2 ought to work for you as well, but you don’t need to bother, since you’ve got some useful features baked right into your browser, no add-ons required.

Microsoft Internet Explorer users, I dunno. If you guys cared about your web experience, you wouldn’t be using MSIE.

Update: Just discovered that the GreaseKit _blank Must Die hack will mess up Google Calendar. The fix is to disable the hack for Google, like so:

  1. In Safari, from the GreaseKit menu, choose “Manage Scripts…”
  2. In the Manage Scripts dialog, select “_blank Must Die” from the list on the left of the box. (Don’t turn the check-box off, just click the name “_blank Must Die” to select it.)
  3. See the “Exclude” box? Click the “Add” button next to it.
  4. In that new line that was just created in the Exclude box, type:
  5. Close the Manage Scripts box. Maybe you need to quit and restart Safari, too.
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This was a pretty tech-heavy weekend.

On Saturday, I came back from a dim sum expedition to find that my copy of MacOS X 10.5.6 (Leopard) had arrived, and was helpfully hanging off my apartment doorknob. (I’d feared that I would just find a delivery slip telling me to go pick it up at the post office on Monday.) I backup my hard drive, installed the new OS, and it’s working fine. Seems to be a bit zippier than Tiger, which has me thinking I might be able to limp along with this machine for another few years if I get a bigger hard drive. My only complaint so far is that I can’t get Visor working, even after downloading the Leopard version. (Quicksilver, on the other hand, is working better than before.)

Today, in the evening, my Linksys wi-fi hotpoint/router suddenly stopped working. All the little indicator lights were off. I unplugged, then re-plugged, the power cable, which brought it back up, but it turned itself off again within a few minutes. Five or six repeats of this performance convinced me that it wasn’t going to get any better. Fortunately, Target was still open, so I bought a replacement device, Belkin this time. BTW, Belkin’s routers come with easy-to-use config software that actually runs on a Mac!

Update: Rebooting fixed whatever was jinxing Visor. And, for anyone out there who wants to change the font colors in Terminal (and Visor), use TerminalColors if you’re running Tiger, TerminalColours for Leopard.

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For people who were wondering about the relative weights of computers at Games-Club-in-Exile last night:

I think [livejournal.com profile] mnemex’s new laptop was a Lenovo ThinkPad X300, which starts at 2.7 pounds. If it’s the largest model, it’s got a 13.3” display (1440x900?), but I can’t tell how much that particular model weighs.

According to Wikipedia, the XO-1 weighs either 1.45 or 1.58 kilograms, depending on which battery option you choose. Call it around 3 pounds, so yeah, it might be a bit heavier than the Lenovo.

The ASUS Eee weighs about 2 pounds. If I were gonna get a lightweight, toting-about computer, this would probably be it.

The MacBook Air weighs 3 pounds and also has a 13.3” display (1280x800).

Update: Oh, right, and the thing I was trying to look up? Mike Rohde’s SXSW sketchnotes.

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With LiveJournal’s new owners announcing that LJ will no longer allow the creation of new Basic accounts, lots of people are upset over the prospect of having to look at ads. For those of you lagging behind the leading edge of web browser technology, here’s a solution:

Step 1: Firefox if a free open-source web browser available for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux. (If you use Linux, you already know all about it, so just skip right on to some other post.) Download and install it. It’s free. Costs no money. Since it’s open-source, it’s highly customizable with lots of themes and add-ons, which brings us to…

Step 2: AdBlock is a free add-on for Firefox that allows you to block ads from showing up when you browse the web.

Special for Mac users: If you don’t want to leave Safari, you can still block ads! SafariBlock is a Safari add-on based on AdBlock. Or try Ad Subtract, which uses CSS to hide ads.

Another reason to use browser extensions: Y’know how when a LiveJournal post gets a lot of comments, LJ starts hiding some of them, and you need to keep clicking to unfold the hidden comments? Doesn’t that annoy the crap out of you? Here’s what you do:

Now those long comment pages will get an “Unfold All” link at the top of the comments. Click that, and it all unfolds. (In my experience, this doesn’t work perfectly — a few comments stay folded — but it works pretty well.)

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Anyone out there using MacOS X and Safari should do the following immediately:

1. Bring up the Preferences dialog in Safari.

Menu screenshot

2. Click the “General” tab.

3. Look at the checkbox next to “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading”. If this checkbox is on, click it to turn it off.

Dialog screenshot

Then you may close the Preferences dialog and go about your business.

What’s all this about? Well, according to John Gruber, there’s a kernel bug exploit that makes it possible for someone to create a “.dmg” disk image file that, when mounted, causes a kernel panic (full system crash). If you leave that preference on, Safari will automatically attempt to mount “.dmg” files after downloading them, and its possible to set up a web site to initiate downloads automatically. Leaving that preference off means you have to actually double-click (or otherwise open) the file to screw up your computer — it’s a layer of safety.

Apple stupidly leaves this preference turned on by default, so if you aren’t in the habit of reading Mac techie sites, you’ve probably got it on. I don’t know if there have been any cases of someone actually distributing malicious panic-causing files using this exploit, but it could happen. There’s an anonymous security researcher who’s been publishing information about unpatched bugs; this has been the Month of Kernel Bugs.

And I just can’t discuss a Mac security bug without trash-talking about Windows security, so here’s Tom Yager arguing that Windows really is inherently more vulnerable than MacOS X to malware attacks, and he’s pretty specific about the technical reasons. Maybe some of that will be fixed in Windows Vista, maybe not.
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A scanner, darklyOK, just about everything is ready to go. Clié hooked up (required upgrading to the latest version of The Missing Sync, but that works great, totally replaces the old Palm Desktop), iPod working, camera working, various Perl modules installed, Apache and PHP working, remind and GeekTool working despite the warnings, everything tested and working but the printer.

Getting the scanner working today ate about an hour and a half, largely because of poor font choice by whoever designed the lid of the scanner. I downloaded the drivers for the CanoScan LIDE 50, when what I have is the LIDE 30. So, if I’d been doing any drawing lately, I’d be able to scan the art in tonight.

I’ve been going through old posts, adding tags. The sketch tag will get you all the drawing posts I’ve tagged so far. I noticed that I hadn’t posted any art since June. Yipe.
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Does anyone know of a way to add keyboard shortcuts for menu selections in a Windows 2000 program? Either a Windows feature, or a freeware third-party utility.
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Arg. I took my Clié out this evening to jot down a note and the thing was dead. Wouldn’t turn on at all. I’m hoping it’s just that the buttons got held down by my winter coat or something and ran the battery out. If that turns out to be the problem, I can just start locking it when I put it away. Fortunately I just did a full backup a few days ago, and haven’t put anything important in it since then. I’ve got it plugged in now, and the recharge light is on, but it won’t switch on while plugged; I don’t know if that’s a trouble sign or not.

If it is busted, I dunno. Sony doesn’t sell Cliés in the US anymore, and I’ve been getting frustrated enough with the incompatibilities between the Palm and iSync/iCal (Apple’s fault, not Palm’s or Sony’s, but still, and my life is even more difficult because I use DateBk5, which adds categories to the Palm datebook) to think about using something else, though I don’t know what. I’ve gotten used to a lot of the third-party PalmOS apps.

That’s weird. After a while, the recharge light turns off, but the Clié still won’t do anything. If I unplug the power cord and re-plug it, the recharge light comes back on. Crap. This isn’t good.

Oh, never mind. I just ejected the memory stick (which I generally leave in the slot), then poked the reboot button, and the device rebooted normally, everything back to normal, no need to even restore from backup. Hm. It must have had a software crash.
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Yesterday was the day for computer troubles that didn’t affect me much. I saw in the morning that LJ was down, but I spent the day out gaming, so no prob. Panix, my ISP, got hacked, but I hardly use Panix anymore, so that didn’t affect me. (I’ve got my email forwarded from the grumer.org host directly to gMail now, so all the hackers are getting is spam from people using my old address.) The only annoying thing was that when I got home, my LJ was in read-only mode for some occult database-updating reason, so I couldn’t post these links to funny stuff:

The Silly Sleeping Cat Pose Olympics (via The Poorman)

[livejournal.com profile] calamityjon translates Japanese television guides so you don’t have to!
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AltTextHereThere is almost certainly no sensible reason for me to have three text editors running simultaneously.

Except that I love the name “Smultron”. And I’m used to BBEdit. And TextEdit is kinda handy to have around as a low-end word processor.

I wouldn’t have to bother with this kind of stuff if I’d devoted myself to Emacs back in my brief Linux phase. But then I’d be running a higher risk of getting absorbed into an AI conglomerate when the Singularity hits.



Sep. 18th, 2004 10:53 pm
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AntiRSI icon in my DockThat’s pretty cool. The other day I installed an app called AntiRSI (free, and the page is pretty), that monitors my mouse and keyboard usage and tosses up an alert every so often to get me to take breaks for the sake of my wrists. What I didn’t notice till now was that it shows a countdown in its icon, displayed in the OSX Dock. I think the outer blue ring is the countdown to a long break, the inner ring a countdown to a “micro pause” (ten seconds or so), and the green section displays time that I haven’t touched the mouse or keys.
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New (to me) website: 43 Folders
Merlin Mann dispenses organizational tricks, software pointers, and other tips on saving time and getting your life in order.

Those of you who want to get organized but lack the money or silicon thumb for a Palm might want to see his entry on the Hipster PDA: a bunch of index cards and a binder clip. Not a bad idea. Before my first Palm, I spent some time getting organized with a cheap pad of paper I carried in my back pocket. Wins out on cost and durability, but loses on indexing, search, and notification capabilities, even discounting spiffy Palm apps like Vindigo (which I use a lot). Furthermore, if you’re a disorganized person, you’re apt to just lose track of that bundle of cards. A pricey Palm at least takes advantage of the $100-lighter memory hack. And then even if you do lose or break it, you’ve got it backed up in your main computer.

The rest of this is only useful for MacOS X users. )
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Ever followed a link to a news story only to plow into an annoying registration wall? Back in the old days (like, five or six years ago) there was the cypherpunks hack — try “cypherpunks” for both the user ID and the password; if that wasn’t already registered, then register with those values. There were complications — if the site didn’t allow a password that was the same as the user ID, “writecode” was the traditional alternative password. Then some sites caught on and started blocking that ID, so people started using “cpunks”, and with four possible combinations to try, it got unwieldy.

Next step: a common clearing house of ID/password combos — BugMeNot! Pretty handy, especially if you install the Firefox extension, or the MSIE extension, or use the JavaScript bookmarklet. [Note: I’ve modified that copy of the bookmarklet, adding “www.” to the bugmenot.com domain name; it wouldn’t work without it. Must be a side-effect of the host move.]

Not that it’s a perfect solution. Various news sites have been spidering BugMeNot’s content, and then dropping those IDs from their registration databases. Sometimes it takes two or three tries to get a password that works. But still, a decent solution.

(And no, they aren’t sharing credit card info or anything like that. BugMeNot has a firm policy of only storing passwords for free sites. Any pay site can send them email asking to be removed/blocked from their database.)

Then, tragedy! BugMeNot was gone! For several days news sites like LAtimes.com had to go without my eyeballs. Turns out someone had pressured BugMeNot’s web host to shut the site down.

But now they’re back, hosted on NearlyFreeSpeech.net. And there’s a discussion going in that Mozilla forum on how to improve the service — decentralize it, publish in XML format, etc.
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Some MacOS X software I downloaded today:

[ Mellel icon ]Mellel, a word processor. Cheap (only $30), and looks pretty feature-rich. Also small and quick. I was initially interested because one of the screenshots made it look like it had an outline mode, but now that I’ve downloaded the thing I can’t figure out how to get that outline thing happening. So I probably won’t actually be buying it. But man, check out that icon!

TinkerTool, latest version. Not that I really need it, since I’ve still got all my prefs from the time I ran it on Jaguar.

DragThing. Not sure if I’m actually gonna use it, but I figured I might as well see, since I can upgrade cheap as a registered user of an earlier version.

The modern way of bipping about one’s filesystem seems to involve using adaptive utilities that learn your favored abbreviations, like LaunchBar or the very cool though under-documented freeware Quicksilver.

April 2017



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