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Arch Linux

Since I’m not really enjoying the path Canonical is headed with Ubuntu I was somewhat forced to consider moving to another distribution. I considered OpenSUSE since I had it installed inside a VM and I had really enjoyed it and Tumbleweed would probably give me all I need in terms of package freshness. I also considered going back to Gentoo but I don’t think I’d have it in me to sit and wait for the compile times every single time I wanted to install or update something. In the end my curiosity got the best of me and I decided see to what all the fuss about Arch Linux is about.

I’ve been using it for roughly little more than a month now and I couldn’t be happier. It took some time to get used to it, there’s always a learning curve when changing from distribution to distribution but in this case the curve was gentle enough. It’s publicized as being a somewhat non user friendly distribution but in the end all you have to learn will help you later on. You’ll find yourself being able to fix problems instead of just reinstalling everything just because you don’t even know where to begin with a fix.

Pacman is quite probably the best package manager I’ve used and I’m throwing emerge into the equation. I’m yet to need any sort of software installed that I haven’t found on the Arch User Repository (AUR) and though you should really learn to install AUR packages by hand first, tools like Pacaur and Yaourt turn it into an automated process.

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Making a OS X 10.9 Mavericks Install USB Drive

Apparently the days of getting new releases of OS X on DVDs is long gone and instead it’s made available in the App Store. If you’re upgrading your existing OS X install you probably have no need for physical media to install it but if you’re willing to do a clean install the .dmg you get from the App Store isn’t very useful. You’ll have to make your own physical install media.

I’ve read about Lion Disk Maker and other extensive ways with multiple steps to build a USB thumb drive capable of installing OS X from scratch. But then I came across a single Terminal command line that does absolutely everything and leaves the USB thumb drive ready to install everything. You’ll need a comfortably sized drive – 8GB should be enough. If possible buy a new one and don’t use it for anything else other than being your OS X install media. First, download Mavericks from the App Store. Then open up a Terminal, plug in your USB drive and type the following – you can use TAB to autocomplete folder names:

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app --nointeraction

Replace /Volumes/Untitled with /Volumes/YourUsbDriveName. Insert your password, wait for some time (I went to get dinner, when I came back ~20 mins later it was still running) and BAM – Bob’s your uncle. Reboot, pick booting from the USB drive (hold Option while booting so you can choose) and you’re good to go.

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Linklog & Yahoo Pipes

So I found a way to combine multiple RSS feeds and present them on a single feed. Turns out Yahoo Pipes, a thing that I had never heard of before, is really useful. My mind was somewhat blown by what I can do with them. I think Yahoo needs to advertise their stuff a little better. Either that or I really need to pay more attention to what’s going on in the intertubes.

In any case, I managed to combine items published through tt-rss and another linklog software thingie I use. It’s right here. You can turn the pipe result into RSS or JSON or whatever pleases your heart. Full URL is as follows:

http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=168514ce88f11afc75a8bb3eec45ad32

It’s mostly newspaper articles and tidbits of information I find useful while on the internet. It’s also available on a widget rss whatchamacallit on this website, one of the right side panels. If you have a link/linklog feed of your own please leave a comment with it, I’m always looking for decent feeds.

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BQ Aquaris 5 root & recovery

New gadget thingie. As usual I’m posting some stuff here so I won’t forget it and know where to find it in case I need all the info again.

Rooting the BQ Aquaris 5

  • First, grab this file and unpack it somewhere on our computer, we’ll need a Windows computer for the next few steps.
  • I’m not sure if you need to install the PDANet stuff on the “Driver” folder, but I ended up doing it anyway. Didn’t run into any driver problems when I plugged the phone into the computer so I guess it works just fine.
  • Navigate to Settings / About Phone on the device and press “Build Number” fast a few times until a popup tells you “Developer Options” are available.
  • Navigate to Settings / Developer Options and enable “USB Debugging”
  • Plug the phone into the computer and wait till it’s recognized. Make sure it has correct drivers.
  • Go into the “Ejecutable” folder from the .rar you unpacked and you’ll find a “runme.bat”. Right click it and run as administrator, just in case it needs elevated privileges.
  • A console will pop up, read what it says and press enter a few times.
  • Done.

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Is Youtube making us (me) lazy?

Long gone are the days when I spent nearly 8 hours reading a manual while making a stage 1 Gentoo install. Granted, most of those 8 hours were due to the compile times on the computer available to me at the time but a large part of it was spent reading huge walls of text on how to properly install, maintain, upgrade, tweak, work with emerge, etc..

If it were today, I think I’d Youtube it. I’m pretty sure there’s at least one video guide on how to do it. In fact, it’s not just computer stuff that I find myself searching on Youtube. I find myself choosing Youtube instead of googling for an alternative learning method who could possibly have more information than the video. If I then run into an issue that requires further investigation only then do I do a regular Google search for text.

I’m not quite sure what this means, or even if it means anything at all. Is that a sign that I’m getting lazy when it comes to do proper research? Do I need more information than what is present in a simple video? I suppose that will depend on who makes the video and what is chosen to be presented in it. But still..

There’s a world of information on Youtube. Ted is also quite decent, though it has a completely different scope. I’m unaware of any studies presenting conclusive data on whether people (like me) are starting to choose video as a preferred learning method. Someone better than me should probably do it, it sounds exciting.

What could this mean to the way things are traditionally taught across the globe? Will tablets with video content be used instead of books? Would I learn faster/better with video? There are plenty of possibilities and hypothesis about this, I’d like to know more about it.