Trying to Get Shit Done

2012-02-09 23:38:00 by jdixon

This evening I asked for your suggestions on blocking online distractions, allowing me to focus on code for an extended period of time. I have a constant struggle with interruptions (read: shiny things) including online news, email and Twitter. There was a flood of responses in no time. Here are the more popular suggestions, along with my winners below.

  • quit the offending apps
  • block websites
  • login with a different user
  • work offline
  • coffee
  • music
  • self-control (lol rite)

I suspect that all of these would have some benefit, perhaps except coffee, which has never given me much of a boost anyways. As a side note, I've quit Diet Coke since my surgery and am exclusively drinking water. So it's possible that coffee might give me an insanely productive hit, but I'm not willing to tread that path yet. Here are the specific steps I took which seemed to work quite well for my particular workflow.

  1. quit Twitter app
  2. quit Chrome (primary browser)
  3. quit Firefox (used for HTML email, Facebook and banking)
  4. quit Propane (Campfire app, work communications)
  5. quit Adium
  6. quit Skype
  7. detached my remote screen session (mutt and irssi)
  8. equipped Sony MDR-V6 headphones
  9. launched Spotify radio (trance)
  10. put iTerm2 in full-screen mode (used for psql, git and debugging development server)
  11. put MacVim in full-screen mode
  12. launched Safari for API docs and development site

I'm pleased with the recent experiment, even if it only lasted one hour. I'll continue to make adjustments and report any significant improvements I find.

Fixing Group Permissions after Migrating to OS X Lion

2011-07-31 22:17:51 by jdixon

I've discovered that restoring a user account from a Snow Leopard (10.6) Time Machine backup to a new system running Lion (10.7) fails to preserve membership in gid 20(staff). I don't know if this only affects users in this particular scenario or might affect other upgrades/fresh instsalls, but it certainly bit me in the ass. I first encountered problems when trying to brew update, only to discover that it wouldn't let me write anything to /usr/local even though the directory had group-write permissions. Lo and behold, I finally realized that my membership had been revoked.

$ id
uid=501(jdixon) 
gid=501(jdixon) 
groups=501(jdixon),401(com.apple.access_screensharing),12(everyone),33(_appstore),
61(localaccounts),80(admin),98(_lpadmin),100(_lpoperator),204(_developer),
101(com.apple.access_ssh),402(com.apple.sharepoint.group.1)

The fix is simple enough. Use dscl to add yourself back to the staff group membership.

$ sudo dscl . append /Groups/staff GroupMembership `whoami`

Flying Cars and Food Capsules

2011-05-25 21:02:52 by jdixon

Today I was installing RHEL 6.0 on a remote Xen domU using virt-install with VNC. None of the Mac VNC clients I tried was able to render anything remotely usable. I tried various encoding schemes and color resolutions, to no avail. And where Chicken of the VNC rendered a screen seemingly inspired by LSD trips, RealVNC simply shit its pants and crashed.

So I downloaded an OpenBSD 4.9 iso and installed it in VMware Fusion. Installed tightvnc-viewer from packages. And in less than 10 minutes, I had a working X11-over-SSH tunnel to the remote Xen VNC console. From my Mac desktop. Through an OpenBSD VM. Across the fucking internet.

Welcome to the future. Sorta.