26 August 2008

Rest Stop WiFi

What’s with the free WiFi on Interstate 90 in Washington? I must have stopped at 4 different rest stops over the last couple days. Each had a sign saying there would be WiFi. None of them actually had any. (I saw a guy get off his motorcycle and open a laptop; I figure he was looking too.)

As I recall, the situation was the same on I-5 back in December.

23 August 2008

MacBook Air Update

Looks like Apple’s MacBook Air Update does solve the issue where a core would drop out, particularly during Time Machine backups. (This didn’t happen when the machine was new, so I suspect it’s partly heat-related — its onset coincided with warmer weather.)

08 August 2008

Security Update Broke FogBugz

[Warning: highly technical post, partly so I can find this again if need be.]

I just installed the latest security update (2008-005) on Mac OS X 10.5, and while Fogbugz is accessible, it doesn’t seem like the maintenance service is running. (I can manually run the heartbeat to process e-mail.)

% sudo ./fogbugzmaintd start
FogBugz Maintenance Service started
% ps -A | grep fog
  124 ??         1:06.48 mono /Library/WebServer/fogbugz/Accessories/SearchTool.exe -server /Library/WebServer/fogbugz/Accessories/search.socket
 8546 ttys001    0:00.00 grep fog
% ps -A | grep php
 8549 ttys001    0:00.00 grep php

I guess it's likely that there’s a different PHP or something...

% which php
% php --version
PHP 5.2.6 (cli) (built: Jul 15 2008 12:18:21) 
Copyright (c) 1997-2008 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2008 Zend Technologies

I changed a line in fogbugzmaintd to read

    (cd ${PREFIX}/Accessories; nohup /opt/local/bin/php -d max_execution_time=0 -d allow_call_time_pass_reference=Yes ./fogbugzmaintd.php >/dev/null &)

and it seems fine.

06 August 2008

David Dunham in History

Apparently I have a famous namesake, whom Dunham Place in Brooklyn is named for. (Thanks to Ian Lynch Smith for the pointer.)

05 August 2008

King of Dragon Pass Walkthrough

What a blast from the past! Kalle is posting a walkthrough of King of Dragon Pass in the Quarter To Three Forums. Frankly, I think we probably should have done something like this instead of the marketing we did try. I think it really brings the game alive.

It’s worth mentioning that the game is still available from A Sharp.

I notice that at least one of the team has commented in the thread. As he pointed out, most of the team members are illustrated in the game; it was like going through a photo album seeing their pictures again. (And cool to see the one of the illustrations I have hanging on my wall.)

Thanks Kalle! And thanks to those who’ve ordered the game because of this. I’m really happy that new players can discover it.

04 August 2008

Macally AIR2NET (USB Ethernet adapter)

I decided I wanted to get another USB Ethernet adapter for my MacBook Air, since backup (over 802.11n) sometimes takes way too long. Amazon listed Apple’s adapter, but also the Macally AIR2NET, which I decided to take a chance and order.

So far so good. I just plugged it in. The MacBook Air recognized it, and considered it separate from my Apple adapter (which makes sense, as they should each have a unique MAC address). I then noticed that I was supposed to install a driver. Since the device was working, I decided not to. (I tried contacting Macally to find out what the driver actually did, and while they gave a prompt answer, it was confusing.) My guess is that you do need the driver if you’re running an earlier version of Mac OS X (or presumably Windows), and that the driver is still compatible with 10.5.

One reason to have a USB Ethernet adapter is for travel, when you can’t guarantee finding a WiFi signal. (Or for places like my office, where WiFi is not the internal network I need to access.) Unfortunately, the AIR2NET is a lot bigger than the Apple adapter. Fortunately, I have my choice of which to travel with.

On the other hand, it seems to run a little cooler than the Apple adapter. And it has flashing lights, which might be useful if there’s a problem.

Both devices only support 100 megabit Ethernet, and it’s not yet clear that it will make a difference in backup speed. (My other machines do backup a lot faster via Ethernet, but I’m not sure where the real delay lies.) But the device does seem to work as advertised