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(7 Nov 2004 9:42): Check out this sudo security problem I just found:
You know how, when you run something using sudo, then if you use sudo again within 15 minutes you don't need to retype your password at all. Well, during those 15 minutes, any shell script you run can contain a line sudo blah and execute blah as root without aking you!
m (7 Nov 2004 16:42): that's kind of silly.
Paul (9 Dec 2005 18:24): So, the bad news is, friendster won't load on my firefox. The good news is, this led me to find "links2 -g", where they sort of took links and made it graphical as an afterthought. It is much lighter than firefox (I only have 64M ram here, whee) and is not-great-but-usable for friendster.
m (3 Jun 2006 5:55): Compiled a 2.6.19 kernel.
Got my wireless working.
Had audio working in 2.4. Now it's broken. I think this has something to do with my (unintended) move from OSS to ALSA.
m (3 Jun 2006 6:36): X, Blackbox, Firefox
m (3 Jun 2006 7:28): Is there a good way to compile specific modules? I'd done a make clean to save space, and then to get some legacy OSS modules (which fixed the sound problem, btw) I had to recompile _all_ the modules. blech.
only maybe I could've just gone into the subdirectory and done a make in there, but I was afraid that that would mess things up.
Paul (4 Jun 2006 4:51): Congratulations! Yea for Linux! I don't know much about kernels...I've been afraid to recompile mine, lest it break my wireless driver leaving me no way to download a fix. Also lazy. Afraid and lazy.
m (5 Jun 2006 4:03): still weird audio stuff. for some reason I don't get sound until (at least, this is the odd fix I've found so far) I wiggle the volume for the appropriate control in alsamixer. Doh! (in case you think, like I did, that alsamixer might load an audio-related module lsmod before and after yields no diff)
Paul (5 Jun 2006 19:30): I've had a similar experience with alsamixer. I should've suggested that, but I forgot. There must be a way to save your mixer settings so you don't have to do it every reboot...
m (6 Jun 2006 7:34): yeah, there's a way to save settings on reboot (they all started out muted and vol=0) but this doesn't seem to affect the silent until twiddled problem. Like, it boots with whatever settings I want, but it isn't until I just bump the appropriate -- devices -- whatever it calls them -- to some _different_ volume level that I get sounds to come out of my speakers.
m (6 Jun 2006 9:37): buh. trying to rescue old hard drive things here at school by using one of the network drives as temp storage -- but it's a total pain! I've got a bizarro kluge solution that uses named pipes as an inbetween for my disk-rescue and the stupid smbclient interface. I couldn't smbmount!
(and all of this may be quasi not allowed -- the computer guy here was cold when I talked to him a few hours ago -- said there was no way to do what I wanted)
Rizzle (6 Jun 2006 13:15): I hope you have a seriously good reason not to be using some sort of local storage. It might be amusing to share, even if it is bad, e.g. Local Admin: "We don't support X", "We have no budget for Y" Are you using ddrescue?
Grant (6 Jun 2006 23:50): Can you make a script to twiddle all your settings when you log in? It's really stupid, but if there's a command-line interface to it, I guess it would more or less solve the problem.
m (7 Jun 2006 8:00): doh. and just now he told me not to connect to the network here in the room from which the server is visible. fuck!
m (7 Jun 2006 8:05): R: laptop with one ide interface (are they all?) -- so while the broken drive is in, nothing else can be. so to avoid many many swappings in/out of the disks, i am (was) using the network drive. buh. shitty, since i could only get to it with the FTP-style smbclient interface, but good enough with a little scripting. only not any more.
R (7 Jun 2006 10:23): A converter might be a good solution to putting that laptop drive into something with more/better IDE support. Alternatively - USB 2.0 or Firewire external disk. Good luck, however you end up doing things.
m (7 Jun 2006 10:54): those are reasonable -- but I'm in budapest, so no access to friends with external devices / a second computer and a router / whatever. and I don't want to drop any more dollars. if only I had a router and a second machine...
m (13 Jan 2007 10:57): you guys every try the window manager RatPoison?
m (13 Jan 2007 11:29): ever try. ever, not every.
R (14 Jan 2007 4:11): Well, I don't use Linux, so no. But, I'm posting just to note the following:
1. Ratpoison has a hilarious icon!
ratpoison wm icon
2. The Usenet post that inspired the ratpoison name is, also, hilarious.
3. The name "ratpoison", it's icon, and the very existence of such a basic wm are further indications that Linux may never become mainstream (see also "GIMP").
R (14 Jan 2007 4:13): Although, not being mainstream is fine with me! As a hipster wannabe/poseur, I'd be required to not like it anymore if it did win general acceptance.
m (15 Jan 2007 9:18): "and none of them have patents pending (except maybe if you got a fancy bong)"
m (6 Feb 2007 23:02): so zsh has a sweet [edit: fucking confusing] directory stack feature, where you can push and pop directories for ease of navigating between places [edit: I think]. [edit: Fuck, I no longer know if it's cool or not. Trying to use it.]

does bash have this? Why are you still using bash? [edit: fuck]
m (7 Feb 2007 4:35): that's a lot of swears.
G (8 Feb 2007 2:03): lol 'ease of navigation.'
Sounds easy!
It also lets you tab-complete on different servers and stuff, too, right? Like, for scp. If you've got your keys set up, obviously.
Paul (8 Feb 2007 3:25): I'm very low on memory, so I use 'dash' when I don't mind its annoyingness (for example, it doesn't do well with backspace), but often I mind. How is zsh on memory?
G (8 Feb 2007 4:09): :(
I'm trying to think about how low on memory you'd need to be.
Paul (8 Feb 2007 18:45): I have 64M, plus disk caching but disk caching is slow. My basic Debian operating thingies take about 25M after booting, and XWindows takes another 25M, so then I have a couple megs left... Debian is quite cooperative with this; my lone complaint is Firefox which takes exorbitant amounts like 50M+. Actually, my computer physically contains a 128M RAM chip, which is not recognized, which makes me wary about buying any more RAM, before I know whether it would be recognized...
G (8 Feb 2007 20:54): :(((((((((
I was going to say how much memory is in this laptop, but then I kinda felt bad.
I hope you have, like, a terabyte of hard drive space to make up for it.
R (9 Feb 2007 0:57): You've probably already tried this, but...
Swap the position of the 64 MB chip and the 128 MB chip. Do you now have:
192 MB RAM? Great, problem solved.
128 MB RAM? Bad slot on your logic board. Still, you have twice as much RAM as before.
64 MB RAM? You have a bad 128 MB chip, or it has the wrong specs somehow. Verify what type of RAM your logic board needs. See if the RAM has a manufacturer's logo on it, and if so, maybe you can get it replaced under warranty. Many pieces of RAM have lifetime warranties. Might be worth trying to find another module, since you know you have a working and empty slot.
A non-booting machine? This is not very likely to happen. Put the 64 MB chip back where you found it. Hopefully things start working again.
m (1 Mar 2007 10:17): so I spent several hours yesterday trying to get libtorrent to compile. It was super obnoxious. I kept getting this bizarro linking error from libtool at the very end of the compile, about referencing something in an already discarded gcc.linkonce.[random_letters] segment. Google came up with confusing references to this kind of problem, none of them libtorrent related. I tried recompiling little pieces individually. I tried various config options and CXXFLAGS.

Finally, around 1am, I started a compile of gcc/g++. It still wasn't done at quarter past 2 so I went to bed. This morning, with a g++-4.1.2, I've got no problems compiling libtorrent at all.
m (3 Mar 2007 2:21): Terrible kernel panic. Just tried to upgrade my libc. I just now got things to (maybe?) work again by booting off of a rescue cd, and then manually relinking everything in /lib to point to my old libraries. I also (thankfully) had backed up my /usr/include, which I just replaced. Anyone's guess the next thing I link to any libraries actually works or not.
Oy vey.
m (10 Mar 2007 2:12): So I couldn't remember the function to zero a block of memory and tried man 3 string to see if that would help out (no, not in there. memset is what I wanted, and it is string.h but I guess man 3 string is just a few of them more related to string manipulation). One function it did list, though: strfry.
New favorite function.
Paul (2 Apr 2007 7:00): Turns out w3m is an impressive terminal-based browser. It displays images inline, in your xterm, using not very much memory to do so. (I'm using it to write this.)
Paul (5 May 2007 1:36): I have the same error described here (at the bottom, "authentication timed out", not the stupid complaints at the top). But I don't understand his answer involving Kernel Git Tree thingies. If I get the newest 'stable' kernel, is he saying that will fix my problem?
Paul (9 May 2007 18:18): Mancalablog presents...undocumented solutions to Alsa problems: (*any solutions are undocumented because online Alsa documentation is all outdated)

Problem #1: My sound card under Alsa can 'play', but the alsa-specific programs like 'aplay' give errors like 'confmisc.c ... snd_func_card_driver ... cannot find card 0'
Solution #1: You forgot to install the alsa-base package! It's not depended on by anything obvious (like, alsa-utils or libasound2). You just need to know to install it.

Problem #2: My sound card (ISA ES1869) worked yesterday, but today it refuses to work. I didn't change anything that I know of, except mixer settings. It totally refuses to work using the exact same settings which used to work.
Solution #2: Upgrade to the newest kernel, and cross your fingers, and voilà!
Paul (9 Jun 2007 5:58): Are there any decent MIDI players for Linux? I was surprised all-in-one players like mplayer don't do it, but they don't. Finally I got 'timidity' with 'freepats', and the output sounds positively awful. This seems like too wide a gap to be totally unfilled; what am I overlooking?
G (10 Jun 2007 14:49): You probably need some soundfonts or something?
Either that, or you need to start downloading .mod files instead. :p
Paul (10 Jun 2007 20:13): It turned out timidity is fine; it just has a crappy default configuration, fixed by adding "opt A800" to make it louder. It had been so quiet it was distorting.
Anyway, now you should check out mathbeat!
Paul (4 Nov 2007 12:25): How I recovered from an X crash without rebooting: "restoretextmode" helped (it was prepped beforehand) but I still had no cursor. Then I used "echo \033[?2c" and/or "echo \033[?25h" to get my cursor back.
Paul (4 Nov 2007 12:28): Those were supposed to be double-backslashes. Looks like mancala munges backslashes. Doh.
Paul (23 Dec 2007 8:18): I couldn't get dhcp to work on my wireless card. It would scan fine for nodes, and work fine with a static IP config, but dhclient would report:
    DHCPDISCOVER on eth1 to port 67 interval 4
    receive_packet failed on eth1: Network is down

and wouldn't get an IP address.

Finally I found a fix: Run dhclient, and while it's running, reassociate the access point. Something like:
    ifup eth1 & sleep 10; iwconfig eth1 essid linksys
and it works.
m (10 Jan 2008 21:06): The X-Windows Disaster. Full of wonderful simile, metaphor, and actual information (though usually in exclamatory format). Entertaining. Read.
m (11 Jan 2008 5:53): actually, the unix haters' handbook, from which that xwindows chapter is an excerpt, is pretty obnoxious. except that in the anti-foreword Ritchie tears it apart, viciously.
m (14 Jan 2008 19:45): Woo! Spoofed my User Agent Ident string in elinks (surprisingly easy) to hit up facebook. No more bullshit "your browser is not supported".
Finally: all elinks, all the time.
G (16 Jan 2008 12:25): I just turn off automatic image display in iCab!
G (16 Jan 2008 12:27): Hilariously, user agent spoofing is actually one of iCab's built-in features.
Also, I regularly spoof my user agent when using Firefox at home. I don't really want people to think there are more IE users out there, though, so I usually set it to Netscape. Hah. I figure that way webmeisters will understand there's something fishy going on.
m (16 Jan 2008 22:37): Ha. Netscape. Sneaky.
Paul (7 Feb 2008 13:59): So I'm trying to print to a copy machine that takes a "copy track" "access number". But lpr doesn't have any such options. So my print jobs just get deleted by the copier. Can linux print to such a machine? Google is unhelpful.
Paul (5 Apr 2008 9:34): Hey! In vi, you can :se encoding and :se termencoding separately, which is extremely useful! My latin1 file looked like garbage in xterm until I :se termencoding utf-8. And my file (an email) can still be in latin1 (which is still the standard for Spanish email, since unicode never works right)!
G (7 Apr 2008 15:40):
m (8 Apr 2008 12:23): ambiguous.

slightly related irritation of my own: xfs fonts on the xo are still fucked up.
Paul (16 May 2008 3:24): The old stable (sarge) is not affected. Yeah for me never upgrading!
Paul (15 Aug 2008 15:11): Using linux as a transparent router inside your LAN? It used to work just with:
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
But my new modem won't work with it unless I also set ARP forwarding:
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/eth0/proxy_arp
m (27 Sep 2008 7:30): dex, what do you use for your usb wireless ethernet guy?
Paul (27 Sep 2008 12:05): Gigafast WF748-CUI, on ebay less than it used to be, but still there.
G (27 Sep 2008 13:20): Holy shit, gigafast? That's pretty fucking fast.
Paul (28 Sep 2008 5:34): brand names are kinda stupid, aren't they
Paul (3 Dec 2008 13:58): Trying to use elinks... Found 't' for 'open new tab' (apparently with current page in it). However, the key-shortcut-list doesn't have 'open link in new tab'...which is normally what I want to do. Isn't that what everybody does? How can elinks not have that?
Paul (3 Dec 2008 14:26): In searching to figure out why I can open '' on elinks but not firefox, I found out that Opera is now free-as-in-beer. So I'm using Opera, now for 5 minutes. On my old machine, it's easily 3 times as fast as firefox, both on simple sites (like m'blog) and js-advertising-made-my-browser-crash sites (like
m (5 Dec 2008 9:04): T (as in 'capital-t') does open-link-in-new-tab
m (5 Dec 2008 9:05): and L is open-context-menu-on-link (or form-field)
Paul (4 Jan 2009 14:07): use facebook...on elinks. It's slower than in opera. (Which is way slower than any non-facebook site on opera.) It seems the browser requests things from the server, and the server is very slow to reply, and the browser kind of congeals waiting for the reply. But the browser (elinks) is supposed to be better than that.
m (5 Jan 2009 2:29): elinks $(locate command-line-options | grep -i imagemagick | head -n 1)
it's what you've always wanted, paul
m (5 Jan 2009 2:36): You flagged my last post here as spam.
Also: blogspam is a pretty raunchy file.
Also: grep it for "reed nude".
Paul (5 Jan 2009 3:21): That's a lot of raunch in blogspam, isn't it; I set the honeypot field just in time. Anyway, I retrieved your post and turned off the flag that flagged it.
Paul (19 Jan 2009 13:20): Trying to get streaming video of the inauguration...doesn't look like it's going to stream to me, anyway. But after trying for some time, at least now I can get streaming audio with:
m (20 Jan 2009 8:05): I do not think that it will stream to me.
m (20 Jan 2009 8:06): one of these _must_ have an mplayerable address...
m (20 Jan 2009 8:10): kcet's got it:
Paul (20 Jan 2009 14:32): Thanks! The kcet link worked, and we were able to watch the inauguration, (except the part where a student accidentally unplugged the computer). And we have a new president now, thanks to mplayer!
m (6 Feb 2009 22:08): Ever accidentally shut down a machine you've remotely logged into instead of your own? I sort of deal with this with scripts that give my xterms different background colors for my common remote sessions, but the molly-guard package does a better job addressing the issue by replacing shutdown/halt/reboot with scripts that query the user when they're being invoked via ssh.
Side note: any idea where the name comes from? Character in Neuromancer? But she's not exactly related to shutdown/reboots...
m (6 Feb 2009 22:15): Should've checked the jargon file first thing...
Paul (8 Feb 2009 0:28): I sometimes try to shutdown the remote machine, but it catches me bc the root pw is different. This is why I always use "su" then "halt" now and never "sudo halt".
G (9 Feb 2009 2:37): You could stop turning off your computer.
m (9 Feb 2009 22:54): You paragon of energy efficiency.
Only I get the sense that you're making fun of Paul's Linuxphilia here and I'm not quite on top of it.
G (10 Feb 2009 3:05): No, you are right. I just waste power.
Sometimes I like to stand in the kitchen, flicking the light switch on and off.
But if I turned off my computer, then my bittorrent client would stop!
Is it okay if I'm running SETI@Home for my screen saver?
m (17 Apr 2009 9:31): My system clock drifts appallingly (like, 1-2 minutes on the day), but my hardware clock keeps great time. Confusing!
Paul (17 Apr 2009 13:10): On etch, ntpdate's default settings seem to keep things in line. Do you have ntpdate installed?
m (27 Apr 2009 10:55): I want to bridge two computers via usb, and then use the wifi interface of one from the other. Doable?
m (27 Apr 2009 11:01): Ugh, the bridging part requires special hardware. It may even be cheaper to just buy a wireless card for the second machine. Certainly easier.
Paul (28 Apr 2009 3:27): Much easier is to connect them normally using CAT-5, and turn on ip forwarding...
m (28 Apr 2009 17:52): the one with wifi is the xo.
Paul (29 Apr 2009 3:39): Doh. Sounds like host-to-host USB cables might be what you're after? They have some good information, such as: "[A to A cables] are forbidden in USB, since the electrical connections don't make any sense at all. (If you try to use one, you might even short out your USB electronics..."

Then again, if you're going to all that trouble, maybe you just need a different solution, as you suggested.
R (29 Apr 2009 8:41): If you have to buy either a funky USB cable, a USB to ethernet adapter (linux driver details right above Paul's link!), or a wireless card, you should go with the most generally useful one. USB to ethernet adapters are pretty cheap, but maybe having a wireless card on your other machine might be nice enough to just go that route.
m (1 May 2009 19:10): Picked up a usb wireless adapter for $13 from newegg. woo!
Paul (2 May 2009 11:21): What chipset and kernel driver does the USB wifi card use? I've tried cards that use the zd1211 driver (I'm using it to post this), but it's been difficult.
m (4 May 2009 9:30): It's the Encore ENUWI-G2. lsusb tells me it's an RTL8187B wireless adapter, and that's the module that gets loaded when I plug it in.
LED blinks, iwlist wlan0 scan lists a few networks (three), but my own is is only intermittently present, and then with a signal quality in the 20s. Buh! Shitty antenna?
Paul (5 May 2009 3:13): buh. At least the driver works, though. One nice thing about USB wifi cards is you can add a USB extension cord up to 15' and put the card wherever the signal is good.
G (6 May 2009 22:54): Like, you know, next to the router.

If you want to have a 15 foot cable trailing into the hallway, you might as well just get a big cat-5 cable...
m (7 May 2009 22:51): we've already got one that goes by my door. I want to splice another onto it, but can't stand the idea of cat5 running along the floor of my room. Also the idea of dubiously splicing onto a length of cat5.
G (7 May 2009 23:20): Who said anything about it being on the floor?
The ceiling is where it's at.
R (8 May 2009 17:11): I've never seen or heard of a y-shaped ethernet cable. I think that would be a terrible, terrible idea. I guess since 100 Base TX only needs two pair it could be done, but just please don't. Run another cable, or get a working wireless adapter (I am certain they must exist, in some form).
G (9 May 2009 1:56): Oh man, now you have to do it.
I dare you.
m (13 May 2009 16:28): Ditched the stupid Encore usb wireless adapter for one made by Zonet. All I did was plug it in and now I've got a real connection. This is now how I've come to expect things to work. Thirty bucks with shipping from amazon or newegg. Hard to argue with.

For the curious: It's about the dimensions of a playing card (or, really, a stack of maybe 26), takes a usb-b connection and comes with a three foot cable (it's no 15 feet, paul, but I like having it sit on top of my case), and seems to be using various net/wireless/rt2x00/ modules.
Paul (16 Jul 2009 19:48): Anyone know how to stop my wifi card from filling /var/log/syslog with cruft?:
Jul 16 22:45:39 ayohtli kernel: usb 1-1: rx_urb_complete() *** first fragment ***
Jul 16 22:45:39 ayohtli kernel: usb 1-1: rx_urb_complete() *** second fragment ***
Jul 16 22:45:39 ayohtli kernel: usb 1-1: rx_urb_complete() *** first fragment ***
Jul 16 22:45:39 ayohtli kernel: usb 1-1: rx_urb_complete() *** second fragment ***

I read man syslog.conf but it was awfully cumbersome. The problem is the cruft fills up my hard drive :(
G (17 Jul 2009 3:12): I know! You could make the directory a link to /dev/null !


Or just the particular file, but that sounds like more effort.
Paul (17 Jul 2009 3:22): Hey! That solves the immediate problem! Hope I never need to know what was in syslog, but whatever.
m (17 Jul 2009 9:44): Ugh, I just tried mucking around with syslog.conf for a while, but it's exceedingly limited in the things it will do for you. I think you've got to switch to a more sophisticated syslog daemon like syslog-ng or rsyslog, either of which will filter to your heart's content.
m (17 Jul 2009 9:48): jesus christ, my syslog-ng.conf file is way more complicated than my syslog.conf. All I wanted was a goddamn regular expression filter on, like, facility. Maybe rsyslog is better.
m (17 Jul 2009 10:29): with rsyslog, add the following line to your /etc/rsyslog.conf before any other lines might get the messages and store them in your /var/log/syslog file (or add the line to any /etc/rsyslog.d/*.conf)
:msg, contains, "thing I don't like"   ~

with syslog-ng, you add something like
filter f_paul_cruft { not match("string I don't like seeing") and not program("^usb 1-1$"); }
to the filters section of your /etc/syslog-ng/syslog-ng.conf, and then change your
log { 
destination(df_syslog); }
log {
destination(df_syslog); }

both syslog config changes are untested; ymmv.
I think I'll stick with syslog-ng, even though it deviates more from the syslog syntax and is a bit more complex, since it chains things up in a way that just feels better.
Final caveat: neither program is free as in freedom, though both are open source.
Paul (17 Jul 2009 15:05): rsyslog is GPL afaict. (syslog-ng is not freedom.) But grant's answer is so much easier! Anyway, if I've never looked inside syslog before this, I probably don't need it.
G (18 Jul 2009 2:54): Syslog! Huh! Good God, ya'll!
Paul (8 Aug 2009 6:44): Doh. It would be funny if it didn't cripple my computer. Speaking of which, hey, I'm back online now, after a week since my wifi card died from water damage (long story=don't leave window open when not home).
m (21 Oct 2010 0:43): Dex, you have any way of viewing youtube these days? You taken a look at Miro at all? I'm curious to know if it's any good.
Anyone else heard of it? I just now learned of it following the link from the bottom of TPB's front page.
(similar vein: micropayment tool Flattr?)
m (24 Oct 2010 23:08): Dex, can you email me the IP of one of your machines that I've got an account on. Got some computer issues here that I think are DNS resolution related.
(25 Oct 2010 23:45): From this page for a Safari extension...

"A few of you have asked why this is better than the YouTube HTML5 beta, and the reason is very simple: YouTube will only display an HTML5 player for videos without advertising in them, so videos from Vevo or many other popular sources will still use flash. As a side note, this extension will not function if you are a member of the HTML5 beta, as the page formats are completely different."
G (25 Oct 2010 23:54): Speaking of Youtube, I wonder how our old friend billoon45 is doing!!
Paul (30 Oct 2010 19:51): Sorry, my machines are unreachable currently. I stopped fighting the terrible router some time ago. I'll consider fighting it again in the future...
G (4 Nov 2010 13:14): Well at least you can finally watch YouTube.
m (9 Nov 2010 18:01): with deturl!
Paul (18 Apr 2011 19:45): Random problem: Sound fails in Ubuntu with "pcm_dmix unable to open slave"
Random (hackish) fix: Add your user in /etc/group to groups "audio","pulse" and "pulse-access"
z (18 Apr 2011 19:55): alternatively, pcm_dmix could borrow a can opener from master before trying to open slave.
G (18 Apr 2011 20:47): It's good to have a can opener around, in general.
In case you need to tune a fish.
Paul (24 Apr 2011 8:48): How to get started using wmii in ubuntu:
1. apt-get install wmii (or debfoster wmii if you use debfoster)
2. log out of gnome, when you're typing your password to log back in, choose wmii option at bottom of screen
3. help! I can't do anything!. ok. the modkey is Mod4, ie, the windoze key. Yes, the windoze key works as the wmii modkey! Use Mod4+enter to get a terminal, Mod4+p+program name to run a program, Mod4+a for the wmii action menu, in particular, Mod4+a+quit to logout.
4. hey! it's nice and fast! and all my hardware still 'just works' thanks to ubuntu base configuration. thank you ubuntu and wmii! stay tuned for amazing tweaks you may want to try in ~/.wmii/wmiirc_local
Paul (25 Apr 2011 18:41): Okay, now sound is generally broken on my new computer. It still works "sometimes". Maybe I should just go back to Windows. Fuck. I mean, how many decades should I wait for sound to work reliably under Linux??
G (25 Apr 2011 19:42): I hear the fonts are still better in OS X.
z (25 Apr 2011 22:32): I think the answer may be infinity. Linux is in this terrible place where new hardware is not supported, and old hardware has disappeared from the market.
z (25 Apr 2011 22:50): So for storytelling's sake, to get a pretty common USB wifi device to work under Linux, I pass it to a Windows guest in vmware as a virtual USB device (Windows driver for the USB dongle works fine), and share the resulting Windows wifi connection back to the Linux host through the virtual NIC. So of course you can consider this whole thing a "Linux driver." Sound could work the same way. Output your sound to a network device, pick it up in the Windows guest, and hear sound on the "air" interface -- just be glad virtual "air" is bridged to physical "air."
Paul (2 May 2011 15:15): But in this case the sound hardware and kernel driver works fine. The reason sound is broken is because some genius decided to overhaul the software side of it again. Now that almost all the world's open source software had finally been modified to work correctly with ALSA instead of OSS, now "they" added a new layer (PulseAudio) to run on top of ALSA, and all the world's open source software needs to be modified to work correctly with PulseAudio.
Paul (17 Jun 2011 5:28): omg this xkcd is so true. man-vs-info is second only to oss-vs-alsa-vs-pulseaudio on my list of linux duels I hate. either solution would be fine, but the duelling is terrible. terrible.
Paul (19 Jun 2011 3:23): 今天我用Linux写汉字!这到底是怎么完成的呢?
Okay, first I read up about it, and people recommend how to enable it from regular Ubuntu (unity) desktop, so I logged into that and changed Language Settings in System Preferences. And it crashed. ("the application Language Settings has closed unexpectedly. report this problem?")
So I decided to upgrade my whole system to "natty/stable" (when I first had installed in April, "natty" was still "testing". I tried to do so through System Preferences, and the upgrader froze.
New plan: log in as "recovery console" and upgrade the old fashioned way: apt-get dist-upgrade And it was successful! You could even tell by its final output: Committed revision 28.ooks - Stage 3/5
Now restart and install Ubuntu-endorsed Chinese input method (ibus) from System Preferences. Success!
Finally, can it be used without unity? Yes! In wmii, just run ibus-daemon -xvr in an xterm, or put ibus-daemon -xd in wmiirc. Easy as, well, anything else in Linux, I guess.
Paul (6 Jul 2011 20:02): How did my torrent just start downloading, even though it reported failure to contact each tracker? Time to learn about Distributed Hash Tables. Amazing!
Paul (6 Jul 2011 20:02): How did my torrent just start downloading, even though it reported failure to contact each tracker? Time to learn about Distributed Hash Tables. Amazing!
Paul (6 Jul 2011 20:03): Is there an echo in here?
Paul (6 Jul 2011 20:03): Is there an echo in here?
Paul (6 Jul 2011 20:04): Dammit! There really is an echo in here. M, you edited the code last, do you know what's wrong with it? (It's probably not your code that's wrong, I just am scared to look at it because it's really old code.)
m (7 Jul 2011 7:49): was an echo in here?
m (18 Sep 2012 16:26): I just switched to tabbed window manager i3 after nigh infinite wrangling with compositing wm (and ubuntu default) Compiz. i3 is a sort of reboot of wmii, and let me just say, it's great to be back.
m (12 Dec 2012 22:34): mint? It's like someone else hated all these stupid things that I, too, can't stand about ubuntu and made an ubuntu-based-distro that doesn't have any of them.
m (12 Dec 2012 22:35): also: I've just been reading over old posts to this thread. it's great.
m (11 Apr 2013 7:58): It's been a really long time (multiple systems) since I had terminal bells working - but it turns out all I was missing was `modprobe snd_pcsp` (for older systems: modprobe pcspkr)

I don't know why that would be disabled by default. Grumpy. I used to use `sleep xxx; beep` all the time for reminders. Well, now I can again.
Paul (12 Apr 2013 5:51): Hey, that's so easy! And here I had gone and made a whole new version of beeporgan to sidestep 'beep'.

Spoiler alert: python -c "import ao;ao.AudioDevice('pulse').play((chr(255)*200+chr(135)*200)*100)"
m (12 Apr 2013 9:01): ImportError: No module named ao
Paul (14 Apr 2013 20:44): Sorry. apt-get install python-pyao
m (14 May 2013 9:26): Ubuntu Touch? On the smart-telephone? You guys know anything about this?
m (9 Aug 2013 8:00): bbcp?
m (13 Nov 2013 20:28): But, as the title says, useful for all of us.
m (19 Nov 2013 9:57): Troubling!

Using Linux

Paul (19 May 2004 16:32): Here's a question: I've decided tab-delimited files are the best format for a non-recursive data structure, in terms of ease of programming. Trouble is, sort, for example, can only sort based on the nth tab-delimited field if you give it the argument "-t [TAB]" where [TAB] is a tab character. And I can't type that at the command prompt :( Suggestions?
(Maybe if I could use some script to set $tab to a tab character, for example...)
Grant (20 May 2004 22:58): So, the oldest entries are displayed on the top?
It seems like they should be on the bottom... Otherwise, looking good.
Grant (20 May 2004 22:59): That is to say, the oldest topics rather than the oldest posts within the topics.
g (5 Dec 2008 10:54): Isn't \t tab, or something like that?