tl;dr I was within 24 hours of domain renewal, so had to phone +44 333 336 5691 to cancel
I have a bunch of domains that I used at one point but no longer have a need for. I used to handle my domains with 1and1, and they sent me a reminder about an
.eu domain which was expiring soon (tomorrow). I looked at what it had been used for — a ranty blog, if you’re wondering — and decided thta since it hand’t been used since ca. 2008 it probably wasn’t worth keeping.
Side note: Getting rid of things like domains is tricky for me, but something I’m just biting the bullet and doing. Tracking my expenses is helpful as well, an worth a bit of exposition at some point.
I went to cancel via the 1and1 admin page but couldn’t through the domain itself or the contract options:
Because of billing requirements, it is currently not possible to disable auto-renewal
Clicking around in an increasingly-frustrated manner didn’t seem to be getting me anywhere, so I phoned their tech support. Their rep told me that helpfully since it was within 24 hours of renewal, I was unable to change the option (?!); but he was able to manually cancel the domain itself.
Which he did:
Having recently gone through the rigmarole of yet more exams, I’m in a good position to talk about learning things*.
Spaced repetition has been around for ages, as has the wonderful program Anki. Based on the SM2 algorithm, it’s a valuable tool in the would-be reviser’s arsenal. I’m not here to convince you to use Anki in the first place, as that has been well-discussed elsewhere (eg this Reddit discussion or this recap of 10 000 flashcards.
The ’20 rules’
It’s a good idea to start off with SuperMemo’s Twenty Rules of formulating knowledge; this turned me on to Cloze deletion (which can be achieved Anki with a dedicated card type and shortcut for adding them) and better card formulation.
Recognition and two-way connections
I use reversed cards extensively now- wherever possible, basically. It help solidify connections, eg:
Front: What is the Warburg Effect?
Back: What is the name for the process whereby malignant cells gain energy by glycolysis (rather than oxidative phophorylation)
So if a discussion comes up about the Warburg Effect, you know that it’s very roughly about cancer cell metabolism (unless the people discussing it are plant scientists); and if you’re thinking “hey, what’s that thing called where cancer cells get energy differently”, you can easily recall the name too.
When you see hundreds of cards in the ‘due’ column, finding motivation to sit down and work all the way through can be challenging. So, instead, set a time limit.
You can do that via the ‘timeboxing’ setting in preferences:
Knowing that you’ll only be at it for ten minutes (or less) helps you stay focused. I’ve found myself trying to get as many done in the time limit as possible…
Well, see how many you can lick in an hour. Then try to break that record.
*: Check back in a couple weeks to find out if I did indeed actually pass
It’s hard to not get excited about space, particularly when there’s something great to be excited about. Today I watched live the takeoff of the Falcon Heavy on its maiden voyage, and it was an awe-inspiring, emotional experience. I should have been revising, but it was unmissable.
Another small step forward in space exploration.
tl;dr: Did you put it in
~/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins and set the executable bit ?
It’s been a while since I developed a script to automate tasks in GIMP. I figured I would do one for the repetitive tasks for creating a custom YouTube Thumbnail (more on that later perhaps). But my script wasn’t showing up in the
I had found the preference for setting the directory:
Edit ? Preferences ? Folders ? Plug-Ins (not that GIMP treats python as plug-ins, not scripts); with the default user folder being
~/.gimp-2.8/plug-ins. But the plug-in dind’t show up.
Restart GIMP. Still nothing.
Ask on IRC. Double check the documentation (always a good idea). Aha!
Scheme and Python plug-ins are readable text files. C-language and Python plug-in files must have permissions set to allow execution.
chmod +x myscript.py later, and it registered!
Hope this saves someone the twenty or thirty minutes it took me to find this out!
tl;dr: Having both AntiSpam Bee and Jetpack Comments causes this, disable one or other
While trying to leave a comment on here on a previous post, I got an error:
Invalid security token
Apparently, AntiSpam Bee and Jetpack Comments are not compatible. I’m not sure when Jetpack comments were enabled as I’ve had relatively recent comments/ I will see if I can find an antispam plugin that is compatible with Jetpack comments, or disable those.
My sincere apologies to anyone who has tried to comment and not been able to as a result!
You have backups, right?
— SuperUser’s chat room motto
This started out as an intro to
bup. Somewhere along the way it underwent a philosophical metamorphosis.
I’m certainly not the first person to say that backups are like insurance. They are a bit of a hassle to figure out which one will work best, you set it up and forget about it, and hopefully you won’t need it*.
Many moons ago, I had backups taken care of by a a simple shell script. Later, this got promoted to a python script which handled hourly, daily weekly and monthly rotation; and saved space by using hard links (
cp -al ...). It even differentiated between local and remote backups. That was probably my backup zenith, at least when time and effort are factored in.
Really, the more sensible approach is rather than reinvent the wheel, use an existing tried-and-tested solution. So I moved to
rdiff-backup and it was good; being simple it meant I could set up ‘fire-and-forget’ backups via
cron. I was able to restore files from backups that I had set up and then forgotten about.
With the recent expansion of the fileserver ongoing, now’s a good time to take stock and re-evaluate options. I have created a Xen DomU dedicated to backups (called pandora, aptly) with it’s own dedicated logical volume. From here, I need to decide:
1) whether to keep going with
rdiff-backup or switch to eg
2) figure out if different machines could use different schedules or approaches (answer: probably); and if so, what those would be (answer: …)
I don’t want to spend too long on this — premature optimisation being the root of all evil — but the aim is to create a backup system which is:
: If you *do use your backups or insurance a lot, it’s probably a sign that something is going wrong somewhere
tl;dr: since coreutils
stat does not show file ‘birth’ time, use
debugfs -R stat <inode> FS
I was curious as to when I wrote a particular time-saving script, so I figured I would look up the file creation time:
$ stat ~/scripts/goprofootage.sh
Size: 1001 Blocks: 8 IO Block: 4096 regular file
Device: fe01h/65025d Inode: 792618 Links: 1
Access: (0755/-rwxr-xr-x) Uid: ( 1000/ robert) Gid: ( 1000/ robert)
Access: 2018-01-07 08:23:04.816666962 +0000
Modify: 2017-05-13 19:09:30.760094062 +0100
Change: 2017-05-13 19:09:30.760094062 +0100
Err, well. No birth date? ext4 does support file creation timestamps, so it’s just a simple matter of getting at them.
debugfs, part of
e2fsprogs (at least on this Arch install). We can
stat an inode to get a creation time:
$ stat -c %i ~/scripts/goprofootage.sh
# debugfs -R 'stat <792618>' /dev/mapper/840ssd-home
debugfs 1.43.7 (16-Oct-2017)
Inode: 792618 Type: regular Mode: 0755 Flags: 0x80000
Generation: 3863725318 Version: 0x00000000:00000001
User: 1000 Group: 1000 Project: 0 Size: 1001
File ACL: 0 Directory ACL: 0
Links: 1 Blockcount: 8
Fragment: Address: 0 Number: 0 Size: 0
ctime: 0x59174bda:b53875b8 -- Sat May 13 19:09:30 2017
atime: 0x5a51d8e8:c2b56548 -- Sun Jan 7 08:23:04 2018
mtime: 0x59174bda:b53875b8 -- Sat May 13 19:09:30 2017
crtime: 0x58efaf27:2234f628 -- Thu Apr 13 18:02:31 2017
Size of extra inode fields: 32
Or, if you’d rather combine the above into a one-liner (NB needs root):
# debugfs -R "stat <$(stat -c %i ~/scripts/goprofootage.sh)>" /dev/mapper/840ssd-home 2>/dev/null | grep crtime | cut -d ' ' -f4-9
Thu Apr 13 18:02:31 2017
beets to manage and organise your music library? Read the ‘getting started‘ guide? An additional quick tip:
Import your first few albums individually using
beet import -t $album_directory
-t flag is for timid(ly).
Why? If you’re like me, you might not be in 100% agreement with how MusicBrainz represents the match metadata; and
-t will ask for confirmation which you can either accept (
A) or reject (
U for ‘Use as-is’).
If the first few matches are fine, you can drop the flag; if not, you can figure out how to finesse it to import files to your liking via
beets‘s excellent plugins.
tl;dr: Use a combination of a bright light and the reset technique (off ? CAPSLOCK + some keys ? on)
A few years ago while on holiday in sunny SC — a lovely place to visit, incidentally — I took the opportunity to purchase a Logitech K750 keyboard. The K750
was is a ‘solar’ keyboard- no changeable batteries, only solar cells to power it. I had been frustrated by other keyboards which needed battery changes timetabled in accordance with Sod’s Law.
They keyboard got passed on to my folks and all was well. However, since my dad passed away my mum has not used the computer as much, and so the lights in that room haven’t been on. When I went to use the computer there recently the keyboard was completely dead. Not even the red ‘sad face’ LED would light even if held close to a light source, which would normally elicit some response.
Leaving the keyboard in a decent amount of ambient light for a few days seemed to do very little to help.
Revivifying a K750
Enter Nut and his Tech, wherein they describe the reset procedure:
1. Turn off the keyboard.
2. While holding onto CAPS lock, keep pressing a few keys for the next 5 or more seconds.
3. Turn on the keyboard.
I did the above and held the K750 very close to a fairly bright bulb, and the LEDs sprang to life!
First the green happy face when still next to the light, then the red unhappy face when I took it out of full illumination.
So it works, for now. I was even able to type from the next room over where it sits charging beneath a mini anglepoise-type lamp.
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
— Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms
(brought to mind by recent musings on cheap hardware)