drink's blog

Drone On

Well, I finally built me a drone so's I could fit in with all the cool kids. What follows is a short description of my experience with helpful links for someone else who would like to build a substantially similar quad. I built basically the cheapest quadcopter you could use for anything more than just crashing into stuff, a SK450 whose parts were primarily sourced from eBay — and usually with the very cheapest parts.

Keep that command running - keeprunning

I wanted to keep some programs running, which is to say restart them if they crashed, but I also wanted them to be able to exit normally. The platform is Linux, the problem is compiz, the solution is a very small shell script. Surely the internets will let me know if there is something grossly wrong with it. This script is not meant for long-running daemons, there are plenty of tools for that already.

Garbage Computers are Great!

For all my life, most of my computers have been hand-me-downs or upgrades. I've built a handful of PCs from scratch, but even most of the ones I built with new processors and motherboards had some hand-me-down parts. But it seems like recently a threshold was crossed where the computers available to just anyone (and not someone who knows "someone") for basically nothing began to be pretty good.

CarPC power: via relay

When you're putting together a so-called "Car PC", by which we usually mean a contemporary ATX-derivative computer installed into an automobile, you have a few hurdles to cross. The enclosure, interface, storage devices, and even the power management all become special problems. The power problems can largely be solved through the use of a Wide Input picoPSU, but what about systems outside of a 120W envelope, or systems where you need to switch more than the PC power? The answer is just one typical automotive relay.

CMS users don't care about Mobilegeddon

Right now, there is a massive flap occurring in the blogosphere which is known as "Mobilegeddon". Google is going to increase the relative ranking of pages which are available in both desktop and mobile themes, as opposed to only one or the other. This has got a lot of incompetent amateurs worried about whether their sites will vanish off the search landscape, but any Drupal (or other adequate CMS) user can solve this problem with a few clicks.

Windows XP: vmware to KVM migration

Like many others, I've become somewhat dependent on virtualization to reduce the number of computers and windows installs I have in my home. I recently took another stab at using open source virtualization, and I've had some success with WebVirtMgr, a libvirt-based VM management solution for Linux. This made me want to migrate some XP guests from vmware player to KVM, and I'm happy to say that this is relatively simple today once you figure out the precise sequence of events.

lspci for linux as a shell script

I needed a quick version of lspci for looking at some linux systems without pciutils, so I threw this one together in a couple of minutes.

It's very simple, it doesn't tell you what the devices are, but it does tell you what kind of devices they are and what their PCI ID is. Then you can go look that up online to figure out what they are. It wouldn't be a horrible stretch to add support for the pci.ids file, but it wasn't necessary for my purposes.

Wrong drive letter and can't boot Windows 7 after disk swap

I just got a nice Samsung EVO 850 SSD, and therefore got the chance to remove two spinning disks from my PC. But in order to make this happen, I had to move Windows to the SSD I had in my PC already. So I mounted the new SSD and formatted it ext4, and transferred Linux without a hitch. Then I booted up and used gparted to transfer Windows to the old SSD I'd just vacated, and it wouldn't boot. I thought these problems were over? I used my Linux install (with vmware player) to fix the problem just as I had used it (with gparted) to copy Windows from one volume to another.

Nexus 4 to Moto G: What's it like?

My LG E960, better known as the Google Nexus 4, decided to let me down. Around the same time, the radio stopped working properly and the digitizer stopped recognizing touches right in a fairly important spot — above the "e" key. Clearly it was time to take a right-hand turn and buy a new device from a different manufacturer. At just this moment, Amazon offered a discount on the second-generation (2014) Moto G, and the sale was made.


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