Friday, December 20, 2013

I cope with fear and uncertainty through laughter.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The joy of working the Microsoft way.

Microsoft Excel is dead certain I would like to store my dates in MM/DD/YYYY format, even though I've entered them as YYYY-MM-DD and specified this to be my display format. The most baffling part is that YYYY-MM-DD is auto-corrected to MM/DD/YYYY, yet YYYY-MM-DD is not a format selection - it must be manually specified.

I'm mostly surprised Excel didn't think I meant YYYY minus MM minus DD.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ubuntu Linux, Thinkpad R61 (w/nVidia), and ICM Color Profiles

Despite the age of my laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad R61) - which implies an aged display (for which I shouldn't depend upon a stock ICM color profile) - I set out to obtain the truest color known to man (on an aged laptop, using a stock color profile). If your desire is similarly misguided, here is what you'll need to know.

What you will need: nVidia X Server Settings utility (installed if you're using the nVidia driver (nvidia-current as opposed to nv)), Lenovo's ICM color profile for the R61 (from Lenovo Support), and the package "edid-decode" (`sudo apt-get install edid-decode`). Note: the read-edid package doesn't work properly with nVidia hardware, hence this post.

Ready? Okay.

First, launch the nVidia X Server Settings utility. One level under "GPU 0" is the menu DFP-0. Following selecting this, click on the "Acquire EDID..." button on right-hand side of the screen. You will be asked where to save the EDID file, and whether you would like the file in binary or ASCII format. Select binary and save the file somewhere handy.

Second, launch a terminal and navigate to the location of your newly acquired edid.bin file. Once there, simply type:
edid-decode edid.bin | grep Manufacturer
Which will result in output such as this (bold emphasis my own):
Manufacturer: LEN Model 4031 Serial Number 0
Bolded above is where you will find the information you will need in order to select the correct color profile from among the many color profiles packed into the single file you've downloaded from Lenovo.

Third, follow these instructions located elsewhere. I'll wait.

Finally, in Ubuntu's System Settings, select the "Color" applet and load up the ICM color profile you've selected from the prior step(s).

Congratulations, you're using an outdated ICM color profile! This is better than using nothing at all!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04, nVidia, Chrome, and Flash Video (YouTube)

Following some recent updates, Flash video playback was no longer reliable in Chrome on Ubuntu 12.04 using several different nVidia drivers (qualification solves all of your problems, at least sometimes). YouTube videos (and possibly others, didn't bother testing) would play for some non-consistent amount of time then freeze. Note, Chrome wouldn't freeze (it would continue to properly render and allow navigation), 'top' and assorted logs gave me no hints, nothing was crashing... video playback would just stop until the page was refreshed.

I cannot tolerate such injustice.

Long story slept-through, it turns out Adobe Flash Player sucks and was the source of all my (first world) woes. Merely switching Flash plugins didn't help (chrome://plugins; as best I can tell, Pepper is a joint Adobe/Google project and is probably mostly Adobe code). My hand was forced; I had to change my lifestyle.

I had to join the YouTube HTML5 Trial.

This will make even embedded content play via the HTML5 player, so long as you aren't one of those crazy types who logs out of websites even when you're using your personal computer.


Monday, December 26, 2011

I have been struggling to set up a reliable Ubuntu-based (11.10) recording system at home using my spec'd out ThinkPad R61. Here's what I've come up with so far:
  • Ubuntu 11.10s libffado installation is broken (it's based on svn-1985, which has a known segfault issue), so compile libffado from source (it's painless). Visit for instructions.
  • Ricoh IEEE1394 controllers aren't anywhere near as bad as people make them out to be. Mine can handle recording 10 tracks @ 96k for over two hours with no xruns.
  • HPET permissions need to be fixed (
  • My laptop + FP10 seems pretty stable with `jackd -ch -d firewire -D -n3 -p512 -r96000`
  • JACK's priority setting is broken in Ubuntu 11.10 (at the very least), as in it does nothing and reports success. It doesn't seem to matter, though, as I'm no longer getting xruns at default priority.
  • You don't need a realtime or lowlatency kernel ppa in order for the RT flag to work, but installing rtirq and putting rtc and firewire at the top of the list might help.
  • I'd already found Ubuntu's prepackaging of Ardour to be buggy and outdated. I highly suggest donating to the project (, which will allow you to download pre-compiled binaries. They're very stable.
I'd taken to running jackd from the CLI (as opposed to using qjackctl), since it was always segfaulting. Now that I'm no longer using a prepackaged libffado, this shouldn't matter.

Lastly, it seems jackd killed my trackpad on one occasion. My trackpoint still worked fine. I'll have to sort that one out.

EDIT 1: Remove pulse audio. It's safe to apt-get remove the package, even if you're using GNOME instead of the default GUI. Pulse audio interfered with MIDI in funky ways, which prevented me from using Korg's nanoKONTROL with Ardour.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nerd Alert

This post is a reference for when I reload my computer.

rosegarden (unless I've got ardour3)
alsa modular synth

Finally, check for additional LADSPA plugin packages.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

she said where are you
he didn't answer
he was invisible
she stretched her arms out
and he was captured
so foiled by her wiles