wesley tanaka

Tech

Running Ubuntu 14.04 inside VMWare Fusion

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To get shared folders to work in VMWare Fusion with a Linux guest, I needed to reinstall vmware tools:

  1. sudo vmware-uninstall-tools.pl
  2. install vmware tools from the menu

I couldn't get my home directory to work over hgfs (lightdm would log me in and then the session would immediately exit), so I created an entry in /etc/exports on my mac.

What is Ansible?

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Ansible is a python command line program. In its basic usage, it reads a list of server hosts (the "inventory"), has access to a library of command line scripts ("modules") that might be run on the servers, and reads a configuration file ("playbook") which specifies modules to run on each server, and parameters to pass to each module. Using the sequence defined in the playbook, it connects to each server with SSH, copies (SFTP or SCP) the module up to the server, executes it remotely, then deletes it.

JIRA time tracking fields - difference between timeestimate and timeoriginalestimate

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The JIRA API has (at least) four fields exposing time tracking data. In the jira-python python wrapper, these are exposed as follows, assuming you have a local variable issue containing an issue object.:

What is librarian-puppet?

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As is wont with modern open source software projects, the librarian-puppet homepage describes itself in terms that only fully make sense after you already know what the software does:

Librarian-puppet is a bundler for your puppet infrastructure. You can use librarian-puppet to manage the puppet modules your infrastructure depends on, whether the modules come from the Puppet Forge, Git repositories or a just a path.

Firefox is already running, but is not responding

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If your computer crashes while firefox is running, it's possible that you will get an error message like this when you next start up firefox after rebooting:

Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system.

To fix it, you can remove the lock files inside your profile.  On Linux (with a default setup where you have a single firefox profile) this looks something like:

Command line replacement for gitk --all and GitX

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gitk --all, tig and GitX are invaluable for visualizing the git commit graph, but when GitX recently stopped displaying branch names on a repository I work with, I started looking for a stock git install command line replacement for two reasons:

  • It takes slightly longer to copy and paste GUI output over chat.
  • When helping someone with a git issue, it's time consuming to ask them to install GitX or gitk first.

Here is a command line that provides similar commit graph visualization:

Creating a one dimensional plot in R and ggplot2

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To plot a "scatter plot" of a single dimensional variable in R, you can use:

ggplot(my_dataframe, aes(x=my_dataframe$VariableName, y=c(0))) + geom_point()

Restoring the old Chrome profile menu

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A recent version of Chrome changed the graphical profile avatar in the upper right corner of the window into a piece of text which is much harder to recognize quickly and requires 3 clicks instead of 2 in order to switch to a new window in a different profile.  To switch back to the old behavior:

  1. Go to: chrome://flags/#enable-new-avatar-menu
  2. Switch it to "Disabled"
  3. Restart Chrome

Ubuntu on a Toshiba Satellite C55-A

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Here are notes from installing Ubuntu Linux 13.10 and 14.04.1 on a Toshiba C55-A laptop.

Computer hangs during boot (with a black screen and the backlight on)

Booting the Live DVD results in the computer freezing. Using acpi=off and pci=biosirq resulted in the boot getting further along (which you can debug by also removing the splash and quiet options), but ultimately it was necessary to add these kernel command line parameters both when booting from the Live DVD and in /boot/grub/grub.cfg:

Differences between tmux vs screen

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I evaluated switching from screen to tmux. tmux is a much younger project with some vocal advocates online. After looking into the differences between them, I will likely switch to tmux for a while to become familiar with it, but may end up switching back to screen because

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by Wesley Tanaka