School’s Out For the Summer!

Well… not so much, I get a week break before summer session starts up. It’s been a pretty busy week for me, and I’ve not been getting enough sleep, but that should be rectified pretty shortly. I’m telling myself that it is going to be another gorgeous summer in Houghton.

My brother graduated yesterday and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force. In the beginning of June he’ll be in Texas. It’s a long haul from Houghton, that’s for sure.

Today I’m going to get busy cleaning the house, I’d like to take my time doing it, rather than hurrying through it at the end of May.

I’ve a few summer plans, we’ll see how they pan out:

  • Re-learn Calculus.
  • Work (Resnet and probably someplace else).
  • Get As in my two classes at Tech.
  • Read a few of my history books that I’ve not had time to.
  • Catch up on my news magazines.
  • Barbeque… a lot.
  • Buy a pistol or high-end digital camera, I’m undecided.
  • Penguicon 4.0

    After 10 hours in the car, we (5 other MTU LUGers and myself) made it to Livonia and checked into the hotel and got our badges. The night started off pretty well after I found the Ars room (Penguicon is an annual gathering for a number of the Arstechnica #linux people).

    It was good to see all the people I’d been talking to online for a couple of years for the first time (with a couple of exceptions, a number were at Penguicon 2.0, which I attended). Kattni, tm, road, uberkludge, docah, Adam, Jorge, Kyle Rankin, evarlast, Flav, Glenn, mmx, Bill, JohnF, and a few others made it out and many of them presented (I filled in for a missing presenter on the Sun Ray and thin client panel); overall, we filled probably 90% of the programming in our room.

    Talks ranged from mono, DVD authoring with Linux, Ubuntu, Knoppix, thin clients, PHP application security, security fundamentals, SSL to backupPC. The quality of the presentations was excellent, and though I didn’t get around to see many of the other presentations I heard that they weren’t nearly as good as the ones the Ars crew put on (a notable exception in my mind is the Keynote presentation put on by a guy from Google).

    It was most certainly a good time, and I really look forward to coming back next year. I’ve known these guys for a while now, and any get together promises high quality conversation (geeky and non) and a chance to make it to restaurants I never would have before.

    Safe Sleep on OS X

    I love Sleep on OS X. Compared to Hibernate in Windows or Software Suspend in Linux, I prefer it. Not only does it take only 2-3 seconds to sleep, but it wakes in about the same amount of time. I’ve only got one problem with it though: If I pull out the battery, there goes my suspended session. I’ve got to boot and log back in (while it only takes a minute or two, it’s a pain once you’re used to 2-3 seconds). The new powerbooks include a Safe Sleep mode which dumps the RAM to disk, allowing a session to survive a power failure (such as a dead battery, or swapping out the battery) in a machine. It’s a pretty handy feature in my opinion.

    Today, I stumbled across a couple sites that explain how to enable this for older machines. Andrew Escobar has a nice write up but it doesn’t work if you are using the screen-spanning hack on an iBook. Matt Johnston has the writeup that Andrew based his on, along with a few scripts that automate the process for you (along with one that allows you to use screen-spanning and Safe Sleep.

    There’s two modes for Safe Sleep, you can set it up to go into Safe Sleep when the power is low, or to Safe Sleep each time you sleep the machine. I’ve played with it going into Safe Sleep each time I sleep the machine, it takes about 10-15 seconds and the sleep light doesn’t come on (you have to wake it via the power button) and it took about 30-45 seconds to return to my desktop. I’m currently draining the battery now to make sure that it works (I really want to be able to swap out the battery without a reboot since I have a spare). I’ll update on the status of that a bit later.

    Update: It does work when the laptop sleeps itself. I’ve found this isn’t particularly handy though as it only does it when the battery is drained. So, once you do this once, you’ve got a drained battery and no way to charge it.

    So, what I’ve done is create two scripts, one to enable Safe Sleep every time the laptop sleeps and one to enable it only when the battery is low. I run the first, wait for it to sleep and then pull the battery. Afterwards, I run the second so that it will sleep normally.

    I’ve mirrored Matt’s scripts locally here, and my two scripts are here.

    Happy Easter!

    Happy Easter to everyone, it’s been a very good one for me. We started work on Easter dinner about 11am this morning and ate at 2pm. Phill, Rae, Brian, Peter, Jon, Betsy and I feasted on ham, dinner rolls, crescent rolls, cole slaw, potato salad, mashed potatoes (10lbs of them!), corn, zucchini bread, strawberry short cake, and deviled eggs. It was quite the feast.


    Google Calendars

    Apparently, I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve missed out on the rumours of Google Calendar. I woke up this morning and hit up my RSS feeds while eating breakfast and found a post by Adam Israel that Google had deployed a calendaring program via their Google Accounts. Arstechnica has a writeup.

    Feature List:

  • Gmail Integration (Though I haven’t seen this in action yet.)
  • Quick Add
  • Calendar Sharing
  • Comments on events
  • Invitations (and RSVP)
  • Reminders (email, popup boxes, SMS)
  • Search (of course)
  • Import from most existing calendar programs.
  • They’ve tied it into Gmail, when an email mentions an event and time, click a couple of times and it shows up on your calendar. They aren’t providing a whole lot more that’s new besides that if you’re a user of iCal and some sort of publishing software like phpicalendar. (I do mine this way, you can check it out if you want.)

    There are a couple things I don’t like however.

    1) Google still isn’t supporting Safari. This has been an issue for me with Gmail as well, but things mostly work there. Google Calendar though? I get an message saying Safari isn’t supported every time I visit. Secondly, every time I click on a different page (week view, month, etc.) I get a huge error message that flows off the screen and I have to blindly hit enter on the message.

    2) Funny… the Google Calendar thing doesn’t show up in Gmail for me (even when using Firefox, a supported browser.)

    3) I can’t publish from iCal to Google Calendar. Sure, I can export from iCal and then import into Google Calendar, but that’s a pain every time I change an event. With phpiCalendar, everytime I make a change, it’s uploaded to the server via webDAV.

    4) The imported calendar isn’t even correct. Events that I delete in iCal still show up in Google Calendar. This doesn’t happen when I publish to my calendar. Look: Google Calendar (well, you could look if I could figure out how to get a link to that day) and phpiCalendar.

    So, what am I going to do? I’ll probably upload my calendars just to play around with it. To have a timely and updated version of my schedule on the web though, phpiCalendar is still the solution I’m going to stick with.