Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some impressions of Ubuntu 13.10 “Saucy Salamander”

Since I have plenty of RAM in my Mac Mini and a fast connection, I decided to torrent the ISO and install it in VirtualBox. Unlike current versions of Debian, fresh out of the “box” it doesn’t grok resizes of the VirtualBox display. The magic search thing you get by hitting the Ubuntu logo responds […]

Debian Wheezy (7.1) on Lenovo Ideapad S12

Here’s what I needed to do to get it to work. First, you need proprietary drivers for the 802.11bgn chipset (BCM4312 with LP-PHY). It should be possible to provide this non-free firmware at install time, but I never got that to work so instead I just installed with the wired ethernet and installed this firmware […]

Bad UI: Error messages you cannot copy and paste

If I get some kind of mysterious error, don’t make me manually retype into my web browser to search. That’s completely ridiculous. An example: Admittedly, there’s a link that searches help for the error, but it doesn’t find anything relevant, so I have to go search the web anyway. I’ve seen examples of this from […]

First time PC board design success (LED cabinet / closet lighting)

Though I’ve designed a PC board for my own production using a toner-transfer etching resist and no holes drilled, I haven’t actually designed a board before for actual commercial production. It’s rather tedious getting everything right the first time, but I managed to make it work. I was recently playing around with some of the […]

Fastest way to check for an empty hash in Perl?

Recently motivated out of curiosity, I and a coworker were benchmarking different approaches to determining if a hash is empty in Perl. Expanding on this a little I present these curious results. In summary, it seems that there are roughly two code paths we’re hitting here. One for if (scalar %hash) and if (%hash), and […]