To recap: durability, pretty deep balls AND timely pass-interference penalties! You wouldn’t call it the sexiest quarterback package, and you certainly wouldn’t feel great about paying one of the league’s most lucrative ransoms for it. […]
Then again, the Ravens weren’t paying for Joe Flaccid. They were paying for Joe Flacco. You know, the calm dude from the playoffs. The towering, smiling, handsome, lanky, confident, gunslinging, teaser-killing, flag-generating, deep-ball-flinging machine. This version of Flacco suffered growing pains: seven straight road playoff battles; in the first five, he had no 200-yard games, one touchdown and six picks, three wins and two losses, and two season-ending stink bombs against the 2008-09 Steelers (three picks) and 2009-10 Colts (two picks, three points total). He looked better in his third postseason appearance (two more road games, including a blowout win in K.C.), then blossomed the following winter when deep threat Torrey Smith showed up. Flacco’s seven-game playoff stretch from January 2012 through last weekend kinda sorta maybe backs up John Harbaugh’s claim that Flacco is “the best quarterback in football.”
I picked up a Synology DS415play, a couple weeks ago. I’ve been looking for a good way to store family memories, as well as have device-indepentet on-site storage and redundancy.
The Synology DiskStation is a Linux-based NAS, and I couldn’t stand that the default shell was
ash. How to fix?
Finding the bootstrap file for the Intel Atom CE5335 was a bit of a challenge, since Synology doesn’t use it as widely used as some other CPUs in their lineup. Fortunately the thread I linked above has a relatively recent (Nov 2014) bootstrap for a DS214play, which uses the same CPU. I guessed it would be the same, and it was.
I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you are thinking of doing the same on your DiskStation, and that you have an ill-defined-but-higher-than-zero knowledge of both *nix systems and how to Google.
First, you’ll need to
ssh into the NAS as root (root’s password is the same as the admin user password).
You’ll need to execute the following commands, command by command:
$ cd /volume1/@tmp $ wget http://ipkg.nslu2-linux.org/feeds/optware/syno-i686/cross/unstable/syno-i686-bootstrap_1.2-7_i686.xsh $ chmod +x syno-i686-bootstrap_1.2-7_i686.xsh $ sh syno-i686-bootstrap_1.2-7_i686.xsh $ rm syno-i686-bootstrap_1.2-7_i686.xsh
Line by line, the above does the following:
- Change into the Synology’s temp directory
- Download the bootstrap script
- Make the script executable
- Run the script
- Remove the script
At this point you have ipkg, the package manager, installed, but your shell doesn’t know about the folder it’s installed in. You’ll need to add
/opt/sbin/ to the
PATH in your
While you’re in your
.profile, you might see a line that says
HOME=/root/. I changed mine to
HOME=~/, since I want this .profile to be portable between users. I’ve copied it to the admin user when I finished, so I have the same experience when I’ve connected as admin and root.
Now, if you type
ipk and hit
[tab] it should autocomplete to
So, let’s install
$ ipkg install bash`
Bam. You’ll get some output, then you should have
Now, I needed conventions for getting into bash when I connect to the device. Again, the Synology forums came to the rescue.
Add the following to the end of your
if [[ -x /opt/bin/bash ]]; then exec /opt/bin/bash fi
The above checks if
/opt/bin/bash is executable. If it is, the command will execute
/opt/bin/bash. If it is not, it doesn’t execute /opt/bin/bash, therefore leaving you in
Add the following to
PS1='\u@\h:\W \$ ' export SHELL=/opt/bin/bash
The top line you may want to adjust to your taste. That’s how I like my prompt to look. Here’s a good tool to help you build the prompt that suits you.
The second line sets the
SHELL variable to /opt/bin/bash. Remember that
.bashrc is only read by bash when bash is started, so the
SHELL only gets set if bash is called.
Now before you close your current SSH session, start a second. You should get your new, fancy bash prompt. Success!
Once you have that good feeling, copy
/volume1/homes/admin/, and start another ssh session, this time connecting as admin. If that works, you’re set.
I find that if I start a project like this by thinking about (and sometimes outlining) a post like this as I go, I have a better understanding of what I’m doing. Often, if I can’t follow the thread from beginning to the end, I don’t actually begin the project because I feel like I don’t understand the process well enough. ↩
Lou Montulli in an old (but it seems to be impossible to find out how old) post on what appears to be a kind of personal website:
At some point in the evening I mentioned that it was sad that Lynx was not going to be able to display many of the HTML extensions that we were proposing, I also pointed out that the only text style that Lynx could exploit given its environment was blinking text. We had a pretty good laugh at the thought of blinking text, and talked about blinking this and that and how absurd the whole thing would be. The evening progressed pretty normally from there, with a fair amount more drinking and me meeting the girl who would later become my first wife.
- It seems pretty sad that someone so involved with developing the web as we know it has this for a website.
The only bad thing about Song Exploder is that I've spent a lot more money on music I otherwise might not have found. Woe is me.
Be sure not to miss the year-end episode Sea of Love by the National. You can go through the year-long archives and find plenty of gold. The access that Hrishikesh Hirway has been able to gain over 52 weeks is a great example of how thoughtful, interesting, and insightful commentary opens doors.
Since earlier this year, I’ve been making a focused effort to ensure that my and my family’s important data is safe. It’s the closest I ever get to making a New Year’s resolution. When I picked up my 2008 MacPro, a couple years ago, I built my own Fusion Drive, but also threw in a second, larger spinning disk drive for internal Time Machine backups.
Obviously, a single copy is not a backup, and for years I have kept all of my documents in Dropbox. That’s a second copy of most stuff. I signed up for BackBlaze earlier this year as well. That captures everything Dropbox does, plus the few things on my MacPro’s hard drive, that aren’t in Dropbox.
I recently added a Synology NAS to the mix. On-site, large storage (with multi-drive redundancy), including multiple user accounts, various web services, and slew of other features made it very appealing. I picked the DS415play, because of the hardware video transcoder, and hot-swappable drives.
The Synology also allows each user account to sync their Dropbox (among other cloud storage providers) to a folder in their user home directory, it seemed like a nice way to have a second on-site copy of all of my and Lindsay’s docs.
In addition, the PhotoStation feature will help me solve the issue I’ve been struggling with: how do I make sure that Lindsay and I both have access to our family photos, consistently, effortlessly, and without relying on an intermediary cloud service. Neither of us are interested in uploading all of our photos to Facebook or Flickr just to share them. It also takes thought, effort, and coordination on our parts to get photos our of our Photo Streams give them to one another. I want to minimize that, while ensuring that these photos are well backed up.
Unfortunately, there’s no package to backup my Synology to BackBlaze, and Marco had an article that highlighted his issues trying to make that work, and he wound up settling on Crash Plan. I’ll likely do the same.
Expect posts in the coming weeks about how I’m messing with this stuff. I’ve found it to be a lot of fun, already, and I’m pretty impressed with the Synology. It’s a little fiddly for most people, but if you’re inclined to be a nerd - especially a Unix-y nerd - it’ll be right up your alley.
I’m a big fan of the idea that if something is important to you, you should be doing it already. ↩
You might have noticed that I’m pretty focused on backing up my MacPro, and I’m much less worried about my rMBP. There are three reasons for this: first, My MacPro has all of my family photos in Aperture libraries that are too big to go into Dropbox; second, everything on the rMBP is in Dropbox, thanks to Dropbox for Business’ ability to sign the app into a work account, and a personal account. I symlinked
~/Dropbox (Under Armour)/Documents/, but I stil have access to my personal dropbox at
~/Dropbox (Personal)/. The only things that aren’t in there are my Downloads folder (which could be easily, and arguably should be), and my
~/Sites/which I really only use for Cheaters and as a repository for various software and configs routers, switches, WAN Optimization devices, and can be discarded at will. ↩
Synology’s feature matrix is a bit of a mess, but eventually I decided that hot-swappable drives was a must, which took me up to the DS415, and adding the transcoder was an additional $60, so that made the cut, but each person’s needs are going to be a little different. ↩
Casey Newton on the Verge:
So "move on," if Cook’s essay today makes you so uncomfortable. Return to talking about his fastidiousness, or his supply-chain management, or whatever. But there’s no moving on for me, not today. This I’m going to savor.
So should we all.
This is the perfect pre-Halloween podcast. Grisly deaths; heroic figures, people who attempt to rise to "hero" status, but make themselves look like fools; supposedly supernatural monsters; all in late 18th century France.
And, the best part? After you listen, you can watch Brotherhood of the Wolf with a fire and a glass of wine. That's exactly how I'd like to lead into Halloween.
The Giants take the lead over the Royals with a strong finish in San Francisco, and Jason Snell got to document the future of sporting events. Wonderful.
Here's hoping the Giants win one more, and wrap this thing up.
Nick wrote in with a good note regarding my Unblock-Us + BIND setup:
I noticed after setting up the netflix.com zone that unblock.us resolved most of the Netflix addresses to a CNAME, e.g.:
secure.netflix.com. 86400 IN CNAME secure-1848156627.us-west-9.elb.amazonaws.com.
My ISP’s DNS server did not know about the address
secure-1848156627.us-west-9.elb.amazonaws.com, but the unblock.us DNS server resolved it successfully. So I just added another zone for amazonaws.com, and forwarded those requests to unblock.us. That seems to have resolved it - Netflix now works. Not ideal, since the rule is a bit general, but I’m happy to have it working.
Good investigation, and little things like this may resolve some of the issues I was seeing with this setup, last year. I don't have the patience to keep up with it, but I'm certain some of you are more patient people than I am.
iPhone and Yosemite coverage got me stuck in podcast doldrums over the past couple weeks. Thankfully, Radiolab was there to give me a nice way out.
A command line tool to order yourself a sandwich from Jimmy John's. Hilarious.
An extraordinarily clear and understandable post by Chris Coyne that explains exactly what's wrong with the idea that by protecting our data, Apple (and Google, and other service providers) are only serving to protect the guilty. In fact, they're protecting us all, and in many ways.
Beyond all the technical considerations, there is a sea change in what we are digitizing.
We whisper “I love you” through the cloud. We have pictures of our kids in the bath tub. Our teens are sexting. We fight with our friends. We talk shit about the government. We embarrass ourselves. We watch our babies on cloud cameras. We take pictures of our funny moles. We ask Google things we might not even ask our doctor.
Even our passing thoughts and fears are going onto our devices.
Time was, all these things we said in passing were ephemeral. We could conveniently pretend to forget. Or actually forget. Thanks to the way our lives have changed, we no longer have that option.
This phenomenon is accelerating. In 10 years, our glasses may see what we see, hear what we hear. Our watches and implants and security systems of tomorrow may know when we have fevers, when we're stressed out, when our hearts are pounding, when we have sex and - wow - who's in the room with us, and who's on top and what direction they're facing*. Google and Apple and their successors will host all this data.
We're not talking about documents anymore: we're talking about everything.
You should be allowed to forget some of it. And to protect it from all the dangers mentioned above.
As I increasingly use my various devices as an outboard brain (which I do, a lot), I need things to be ephermal. I need to be able to tell my outboard brain to forget stuff with only slightly more difficulty than my real brain forgets stuff. And I want to know that eg the NSA isn't creeping on stuff I've already forgotten.
I've never been so thankful I don't have to support planes. Wow. Very cool video that shows all the effort required to keep you online at cruising altitude.
I'm a stalwart Terminal fan for my Engineering tasks. I don't understand why so many colleagues prefer a Terminal emulator like SecureCRT when we have native SSH built right into the OS. Something a lot of SecureCRT guys hold over my head is the nested folders with saved SSH sessions.
It dawned on me this morning that I could duplicate that functionality in something I'm already using: Brett Terpstra's Cheaters.
I won't get into an in-depth review of Cheaters, here. Simply put, it's a small app that launches a web view of a locally-hosted set of websites. Brett's suggestion is to use it as a place to keep cheatsheets (hence the name), like a virtual cubicle wall.
I used a little
sed on our existing hosts file, and came up with a Markdown list of links to the hostnames of our devices, using the following syntax:
I spent a couple minutes sorting the list into a reasonable hierarchy, then I used this nice little tutorial to create expanding lists using CSS and jQuery. I ran my Markdown list through Brett's own Marked 2, and copied the HTML to a new cheatsheet.
I didn't need to worry about jQuery, since Cheaters already uses it. I added the appropriate ID's to the
div that holds the list, and to the first
ul element. That's really all there was to it. Now I have a nice, organized, expandable list that lives in my menubar, which I can use to launch SSH sessions right in Terminal without having to remember specific hostnames. Not bad for 45 minutes of effort.
The Verge sent photographer Austin Mann to some amazing locations and into some incredible experiences to test the cameras on the new iPhones. I'm jealous of the experience, but I'm also amazed at how the cameras in these ever-thinner devices keeps improving.
Two great reviews of the new iPhones dropped in the past couple days: John Gruber's and Matthew Panzarino's. Both are thoughtful and fairly deep. And while they both touch on the software, they focus almost entirely on the hardware. Interestingly, their conclusions about the biggest (no pun intended) question about the hardware was very similar.
Regarding the size question, here's Gruber:
If you simply want a bigger iPhone, get the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. That’s what it feels like: a bigger iPhone.
If you want something bigger than an iPhone, get the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. It feels more like a new device — a hybrid device class that is bigger than an iPhone but smaller than an iPad Mini — than it feels like a bigger iPhone.
And here's Panzarino:
The iPhone 6 Plus is a great option for people who don’t have or want an iPad — or simply don’t want to carry it. Where the iPhone 6 is a great upgrade to the iPhone line, the iPhone 6 Plus is a fantastic ‘computer’.
I fall decidedly in the camp that doesn't want to carry an iPad. I've had iPads since the first one. I loved it. I've carried an iPad Mini for the past two years, and I love it ad a device. But I live on my phone. If I can get more room on my phone, I think I can give up my iPad. The idea of a new, The iPhone Plus is closer in size to a paperback than the iPad Mini is, and I'm quite comfortable reading a paperback at length. I read and send significantly more email from my iPhone than from my iPad. I more frequently use my iPhone to SSH to routers, switches, and my computers to help in troubleshooting. It seems very compelling to get more screen size, higher resolution, better battery life, and a marginally better camera all on the device I most often use, while trimming the number of devices I carry by one. When I need more oomph, I'll get my laptop out.
On the other hand, my wife doesn't have a computer, and she uses her iPad nonstop. She saw the cutouts I printed at work, and decided she wanted my 5s, and willingly offered up her upgrade. I think that's largely because she's very happy to use her iPad at home, and her iPhone while she's out of the houe. Where I "step up" to a MacBook Pro, she steps up to an iPad Mini.
I'm kind of rolling the dice. I haven't held the phone in my hand (or to my head). The closest I've gotten is holding a paper cutout that approximates the phone to my head. But, hey. Worst case scenario, I decide it was a mistake, and replace it in two years.
Will anyone be trading in their Lange Double-Split for an Apple Watch? Certainly not. But, will the average Lange owner buy an Apple Watch, wear it on the weekends, and then, after a great workout with it, decide to leave it on next for a vacation to the beach, and then maybe on casual Friday to the office? It's possible. Apple products have a way of making someone not want to live without them, and while I wasn't able to fully immerse myself in the OS yesterday, what I saw was impressive. So while certainly not direct competition for haute horology watchmaking right now, the Apple Watch is absolutely competition for the real estate of the wrist, and years down the road, it could spell trouble for traditional watches even at a high level. When you realize you just don't need something anymore, there is little desire to buy another.
This is basically how I'm thinking about the Apple Watch. It's another watch to add to my (small) collection of mostly inexpensive but nice looking watches. I may find that I love the features it brings with it, and I may wind up wearing it a lot.
I still think the 3D emoji are butt-ugly, though.
Sized to be accurate when printed at 100%. If you or someone you know is debating about which phone to order, this is a great way to get a feel without waiting for the phones to show up in the Apple stores.
Craig Hockenberry put together a really good list of Terminal tips and tricks useful for developers. Many of these require only a little thought to be useful for network engineers, as well. Being able to do stuff like this is a big part of why I've always been a fan of using Terminal directly, in OS X, to ssh to remote devices, as opposed to using a GUI like SecureCRT.
An interesting, and especially well told, report of a murder, the trusted physician behind the murder, and the doctor who took over his practice. I was about to unsubscribe from This American Life, but this one pulled me back in.