• Triple-booting Windows 98, NT 4, and 2000

    With my Dell Dimension XPS T450 ready hardware-wise, I needed to get some operating systems installed. My ideal setup is triple-booting Windows 98, NT Workstation 4, and 2000 Professional. This isn’t as straight forward as you’d imagine and it took me more than one total reformat to get it working. This is a tale of many, many failures finally leading to some success.

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  • Keeping track of Magic Trackpad 2 battery life

    Fetching the Magic Trackpad 2 battery level from the command line and logging it to a file!

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  • Power strip mod for US plugs in Europe

    When I moved to Germany, I brought a bunch of electronics with me that I had acquired in Japan, Thailand, and the US. Fortunately they all had switching power supplies, so the voltage and frequency difference (110v @ 60 Hz vs 220v @ 50 Hz) wasn’t an issue. The issue was the plugs themselves, so a solution was required.

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  • Dream PC: Dell Dimension XPS T450 - 1999 Glory (Part 1)

    Recently I’ve been having a lot of 90s nostalgia, especially related to technology. I fully blame YouTube channels like LGR, 8-Bit Guy, Phil’s Computer Lab, Adrian Black, and a dozen others I’ve spent countless hours watching. Plus it’s part of getting older; you romanticise the past.

    I started thinking about what hardware from the past I felt the most affinity towards. It took me no time at all: I wanted a Dell Dimension XPS from the 90s. This is my history with Dell.

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  • Active Directory, DNS, and a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter

    You’ve got a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter and an Active Directory domain. Here’s how you make them play nicely together.

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  • Policy-based routing over VPN with Ubiquiti EdgeRouter

    Let’s route specific LAN devices over persistent VPN connections!

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  • Reverting to Readline 6.3.8 to unbreak the Rails console

    When running a brew upgrade, it upgraded readline to version 7.0. This broke the Rails console. Here’s how that looked:

    $ bundle exec rails c
    Running via Spring preloader in process 69075
    /Users/mroach/.rbenv/versions/2.3.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.3.0/gems/activesupport-5.0.0.1/lib/active_support/dependencies.rb:293:in `require':
      dlopen(/Users/mroach/.rbenv/versions/2.3.1/lib/ruby/2.3.0/x86_64-darwin15/readline.bundle, 9):
      Library not loaded: /usr/local/opt/readline/lib/libreadline.6.dylib (LoadError)
    

    Here’s how I reverted to readline 6.3.8 to fix this:

    # Uninstall this incompatible version
    brew uninstall readline
    
    # Go to the local clone of homebrew-core
    cd $(brew --prefix)/Homebrew/Library/Taps/homebrew/homebrew-core
    
    # Move to the homebrew-core revision that had 6.3.8
    git checkout 35fed817726f61a9d40c8420582f6fde59eb5f14
    
    # Re-install readline
    brew reinstall readline
    
    # Switch back to HEAD
    git checkout master
    
    # Pin readline so this can't happen again
    brew pin readline
  • openssl non-interactive

    Using openssl with the --subject argument allows you to generate certificates without being prompted for any input. This non-interactive mode makes server automation that much easier.

    openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 \
    -keyout testapp.key -out testapp.crt \
    -subj /C=CA/ST=Quebec/L=Montreal/O=Poutine LLC/OU=devops/CN=*.poutine.net

    Subject vars

    C ISO country code
    ST State/Province/Subdivision
    L Locality/City/Town
    O Organisation/Company
    OU Organisational Unit/Department
    CN Common name. The most important! Your domain name! Wildcards supported.
  • Wishlist for desktop SQL query client

    Say what you will about Microsoft SQL Server Management studio, but the query interface was actually pretty good. Now that I’m using PostgreSQL and MySQL I’m finding myself looking for desktop tools for querying. Nothing more than that, just simple CRUD operations for one-off data imports, querying, figuing stuff out.

    It’s been staggeringly difficult to find a desktop client that can do this well. If I were to create one, which I may if my struggle continues, this would be my wishlist. Some of these seem obvious but I’ve found clients lacking one or more of these.

    • Keyboard shortcut to running SQL
    • Run only the selected query text
    • Block commenting and un-commenting
    • Sortable results grid
    • Copying and saving results
    • Tabs
    • Indicate trailing whitespace on string columns
    • Make null and empty string values obvious
    • Clearly indicate errors and recordcounts after query execution
    • Shortcut to get schema, keys, and indexes on a table in your query
  • My Flight Map v2.0 Beta

    The 2.0 beta version of My Flight Map is currently open for beta testing at kaya.mroach.com. This is a full rewrite using Rails 4.1. With the new platform it will be easier to maintain and add features. The UI is the last bit needing some attention.

    Version 2.0 is open source and hosted on GitHub at https://github.com/mroach/myflightmap. All are welcome to submit issues for feature requests and bug reports.

    More to come when we’re live.