zen.org Communal Weblog

January 24, 2007

Quicktime Update

Filed under: — Sven @ 16:43 GMT

@#$%, shop make me reboot.

July 28, 2006

Mac and Memory

Filed under: — Sven @ 15:15 GMT

There was a grad student here that wrote a Perl program to compute the Jaccard coefficent of some Blast data. The Mac he was using has 8G of memory, but come to about 2GB of memory usage Perl would crash. I reworte it into two programs, first to dump all his data to a gdbm file, then processed that file using the Jaccard coefficent. It never used more then 2G and finished, it took like a day longer to run but we got what we wanted. This all happened a few months ago, and for this and other reasons we moved that project to Solaris.

A few days ago one of our sysadmin was investigating a complaint on why Perl on MacOS X was slow. He built the same Perl twice, one using the system’s malloc(3), the other using the malloc shipped with Perl. Using the original program computing Jaccard coefficent, with a small dataset, it used 1,220 CPU seconds with Apple’s malloc, but only 605 CPU seconds with Perl’s! I asked him to run it with the full data set. Apple’s malloc crashed after 116,700 CPU seconds and ~2.3GB of memory. With Perl’s malloc it used 65,469 CPU seconds and finished after using ~2.8GB of memory.

So happy SysAdminDay!

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June 28, 2006

Mac 1:1 (1:0) PC

Filed under: — Sven @ 14:50 GMT

Our Toyota Pirus has this feature that you don’t need to put your key in the car to drive it.  So when 余艾蕾 and I drove off this morning I didn’t notice that I was driving off using the key in 余艾蕾’s pocket, not mine.  When I got to work, however, I was unable to unlock my office door.  So I sat down and started working at the PC in the hall, rather then at my Mac.

Apart from figuring out how to turn on the Dvorak keyboard, and having it pop back to QWERTY for no reason that I could tell, the PC was not that bad to use.  There is just one thing to know, don’t use Microsoft software.  Once I started using software not shipped by Microsoft all went well!

So Microsoft makes a passable operating system, but really crappy software.

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June 7, 2006

Kubuntu 6.06 LTS Released on a Mac G5

Filed under: — Sven @ 20:46 GMT

Perhaps to Pat’s chagrin, I will make another Ubuntu post. Like I did last April, I tried Kubuntu on my PowerPC at work. It didn’t report the audio card not working. If the sound card worked or not I don’t know, the fan got too loud. Also, the mouse didn’t work, I don’t know if the mouse worked with the beta version, I was too worried about turning it off.

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April 25, 2006

Kubuntu 6.06 LTS Beta Released on a Mac G5

Filed under: — Sven @ 14:00 GMT

So, I bittorrented down the kubuntu-6.06-beta-live-powerpc.iso image and burned it to a CDRW. I rebooted my work’s G5 while holding down the c key and went into live 64-bit version. Unlike breezy it didn’t ask me any questions, so I told it no lies, and plopped me down at the KDE GUI in a low resolution. The fan started going, then up popped an error message that the audio didn’t work, and the fan got noisier. Audio didn’t work in breezy either, but at least this time it told me it didn’t work. The fan got louder! Then again, the fan GOT LOUDER! I HAD NEVER HEARD MY THIS MAC THIS LOUD BEFORE, AND STILL IT GOT LOUDER! I PRESSED THE POWER BUTTON ON THE MONITOR BUT NOTHING! AS THE RPM OF THE FAN INCREASED IT GOT EVEN LOUDER! MY SYSTEM IS UNDER AND BEHIND MY DESK, I HAD TO JUMP OVER THE DESK, AND AS THE PEOPLES HEADS FROM OUT IN THE HALL STARTED PEARING IN MY OFFICE THE NOISE LEVEL INCLEASED!! I’M SURE JUST SECONDS BEFORE THE FANS WHERE TO COME OF THERE BASE AND FLY AROUND LIKE LITTLE PLASTIC THROWING STARS I HIT THE POWER BUTTON, AND THINGS got quiet again.

I can’t wait until it’s out of beta.

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February 21, 2006

New OSX vulnerability

Filed under: — elana @ 18:39 GMT

Apparently a new OS X vulnerability has been found. Fine. Great to know.

But if you’re going to have a link to your test, for OSX users, you might not want to type “left-click” on the page. Um…MOST OSX people don’t ‘left-click’.

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February 16, 2006

How to tag OSX addresses

Filed under: — elana @ 10:24 GMT

Ed Vielmetti points out an easy way to tag your Mac OS X Address Book entries, which is adding a custom field for things like “friend”, etc. Which can then be searchable. I think I’m going to do that for things like Christmas cards, birthdays in certain months, etc.

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February 15, 2006

iTunes

Filed under: — Sven @ 20:25 GMT

Am I meant to capitalize the ‘i’ in ‘iTunes’ when I start a sentence? Hay, I digressed before I started! To continue with the digression, I hate these new words with capitales letters in it. I’m suprised it’s not ‘podCasting’. Call me on the telePhone if you know the answer. Anyway…

ITunes crashes my Mac about once a week. That’s all I thought I had to say before I started rambeling uselessly on like a blogger.

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December 23, 2005

More Mac Peeves

Filed under: — Sven @ 18:48 GMT

First of all, X11 on the Mac sucks. It crashes form time to time, unlike on Debian. Its full screen mode sometimes killed my entire system! I don’t use Mac’s X11 in full screen mode anymore.

My X11 applications include locally run xterm, remotely run GNU Emacs built from CVS, and a few remote programs running from Mac servers. They go on the left side of the screen. On the right goes Safari, FireFox, Mail, iTunes and any other Mac applications I need. As my fingers do act up from time to time I try not to use the keyboard when I can; it bugs the hell out of me that I seem to be forced to use the Copy and Paste keyboard bindings when in the Dashboard.

Most of the time I do stuff from within X11, it’s great! Left click to copy, center to paste, no menus or keyboard. I will admit that on the Mac it’s cool that you can highlight text you want to blow away without clobbering your clipboard. Then I have to copy something from a Mac application on the right side of the screen. Apple’s Edit menu is on the left. Miles roll off my mouse’s odometer going up to that edit menu.

So, I thought, lets switch. X11 or the right, Mac on the left. As I said, most of the time I’m in X11. When composing long SQL queries, or viewing the results, it’s quite nice to make the terminal wider. I don’t want to full screen this thing as that would cover up my Perl code in Emacs. With X11 on the left side of the screen things work great as Apple places the drag resize thingy on the lower right of the window. Now with X11 stuff on the right side of the screen I have to move the window between resizing it.

Several X11 window managers offer ways to maximize terminals horizontally or vertically, usually by using a different button on the maximize button. No matter which button I click the ⊕ icon with on the Mac, it fills upt the entire screen. I guess I should use another window Manager then Apple’s, but when tried that a few months ago for a different reason it kept crashing Apple’s X11 after a few hours. I would ask about installing GNU/Linux on it but I need same Mac for some applications including Office (shudder) at work. Perhaps there is a way to reverse what’s on the Menu bar, or to put the Menu bar on the application.

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Quicksilver

Filed under: — elana @ 09:23 GMT

I’ve just started playing with Quicksilver, and I’m quite impressed. No more serious deep clicking to find a file on one of these darn partitions. And I was just learning about the Append To… feature, which is quite fun. I think it’s only for OSX, but if you’re a fan of 43 Folders, you’ll already know about it.

I do think the docs need a little help. I’m middling techie, and it took me a little while to figure out what the heck it does.

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