File Fragmentation

The 500GB SATA drive in an external enclosure that I use for backups (eSATA/USB 2.0 connectivity) is currently NTFS-formatted for compatibility reasons. I would much prefer to use ext3 or HFS+, but it's pretty hard to get those two working correctly on all operating systems. Thanks to NTFS-3G and (Mac)Fuse, I can reliably access NTFS partitions on Linux, OS X and Windows (of course) so it's become my FS of choice when it comes to compatibility.

Unfortunately, that means that the drive becomes horribly fragmented (and pretty quickly, too). I decided to do a defrag today and found that the NTFS partition was 38% fragmented with 78% file fragmentation... Yuck. I'm going to be really happy when there's a filesystem that I can use on all operating systems that doesn't fragment or choke all the time. Ext2/3 was looking like a pretty good for the "doesn't fragment" part, but the ext2fsx project for OS X seems to have died out and ext2fsd, the only driver I've found for Windows that supports ext3 filesystems with inode sizes > 128, tends to bluescreen a lot. Back to waiting, I guess...

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Motherboard poll

I realized that I had my Drupal permissions set wrong and users who were not registered could not vote (I have also disabled user registration for now). I fixed the settings so if you cannot see the voting options, just refresh the page and they should appear on bottom left side of the page. Please let me know who your favorite motherboard manufacturer is!

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Installing GIMP on OS X

GIMP is a great program, but I always found it was a bit annoying to use on OS X (Leopard). First of all, whenever X11 starts, a new xterm window along with it. Besides that, when switching windows you need two clicks before GIMP (or any other program, really) registers the click and actually does something - the first click just switches the active window. Seeing as GIMP has it's tool palette in a separate window, this quickly became extremely irritating.

After a quick google, I found many sources saying that to disable xterm, I needed to copy /private/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc to ~/.xinitrc and edit out the "xterm &" line inside. That's easy enough, but the only problem is that on Leopard with the latest X11 from XQuartz (2.3.2.1 at the time of writing) installed, /private/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc doesn't exist! Although /usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc does, editing out all references to xterm doesn't work anyways. Instead, the app_to_run preference needs to be modified:

defaults write org.x.X11 app_to_run /usr/bin/true

/usr/bin/true is a command that does nothing (literally), so this essentially tells X11 to autostart nothing. I moved onto my next problem and found that to solve the two-clicks problem, the solution was to enable the "focus follows mouse" option like this:

defaults write org.x.x11 FocusFollowsMouse -string YES

I've been using that for a few months and I find it's still pretty annoying, but it's still less annoying than having to click twice on everything. Fortunately, I recently discovered the "wm_click_through" preference which is exactly what I had been looking for all along:

defaults write org.x.x11 FocusFollowsMouse -string NO
defaults write org.x.X11 wm_click_through -bool true

Now X11's window focus is back to normal, and clicking on inactive windows works as expected; it switches the window and activates the widget you clicked on. Problems solved!

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New blog online!

Apart from having to design a new theme, my blog version 2 is up & running! Hope you enjoy it.

I'll be porting over the content from my previous setup into this one, but in the mean time you can access the old setup here: www.firewing1.com/v1

Update: The old content has been migrated, so the Joomla install at www.firewing1.com/v1 is now offline.

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Facebook Terms of Use

The new facebook terms of use are just unbelievable. I first saw the story on Slashdot, but it's all over the web - Facebook owns everything you post, forever. Here's an excerpt from the official Facebook terms of use page:

You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid,
worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain,
publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt,
adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you
(i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to
your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your
website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or
advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion
thereof. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing
licenses.

So essentially, "I hereby grant Facebook the right to do anything they'd like with my pictures, comments and other media that I publish, including sublicensing that media, selling it, publishing it, or modifying it without having to compensate me." Nice. I'm not going to use Facebook until this is sorted out.

Please, join this group to show your concern. In the mean time, I've restricted my privacy settings - I recommend you do this too. Just click the Settings button at the top of your profile and remove all applications, disable Beacon and similar services as well as restrict everything to "Friends Only".

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My theorem

timein day= 1d * 24h * 60m * 60s / (age/10)

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Botnets

I just read on Slashdot that yet another massive botnet is growing... There must be tons of computers out there infected with multiple of these "transparent" viruses, making them belong to 2+ botnets at once. I sense an epic botnet war in the near future! Wink
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Fedora 10 is out!

Fedora 10 was released yesterday, and I'm very impressed. This are much smoother this time around than in Fedora 9, and the Solar artwork is simply stunning. You can see some screenshots in this Phoronix review, and if you like it you can grab the LiveCD/LiveUSB, CD and DVD ISO images here. I've also updated all my blog howtos for Fedora 10, so if you need any help setting up your system with RPM Fusion be sure to check them out!

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Data loss & backups survey

I'm taking a small business course at my local college and one of my assignments is to write a business plan for a business which would be offering the product or service of my choice.

Since I'm interested in data recovery and backups, I've written a short online survey  about data loss and backups which will help me collect information for the project. It should only take two minutes to fill out and I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to complete it. The more results I have the better... Thanks! (btw, if you'd like to see the results, then visit this page).

Update: The survey is now closed. Thank you to all who participated!

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NiN

I went to see NiN's Lights in the Sky tour at the Bell Center last week, it was one amazing (light) show! If they're coming by your city and you're a fan of NiN, you should definitely consider going.

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