Nathan Willis

Inaccessible Island

Nathan Willis, Verified

  • @^%#@^#!$@#

    2018-02-19T00:27:44Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    How the hell do you prevent the kernel/init from trying to start RAID at boot time?

    Because so far, I've commented out the array entry in fstab, I've added to mdadm.conf, and I've appended "nomdmonddf" "nomdmonisw" "nodmraid" and "raid=noautodetect" ALL to the kernel boot parameters


    I'm going to go on a rampage here.
    Show all 10 replies
    I'm not trying to go after you personally, please understand. Please do not take offense.

    I've already wasted six hours on this, and there is literally no way to get a solution, and it's extraordinarily frustrating.

    Nathan Willis at 2018-02-19T01:08:45Z

    Ah, the fact that the system doesn't even boot wasn't clear from the original rant.

    Don't worry, I don't take offense, I can relate to the frustration.

    Maybe a LiveCD + chroot?

    EDIT: Also, just theorizing, but maybe this kind of thing needs to be changed inside the initrd.

    JanKusanagi at 2018-02-19T01:12:33Z

    Did you make sure to update your initramfs after updating your mdadm.conf? ❌ at 2018-02-19T15:07:39Z

    I suspect it's not the kernel, but init/udev that's starting raid.  Try booting with init=/bin/sh or /bin/bash or whatever shell you have in initrd, and that should get you a shell prompt without any of the userland initialization.  It won't even have the root filesystem mounted, probably, but starting from that point, you can assemble by hand any arrays however you like, mount root, and whatnot.  It is a bit inconvenient to use, especially if you should need binaries or libraries that are in the root filesystem only, but PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH are your friends.

    Alexandre Oliva at 2018-02-21T08:10:17Z

  • 2018-02-14T20:37:36Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Roses are red,

    Tecophilaea cyanocrocus are blue,

    But they're nearly extinct in the wild due to habitat loss and overharvesting,

    So be prepared to pay a lot for them and buy only nursery-propagated corms.

    Elena ``of Valhalla'', stevewood likes this. ❌, ❌, ❌ shared this.

  • Tell me I'm not crazy: hats exist, right?

    2018-01-26T23:19:03Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I don't understand how this is possible, but I've requested the EFF baseball cap with my annual donation every year since 2013, and not once have they ever sent it to me.

    Usually they tell me it's been discontinued or is out of stock; this year they changed it up a bit and listed it as included on the paper packing slip in the package (which contained a t-shirt, but was entirely hat-free).

    Is there some kind of privacy-humor that I'm failing to get the joke on here, like when ThinkGeek sells Tauntaun blood and everyone just knows that it's a joke listing?

    To add one more wrinkle, I didn't even realize that last year's donation didn't include a hat, since it was shipped to my house while I was in England. But I just went to look up the email from this year and discovered that, sure enough, I had asked for the hat last year, too, and they didn't send it. ❌ likes this.

  • 2018-01-24T16:30:49Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    In lighter news, I opened a feature request to add rich metadata for font packages to the AppStream specification. You can read it in all its glory here:

  • #Annoy

    2018-01-24T16:27:28Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Yet another infuriating problem with updating to the GNOME-based desktop is that it lost my keyboard shortcut settings.

    Worse yet, it's evidently impossible to assign custom commands to certain key combinations. Namely, I used to use Super+Alt to launch the overview in prior Ubuntu releases (at least I think that's what it was called; the system pop-up where you can launch and find things. I tire of trying to memorize the flavor-of-the-week permutation of generic words like "activity", "overview", "home", "launch" etc that projects cycle through with arbitrary distinctions between).

    In any case, Super was the default binding for this in the Unity environment. GNOME splits it into two different options; one with the app list, one with the search box. Whatever. But I needed to rebind the key combo to "Super-Alt" before the upgrade, because I have a specific app I use that captures raw Super key usage. Super is next to Alt, so this is the best compromise.

    In GNOME Shell, however, you can't use "Super+Alt" for anything. Super alone, fine. Super plus a character key, fine. Super plus a modifier, up yours. It doesn't even report a problem, it just doesn't capture the combination in the "Enter the new shortcut" dialog box.

    I know enough to know there's surely a way to manually configure this through flat file editing, but man is it annoying to have dig that deep in the mud. There is literally no advantage to disallowing specific key combinations as shortcuts. And I guarantee you that if I filed an issue on this, the response would be "well just use a different combination then". In other words, you're using your house wrong.

  • Documentation

    2018-01-17T17:40:18Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Never change, developer community.

  • 2018-01-16T22:27:17Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I have now spent a full half of one day using the GNOME-Shell–based version of the desktop Ubuntu session, complete with it's unremovable " 'swipe' the lock screen to wake up your screensaver, even though you're using a laptop with a tiny trackpad, rather than a phone, where you can actually swipe things" antifeature.

    People put up with this fifty times a day? Half of one day, and I am already prepared to burn both projects to the ground, and salt the earth beneath them. #Egad.

    Show all 7 replies I'm pretty sure you can just type your password, you don't have to swipe.

    murph at 2018-01-17T23:41:16Z

    Sweeny, I don't mean waking the screen but using the Escape buton to dismiss the "swipe to unlock" thing, which is after the screen is awake.

    Jason Self at 2018-01-18T05:18:57Z

    No, there is not a password-entry field. This is not the lock screen by traditional desktop metaphors, this is the "curtain". It comes on when the screen blanks, except unlike an actual screensaver, it's designed to show the system clock and notifications.

    Besides, typing the full password is worse than swiping, unless the user has a worryingly short password.

    Nathan Willis at 2018-01-18T14:21:07Z

    never seen that on ubuntu studio on a desktop .. guessing thats different?

    not going to waste money on tablets or smartphones until someone has one available with root out of the box ..

    no root no sale ..

    until that is available no phone can be trusted!

    Michael at 2018-01-20T06:00:52Z

  • Numbers

    2018-01-16T20:54:38Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Rough estimate is that 65% of the time I spend on hardware-hacking projects is me googling for the official names of tiny non-electronics parts like wire-harnesses and snap connectors. EEs are born knowing this stuff; it isn't fair.

    Elena ``of Valhalla'' likes this.

  • 2018-01-16T15:41:55Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Calculating the changes....

  • Call For

    2018-01-10T22:22:51Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    It seems like one or two accepted speakers have been informed by the LibrePlanet talk committee that their proposals were accepted....

    This based on those people talking about it on Twitter. But the CFP page itself did not include a 'decide/inform by' date. That's something I always try and do for the speaker-selection programs I work on. Really helps cut down on the ambiguity and anxiety.

  • This Just In

    2018-01-04T23:02:20Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I got an email last night about an article I wrote ... on January 3, 2008.

    (Well, technically I wrote it earlier, and they published it on 1/3/08, but still.)

    Luckily, it wasn't someone asking me a question about the topic.

  • Usability

    2018-01-03T04:00:18Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Here's the official, straight-from-the-project procedure for installing OpenWRT on my new router:

    1. Install a newer version of the vendor firmware on the router. Not any version, not the newest version; one specific version from more than a year ago.

    2. Install DD-WRT on the router. That's not a typo; not OpenWRT: DD-WRT. Not one specific version, but it must be whatever the latest beta release is, and you must get the one for your country-code-version of the router.

    3. Install an older version of the vendor firmware on the router. Older than the one that was originally on the router. Not any older version, a specific one from more than a year ago.

    4. Install OpenWRT on the router. Not, mind you, LEDE, which doesn't support my router. But OpenWRT does. Even though the projects have merged again ... sort of.

    5. Also, go to some guy's web site and download a WiFi chipset firmware blob, SSH it to the router, then install in within OpenWRT. But only if you want the WiFi 5GHz to work, of course.

    Open source!

    Also, if the serial number on the router is higher than a certain hex value, disregard everything after step 1; there's a different procedure.

    Nathan Willis at 2018-01-03T04:04:48Z

    Well, it's not really OpenWRT's fault if the vendors are working hard to prevent the installation of third party firmware...

    Elena ``of Valhalla'' at 2018-01-06T10:07:35Z

  • The Internet Of Self-inflicted Harm

    2018-01-02T15:35:21Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I've been reading a lot of home-automation blogs recently, for the purpose of planning out a few HA projects at WillisFarms.

    It's pretty alarming to me to see how many of the people involved in this hobby default to using

    • WiFi for the in-house network of things like unencrypted sensors
    • Sending their data out over the Internet in order to access it, rather than sending in to a local server on their LAN
    • Signing up for some commercial web service as a gateway between their sensors and whatever their state engine or front-end app is, rather than using a local MQTT server

    I mean, we expect the commercial IOT industry to do horribly insecure and privacy-destroying things, but why is the DIY community doing this to itself?

    Charles Stanhope, ❌, Stephen Sekula, Stephen Michael Kellat and 1 others likes this. ❌, ❌, ❌, ❌ and 1 others shared this.

    The Internet of LetMeOutOfHerePlease.

    It's depressing.

    JanKusanagi at 2018-01-02T15:46:04Z

  • 2017-12-17T22:47:37Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    It's pronounced "KOO-ber-neets" and you can find it on the web site "GITH-ub". ❌ likes this.

  • Yadda Yadda Yadda

    2017-12-14T18:22:51Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Two talks accepted for FOSDEM this year!

    I maybe should've stuck with one. We'll see if I survive.

    Either way, happy to start spreading the good news of ... how much is lacking in the FOSS font world.... #pessimismsells
  • Fun with Scribus, part A billion

    2017-11-29T14:55:20Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Gotta love it. Opened up my dissertation (from the first of September) and even though the content has not been touched since it was last exported, all of the page breaks are now in the wrong places, leaving widows and orphans on almost every page.

    This is why people don't update your packages, developer.
  • 2017-11-25T19:58:52Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Podcast idea: "Dungeons And Software" : a panel of hosts meet online to play a fantasy role-playing game while simultaneously discussing the week's news from the free-software world. ❌, Stephen Michael Kellat likes this.

    I figure 75% of all podcasts are D&D-themed already, so why not jump on the bandwagon?

    Nathan Willis at 2017-11-25T19:59:35Z

    I'd consider an alternative title, "Software and Dragons"

    zykotick9 at 2017-11-26T02:57:22Z


    2017-11-24T10:16:15Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    There is LITERALLY nothing in the world worse than getting a bad Tor entry node.

    Seriously; the network is designed so that you get stuck with the same entry node for weeks at a time, unless you jump through the hoops of using an invisible bridge that you have to set up yourself. So some hapless slob who has bandwidth problems becomes YOUR problem for weeks. And there's no way to contact them.

    "Literally" nothing worse? Your world is weird =)

    JanKusanagi at 2017-11-24T12:47:24Z

    I could care less.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-11-24T13:11:54Z

    a lot of people running them probably don't want to stick their necks out too far either, so not surprising its hard to contact them.

    so theres no way to tell it to change nodes if you get one that doesn't work properly or is to slow to be useable? (configs?)

    Michael at 2018-01-03T12:56:55Z

  • 2017-11-23T22:21:55Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I haven't decided how I feel about the Netflix 'Punisher' series yet, but it's certainly not written by anyone who has ever spent time with newspaper reporters, anyone in the police, or anyone who understands gun control. It's clearly not going for nuance, which is disappointing.
    I don't know anything about private security contractors, but I suppose it's one-dimensional and unrealistic about them, too.

    Nathan Willis at 2017-11-23T22:24:25Z