USB passthrough to a VM, via GUI only

2014-05-26 06:43:15 PST

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It sure has gotten easier to add USB devices to VMs with libvirt-manager and it’s nice UI

Email server todo: read up on DMARC

2014-04-07 15:55:22 PST

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The latest bolt on top email security specification, on top of SPF and DKIM is DMARXC. Need to read up on and get to implementing I suppose.

git branch in bash prompt

2014-03-18 13:20:31 PST

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Adding ‘$(__git_ps1)’ to my .bashrc PS1 bash prompt was the greatest idea/discovery I’ve had in a bit, as now I know exactly what branch any repo I enter is on:

dan@dan-work:~/src/work-project/ (master)$ 

Ubuntu 14.04 because I couldn’t wait

2014-03-14 06:33:49 PST


Well, for better or worse, I semi impulsively upgraded my main laptop Minerva to Ubuntu 14.04 a month and a bit ahead of release. I used to upgrade to all the latest Ubuntu versions a month and change ahead of release because back in the 10.04 and before days the Ubuntu alpha’s and beta’s had amazing stability. After that the stability went away, even in some case from the actual releases (12.04 has always been a bit unstable to my mind, even two years later). But so far (knock on wood) nothing has exploded so that’s good.

I’ve always been a fan of ‘focus follow mouse’ so while I had previously just removed the Ubuntu appmenu (because the two do no work together and also appmenu degrades functionality on bigger screens) I’m now trying their new “Menus in title bar”. I’m glad they are now remembering and acknowledging big desktop interface users.

Now I just need to track down the new beta’s of ROS that will work on Ubuntu 14.04 and we’ll really be cooking…

Warning: Ubuntu 12.04 kernel 3.8.0-37 panics during init and fails to boot (for me)

2014-03-11 10:17:40 PST


So I installed some packge updates on my work machine and rebooted and… kernel panic during init. Repeatedly. So that was surprising, concerning and worrying. On the fourth try I booted the previous 3.8.0-36 kernel and the system came up fine. So they shipped a kernel than panics, at least on my system. Not good. There seems to be some confrimation popping up on AskUbuntu and I chimed in there.

But I was curious why the first google hit was AskUbuntu and not launchpad for a pretty dire bug. So I hoped over to launchpad. Logged in for the first time in a very long time and looked around. No “report bug” link. Ok. That’s odd, it’s their bug reporting system. So I poked around and eventually figured maybe I had to pick a project (not super obvious from their front page) so I found Ubuntu and poof, there was the report bug link! Except it linked to a long detailed help document on how to report bugs. I just want to report a non-booting kernel. So in there after some other non working links to more documentation I found a link specifically for reporting System Crashes. But I’m still on their wiki, and just being passed around to read more and more and not actually report a bug. I don’t want to read pages of documentation on their convuluted bug reporting process at work. I have work to do they’ve already crapped all over by shipping a buggy kernel, and now I’m wasting my time reading aobut their kafka-esque reworking of a bug tracking system. Have they removed the web report a bug system and replaced it only with wiki pages and some programs? I’m sure it’s great once you’ve drank the kool-aid, spent the requisite month in solitude learning it. But FFS, for a random guy who just had a system crashing bug, it’s all useless. I’m trying not to be rude but I’m pretty angry. How hard is it to have a web interface for bug reports? Were they just getting too much so hide it behind a maze of wiki page or just removed it and repalced it with a bunch of apps you have to install and read manual pages on to use? Not really acceptable IMHO. I know the inundation of bugs might have been a problem, but obfuscating the process for only people who have a load of time to drop seems like not the answer. If you screwed up you should probably make the barrier for finding out as low as possible. Get a smarter system that auto groups likely dups, don’t write a barage of docs and desktop/cli apps and hide behind those instead. So maybe they’ll not learn today they are shipping a kernel-panic bug. Awesome.

Huge really amazing fail Ubuntu both on shipping a non booting kernel and then making AskUbuntu the only way non-super initiated people can report it.

Getting started with my softkinetic DepthSense 325

2014-03-08 20:29:35 PST

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So a bit ago I bought a DepthSense 325 camera. I’ve been pretty busy since then but today I finally sat down to get started with it. First thing, it was on my netbook so I had to resetup the software stack and SDK. The SDK is free from softkinetic and works on Linux (which is awesome, and also a big reason I bought this camera) but I think it’s more aimed at Ubuntu 12.04 so there was one or two extra steps to make it go on 13.10.

First, regardless of Ubuntu version, you need to add the DepthSense libraries to the LD_LOAD_PATH and the now recommended way is adding a file to /etc/ like this



Then run ‘sudo ldconfig‘ to regenerate the cache or what ever. Now you can link agianst the libraries.

Next, at least for Ubuntu 13.10, you need to fake having Thankfully worked fine so run

sudo ln -s /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

At this point DepthSenseViewer that comes with the SDK should work and you are good to go.

So today’s mission after getting set up was to get some code pulling form the camera and displaying using opencv (because I ultimately want to feed it through ROS filters and as was suggested on a forum post, the best way to hook the DS325 into ROS was through openCV and then the ros opencv bridge). Thankfully I found what I needed on the softkinetic forum in Example Linux/OpenCV Code to display/store DS325 data. The first code needed some slight fixes as detailed in the second (but slightly corrupted formatted) post. With a little poking and proding I had it compiling and working.

g++ ds_show.cxx  -I /opt/softkinetic/DepthSenseSDK/include/ -L /opt/softkinetic/DepthSenseSDK/lib -lDepthSense  -lopencv_core -lopencv_highgui

Not actually that much coding today, but a lot of pieces in place.

DepthSeense 325 now being polled by my code and openCV

Go lang Van meetup #1

2014-02-08 22:10:22 PST

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So some kind folks over at ACL services set up, kicked off and hosted the first Vancouver Go lang meetup on wednesday. It was great. Packed room, about 60 people showed up. One of the talks in particular was of use to me, by Joseph Holsten (who kindly ventured up from Seattle), it was on Go and DevOps and he kindly posted the slide. So thanks to everyone, it was fun and very informative!

Go supports closures. Neat!

2014-01-16 04:57:20 PST

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So Go is a compiled system level language akin-ish to C, except with way more cooler newer features (and a little less memory munging fun I think). I just found that Go totally supports easy first order functions and closures:

package main
import (
func doTimes(fn func() int, times int) {
        for i:=0;i<times ; i++ {
func main() {
        x := 0
        inc := func() int {
                return x
        doTimes(inc, 5)
dan@ember:~/Dropbox/src/golang$ go run closure.go 

So that’s pretty cool! Yeah for the future!

Primes, now with Go

2014-01-15 08:32:55 PST

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I’ve been getting up to speed on the Go programming language in preparation for my new job next week which uses it. To that end I’ve achieved at least the ability to write a prime number finder in it so far, so I did and added it to my Primes project. I believe that makes 40 languages in total now.

2014: 12 years of!

2014-01-11 05:33:55 PST

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Well, it’s the new year and as is often true, I’m being more productive with respect to my website(s) and other neglected coding projects. Potentially related, I’m on vacation too. :)

So, 12 years ago-ish I launched It’s come a long way from a home grown written in perl blog, to a home grown written on PHP blog to wordpress in 2005 which this still is. And this site’s not going anywhere yet. In fact I’ve been prodded to blog more as of late. However this blog is a bit set in it’s ways and audience (as limited as that is) as my tech blog, which it will continue to be. How ever I’m now experimenting with a more life-blog style blog at It’s what I’ve been working on in the last couple of weeks, and it’s not done. I started with a base Customizr theme and have been working from there. I’m happy-ish enough now to show it to a limited audience, but some of the theme parts still need some kicking, and it’s pretty slow right now, so that’ll need addressing too.

So 2014 is looking to be an interesting year. As always, in the new year I pledge to blog more, and work on more software outside of work. So far a new blog, and a new wordpress module isn’t the worst way to start. This should be aided a bit by the fact I’ve switched jobs. I’m no longer working at the web agency FCV, but when I return from vacation start a new job as developer at Trulioo. The work should be different and interesting and I’m very much looking forward to it. Also they have a much saner IP ownership clause so I can do some of my own unrelated work which I’m very pleased about. All this and a new “life blog”. So hopefully 2014 will see a lot of cool new things!


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