Hoarding: computer edition

*The picture above is not of my house*

My 2nd PC ever.

On the tail end of my “Paternity Leave” I realized I have not done much to aid MommyMD. Well I cant really breast feed Juliette, but I suppose I could be more pro-active with diaper changing. Then again I HATE POOP diapers. That I can get over, but everytime Juliette eats, she poops soon after. Talk about gastro-colic reflex. When she is changed, it really ticks her off and she cries bloody murder. Once she gets boobed again, all is good.

I digress. So on the tale end of being off work, I told MommyMD her “push gift” was that I would clean out the basement. A big problem in the basement is the mass amounts of computers I collect.

At the office, we had a ton of outdated PCs that were still functional. I took them home to clean them up. It is odd, even when stripped down from the crap-ware, they still seem to run slow. I dont know if I am just used to faster computers, but I assume the continuous updates require more processing power and memory.

there is more crap than it seems underneath

Suffice it to say, like everything else I hoard, I figure I would be able to find a use for the old hardware. So I keep them. I am finding that I personally dont have any use for these things, and dont know anyone I can give them to to use. I should just sell it! So today I gathered all the outdated, marked-for-disposal equipment in the office, as well as my house. Took it to computerexpress and figured I could maybe get 20$ to buy some pizza at the office.

 Well no. Apparently ink-jets are useless (my sentiments exactly), and anything running XP is too old. Most of this stuff pictured is crap from the office. My main contribution is the old P3 from dell pictured above. Now that computer I purchased for my freshman year at Ohio State. At the time it was rather snazzy and expensive. It has gone through many upgrades and had finally become a ghost of a shell for the past 11-12 years. I dont know why I kept it around really. Maybe it’s the hoarder in me. I do hope one day it does not get so bad I end up on A&E’s HOARDERS.

So I had a decision to make. Let Computer Express recycle it all, and not get the bounty I was hoping for, or try to donate it to get a tax write off, or take it to Ohio Drop off where they may give 3cents/lb of a PC. After mulling it over for a while, and being consoled by the associate at the store (he was very empathetic), I figured I’d just recycle it all. I could have dumped it all in a trash can, but I’ve been trying to be environmentally conscious when possible. Also I dont want sensitive data laying around. When I piled it all up, I literally sat and mourned for about 1 minute. I felt I was quitting some habit cold turkey. I had this sensation of guilt. I felt I let someone down (but who?). I was not able to re purpose (or at least make some money) off of these relics.

Now I am home. ViviBear is napping. JulietteBear must be pooping as I hear her crying upstairs. And MommyMD is obviously mommying upstairs. Strangely enough, I actually feel relieved now that I got rid of that clutter. Now what to do about my plants…

**disclaimer – i did pull and thrash the hard drives before dropping them off**


UFS and Debian: Migrating from FreeNAS to OpenMediaVault

I have been trying to migrate away from freeNAS for the past 2 years now since the advent of Open Media Vault. I’ve come across the issue of accessing data from my UFS filesystem drives ( freeNAS uses has the option to use UFS being based on BSD platform). Suffice it to say it was difficult to access the drive since I did not have any computers loaded with BSD. I had windows/mac and Linux (ubuntu). Scouring the web, there were many options, but I did not have the free time or spare computers to fully explore how to do this. I remember last year I found some info how to do this but did not have the time to follow through. Today I was determined to do it.

Basically, I needed to access and transfer files from an UFS drive and back it up  to either an NTFS or EXT-4 drive, then I could re-purpose the old UFS drive.

Simplest way for me was to mount the UFS drive on my Ubuntu computer, and then move the files. Ubuntu does not support UFS out of box, but with the help of this post, I was able to get things working in a Jiffy.

Mounting UFS file systems in Ubuntu should be straight forward. Follow these simple steps to make sure that your are mounting your FreeNAS disks properly in Ubuntu:

Load the UFS module (or make sure its loaded)

sudo modprobe ufs

Make a directory where to mount the files on

mkdir ~/ufs_mount

To find out which device holds your UFS file system use the command fdisk -l, note which device you intend to mount.

Mount the file system to the directory your previously created

sudo mount -r -t ufs -o ufstype=ufs2 /dev/sdb1 /home/<your_username>/ufs_mount

(where: sdb1 is the UFS partition you want to mount and <your_username> is the your current username where the intended mounting point was created previously.

(Credits to Bruno Pereira user on AskUbuntu.com)

The “fdisk -l” did not seem to output what I was looking for, but I just used Gparted to figure out the partition name in question.

Just wanted to share this tid bit.

Exporting layers in GIMP file to single pdf file

In GIMP exporting multiple layers to one pdf file is surprisingly difficult. I found two solution, both require additional software besides GIMP, but are fairly easy to implement.One solution is given here. It requires a plug-in or script to export individual layers to separate tiff files (something which perhaps surprisingly is not possible out-of-the-box in GIMP). The before-mentioned site suggest the script “Save Layers as Individual Files”, which can be downloaded from Panotools. Next step is to useImageMagick to convert the tiff files into a single pdf file.

Continue reading “Exporting layers in GIMP file to single pdf file”

the wonders of google android , this post is completely voice dictated

since I am watching my baby today it is very difficult for me to get to a computer let alone blog with the baby trying to take away the keyboard and trying to write her own blog. I feel like 1 of the radiologist using the dragon speak software. I spoke too soon baby has come to confiscate my phone.
I must say google android system has a very sophisticated speech recognition program.

Microsoft Kinect – or Cant Kinect out of box



Over the black friday holiday, I figured it would be a great time to pick up a Microsoft Kinect. They were having sales for $199 for the kinect bundles at multiple places. After waking up extra early and missing the line to pick one up in store, I also missed an opportunity to buy one from amazon.com. Feeling dejected, I checked out eBay, and was able to buy one from ToysRUs Ebay store for $199. no shipping, just tax. I felt silly waking up early. I promised myself no more waiting in line during black friday for deals that you could likely find online.

Eitherway,  I wanted to get a Kinect, beause I figured my sig other might actually like playing it. When I bought our Wii, I thought the same. Wrong. I think I got her to play with it 2x. I bought a PS3 Move last Turkey day thinking the same thing. Wrong. She refused to play it. (Has yet to touch it). With the kinect/dancing game, I was certain she would want to play, and so far so good.

Well the point of thise post is to review my setup, and to review the system overall.

With either the Wii, PS3, or Xbox, the motion gaming requires a sensor that sits near the screen. At least for the Wii they have wireless options. The PS3 eye Toy and Xbox Kinect require more information to be transferred and must be connected with a cord. If your system is next to the screen/tv this is not an issue, but for those who use a projector and have the system much farther away this is an issue.

When I bought the Kinect bundle, I was not aware of the “kinect ready” xbox vs the older ones. The Kinect sensor uses a proprietary powered usb port. The older Xboxes do not have the proprietary port, only USB ports. Problem with the regular USB ports is that they do not provide enough power to run the Kinect sensor. When you buy the kinect by itself it comes with a pigtail adapter that has a seperate power adapter and adapter for a typical usb a port. This allows the sensor to be plugged into USB port, while being powered with the power supply.

Kinect Pigtail Adapter

With this option I was able to use a usb extension cable from MonoPrice.com to extend the length and use my kinect with my projector.

USB Extension for Xbox Kinect or PS3 Eye

I also used the same USB extension cord for my PS3 Eye toy, and it works great now with no more degradation of signals and cutting out.  Even though it is the same cord they have a separate item on the monoprice site