Test QuietWrite Post

I discovered quietwrite.com the other day. Probably through Lifehacker, but I have quite honestly forgotten. I like the concept: somewhere to write, with autosaves and options for publishing later if you so desire.

I’ve fallen out of the “long-format blog post” habit, seemingly preferring Twitter-style short-format updates. But maybe something like this (which also, incidentally, works on the iPad) might be just what I need.

I wonder if it’ll work on my Android tablet?

hmm. seems easy enough. now to find a way to not go pulling-out-my-hair crazy trying to reliably type on this horrible keyboard.

Enabling SSH on Dell PowerConnect Switches

Because I had so much trouble finding this information.

If you’ve already got telnet set up, and your config includes a line like

username admin password 123487123458134789561278561927845 level 15 encrypted

Then you’re already very close. Only two steps remain between you and SSH console access.

  1. crypto key generate dsa (or rsa)
  2. ip ssh server

That’s it! Don’t bother with the instructions that you might find in the user guide for “configuring an initial SSH console password” that have you mess with aaa authentication default line and the like. They’re red herrings.

Android? Android!

*pffffff* Wow, that’s a lot of dust.

I bought an Android phone last year. A T-Mobile MyTouch 3G, which is a rebranded HTC Magic 32b. I like it a lot, even though about 2 months later the Nexus One was released. It’s become my primary pocket-based internet device; Heather inherited my old 1st-gen iPod Touch. Being the huge geek that I am, I’m surprised I waited the week that I did before I voided the warranty, got root, and installed a “mod”. Mostly because I could, but also partially to gain some performance and features that weren’t available on the stock ROM.

So let’s look at that. My phone came with Android 1.5 (Cupcake), but T-Mobile had already released the OTA (over-the-air) update to 1.6, so I never really experienced 1.5, which I hear is a good thing. 1.6 looks like this:

I used this version of Android (stock, with some rearranged icons) for about a week, and then I hacked my phone, and installed CyanogenMod 4.1.9999. That gave me root access, an easy-to run terminal emulator, and tethering (which I’ve used exactly once, to make sure it worked). I also called T-Mobile at some point and got the subsidy unlock code for my phone, so that I could use other providers’ SIM cards when I’m in T-Mobile dead zones. CyanogenMod, through 4.2.15.1 (the latest stable release as of today), looks virtually identical to “stock” 1.6. It’s got some neat features, like an improved dialer and lots of technology/backend ports from Eclair (Android 2.1). About a month (6 week, maybe?) ago, Cyanogen released a test version of CyanogenMod 5.0.7 for my phone, and I snapped it up. Early adoption of technology is definitely for me. 5.0.7 is a port of Eclair (Android 2.1) to the Dream and Sapphire hardware (those are the production names that HTC used for the G1 and MyTouch 3G). There’s stuff missing in this port from the full release of 2.1 that’s on the Nexus One or Droid (the 3d launcher is the most obvious, but there are others), but it’s very nearly feature-complete. And I think it’s good stuff. 5.0.7-test5 came out last night, and it’s the first -test version that I’ve run that I’ve not felt the need to enable swap space for. Things are snappy, I haven’t seen any bugs that aren’t already being worked on, and I get to use things like the official Twitter for Android app (which only works on 2.0+). By and large, though, the screen hasn’t changed all that much. Here’s what my current “home screen” looks like:

And really? It looks pretty much the same. I don’t go out of my way to make my phone flashy (although it’s definitely capable of that); I go for functional. I use everything on the home screen on a daily basis, and things launch nice and fast, operate as I expect, and then stay out of my way.

End result? If you have an older Android phone, like the T-Mobile G1 or the MyTouch 3G, and don’t mind voiding your warranty, think about moving to CyanogenMod. It’ll be worth your while, especially if you want to use new features (and not wait for an official 2.1 upgrade, which may never arrive).

Extracting a tar archive, advanced!

Because otherwise I’ll forget and have to search through forum posts to find it again:

Let’s say you have a tar archive, foo.tar.gz .  Let’s also say that this archive contains an upgraded version of a popular blogging software suite.  The contents of the archive look like this:

foo/index.php
foo/image.jpg
foo/css/web.css
foo/css/print.css

Let’s also suppose, shall we, that you’ve got the previous version of foo already installed in another location, like /var/www/foo.example.com/  , and you want to extract the contents of the archive (here’s the important part) into that directory, without having to move the directory contents or rename any directories, or whatnot.  Here’s how:

cd /var/www/foo.example.com && tar zxvp –strip-components=1 -f /path/to/foo.tar.gz

This will extract the archive, and ignore the first level of the path (in this case, foo/).

Things I want in the (not-yet-created) 3rd-Generation iPod Touch

Since Apple didn’t update the product line at their event this afternoon, I figure I’ll post my wishlist of things that I want to see in the new model.  Since anyone with that kind of clout reads this page.

  • A Camera. Stills is fine, video would be an added bonus.  The camera on my BlackBerry sucks big-time, and I’d like to take cute pictures of Nora without having to carry a 3rd piece of electronics around with me.
  • Full Bluetooth support. I want to be able to sync with my MacBook over Bluetooth, I want to be able to use the Bluetooth speakers in my office (or Bluetooth headphones, if I ever buy any). I want full file-transfer abilities, too; not just the crappy “you can sync your calendar and contacts” that it has now.
  • A good speaker (yes, I know that the 2nd-generation iPod Touch has a speaker; I don’t have one of those) with an independent software volume control for each of sound effects and music

I think that if Apple added all three of those features, I might downgrade my BlackBerry to “stick that makes phone calls”, and do all of the “funnest” stuff on the iPod.  Or if Apple gives up on the AT&T exclusivity for the iPhone, and lets T-Mobile sell them in the US, I’ll just trade both out for an iPhone 3GS.  But since I don’t see that happening any time soon, I’ll just have to continue hoping for upgrades instead….