Scott Hewitt Blog Archive 2012
Really easy, quick to make and can be prepared ahead of time.
Roll out some puff pastry, 3-5mm thick.
Divide it into rectangles, small if finger food or large if part of the main course.
Mash up some blue cheese.
Roll a portion of blue cheese and place it on one end of pastry rectangle.
Fold the pastry over seal by hand and add dash of beaten egg over top.
Stab small hole in top.
Bake in oven 180 Degrees for until pastry cooked.
git branch -m old-branch-name new-branch-name
Easy way to rename branches, works with master branch.
Found this online today.
git submodule foreach ‘git fetch origin –tags; git checkout master; git pull’ && git pull && git submodule update –init –recursive
It makes working with submodules in git really easy and it works with submodules within submodules.
So recently while I have been commuting I have been thinking more about my road position and have came to the conclusion that riding down the left hand side of a lane is a really bad idea, to the extent that I am not actually sure that I think marked bike lanes on roads are a good idea either.
Two things happened recently to convince me of this,
- Firstly a car driver opened a door into my path forcing me to swerve out to go around them even though I was riding on the line marking the outside of the cycle lane.
- Secondly on my early morning commute (5:50am) a drive over shot a give way line once again forcing me to pull out suddenly.
Now in both of these incidents there was nothing behind me but it has struck me that if there had been then I would have been in real problems. So I am going to try and ride with such a road position that I should not need to make such avoiding manoeuvres in the future.
A quick way to remove pass-phrases from RSA keys.
openssl rsa -in ~/.ssh/id_rsa -out ~/.ssh/id_rsa_new
The resultant file will contain the key minus the need for a passphrase.
This obviously reduces the level of security so you should be careful when using this feature.
So as part of my move to Manchester I now ride a bike most days either as part of my commute or just to get into town.
This new section on my blog will record my thoughts regarding my cycling adventures.
While I have found it interesting to see how much distance I am covering I have found that the ‘gamification’ of my journeys has added a very enjoyable aspect to them and driven to ride faster and get fitter. I am however very conscious of the fact that this gamification could prompt me to take risks while cycling so I am very careful to avoid that.
Working with python at the moment for the HELOpg Slime Project and needs to remove the duplicates from a list in python and found this great little method.
myList = list(set(myList))
` Found [online]. : http://love-python.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/remove-duplicate-items-from-list-using.html
So this is something I always forget how to do, so I am going to post it here so I don’t lose it and perhaps it will be off use to others.
Adam Jansch and I are commenting on HackManchester for 24 hours, the stream is below.
Part 8 The End
Find out more about HackManchester at https://hackmanchester.com/ or via #hackmanchester on twitter.
So today marked the day I completed my move out of Huddersfield; I am now a resident of Manchester.
Susanna, the cats and I are all now across in Manchester though I expect to be commuting to Huddersfield University as I continue lecturing there. (More about my work this year later this month.)
A quick reminisce about the past and the cool things that have happened in Huddersfield, the establishment of the Inclusive Improv, Week(end) of Speakers, Creative Pact, The Huddersfield Experimental Laptop Orchestra, HELOpg, the starting of The Audio Podcast, HWOP, the formation of the On Time Production House, the 2011 ICMC UnConf, hosting Sonic Arts Meeting Groups and the Laptop Christmas Party – many of these will continue.
The Manchester move is really exciting prompted by various work opportunities and a desire for a change of pace and scene. I will however miss the various friends and the church I have attended in Huddersfield.
I have been talking about the move on my daily podcast as part of creativepact.
The move has also trigger a reconsideration of priorities as I feel a return to commercial work with a strong ethical focus, consequently I all ready have a number of secret projects I can not share fully. But internet and housing are in the mix.
And https://hackmanchester.com/ looks really cool.
So this morning at OggCamp 2012 I decided to propose a talk, which after a brief time in limbo was excepted. Was nice to present in an informal setting so talked through my WIFI Broken thought exercise my notes as always will be online at http://show.scotthewitt.co.uk.
Later on enjoyed a presentation about the Raspberry Pi project, which persuade me to buy one, which I intend to deploy as either a VPN server or a media thin client.
Also got to see a ColourHug which I heard about a long time ago but never got to see, was interesting to hear the story of the ColourHugs development and some of the practicalities of open hardware development.
Finally enjoy the OggCamp raffle which ended in a very entertaining impromptu auction when the grand prize was declined be the winner.
Then a quick dash to the train to get home early for tea with Susanna – Bye OggCamp2012 !!
After enjoying robotic boats first thing, Saturdays second session was vector maths by John Sharp followed by a look at the German Enigma machine (presented by Nahuel Marisi) and the human user introduced vulnerabilities. Made me realise how little I know about the competitive, equivalent Allies encryption technologies.
Finally enjoyed the live show contest between the Linux Outlaws and UK Ubuntu Podcast.
Now for tea and then the party.
Have arrived in Liverpool fine, baulked at the cost of sandwich at Manchester Station so instead enjoyed KFC after checking into the hotel. Am staying in the Adelphi hotel in the middle of Liverpool which is a bit grim – full of stag dos, grannies and for two nights only geeks. It reminds me of the Pennsylvania hotel I stayed in, while visiting New York for ICMC 2010.
Enjoyed an evening drinking far to much Pepsi in the bar while discussing suitably geek topics such as Arch, expectations of online privacy and a possible explanation for the slowness of the bar based on incorrect compiler flags.
All in all a good start to OggCamp 2012.
While I was in London last week I bought some new, old old glass. A Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AFD lens. It is actually the second time I have owned this glass having previously traded it for a Nikkor 17-55 2.8 AFS so why the step back.
Firstly I still have the 17-55 glass, its a daily work horse and the flexibility is really useful but its big and heavy. This is where the 24mm excels.
The Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AFD is small, light weight and very flexible, it does have a tendency to flare and produce UFOs if you shoot straight into a light source, but with care its not a major problem. It focus close enough and has a wide enough view that it works great as a walk around every day lens and the fast (enough) 2.8 aperture means it can be used at night as well. Ideal for holidays. In fact when combined with a camera with Dynamic Area AF it actually works well as a high quality compact.
Well I am happy to get the class back and expect it to be my default lens for non work stuff. If you want to see some of my photos why not check out my photography portfolio at http://photo.scotthewitt.co.uk.
I have had a problem with using i3 as a window manager getting screen locking and suspend to work but this is how I got it fixed.
I had pm-suspend working from the terminal with sudo and i3lock installed.
|The alias *pm-suspend||i3lock*|
Had the advantage of also locking the screen however it needed to be run with a sudo command and password.
With an edit through visudo
%users ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend
it could be made so that you don’t need to type the password as the user, so the alias can become,
This got me thinking that it would be cool to be able to do this from a key press in i3 rather than a terminal.
The first part of doing this is to add the key short cut to .i3/config
bindsym $mod+p exec suspendandlock
then write a bash script into /usr/bin saved as suspendandlock
suspend and lock
|sudo pm-suspend||i3lock -c 000000|
Finally we have to modify the sudoers file again with visudo and change the %users to %wheel.
%wheel ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend
On Fedora 17 an additional edit is required with visudo, requiretty requires commenting out with visudo to be,
# Defaults requiretty
sECuRE from the i3 IRC chat helped out with the Fedora fix diagnosed through the log error.
requirement “uid >= 1000″ not met by user
Now if everything is work mod+p will trigger power suspend and when you awake will ask for a password.
This comming weekend I am attending Ogg Camp 2012 in Liverpool, I am voluntering as part of the crew so I suspect it will be a busy weekend. The unconference, hosted by Linux Outlaws and the UK Ubuntu podcast is all about open culture and hardware hacking so should be really intrested. I hope to blog my way through the event here, but of course I might be to busy so shall see.
So its August and that means its almost September which means its CreativePact time.
You can find details about CreativePact online at http://creativepact.co.uk/.
CreativePact is a fun way of committing to do something everyday for a month, with a fun sense of community and a source of encouragement. It easy, basically you just commit to do something everyday and tag it #creativepact many people use tumblr or wordpress or you can host it yourself. The main thing is to think of something you would like to do but never have time to do, and then use creativepact as your excuse
My Past Creative Pacts
Last year in 2011 I did a podcast a day which provided a great excuse to talk to a wide range of people who interest me from all sort of activities. http://podcast.scotthewitt.co.uk/category/creative-pact-2011/
In 2010 I did some livecoding every day which was great for developing performance skills which I use within HELOpg. http://creativepact2010-scotthewitt.tumblr.com/
In 2009 I took part in Hackpact hosted by TOPLAP and committed to programming in ChucK everyday. http://www.ablelemon.co.uk/chuckaday/
My CreativePact 2012
This year I plan to continue my 2011 creative pact and restart my daily podcast. My hope is to make use of Google+ hangouts and foster use the podcast as a place to discuss topics, but its just a work in progress at the moment.
So freedom is important but so is working with MP3 files. The default Audacity package on Fedora does not have MP3 support which is understandable but a pest.
So here is how to get Audacity with MP3 support.
Firstly you need the rpmfusion repos,
su -c 'yum localinstall –nogpgcheck <a href="http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm">http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm</a> <a href="http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm">http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm</a>'
then its as easy as
sudo yum install audacity-freeworld
and it is done.
Today I came across a Youtube parody video, Amazon Yesterdays Shipping.
While the video is created to be funny it does actually illustrate the key goal behind current Amazon plans that of reducing the delivery time between ordering and receiving goods.
From my experience within e-commerce customers have always been willing to pay for speed, even when a longer time service is free this offers a near ideal business scenario, advertise free delivery, on a slow service then offer a paid upgrade for a next day service.
As well as offering increased profitability as the extra payment tends to represent pure profit, the next day delivery service can also reduce insurance and storage costs and liabilities as well. The limitation to this technique tends to by within the human picking process with warehousing which can be expensive in terms of theft, wages and also inaccurate.
Amazon same delivery service is being enabled by enhancements in the picking service and the requirement for local sales tax collection robbing them of the commercial advantage of distant distribution, in fact I would go as far as saying that this probably marks the beginning of the end of the physical retail experience.
Now I happen to think that the instant delivery service is possible but that’s an idea for a startup and not for here.
So having decided to move away from Arch Linux it was time to choose another distribution.
The first observation though is just the richness of the current Linux Desktops, remembering the horrors of trying to get Fedora Core 1 to install and the nightmare of the first Ubuntu installation I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the process has become.
Firstly Fedora, Ubuntu and Mint all come with live CD installers meaning you can actually boot the install from the disk and have a play with the software before committing to installing it.
So I started with Mint, a friend Alex Mclean, had recommend Cinnamon Mint version and I knew the inclusion of the non-free bits (MP3 and Flash would be something less to worry about). It booted and installed fine but I had concerns about being so far downstream Debian -> Ubuntu -> Mint and the inevitable package lag that that can cause. (I maybe should have considered the Debian Mint Edition but I didn’t.)
Having decided against Mint my intention was to go with Ubuntu. Firstly I think Gnome3 looks ok and the Unity things is kind of neat but having said that I was immediately going to install i3. The Ubuntu install worked fine however the update process failed after being left running overnight. Now in defence later inspection would show that a Dropbox install had crashed the whole thing but the software update stuff had just crashed and was offering no advice and in fact was jammed broken, forcing me to flush apt. This was not the low hassle support world I wanted.
Having been disappointed my Ubuntu and realising that the Dropbox fault would likely effect Mint as well I had into the more familiar territory of Redhat and fedora Core 17 XFCE spin. I choose the XFCE spin as I had a lean setup from my Arch install which I would be able to reuse and I kind of like it, fast, simple and gets out of the way.
Fedora 17 installed, updated and i3 installed alongside as well.
Dropbox crashed again through installation but did not crash yum and I was able to manually complete the install.
So I am now on Fedora 17 XFCE spin after having had an enjoyable day playing with distributions and every install offered me working WIFI, function keys, bluetooth and 3D graphics!
So since getting my Samsung Nc110 netbook I have been running Arch Linux on it.
Arch has been a lot of fun, building the entire system from scratch and delivered me a highly customised Linux install with loads of battery life and bleeding edge application versions.
However it has had its problems.
Python3 as the default has been problematic I really wish that we could call python2 python and call python3 python3.
Also being at the bleeding edge has its dangers like the time that an update broke my external video out.
However the main issue has just been the amount of time required to support things. Every so often a pacman update would require substantial work to get it sorted, always well documented but just time consuming.
So while running Arch has been fun it is becoming impractical as my netbook is increasingly my main computer so I need something more stable to use instead.
So I am going to use this opportunity to have a look at different Linux distributions.
So with a bit of luck this blog post should appear inside Facebook as well as on my personal blog at http://scotthewitt.co.uk .
Like many I was very annoyed when Facebook killed its rss import but this Facebook app functionality is far more considered and developed.
Of course some of you may consider this noise so my apologies.
I suspect that the launch of the WordPress / Facebook plugin is coinciding with Google I/O where I suspect we will see G+ API’s announced.
After having switched to Emacs and eventually allowing OrgMode to take over my organisation it only made sense to explore what other things I could do with Emacs.
So one idea I decided to explore was using OrgMode to update my various WordPress blogs that I keep or maintain on behalf of http://gridgiant.co.uk.
Using org2blog found online on github at https://github.com/punchagan/org2blog and the xmlrpc interface built within WordPress; it turns out to be easy to do and very powerful.
Today while recording a WWDC Special episode for TheAudioPodcast I forgot to turn on my recorder so I had to extract the audio from the youtube video. ffmpeg makes it really easy,
ffmpeg -i movie-source-file.mp4 audio-target-file.mp3
So it will come as no surprise to most readers that I am a big Linux fan, in fact the only thing that stops my using it exclusively is a driver issue.
There is a good interview with Linus on the BBC site at the moment which is interesting to read. His remarks about the GPL working on selfish grounds is quite interesting and not a view I have considered before.
I find the slight dig at RMS and the GPL3 a little distasteful though.
So as I have been increasing movingly my life into Git version control it made sense to explore methods of publishing with Git.
Turns out to be quite simple.
On the web server
Create a folder to host live site (live)
Create a folder to host git repository (repo)
Create git bare repository in folder (repo)
git init --bare
Within the hooks folder create a file called post-receive
with the following text
#! /bin/sh GIT_WORK_TREE="../live" git checkout -f
Now ensure the folder live is writable by the web server and that the file post-receive is executable. This hooks means that when the repository is committed to it will check out the files to the live web directory.
On the local box
Now on the box that the files exisit all you need to do is add a new remote (I tend to call it web but it can be called anything).
git remote add web *your-remote-url*
and then when you push the files will be made live.
So SLEO is finished time to head home….
Shared a ride with part of Sideband which was fun and got to see a bit more of Louisiana this time in the daylight.
Impressed with the amount of free wifi available in both New Orleans and Philadelphia airport in fact I am writing this at the departure gate for my transatlantic flight.
After having been to Philadelphia a few times now I finally succumbed and tried a Philly Cheese steak at Chickie and Pete’s was very good.
So american trip been a lot of fun but looking forward to getting home.
So today I presented my paper
Notational Approaches for a Laptop Ensemble and appeared on a panel regarding *Improvisation as Composition for Laptop Ensembles *then got to see Sideband and the European Bridges Ensemble play which was great.
Also made time to see Mike the Tiger, the Shaquille O
So today I got to hear the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana play Human Shredders which was pretty ace. The played it real well.
L2orK also performed today and while the show was interesting there stage show could be much grander!!
Food has been good, enjoyed more root beer and walked across the campus in the heat, typical English activity!!
So having arrived yesterday evening today was my first full day at LSU, started with an enjoyable cup of coffee at Highland Coffees.
Afterwards head on to the LSU campus for two workshops. (At this point I should explain that I am here to attend the first every Symposium on Laptop Ensembles & Orchestras SLEO comment about the symposium can be found on my research blog.)
After the workshops I had my first experience of Crawfish apparently a local delicacy enjoyed a few but its a lot of effort for only a little meat and I ended up just using my Crawfish bodies to talk to people sitting next to me. Due to the Crawfish incident I went to Chimes and enjoyed Hush Puppies and a burger with Barq’s Root Beer.
So have had a full day to explore New Orleans, had an enjoyable trip to a farmers market after walking along Camp St. via Coliseum Square Park. Enjoyed a cup of cold coffee after getting the research poster printed.
Then head to Stein’s Market and Deli for a Jeff Berger for a lunch with a root beer, the first of this trip.
Then along to the french quarter, a stroll down Bourbon and Royal with a quick viewing of the river and lots of photos.
Finally rode a Street Car back along St. Charles back to were I was staying.
Once getting back I persuade Ray as to the importance of playing ottd while he attempted to persuade me to start playing Dwarf Fortress,
So a day late but my day of air travel went fine.
Flight from Manchester to Philadelphia was quiet and very enjoyable enjoyed watching Mission Impossible Ghost Recon and Real Steel on the flight as well as writing my presentation.
The internal flights went well and was nice to pass through Charlotte Douglas International Airport and see all the Duke and Tarhills memorabilia brought back nice memories.
Finally made it New Orleans and enjoyed all you can eat Catfish at Joey K’s followed by IceCream at The Creole Creamery followed up by a stroll through a bit of the Garden District past The Prytania Theatre.
I finally made time to sit down and watch the Kony 2012 film.
Its a powerful film about the ongoing criminal actions of a Joseph Kony in Uganda, the campaign to see him brought to justice and how we as citizens of the earth can act against this.
I find the idea of individual citizens uniting as a group to achieve something exciting and the enabling power of the internet makes this a unique time for this kind of citizen activism.
It is interesting to also consider how this highlights the inaction of governments on some issues until it is prompted to by its citizenry. While I understand that many will cite the failings of Make Poverty History and the Climate Change campaigns as an illustration as to how ineffective these campaigns can be I still think that it is always worth trying.
So please make time to watch the film,
and apologies I suspect I will mention this a few more times.
The Guardian has a great discusion about the issues online here.
So things that are happening which I cant really talk about in detail but are the reasons I am not blogging lots.
The Inclusive Improv team might be getting some new members and a 2012 spring season.
An album I have been working on is getting mastered for release.
The Audio Podcast is almost a year old.
I start teaching at a new university on Friday an incredible blessing.
Also I bought another computer but I am going to podcast about it.
And I am spending even more time in emacs and org-mode.
So that is what I have been doing these past few weeks.
So I spent last weekend at the Max 4_u convention with the rest of TheAudioPodcast team.
You can hear the show online here.
I had a great time at the convention, made some new friends, enjoyed some good patching and playing Max Articulate.
So if you visited the site yesterday you would not have seen much as I was taking part in the anti-SOPA protest by blacking out this site. While I hope it did not upset anyone I am aware that some offense was caused. I do however honestly believe that the passing of SOPA and similar legislation is a dangerous step, which compromise the ability of people to communicate and gain understanding.
On the Tuesday 24th January 2012, the US Senate will vote on the internet censorship bill.
Whilst it is an American law, it has far reaching repurcusions for the web as a whole.
If you think SOPA doesn’t affect you, please think again. Watch the video below, or use the form below to force politicians to take notice.