Tuesday, October 23, 2007

GCal in Thunderbird

Like everyone else, I ran across bfish's post on putting GCal in Thunderbird. I don't always have my calendar (pick iCal, iGoogle, or GCal) up, but I always have Thunderbird running. So I had to try it. It works as advertised!

Two comments. You can use the ICAL link for your Google Calendar, not just the XML link as noted in these directions; I used ICAL. The first calendar I created had the correct Google account filled in automagically, but the subsequent calendars did not (as noted in the comments).

And don't forget GCALDaemon if all you want is two-way synchronization between iCal (Sunbird, Lightning, Rainlendar, Evolution) and Google Calendar. It works for me, it gets new features all the time, and it is the best-documented version 1.0 F/OSS I've ever seen. And it worries my geek side a whole lot less than using Plaxo (with its spam history), also suggested.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Embarrassing Jump Start

I got a phone call for a jump start, and said Argh, I can do that if you've got the cables. I used to carry jumper cables, but I haven't needed them in so long that I'd rather have the storage space! I try to avoid the macho behavior of thinking I can do everything myself, but I've had a lot of experience with jump starting: my husband had a 1983 Ferrari Mondial for several years.

Now we get to the first embarrassing part. I've only had this station wagon for a few months, and I didn't see the hood release inside the cab. I pulled out the owners manual to discover that the release handle was exactly where I thought it was (same place as the older wagon), but more recessed so the handle was hidden. What, hood release handles are unattractive? So I popped the hood.

Then I discovered the second, far more embarrassing fact. Where's the battery? (On the Ferrari, you had to remove the front right tire to replace the battery! Creative.) So I went back to the manual and discovered the section on jump starting. There's a positive post under a flap that I'm supposed to use! I still don't know where the battery is, but at least I now know how to jump start in this station wagon.

I'm just embarrassed that I had to read my car owners manual to learn how to jump start!

The most important jump start advice I can give is to remember that negative can never hurt you (sticks and stones ...). First of all, keep the four ends from touching because you don't want to see the sparks from that short circuit! For negative/ground, you can also use any clean metal connection to the engine because the metal parts of the engine should all be at the same potential. [BEFORE] When connecting two cars, hook up the boosting car first because it has power but without a complete circuit, it can't hurt you. Then hook up the other car, positive first, because negative can never hurt and when you make the fourth and final connection, you have a complete circuit that could hurt you. [DURING] If the jump start is just barely but not quite working, depress the accelerator pedal in the boosting car to rev up the alternator to supply more current. [AFTER] Disconnect the two cars in the reverse of the hook-up. Remove the negative connection on the car you just jumped first because negative can never hurt you. Then, keeping the ends separate, disconnect its positive terminal, and move on to the boosting car for the negative then positive disconnections.

Honestly, I thought I knew how to jump start without using the manual ...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

GmailFS and OS X

So I decided to take the plunge to GmailFS today. I'm following these directions, but I downloaded the latest versions of all software (not the linked versions).

The easy way around some of those steps was to use MacPorts. After installing the latest MacPorts package, add /opt/local/bin to your PATH and run sudo port install pkgconfig to install pkg-config. Likewise, sudo port install fuse-bindings-python for the Python FUSE bindings.

(At which point, if you're going FUSE-crazy, don't forget SpotlightFS and the ever-popular NTFS-3g or ntfsprogs.)

Now if sudo port upgrade all would just finish ...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Tomcat on RHEL4

(Assume the commands sudo up2date httpd and sudo up2date httpd-devel have already been run.) The key to Tomcat on RHEL4 turns out to be subscribing to additional RHN channels. For instance, I added "Red Hat Developer Suite v. 3" aka rhel-4-as-i386-rhds-3 and then sudo up2date tomcat5 worked. Next, thanks to rpm.pbone.net, I found mod_jk.

Now to configure the darn thing ...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Help for Morning Emesis

The problem with morning sickness, particularly the all-day variety I get, is that it puts me in such a fog that I have a hard time thinking of a way to get out of the sickly haze. However, I did find one more effective trick for my morning emesis other than avoiding sucralose (and sugar, to a lesser extent). After breakfast, I brush my teeth. Depending on the morning, if I haven't yet (probably because I was cuddling our toddler earlier), I also wash my face. What do those have in common? Bending over the bathroom sink! That seems to be a trigger for my throat to want to reverse gears, but I found a way to head it off. If I blow my nose before brushing my teeth, I'm much better off. The other aspect, of course, is to spend as much brushing and washing time standing upright, and not bending over the sink. But blowing my nose before brushing my teeth while not as obvious seems to be very effective.

Speaking of brushing teeth and morning sickness, most toothpaste (read the labels on Crest and Colgate!) contains saccharin. When I have morning sickness, I can't handle any amount of saccharin, even when I'm not eating it. Luckily I still have the tube of Tom's of Maine mint flouride toothpaste from the first pregnancy, so I can still brush my teeth with toothpaste (although using no toothpaste is better than not brushing at all!). I prefer plain baking soda right now, though. The less sweetness in my mouth in the morning, the better.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

This was a very difficult article for me to read because I know his wife personally, but it's also beautiful. So read about Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, and if you like 3D computer graphics, check out Alice 3D.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fixing the Linux VNC oddity

This morning's annoyance was that old Linux VNC problem I had a while ago, and I finally solved it. I found a hint that TightVNC (a fork used by Apple for Apple Remote Desktop, known for good behavior on slow links) compression is incompatible with RealVNC (the main code base). I bet unknown message type 242 means I don't understand TightVNC encoding when you get down to it.

If I use Vine Server based on RealVNC, my Linux can control my Mac and my Solaris still can too! Don't forget to set a strong password and to open your VNC ports in the firewall.

I'm sure the reverse is also true: I could probably install TightVNC from DAG on my Linux, and then view Apple Remote Desktop (which is easier since it would open the firewall for me).