(part of brett's logjam.)
Entries about my black MacBook, Eöl.
10 July 2008
I’ve been a big fan of Dan Pollock’s replacement
/etc/hosts file for blocking bad things on the internet, but for one reason or another never got around to automating the update process.
I don’t know why, it’s pretty straightforward to pull together a shell script:
sudo curl http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/hosts -o /etc/hosts.$tdy.tmp
sudo cp /etc/hosts /etc/hosts.$tdy
sudo mv /etc/hosts.$tdy.tmp /etc/hosts
… and then add it to
crontab to run every few days. This will create a backup of the previous
/etc/hosts file in case anything goes wrong.
You can also switch ads back on by keeping your original
/etc/hosts file around with:
sudo cp /etc/hosts /etc/hosts.tmp
sudo cp /etc/hosts.original /etc/hosts
I keep these in
~/bin/hosts, because I’m like that.
(Some days, UNIX actually works for me. Hallelujah!)
11 April 2008
I started writing about the computers under my care really for just one reason: so that I would have some record of what I’d done, so I could stop making the same mistakes over and over again.
I don’t know if I’ve accomplished that, exactly, but at least it’s been entertaining watching me try.
Since many of you are new around here, and this is an admittedly quirky personal site, let me point you towards some other computer logs that may interest you:
The following computers are currently in service.
- Eöl, my new Black MacBook running OS X 10.5.2 (Leopard).
Eöl replaced Vinyamar.
- Tsiolkovsky, my wife’s Toughbook W2, continues to crunch numbers and hang in there, despite losing the “B” key to a toddler-related accident a few weeks ago. The lower left hand side keyboard is also starting to have some problems, but there are no new issues to report with Ubuntu Dapper Drake.
Tsiolkovsky is slated for replacement in the next few weeks.
- Hithlum, my 17” PowerBook G4, is as lovely and elegant as ever, even if her PPC chip is getting a little long in the tooth. She still does great work, however, and is running Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger).
- An unnamed Thinkpad T43, my work computer, runs Windows XP and is completely uninteresting to me as a computer. My company gave it to me to work with, I work with it. End of story.
- Tigana, a Sony Vaio 505-TR running Red Hat 7.2, has a busted power supply and no battery power. I will need to wipe the hard drive before I can consider her decommissioned.
Speaking of which…
These computers have left the building:
- Vinyamar, my Macbook Air, went through two revisions before being sent back to Apple.
- Al-Rassan / Ithilien, a Thinkpad 1400 running SuSE 9.x.
- Arbonne (I) / Sarantium / Atlantis / Lórien, a beige 750MHz Pentium III tower I picked up from CompUSA which ran Windows 98, Windows 2000, and more Linux distributions than I really care to remember.
- Arbonne (II) and Gorhaut, two identical Linux towers who ran Red Hat 9.
You will no doubt notice certain themes in the names.
Each computer has its own category, some with more information than others. Hopefully you’ll find something you like.
Thanks again for visiting!
A month ago, I made a fateful early-morning decision to forego the MacBook Pro and get the MacBook Air.
This led to interesting times.
While waiting for the interesting times to end, I reconsidered my original decision and took a long look at the MacBook. I think it was a mistake to not seriously consider the MacBook before. After some consideration, I found it a good compromise between weight, size, performance, and value.
It is therefore a pleasant surprise to announce the arrival of my black MacBook named Eöl.
Eöl is named after the Dark Elf of Tolkien’s First Age, Thingol’s kinsman who traded the sanctuary of Doriath for the freedom of Nan Elmoth. Eöl had a rare friendship with the Dwarves of the Ered Luin, and his craft was well-respected.
Eöl (the computer, not the character):
- Entered service on April 4th, 2008.
- Has the 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (Penryn) CPU, which totally screams.
- Is equipped with a 250 GB hard drive, which suddenly lets me put everything on one machine again.
- Has been upgraded to 4GB RAM, because I can.
- Is running Mac OS X 10.5.2 (Leopard).
I am suitably impressed by the speed and performance of the MacBook, especially compared to the Air. The dual core 2.4GHz CPU is like a Camaro … who ran over your neighbor.
Long-time readers will no doubt point out that Eöl, as a person’s name, falls outside my established nomenclature of using regions or cities. This is completely true.
My only response is that I was going to name it Khazad-dûm or Moria, but Merrystar said it was named Eöl.
I thought about it for a while, and decided that even with Eöl’s less than sunny story: yup, that sounds just about right.
(I’m supposed to be learning from my mistakes, after all. Not repeating them.)