G's Blog

Just a place to post random things. Enjoy your stay.

A close call with COVID, Weekly Music review and Monthly Music Book Club ( #100DaysToOffLoad Day 21)

So today should be the day where i post my impressions of the album i picked last week. Unfortunately this past week was a write off. Everything was fine at first but by Tuesday morning my wife was showing a few symptoms of COVID. Took all week to finally get her tested on Friday and we finally got the results back just yesterday. Negative! OOOF such a relief.

So the week was spent in self isolation working from home and complaining about the fact that it was taking so long to get her tested not much else was accomplished. I don't think i listened to any music at all. So last weeks album will become this weeks album. Check back next sunday for that.


Something else i wanted to talk about is #mmbc (Monthly Music Book Club) that was started by @uxintro@social.chinwag.org last month. The premise is simple. Pick an album and listen to it over a month or so then get together on XMPP to talk about it and pick another album. So far i think it's only @uxintro@social.chinwag.org , @mike@social.chinwag.org and me participating at least based on who is in the XMPP room. So come join us. search up #mmbc on the fediverse to find out more and see what we are listening to this month.

Well that's all for today

Until next time stay safe

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

A musical Review and More on Esperanto ( #100DaysToOffLoad Day 20)

So for the last week pretty much the only music i listened to was Cyber World by FX Machine. Now i will try to put in a few words my experience.

From start to finish this album is a journey. The artist does a great a job of putting you on a distant cyberpunk planet where you get the feeling things are not always as they seem.

It open up with what feels like a tourist brochure almost. Welcoming you to the new world where things are promised to be great and better. At the same time something feels not quite right. An ominous feeling that can't be shaken. Each of the following tracks is like a journey into the underground culture of this new world. Each with there own feelings of things are ok but also there is a very dark side to the whole world/album. My words do not do it justice. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

For the next album i've picked an experimental EP from Sean Gadoury called Black Cat. I picked this one simply because of the name/album cover. Let see what this is like.


Now a quick update on my Esperanto progress. I am still committed to learning this wonderful language. I have found another resource to help me. Kurso de Esperanto. It's a free course with apps/programs for all platforms. So far i enjoy it. It has pronunciation sections to help improve that. Hopefully that will help with the progress i feel i'm making with only Duolingo.

Well that is all for now.

Till next time. Be safe!

Ĝis revido

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

A new language and a new idea (#100DaysToOffLoad Day 19)

I have again decided to learn a new language. It's something i've tried a couple of times. First Spanish then Italian. I'm not 100% sure why i gave up on them. I think i just lost interest and with no one to practice with it was just boring i guess.

This time i have chosen Esperanto. Not a popular language and it might not be as useful as others in the world but the origin of it intrigued me so i had to look it up and at least start learning it. I've been at it for about 2 weeks using Duolingo on my phone for about 15-20 minutes a day sometimes more. So far i'm enjoying it. I can't hold a decent conversation yet but i'm getting there. Somethings i don't like about Duolingo is that it gives little explanation as to the rules of the language. For that reason i also looked for another learning resource to better understand things like the plural of words or actionable verbs/words. Maybe that would come later with Duolingo but not understanding those things made it harder to connect with the language. The second resource i found/am using is https://lernu.net. I've only done a couple of lessons on there because they do require a little more time to dedicate but they do provide more context for things. I will keep up with both as time permits(At least Duolingo each day) and keep posting updates on my progress. Maybe one day a whole post in Esperanto. I still wish i had someone to practice with. My wife and son are so far not interested in learning it as they find it a “silly” language since it's not popular. I have found a local(ish) Esperanto group that i may join/meet with at some point. I just feel like this early on i would be more comfortable practicing with people i already know. I hope the lack of practice partner wont cause me to give up on it...


Now as you can tell as much as i want to blog i struggle to find (meaningful/interesting) things to write about. To try and help remedy that i've decided to try something. Music is a big part of my life. Not playing it but listening to/feeling it. So i'm going to use that as something to blog about.

What i plan on doing is visiting bandcamp each sunday and choosing a random album to purchase and listen to for that week. The genre will differ as well from my traditional Rock/Metal/Punk to some new genre i'll try and explore like Synthwave(Dark,Retro) which i'm starting to really get into. The plan will be to listen to the chosen album almost exclusively for that week. From start to finish a few times to see how it flows together then randomly song by song to see how they hold up on there own. Then the following Saturday/Sunday write up my experience and share it here. I suspect the first few posts in this experiment will be ruff as i may struggle to put my experience into words but hopefully that will come with time. It'll probably help if i jot things down during the week then put it together at the end. This will do 2 things. First give me something to write about. Second(And maybe more important) it will give independent artists more exposure. There will be few “rules” to my selections but at least

  • Try to pick smaller/independent artists
  • Different genre each week
  • Choice will be made based on things like
    • Album cover
    • Album name
    • Artist name
  • I will listen to at most one/two songs before choosing just to give me the idea of what the album/artist is about.

Lets see what this leads to.

So lets get that started. This week i'll be listening to Cyber World By FX Machine This choice was made based on the album cover.

Check back next weekend for my post on that.

Until next time. Stay safe! and Take Care!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

New Keyboard and GeekCode (#100DaysToOffload Day 18)

In today's post we will have a quick look at the new keyboard i got about a week back. I wont call it an official review because i suck at those but hopefully it can give yo an idea about how great it is and tip you over if you are on the fence about getting one of these. I'll also talk about something kinda neat/silly i found.

First the keyboard.

So a long while ago @selea@social.linux.pizza posted about a sweet keyboard he got(including the video below) from Unicomp.

I told myself that day that i would someday have one. That day has come. About a week ago i got this baby

Keyboard_Images Keyboard_Images

I must say i absolutely love it!! I got the tux keys to replace the windows keys because well i run linux. I decided to go with the trackball version just for the simple reason of why not? I probably wont put the trackball to much use but it does look pretty cool. Anyone looking for a new keyboard should consider a Unicomp keyboard. The feeling/experience of typing on one of these is like nothing else. Each key press is followed by very distinct “click” and a nice audible bounce back of the spring. There is nothing like it.

Also made a quick/dirty unboxing video. You can view that below if you wish

Now lets talk about the GeekCode.

As described on the above the GeekCode is the creation of Robert Hayden back in the mid/late 90's. It's intent was a quick way for geeks to recognize each other's skill level/interest while communicating on mailing lists/forums/NewsGroups. I for one had never come across it until i stumbled upon V1 of it on textfiles.com when someone i follow on Mastodon posted a link to that site. Soon after i found the latest version V3.12 and set out to craft mine. The result is:

——-BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK——- Version: 3.1 GCM/IT d- s:– a C++(+++) UL+++ P L+++ !E W++ !N !o K-? w$ !O !M !V PS@ !PE Y+>++ PGP+ t++ 5+ !X !R tv+ b>+ DI>+ D+ G e+ h—— r+++ y+++ ———END GEEK CODE BLOCK———

If you want to decode that to understand it you can do that here

This code will now be at the bottom of every email i send. It's also on my mastodon/pleroma profiles. I think it's kinda neat. Its somewhat easy to read/understand once you know what each section is. If you get one or already have one please share.

Anyways that's all for now.

Until next time stay safe!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

Time to get back at this ( #100DaysToOffload Day 17)

So first i must admit something. I got overwhelmed with posting everyday so i did what i always do. I gave up. Then recently i found this post redefining the challenge a little and making it less about 100 posts in 100 days but more 100 post in 365 days. That's something that should make this easier for me. I could have probably made this choice myself but i was really trying to stick to the challenge and instead gave up...

So with that i will do my best to reach 100 post before day 365 and if not at least i tried. So this post is going to be short and simple. A way to get my feet wet again if you will.

Things are finding a new normal here in the wake of COVID-19. Not that i think we are fully done with it but for now things are calm. As of next week we can travel between our 2 neighbor provinces so that's something. I have been back to working in the office since June 1st. Not much has changed there but we must practice physical distancing and wear a mask when walking around the building. Other than that it's the same. I'll be honest i miss working from home even tho i appreciate that being back in the office means things are finding a new normal i felt more productive working from home. It was an adjustment. Also back to seeing my wife and kids much less now as i work days and my wife works nights.

I've secured a new keyboard since last i posted but that will be the topic for another post. I'll do my best to find interesting things to write but also try to post every 3 or so days so some post might be lighter content.

Anyways i guess that's all for now.

Till next time stay safe!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

Mystery Drives adventure ( #100DaysToOffload Day 16)

So once again i have missed a few day(like 4) . Partly because wow time flies and i suck at keeping a routine and also because someday i just have nothing to write. I try but some days by the time i have the time it's bed time...

Anyways onto today post. In a previous post i found 2 HDD's when cleaning my desk. Today lets see what's on them.

So first i went with the biggest

SamsungDrive

Once i plugged it in it seemed to have a hard time spinning up but once it did i ran dmesg

[12492.016974] usb 1-5: new high-speed USB device number 5 using xhci_hcd
[12492.165816] usb 1-5: New USB device found, idVendor=04fc, idProduct=0c25, bcdDevice= 1.03
[12492.165818] usb 1-5: New USB device strings: Mfr=2, Product=3, SerialNumber=1
[12492.165819] usb 1-5: Product: USB to Serial-ATA bridge
[12492.165820] usb 1-5: Manufacturer: Sunplus Technology Inc.
[12492.165821] usb 1-5: SerialNumber: SAMSUNG HMS25YJ9EZC24659      
[12492.183863] usb-storage 1-5:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[12492.184046] scsi host16: usb-storage 1-5:1.0
[12493.218807] scsi 16:0:0:0: Direct-Access     SAMSUNG  HM641JI               PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[12493.218931] sd 16:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg12 type 0
[12493.219551] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] 1250263728 512-byte logical blocks: (640 GB/596 GiB)
[12493.223065] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] Write Protect is off
[12493.223068] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] Mode Sense: 38 00 00 00
[12493.226057] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] No Caching mode page found
[12493.226060] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] Assuming drive cache: write through
[12493.271298]  sdj: sdj1 sdj2 sdj3
[12493.287066] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] Attached SCSI disk
[12495.078929] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE cmd_age=1s
[12495.078932] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current] 
[12495.078933] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
[12495.078935] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 4a 85 82 a0 00 00 08 00
[12495.078937] blk_update_request: critical medium error, dev sdj, sector 1250263712 op 0x0:(READ) flags 0x80700 phys_seg 1 prio class 0
[12497.208218] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE cmd_age=2s
[12497.208221] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current] 
[12497.208222] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
[12497.208225] sd 16:0:0:0: [sdj] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 4a 85 82 a0 00 00 08 00
[12497.208227] blk_update_request: critical medium error, dev sdj, sector 1250263712 op 0x0:(READ) flags 0x0 phys_seg 1 prio class 0
[12497.208230] Buffer I/O error on dev sdj, logical block 156282964, async page read
[12498.162779] BTRFS: device label root devid 1 transid 264523 /dev/sdj3 scanned by udevd (10554)

Oh that does not look good. But it can see a BTRFS filesystem on it so that's a good thing. Not what i was expecting. I assumed it would have an NTFS partition. so what's on this...

➤ sudo mount /dev/sdj3 /mnt/usbtmp
marcg@thebeach:~
➤ ls /mnt/usbtmp/
.   bin   dev  home  lib64  opt   root  sbin  sys  usr
..  boot  etc  lib   mnt    proc  run   srv   tmp  var

Ok it has a linux system on it...mine?

marcg@thebeach:~
➤ ls /mnt/usbtmp/home
.  ..  marcg

Yep mine for sure

marcg@thebeach:~
➤ ls -la /mnt/usbtmp/home/marcg/
total 488
drwx------ 1 marcg users    566 Jun 30  2016  .
drwxr-xr-x 1 root  root      10 Dec 27  2015  ..
-rw------- 1 marcg users    359 Apr 15  2016  .bash_history
-rw-r--r-- 1 marcg users     21 Nov 23  2015  .bash_logout
-rw-r--r-- 1 marcg users     57 Nov 23  2015  .bash_profile
-rw-r--r-- 1 marcg users    274 Dec 27  2015  .bashrc
drwx------ 1 marcg users    266 Mar 26  2016  .cache
drwx------ 1 marcg users    330 Jun 20  2016  .config
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users  27412 Jul  1  2016  Desktop
-rw-r--r-- 1 marcg users     23 Dec 27  2015  .dmrc
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users     56 Jun 26  2016  Documents
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users  11810 Jun 27  2016  Downloads
-rw------- 1 marcg users     16 Dec 27  2015  .esd_auth
-rw-r--r-- 1 marcg users  18674 Feb 24  2016 'Essay- Coates.odt'
-rw-r--r-- 1 marcg users  19517 Feb 25  2016 'Essay- Thompson.odt'
drwx------ 1 marcg users      8 Dec 27  2015  .gnome
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users     50 Jan 18  2016  .hplip
-rw------- 1 marcg users  16030 Jun 30  2016  .ICEauthority
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users     16 Dec 27  2015  .linuxmint
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users     10 Dec 27  2015  .local
drwx------ 1 marcg users     34 Dec 27  2015  .mozilla
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users      0 Dec 27  2015  Music
drwxrwxr-x 1 marcg users    176 Dec 27  2015  packer-color
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users     32 Mar  8  2016  Pictures
drwx------ 1 marcg users     10 Dec 27  2015  .pki
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users      0 Dec 27  2015  Public
drwx------ 1 marcg users     54 Dec 27  2015  .ssh
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users      0 Dec 27  2015  Templates
drwxr-xr-x 1 marcg users      0 Dec 27  2015  Videos
-rw------- 1 marcg users     54 Jun 30  2016  .Xauthority
-rw------- 1 marcg users  25576 Jul  1  2016  .xsession-errors
-rw------- 1 marcg users 383067 Jun 30  2016  .xsession-errors.old

From 2015-2016 wow i'll have to try and dump what i can from it. I suspect that the above errors will prevent a full dump/exploration but i'll see what i can get.

Alright what's on that other drive.

HitachiDrive

mount: /mnt/usbtmp2: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdk1, missing codepage or helper program, or other error.

Well that's not good. Oh but right i did not install/enable anything NTFS/FAT related. So after installing ntfs-3g and rebuilding my kernel with ntfs support i tried again

marcg@thebeach:~
➤ sudo mount /dev/sdj1 /mnt/usbtmp/
NTFS signature is missing.
Failed to mount '/dev/sdj1': Invalid argument
The device '/dev/sdj1' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.
Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?

Well not good. Gparted still reports it as unknown type. So i suspect one of two things. Either it's corrupted or it's encrypted using VeraCrypt(Or TrueCrypt) but i'm pretty sure i've seen Gparted detect those before... So for now it's content(whatever shape it's in) will remain a mystery. I may try some more to figure out what's on this bu for now...

That is all for today.

Until next time Stay Safe!!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

A Rainy Morning/Time in the sun ( #100DaysToOffload Day 15)

Today was a mixed bag. We had plans to spend the whole day outside with our granddaughter but then it was raining all morning. Things cleared up by the afternoon and we got spend a few hours playing outside before her dad was off work.

Ran around the yard. Swung on her swing(for the first time) and slid down the slide.

Ended the day with a BBQ. Overall a good day. Tomorrow will be a long day. Wife works at 6:30am so early start.

That's all for today.

Till next time. Stay Safe!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

I made the jump to Gentoo ( #100DaysToOffload Day 14)

So after thinking about it for a few days i decided to make the jump to #Gentoo. I'm glad i did. I forgot how fun using Gentoo could be. It has it's drawbacks like compilation time, understanding use flags and some dependency quirks but i knew all this going in. Overall i find it makes my system run ever so slightly faster. Is it a placebo effect? Maybe but i'll be damned if i'm not going to embrace it. Either way the feeling of running software optimized for my CPU is something. As silly as that is.

One thing that i wanted to try and avoid(And maybe another of gentoo's quirks) is getting in a hell of 32bit dependencies like i did last time. By default gentoo will only build 64bit libraries and applications. It can build 32bit when needed and that's controlled via the abix8632 use flag. I don't recall exactly what happened but i remember that i was in a mess of everything wanting to build 32bit versions but nothing could build because something else would not be happy if something had 32bit support. It was a vicious circle of turning off/on 32bit builds of things. I ended up giving up and going to funtoo who at the time did things a little different when it came to 32bit(Now they only offer pure 64bit).

Anyways one thing that still requires many 32bit parts is steam. I do use steam for most of my gaming so i needed a solution. Something that could allow me to have mostly(all) only 64bit libraries/applications on my day to day but still run steam. Luckily gentoo provides a guide for setting up steam inside a chroot so that's what i ended up doing. With work and all it took most of the last 3 days to get that just right. Some of this being moving data back and forth when things got messed up with the chroot setup. But that's all sorted out now. Steam is working great. Gotta find another solution for Diablo 3 and Star Wars: The old Republic. Not that i play those 2 often but when i get the itch i want to play them...

Still a few general things left to setup. Automate backups(I manually run them in the morning not a big deal just a few cron entries), Yubikey (which i just got working before writing this) and some missing fonts for a better web experience. Other than that i'm happy with the move.

I could ramble for a while about things i did to get back up and running but i think i'll leave it at this for now. I'll end by saying that i did find a cable for that HDD enclosure from my last post so in a future post i will see what's on those 2 drive i found.

Until next time stay safe!!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

Mystery HDD (#100DaysToOffload Day 13)

So lat week i finally decided to clean my desk. Well it was not so much a choice as it was forced as i was looking for the new insurance card for my car which should have been on me/in the car since Jan 01 of this year...good thing i did not get pulled over.

Anyways desk went from this

Before_Pic

To this

After_Pic

In the process i found many things along with said insuracne card. One(well 2) of those things was some HDD's. I have no clue what is on them or where they came from. I think one came from a laptop that is long dead.

Drives

I do have a USB enclousre i could stick them in but first i have to find a acable for said enclosure.

Enclosure_Pic

So now i must go on a hunt to find a cable to make this enclosure work so i can figure out what is on those drives...i will post here if i ever find said cable.

Also i've made the switch to Gentoo and have gone with setting up Steam in a chroot. I should have been documenting that process but i will try to make a blog post of it anyways. Overall it went well. Have to get used to how Gentoo works all over again.

That is all for today.

Until next time. Stay safe!!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social

Google Recaptcha alternative ( #100DaysToOffload day 12)

Today's post will be a quick one. A while ago my work wanted a captcha added to our website forms re prevent spam. The only thing that i knew of at the time was google's recaptcha so that's what i put in place. After i doubled down on my anti-google(really anti-centralized) mission i knew i had to change to something else.

After a while of looking i found secure image

What can i say. It's free. Open source and easy to setup. Supports using a cookie or mysql database. It also offers different types of verification. Either text or math question. The amount of image distortion can also be configured. Overall i really like it. It just works.

Well that's about all for this post.

Until next time. Stay Safe!!

@mgrondin@youdabomb.social