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from G's Blog

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!



from G's Blog

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!



from G's Blog

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


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
➤ 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?

➤ ls /mnt/usbtmp/home
.  ..  marcg

Yep mine for sure

➤ 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.


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

➤ 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!!



from G's Blog

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!



from G's Blog

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!!