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January 2007 Archives

January 21, 2007

Father of the Orb

The Orb certainly isn't the first ever idea for a dynamically controlled, three dimensional, global display. Once upon a time in 1962 a man named Buckminster Fuller (Wikipedia) conceived a proposal for a project 200 feet in diameter and covered with 10,000,000 computer controlled light sources, called The Geoscope, to be suspended over the East River in full view of the United Nations.

This 200-foot-size Geoscope would make it possible for humans to identify the true scale of themselves and their activities on this planet. Humans could thus comprehend much more readily that their personal survival problems related intimately to all humanity's survival.

The Geoscope's electronic computers will store all relevant inventories of world data arranged chronologically, in the order and spacing of discovery, as they have occurred throughout all known history.

Historical patterns too slow for the human eye to comprehend, such as the multimillions-of-years-to-transpire changes in the geology of our planet -- for instance, the picturing on the Geoscope Earth in two minutes of the drifting apart of the continental plates.

Or in another four-minute sequence picturing, the last four one-million-years each ice ages, spaced 250,000 years apart, their transforming of the world's oceans into ice cappings, which water shifts reveals peninsulas interconnecting what we now know only as islands -- for instance, the Malay Peninsula including all of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Sulawesi, and the Philippines, as it did in the last ice age.

From Fuller's Critical Path via ABS.

Original concept sketch of Geoscope by Buckminster Fuller, via The Architecture Department, University of Auckland

January 22, 2007

Orb @ ITP

The Orb will be on display at ITP for the remainder of the Spring semester. Here are a few photos and a video of it in its new home.

Video (Quicktime, 1280x720, 98MB, 1:00) - Link

January 29, 2007

hpmount, du, and df

After trashing the HFS+ partition on my brand new (but loaded with important data, of course) LaCie USB hard disk by trying to mount it read/write in Ubuntu with hpmount so I could copy my music folder without having to go over the network (my advice: pretend hpmount doesn't exist), I was pleased to find that I could at least mount it read only in Ubuntu to save my data before reformatting the drive. This was after trying all of the OSX disk utility and fsck standard stuff to no avail.

To make a long story somewhat shorter, in the process of copying all the data off to my Ubuntu drive, I learned a few nice options of du and df, the unix disk usage and disk free space commands. The highlight for me is -h for human-readable. Here's the link to the rest.

Now I get to not only move the music folder over the network, but all the stuff that was originally on my removable drive. Fantastic.

Filesystem Sharing Between OSX and Ubuntu

As an update to my last post regarding my hpmount debacle, I've found a pretty good solution for my problem. I've got a dual-boot Ubuntu/Windows desktop, which I almost always run in Ubuntu, a MacBookPro running OSX, and a LaCie external USB hard disk. I want to be able to share the disk across computers without the 4GB file size limitation of FAT32 and would ideally keep the disk running HFS+ since it is primarily to be used for my Mac. Windows compatibility would be a nice bonus, but isn't really a priority.

The simple answer is this. The disk can be formatted in HFS+, but journaling has to be disabled for Ubuntu to mount it read/write. This seems to be actually doable safely on the fly, such that the disk could normally be used journaled, as long as journaling is disabled prior to attempting to write to it from Ubuntu. This can be done from the command line as follows:

sudo /usr/sbin/diskutil disableJournal /Volumes/MyDisk

for a volume named MyDisk

After mounting and working with the disk normally in Ubuntu, journaling can be reenabled in on the Mac as follows:

sudo /usr/sbin/diskutil enableJournal /Volumes/MyDisk

Info found in the Apple docs.

January 30, 2007

ssh/scp Login Without Password

I'd been wanting to figure this out for awhile, and yesterday finally took a few minutes to dig up the answer, which I found most clearly stated here by Mathias Kettner.

If you want to be able to login to multiple machines, you still only have to do the first step once. After you've created the public and private key files once, you can copy the same public key to each server using the steps that follow.

NOTE: I've slightly modified these directions from Mathias' copy to be more pertinent to the specific case of a local copy of Mac OSX connecting to remote servers, but the resulting commands are identical.

First open a terminal session on your Mac and generate a pair of authentication keys. Do not enter a passphrase:

your-computer:~> ssh-keygen -t rsa

Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/a/.ssh/id_rsa):
Created directory '/home/a/.ssh'.
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/a/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/a/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
3e:4f:05:79:3a:9f:96:7c:3b:ad:e9:58:37:bc:37:e4 a@A

Now use ssh to create a directory ~/.ssh as user myusername on myserver.com. (The directory may already exist, which is fine):

your-computer:~> ssh myusername@myserver.com mkdir -p .ssh

myusername@myserver.com's password:

Finally append your new public key to myusername@myserver.com:.ssh/authorized_keys and enter myusername's password one last time:

your-computer:~> cat .ssh/id_rsa.pub | ssh myusername@myservername.com 'cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys'

myusername@myservername.com's password:

From now on you can log into myservername.com as myusername from your terminal without a password:

your-computer:~> ssh myusername@myservername.com


Look Out, Boyd Tinsley

Yours truly on the violin for the first time. If it has strings, I'll make noise with it. Look out Boyd, I'm comin' to get ya.

Building the Cage

Here are some photos from early January as my father and I built the display guard for The Orb.


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