Thursday, November 4, 2010

Samba changes in OpenBSD

The other day when I was trying to mount an ISO image for remote burning of SmartCard reader driver discs on our work network, I was getting error messages when trying to log on via samba. Since I usually use NFS instead of samba, I hadn't noticed that OpenBSD had changed the password back-end for samba. This was with 4.8-current, although they might have changed things earlier without me noticing. In fact, it may well have been a samba change rather than an OpenBSD specific one.

Regardless, the new configuration isn't any harder than the previous incarnation, just different. Took all of one minute to get things working again.



for full details

Friday, September 10, 2010

5 Port FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs Ship for just $1.00 in September

FireRepeater-800 Pro 5 Port at EverythingHerePlus.comCheck out's latest deal: $1.00 Priority Mail Flat Rate delivery to every address in the United States on the FW8-FIO-UB5PRH FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 5 Port. Purchase a power supply (PS-12VDC-UB or PS-12VDC-UB-EUROPE) at the same time, and both items ship in the same box for the same price — will subtract power supply shipping at time of order processing. For international orders or shipping other than USPS Priority Mail, they'll apply a $4.00 USD discount to quoted shipping prices. This offer is only available on USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Small Boxes shipping to United States destinations. Offer expires Midnight, September 30, 2010.

Monday, September 6, 2010

FireRepeater resources

FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 4 PortThe folks at EverythingHerePlus have been busy as of late. One of the more important piece they've put together is Power Supply Information for FireWire Repeater Hubs like Unibrain's FireRepeater Line, which takes all the mystery out of when and why one would need a power supply for a FireWire repeater hub. The information is especially valuable for those using FireRepeater-800 PRO and FireRepeater-400 products.

Along with that, they make brief mention in Store News for FireRepeater-800 PRO gets a glowing review from IT Enquirer, of an excellent review which discusses the FireRepeater-800 PRO Four Port. An excerpt:

In contrast to its competitors, Unibrain’s FireRepeater-800 PRO has a wall mounting bracket to secure the unit in place, and the ability to screw-lock your FireWire cables in place. I would recommend the Unibrain FireRepeater-800 PRO to anyone wanting to connect more devices to his computer than he can daisy-chain, and up to a longer distance than is possible without a repeater device.

Given their breadth of FireWire knowledge and glowing customer reviews, you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to purchase FireWire products.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Farewell to the clickwheel?

Out of all the iPod's I've been fortunate enough to own over the years, the 4th Generation model iPod Nano has been my favorite. It struck the perfect balance of size, screen usability, and heft in the hand.

What made it best for me though, was that incredible click wheel. There are people that will probably be happy to see the venerable clickwheel go, but they're are superior to multi-touch screens in two significant ways.

  • Pause/play, skip songs, without looking at the device.
  • Fine tune volume without looking in a more elegant way.

While younger folks might not appreciate the second too much, for most of us, turning volume up and down with a knob seems more natural. Sure, that's a relic of potentiometers. Nevertheless, I find the circular motion of clickwheel volume far more granular and controllable than a series of buttons or onscreen controls.

Multi-Touch screens are great for some things. Yet I can't help thinking that Apple has gone a little overboard here. Some people argue that music collections are too big for the original iPod navigation system chickwheel support. There may be something to that, but I have never felt the replacement (I do have a 1G iPhone) music interface was better. In fact, I find that interface so awkward that I don't use the iPod functions on my iPhone at all.

That's probably the rub. I use the iPod as a music playback device only. While device convergence is inevitable and all the rage, the simplicity of clickwheel based iPods make them, in my eyes, superior music playback devices. Further, I think some of this has to due with how a person listens to music. For people that buy mostly singles and songs, features like shuffle and genius probably seem heaven sent. For many of us that import full albums from our CDs (hence being album oriented to begin with), those features aren't that compelling. I'm typically listening to full albums (occasionally skipping some songs). When I do listen to playlists, they're usually carefully crafted ones that I listen to in order. Like this:

I Can't Quit You, Baby Willie Dixon I Am the Blues
I Can't Quit You Baby Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I
You Shook Me Muddy Waters Muddy Waters, Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues
You Shook Me Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I
19 Years Old Muddy Waters Hoochie Coochie Man
I Can't Quit You Baby Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions (Disc 1)
Killing Floor Howlin' Wolf Blues You Can Use
The Lemon Song Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Bring It On Home (Single) Sonny Boy Williamson His Best
Bring It On Home Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed Blind Willie Johnson Dark Was the Night
In My Time Of Dying Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti (Disc 1)
In My Time Of Dying Led Zeppelin DVD (Disc 2)
When The Levee Breaks Memphis Minnie Queen Of The Blues
When The Levee Breaks Led Zeppelin IV

As for dropping video on the nano (display and recording), I'm not too disappointed. I've never used the video capability on any of my iPods, and friends with 5th Generation model iPod nanos don't use the video recording capabilities on theirs. Those features have always fallen under the "I'm glad it can, but never use it" category for us. Other than using the world clock function on the rare occasions that I am traveling, my iPod only sees action in the music section of the menus.

I'm not alone in these concerns. Chris S. and Michael wrote very similar pieces in the OWC blog concerning the new nano's transition to screen based controls. The Register has a write up on all of the new iPods. Their comments on the iPod Classic are interesting. My second most used iPod is my 40GB pre-classic iPod, something that I would only replace with an iPod classic as opposed to an iPod touch.

Monday, June 14, 2010

iPad Oriented United SGP Corp. Products Now at

SGP Premium Protective Cover Skin DeepBlack for Apple iPadSGP makes amazing products for portable devices including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. A whole range of quality cases, protective skins, and touchscreen films are available.

They are now offering the SGP Premium Protective Cover Skin Series for Apple iPad. Three different textured themes are available.




Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 Cable Tip

Did you know FireWire 6-pin to 9-pin cables are the same as FireWire 9-pin to 6-pin cables? You simply flip the cable!

FireWire CablesUsing FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 Cable Converters and Adapter Plugs like the CAB-FW8-6-9-CONV and the CAB-FW8-9-6-CONV for existing cables is an inexpensive solution. However, the best solution in terms of electrical and signal shielding for bridging between 6 pin FireWire 400 Ports and 9 pin FireWire 800 ports is a 6-pin to 9-pin FireWire cable. EverythingHerePlus carries 2M (6.6F), 4.5M (14.8F), 10M (32.8F) versions of FireWire 6-pin to 9-pin cables.

Check out the full range of FireWire 800 Cables and FireWire 400 Cables at in the shopping cart section on any of their FireWire Product Pages.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Congratulations, on your Terry White review!

13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (black or white)Terry White, Tech Guru and Worldwide Design Evangelist for Adobe Systems, Inc. just reviewed's new 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs. He weighs the advantages and disadvantages of the devices and in the end says:

If you need to have a lot of peripherals connected at once and you're short on built-in USB ports, this is a great option.

Available in glossy black or white finishes, these inexpensive 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Hubs come with 4 amp power supplies.

USB-HUB-HU1310B 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (Black)
USB-HUB-HU1311W 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (White) is fun place to shop for fashion accessories, electronics, books, music, and more!

Friday, January 22, 2010

U111-M Q&A, Compatibility with Mac OS X? on Store blog - Plus U111-M on OpenBSD and Linux updates!

The store blog from answers questions regarding U111M compatibility with Mac OS X in Store U111-M Q&A, Compatibility with Mac OS X?. Of interest is the OpenBSD work around testing we did. U111M units with the most current firmware (1.05 above) work just fine with OpenBSD, with the exception of PCMCIA PC Card hot-swapping. As long as the card is inserted in the U111-M prior to connecting, the OpenBSD kernel recognizes it. In fact, there's no need to reboot between PCMCIA PC Card exchanges. Unplugging and plugging in the U111M on the USB bus is all that's necessary to recognize a new card.

Using OpenBSD, we were able to read, write, format, create binary images from, and write binary images to PCMCIA PC Card SRAM and ATA Flash. These capabilities, using just standard command line Unix utilities, are features once exclusively part of expensive, proprietary, Windows software packages. Now, using the U111-M with OpenBSD or Linux provides important low level features often needed with equipment from Honeywell, Canon, Epson, and others. will soon have detailed instructions for these operations.

Monday, January 18, 2010

U111-M USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot PCMCIA PC Card ATA Flash and SRAM Memory Cards

U111M USB reader for ATA Flash and SRAM PC CardsThe U111-M is an external read-writer for PCMCIA PC Card SRAM, and ATA Flash memory cards. The U111-M works without additional software or drivers on supported operating systems, treating both SRAM and ATA Flash as standard removable USB mass storage devices. Used in concert with a Type II PC Card adapter, the U111M USB to PCMCIA Memory PC Card drive will work with a variety of consumer memory cards including CompactFlash and SD Cards. Used with desktop or notebooks computers, the U111-M USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot PCMCIA PC Card ATA Flash and SRAM makes copying files to and from PCMCIA PC Card SRAM and PCMCIA PC Card ATA Flash devices simple and straight forward without confusing software interfaces.

PCMCIA System Architecture: 16-Bit PC Cards (2nd Edition)The U111-M comes with a USB 'Y' for use on rare systems with underpowered ports. Simply plug in the additional power only connection in order to provide necessary current. The U111M provides an inexpensive, hassle free solution to deploying legacy PCMCIA PC Card memory SRAM and ATA Flash cards on modern Linux and Windows computers with USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 ports.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 Introduces 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs with 4A PS (Black or White) offers 3, 4, and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater's new 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs provide host computers with 13 additional USB ports. These stylish devices allow flexible tiered Hi-Speed USB configurations with a single hub! Both robust and inexpensive, these 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs run in self powered mode and provides over current protection at each of their downstream ports. Fully USB 2.0 compliant and USB 1.1 backward compatible, they supports Low, Full, and Hi-Speed USB devices and work with any system that supports the USB specification. One of the 13 downstream USB ports is on top of the unit, and folds down for convenient access to portable USB Drives. Providing thirteen (13) downstream USB 2.0 ports in total, these USB 2.0 hubs features plug and play installation and transparent operation. These hubs are available in glossy black or white finishes, include a power supply with a generous 4 ampere capacity, and USB 2.0 cable to connect to a host computer.

USB-HUB-HU1310B 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (Black)
USB-HUB-HU1311W 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (White) is fun place to shop for fashion accessories, electronics, books, music, and more!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

FireWire 800 Hubs for New iMacs and Macs as easy as 3, 4, 5! offers 3, 4, and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs.The recent transition to 9-pin FireWire 800 across Apple's product line has many people scrambling to find FireWire 800 hubs. Not to worry, offers 3, 4, and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs. Great for new Macs, iMacs, and other computing environments utilizing high performance FireWire 800 peripherals.

FireWire 800's sustained performance, coupled with other advantages like long cable runs, the ability to daisy chain, and more, make it one of the best and most versatile standards. With a theoretical maximum throughput of 800Mbps, FireWire 800—also known as IEEE 1394b, can typically deliver 80MBps (megabytes per second) performance when used with high end external hard drives like those by G|Tech.

FireWire is a true peer-to-peer technology, unlike the prosaic USB standard. Connectivity terminology for FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs is a little different than those that use star topologies exclusively. The count on a FireWire 800 Repeater Hub comprises the total available ports, since a host computer is considered another peer level device. In other words, plugging a computer into a five port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub leaves four available ports left.

These five, four, and three port FireWire 800 hubs are great for the new Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iMac and other computers deploying FireWire 800. The 3 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub edition is a highly portable plastic model, great for traveling. The 4 port and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub models are constructed from sturdy aluminum and are great for studio and industrial applications. All three FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs accept the optional (purchased separately) PS-12VDC-UB 12VDC 3A External Power Supply to power devices that run off bus power.

Using 6-pin to 9-pin cables or FireWire cable adapters allow FireWire 800 hubs to work with FireWire 400 device of both the 6-pin and 4-pin variety. In fact, since FireWire 800 is backward compatible, investing in a FireWire 800 Repeater Hub for use in mixed FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 environments is the higher performance, and more economical choice.

5 Port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub at
Unibrain FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 5 Port
2504 / FW8-FIO-UB5PRH Available with $5 USPS Priority Mail shipping!

4 Port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub at
Unibrain FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 4 Port
2502 / FW8-FIO-UB4PRH Available with $5 USPS Priority Mail shipping!

3 Port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub at
Unibrain FireRepeater 800 FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 3 Port
2501 / FW8-FIO-UB3PRH Available with $5 USPS Priority Mail shipping! is fun place to shop for fashion accessories, electronics, books, music, and more!

Paul Graham's "The Roots of Lisp"

Paul Graham's The Roots of Lisp, a cogent essay dealing with John McCarthy's astonishing 1960's paper which introduced the LISP language, and more importantly, the functional model of programing.

Graham stresses his essay is more important today than ever, given how more languages have moved (albeit in a piecemeal fashion) towards the LISP model. Working with seven primitive operators, the paper shows how the entire language is built. Most importantly, the paper shows the LISP trademark, how to write the language in itself.

An interesting aspect for Scheme programmers like myself is the discussion of dynamic versus lexical scoping.

Reading the paper reminds us of why functional languages, especially LISP based ones, aren't just the best for expressing algorithms, but are the most elegant models of programming since the are easily transcribed in mathematical notation.

I can't recommend The Roots of Lisp enough. The paper is available for free download on Paul Graham's site.