Naming Standards / Permanance

To some folks, naming things like hosts or peripherals on the network is something done trivially. Should the printer be called printer or Epson (if that is indeed the make of your printer). This works when you only have one printer, but what do you name the second printer? printer2!?! Oh gawd, that would bother me. What happens if you get an HP printer to replace your Epson? should you rename the printer or keep the Epson name but point to the new HP printer? Loads of questions that I’m sure only bother folks like myself would crave a bit of order. I’ve implemented order at work and at home in various ways. In the early days of my career at the lab, my group had a “policy” to name hosts after mountains. Shasta, Krakatoa, etc were all used and volcanic mountains were used to specify a group within a group. This speaks to me like a beautiful painting or poetry speaks to other folks. You can do many things at once: a) provide order out of chaos, b) encode information, c) offer little bits of history or science.

I’ve settled on a naming scheme for my house. My router has been named heart for as long as I can remember. My NAS is named kidney. I’ve decided to name my printer colon. Why you say? Well, the belts inside it (it’s a Dell Color Laser 3130cn) are somewhat serpentine and it spits out stuff so I think that name is appropriate. My Cisco IP phone is named cochlea. Essentially my Linux PC should be brain. I’m a bit reserved on that word. I’m still thinking about what name I should choose for my Linux PC; any suggestions?

Hardware Software

Floppy Disks on Linux in 2020

I setup a USB floppy disk drive on my Ubuntu Linux computer in the summer of 2020 because “Hey, Why Not?”. I have one box of diskettes, they are 2HD unformatted. When I plugged it in, I knew that it was /dev/sdc because the Disks utility showed it as that. I needed to format the diskettes as VFAT (i.e. DOS compatible) and 1.44Mb capacity. I then wanted to mount the disk in my filesystem. In Unix there is a consistent filesystem starting with the root (“/”) directory. I wanted this in /media/floppy, so I did the following:

% sudo apt install ufiformat
% sudo ufiformat -i /dev/sdc
vendor:  Y-E DATA
product: USB-FDU
write protect: off
media type: 2HD
status      block size   kb
formatted    2880  512 1440
formattable  2880  512 1440
formattable  1232 1024 1232
formattable  2400  512 1200

% sudo ufiformat -f 1440 /dev/sdc
geometry: track=80, head=2, sector=18, block=512

% sudo mkdir /media/floppy
% sudo mount /dev/sdc /media/floppy

Hardware Software

Ubuntu Apple Magic Mouse Woes

I’ve been running System 76’s Pop OS as my desktop OS for a few weeks now. I switched from MacOS to Linux full time this year; previously i had at least one MacOS iMac and then one or two Linux boxes. Now, since my sad mac woes where my hard disk failed (or was failing SMART checks) and I tried to fix which left the iMac running sub-par — I built a Linux box and switched full time. If felt like an awakening of sorts as I’d been praising the beauty and small form factor of the iMacs when the hardware was dreadfully underwhelming. More detail on my Linux box later, this post is about Apple HID or Human Interface Devices. I just like my Apple keyboards, trackpads and mice. I’m still using them on my Linux box happily but there is one thing that has been grating me — emulation of a 3 button mouse which by default pastes clipboard content.

So, modern Linux by default support Apple’s Magic Mouse and it provides all the touch features you’ve been used to on MacOS. Unfortunately, it also emulates a 3 button Unix mouse where the middle button pastes from the clipboard. This is so frustrating as the middle click area is awkwardly close to the left click area. I googled and “fixed” this by executing the following command line:

% sudo rmmod hid_magicmouse
% sudo modprobe hid_magicmouse emulate_3button=0

This is quick and it seems to have survived a reboot so I hope it sticks. It essentially turns off the middle button click but leaving left and right and the other various touch features.

I read this on a forum recently and I though it was very appropriate

Honestly, I won’t say the transition has been entirely painless – it does take time to adjust to a new operating system, but I have to say, my biggest regret is that I didn’t ditch Apple’s computers sooner. I love my iPhone but honestly it does feel like Apple just isn’t all that interested in their desktop / laptop computers recently.