How to sleep in a digital world

May 21, 2016

Its bad enough that I am a light sleeper. A small noise or a change in temperature can often wake me up and it can be very difficult for me to go back to sleep. I know some people who can just lie on bed and easily fall asleep in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately I am not one of them.

I actually don’t like to sleep. If I had my way, I would rather not sleep at all. But its not something that I get to vote on, not having enough sleep can directly affect not only my health (which is very important), but also my productivity and performance that I am trying to improve by not sleeping enough in the first place. I have falsely convinced myself during my teenage years that I am more productive when I work at night. I would start my “work day” at around 8PM and work all night and then go to sleep 5-6AM in the morning. I would Wake up at around 12-1PM to take care of things that I can only do during the day. Usually its not enough time and I am almost always rushing around trying to get things done that I can only do during the day. I have missed and have been late to countless meetings, get togethers and family events, just so I could squeeze some extra bit productivity by working at night.

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CloudFlare is ruining the internet (for me)

May 17, 2016

CloudFlare is a very helpful service if you are a website owner and don’t want to deal with separate services for CDN, DNS, basic DDOS protection and other (superficial) security needs. You can have all these services in a one stop shop and you can have it all for free. Its hard to pass up the offer and go for a commercial solution. Generally speaking CloudFlare service is as stable as they come, their downtime and service interruption are within the same margin as other similar services, at least to my experience. I know this because I have used them for two of my other websites, until recently.

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How to enable TRIM support for Hackintosh

May 13, 2016

I recently did a hackintosh build after didling with the idea for more than 3-4 years. I don’t know why but for some reason I always thought hackintosh builds are a huge project with many different parts that could go horribly wrong and in the worst possible case I will end up with a new system with I don’t really need if I weren’t building it to run OSX on it. Turns out I was very wrong, not only is building a hackintosh PC with the right hardware requirements is very easy and well documented, Mac OSX installation worked right out of the box with minimal setbacks. I am not going to go in to details on how to do a hackintosh computer, there are plenty of very well researched documentations out there that covers all the bases.

While everything worked right out of the box with OSX, there are some corner cases that needs your manual interference. One of the them happens to TRIM support for SSD OS drives for hackintosh. By default TRIM support is not enabled on SSD, unless you are buying a prebuilt Apple product.

Enabling TRIM support helps operating systems to delete blocks of data internally (because of the way SSDs work), without decreasing write performance in the long term. It also helps ensure longevity of your SSD drives. So its always a good idea to enable TRIM, if its not enabled by default, regardless of your operating system.

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How To Prevent a Specific Ubuntu Package From Updating

October 2, 2015

Sometimes newer version of popular packages may no longer support older config options. So either you have to painstakingly port all the old config options to the new ones, or hold off from updating the applications at all. One way to do it would be only upgrade the packages that you do want to upgrade like this: apt-get install --only-upgrade packagename, but the problem with this way of upgrading individual packages is that you there is always a chance that you might accidentally do a full upgrade like this (like I usually do) apt-get update && apt-get upgrade.

So its better to put these packages on hold so that they don’t show up on update notifications at all. Like this: sudo apt-mark hold packagename and this way there is no chance that you might accidentally do an upgrade on packages that you don’t want to upgrade. You can also easily unhold a package like this: sudo apt-mark unhold packagename. To find out all the packages that has been put on hold, you grep your installed packages for “hold” keyword, like this:

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Remote Desktop with SSH Tunneling

November 4, 2014

Screenshot from 2014-11-04 16:54:14

One of my client’s requirement is to have a Ubuntu server with a Desktop Environment. Once in a while he will call me up to look at some problem he is having with one of his GUI based application. Its not always possible for me to be physically be there to see what the problem is, so I use a trick that have saved me many times in the past. Its simply a remote desktop with SSH Tunneling, its very simple and easy to set it up. As the name suggest you will need SSH access for this to work.

First you will have to install x11vnc on the remote desktop that you are trying to log in to sudo apt-get install x11vnc and then create a tunnel using SSH ssh user@ip_address -L 5900:localhost:5900 "x11vnc -display :0 -noxdamage" now you can use a VNC client like ‘Remote Desktop Viewer’ to connect to localhost:5900 and you should be able to access your remote desktop. The quality of the display may or may not be ideal but its still simpler and quicker than setting up 100 firewall rules for a VNC server or setting up teamviewer.

Give it a try and let me know how it went.

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