Last Wednesday was my last day working as an Accendo contractor in Tecnomen Shannon. For my first full time “real” job, I could have done an awful lot worse. I’m very grateful to both Accendo and Tecnomen for the experience and everything else. I’m also going to miss the friends I made during my 18 months there.
(Aside : kick ass – my darling fianceé just delivered a ham and cheese toastie for lunch!!)
I have moved on to work with Sentiera, a relatively young company specialising in media delivery systems – primarily for advertising in business premises. My role here will be as development lead on the client side of this system, a custom built piece of hardware running GNU/Linux and various other pieces of software to play the media.
As part of the leaving process, I did a thorough clean out of my work computer. For quite a lengthy period while working in Tecnomen, my work computer (a Solaris 8 Sparc workstation) was my primary connection to the Internet (see this post for details on that!) so, as you can imagine, it had built up quite a wealth of personal information. Some would be obvious, like files and directories that you created or downloaded purposely. These should be pretty easy to find and clean out, because (under Unix anyway – you Windows users would probably have more hassle!) these are generally stored in your home directory. So, a thorough scan through that should pick up on all these bits and pieces. But the other things which you mightn’t think of, and which should be removed are just as important :
- Saved browser passwords
- Personal email
- Temporary files
I used Firefox as my primary browser, so all the stored details for that were in ~/.mozilla/firefox so I simply tar’d up that directory and deleted it before I left. As an added bonus, when I untar’d it into ~/.mozilla on my GNU/Linux desktop in the new job, it worked perfectly, so I had all the bookmarks and saved passwords I’d built up available on the fresh new install. This also meant that my extensions were still there, and configured as I had them. This is particularly useful for Adblock, as I had blocked quite a number of ads for the different sites I track on a daily basis.
I received little to no personal email to my work account. The most I got were forwards from the guys in work! So, cleaning this up wasn’t too difficult, and I generally delete email I’ve read unless I need to keep it for a specific reason (eg. important information for a project, or waiting for information to reply to it etc.).
The temporary files I reckon a lot of people wouldn’t think of. These are created when you do things like view pdf’s or other documents that require an external program to view from within a browser or email. Most of the time, I’ve seen these created with random names. On my work machine, though, they were created with their actual filename. This makes them very easy to scan over and pick out specific one’s of interest for anyone who’d be interested. It’s easily fixed though – rm -rf /tmp/* && rm -rf /var/tmp/*.
I was out for a few drinks with some of my ex-workmates from Tecnomen and Accendo last night. I explained the wonders of the Jameson hangover cure to them, though I think they were a bit sceptical! However, I can confirm that, once again, it has worked!! Keep an eye out for the scientific study, coming to a scientific journal near you soon!
I decided to put some work into getting the advanced features of the touchpad on my MacBook working. These include double and triple tap for middle and right clicking and scrolling using the touchpad.
I started with the instructions on Simon van der Linden’s “MacBook: emulate a Synaptics touchpad with Ubuntu GNU/Linux” page. The patch on the Ubuntu forums is required to support the touchpad. However, even though this supports the touchpad, it’s fairly jittery and difficult to use.
So, next step was to apply another patch from Jason Parekh which helps fix that jitter and improves the multi-tap recognition.
Finally, I tweaked Jason’s patch a small bit, and I find it improved the jitter a bit more. Here’s the complete patch to appletouch.c that I’m using at the moment. With this, I load the appletouch.ko module with
modprobe appletouch tap_threshold=5 track_threshold=1
To do this automatically on boot, put the following into /etc/modprobe.d/options (you may have already put in a similar line from Simon van der Linden’s howto, so just edit it in that case)
install usbhid /sbin/modprobe appletouch tap_threshold=5 track_threshold=1 && sleep 2 && /sbin/modprobe –ignore-install usbhid $CMDLINE_OPTS
I have noticed some issues with slight jitters and when using the scrolling in Firefox. While using Firefox, I’ve noticed phantom clicks, which can get annoying when in the middle of a blog post and the browser’s back button gets mysteriously clicked! What I suspect is that I hit the touchpad and bring up the right-click menu, and I end up hitting the “Back” option there. Other than that, it works well, and I’m sure once I get used to it, I’ll wonder how I ever did without it!
I just read this article titled “Call for improved infrastructure for Dublin”. In general, I would agree that the infrastructure across the enitre country does need improvement and extending.
But, in the article are the following two paragraphs
The chamber says there is an anti-Dublin bias in Government funding.
It says, because it provides half of all national output, the greater Dublin area should get half of the country’s capital investment under the National Development Plan.
This quote is attributed to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
In recent years Dublin has gotten both the Luas and the Port Tunnel. It has the only two commuter light-rail services in the country (the Dart and the Luas), and plans are underway to install a metro service also. It has the most extensive commuter bus network in the country, it is the primary railway hub, has the central bus station and has hundreds of kilometers of motorway leading into, and around, the city.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country has had to put up with substandard national roads, under-equipped and not very punctual commuter bus services and pathetic commuter rail services. Yet, there is an “anti-Dublin bias” in the Government.
If there was as much investment in the infrastructure of the rest of the country, then Dublin wouldn’t need “half the country’s capital investment” because businesses would have other choices on where to locate. By focussing infrastructure investment on Dublin, you are only increasing the scale of the problem. The better Dublin’s infrastructure becomes, then the more likely businesses are to locate in the area rather than elsewhere in the country. This causes the knock-on effect of requiring yet greater infrastructure to cope with the increased traffic. And so the cycle continues, to the detriment of the rest of the country.
Obviously, Dublin’s infrastructure isn’t perfect – in fact, it’s far from it. It will require investment and updating. However, if the Government put more emphasis on relocating, and attracting, businesses to other areas of the country, it would take some of the strain off the Dublin infrastructure. This would allow a gradual upgrading of the infrastructure around Dublin to meet its requirements while increasing jobs and productivity elsewhere in the country. This would then have a knock-on effect of improving the infrastructure around other cities in Ireland, and eventually lead to a somewhat decent country-wide infrastructure for commuter, pleasure and business travel.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a flying pig to catch for breakfast!