Panther Swaps

Ahh, another thing that I meant to share..

Panther broke our old method of moving swapfiles. I remember when I installed Panther first, slapping the rc code into place and rebooting, not thinking for a second that it wouldn't work. Damn! Took me a good hour to figure this out, so, to save you an hour or so, here goes..

After a few trial and errors, I decided to use an old-fashioned method of doing this. Any dirty hack must be judged firstly on whether or not it works, and this does, superbly.

First have a UFS swap volume ready.

In this example it is called "Swap". If you call it something else *sigh* then please change *all* instances of the word "Swap".

open the file /etc/rc



echo "Starting virtual memory"

if [ "${netboot}" = "1" ]; then
sh /etc/rc.netboot setup_vm ${swapdir}

# Make sure the swapfile exists



umount -v /Volumes/Swap*
if [ -d /Volumes/Swap ]; then
ConsoleMessage "*** DELETING old Swap directory(s) ***"
rm -rf /Volumes/Swap*

echo "Starting virtual memory"

if [ "${netboot}" = "1" ]; then
sh /etc/rc.netboot setup_vm ${swapdir}


# let's do it the old-fashioned way
if [ ! -d ${swapdir} ]; then
mkdir -p -m 755 /Volumes/Swap
# do 'df' in the terminal to get the *exact* string for the disk
mount -t ufs /dev/disk0s10 /Volumes/Swap
mount -uw /

# Make sure the swapfile exists

Please read the notes in the code before performing the edit. You must ascertain the exact drive letter of your swap volume. Mine is "/dev/disk0s10", but yours may be something else.

When you reboot, check that swap files are forming in their correct location. Then you can safely delete the old ones.

that's it. Clean and frag-free swaps are yours once again!

for now..

:o) The Writing Entity @

more updates

ahh, but I didn't stop there.

it's kind of a standard coffee-break activity for me, messing about with my various packages and distributions. A couple of recent "panther updates"..


This still works fine in Panther, but the gui is a wee bit messed up. My fault entirely. Anyways, I've updated it to be sweet and cool on Panther, and you can grab the latest version on the pseudo page . I've updated the pic on that page too, so you can see how neat it looks before you download it. The main soft index (and pseudo tricks page) still has the old image, so you can compare.

camino tab controller

This was always just a silly hack, more a wee beginner's lesson in Interface Builder than anything else, but amazingly some folks do use it, I know, I had emails along the lines of "it's broke". So it's fixed. I mean sheesh! How hard would it have been to do it yourself eh? heheh

it's here, without an updated pic this time, cuz it looks pretty much identical to the old one.


I'll get round to this pretty soon. The old version still works fine, but the new xcode tools turn out a smaller, faster binary that you really do want. GREAT NEWS! Darkstat now compiles in OS X without any messing about, so long as you have the dev tools. If you really can't wait for me to get the new package together (There's a fair bit of text and stuff needs updating too) then simply compile yer own! and drop it into /usr/local/bin, replacing the old one.

don't forget the colours! (www.c)

that'll do,
for now..

:o) The Writing Entity @


This isn't a blog entry, as such. Not that any of them are really. This is just to let you know about a few new things which have appeared on the site.

Firstly I've put together an OS X distribution of the man2html program. Check it out here. Briefly, it allows you to view those wonderful MAN pages in your favourite web browser, instead of the cramped terminal which, while excellent for doing commands and stuff, is completely useless as a document viewer, especially for big stuff like some of these man pages are!

It comes in two flavours, automatic and manual install. The latter is for folks that have mucked about with their apache install in some way, but I recommend these folks download the automatic installer too.

Next, I've finally put out my "wee script pack" which I've been telling folks about for a good month now but hadn't actually put it anywhere for them to grab. You can get it here.

Essentially it's a small collection of useful scripts, the kind of thing that any half-savvy OS X power-user could put together themselves, if they were bothered. I am.

The installer will set everything up for you so you can, for instance, simply type ra in the terminal and have apache restart. Ahhh.. I guess the highlight is my wonderful "feck-a-package" uninstaller which I renamed to "uninstaller" for the masses. This baby's sole purpose is to uninstall Packages, something the Apple installer still doesn't do. *sigh*.

There's a few other useful things in there. it's 36k. You want it!

Note, I've started using the OS X built-in zipping mechanism for my distributions now, so if you use some other unzipper (like, eek, stuffit) you run the risk of having an extra "__MAC OSX" folder created with all the resource forks in it. During this period of transition I have stripped all resource forks from the packages, so any old unzipper will work, but be warned, in future this might not be possible.

USE THE BUILT-IN ZIP/UNZIP MECHANISM! (it's right there on a right-click!)

that's about it, I think. Got too much on just now to get my head round a "real" blog. One of my current projects involves outputting thousands and thousands (and thousands!) of words of text a day, and after that I don't feel much like blogging.

for now..

:o) The Writing Entity @


I love books.

that's no glib exclamation. I mean love. Books have taken me closer to truth and reality, and filled me more deeply than any other form of art, any of man's many medias. Okay, more specifically, it's the printed pages.

I love printing.

that's why setting up network printers can be so frustrating. It seems like it should be so easy make it so, but rarely is, not like books which literally fly into place, I'll tell you a story about books.

I was in my mid-twenties, and somehow with a building contract sixty miles over a frozen, trecherous hill and back and taking way more days off than I could honstly ascribe to my battered automobile. Really I'd had enough of the work, just kinda fell into it needing cash. This day I was wasn't working. I'd invited a couple of friends over for a Jam, a common occurence at the time, and was tuning my guitar when the thought struck me - Shit! I got Nada in the house! Not even a beer! I was also flat broke. - in less than a minute the solution arrived:

RRRRRRRRinggggg: Snow see.. no trains.. if it wouldn't be too much trouble.. friend of mine, says she'll give you a tenner if you- I accepted this perfectly timed offer instantly, and set off on the short drive to Aberdeen, ferrying this girl I'd never met to An Imprtant Meeting. And got there with an improbable ten minutes to spare, too. Battered that old car may have been, but it could nip on when required, of course my driving style helped. Anyway, the real "coincedence" occured on the drive home..

The last five hundred yards, I pass this outdoor stall, charity thing. "They must be mad", was my first thought, "it's effin Baltic!". But still, a few folks had gathered round already, buzzing and rummaging the wares as people do. I pulled my Nova into the town square, like a guided missile, that exhilerating pull that says here is the book you asked for hauling me relentless. In shorts and T-shirt, I skidded to the stall, left hand table, back left, Bingo!

I guess I had better tell you about the book itself. You may know of it. I'd been searching for a copy for some months without much success. Its name had been hitting me for a couple of years, and those krishna guys see me and literally run at me with books, it was advertised in them all, but never offered. Sure, I could have ordered it somehow, even settled with a different translation, but once an image, especially a nice colour glossy one, fixes in the mind like that, it's only a question of time before The Universe Provides. I'm fairly patient.

And there it was, in pristine unruffled hardback; The Bhagavad-Gita 'as-it-is'. Fifty pence. I thoughtlessly gave the woman a pound and dashed off, eager to taste the delights within. It would be a couple of hours before the guitars and amps arrived. I could have a nibble.

So I got myself together, prepared an herbal tea, cleared my mind of its extranea, shook that morning's spliff from my brain, breathed steady and deep, and flipped open the first page.

And slammed the cover back instantly. WTF! Like big "NO!" except without the audio. I tried it again, randomly flipping the book open somewhere in the middle. Again; No. Damn! Puzzled, I grudgingly accepted that while this may have been the perfect day to find the book, it wasn't, for reasons unmeknown at the time, the perfect day to read it. That would be a later day. I put the book away in my bookshelf, and that is where the story really begins.

Let me tell you about books, as I see them. The words are only a part of the story. Even when all the intullectual layers have been stripped, There's still more, more possibilities. As a small child I would experiment with books, trying to discover different ways to get the juice out of them. I learned that sometimes, with certain books, just having them about has an effect, almost as if the data were seeping into my consciousness somehow, avoiding the potential minefield that is reading and moreover understanding the written word.

Everything could be coincedence. And while you and you have a perfect right to see and believe that particular version of reality, I've never had much truck with coincedence, athough it does seem a reasonable approach for folks unaware of any deeper significance in the timing of events, those meaningfulness synchronicities. It will do until they know better, I guess.

Sure, I could have just been travelling along those lines of thought, perhaps dust-jackets, when they exist, are catalysts to avenues of unconscious research, or maybe I sleep-read; but there comes a time, after maybe two or three dozen books like this, when you realise that improbable as it may seem, when the times comes to actually read the thing, you already know this book.

More often than not, the books I'm drawn to are not so much revelational, but affirmations of truths known, but not realised. Of course a tomb like the Gita is a sure-fire winner for this kind of result. There's a shit-load of books will do it, at the right time and place. And I guess, if you spent enough cash, and bought enough books, you could read that kind of stuff all day long, like a drip, and that might have an effect too. But there is a more reliable method of getting the information you really need, so long as you can accept that, more often than not, books find you.

What we do with them after that is up to us. But if all there is to books is starting at the first word and working your way religiously to the last - not that that isn't a joyous thing, and the cause of a fair few memorable sunrise espresso's - then I'll eat my own book-case!

First noble truth: Books get tired. Friend of mine, who I will call Jill, found herself raking about for a CD in one of my old media stacks/clutters and seemed to zero straight in on "Light on The Path", an incredible wee volume which I occasionally swell to recant how it darted its way to me in less than seven days of my learning of its existance. Never again have I heard its name, let alone found it in a Saturday morning charity stall I just "happened" to be passing.

"Let me print you a copy", I said, "it seems to want to find you". I printed it out (I OCR'd the well-out-of-copyright text almost as soon as I'd read it), chopped it up, stapled it, and sent her on her way. "En-Joy!" I cheered, splitting the sylables wide apart. That she did, and then some. Within a fortnight she returns with the wee book, "Something's wrong". "What?" "it's all swirly now, just looking at it makes me all confused. It was so TRUE before, SPOT-ON!". She was clearly anxious about the whole thing, went on to describe other related maladies.

"You've worn it out", I said, and I took the booklet, now rather tattered and smudged, and tore it cleanly in half. Sadly I didn't have a camera about me to capture her expression at that point.

"I'll print you another one", I tossed off and ranged through to the workshop to do just that. Jill burst into tears. I didn't go there with her on this occasion.

"This time don't carry it around with you so much! And no reading it on the Bus!", I shouted through while I set the printer in motion. She had been close you see, close to figuring something out. Light on The Path, in its own sweet magical way had been drawing her towards an understanding of one simple fundamental truth about herself.. Jill en-joys confusion.

"You okay?" I whispered, peering round the doorway.
"heh, yeah, sorry, seems silly really..."
"Ahh no worries, this'll help, you'll see"

This time I printed part one only, leaving the second half (which really isn't for beginners anyway) completely blank. I typed in its place "I have removed the source of the confusion, but you'll find another".

Printing is magical. Ask anyone who's ever printed anything ever. Ask them about the first time they watched their words come hurtling out of the machine like so much instant art. Words are magic, yes, gateways to other worlds, an infinitely compressable medium, thought squeezed into wee strings of symbols, unsqueezing in YOUR mind.

Yes I didn't say the magic was entirely in the words, the printing, the books; it's in you, of course. isn't it incredible that while folks recognise that with say, a science text, or even a spell-book, the user's input is essential, vital; yet these same folks believe that certain "Hallowed", "Holy" books, printed just like Mark Twain or Judy Collins, can manage to perform these feats all by themselves, "do magic" on you, "imbue wisdom" or whatever. Just Read-and-Go!

Information is a commodity, sure, but don't believe small ads for "Knowledge", or even big ads.

So I don't order books, or read book catalogues, or even visit bookshops. I simply require information, and let smarter particles work out the titles. Sometimes it's a friend - like when a school-mate I hadn't seen in almost ten years dives into the shop I'm working and thrusts Neoromancer in my hand, nods and leaves; or perhaps a chance meeting - like when I lifted up that deep blue curtain and The Book of Rings fell out ("Madame, it may well be 'not for sale yet', but steal it or buy it, I'm walking out with this book"); or even through another book - like when I read those explicit words "Seek out a work entitled 'Light on The Path'". You can guess I follow my instincts a lot.

And that's only a fraction of what I could spout about books. Just as well; I decided fairly early on in this blog that I would do two things. One; not go to deeply into the potential capabilities of books, just offer tasters (in other words, try not to get too carried away); and Two; not edit the blog. The first was easy, but the second will be a real challenge. Generally a blog can sit on my local server for three days before it "goes live", being tweaked, teased, and coaxed into shape, all the while attempting to retain its whole its mathimatical totality in my mind, trying to catch myself out, trying to catch you out. It can take a lot of editing to get it where I wanted it to go. Tonight I'm not going to bother with that. I haven't even used my funky preview function. I just wanted to yap about books.

But rather than end with a sermon on the reliability of Panther (and corzblog ;o), I'm gonna leave you with a poem wrote about a zillion years ago, and with kids in mind. Having said that, it's served me pretty well, and I'm a fully grown adult. Yeah right.

a book

A book can be any number of things,
a tool, for sure, for trapped thinkings.
or an ornament even -
they look splendid in a crowd.

It serves as a step for things well raised,
no disrespect, versatility is praised,
and a thin one fairly steadies
a wobbly table.

They're a great escape, or at least a door,
and make excellent pot-stands stacked on the floor.
Indeed, I imagine, there is no end
of uses for a book.

Taken from "Things your Father should have told you, but probably didn't"

for now..

:o) The Writing Entity @

new years

I'd been back, okay I'd say "a minute", but really it was more like a minute and a half, when the buzzer went. It was a delivery, package from Germany, thanks mate. Fifteen minutes later the buzzer goes again, friends "popping in". I'm back, yeah. Was there a radio announcement or something?

And so it is 2004. Or rather, to use its proper title, Two Thousand and Four. I could feel it in the streets and houses as I strolled back home; new year; the bare bricks still singing that anthem.. "This will be a good year. Yes.". Maybe everyone said it at once or something, left an impression. Sure, There's a lot of deprivation and desperation round here, but There's no shortage of hope.

In Scotland, we take new year seriously. We wrote the song, remember. it's a literal "out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new" event, the whole ritual of transition conveniently facilitated by the consumption of huge quantities of alcohol, which we are also pretty good at producing. it's the bright zenith of our ritual drinking calendar; if you don't pass out, something went wrong.

This year I was fortunate enough to be invited away for the spell, somewhere out of the ordinary. There's no other time of year I'd get to say "sure, why not?", so I went. This paragraph is for the folks asking "where the hell is cor these last two weeks?" Back to the alcohol..

We have a special name for the day before new year too, "Hogmany". This is because it can take a few hours to get really pissed, and you need to be ready for "the bells", which of course is midnight, witching hour. Unlike snakeroot, you get to remember all the stuff that happened previous to the ritual, but now -the next year- one is afforded a wholly different light, a chance to see things differently, to take anything at all and permanently file it under "past".

I filed a few things; yearly tech contracts (too tying, sorry guys, I got this romantic notion see, me swinging through the window with my bag of tools, fix and go.. ask, I will say no), surfing for porn (it's started to loop now, geez, and like, when do I ever get to use it anyway! and anyway, that picture just doesn't exist), and procrastination (true, I do a great impression of a get-up-and-go, get-it-done, get-the-hell-on-with-it kinda guy, but in truth I succeed in that only by putting off the stuff that no one sees, clever huh.) Methinks I should have this kind of clear-out more often. Hmmm.

Importantly, the ritual of New Year also allows one to powerfully begin new things; new ways and methods, new ventures; to take unformed stuff and definitely file it under "future. starting now". I still had a couple from last year in this file, so I began by burning those and forgetting they ever existed. Then I paused.

This filing action, it's good, for some things. Perfect, in fact. Especially filing at the back, the long slam shut. But for others..

I burned the file too, and moved this project to the fridge magnets, simple truth..

every day is new year

for now..

:o) The Writing Entity @

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