Stuff Yaron Finds Interesting

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Escaping Excel X to OOo 1.1.2

I've previously described just how deeply awful Excel X is when using Visual Basic. But things recently got even worse when I found a bizarre bug in Excel X's For Each operator that prevented me from iterating on an array. Desperate for some kind of alternative I checked out Open Office for the Mac again and found a new version, 1.1.2, which is significantly better than the previous version and fits my needs much better than Excel X.
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Rsync, RsyncX 2.1 & OS X

I really needed to backup my system. I had evaluated a bunch of backup software when a friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) pointed out Rsync and RsyncX 2.1. Rsync is a command line open source program used to do sophisticated data backup. RsyncX is a 'friendly' front end to Rsync. Rsync by itself is about as friendly as an angry viper. RsyncX is a little less unfriendly, say about the level of a club to the head. After seven or so hours I finally managed to get everything working. Below I give step-by-step instructions on how I used RsyncX to set up both my local and remote backups. My take away from this experience is that I should have just bought backup software.
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How to mount a Firewire Drive using an iLink (1394/Firewire) port with Mepis Linux Live CD on a Dell Inspiron 8200

What To Do

  1. Open a root terminal and type in "modprobe ieee1394 ; modprobe ohci1394 ; modprobe sbp2"
  2. Download and then "sh".
  3. "Fdisk -l" to get a list of all available drives. You should be able to see the firewire drive listed along with what devices (e.g. /dev/sda1 or /dev/sdb1 or whatever) its partitions have been assigned to.
  4. For each partition you want to mount (e.g. for each /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, etc.) create a directory somewhere to mount to. I created /mnt/sda1, /mnt/sda2, etc. Then run "mount -t auto /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1" where you replace sda1 with the actual device of the partition you want to mount. Repeat for all partitions you want to mount.

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Printing, IPP, OS X & Defeat

Sometimes you just have to know when to give up. I've been trying to figure out how to get my wife's Linux box to print on the printer I've hooked up to my OS X box. I configured the printer. I set up printer sharing. I connected to the CUPS server locally without problem. Then I tried to connect remotely. No luck. I edited /etc/cups/cupsd.conf to add the IP address of the linux box. No luck. At some point you just have to know when to give up. I give up. If there is a way to get printer sharing over IPP working with an OS X box as server and a Linux box as client I can't figure it out.