Breaking the Apple lock-in: Time Machine

While I have been avoiding Apple products personally because of their tendency to only work well together with other Apple products, I’m asked for advice on Mac-specific problems from time to time. This time a friend of mine is leaving the Apple ecosystem but still has his data backed up on an external hard drive with Time Machine and wanted to be able to copy his last backup to an NTFS filesystem.

What sounds like something easy to do, the way Time Machine and HFS+ work make it something you really have to wrap your head around first. You can’t just copy it to an NTFS drive with your Mac, because there’s no (freely availiable) write-support for NTFS. You can mount a HFS+ drive with a contemporary flavour of Linux, but Time Machine makes heavy usage of the Directory Hard Linking feature of HFS+ to implement the incremental backups. That means, if you have two distinct backups in which a specific folder didn’t change, instead of copying the data again, it is just linked to an older version of the same folder and therefore doesn’t need additional hard disk space.

While this is a smart trick, it is only supported by OSX so far. Linux systems don’t support Directory Hard Linking which makes it useless for this case. But luckily Alexandre Bique wrote a quick workaround for this: Time Machine Filesystem (thanks so much!). I’m doing a quick tutorial here to show how to use this.

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I googled “boundaryfunctions”…

…just for the fun of it. This is what came  out:

Boundary Functions

is a an interactive media installation by artist Scott Snibbe. I like it very much, have a look:

Boundary Functions

is Ted Kaczynski‘s doctor thesis [abstract] from 1967. It was too difficult for the readers like Maxwell Reade from Kaczynskis’s dissertation committee:

I would guess that maybe 10 or 12 people in the country understood or appreciated it.  - Maxwell Reade [src]

Ted Kaczynski

Forensic sketch of the Unabomber by Jeanne Boylan

However, Kaczynski is known better for being the Unabomber than for his mathematical works. By the way, there is an excellent documentation about the Unabomber, the social history of his time and technological optimism by Lutz Dammbeck called “The Net” [imdb]. It’s a must see and you can even find it on youtube.

Remote Control X10 (Pollin) and LIRC

I bought the Remote Control X10 from Pollin, because it is radio-controlled (not infrared), really cheap and seems to work for lots of people with LIRC on an Ubuntu machine. There are really a lot of tutorials out there, but must of them for older versions of ubuntu/lirc and for another version of the rc. Mine has a “Medion” label and a scroll wheel.

Because all configuration files by others didn’t work for my setup, here is what I did to make it work. This tutorial assumes, you are using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and lirc 0.8.7.

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The Audio Programming Book: Errata

In this post I’ll try to keep track of mistakes I found in “The Audio Programming Book”. It will get updated frequently.
If you have found some problems on your own, I’d appreciate you posting it to the comments. I would append them to this post and for sure accredit it to you.
Continue reading “The Audio Programming Book: Errata”

Audio Programming

I didn’t use this blog a lot lately, but I really want to keep it alive. At the moment I’m trying to get my hands on Audio Programming in C, the (quite far away) goal is to do some audio manipulation with embedded devices (maybe with Arduino, maybe something more powerful).
My starting point is the newly released “The Audio Programming Book” by Richard Boulanger and Victor Lazzarini. Since I worked through maybe half of the book, I’m still not really advanced, but I will keep track of my process by posting some code here.
The book is wonderful and really a complete compendium on audio programming knowledge (coding style, data structures, mathematical foundations, …) while still aimed more towards the programming musician than the music-playing programmer. That said, since it’s the first edition, there are still some errata. If you find some, you may post them to the errata thread at the group dedicated to the book over at noisepages. I will also try to cover some of the problems here.

make lm-sensors work with kernel 2.6.31 // ubuntu 9.10

i recently tried to get some information about the temperature of my cpu and the speeds of the fans in my pc. the programm of choice to do this with ubuntu is lm-sensors. but due to a well known bug with kernel 3.6.31 (which is part of current ubuntu karmic), lm-sensors doesn’t work flawlessly with my mainboard, an asus m3a – and it seems that other mainboards (especially asus) are also affected.
the most reliable way to fix this, is to install the most recent version of lm-sensors from the sources. it took me some time, to get all needed information to do that, so here’s a step-by-step tutorial.
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