Desktop OCD (Why I switched from a 17″ Macbook Pro, to an 11″ Macbook Air)

IMG_1527Recently my employer was extremely kind enough to spoil me yet again and replace a late 2010 17″ Macbook Pro I was using with an 11″ 2013 Haswell Macbook Air.  It’s taken some time for me to define what a laptop should be, and have recently come to the conclusion that a laptop should be light, with form factor conventions that make it wieldy, convenient to take from one location to the next, and facilitate your work and entertainment on the go.

Over the years it’s taken me some time to realize what I need out a workstation, and laptop.  My original school of thought for the past 12 years was that I needed an extremely high resolution for desktop real estate whether it be a workstation or laptop. This was partly because I was battling with what some may consider mild OCD with my workspace and workflow in relation to my desktop scheme, and because I still wanted to play Blizzard and Steam games.  I believed that my desktop application placement had to be perfect, ranging from e-mail client, to terminal, and various other applications.  I was also determined to cram every regularly used application in tight order onto one screen, which is why I originally thought that a 17″ Macbook Pro for my work on the go was a good idea.

By now it should be pretty apparent that I was very slow to adopt multiple virtual desktops with what OSX implemented in Spaces (something that I was already aware of for years with Linux GUI desktop managers) some revisions of Macintosh exotic cat named operating systems ago.  When I started dealing with more Windows administration and VMWare for my job, I found that using multiple virtual desktops was a far more efficient way to work.  Finally, realization set in that it’s okay to have a “messy” desktop and in a sense was relieved by this.  After this minor technical enlightenment, I became increasingly more frustrated lugging around a 17″ Macbook Pro (#firstworldproblems).  It got to the point where I didn’t want to use it in any situation other than sitting at a desk.  Enter the Macbook Air.

Since I’ve been using the Macbook Air for the past 2 weeks, I have realized how well this ultrabook works for me and how impractical the 17″ Macbook Pro was.  I actually enjoy taking the Air to work, and meetings now, where as before I preferred to keep the 17″ Macbook Pro on my dining table, or desk and rarely traveled with it.  As for games, I found that I was hardly gaming after a while.  The other thing that I’m really impressed with is battery life.  9 hours of usage is very impressive compared to what I was seeing before with the Pro.

I guess the lesson learned here on a somewhat deeper level is to practice sensibility more often.  This is something I think I’m still struggling with and striving to be better at in my mid-30’s.

Cleanly uninstalling Google Chrome in OSX

So being the big nerd I am, I enjoy playing Fantasy Football.  The other day I noticed that Chrome was having an issue rendering projections, scores, and notes from player card previews on

Since I wasn’t really in the mood to debug, I decided to just cleanly remove Chrome to resolve my issue.  If you do feel like debugging you can do so via command arguments:

In run the following:

open /Applications/Google\ --args --enable-logging --v=1

At any rate, after removing the following files in, I was back to Fantasy Football browsing insanity:

rm -r /Applications/Google\
rm -r ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google/Chrome/
rm ~/Library/Preferences/
rm ~/Library/Preferences/
rm ~/Library/Preferences/Google\ Chrome.plist
rm ~/Library/Preferences/Google\ Chrome.plist.lockfile
rm ~/Library/Saved Application State/
rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/CrashReporter/Google\ Chrome*.plist
rm ~/Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/Actives/
rm -r ~/Library/Speech/Speakable\ Items/Application\ Speakable\ Items/Google\ Chrome/

Linux-Fu Part 2

Figured it’s high time for a nerd SysAdmin blog post.  This one will be particularly bland with some commands and tools I use to administer Linux systems.

Ever wanted to get a quick and dirty count of open files by process?

lsof | awk '{ print $1" "$2; }' | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

This is pretty useful when you’re starting to deep dive a system.

Take netstat to the next level and  look for active server network ports so you can tell users you support that their app is running

[root@deadbeef ~]# netstat -ntlp
Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address               Foreign Address             State       PID/Program name
tcp        0      0    *                   LISTEN      4083/spread
tcp        0      0*                   LISTEN      4083/spread
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN      5138/python   
tcp        0      0       *                   LISTEN      3673/snmpd 
tcp        0      0       *                   LISTEN      4019/sendmail
tcp        0      0        *                   LISTEN      8942/sshd 
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN      4019/sendmail

Ever wanted to get dmidecode in a somewhat useful format?

[root@deadbeef ~]# for kw in $(dmidecode -s 2>&1 | sed -n '3,$p'); do echo -en "e[1m${kw}:e[0m "; echo $(dmidecode -s ${kw}); done
bios-vendor: Dell Inc.
bios-version: 2.3.1
bios-release-date: 04/29/2008
system-manufacturer: Dell Inc.
system-product-name: PowerEdge 1950
system-version: Not Specified
baseboard-manufacturer: Dell Inc.
baseboard-product-name: 0H878G
baseboard-version: A01
baseboard-serial-number: ..CN6970284D1596.
baseboard-asset-tag: Not Specified
chassis-manufacturer: Dell Inc.
chassis-version: Not Specified
chassis-asset-tag: Not Specified
processor-manufacturer: Intel Intel
processor-version: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X5460 @ 3.16GHz Not Specified

There, and back again…

So my bittersweet trip to Anaheim finally ended this past Saturday.  There were a couple things I enjoyed during my stay out there despite the fact that it was the city of Anaheim.

  • Walking to class/work is awesome.  I wish more things in life were pedestrian accessible to me.
  • An L.A. Fitness with a basketball court was conveniently next door to my hotel.  I loved coming home to the hotel, and heading straight over for some pick up games.  My best day there was Thursday,  as I finally adjusted my game to the regulars that played there.
  • I passed my RHCSA (Red Hat Certified System Administrator) exam and had my results and certification digitally delivered to me on the same day.  Initially, I was a little shaky on how I did due to relying on system-config-lvm rather than pvcreate for physical volume extent creation.
  • The Amtrak Surfliner train station was 5 minutes away from my hotel.  I was so happy to pick up Kristina on Friday night to top off a week away from San Diego.
  • The greatest place on earth, Disneyland!  I had not been to Disneyland since grad night in High School prior to Saturday’s visit.  I still remember exiting the park to the music of Bones Thugs and Harmony, The Crossroads.  At any rate, using Disney’s Fast Track as opposed to wasting an hour in line is a great idea.  Kristina and I were able to visit every ride in the park other than Matterhorn because it was down for maintenance.  At the end of the day I think we satisfied our Disneyland appetites for the next decade or so.
So Anaheim, I officially bid you adieu… See you at the Crossroads…

A Week Away

I have to say I am not too excited about staying in Anaheim for my Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) training and exam.  San Diego is appreciated the second I step away from it for more reasons than just the city itself.  I am however looking forward to learning new tricks with RHEL6, and hopeful about obtaining my RHCSA.  My CentOS 6.2 VMguest is gassed up and ready for work, and I’ll be sure to post any blog worthy RedHat morsels through out the week.

Apple’s Facetime in action, 01/29/2012.
Thankfully for Apple’s Facetime, being away from home is slightly more tolerable by keeping in touch with Kristina through out the week.  This app is simply put, rad.  I cannot wait for Apple and Verizon to open this up past the WiFi limitation.  I’m sure this will happen when the next iterations of the iPad and iPhone make their way out of Apple’s Willy Wonka factory of gadgets.

First Post

It’s been a long time since I’ve participated in the blogging scene.  The intent of this blog is to share my personal and professional interests, endeavors, and opinions.  It may or may not be considered valuable, or interesting to the wild west that most call the internet.

The title of this blog is very much in the making, so please excuse my indecision and trial titles in the mean time.  Net Festivus seems to be fitting at the moment, since every web browsing experience should be something to be celebrated.  With all this said, welcome to my blog.