Connecting to a remote dockerd on RancherOS on FreeNAS

Last summer I migrated from an old QNAP NAS to FreeNAS. I also started using docker containers with RancherOS, via the FreeNAS-provided virtual machine image. I initially installed all my containers using the RancherOS cli (ssh into the machine), but now I am moving my container configurations out of the VM cli and versioning them so that I can at any point rebuild (or upgrade) the RancherOS disk image, and be able to reload all my containers. So I want to be able to run docker commands from my localhost cli, but have them be run on the RancherOS docker daemon.

Use an old WH1080 weather station with a raspberry pi

I have an old WH1080 weather station and was thinking, “I bet I could wire up a 433MHz receiver to an arduino or raspberry pi and read the wireless sensors to chart the weather data”. I found lots of links for reading the wireless sensors, but then I looked closely at my weather station display and noticed the USB port: I had forgotten that there was a port there! Excellent! Problem solved, and I could solve it without extra hardware!


I found a great, oldish blog entry to help me out with the basic steps of reading the data via USB on a raspberry pi. The code dependencies that were manually compiled in that link are now included in the latest raspbian distro (jessie), so those manual compilation steps are no longer necessary.

The basic steps are:

  1. Install python and required dependencies
  2. Install Python software for USB Wireless WeatherStations
  3. Verify WH1080 weather station can be read from raspberry pi (using pywws)
  4. Install a weather station logger (like wfrog or weewx)

Crashplan eating up TimeMachine backups

I recently upgraded to El Capitan and while checking the system logs I noticed lots of errors about not being able to delete old backups (thin backups), such as:

2016-01-10 05:22:48,193[5904]: Starting post-backup thinning
2016-01-10 05:22:49,319[5904]: Error: Error Domain=NSOSStatusErrorDomain Code=-36 "ioErr: I/O error (bummers)" deleting backup: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/fünke/2016-01-01-213437


Generate dependency graph for Hybris

I’m currently working as a developer on a large Hybris e-commerce solution. The codebase has been delivered to us with a large number of extensions and I was having a hard time visualizing how all the extensions were interconnected. I put together this simple script one evening, and made some quick tweaks at work to get it to work with our codebase. After generating the graph, we could immediately see where we were having dependency issues and were able to make adjustments.

Restore TimeMachine on “smaller” hard drive

Recently my Mac died and I have been temporarily using a loaner Mac. The loaner has a 1TB SSD, whereas my Mac has only a 250GB SSD. I restored my TimeMachine backup onto the loaner Mac, and chose the option to “take over” the TimeMachine backup in order to maintain backups of my files while my Mac was in the shop getting repaired.

Now I have my Mac back, and to make things simple I thought I’d just do a TimeMachine restore on my Mac. Unfortunately, when selecting my TimeMachine backup, I get the woeful message:
“This disk does not have enough space to restore your system”

Black screen on retina MacBook Pro and restore TimeMachine from NAS

In retrospect I should have seen it coming. I have an external monitor at work plugged in via displayport, the other port connected to my thunderbolt ethernet connection. Once while accidentally jiggling the ethernet adapter my screens went black for a second (looked like the resolutions needed to refresh or something, screens went black, then came back a few seconds later). Freaked me out, but the displays came back. Anyway, as I said, I should have taken that as a sign that something wicked this way was a comin’.

Fast-forward a month or so. Before work, morning coffee in hand, open the lid, login prompt appears. I get an SMS on my phone, so my attention diverts. Read the SMS, reply, etc. A few minutes later I go back to my Mac, the screen black as usual, as it has powered down since I didn’t log in for a few minutes. Or so I thought. No amount of key presses, opening-and-closing of the lid got the screen back to life. The keyboard backlight was on, I knew the Mac was on. Close lid, wait a few minutes, open lid. No screen. Ok, power off and reboot. No screen. At all. Ok crap. Starting to stress now as I will be late for work if I don’t leave soon. Scramble in the cabinets, looking for any monitor cables. Found an HDMI cable. Plugged the Mac into the TV. No video anywhere, black on both screens. Ok, reset PRAM (command-option-P-R at boot). Nope. Reset PRAM a dozen times. Nope. Reset SMC (left shift-control-option-power). Nope. Reset SMC a half-dozen times. Nope. Still black screen.

Disable Chrome’s annoying swipe navigation

Ok, it’s not really Chrome’s fault. But I really get annoyed when I happen to swipe left or right with two fingers on a page and Chrome quickly displays the previous or next page in my browser history. Safari does the same, but its UI is a little more intuitive by showing the new page glide right and the previous page appear underneath and most times you can actually catch your mistaken swipe before it’s too late. Chrome’s animation is brutally fast (which I suppose is a good thing, at least the fast part). In my day-to-day dealings with Chrome, however, I think it’s just annoying and I want a way to turn it off.

Swapping like crazy

I’ve noticed that my Mac seems to be eating up quite a bit of disk space every now and then, without any action from me. I have MenuMeters installed and realized that this extra disk usage is due to insane swap-file usage. I know one cannot rely completely on the reported RAM usage numbers (“used” vs “free” due to all the other states, “free”, “wired”, “active”, “inactive”), but in my end-user mind I find it insane that though I’m currently using 7.1GB and have a total of 16GB, the OS should not be using 7.3GB of my hard drive. Use up the fast RAM first, then move the storage to the (albeit a fast SSD) slow disk. Don’t pre-emptively swap! Yes, I know this is a simplistic view and probably technically incorrect. But it’s annoying that OSX is using my hard drive when it doesn’t need to!

Fix lagging display performance on retina MacBook Pro

This weekend my Mac suddenly started behaving strangely: moving windows around occurred with a nearly psychodelic delay, mission control (aka exposé) was “jerky”, and scrolling was not fun. Forcing the graphics card to the discrete NVIDIA GT 650 instead of integrated Intel GPU sped things up, but the overall experience still didn’t feel right. Since the onset was sudden I immediately though: imminent hardware failure! But thankfully that turned out not to be the case.