bodger: xkcd android girlfriend arc weld cherry stem (Default)
After all my issues over the last week dealing with expanding filesystems, I got a treat. My work laptop was originally set up for multiboot, with a 10GB partition each for MacOS, Linux, and Windoze. The rest of the disk was formatted FAT32, which they can all access (Windows offers little choice in this).

I ended up not using multiboot, and running other stuff with VMWare Fusion, but kept running out of space in the MacOS partition, as many things like to be there, and are tricky to relocate. But I had an unused 10GB partition adjacent to it. Any chance I could combine them and expand the HFS+ filesystem to take advantage of the additional space. At first, I started looking for an external drive to stage everything on while I repartition the drive and built new filesystems, but then I remembered I'm using a Mac.

So I went to Disk Utility, combined the partitions, and dragged the filesystem to fill the larger space.

And it worked. While I was using the machine. I magically had 10GB more space, and I didn't have to shut down any programs, log out, reboot, or anything like that. I actually did this while I was chatting with people, and the only bobble was the network connectivity bounced, so I vanished and reappeared a few seconds later.

Now THAT impresses me, all the more so, given my (now) intimate familiarity with the complexity of changing filesystems and partitions. Good on ya, Apple!

bodger: xkcd android girlfriend arc weld cherry stem (Default)
For a demo today, some people wanted me to "mirror" their monitors, so the screen showed the same content as the projector connected to the other video output. I got a quick lesson in the difference between technologies.

How to mirror displays

Windows:

  1. Right click on the desktop, menu pops up
  2. Select "Properties", window opens
  3. Click on "Settings" tab
  4. Click on "Advanced" button (screen blanks temporarily)
  5. Click on "GeForce" tab
  6. Click on "run Nvidia configuration" button (screen blanks temporarily, new window opens)
  7. Select "Multiple Screen Configuration" in the left navigation bar
  8. Click on "Clone Displays" radio button (screen blanks temporarily, projector loses synch)
  9. Click on "Okay" (configuration window closes)
  10. Click on "Cancel" in Advanced properties window (window closes)
  11. Click on "Cancel" in Properties window (window closes)
  12. Right click on the desktop, menu pops up
  13. Select "Properties", window opens
  14. Click on "Settings" tab
  15. Reset screen resolution (projector regains synch, new window pops up)
  16. Click on "Yes" to accept new resolution and close window
  17. Click on "Okay" to close Properties window

Many steps and three programs later, screens are mirrored.

MacOS X:

Press F7

bodger: xkcd android girlfriend arc weld cherry stem (Default)
I use my cell phone with a car kit to keep it charged and let me control the phone easily. To answer the phone, I just thumb the big button. To adjust the volume, I turn the knob. To make a call via voice dialing, I thumb the big button, wait for the breedle, and say the name I want to call.

However, the phone cares deeply about the state of charge of its internal battery*. Even though it is connected to the car kit, and has a continuous source of power, it worries incessantly about electricity issues. If it gets down to 99% charge, it starts recharging. And when it finishes charging, it notifies me by beeping and displaying a "battery full" message.

To dismiss this helpful and informative message (which appears a few times an hour while driving), I have to open the phone (displaying the same message, and assigning the "OK" function to the "enter" key), and press the (tiny) "enter" key. This is not really something safe to attempt whilst driving.

UNFORTUNATELY, the voice dialing feature is disabled while the phone is in this state. Mashing the big button only results in a disappointed-sounding "boop" noise, with no explanation. This rather defeats the safety and convenience of voice dialing. Bad engineering! No engineering biscuit! Bad Nokia!

I wrote Nokia to complain about this, but their reply only told me that I'm required to "confirm" the "Battery full" message. Fail.

Now, if only there were a nice rugged GSM cellphone with Bluetooth that works well with a car kit and an external antenna jack or coupler.

* Technically, it's a cell, not a battery, but the phone (and most people) refer to it as a "battery", so I will here.

May 2017

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