Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

One of my gripes with both MacOS and Ubuntu is that it’s harder than it needs to be to grab a window corner or edge to resize it. IMHO, designers are choosing form over function.

This page from the Busy Coder’s Guide to Android discusses Android performance, including the Android hardware acceleration setting shown in the image.

Android hardware acceleration setting

Back in 2009 I had a concussion. At some point after that I drove to Illinois to see my family. I was tired after the drive and fell asleep on my sister’s couch, only to be awakened by a loud noise. I opened my eyes and looked in the direction of the noise. A woman standing in the kitchen looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, did I wake you?”

I replied, “Um, that’s okay, no problem.” I didn’t know who the woman was, but she seemed nice, and really sorry for having made the noise.

After she turned and walked away I looked around; I didn’t know where I was. My first instinct was to panic, but I tried not to. I thought hard, “Where am I? Who is that woman?” I’m sure that I also thought, “Who am I?,” but as I write this I remember those first two questions the most.

After at least ten seconds of trying to control my panic and search my memory, it finally came back to me. I was Al, the woman was my mother, and I was at my sister’s house. The panic subsided.

I write this because of a dream this morning, and because I can only begin to imagine the fear that people with dementia/Alzheimer’s must deal with on a regular basis.

I just learned that MacOS has a softwareupdate command, and further learned that it has a --ignore option, which may or may not let you ignore useless updates. For example, my Mac prompts me daily to update Keynote, Numbers, and Pages, which I rarely (rarely!) use, so I don’t want to bother updating them. I’m hoping the a softwareupdate command will help me with this.

Forbes has a good article on the causes of the Samsung Note 7 battery explosions, including everything Samsung did to understand the problem, and a little bit about where they’re going from here.

If you ever need to embed an Android ListView in a LinearLayout or RelativeLayout, I can confirm that this code works.

(This SO approach may also work. Here’s another one.)

“Awareness admits no obstructions. It can be boundless even when we are confined.”

~ A Tibetan monk in Bloomington, Indiana (Arjia Rinpoche)

“And all becomes clear. Wish I could make you see this brightness. Don’t worry, all is well. All is so perfectly, damnably well. I understand now, that boundaries between noise and sound are conventions. All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so. Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.”

~ Cloud Atlas

I don’t know the original source of this image or quote, but I like it.

Impossible ... risky ... give it a try

Dear diary: Filed under the category of “transparent dangling carrots,” today I learned/realized that there is a surface reason the Dalai Lama talks about practicing compassion, and also a much deeper reason. It’s really quite a trip, though with my limited knowledge, for all I know it’s turtles stacked on turtles stacked on turtles.

(A diary entry from January 21, 2015. Dalai Lama quote: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Image from this link.)

Dalai Lama quote: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion

“Do not fall in love with people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.”

~ Caitlyn Siehl

Ubuntu is running great on my old 2008 iMac, but if you’re having Linux performance issues, here’s an ArchLinux page titled “Improving performance.”

I was laying in bed last night, waiting to fall asleep, and the power went out. As I laid there thinking about how cold it would get, a gray telephone we had many years ago began ringing in the closet. I wondered what it was doing in there.

Instantly the scenery changed and I flashed back to an event I didn’t know about twelve years ago. As I observed it, it made me sad.

Then I kept going back in time, first to one event and then another.

There seem to be a few different ways to type “smart quotes” on Ubuntu Linux, including using keys (keystrokes) like AltGr and Compose. In this tutorial I’ll document an approach that works best for me: creating simple macros I can assign to simple keystrokes rather than having to use more-complicated keystrokes.

I haven’t been feeling well the last few days, and this afternoon when I had the chills I decided to have a cup of tea to warm me up. I recently bought some new tea, so I thought I’d give it a try. A short while later I got itchy and started breaking out in hives. All of that is how life with mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) goes.

In a mostly-unrelated note, here’s a link to a July, 2016 research article titled, Intestinal cell damage and systemic immune activation in individuals reporting sensitivity to wheat in the absence of coeliac disease.

Had a dream in Spanish this morning. Unfortunately I didn’t understand too much of it. It felt like I had switched to a Spanish tv station by accident, and then the batteries on the remote died and I couldn’t change the channel.

“Hola. Buenos dias. Come se dice, ‘I don’t think this is supposed to be my dream?’”

“Every action in our lives touches on some cord that will vibrate in eternity.”

~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

There used to be a magical mirror, called the Mirror of Truth. If someone looked into it and said a lie, they would die immediately. In the land where it existed, everyone from kings to merchants was subject to its justice. One day Mulla Nasrudin came to this land and was brought before the Mirror of Truth to test his honesty. He declared, “I am telling a lie.” Nothing happened. “I think I broke your mirror,” said Mulla.

(I don’t remember where I read this, but I just found it in some old notes and thought I’d share it here.)

Started the drive at 5:50 EST Tuesday in Kentucky. Waited out the morning’s snowstorm with some old-timers and truckers at a McD’s in Georgetown, Indiana. Maneuvered through the snow and ice induced wrecks between Corydon and Evansville. Wanted to kiss the ground when it finally got dry after 11am. Drove through the sunset in Kansas, then followed the truckers, Moon, and stars across the rest of Kansas and Colorado, arrived “home” at 12:20am MST Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing if the mountains are white whenever I wake up.

“Perhaps the most important principle for the good algorithm designer is to refuse to be content.”

~ Alfred Aho