alvin's blog

The Mac OS X 10.9 "won't shutdown" (slow shutdown) problem

Since upgrading to Mac OS X 10.9 I’ve experienced the problem other people have reported, where their Mac won’t shutdown, or shuts down very slowly. We had a huge lightning storm roll in a few days ago, and when my 2008 iMac didn’t shut down after three minutes of waiting, I finally had to press and hold the button on the back to force it to shut down.

Since then I’m glad to say that the following series of defaults write commands has helped my iMac to shut down much more quickly:

A Python script to read RSS feeds (and much more)

With the caveats that (a) I don’t know much about Python, (b) I don’t want to learn that much about it right now, and (c) I’m not concerned with performance at the moment, the following Python script does the following:

A Python screensaver for xscreensaver (Linux)

I know remarkably little about Python and GTK, but from the two URLs shown in the source code below I was able to piece together a working, “Well, world” screensaver. Well, calling it a screensaver is a stretch, because what it will really do is burn the characters “Hello, world” into your monitor; but at least I cracked the code on how to get this started.

To try this on your own Linux system running xscreensaver, first save the following source code somewhere. I’ll assume that you’ve saved it to /home/al/hello.py:

How to read a file URL in Java and Scala

I thought this might be harder, but if you have a file URL like “file:///Users/al/SherlockHolmes.txt”, and want to read those file contents as a URL, the process in Java and Scala is simple, as shown here:

AlRadio

I’ll write more about this as time goes on, but I’ve finished the first round of software (and hardware) development on my “AlRadio” project. This project lets me play local FM radio stations, online radio streams, recorded radio streams, and podcasts, all from a little Raspberry Pi (RPI) computing system.

First, here’s a short video of my RPI Radio in action:

How to record online radio streams with Streamripper on a Linux (Raspberry Pi) system

This isn’t a blog post as much as it is just some notes on how I got streamripper working the way I want to on my Raspberry Pi “AlRadio” project. That project is a little like a radio in that it plays FM radio stations, but it also plays live radio streams, makes and plays recorded radio streams, and plays podcasts.

Streamripper in production

I installed streamripper with apt-get like this:

Disabling extra Sencha ExtJS and Touch REST URL parameters

When you first work with a Sencha ExtJS or Touch Store and Proxy, you’ll quickly find that when you create GET and POST REST services, by default the store/proxy adds extra parameters to the end of the URLs you’re accessing.

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