Arduino Repeater Controller: Part 1

 Amateur Radio  Comments Off on Arduino Repeater Controller: Part 1
May 102015

I’ve decided that I want to build a repeater controller using an Arduino. I’ve been wanting to learn Arduino for a while, and this seems like a great excuse.  There are a lot of great repeater controllers out there already – I am a big fan of the SCOM 7330 – but they’re pricey, and this is ham radio.  We’re supposed to build stuff and experiment!

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Sep 262012

If you are running a transparent HTTP proxy on your network, you may have trouble with running Internet Recovery and Apple Hardware Test on Macs that support it.  You’ll see a “-4403D” or “-4403F” error.  For some reason, Apple’s servers return a 403 when they see the “via” header that many proxy servers send.  Here’s the configuration I used in Squid to turn off that header.  I also disabled the “forwarded-for” header – essentially, this makes it impossible for servers to determine that the request is coming through a proxy server:

# Be more anonymous
forwarded_for transparent
via off
visible_hostname proxy.local
httpd_suppress_version_string on


Mountain Lion Installation Does Not Start in Parallels 7

 Computing, Software, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Mountain Lion Installation Does Not Start in Parallels 7
Aug 112012

I’ve been trying to install Mountain Lion in as a guest in Parallels 7, and I kept getting stuck at the initial grey Apple logo.

To fix it, I just changed the number of CPUs to 2, and it booted right up.  Other documents I’ve seen have indicated that you need to increase the video memory.  I did not need to do that, but it would probably help with performance.

Make Eclipse Less Ugly in Linux Mint 13 with MATE

 Computing, Programming  Comments Off on Make Eclipse Less Ugly in Linux Mint 13 with MATE
Aug 032012


Eclipse Juno looks terrible in Linux Mint 13 with the MATE desktop environment. Here’s an example of part of the screen:

Everything is big and bulky, the tool bar’s style doesn’t really match the theme’s style.

Here are the steps I’ve taken so far to correct this:

  • Create a file called gtkrc, I’ve created one in my ~/eclipse directory:
    gtk-color-scheme = "selected_text_color:#000000"
    style "compact"
      font_name="Liberation Sans,Sans Regular 8"
      text[SELECTED] = @selected_text_color
    class "GtkWidget" style "compact"
    style "compact2"
    class "GtkButton" style "compact2"
    class "GtkToolbar" style "compact2"
    class "GtkPaned" style "compact2"
  • Next, in Eclipse, go to Window -> Preferences -> General -> Appearance, and under Theme, make sure GTK is selected.
  • Run eclipse like this:
    GTK2_RC_FILES=$GTK2_RC_FILES:~/eclipse/gtkrc ~/eclipse/eclipse

This ought to improve it a bit:

More to come as I figure out how to further improve this.




Python’s Default Argument Values are Sticky

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Python’s Default Argument Values are Sticky
May 252012

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to learn this: Python’s default argument values are only evaluated once during runtime. I’ve never encountered this before because I don’t use default arguments very often, and when I do, it’s often to set something to a static value.

Today, I encountered a function definition where I wanted to default an argument to the current date/time:

def do_something(self, entry, date_time =

Every time I ran the function, the value of date_time was the same: Whatever the date/time was when the method first ran. So, instead, I did something like this:

def do_something(self, entry, date_time = None):
    if date_time is None:
        date_time =

This is actually mentioned in the Python documentation.