Open Letter to Adobe

Dear Adobe,

I was up all stinking night arguing with InDesign. The indexing feature is just a pitiful waste of code. Granted it was a 950 page book, with 4000 (plus or minus) index entries, but taking 35 seconds to remove a dash from an index entry? Really?

Please, Adobe, should you read this, take this into account:

1. Please give the option to default the range settings to whatever was last used (Current Page, To Next Use of Style, etc).

2. Allow me to copy index entries, preferably groups of them, but even one at a time would be nice. I do not understand why this is not already possible.

3. How about an auto-fill feature in the heading fields while I’m dreaming? That would be super awesome.

4. What is up with the algorithm?!? 35 seconds to update a single entry? A full minute to delete 5 entries? That should have been 1 second, and 5 seconds, at most. I cannot conceive of the implementation that would give such horrible performance, no matter the size of the document.

5. Your tech support guys are wonderful. Give them raises. They couldn’t help me, but they really tried.

Thank you,

Jonesling Central

The last few days

Well, things have been crazy the last couple of days!

Last Monday, we went to the Hampton Memorial Day Parade. Its funny that everyone comes back from everywhere to be at the parade. Saw people from high school. Saw people who babysat me. Saw people who were at the baby shower that was thrown for Mom two weeks after I was born (the last time I was early for anything).

That afternoon, we went to the old house in Willimantic. I wanted to get some of the plants and bring them home with me. Weird to think that plants have sentimental value, but these did. The garden is in full bloom. Irises are everywhere. The evening primroses are thriving (they’ll bloom in a couple of weeks), and the day lilies are going gangbusters! I got a shovel full of both irises (they came from Mrs. Hardistay), an alium from Mrs. Holbrook, some poppies from the back, and some of the blanket flowers that Brownie loves.

So, Tuesday saw me putting in a new half to the Secret Garden (its in the back). Did pretty good, if I do say so myself. Wednesday just hurt. 🙂

Thursday was Adele’s spring concert. She did great! The whole fourth grade sang for every song, so she was up there for 20 minutes. After that, Mom and I went out to lunch, and then to the Boston Museum of Science to see the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Dead Sea Scroll exhibit needs its own post. It was fantastic. They gave so much historical context, spent a great deal of time explaining the times when the scrolls were written, and the scrolls themselves are beautiful. The writing was so precise and tiny, the skill that went into them was just … yeah. There aren’t words.

And then there was Friday. Friday, we sold the house in Willimantic. Sold. I cried walking around in it on Monday. But now it is just sweet relief to know that the burden of maintaining it is no longer ours. No more two mortgages. No more two sets of property taxes. We’ll actually be able to pay down the other debt, and start saving up for a new car/vacations/college/retirement.

So yesterday, We went out and got clothes for me, sandals for Adele, a duster for the ceiling fans, and Quinn and I went to the Cheesecake Factory (yum!).

Today, we’re going to the Christmas Tree Shoppes to get a table and chairs for the back deck, along with an umbrella. We’re also going to get a tent. The kids want to go camping. So a nice cheap tent will do nicely.

And then we pay Mom back for the amazing loan she gave us, and we go back to being house-poor. There are worse things in the world. All in all, its been a fantastic week.

Device is being exclusively used by the host computer

I say:

$ VBoxManage controlvm <vbox uuid> usbattach <device uuid>

VirtualBox says:

VBoxManage: error: USB device '<device>' with UUID <uuid> is being exclusively used by the host computer

I say:

$ gpasswd -a <vbox user> plugdev

and log out the vbox user completely (no vms running, no logged-in shell).

And now the device is available and add-able.

Ice Cream!

We found a great ice cream place last night! School House Ice Cream is in Burlington, about 10 minutes from here. They are in a little hole-in-the-wall store front in the middle of an ugly brick building, but inside the place is awesome! The massive wall of trivia was my favorite. The ice cream was very good (their peppermint is seriously peppermint, not some mickey-mosey swirl thing).

So, now we have our pizza place to replace Fred’s Brick Oven, and our ice cream place for We-Lik-It. Still working a bagel place and grocery store.

“device is busy…”

I’m working on a fun little project to set up a custom-made bootable usb key. But I ran into a little trouble after using a chroot, due to /dev and mount --rbind.

# mount -t proc none /mnt/gentoo/proc
# mount --rbind /sys /mnt/gentoo/sys
# mount --rbind /dev /mnt/gentoo/dev
# mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /mnt/gentoo/tmp
# mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /mnt/gentoo/var/tmp
# mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /mnt/gentoo/usr/src
# mount | grep gentoo
/dev/sde1 on /mnt/gentoo type ext2 (rw)
none on /mnt/gentoo/proc type proc (rw)
/sys on /mnt/gentoo/sys type none (rw,bind,rbind)
/dev on /mnt/gentoo/dev type none (rw,bind,rbind)
tmpfs on /mnt/gentoo/tmp type tmpfs (rw)
tmpfs on /mnt/gentoo/var/tmp type tmpfs (rw)
tmpfs on /mnt/gentoo/usr/src type tmpfs (rw)
# chroot /mnt/gentoo

All’s well, until it’s time to exit the chroot and unmount everything..

# umount /mnt/gentoo/usr/src /mnt/gentoo/var/tmp \
/mnt/gentoo/tmp /mnt/gentoo/sys /mnt/gentoo/proc \
/mnt/gentoo/dev /mnt/gentoo
umount: /mnt/gentoo/dev: device is busy.
       (In some cases useful info about processes that use
        the device is found by lsof(8) or fuser(1))

I don’t see anything mounted under there. Fuuuu…

# mount | grep gentoo
/dev/sde1 on /mnt/gentoo type ext2 (rw)
# lsof|grep gentoo
# fuser -m /mnt/gentoo

Rebooting at this stage is inconvenient, but will certainly solve the problem. But what is left using /mnt/gentoo/dev?
Googling around, and seeing some people with similar problems, finally lit a light bulb above my head:

# cat /proc/mounts | awk '{print $2}' | grep gentoo

So mount --rbind worked as advertised and recursively mounted /dev and everything sub-mounted. And I didn’t realize that udev mounted other things under /dev without updating /etc/mtab. Sigh.

# umount /mnt/gentoo/dev/shm /mnt/gentoo/dev/pts /mnt/gentoo/dev /mnt/gentoo

And now I can get on with my life.

And another birthday down

Alpha child vacillated on how to celebrate her birthday.  (Giving her a choice was mistake.)  Four days before, we finally settled on a simple party at the local, recently-opened mini-golf course.

It might be worth mentioning that Alpha has been officially diagnosed with Asperger’s (that’s worth a whole bunch of posts on it’s own), so a party with a “script” to follow is a very, very good idea.

So mini-golf has a implicit script – everyone knows what to do, there’s something to keep busy with at every turn, and it’s easy to avoid uncomfortable moments.  The party worked.  We met a couple of Alpha’s friends from school, everyone had a good time, and we ended the day on a high note.  Plus, it turns out that Alpha loves laser tag – also offered at the place.  Beta and her friend kept busy too.

And a shout out to our friends Sam and Joanne, who came in from out of state with their son and were most helpful.  I suck with unfamiliar kids, but Sam is actually quite effective with them.

Pics to come later.  Maybe M has a few, I never remember to take snapshots.