Tim Hentenaar's Blog

New Blog (Finally)

Welcome to my new and improved blog. Yes, the one I only update about once a century. You'll notice quite a few changes. I've moved away from my previous CMS, Serendipity, in favor of a home-grown solution written in Ruby. I've also abandoned my cloud server, in favor of a Heroku deployment, and I'm using DNS Made Easy for DNS.

There were a few factors that prompted this change. For one, I wanted to test-drive Heroku's new Cedar stack, and could think of no better way to get aquainted with it. Also, my blog was rather dated, as it had remained relatively unchanged since around 2007/2008 or so. I wanted a cleaner, more minimalistic look and feel, and I got absolutely red-assed over all the comment spam I was getting on a daily basis.

I spent a good portion of the previous weekend test-driving a couple different Ruby CMS solutions. One that I really liked was Nesta for its simplicity and RDBM-less design (since there's not much content here which would require one anyhow.) After not being able to get it to play nicely with will_paginate, (which really, really should be integrated out-of-the-box) I got the red-ass, and wound up rolling my own using a similar file layout, and hell, I even cannibalized and heavily modified the Clean theme to suit my nefarious purposes.

It's not perfect, and keep in mind I ain't no fancy web designer, but for an hour or so worth of effort I really can't complain. Who knows? Maybe I'll polish it up a bit and throw it up on GitHub. It's worthwile to note that I also took a peek at RadiantCMS and the demo looks promising, but I'm the only one who's going to be adding content, and I didn't want to have the overhead of all the Rails stuff that I'm not even using; nor did I need the admin interface, really.

The most laborious part of the move was porting over the old posts (by hand.) Thus, I only moved the more interesting, or still-relevent ones. I also wrote some stuff to automatically redirect the old permalinks. I still have the feeling that I should add some stuff on the left or right sides of the main content area. Maybe a GitHub activity feed, twitter widget, or some more info about myself.

Enjoy! Suggestions or comments welcome.

Published on: Nov 27, 2012

Controlling the Keyboard Backlight on the ASUS G74SX

I recently got an ASUS G74SX as a replacement for my previous laptop, and I've been absolutely loving it. Native 1080p on the panel, 12 GB of RAM, Quad-core CPU, and a wonderfully backlit keyboard.

I didn't see any options to control the keyboard backlight, so after digging around for a bit in sysfs, I found this with the backlight off:

$ cat /sys/devices/platform/asus-nb-wmi/leds/asus\:\:kbd_backlight/brightness

So, setting it is as simple as (where $N is a number between 0 (off) and 3 (full brightness)):

$ sudo bash -c "echo $N > /sys/devices/platform/asus-nb-wmi/leds/asus\:\:kbd_backlight/brightness"

You can find a simple shell script for setting it, here.

Published on: May 28, 2012

BCM4331 Wireless on Macbook Pro

I got the wireless working on a MacBook Pro (running Ubuntu) by doing the following:

$ sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer
$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure firmware-b43-installer
No chroot environment found. Starting normal installation
Unsupported device(s) found: PCI id 14e4:4331 
$ sudo modprobe b43
$ export FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR="/lib/firmware"
$ wget http://www.lwfinger.com/b43-firmware/broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2 ; tar -xjf broadcom-wl-5.100.138.tar.bz2
$ sudo b43-fwcutter -w "$FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR" broadcom-wl-5.100.138/linux/wl_apsta.o
$ dmesg | tail -2
[ 3210.680280] b43-phy0: Loading firmware version 666.2 (2011-02-23 01:15:07)
[ 3210.741402] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready

Enable/Disable wireless in NetworkManager, and it works like a charm. :-P

Published on: May 04, 2012