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Sorry for the downtime – we got hacked

Posted in Electronic Security, Geek, Hacks on March 11th, 2012 by leodirac – 2 Comments

My apologies that the blog has been down for the last few days.  Some hackers got into my PHP and inserted some malware onto the blog.  A helpful reader alerted me to the problem within hours of it happening, and I quickly turned the whole site off to prevent spreading malware.  It took me a […]

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Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cupcakes

Posted in Cooking, Hacks, Humor on August 3rd, 2011 by leodirac – Comments Off on Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cupcakes

My housemate Ellery created these mac ‘n’ cheese cupcakes for dinner the other night. The frosting is mashed potatoes, and they’re topped with a cherry tomato. Inside is a meatless meaty macaroni and cheese combination surrounded by a savory dough. They were super fun and tasty. I can take very little credit for these beyond […]

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Macbook Crashes, Kernel Panics and coping with an Apple “Genius”

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Gadgets, Geek, Hacks, Hardware on May 14th, 2011 by leodirac – 8 Comments

So your Mac is crashing a lot, and after a trip to the “Genius Bar”, you’re starting to think maybe that “genius” you talked to is anything but.  Is this where you are?  If so, join the club, because that’s exactly what I’ve been going through recently.  My MacBook Pro would regularly go black without […]

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Fighting buffer-bloat on DD-WRT

Posted in Geek, Hacks, Hardware on January 31st, 2011 by leodirac – Comments Off on Fighting buffer-bloat on DD-WRT

Recently, 20th century software pioneer Jim Gettys has been doing a bang-up job raising awareness about performance problems with the internet known as “buffer-bloat.”   The details are technical and complex but the gist of it is that networking equipment is often buffering way too much data, resulting in unnecessarily long latencies.  High latencies (literally […]

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How to enable real-time collaboration in Google Docs word-processor

Posted in Google, Hacks, User Experience on April 22nd, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Google recently launched some major improvements to their online document-editing suite.  The spreadsheets are faster and more powerful.  But IMHO the most interesting change is an update to the word-processor (originally known as Writely) which allows for real-time collaboration.  Now the text documents act like the spreadsheets do. You can see where in the document […]

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Escape from Typepad to WordPress

Posted in Geek, Hacks, Tech Industry on January 9th, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

It took a long time, but EmbracingChaos has finally escaped form Typepad.  About a year ago (just before the end of the previous billing cycle) I started trying to move this blog to blogger.  I like Google’s pace of development and wanted to hop on the blogger train and get automatic upgrades for everything they […]

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Blogger file format converter for MovableType / Typepad

Posted in Geek, Hacks on January 18th, 2009 by leodirac – Comments Off on Blogger file format converter for MovableType / Typepad

I recently blogged about my efforts to move from TypePad to Blogger. My friend Brian pointed out that Google just announced a set of tools to convert to or from popular blog export formats, including MovableType which uses the same file formats as my TypePad. The converters are open source, distributed under the Apache license, so you can download the code and run them on your local machine. Or, if your blog isn’t too big, you can run the code hosted on AppEngine by going to Well I tried this with my blog, and the resulting file…

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Moving from Typepad to Blogger

Posted in Geek, Hacks on December 28th, 2008 by leodirac – 8 Comments

For a while now I’ve wanted to move this blog from Typepad to something else like Blogger. I keep finding more reasons to do this as Blogger improves and Typepad stagnates. Some reasons include: Better WYSIWYG editing in Blogger. (I can’t change any font characteristics in Typepad without going into raw HTML. Ugh.) Typepad’s lack of support for Chrome, Google’s awesome new browser The awkward and limiting way Typepad assigns human-readable URLs to posts Blogger is free, while Typepad costs >$100 per year Cool new features being added to Blogger like Followers Adding new features in Typepad is a p.i.t.a….

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RAID repair successful

Posted in Geek, Hacks, Hardware on December 21st, 2008 by leodirac – Comments Off on RAID repair successful

For everybody who has been waiting with baited breath to hear whether or not the repair of the RAID array worked or not, it did. It took several days, but since we were away on vacation seeing my dad receive the Fleming Medal from the American Geophysical Union, the waiting was pretty easy. To convince myself that the repair was successful, I unplugged one of the previously functional drives, and saw that all my files were still there when the array was running just on the new drive and the other previous drive. I recommend this to anybody who thinks…

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Repairing a degraded EVMS RAID 5 array

Posted in Geek, Hacks, Hardware on December 14th, 2008 by leodirac – Comments Off on Repairing a degraded EVMS RAID 5 array

A while back, lightning scrambled one of the disks in my home RAID 5 array. I figured out how to recover it. And I got the critical data off. Here I describe the steps I took to add a new drive and get it working with the old RAID array. I share this with the net in hopes it will make it easier for somebody else who has to go through this process themselves, and selfishly as notes for me to refer to. It’s a testament to the power of EVMS and a warning to anybody who thinks it might…

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