Earthy colour scheme across my common apps
#318 Henry, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 2:42 PM (Category: Linux)
(Tags: commandline colorscheme)

I recently switched the colorscheme for Vim over to Gruvbox with a dim brown background and brown/green theme. It's been very restful and I can see all the typing now and not strain my eyes.

It's been so good, that I tried to do the same with the three command line things I use the most after Vim - the shell, mutt, and Midnight Commander. I spend most of my life on the command line and I use text tools for almost everything. Firefox is the only GUI based app I use a lot.

So I had to do a lot of reading to shape the colours for those three things.

To change the shell colours, I edited my $HOME/.Xdefaults file and added this section at the end:

xterm*charClass: 33:48,35:48,37:48,43:48,45-47:48,64:48,95:48,126:48
xterm*termName: xterm-color

!BLK Cursor
#define _color0        #000d18
#define _color8        #000d18
!RED Tag
#define _color1        #e89393
#define _color9        #e89393
!GRN SpecialKey
#define _color2        #9ece9e
#define _color10       #9ece9e
!YEL Keyword
#define _color3        #f0dfaf
#define _color11       #f0dfaf
!BLU Number
#define _color4        #8cd0d3
#define _color12       #8cd0d3
!MAG Precondit
#define _color5        #c0bed1
#define _color13       #c0bed1
!CYN Float
#define _color6        #dfaf8f
#define _color14       #dfaf8f
!WHT Search
#define _color7        #efefef
#define _color15       #efefef
!FMT Include, StatusLine, ErrorMsg
#define _colorBD       #ffcfaf
#define _colorUL       #ccdc90
#define _colorIT       #80d4aa
!TXT Normal, Normal, Cursor
#define _foreground    #dcdccc
#define _background    #1f1f1f
#define _cursorColor   #8faf9f
XTerm*color0         : _color0
XTerm*color1         : _color1
XTerm*color2         : _color2
XTerm*color3         : _color3
XTerm*color4         : _color4
XTerm*color5         : _color5
XTerm*color6         : _color6
XTerm*color7         : _color7
XTerm*color8         : _color8
XTerm*color9         : _color9
XTerm*color10        : _color10
XTerm*color11        : _color11
XTerm*color12        : _color12
XTerm*color13        : _color13
XTerm*color14        : _color14
XTerm*color15        : _color15
XTerm*colorBD        : _colorBD
XTerm*colorIT        : _colorIT
XTerm*colorUL        : _colorUL
XTerm*foreground     : _foreground
XTerm*background     : _background
XTerm*cursorColor    : _cursorColor

I don't understand it fully yet, but I am working on it. Once that was added, at the command line I added the changes to my setup with

xrdb -merge $HOME/.Xdefaults

killed the current xterm and created a new one. Nice. Dark brown, moody, earthy. Looks good.

Mutt was easy. I created a .mutt.gruvbox file and set it up like this:

# Colours
color attachment yellow default
color hdrdefault yellow default
color indicator black blue
color normal white default
color message brightblue default
color error brightred default
color tree brightwhite default
color signature brightcyan default
color quoted blue default
color markers red default
color bold brightblue default
color tilde green default
color search brightcyan default
color status black yellow
color underline brightmagenta default

and pointed to it at the end of my .muttrc with the line

source ~/.mutt.gruvbox

And that took effect immediately.

Midnight Commander caused me the most grief. But I made a start on it. I edited the file $HOME/.config/mc/ini and changed the line that defines base_color to be this (breaking it at some colons for readability):


In these ones, I use default a lot, to use the base background colour set in the shell. These are good starts, but in both mutt and Midnight Commander, there are dialog boxes and menu options that look terrible or are unreadable. As I find them, I will clean them up and eventually I will get a nice consistent colour scheme in all my command line work, a clean brown muddy earthy colour scheme that is gentle on my eyes.

Here's a screenshot showing one desktop window with three xterms open showing Midnight Commander, mutt and Vim editing a Python script.

Dull brown root window

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Roku and ABC TV
#317 Henry, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 2:26 PM (Category: Gadgets)
(Tags: roku abc)

I have a Roku Stick attached to my TV. I stream my movies and TV to an app on the Roku Stick - the Roku Media Server. You can add a bunch of official apps to the Roku, but you can also add a lot of unofficial and beta apps to the Roku. Doug mentioned he had been looking at apps and found the Australian ABC TV app. I was very interested in this.

I hunted down the code for it, then learnt how to add the app. You can't do it on the device, you have to log in to your Roku account on the website, and then you can add the app (or channel, as they call it). Then back to the Roku and do a system update and the new channel is added.

I did all that, and was excited to see the ABC TV logo on my list of channels. Anne was really excited for this. I hit the button and got the wonderful notice that:

ABC Australia TV is no longer available

What a disappointment that was. I was hoping for the news, but got nothing. I think you can can stream the ABC News, but it would have been easier on the Roku. The app was probably something very unofficial, and the ABC got wind of it and shut it down. Maybe.

Anyway, I learnt a lot from the exercise.

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#316 Henry, Wednesday, 25 November 2015 2:19 PM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: macbook superdrive)

The guy who got the MacBook Air from his roommate approached me yesterday. The roommate had a superdrive for the MacBook Air, no longer needed it, gave it to him, and did I want to buy it. Yes, I did. I got it for a ridiculously low price, based on the poor quality of the box. He brought it in today, I plugged it in to the MacBook Air and a movie started playing. Young Victoria. I gave him the DVD back and the DVD was worth more than I paid for the superdrive. So yes, now I have a Superdrive for the MacBook Airs. Good deal. More hardware falls in my lap.

Apple Superdrive

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Drobo update
#315 Henry, Friday, 20 November 2015 3:37 PM (Category: Hardware)
(Tags: drobo backblaze)

I haven't whined about my Drobo for a short while, so it's time for me to whine some more.

Since the last time, lots of things have happened. I upgraded the Mac Mini to El Capitan. I should note that the Mac Mini is performing really well now, and have experienced no problems, shut downs, reboots, freezes, any problems at all, since Apple replaced the motherboard.

The Drobo has had a firmware update, and the Drobo Dashboard has had an update which means that driver files on the Mac Mini have been updated.

So maybe the problem between the Mac Mini and the Drobo have been fixed? Previously, if I left the Drobo connected, after a day or two I would see that the Drobo had been improperly dismounted (but not by me) and I would have to shutdown and reboot to get access to it again.

So I mounted the Drobo and left it for a couple of days. It did not get dismounted. That's one step forward. Unfortunately, while it stayed mounted, it did not stay accessible. I could read from it, but could not write. It had mysteriously become read-only behind the scenes. I had to dismount it and remount it to get write access to it again. I didn't have to shutdown and reboot, so that's a good thing.

So the connection between the two remains unreliable. Doug has a similar setup at home but he's using Firewire to connect his Drobo. It works reliably (but probably means an older Drobo).

I will continue to leave the Drobo dismounted, mount it when I need to backup, and dismount it again when done. Not ideal, but at least I can still use it.

Doug suggested that maybe something frequently reading from it would keep it mounted correctly. He suggested I get BackBlaze working again and back up just one directory on the Drobo. That's a good idea, and I will try that this weekend.

My brother suggested I push the Drobo through a USB hub so that when it connects to the Mac it's been forced down to USB 2. I will also try that. Most of the complaints I read about the Drobos and Macs point to USB 3 as the culprit.

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MacBooks for sale
#314 Henry, Friday, 20 November 2015 11:46 AM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: macbook)

Now that I have these two little 2011 MacBook Airs, running El Capitan, that leaves me with one 2006 MacBook and one 2006 MacBook Pro that are superfluous to my needs. I am going to try and sell them off through Craigslist.

To be honest though, a 2006 MacBook with 2 gig RAM and not able to run the latest version of the OS, how much is that worth? Not a lot. I'll see what they are worth, and it might not even be worth trying to sell them.

They do have one advantage to the MacBook Airs. They have a microphone jack, and the Airs do not. I have one of them with a cassette deck jacked in right now, and I've been recently digitising some old cassettes of live bands from the Townsville days.

I still have 30 or 40 cassettes to do, so I should finish them off first and then sell off the MacBooks.

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