Using a Lite-On eTDU-108 DVD drive with a Mac

24 03 2013

I bought a Lite-On eTDU-108 DVD writer, as a companion for my MacBook Air which lacks a built-in optical drive.

Using this drive with a Mac is strange because it has a lid, so the Mac cannot physically eject the media. This leads to odd circumstances such as when you tell the Finder (or iTunes) to eject the disc, and it makes the icon disappear and suddenly it’s back, as if you had inserted it into the drive again at superhuman speed.

Most of the sequences of ejecting discs that I came up with resulted in error messages, failure to eject the disc, spinning beachballs, or unplugging the USB cable from the drive in frustration. I finally figured out the right sequence to eject a disc from this drive when it’s connected to a Mac.

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Tips for Programmer Interviews at Large Tech Companies

9 03 2012

Interviewing at large tech companies is different from interviewing at a startup. Here are some tips about how the interview process differs, and some specific advice for how you can prepare.
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Patch to make Ubuntu’s GNU Screen bash completion work better

1 02 2012

If you make a screen with a name using screen -S foo and then try and reattach later using screen -R f<tab> it doesn’t work. It only completes the full name as seen in screen -ls which starts with the PID of the detached screen, like Not very convenient. Why can’t it just complete using the name you gave it?

Someone else solved this problem three years ago but nobody accepted their patch, and now /etc/bash_completion.d/screen has been overhauled and the patch no longer applies.

I updated the patch so it works and resubmitted it to Ubuntu.

If you don’t wanna wait, grab the code from this gist and do this:

sudo patch /etc/bash_completion.d/screen screen.patch

This will probably work on Debian too since that’s where the completion script came from.

On Ruby’s Expressiveness- The Littlest Microframework Explained

27 03 2011

In the past few weeks, I’ve had a few conversations with web developers and back-end engineers who are unfamiliar with Ruby, in which I’ve tried to explain how Ruby can be nearly as expressive as Perl (tiny amounts of code can accomplish a lot) while being as readable as Python or Java. In fact, I think that Ruby’s expressiveness can remove distracting boilerplate code, allowing compact expressions to be far more readable than a more verbosely written version of the same algorithm.
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MacRuby tweaks to your customized .irbrc

19 03 2011

I started playing with MacRuby this evening. macirb wouldn’t run with my customized .irbrc and gave the following error:

/usr/local/bin/macirb:60:in `block': No such file or directory - open() failed (Errno::ENOENT)
	from /usr/local/bin/macirb:9:in `block'
	from /usr/local/bin/macirb:7:in `

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