Fixing a Mac Fusion Drive that Disk Utility can’t erase

My Mac Mini w/ Fusion Drive (that’s a hard disk and an SSD pretending to be a single volume for better performance) froze and wouldn’t boot. Nothing would make it boot normally again. Recovery mode was OK but couldn’t erase the boot volume nor mount it via Disk Utility (I just got “Unable to delete the core storage logical volume”), so reinstalling seemed impossible.

Fortunately, I figured out how to do it, using some help from a StackExchange post I found. See below for the details.

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Why security is hard, and why it’s not going to get easier

Bruce Schneier summed it up well: the good guys have to secure all the doors and windows; the bad guys only have to find one. In a nutshell, that’s why security is hard. Real-world security has to deal with that problem all the time.
If you think of writing software as filling a feature space, sometimes you accidentally provide functionality that you didn’t intend to, while providing what you meant to. You meant to provide an exhaust port but you also created a vulnerability.
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Using a Lite-On eTDU-108 DVD drive with a Mac

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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Patch to make Ubuntu’s GNU Screen bash completion work better

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:

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