virtualbox crash selecting ISO

Fixed a sweet bug affecting VirtualBox today in a way that I really didn't expect.

I use a lot of virtualization for my work, and use both VirtualBox (4.2.18) and VMWare Workstation (9.0.2) on a daily basis. But setting up new virtual machines using VirtualBox has been a painful experience over the past few weeks because the GUI seemed very unreliable.

When selecting an ISO for the virtual cd drive, everything would work fine until clicking the actual ISO or typing the name or full path of an ISO, at which


inserting control characters in vim

There comes a time in every Unix user's life where they need to enter control characters into their editor. Maybe you're trying to add some ASCII BEL characters to annoy would-be cat'ers, or add some null characters or something, but most likely you want to search and replace!

Simply typing the control character itself is insufficient. You need the escape control character to escape your control character. Consequently, this is CTRL+V.

So to remove all the pesky ^@ from your pristine file, the keystrokes wo


sql saves the day

Finally cracked the nut on a problem I've been working on: trying to determine from a login event and a record of logins and logouts whether that login event constitutes the beginning of a concurrent session for the given user. Trying to solve this problem using backtracking is a lot of effort and brushes up against the halting problem. In this method, we simply look backwards at logins and logouts from the event being inspected until we can determine if there is an overlapping session. The problem here is


iTunes crashes the OS X Dock

iTunes 11 icon

Since this is the second time I've had this happen to me, I figured I'd post the relevant fix here for my future benefit. Essentially what happens is, everytime the song changes in iTunes, the Dock process gets an unhandled exception and is forced to restart. I have observed this under OS X 10.7.4 and OS X 10.7.5 and under iTunes 10.6 and iTunes 11.0. It only happens when I reformat my disk and then restore my files via rsync (I don't use TimeMachine actually so I'm not sure if that's a factor or not).



learn to want, less

i've been learning over the past few weeks that wanting things is a waste of energy. The primary problem with wanting things is that acquiring things often does not result in one wanting less. In fact, wanting and attaining tend to lead to wanting more. For many of us, it is pretty clear that wanting things brings about small-quantity, short-duration 'happiness' (if it could be called that). What is less clear is the outcome of wanting a different situation or wanting the situat...