[Technology] Cursor jumps around randomly

So I've had a problem a few times where my cursor has jumped into random corners, persistently and erratically.  It also occasionally "clicks", sometimes performing unintended actions or switching my focused window.  It's infuriating.

Each time it has happened, it's when the CPU has been very busy.  I thought their might be some bug where the driver was somehow receiving input from a specific program that was running.  One was a 3D game, Cube 2: Sauerbraten.  However, the others have just been while compiling large programs.  I think the only thing in common is the high CPU usage.

I ended up hoping I could at least workaround the problem by disabling the hardware associated with it.  First I tried disabling the touchpad on my computer (an HP Compaq tc4400), and that did not help.  Next I tried disabling the stylus (it's a tablet PC) and that worked.  In particular, I used

$ xinput list     # find my stylus

$ xinput disable <ID number of my stylus>     # mine was 12

One problem might be that my stylus is a third-party one that has been disintegrating since the day I unpacked it.  

This thread helped me understand what was probably going on, and has good advice for other HP tablets and machines.


[Technology] Google Hangouts: no more XMPP, but yes to SMS

So, I'm disappointed to hear that Hangouts will replace Talk and not support XMPP.  I wonder whether there's a technical discussion available as to why.  I'm glad to see it support SMS.  Does iMessage already do that too?  I think BBM does.  Who knows.  I just want an end to running multiple redundant platforms.


[Technology] Don't Go!

This post originally contained thoughts critical of the language Go. Basically, I'm not fond of its syntax or style, or the degree to which it makes itself strange. It's probably a very good language, though.

[Technology] YouTube and grouping

I also wish that YouTube would do a better job of grouping together posts.  I mentioned in my last post that my iaido sensei had posted a bunch of videos to Google+.  There are perhaps a dozen, and unfortunately, each exist as their own post, consuming a large amount of space.

You could perhaps suggest that that is a user problem, that my sensei should create an album and include videos somehow through that.  I think that Google+ should detect a series of activity from the same person and group it more tightly, though. 

Generally if someone complains about a user error, I translate that to mean a design error. :)

[Technology] YouTube, Google+, Blogger, and comments

I really enjoy that Blogger and Google+ have merged commenting systems recently.  I now sort of wish that Google+ and YouTube would as well.  My iaido sensei uploaded a bunch of videos to YouTube and shared them on Google+ and I ended up +1ing a number of them and commenting on them.  But that positive feedback doesn't come back to the original YouTube videos.

It's possible that if he had written something along with the videos embedded in this Google+ posts , that I would +1 that and not just the video, in which case it should not necessarily propagate back, but I still dislike this disconnect.


[Technology] Update on Fedora Linux and MTP support

I use a Galaxy Nexus as my primary camera.  I love that it instantly uploads images to G+ for easy sharing.  However, I still like to keep copies on my local machine.

Linux support for MTP with Android on the Galaxy Nexus has gotten better but is still almost unusable.  Last year when I tried, I could not reliably navigate directories. Today, Nautilus was able to successfully navigate directories, and was able to thumbnail images in /sdcard/DCIM/Camera without blocking!  However, when I tried to cut and paste files onto my local hard drive, it would copy a few but then block interminably and I'd have to unplug the device.  I didn't lose any photos doing this, though.  (Hooray for software that copies first and then unlinks the source file.)  It was also very slow, with the transfer occurring at about 114kB/s on average.

I checked whether PTP worked any better than last year.  Last year, it worked better than MTP, but still had issues.  This time, I was able to initiate transfers at quite a fast speed, but invariably after about ten or so photos were copied, it too would stall.  Unlike with MTP, nautilus itself did not freeze.  I could re-initiate a cut-and-paste, but that would stall too.

So, for now, it's almost usable, but I'm still going to use the Android debugger (adb), as I mentioned last year.


sudo adb start-server # after getting adb from android-sdk-linux/platform-tools

adb pull /sdcard/DCIM/photos/ ~/newpictures/

adb shell   # so I can delete them from the phone after import

[Technology] Dual-booting with Fedora 18

Well, that was mildly alarming.

I just installed Fedora 18 onto my housemate's laptop (at her request).  I downloaded a Live CD image, wrote it to a USB disk (using livecd-to-usb-disk), and booted from there.  I had to choose an EFI boot loader for the image, or it just sat with a blinking cursor.  That's fine, though.

When I went to install it to the hard disk, it announced that up to 87GB could be reclaimed from the hard drive for use by Linux but then proceeded to not give me any options to do so other than deleting existing partitions.  I don't want to lose existing data, I want to preserve it.  I wanted to shrink the existing ones.  Googling a little brought about references from others about resizing, and I was not sure why I did not have a "shrink" option.

Ultimately, I had to do it manually (which is a large usability failure).  I used ntfsresize, following its instructions to do a test run first, and then ran it for real.  It had to relocate a fair amount of data.  It seemed to work (and it did).  It gave me some vague instructions on how to resize the partition (using fdisk).  I had a look at cfdisk, which didn't seem to let me specify the starting sector if I deleted and replace the existing NTFS partition, so I used fdisk itself.  (I haven't had to do that in a while.)  The trickiest part was calculating the correct size to make the replacement partition because ntfsresize worked in with SI decimal prefixes (e.g. where 280GB = 280*1000*1000*1000 bytes), and fdisk works with IEC binary prefixes (e.g. 280GiB = 280*1024*1024*1024 bytes).  The difference is ultimately substantial.  Fortunately, I converted the number of bytes ntfsrezise reported into sectors and just set it using those.

I let chkdsk run from Windows and the file system checked out and I was able to boot it successfully.  (Everything is backed up in case something has gone wrong).  Then I ran the anaconda installer from the F18 live USB disk, and this time it automatically detected the newly freed space (only 20GB) and the installer worked smoothly from there on out.  Very smoothly, in fact. :)

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