Scribbles and ditherings

Working it out

Glory Days

Well, the time slips away; Leaves you with nothing, mister, but boring stories of

I was listening to Glory Days and thinking about it. I’m hitting the age now where it’s starting to become more relatable than ever.

But I also know, that back in the “Glory Days” I didn’t feel like they were that great. I mean it was pretty much like life now. So how do they get rosy looking back.

I thought maybe we forget the bad, and just remember the good. But I don’t think that’s it. In fact there is some really awful stuff back in those “Glory Days” and I have no desire to relive any of that. And the theory I’m going with right now, is that back then, just like now, most stuff works out. We don’t know it will right now - but if we are around to think back to then, well probably most of that stuff we were so worried about, all worked out.

This isn’t true for everyone of course. Some people have horrible pasts. They might see this all differently. But I know in my case, I think a lot of why I don’t enjoy now more, is because I’m worried about tomorrow. 5 years from now I’ll know that all worked out and I wont see that stress in it, I’ll see how good everything was.

I'm Hub McCann

I put my armor on, show you how strong I am

I was born in the northern cold and raised in the Sonoran heat. I’ve tread the Peralta, swum in the Supai falls, walked Tito’s halls. I’ve launched fire and death in the ice of the Bering and scorching heat of the Persian. I’ve been initiated into the mysteries of the deep, walked the lands of my forefathers and forged the bonds of brotherhood from Budapest to Tirana. I’ve seen the sun go down over Addis and rise over Pretoria, seen the lightning flash over the Tanganyika. Known the joy of a woman unparalleled in mind and spirit and the love of my God who carried me through it all. And He is not done with me yet.

Why Is Espn Plus So Bad?

The more you suffer, the more it shows you care. Right?

The NHL chose to make ESPN+ the only way for me to see more of their games. They chose the worst streaming service I’ve ever used. It’s laggy, the interface is awful and there is really no reason for it. It’s 2024. I get reliably good content delivery from a wide array of platforms. This is a solved problem.

If you are thinking about purchasing ESPN+ just realize, it’s going to be trash to watch.


It's so freaking good.

I am of the opinion that Andor is the best Star Wars story I have seen in my life. I should write up details - but baby steps.

It's Been A While

Since I could post in my blog

I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to create and generate instead of just consuming. Going to take another run here at more regularly posting - we’ll see.

I used to to have a volume of output that kept multiple sites going, I’ll see now if I can just keep one getting new content with some regularity.


Smells like teen spirit

Starlight coke tastes like windmill cookies.

Android 12 Notifications

white space for days

I have to wonder when someone thinks it’s a good idea to have something take up twice as much space while showing half as much information.

A Tech Support Tale Deux

Being the second part of the story

OK so part one gives the rundown on the situation. Part two is mildly more technical. But there’s nothing I did that is difficult. In fact maybe you have an issue with your mac and you are at a loss as what to do. This might provide you with an option.

This is a list of startup commands for a Intel based Macs. The one I’m interested in is the first, recovery mode. It allows you to start up your machine running a basic operating system on it. I’m not sure how basic - it can do a lot of stuff. Most importantly it can provide you with a bash shell.

So as I mentioned if I just started my daughter’s machine it would boot, it couldn’t find a drive it could use to start MacOS so it would just give us the folder with a question mark in it. My first step was to boot into recovery and then start up the Disk Utility. That showed me that there were two drive partitions available and mounted. This was good, good news. The drive wasn’t physically messed up or broken. This made sense since her issues came from a failed install, not some kind of apparent hardware failure.

So I exited the Disk Utility and under the “Utilities” menu at the top of the screen there is an option, “Terminal”. This is Apple’s terminal emulator that will give you access to a lot more tools, and the drives. I opened that and then moved over to the data drive. The path to that drive was shown in the disk utility. In the data drive was a directory called Users and in the Users directory was a directory with my daughters user name and in there were all her files.

All I needed to do was to plug in a USB drive, see what the path was to that drive and then copy the files over. It took very little time. If you never worked in bash you can get by with 3 commands. “ls”, “cd” and “cp”. It’s easy to find instructions on how to use these command, with examples, all over the web. They work pretty much just like their Linux counterparts so you don’t need to find MacOS specific instructions. (In fact ls and cp are enough but if you don’t want to keep typing long paths, you can cd down into the user directory and make things quicker to type in.)

My usb drive was called jrtosh. Apple for some baffling reason had the volumes for her drives with spaces in them. Super annoying - just know you escape them with a backslash \ and then basically I would do stuff like cp -r /Volumes/datadrive/Users/username/Desktop /Volumes/jrtosh/folder/ And it would just copy over that Desktop folder with all its contents.

The user folder has a library directory that may contain some files you need. But it will also have massive amounts of stuff you don’t need. If you want to copy the whole thing it may take a while.

That’s it. That’s what the Apple Store people said was impossible and she just had to lose her data or try going to a super expensive data recovery place. It took me maybe half and hour including the time to copy everything over.

If the drive is toast, this wont work. If the machine has deeper hardware issues it may not work. But if it’s just simple corruption of the boot drive due to unexpected loss of power or something, it could be fine.

A Tech Support Tale

In two parts

I was gonna make this one long post but there are two parts that just don’t necessarily fit all that well together. Plus I have a hard time getting anything written down so if I keep it short I figure the odds are better.

So here is the setup. My daughters both have MacBook Air computers they’ve been using since high school and well into university. They’ve been phenomenal machines and I’m really happy with them. My MacBook Pro that I’m using to write this is a 2013 and it runs great. But stuff can happen.

One of my girls was updating hers to Big Sur and the machine got unexpectedly shut down in the middle of the update. When she brought it back up she couldn’t boot. She got the folder with a question mark in it.

One of the hard things was at the time she was in the US going to school and we were still living in Hungary. So it was very hard for me to help her from there. I told her to take it to an apple store, see if they could fix it, or at least get her data off. She’d been thinking about getting a new machine. So I told her if they told her it couldn’t be fixed, then she could just get the new computer she wanted.

She went down and I was online on chat to help her out. Sure enough they said there was nothing that could be done to recover the drive aside from wiping it and reinstalling the OS. So she went ahead and bought a new computer. I told her to hold onto the old one until I got home in the summer, so I could look at.

I finally got a chance to look at it last weekend. It took me not time at all to boot into recovery mode, access the data drive and move all her personal files off of it and onto a USB drive that I have. It was ridiculous how simple it is. The tools that recovery mode provides are very robust. Part two will be a run down of the exact process.

I see two (maybe three?) major lessons here.

The first is that good backups cover a multitude of sins. And nowadays it is so ridiculously easy to backup what matters to you. It used to take a ton of work to do it properly. Now you just pay a service provider a few bucks a month and let your stuff sync. I feel like this was a relatively soft way for my daughter to learn that lesson. All hardware can fail in one way or another - back up your stuff.

The second is that the tech help at retail locations is poor. They really don’t have any motivation to help you properly. And they often don’t know what they are doing. I mean in this case, either the person who helped her was woefully ignorant, or intentionally misled her about the state of her machine. Either option reflects poorly on Apple service.

I guess the third lesson then (maybe it’s just an extension of the second) is either be prepared to learn how to fix things yourself, or find someone you can actually trust. I feel like odds are this will be one of two people. Either someone who’s expensive but really knows what their doing - or a friend who knows what their doing and is willing to help you out. If it’s that last one, you should really go out of your way to show your appreciation. They are coming through for you in a much bigger way than you understand. Even if it looks easy for them, they are giving you a lot of value for free. More than you realize, certainly more than what some retail help desk people will provide at whatever their rates are.

OK, part two will be all the steps I took to get on her machine, identify that the data was accessible and then copy it off.


The changes have been coming, fast and furious

I haven’t posted in a long time but life has been a whirlwind. We knew we’d be moving to the USA this summer. The plan was to live in Orlando for a year, working at the world headquarters of our organization, and then we’d use the year to sort out what would be next.

Instead an opportunity popped up, we looked into it, I was offered a position in Phoenix and now we live here. Since then it’s been a wild ride. So many of our plans had all been built around living in Orlando, having a place all ready for us there. In a couple of weeks we found a place to live, got new jobs, and got our son to his university so that he could start school. We still don’t have our stuff, international shipping is a mess after the pandemic.

So we haven’t really processed it all yet but we are ready for this new phase of life.