Friday, October 5, 2007

How to mount a USB drive with exec on

Normally when you plug a USB drive in HAL/Gnome mounts it up with the noexec option set. This might be want you want but I have a bunch of scripts that I want to be able to run straight from the thumb drive and I'm also confident that I won't run anything that will break things so I want my thumb drive to mount with exec on. Herewith is the fix.

Open gconf-editor (Applications->System Tools->Configuration Editor) and navigate your way to /system/storage/default_options/vfat/ double click on "mount_options" and add "exec" to the list. Remount the USB drive and you are done.

FWIW I'm in the old style Unix camp on this and would prefer to see the option configured from a flat file somewhere in /etc, the stuff configurable by gconf-editor is baroque enough that GUI-only type users probably shouldn't be touching it any-way and having the option buried in a database somewhere meant that I couldn't find it with find/grep and had to resort to Google. Life is tough at the command line :)

Daylight Savings, A Minor Rant

We are about to start daylight savings here in WA for the second summer of our three year government forced trial. This in spite of the fact that we have had three previous trials followed by referendums and each time the response has been no. Democracy any-one? But that's an aside and not my biggest objection to daylight savings.

We have very hot summer temperatures here typically being in the high 30's to low 40's (that's degrees Celsius) for months. During the day I'm at the office where it's air conditioned and the outside temperature doesn't effect me, but when I get home after work it's different. As the summer progresses the house takes longer and longer to cool down in the evening which then results in getting to sleep later and later- if you wander around any office in Perth during the hottest periods you can pick plenty of people who are looking warn from the degraded summer sleep cycle. What daylight savings means is that I lose another hour of sleeping time: I don't get to sleep until the house cools down (which doesn't care what time the clock says) and then I have to get up an hour earlier, when it *is* nice and cool for sleeping. So unlike the cooler Northern Hemisphere climes where it originated in this climate daylight savings is completely counter intuitive. The typical rebuff to this argument against is to be told to buy air-conditioning... isn't one of the stated benefits of daylight savings that it saves power by reducing the need for domestic lighting? For those who want it I thoroughly recommend they get up an hour earlier and leave the rest of us to our very sensible sleep.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


"Narrator: A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really...”Do the stars gaze back?" Now *that's* a question."- Neil Gaiman
Lisa and I saw Stardust over the weekend. Trips to the movies will be harder to come by once the baby arrives so we are trying to fit a few in whilst we can, next trip out it is likely to be the other Neil Gaiman title, Beowulf. It's a while since I read the novel so I can't compare in minutiae with the book (who goes to the movies expecting a "book experience" any-way?). The casting was great, I especially enjoyed Robert de Niro as Captain Shakespeare, and Neil Gaimans story more than survived the adaptation. It's a genre I enjoy and Stardust is up there with the best, not so quirky as The Princess Bride but more risque than Willow. Overall, a double thumbs up, go see it.