Monday, June 19, 2017

Bosch Dieselgate Settlement - W00t!

Thanks, Bosch! We really appreciate the extra money. It has provided us with two new VHF Tri-band transceivers, small whip antennas, a new dive watch, and a few lunches and dinners this week!

We also look forward to more than $2,000 next year for our Phase 2 Emissions Modification payment!

And just today, we received our Phase II emissions modification letter:

And, not long after, we have finally received the last third of our payment from VW! This means that we have received more than $7,000 back on our purchase and that we acquired a 2015 VW diesel station wagon for $18,500 new - truly a wonderful deal!

We're going to drive the wheels off our wagen - it will just start to break in at the 50,000-mile mark, and many owners get more than 200,000 miles out of their vehicles.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tips for Running Raspbian PIXEL on the Apple Macbook Air (2015 edition)

Great news! There is a GNU/Linux alternative to Mac OS X for older Macs, and i've finally found the right distro!

I've been able to create a viable alternative using Raspbian's PIXEL for my Macbook Air (2015 vintage) on a Samsung 64GB compact thumbdrive.

PIXEL 1.1 Dec 2016 w/md5sums

This is the *only* working distro with wifi, sound, printing, and persistence i've been able to put together for my little Apple notebook. I have tried a number of others - the only other one that comes close is a 64-bit version of Anti-X:

antiX for the Mac

(use the 64-bit version - the 32-bit version did NOT work for me!)

Live GNU/Linux distros are a great way to test before an install. However, the PIXEL distro at this point is only live - BUT, you can create a 'persistent' version on a USB boot stick (compact thumbdrive, sdhc in a carrier, etc.) by following the following directions:
 step-by-step to making a persistent USB boot stick

 Mousepad Tweak

Also, to make life nicer with the Macbook Air's trackpad, i created a file named (made executable by using chmod +x), containing:
/usr/bin/synclient TapButton1=1 TapButton2=3 TapButton3=2 ClickTime=1
The file is saved under /usr/local/bin - then in the file $HOME/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart:

@lxpanel --profile LXDE-pi
@pcmanfm --desktop --profile LXDE-pi
@xscreensaver -no-splash

This will be used upon log in and provides:

1. button assignments
2. two-finger right-clicking
3. three-finger middle mouse button event
4. tap-to-click


Alas, the internal webcam/camera on the Macbook Air is not recognized. However, i plugged in an inexpensive Logitech C270, and it was recognized as /dev/video0 - which meant that it worked in VLC and Cheese. I have yet to explore video chat, aside from crashing firefox-esr when attempting a Facebook video chat (ain't gonna work - may try bumping up to the latest firefox outside of the Debian repos)

Even so, I am quite happy with PIXEL - best out-of-the-box experience!