Slow starting USB storage in Linux

I have this USB hard drive enclosure that can also share the files on the local network (LAN DRIVE HD9-U2LA, vendor id - 05e3:0702). Due to that it has an operating system and some other software inside. Unfortunately this software is rather slow to start and that cause the following kernel error when trying to mount this enclosure:

[90459.236000] usb 5-5: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 9
[90459.368000] usb 5-5: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[90459.368000] scsi4 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
[90459.368000] usb-storage: device found at 9
[90459.368000] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[90464.368000] usb-storage: device scan complete
[90470.148000] usb 5-5: USB disconnect, address 9
[90470.148000] scsi 4:0:0:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery

The device is fine, it is just slow to start. To work around this bug you can change /sys/module/usb_storage/parameters/delay_use from a default 5 second delay to something larger. 15 seconds worked fine in my case.

echo 15 | sudo tee /sys/module/usb_storage/parameters/delay_use

To do that permanently, create a file in /etc/modprobe.d (with a name slow_storage for example) that contains such line:

options usb_storage delay_use=15

Terrorist Airlines

I can't believe I have not bogged about this before. With all that terrorism threat bullshit, wouldn't it be nice if there was an airline that would declare itself to be 'terrorist friendly' - i.e. all passangers are welcome to come on board with just a simple identity check, no security check, no baggage security check, no delays. You can arrive 10 minutes before departure and just fly away. Wouldn't that be nice?

A budget company could do that to spare on airport security fees and high-end airline could do it just to spare your time. All flights could be marked private charter for legal reasons.

Can we please return to a world when I can take a bottle of mineral water and a nail clipper on board with me?

Reply to AJ

AJ, if some blogs would support comments, I would leave my opinion there and not add noise to the planet.

1) Censorship does not stop being censorship just because the people doing the censoring don't have the absolute power to censor the information everywhere and only block the information or opinion from the channels they can control. It can be called otherwise - editorial control, policy of political correctness, libel liability protection policy, Children-Safe Talk Initiative or Women Friendly Environment Collective. But at its heart it is still censorship of all official Debian-related channels of communication as the aim is to remove the objectionable content from all such channels.

2 and 3) Discriminating against jerks is also a discrimination against people or groups. Please do not get all DFSG-bendy on me here. DFSG is about use and distribution license of the software and not about the communication channels used to facilitate this process. I could actually counter you with a quote from the Social Contract that says that we will not hide problems. The discussion as such admits that some people consider sexism to be a problem in Debian (for example). Excluding sexist comments from Debian official channels will not make sexism magically disappear, it will be just hidden, swiped under the rag and said to sit quiet.

The only problem is that the community that is tired of such hushing is much larger then anticipated. There are people that think that men and women are different. We checked. I can't see anything bad in the example quoted on the planet so far. Yes, the depth of the discussion is weak - we can't be genius all the time, but I really fail to see who is insulted in there. Lesbians? Don't think so, they are compared to a threesome quite favorably. That is not a technical discussion about interrupt timings, but that's why it is in offtopic. Doh! Relaxed chit-chat like this is typical in all healthy and tight-knit communities. Is it offensive to women to talk about sex??? Grow up and have a good 3 hour chit-chat with some real women. Women talk about sex even more than men. Especially on-line.

Can someone really show what is the "OFFENDING BEHAVIOR" so obscene and dangerous that people want to censor out of Debian and explain what exactly they see as being so horribly bad to Debian that they see total censorship of all Debian communication channels as an acceptable countermeasure?

Freedom of information production and distribution

Bernhard It is possible that you are not alone but nether are defenders of freedom if information production and distribution and in particular of freedom of speech. Trying to restrict what words people can or can not use (by labeling them sexist, racist or obscene) is the bread and butter of modern day media censorship. It is censorship and not "just political correctness". While I would not want people trying to limit contributions to Debian only to "smart and educated white people" (racism) or "logically thinking males" (sexism), going the other way and excluding people from Debian because their remarks or way of thinking might offend someone is just offensive to me. That is against the spirit of information freedom that free software is built upon.

To summarize: no one should have the power to say what you can or can not say. You personally do not have to listen to what people say if you do not like what they are saying - there are technological measures that allow you to filter people out at your end. But denying them the right to speak (or segregating them to non-Debian communication channels) is clear and simple censorship that goes against the very principles of free software.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

-- Voltaire

Having a (pyro)blast with your new Ice Block

Here is something I wrote some while ago, hope this will be useful for some World of Warcraft p(l)ayers. Has no other relation to Linux or Debian, except it works on it flawlessly. Also note that 2.3.2 patch went live last week.

It is not a secret anymore that mages of all talent specs will be getting a present when patch 2.3.2 hits the live realms - the Ice Block will be available from any friendly mage trainer for a nominal fee. Currently this spell requires a whopping 21 point investment into the Frost talent tree. With patch 2.3.2 Ice Block will become trainable to all mages, Ice Barrier will take it's place in the talent tree and a new awesome talent - Icy Veins will take the place of the Ice Barrier, so that even frost mages have a new toy to gain in this 2.3.2 mage winterly fiesta.

While there is a significant proportion of mages that are frost for PVP or grinding survival purposes, a large proportion of mage population have never used Ice Block or haven't used it for a while. For that reason, the rest of this article (after the break) will explore all the great uses of Ice Block, that all of you can look forward when patch 2.3.2 hits the live realms (or sooner, if this article convinces you to re-spec frost :)).

So, what does the Ice Block do? When you cast the Ice Block, it purges you from all debuffs and releases you from all snares, you get frozen solid into a large block of ice (same look as hunter's ice trap) and for 10 seconds you are immune to all damage, but unable to do anything - no moving, casting anything, no bandages, nothing.

Getting rid of: Ice Block is a buff, so you can get out of the Ice Block by right-clicking it off at any time. Another way for keyboard-addicted mages is to press Ice Block keybinding button again (after the global cooldown is done). Enemy shamans can purge it off you and priests can mass dispel your Ice Block in PVP.

Cooldown: the Ice Block is on 5 minute cooldown, which can be ended early using the Cold Snap talent from the mage frost tree. To prevent mages casting two ice blocks back to back by using the Cold Snap, Blizzard added the Hypothermia debuff (in 2.1) that prevents you from casting the Ice Block 30 seconds after the last cast.

The main use of Ice Block is to survive pulling aggro in groups. While we all know that "good mages don't draw aggro", experienced players can easily show situations when drawing aggro is not mages fault and surviving that can be the difference between a wipe and a win. When Ice Block is used, your threat is NOT reduced, so you need to stay inside the Ice Block at least until you are under 130% of the tanks threat. After you Ice Block, the mob will run to the next person on the threat list. If your tank is dead, Ice Block will send the mob to another DPS or healer giving you a couple seconds to nuke it when it will be running back to you again. I have seen a few bosses loose their last 2-3% of health running between mages with Ice Block and hunters with Feign Death after a unfortunate death of the main tank.

Ice Block is a great way to get rid of almost all debuffs that exist in the game: warlock DoTs, stuns, snares, polymorph, mind control ... Even boss debuffs go away in a snap - Garrote from Moroes, Demonic Chains from Illhoof and many more deadly debuffs are no threat to a mage with an Ice Block ready.

Ice Block can be used as an alternative to Slow Fall if you're out of Light Feathers. Just do not cast it too high in the air - if the 10 seconds tick by and you haven't hit the land yet .. you could as well kiss 10% of your durability goodbye.

When solo grinding there is noone to draw aggro from you, so the mobs will continue to beat on your personal icy sculpture, however during that time your Water Elemental or other battle pets could be dishing some damage, your cooldowns will tick down and also you will also regenerate some mana inside the Ice Block. The Ice Block could thus make the difference between your death and Frost Nova+Blink+Blizzard and their death.

Have you had some fun experience with Ice Block? Leave a comment so that others could repeat it too!

Annoyed with USA

My girlfriend is annoyed with USA timekeeping. More particularly with the way Sunday is the first day of the week in the Gnome calendar applet that shows up when you click on the time applet. After some searching I am unable to find how to change that short of changing the source code.

Help me, lazyweb!

Edit: yes it was meant to be Sunday and not Saturday.


Fresh bread

I have now gotten into baking bread at home and I like the result greatly.

The inspiration came from an anime Yakitate!! Japan! - a very funny anime about bread bakers with lots of parody on other anime and lots of over-the-top reactions to bread. It also has a lot of tips on baking your own bread which helps people get started. I have heard that 'Yakitate!! Japan' caused a bread baking mania in Japan on par with the Go mania from 'Hikaru No Go' (Off-side note: I wonder if making an anime about developing free software would turn people in Japan and all over the world to do it more?) I watched the anime a couple years back and promptly forgot about it, but now when I was thinking about what anime to show to my girlfriend it came back to me. After that we both decided that we need an oven to bake bread in, unfortunately the flat we are in has no oven, so we had to buy a free-standing one. After much research and deliberation and some good advice from my friends, I got us a Samsung CE1071AR microwave oven with grill and a convection oven function. It has been the best decision - cooking with this thing is easy and painless. It is large enough for one large loaf of bread or a bunch of cookies in two levels. It has a steam-based self-clean function and an automatic preheat function. It can do all the things that a microwave oven can do and also combine regular oven with microwaves. And best of all it also has a 40 degree setting in the convectional oven mode - that is perfect for raising bread right in the oven.

I am starting with the simplest bread recipes from The Fresh Loaf site tutorial section and in short order was able to produce some of the best tasting bread I ever had. You can see the result above. Now when my girlfriend and her sister decided to cook all kinds of stuff for Christmas I was not bored, but rather the opposite happened - I participated and had fun. Even more so - we are now watching the 'Yakitate!! Japan' anime, together with my girlfriend, looking for new tips for the cooking. I just might try to make a croissant next :D

AI classification of websites

I see that Erich is also trying to do something with AI classification of web pages. It would be interesting to find out what algorithms he is using and what the validation testing results are - I just did my Masters in a similar direction. But alas, his blog has no comments :)

The thing i would suggest is trying out the algorithms using some existing tool sets, such as WEKA from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. I used it in my Master's thesis and got very nice results. I found that with non-topical categories tree based classifiers and support vector machine classifiers (in the SMO variation) produced acceptable results.

Christmas cooking

Wierd cookies

Last night we celebrated Christmas with some friends by doing a lot of cooking - baking mostly. In the end we had some regular sweetbread dough and some gingerbread dough left over. On a whim I suggested to put them together - we rolled out both doughs very thin (3-4 mm), put them on top of each other (with some vanilla powder in between) then rolled that into a big roll and cut it into 1 cm pieces. After glazing that with beaten egg and cooking for 15 minutes in 200 degrees C oven we got what can be seen in the photo above. The taste is phenomenal - it has the hard and crispy layers of gingerbread and soft layers of the regular sweetbread and sweet all through. In some cookies the innermost core was made of a chunk of soft gingerbread - that tasted the best.

I also got myself an oven and have started to bake home-made bread, but that's for another post :). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!