Author Archives: dbtx


Rejecting the Internet of Things:

Some people, when confronted with a simple problem like unlocking a door, think “I know, I’ll make a single-purpose robot or the equivalent mechanism that will lock and unlock my door for me, and then give it internet access, and then control it from my phone.”

Now they have 25 problems.

Thou shalt not conflate the elation attributable to getting some over-engineered thing to work at all with the satisfaction of solving a real problem, really well.


accessing the infinite

Nothing in any universe can be more complex than the language needed to completely describe the thing; yet, when you were a kid, you learned your native language without even realizing you severely needed to do so. Never mind that the descriptions will become lengthy– the power of language is not wrapped up in its efficiency, though the relative power of a language may be.

soft toggle a touchpad in XFCE

I have an ASUS U46E and the touchpad hotkey does not yet function at all. I made a hotkey under Settings->Keyboard->Application Shortcuts, Ctrl+Alt+9 to launch this script because Fn and F9 are in the vicinity anyway.


tp=`xinput list|grep "$name"|awk -F= '{print $2}'|awk '{print $1}'`
state=`xinput list-props $tp|grep 'Device Enabled'|awk -F\: '{print $2}'|awk '{print $1}'`
(( $state )) && xinput disable $tp || xinput enable $tp