Dixie Banjo Songs

My grandfather's 1970's banjo recordings are now available for listening and download here.

My grandfather, Don Steeves, was a banjo player in Cincinnati. I never saw it, but I heard he played in bands on riverboats in the Ohio River. I did see him play and sing for living room audiences on many family holidays.

In the 1970's, Grandpa made home recordings to share with his sons and their children. I remember playing these cassette tapes at home on our silver and black plastic mono cassette player.

A few years ago my cousin Craig did the hard work of converting all those old tapes to CDs. I ripped the CDs and found or made up names for all the tracks and "albums."

For several years I've had the thought that these ought to be released for anyone to use. This year I finally figured out a hosting strategy using a free Amazon S3 account.

I hope you enjoy Grandpa's banjo playing, singing, and his sense of humor. Please let me know if you do anything special with this music.

Don Steeves

Don Steeves

Kernel panic

I have found a use case to reliably create a kernel panic in Mac OS X on my early 2010 15" MacBook Pro. By kernel panic, I mean that the end result is the 50% transparent black windowshade of death. I don't love it when my Mac crashes, but I do love the way the windowshade scrolls down from the top of the screen... Step 1: Go to my big company client's office/campus.

Step 2: Connect to their open guest wifi network.

Step 3: Connect to my small company employer's OpenVPN. I use Viscosity and a special profile to route all traffic over it, due to big company's restrictions, e.g. no instant messaging and limited access to their own web-facing Sharepoint!

Step 4: Launch applications (Safari, Mailplane, Skype) and work for a while.

Step 5: Close the lid to sleep the Mac, move to another building (and I expect to another access point on the same guest network).

Step 6: Use some more Safari/Mailplane/Skype, and wait for the windowshade. Don't worry, it will come.

Step 7: Shut down and restart. This is really the best part. After restart, my Mac will probably crash a coupe more times.

Each time, the Console logs show that the last thing happening is a problem in the Airport/Broadcom wireless driver. After 3 instances of this, I went to the Apple Store Genius Bar today, just to make sure I didn't have any hardware problems.

I'm happy to respond with more info if you are part of Broadcom, Apple, OpenVPN, or Viscosity and would like to see if you can fix this bug.

Mac recovery on the road

My hard drive crashed this week, while I was in Atlanta, one thousand miles away from my Time Machine backup. The Apple Store Genius Bar gave me a fresh OS X install. From there I downloaded 1Password and synced it to the database on my iPhone. Using 1Password and email, I was able to recreate my work environment of Terminal, TextMate, Transmit and VMWare Fusion + Linux without my backup. When I got home I restored the rest of my files from Time Machine. Yes, I know that backing up to the cloud would solve all of this problem. But that's still a bit expensive, and what I did worked fine. I also found a trick to make it a little better.

I now have a Recovery directory that contains the following soft links

  • 1Password.agilekeychain
  • LogicBlox.tmbundle
  • LogicBloxOpenVPN.config.conf
  • Settings.textexpander
  • dot_bash_profile
  • dot_hgrc

One command can copy the link contents to the SD Memory card I carry on most trips.

cp -RL . /Volumes/DAN_512/

Now I don't have to suffer without my syntax highlighting and shortcuts.

More from "Safety in the Park"

Another email from this group, this time with a position statement that sounds pretty reasonable.

A rail corridor must include, but not be limited to the following:

* 75 feet of right of way on each side of the tracks and no more than one grade level crossing per mile. * Study and approval of ground contamination problems by the EPA. * Crossing arms that cannot be avoided by drivers. * Welded rail. * Bells, not whistles, at intersections. * Berms along the MN&S to reduce sound pollution. * Landscaping to discourage people (especially students) from crossing the tracks. * Sound walls on the BNSF east of the MN&S spur to reduce sound pollution. * Removal of the switching wye in the Elmwood neighborhood * A pedestrian bridge crossing the BNSF tracks to connect the either the Birchwood or Lake Forest neighborhood to the “West End” commercial area.