Of Liberty and Theater

The first and second Amendments are really the counter weights to Democracy. Those who ignore the second will ultimately loose the first, and a society that limits the first proves itself unworthy of the second. My biggest fear, with regard to the tragedies of late, is that in an attempt to save “just one child” we will surrender their future freedoms for security theater. That liberty will be forfeit at the alter of good intentions, doing nothing more than to make a world that is little less worthy of their sacrifice.

A Beautiful mălum

GroundWarp has a new contract to do web based development for an Oklahoma City software firm called Phase2 Interactive.  One of the benefits of the job is a brand new Apple MacBook Air for use on the companies projects.  I have booted OSX just long enough to shrink the main system partition to almost nothing so I could Linux on it.  So far the entire process has been working pretty well and I am really excited about the quality of the Apple hardware.  Below are some of the system specific fixes I needed to make so overcome the non-standard Apple configuration is places.

  • Setup and install is fundamentally the same as a normal Linux install (at least for Fedora 18) on a 64 bit OS.  As the MacBook Air doesn’t have a built in CDROM you will need to burn the iso file to a USB stick for the install.  The only thing that might catch you is that some iso-to-usb tools (most notably unetbootin) actually copy the files to the USB drive then create their own custom boot menu.  The new secure EFI boot will not allow this without being signed (which Fedora is) so you will need to create your install USB with good old fashioned dd.  Make sure you use the 64 bit edition.

    dd if=../Fedora-18-x86-64-DVD.iso of=/dev/sdb

  • Apple obviously hates its users, and feels they should be punished for their insolence.  At least that is the only explanation I can come up with them flipping the default location of the Alt and Meta keys (key locations that pre-date the Apple by a dozen years… it would be like making the keyboard layout standard but swapping the location of the F and G keys.)  Thankfully this is an easy fix if you are using KDE.  Go to you System Settings, choose Input Devices, choose Keyboard, then choose the Advanced tab.  There is an expandable option titled Alt/Win key Behavior, click on the Left Alt is Swapped with Left Win. Select Apply.
  • By default Apple maps the F1 through F12 keys to their system function options (things like volume up/down and screen brightness.)  This is probably fine for most people but if you are a keyboard jokey or a programmer you almost certainly us the F keys constantly.  The quick fix for this is to run the following command as root:

    echo 2 > /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode

  • I am not sure what the “right” way to set kernel module parameters on system boot now that Lennart Poettering bastardized evil systemd has infect the entire Linux world (remember when Linux was simple and intuitive) but once I find the official way to set that it I will update this post.
  • Got to go, but there is more to come.