Category Archives: homeowner

Apple TV Hacking: success!

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I managed to get ssh working at last.
And then I tried to
enable USB storage,
but that was a mistake.
I thought it meant I could plug in a USB drive and the Apple TV would play content off of it.
But no, it meant rebuilding the kernel so that any USB drive plugged in to the Apple TV would have its main disk copied to it.

The idea is that this external, much larger disk will be the new boot volume.
But that’s not what I wanted at all.
So the Apple TV got stuck, so .. I reset to factory settings (that’s a brilliant option, btw).

So, I know I can do it now.
The scripts “out there” are pretty rough and tumble.
I’m thinking I may create a Mac OS X 10.4.9 partition on my Mac Pro, just so that I can copy over all the missing frameworks and libraries so that I can get things like wget to work..

Tree down

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Tree down!

So we’re a bit tight for time today, what with Ronnie’s Mirror flyers not showing up until 11pm last night, and neeeding to shower and pack to leave for Tony’s cottage by 7pm or so..

So what happens?

One of our Birch trees in the front yard decides to come down!


Gas prices since the refinery fire

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A fire in a refinery (which one? where?) has apparently dried up all sources of gas for Toronto and we’re being rationed.
Or at least, that’s what I hear.
We haven’t seen any evidence of rationing.
But then we don’t use our car very much.
Glad it has a full tank.

Here’s a chart for the last three months’ gas prices, courtesy of

Toronto gas prices

By the way, 1 barrel = 42 US gallons = 159 litres.
So that $57.09/barrel cost of crude oil at the end works out to US 35.9¢/litre, which is somewhere over CAN 42¢/litre.
Of course, oil has to be processed to get gas, and I’m not sure what percentage of the oil ends up as gas.
Anyone out there have specific percentages?

Ants! It must be spring

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We have ants in our laundry room.
I didn’t notice until I had pushed the big pile-o-towels over to the washing machine to do a hot wash.
I picked up a facecloth and noticed there was black fluff on it.

Then the black fluff MOVED.

I had inadvertently squished a whole train of ants when I moved the towels.
So I had to shake out all the towels before I put it them the washing machine.
About a dozen stunned and confused ants dropped to the floor.

So I have laid down several drops of our AntBeGone stuff, but I can’t remember if it works very well or not.
I then had a thought that I should find out more about where they are going.
So I set up my powerbook running iStopMotion:

powerbook monitoring ants

My PowerBook recording ant movement

iSight watches ants

The iSight keeps an eye on the ants clustered around the drain.

I’m hoping it will be easier to figure out where the ants come from and go to if we see them move much faster.

I’ll let you know how it goes!