2009 Mac Pro with DVI and HDMI displays – restart problems

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So I bought a new (old) Mac Pro; late 2009, 12/24 core, 64GB, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB. It’s running macOS 10.12.3 Sierra. I hooked up one monitor to the HDMI port, and one to the DVI port. Seemed to work fine.

Until I rebooted the machine.

Then it refused to show the mouse pointer (Apple magic mouse), although It would warn of the mouse’s disconnect and reconnect if I powered the mouse up and down. Likewise, there was no response to the keyboard. It just sat there showing login options for me and a guest; it wouldn’t respond to anything at all I did with mouse or keyboard.

After trying power downs, pulling the plug for a while, pounding on the keyboard, powering the mouse up and down, I finally thought to pull a connection to a monitor. Specifically, the DVI-connected monitor. Immediately the mouse pointer showed up, and I was able to log in.

Up to this point, I had the machine set up so that the HDMI monitor was on the left, and was my home (boot screen) monitor. That’s the one you drag the menu bar to in the Prefs / Displays panel. But I noticed when the machine booted, it showed up on the DVI monitor first, then the HDMI monitor, and then it locked up.

So, still booted up after all this screwing around, I swapped monitor cables, then set the DVI monitor to be the home monitor, as the left monitor was now my DVI-connected monitor instead of my HDMI-connected monitor.

Now the machine restarts cleanly, or at least, it has a few times in a row.

So if you’re having this kind of problem, after the login screen shows, try pulling one or the other or both of the monitor cables to see if it will unlock the mess. And make sure the DVI monitor is your home monitor once you get things running again.

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Should a new programmer learn Javascript first?

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If you want to be a webmonkey / script-kiddie, sure, learn Javascript first and to heck with a quality skillset. But is that what you want?

On the other hand, if you want to be a quality programmer, that is, a good programmer?—?and not just hope or falsely claim you are one, because hey, you can actually write one— what you have to work through is a six-step language set:
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Star Wars

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Here’s how the Star Wars franchise has hit me over the years; I saw each movie when it came out. I consider myself a fan. I almost never see a film in the theater; but I saw every Star Wars film the first day I could get to the show.

☆☆☆☆☆ 1977 Star Wars ep. IV “A New Hope” Wow!
☆☆☆☆☆ 1980 Star Wars ep. V “The Empire Strikes Back” WOW! Again… WOW!
☆☆☆ 1983 Star Wars ep. VI “Return of the jedi” Wait, what? Ewoks? Who stimulated that think? When did the target audience become drooling three-year-olds?
☆☆ 1999 Star Wars ep. I “The Phantom Menace” Jar-Jar, “Gungans” featured, the spirituality-diluting idea of the “midi-chlorians”, Darth Maul, a great character, barely a cameo… this is not good…
☆☆☆☆ 2002 Star Wars ep. II “Attack of the Clones” Overall better, Jar-Jar nearly vanished, thank the force. Meesa thinks someone needs to kill him. Horribly.
☆☆☆☆☆ 2005 Star Wars ep. III “Revenge of the Sith” Okay, we’re back to Wow!
2015 Star Wars ep. VII “The Force Awakens” Disney grotesquely fumbles the ball. BB8: Sigh… 3y/o-level (attempt at) cute (but only achieving ridiculous.) Again. Ex-stormtrooper Finn is a monumentally weak character, and the poor acting of that character helps the film out not at all. Then there’s the very lame “monster on a freighter” scene with Solo and Chewbacca. Darth Angst… is angsty. Then Solo dies, poorly, at the hands of Darth Angst. Can you say “sucks”? The only redeeming major character in the entire show is Rey.
☆☆☆☆☆ 2017 Star Wars ep. VIII “Rogue One” Ooo, much, much better. Damn, these movies are so variable. It keeps me going back, though, so there’s that.

R.I.P. Peter Cushing
R.I.P. Carrie Fisher
R.I.P. Alec Guinness

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SdrDx 2.17a for OS X and Windows released

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You can learn more and/or download the new SdrDx from this page.

New Features

  • 14 user-configurable, band-stacking VFOs
  • Old-time radio style station labeling
  • Dual-antenna phasing & noise reduction with AFE822 SDR
  • SwDb application to edit custom freq database
  • Deeper integration w/Dx Toolbox 4.7 and up
  • SITOR demodulator added
  • C-QUAM AM stereo demodulator added
  • Vector scope auto-set w/RTTY, SITOR
  • 10 RF notches added
  • DNR now fully configurable
  • 4 span memories added
  • 100% re-mappable keyboard commands
  • Comprehensive keyboard locking; time, codes, more
  • Integrated comprehensive key command reference
  • Two new spectrum / waterfall DSP processes
  • Stereo VU meter for stereo FM
  • Stereo Reverse added
  • Direct frequency, demodulator entry
  • Sideband demodulation extended to 20 KHz
  • FSK and CW carrier offsets
  • CB channel info for US, Euro, Down Under
  • Passband center indication
  • Auto-adjustment of waterfall
  • Bandwidth memory spread from BW1 to BW7
  • Mouse snap control
  • DGPS band added

Improvements

  • RTTY demodulator improved
  • File dialog improved
  • AFEDRI SDR handling improved
  • Memory tooltips improved
  • Bandwidth tooltips improved
  • Zone memset / drawing now optional
  • Audio waterfall improved
  • Anti-ringing improved
  • Bandwidth memories now include “-Ri”
  • Grid spacing and control improved
  • Audio scope spectrum improved
  • Audio scope vector improved
  • Various bug fixes

Goodies for the technical crowd

  • New TCP / UDP commands
  • Integrated network debugging for scripting, apps
  • Remote marker designation for scripting, apps
  • Improvements aimed at next beta test series
  • BUG button for instant bug reports
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Why Farenheit is better for people

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Scale 25º 50º 75º 100º
Celsius Cold Warm Dead Dead Dead
Fahrenheit Really Cold Cold Meh Warm Really Hot
Kelvin Dead Dead Dead Dead Dead
Rankine Dead Dead Dead Dead Dead
Réaumur Cold Warm Dead Dead Dead

Also, look. At -40ºC, it’s actually -40ºF. Isn’t that cute? Celsius trying to be reasonable, and all. Sorry, Celsius. Too low, too late. Back across the pond with you.

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The FFT definitively explained by me, a signal processing expert

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The Fourier TransformHere’s how to properly explain the fast Fourier transform, or FFT: Okay, it’s a Fourier transform, or FT, right, but while you’re doing it, you fold the buckets and the coefficients like origami, see, yes, basically like a unicorn, so you have to cut the code here, and here, and here so the head will come out right, yes, that’s it, and this code over here, it only runs if the unicorn is facing south, plus, you pull its tail so it makes little unicorn poops,uni and those have to go back into the unicorn’s little feed bin for next time around, because otherwise, the feedbin is too sweet, see, and the buckets are all funny-like and time goes back to being partially frequency. And you don’t want that.

So that’s it, yeah, and I’ll need your code example by tomorrow morning. Class dismissed.

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An Interesting AM BCB DXer’s catch

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KVCK, at 1450 AM, broadcasts a monophonic signal using the standard monophonic AM modulation scheme. The music feed to the station from its content provider, however, is stereo, and KVCK routes only one channel of that feed to its transmitter. So for any content that provides fully panned mix to the missing channel, no sound reaches the listener.

This problem has existed for decades, the station has been notified many times about it by email and in writing, yet it persists. The solution should be as simple as a stereo-to-mono cable or mixer, or, if the content is provided digitally, by a software setting or a call to the content provider.

That this has never been corrected comprises an interesting mystery with regard to KVCK, and makes it an unusual DX catch for BCB DXers.

Here’s a 20-second fragment of Marvin Gaye’s "Heard it Through the Grapevine"

First, here’s how it should sound. Pay attention to the ladies in the chorus from 13s to 20s:

Full mono, both tracks combined properly

Now, here it is from KCVK, on the afternoon of September 28th, 2016… listen again at 13s to 20s:

One track only (incorrect mixing at station or content provider.)

KVCK is like one of those double-struck pennies from the US mint. Very rare, and not a very good product — but interesting!

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Using JSON between Javascript and Python

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JavaScript can’t access local files; this makes it troublesome to work with databases and files without including someone’s “black box” and risking all manner of compatibility and security issues you have no control over.

Required Skillsets


You need to be familiar with both Javascript and Python, and their typical execution environments, for this information to be useful to you. Both are easy languages to learn, and the web is replete with tutorial sources aimed at providing that familiarity. Database use with Python can be with SqLite, or PostgreSQL, or MySql. Again, plenty of resources out there to help with learning SQL.

Python, on the other hand, has no such problems. It can handle files and databases directly, and you have every opportunity to keep things safe and secure. Python is readily available on your typical server; Javascript is built into most browsers.

So here is a skeletal example of how to get data from JavaScript to Python and back again that doesn’t require any extra JavaScript components, and therefore puts you in complete control of whatever risks you face, including resolving any bugs without having to depend on anyone else.

You can use this to build your own communications, adding all the security and reliability tweaks you desire, or none, for private, off-net use.

If, in pursuit of the kind of inter-language linking I demonstrate here, you’re thinking “Database!”, then I would also point you to my SqLite simplifier and PostgreSQL simplifier projects.
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