Craigslist

One of my favorite things about Craigslist is the Free Stuff section. For the past six months we’ve had some old glass shower doors sitting in our garage. I finally took a picture and put them on Craigslist and within a couple hour five people contacted me asking for more details. And by the next day they were gone.

Over the last couple years we’ve gotten rid of old BBQs, rusty bikes, and other odds and ends. It easier than throwing something away in a dumpster and I’m glad someone else is getting more use out of our old junk.

Karma Mobile WiFi

My brother-in-law turned me onto a WiFi hotspot device called Karma that’s being released in December. I work on the road a few weeks a year and if Karma works as advertised, I’ll be able to work in my car and I won’t have to rely on abysmally slow hotel/airport/cafe WiFi networks.

Karma previously sold a WiFi hotspot, but it didn’t run on LTE networks. Their new device is set to be shipped in December and can be pre-ordered now. If you pre-order one today you can get it for $99 instead of $149. And if you use this link you’ll get an additional $10 off (and I’ll get $10 of data credits):

https://yourkarma.com/invite/kevin23643

Other Details
– No contract
– Pay as you go data – $14/GB
– Runs over the Sprint LTE and CDMA network (view coverage)
– Your Karma connection is shared with other Karma users
– If other Karma users use your connection you get data credits

Karma kind of downplays the security risk of sharing a network connection, which concerns me a bit. Here’s a related response from one of Karma’s employees:

In order to minimize the security risk, I’ll just use a proxy or VPN whenever I’m connected to a Karma device.

I’m really looking forward to using it and I’ll add a review once I get a chance to use it.

Removing Game Center from OS X Yosemite

October 16, 2015 Update: If you’re running OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), you’ll need to disable the System Integrity Protection functionality if you want to hide or remove Game Center.

One of the first things I noticed when looking around OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) was the Game Center icon in the Applications folder.

Game Center has been in Mac OS X since 10.8 (Mountain Lion), but the icon recently changed to match the bubbly iOS icon:

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 10.30.59 PM

I never really use Game Center on iOS and am always annoyed with the spammy friend requests. I’ve turned off Game Center friend requests multiple times, but it always seems to get turned back on.

Once I saw Game Center in Yosemite, I immediately tried to drag the icon to the Trash. No luck:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 9.08.37 PM

It took a couple minutes, but I figured out how to remove it. Here’s how your remove Game Center:

Warning! Don’t do this unless you’re comfortable with the command line and have a recent backup of your hard drive. If you don’t know what sudo means, then please don’t proceed. A simple mistake with sudo rm could cause major issues.

– Open Terminal
– Navigate to the Applications folder
– Enter the following:

sudo rm -rf "Game Center.app"

That’s it!

After removing Game Center, I restarted my computer. Game Center didn’t reappear and everything is seems fine. So far. There are probably some ramifications if you try to play Mac App Store games that support Game Center, but I’m not sure. And now I’m wondering if Game Center will reappear then next time I update OS X. Regardless, it’s nice to be rid of that extraneous icon 🙂

Otherwise, I really like Yosemite. It’s really snappy (on a wiped 2012 MacBook Air).

Tweedy

Tweedy Album Sukierae I own a lot of Jeff Tweedy’s albums, but the only ones I really listen to are Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the first Mermaid Avenue album.

Today I downloaded his new album Sukierae and I’m really enjoying it. Notably, Tweedy made Sukierae with his 18 year old son Spencer and the album is named after his wife (who recently went through cancer treatment). The family influences are readily apparent as the songs are heartfelt and sincere. Summer Noon and Wait for Love are the first standout songs of the album.

If you’re not familiar with Jeff Tweedy, he was the lead singer of Uncle Tupelo and since 1995 he’s been the lead singer of Wilco. Along with the rest of Wilco, he worked with Billy Bragg to create the Mermaid Avenue series of albums that contain songs created from unused Woody Guthrie lyrics.

Also, video from the making of the album Yankee Foxtrot Hotel was turned into a really great documentary, I’m Trying to Break Your Heart.

Here’s the video for Summer Noon:

Learn Python the Hard Way – Lesson 15

Mac Terminal Python Commands

I’m going through Zed Shaw’s online course Learn Python the Hard Way and I ran into a study drill that gave me some trouble.

In lesson 15 the seventh study drill is a little tricky if you’re not familiar with the command line. Instead of opening a Python file, you’re instructed to enter the commands from the Python prompt.

Just running open(example.txt) may not work because the Python interpreter only looks in the current folder to find the file. If you don’t start Python in the same folder, you need to tell the interpreter exactly where the file is is located. Here’s one way to do this:

$ python
>>> txt = open("/Users/Kevin/Dev/example.txt")
>>> print txt.read()

If you’re not sure if you’re in the right directory, you can double check your directory. First start Python:

$ python

Then type these two commands:

>>> import os
>>> os.getcwd()

Remember to always import the os module before calling any os commands/functions.

Your result should look like this:

Mac terminal commands to get current directory