With its dysfunctional internal hard drive, here’s how I managed to fix the iMac for use again:

  1. Initiated Recovery with Cmd + R upon the boot sound — holding it until the system entered a recovery mode.
  2. The recovery mode then downloaded OS X Basic system to perform necessary disk operations.
  3. I attached an external hard drive and followed these instructions.
  4. Further, I also formatted the internal problematic hard drive to FAT, so the iMac wouldn’t mistake it every time as the first drive to boot from.
  5. Once installed, the iMac now automatically boots from the external drive.

July 27, 2014.

Week day

I find it fascinating that there are four days in the week that are named after the Norse gods, we use everyday, but don’t realize.

DayDerived from
TuesdayTyr, the Norse god of war.
WednesdayOdin (sometimes Wodin), the chief god of the Norse pantheon.
ThursdayThor, the god of thunder.
FridayFreya, Odin’s wife.
SaturdaySaturn, the god of agriculture and the harvest.

From Time’s 100 Ideas That Changed the World.

July 27, 2014.

Apple reseller’s support

Me: Hello. Hi, could you connect me to the service please, I have an issue with my iMac?
Operator: Hold on.
Service: Yes?
Me: Hi. I am having booting issues with my 27" iMac (Mid 2010). It takes a long time to start. I've already formatted the drive, and reinstalled OS X afresh. The problem persists.
Service: You have to bring it in, and we take a look.
Me: If in case it is the hard drive, would you be able to replace the normal hard drive with an SSD?
Service: No. We look at it first, get the serial of the component and order the same again. It will take two weeks to place the order.
Me: Not even if I am willing to pay for an SSD?
Service: No.
Me: I see. OK, thank you.

July 26, 2014.

Anil Dash: Public is not simply defined.

Public is not just what can be viewed by others, but a fragile set of social conventions about what behaviors are acceptable and appropriate. There are people determined to profit from expanding and redefining what’s public, working to treat nearly everything we say or do as a public work they can exploit. They may succeed before we even put up a fight.

A cogent post about what constitutes public, and how it’s being over-simplified.

July 25, 2014.

Peter Welch: Nobody. Understands. Punctuation.

If punctuation obscures or distorts the meaning of a sentence in an unintended way, it is wrong, but apart from that, punctuation is about rhythm. An Oxford comma is not a flip switch in an author’s voice, it’s a decision made in the moment to maintain the flow of the idea. Momentum, syncopation, rhythm and pattern make a sentence flow, because writers are trying to transfer the voices in their heads into yours.

Clearly the best argument I’ve read in a while on punctuation.

July 25, 2014.

TeX Live 2014 install on Elementary OS

With our iMac dying, I got our tiny backup linux computer out. It is powered by Elementary OS. I got around to prep it for a family use last night — creating user accounts for kids and wife. Today I installed TeX Live 2014 over the internet, which I document here for future use.

sudo ./install-tl --location ftp://ftp.mpi-sb.mpg.de/pub/tex/mirror/ftp.dante.de/pub/tex/

Loading ftp://ftp.mpi-sb.mpg.de/pub/tex/mirror/ftp.dante.de/pub/tex/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb
First attempt for net installation failed;
  repository url does not contain "tlnet",
  retrying with "/systems/texlive/tlnet" appended.
Loading ftp://ftp.mpi-sb.mpg.de/pub/tex/mirror/ftp.dante.de/pub/tex/systems/texlive/tlnet/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb
Installing TeX Live 2014 from: ftp://ftp.mpi-sb.mpg.de/pub/tex/mirror/ftp.dante.de/pub/tex/systems/texlive/tlnet
Platform: x86_64-linux => 'x86_64 with GNU/Linux'
Distribution: net  (downloading)
Using URL: ftp://ftp.mpi-sb.mpg.de/pub/tex/mirror/ftp.dante.de/pub/tex
Directory for temporary files: /tmp

======================> TeX Live installation procedure <=====================

======>   Letters/digits in <angle brackets> indicate   <=======
======>   menu items for commands or options            <=======

 Detected platform: x86_64 with GNU/Linux

 <B> binary platforms: 1 out of 21

 <S> set installation scheme (scheme-full)

 <C> customizing installation collections
     47 collections out of 48, disk space required: 3734 MB

 <D> directories:
   TEXDIR (the main TeX directory):
   TEXMFLOCAL (directory for site-wide local files):
   TEXMFSYSVAR (directory for variable and automatically generated data):
   TEXMFSYSCONFIG (directory for local config):
   TEXMFVAR (personal directory for variable and automatically generated data):
   TEXMFCONFIG (personal directory for local config):
   TEXMFHOME (directory for user-specific files):

 <O> options:
   [ ] use letter size instead of A4 by default
   [X] allow execution of restricted list of programs via \write18
   [X] create all format files
   [X] install macro/font doc tree
   [X] install macro/font source tree

 <V> set up for portable installation

 <I> start installation to hard disk
 <H> help
 <Q> quit

Enter command: S

At this point, it’s really important to change the set installation scheme. Change from the default a — full scheme to c — small scheme (basic + xetex, metapost, a few languages) as below:

Select scheme:

 a [ ] full scheme (everything)
 b [ ] medium scheme (small + more packages and languages)
 c [X] small scheme (basic + xetex, metapost, a few languages)
 d [ ] basic scheme (plain and latex)
 e [ ] minimal scheme (plain only)
 f [ ] ConTeXt scheme
 g [ ] GUST TeX Live scheme
 h [ ] teTeX scheme (more than medium, but nowhere near full)
 i [ ] XML scheme
 j [ ] custom selection of collections

Actions: (disk space required: 3734 MB)
 <R> return to main menu
 <Q> quit

Enter letter to select scheme: R

Then continue the install:

 <I> start installation to hard disk
 <H> help
 <Q> quit

Enter command: I

This would install about 253 packages in all, instead of 2875 packages (in full install), which can take a long time to install, and still miss important parts like xdvipdfmx, which are only available via option c.

Once installed, TeX Live needs to be added to the path, and the best way to do it is to add it to .zshrc as below:

PATH=/usr/local/texlive/2014/bin/x86_64-linux:$PATH; export PATH
MANPATH=/usr/local/texlive/2014/texmf-dist/doc/man:$MANPATH; export MANPATH
INFOPATH=/usr/local/texlive/2014/texmf-dist/doc/info:$INFOPATH; export INFOPATH

Now reload the path with the following:

. ~/.zshrc

Now to add some packages I need:

sudo env PATH="$PATH" tlmgr install fontspec marginnote realscripts sectsty xltxtra ulem

To compile a tex file into a pdf:

xelatex somefile.tex

July 24, 2014.

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