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Drew's World

Rants, News, Etc on my Life and Projects

Archaic - Archived Chats and Dev Helper

by Andrew De Ponte (@cyphactor)

So for those of that don’t know, I lead of team of software developers. For a long time now I have noticed a number of gaps in the industry with respect to software development and team collaboration. One area that I always felt was missing some love was group chat.

Sure, there are a large number of different chat protocols and applications that implement them all. However, they generally miss an archived history that has full text searching. Beyond the group chat is prime location to distribute push notifications when Git repositories that the team is working with have changes pushed to them. Because of these two issues and number of other that I really don’t want to get into at this point I have started a new open source project called “Archaic”.

Archaic is a Rails application that provides archiving of IRC channel chats with a full text search interface as well as general developer helpers. It is composed of two pieces, an IRC Bot and the Rails application. Technically they both share the rails environment as the IRC Bot should be run with rails runner. You can checkout the project at the following: http://github.com/cyphactor/archaic.

I plan to keep the master branch functional so feel free to use the master branch. It currently has the following features.

  • IRC Chat Archiving
  • Full Text Chat Archive Searching with Context (to expand context simply click on resulting match)
  • Week number helper (when anyone in IRC channel types “weeknum” it replies with current week number)
  • Ticket number helper (when anyone in IRC channel types “#\d+” it replies with link to that ticket)

This is the initial introduction to this project and I am sure it has numerous directions that it can and will grow into. I very much welcome your thoughts, suggestions, feature requests, bug reports, testing, etc.

I believe that having a good central place of communication for a team even if they are working in the same office helps at least as a mechanism for keeping your devs notified about repo pushes close to real time.

Anyways, enjoy!

Western Digital MyPassport

by Andrew De Ponte (@cyphactor)

So, recently I bought a Western Digital (WD) MyPassport portable 500GB hard drive. I found when plugging it in that it had a very annoying Virtual CD built into its firmware called WD SmartWare which I was not the least bit interested in using. All, I wanted was an external USB hard drive that was portable and just worked. So, the first thing I tried was to reformat it to a Journaled Mac OS X file system. Once, I reformatted it, I was able to copy files too and from the external drive just like I wanted to be. However, every time I plugged the external drive in it would also mount this stupid Virtual CD which I didn’t want to deal with.

So, I googled around a bit for a way to stop this thing from mounting and coming up every time I plug the external drive in. I found a bunch of articles outlining how to update the firmware on the external hard drive and a bunch of very long step by step processes all just to get this stupid Virtual CD to go away. Soon, enough I found the answer I was looking for. It was simply to grab the UUID of the Volume by using the following command:

diskutil info /Volumes/WD\ SmartWare/

Once, I had the UUID of the Volume then I created the /etc/fstab file and added the following line to it.

UUID=84789472-2EB5-3C8E-BFC1-F554F91B026C none hfs rw,noauto 0 0

In my opinion this was a much better solution as it just disabled the auto mounting of that volume and didn’t require a firmware flash or anything crazy just to get rid of the stupid Virtual CD. Anyways, I probably made this post more for me than any of you. Though, hopefully someone else finds this tid bit useful as well.