Monthly Archives: July 2009

Installing git on Mac OS 10.4

It’s supposed to be impossible to install git on Mac OS 10.4.  Supposedly this is due to some dependency issues with asciidoc and expat[1] that Apple fixed in 10.5.  But I needed it to work, so I figured out a way!  Here’s how:

  • first update asciidoc and expat[1]
  • run make

If make fails with errors like:

/usr/bin/ld: warning /opt/local/lib/libz.dylib cputype (18, architecture ppc) does not match cputype (7) for specified -arch flag: i386 (file not loaded)
/usr/bin/ld: warning /sw/lib/libiconv.dylib cputype (18, architecture ppc) does not match cputype (7) for specified -arch flag: i386 (file not loaded)
/usr/bin/ld: warning /sw/lib/libcrypto.dylib cputype (18, architecture ppc) does not match cputype (7) for specified -arch flag: i386 (file not loaded)
/usr/bin/ld: warning /sw/lib/libiconv.dylib cputype (18, architecture ppc) does not match cputype (7) for specified -arch flag: i386 (file not loaded)
/usr/bin/ld: warning /sw/lib/libcrypto.dylib cputype (18, architecture ppc) does not match cputype (7) for specified -arch flag: i386 (file not loaded)
/usr/bin/ld: warning /sw/lib/libexpat.dylib cputype (18, architecture ppc) does not match cputype (7) for specified -arch flag: i386 (file not loaded)

(This is apparently a MacPorts problem[2])

Proceed to stash all those wayward libraries in temporary folders like so (same for /sw/lib):

  • cd /opt/local/lib
  • mkdir git_doesnt_install
  • mv libz.dylib libiconv.dylib llibcrypto.dylib git_doesnt_install

Continue to make.  Now git should be installed!

Move all the libraries back to where they were:

  • mv /opt/local/lib/git_doesnt_install/* /opt/local/lib

And git away!  I’m now running 1.6.3 which is the current release version, and it works totally smoothly.

[1] git dependency updates on mac os 10.4

[2] macports library clashes


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Open Source Hardware

It appears that a Tuscon amateur packet radio group has produced some sort of license for open source hardware[1].

I think it’s poorly crafted for two reasons — it deals solely with mechanical and electronic hardware, and appears to be strictly analogous to open source software (documentation must be provided in all cases where hardware is distributed, modified hardware must include modified documentation and this license)


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Open Source Hardware

I had a stimulating talk with Jim Mason of All Power Labs/Gasifier Project[1] on Thursday about what shape an open source hardware license (OSH) could take, and how the application of open source hardware best serves the Gasifier project.

These are the relevant notes from our conversation:

+ The analogy between open source software and open source hardware is easy to make; however in software, a license is a necessity.  In hardware, a license is a novelty.

+ OSH should be a protection of manufacturing methods (“how you are going to realize the physical thing”), not the specific incarnation of the object

+ Delimited “fair use” to give rise to innovation

+ Gen. principle is materials agnostic.  It doesn’t matter what you make the thing out of.

+ OSH needs to be designed to be “makeable”

+ OSH strives for the greatest propagation of a [good] thing.

+ OSH strives to best facilitate someone’s ability to make said object.

+ Are hardware areas similar under HW umbrella? e.g. can OSH accomodate & apply to gasification, biology, electronics, etc.

+ OSH wants to give a sense of how ideas are propagated and how they are used

+ OSH should create a healthy commons involving collaboration & building on each other’s work

+ It’s only OSH when the ideas in use are documented/defined

+ Solution to issue of profit-maker/free riders who do not contribute back to community? (this issue already exists in OSS/the gasifier community)

[1] All Power Labs (


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Tire Wear

About a month ago, Tim gave me four or five really gorgeous bike tires that someone else was going to throw out.  I finally borrowed some of Geo’s leathercrafting hardware, and made two of them into stylish belts:


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Sound Sleep on a Long Flight

I’ve made the six hour flight from the US Mainland to Hawaii many times, and I usually try to sleep through as much of it as possible.  I have never slept so well on an airplane as this time, or been so comfortable on a layover.   By empirical evidence, I have created the world’s best travel pillow.

All it took was a stroke of inspiration and some children’s “water wings”.  I took the inflatable pool toys to Rachel’s craft-hacking group, and created some sheaths for them in under 30 minutes with a scrapped t-shirt and Rachel’s primo sewing machine.  Then, to my long flight home, for testing.

awesome travel pillow 1

awesome travel pillow 2

awesome travel pillow 3

I am massively pleased with the results.  It’s amazing how much more wonderful life when you wake up feeling actually rested!  Also, they’re super-light and they pack up tiny.

One unexpected added benefit was discovering that these keep my hands were really warm — much nicer than finding various limbs asleep, or joints crimped into awkwardness and discomfort — which is how I think of all prior airplane and travel sleep.

I am absolutely packing these first on all future travels.


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Snella Time

I just finished making the Michael J Snella honorary clock/screen saver, for fun, after discovering a photo set by Bilal Ghalib of Snella apparently breakdancing on the roof of tEp.

He’s shown here in the “7 PM” position — the screensaver rocks him around the clock, delightfully showing you what time it is in Snella.

Get the screensaver here!

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Hack Tragedy!

In classic pre-deadline efficiency, I’ve spent the last two days finishing EVERYTHING before I travel home and can’t work on this stuff anymore. This push culminated, tonight, in my determined wiring up of the motor controller for what would be my electric Roman Chariot.  For now, it’s still just the electric roman chariot Project, and after tonight, it’s even further from getting done.

After two hours of careful soldering with the World’s Most Broken soldering iron, and only a few inches of solder to work with, I had it finished, everything connected as it ought to, and with that gleaming spark in my eye, I plugged in the last few connections and lightly brushed the +36V cable against the contact.  Now a real spark could be seen in my eye, reflected for a split second from the battery terminal.  I mean the batteries sparked, a whole lot at that brief connection, way more spark than I expected.  That meant a lot more current was flowing than I expected, and should have been a warning signal to me that my circuit was off.  

But after two days of COMPLETION I forged boldly forward because I had to see if the throttle worked.  This time I plugged the motor in fully, and twisted the throttle, and.. the motor didn’t change speed at all, but the throttle, in my hand, started smoking.  Not just a little, a whole hell of a lot.

I took several moments to observe my throttle, still smoking, in silence.  When something dies so spectacularly, it’s clear: there’s no going back.  My throttle is toast.

 I will have to wait a whole week until I get back and until I can find another throttle for this scooter, to make any more progress on this.  eit!!

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