BasicTeX 2015

Ok, this is part of the regular series of these posts, and mostly serve as a simple record for my own use.  If there’s anyone out there reading this, please disregard yet another TeX upgrade  posting.

I know I’m going to have to do this again in a week or so when BasicTeX 2016 hits, but here it is anyway.  I should have done the normal tlmgr uninstall in step 1, but I noticed that I had a backlog of old TeX install directories out there, so I nuked them instead.  Partly this is because El Capitan broke the TeX link (/usr/texbin) and some GUI utils weren’t working (mainly the PrefPane).

  1. create a list of installed packages: tlmgr info --only-installed | cut -d: -f1 | cut -c3- > tex-packages
  2. rm -rf /usr/local/texlive
  3. download and install the current BasicTeX package from
  4. tlmgr update --self
  5. tlmgr update --all
  6. create a list of the packages installed by default: tlmgr info --only-installed | cut -d: -f1 | cut -c3- > tex-default
  7. Diff the two lists: diff tex-default tex-packages
  8. Install the packages using tlmgr
  9. tlmgr install algorithms collection-fontsrecommended enumitem endnotes exam footmisc lastpage multirow paralist parnotes subfigure tex4ht titles todonotes

QNAP 451+: Hardware Accelerated Transcoding

I’m having problems with Plex using too much CPU to transcode files. Actually, I’m not sure why it’s transcoding to an AppleTV 4, it should be able to Direct Stream .mkv files. I’m trying to go ahead and use the QNAP hardware accelerated transcoding engine.

First problem, all transcode requests are returning, “Failed: File read/ write error“. No logs for the failure, so off to ssh I go. The transcode command lives in: /mnt/ext/opt/medialibrary/bin. There are three commands we care about:

  • mfytranscodesvr
  • mytranscodecmd
  • myvatranscode

Running the first seems to indicate it already running, and the second seems to kick-off another failing transcode. The third command is interesting because it appears to the be accelerated version. It’s actually a symbolic link to: /mnt/ext/opt/QDMS/bin/myvatranscode.

A quick check shows that the entire /mnt/ext/opt/QDMS directory is missing. This is apparently because I turned off DLNA streaming. By re-activating the “Media Streaming Add-on”, the accelerated streaming appears to be working now.

We’ll have to see if Plex is smart enough to pick-up the transcoded version when available.

QNAP 451+: SABnzbd/Sickbeard setup

  1. Install the Python 2.7 from the QNAP app center.
  2. Install the following qpkg from the QNAP community app repository:
  3. Configure SABnzbd with Usenet servers, and SickBeard with shows to search.
  4. Make sure that SABnzbd is configured to post-process by using the script.This will also require configuring the values in: /share/Download/nzbToMedia/autoProcessMedia.cfg.

    • SickBeard integration had to be activated
    • The port had to be set to 7071 (based the SickBeard.qpkg config).
  5. If necessary, patch the first line of: /share/Download/ to use:
    #!/usr/bin/python2.7 -OO
  6. If necessary, patch: /share/CACHEDEV1_DATA/.qpkg/SABnzbdplus/ to fix a bug causing SSL timeouts while  fetching nzb files from indexers using HTTPS (as per this forum post):
    opt_out_of_certificate_verification = True
    if opt_out_of_certificate_verification:
            import ssl
            ssl._create_default_https_context = ssl._create_unverified_context
  7. If necessary, patch: /share/CACHEDEV1_DATA/.qpkg/SickBeard/SickBeard/sickbeard/ errors related to searching for nab files (from this forum post):On line 227, remove the str() from around the e.code so it reads like:
    logger.log(u"HTTP error " + e.code + " while loading URL " + url, logger.WARNING)

    Then, do similar down on line 234 so it reads like:

    logger.log(u"URL error " + e.reason + " while loading URL " + url, logger.WARNING)

3D Printer: Rigidbot

We purchased a Rigidbot during their Kickstarter campaign last year, and it arrived in the middle of last week.  It took 8.5 months longer than projected, but frankly by Kickstarter standards that’s not bad.

Since it was so close to the end of the kids’ school year, I saved it as a project for the weekend.  I spent Father’s Day assembling our new 3D printer with the 13 year old.  I think we both had quite a bit of fun!   We finished basic assembly late last night — so no test print yet.  This evening, we plan on tidying up the cabling, performing calibration, and running our first test print.  Pictures and comments to follow.

2014 Nissan Leaf

After 13 years, I finally bought a new car.  After trying to hold out for Honda to lease me a Fit EV, I finally gave up and bought a new Nissan Leaf.


With an EPA estimated range of 84 miles, it should be a perfect car for my commute to Towson.  My first experimental trip was done at a leisurely pace, and I arrived with 49 miles of range remaining. The University’s charging stations made quick work (2.5 hours) of bringing me back to full charge.  Switching to all-electric fuel should save me up to $250/month in fuel.  Add to that lower maintenance costs, government tax incentives, reduced parking fees, and 72-month 0% financing, and the Leaf was one of the most economical choices we could make for a car.

The car itself feels really space-aged.  I have never had integrated Bluetooth and Navigation before, and the electric features can be partially controlled via an app.  A couple of obvious features are missing though.  Despite all of the features to track the car’s location being present, Nissan sells that capability as a $500 add-on that we didn’t know about until after we took delivery.  (I may have to see if we can get a deal installing that later.) Now if only Nissan would update the firmware with the ability to lock/unlock remotely (or at least check the status of the locks), I’d feel completely like George Jetson.