Shallow Thoughts

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 13 May 2022

Mapping Fire Perimeters

[Fire map from mapping support.com] I've been using the Wildland Fires map from MappingSupport.com to keep an eye on the Cerro Pelado fire and the larger (though more distant from me) Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon fires raging in the Pecos.

It's an excellent map, but it's a little sporadic in whether it shows the fire perimeter. In any case, as a data junkie, I wanted to know how to get the data and make my own display, maybe for a quick viewer that I can pop up when I sign on in the morning.

Also, Los Alamos County, on its Cerro Pelado Information page, has a map showing the "Go" lines (if the fire crosses these lines, we have to evacuate) for Los Alamos and White Rock and I'd like to be able to view those lines on the same map with the fire perimeter and hot spots.

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[ 10:46 May 13, 2022    More mapping | permalink to this entry | ]

Sun, 08 May 2022

Earth, Wind and (Cerro Pelado) Fire

[tree cage tied to fence]
It's the windy season, and the winds are crazy here. I'm pretty sure I saw a house, some flying monkeys and a woman on a bicycle fly past the window twenty minutes ago.

I'm not sure precisely how crazy — our weather station is only showing a max of 18 mph, which mostly means there are too many trees around it, but the weather station at TA54 just up the road is reading 26 right now, with a max of 48.3.

The cage that I built this spring to keep the deer away from the apple tree (not that it ever flowers or fruits anyway) keeps wanting to slide into the tree or topple over on top of it. I had to jump up twice during dinner and run out to rescue it. So now it's tied to some big rocks and, if those lose their grip, it's also tied to the fence.

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[ 19:49 May 08, 2022    More nature | permalink to this entry | ]

Mon, 25 Apr 2022

Virt-Manager Beginner Tips

A couple of small tips on QEMU/KVM/VirtManager that I picked up while migrating my Windows 10 virtual machine from VirtualBox, for use once you get virt-manager running and migrate your VirtualBox VMs to virt-manager/QEMU:

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[ 14:33 Apr 25, 2022    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Sat, 16 Apr 2022

Migrating a VirtualBox Windows Virtual Machine to QEMU/KVM/virt-manager

A month ago I wrote about Getting virt-manager Running on Debian. The ultimate goal of this was to migrate my Windows 10 install from VirtualBox to QEMU, because VirtualBox is becoming increasingly difficult to install on Linux, especially on Debian, which has removed VirtualBox from Bookworm (testing) and there are indications that it might be removed from Sid (unstable) as well. I gather there's something unsavory about the license now that Oracle owns it, but I haven't been following the details.

Anyway, after getting virt-manager running, I'd been putting off the rest of the migration out of a suspicion that there lay dragons. I was right: it took several days of struggling, but I now have Windows 10 working under virt-manager and qemu/kvm. Here's how.

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[ 18:20 Apr 16, 2022    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Sun, 10 Apr 2022

Jerry Smith Speaks on Los Alamos Broadband at Lunch With a Leader

The March League of Women Voters' Lunch With a Leader featured Jerry Smith, the county's new Broadband Manager. I wrote it up for the LWV newsletter, but since that's PDF, I thought I'd post a more accessible copy here.

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[ 11:12 Apr 10, 2022    More tech | permalink to this entry | ]

Sun, 20 Mar 2022

Activate the Microphone on a Lenovo Carbon X1 Running Debian

When I bought my Carbon X1 laptop a few years ago, the sound card was new and not yet well supported by Linux. (I knew that before I bought, and decided it was a good gamble that support would improve soon.)

Early on, there was a long thread on Lenovo's forum discussing, in particular, how to get the microphone working. The key, apparently, was the SOF (Sound Open Firmware) support, which was standard in the 5.3 Linux kernel that came with Ubuntu 10.10, but needed an elaborate script to get working in earlier kernels.

It worked fine on Ubuntu. But under Debian, the built-in mic didn't work.

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[ 11:15 Mar 20, 2022    More linux/laptop | permalink to this entry | ]

Mon, 07 Mar 2022

The Sun is Spectacular Today in H-Alpha

[Sun in h-alpha on 2222-03-07] A couple of years ago, Dave and I acquired an H-alpha solar scope.

Neither of us had been much of a solar observer. We'd only had white-light filters: filters you put over the front of a regular telescope to block out most of the sun's light so you can see sunspots.

H-alpha filters are a whole different beast: you can see prominences, those huge arcs of fire that reach out into space for tens of thousands of miles, many times the size of the Earth. And you can also see all sorts of interesting flares and granulation on the surface of the sun, something only barely hinted at in white-light images.

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[ 12:00 Mar 07, 2022    More science/astro | permalink to this entry | ]

Thu, 17 Feb 2022

Getting virt-manager Running on Debian

A conversation that happens every so often on a Linux chat channel:
newbie: Which is easier for virtualization, KVM/qemu or virtualbox?
enthusiast: KVM/qemu is really easy if you use virt-manager.
me: If you're running a full Gnome desktop, maybe. I've tried to use virt-manager several times, with virt-manager enthusiasts on this channel helping, and never got it going.

That happened again a few weeks ago, and one of the virt-manager enthusiasts on the channel wanted to help me track down the problems. Since I didn't have anything much going on, I agreed, and kept at it instead of giving up after the first few iterations.

It took about 45 minutes of fiddling, installing more packages, web searching on the error messages and discussing them on IRC, then fiddling some more, getting a little further with each package I installed. In the end, I did get virt-manager running.

Here's the list of packages I had to install, as well as adding myself to the groups kvm, libvirt and libvirt-qemu:

apt install virt-manager libvirt-daemon qemu qemu-kvm libvirt0 libvirt-bin virt-manager bridge-utils libvirt-daemon-system qemu-system-x86 qemu-utils dnsmasq gir1.2-spiceclientgtk-3.0

Part of the problem, apparently, is that Debian's virt-manager package isn't set up to require on all the other packages it needs to run. They might be there in the "depends" and "suggests", but I don't install those by default, since they tend to pull in all sorts of silly bloatware I'll never want. With most packages, the "requires" are all that's needed to use a package in its basic form, and "depends" and "suggests" are for optional extra features. But if you install just virt-manager without at least some of the suggested and/or recommended packages, it won't run at all.

I haven't run any real virtual machines yet under virt-manager, but I think it's working now. At least I'm to the point where I can boot from a Debian installer ISO and see the initial screen.

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[ 00:00 Feb 17, 2022    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]