Categories
Misc

Macbook Air M1 issues

I recently got my mom a Macbook Air M1, upgrading from a 2010 Macbook Pro (High Sierra).

When migrating over from High Sierra to Big Sur, using Migration Assistant (my Synology TimeMachine kept on failing — but besides that, migration went smoothly) two issues came up that required calling Apple.

But first off I noticed that when migrating, for some reason FileVault was turned off (more on that later). I, obviously, turned it on.

Problem A: when rebooting the Mac, I noticed the keyboard layout changed from Belgian (Azerty) to ABC (which is US English?) and it didn’t accept the password to unlock the Mac. You can manually select another keyboard layout which accepts the password, but at every reboot that resets and requires going back through the layout picker.

Solution A: M1 no longer supports the usual SMC or NVRAM reset. But this problem could be solved by turning off the mac, closing the lid (?!) and waiting 30+ seconds before turning it back on. According to the person on the phone, that’s the M1 SMC reset.

Problem B: I disabled guest mode in System Preferences > Users & Groups — but it was still showing alongside the regular/admin user. I don’t want guest mode.

Note that the guest mode only showed at the disk unlock (i.e.: after a reboot) and not when logged out (i.e.: Apple logo > Log Out from the regular user).

Solution B: Tried several things with Apple support:

  • Turning off screen sharing and print sharing (sure — didn’t care too much about these)
  • Turn guest mode on/off and reboot/force quite System preferences
  • Turn off Find My in iCloud settings (not acceptable)
  • Turn off FileVault (not acceptable)
  • Manually running:
    • sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.AppleFileServer guestAccess -bool NO\n
    • sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.smb.server AllowGuestAccess -bool NO\n
  • and a few other things I now forgot

This is what actually did help:

  • Turning off FileVault actually turns off Guest mode; so when the Mac was not encrypted, it only showered one user (instead of the user + Guest) at the login prompt.
    • Obviously, that’s not acceptable and I turned it back on
  • Supposedly turning off Find My in iCloud settings is needed (according to Apple this requires Guest mode)
    • I later turned it back on and Guest mode did not reappear. So, what Apple was saying was incorrect, and it does not make the Guest user show up.
  • Running sudo fdesetup list in Terminal shows the list of users. This may be helpful for debugging.
  • Running dscl . list /Users shows many users and included Guest in my mom’s case. Not entirely sure what I am looking at here.
  • Running sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest solved the problem. This deletes the Guest user (?).

Categories
Misc

Shan Wong launches new website

Shan has launched a new website (and a new domain)!

Logo by Christa.

Categories
Misc

Beyond Beef Lasagna

The last (and only time) I posted a recipe here, was 7 years ago. Wow.

As we’re trying to eat less meat in general, we‘ve (Shan and I) been experimenting with vegetarian dishes.

This lasagna has been eaten by a few people now and every time the reviews are pretty damn good. 🙂 It comes rather close to the original taste while being entirely vegetarian.

First off — we’re mostly just swapping out the regular minced pork/beef mix with Beyond Meat. There are other brands out there (i.e.: Omnimeat), each with their own taste — try to see what works for you.

The Beyond Beef is also slightly sweeter in taste — keep this in mind as I know some people (i.e.: my dad) wouldn’t like it that sweet.

This dish feeds 3 to 4 people.

Ingredients

  • Good olive oil
  • Lasagna pasta sheets (whatever suits you, we often use the wholewheat ones)
  • Tomato sauce (1 to 1.5 can). Can use fresh tomato of course
  • 80g of butter
  • 0.5L milk
  • 80g plain flour
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (red) onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Beyond Beef
  • You’ll need a pinch of (sea) salt, some pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and whatever else you’ll want to spice it up with
  • I add some extra veggies: I use (1-2) fresh carrots, but these can easily be swapped out or mixed with peas, mushrooms, aubergine (eggplant), corn, etc.
  • Cheese! I usually use grated mozzarella cheese, but Emmental and sorts works as well

Prep work

  • Dice/chop up an onion
  • Slice the carrots (or whatever vegetable you’re adding)
  • slice up the garlic
  • Wash and chop up the basil
  • Prepare 2 pots and an oven dish
  • You can let the Beyond Beef defrost, or add it as a frozen block and just let it simmer a bit longer (until entirely melted and broken down into small bits)

Pot 1: the sauce

  • Add olive oil to a big pot and heat up
  • Once hot, add in the onion and carrots and let it stir-fry for a moment. I like my carrots a bit crunchy but you could technically boil or steam them until entirely soft. Whatever you do, don’t burn the onion
For this one I had some carrots, peas and corn.
  • Once the onion gets translucent add the garlic, Beyond Beef, tomato sauce and basil
  • I usually add a tiny bit of milk (especially in case the tomato is a bit sour)
  • Stir and let it simmer on low heat. Make sure the “meat” breaks down in small bits
  • Spice it up (paprika, cayenne pepper, pinch of salt, (black) ground pepper)
  • Take a spoon and taste it. It should already be damn good. 🙂

Pot 2: béchamel sauce

This one is easy to mess up so pay attention. Clumps are bad!

Stir and whisk and stir.
  • Add the butter in a pot on a low heat and let melt. Do not burn the butter.
  • Slowly add the flour while whisking
  • Once the butter and flour is nicely mixed up, slowly add the milk while whisking. I usually turn off the heat at this point
  • Whisk, whisk and whisk
  • Finish it off with a bit of white pepper and nutmeg

Don’t worry if you have no nutmeg — it tastes perfect without as well.

In case it’s too watery, just add a bit of flour — but do that extremely slowly, as adding it at this stage will easily clump up.

Dish it up!

Now we’ll create the actual lasagna. You can also pre-heat the oven now (200°).

Your dish and the lasagna will definitely not be the same size… And we don’t want to have two lasagna sheets on top of each other… So gently break them off into smaller pieces, and nicely fit them together. It’s puzzle time.

puzzling is hard, yo.
  • Add a thin layer of olive oil at the bottom of the pot. This prevents the lasagna sheet from sticking.
  • Add the lasagna sheets (see puzzle note above)
  • Add a layer of tomato/Beyond sauce
  • Add a layer of béchamel sauce
  • Layer up with lasagna sheets again
  • Rince and repeat

Most dishes fit about three layers. End with the béchamel layer. So [lasagna, tomato, béchamel] x 3.

And the last, top layer, would be the grated cheese. Don’t over do it, create a nice thin layer.

Oven

The oven should be hot (200°) at this point. The total cooking time is roughly 25 minutes.

If your oven allows to choose the baking mode, use the top and bottom heat (without fan).

  • Put the lasagna on top of a grill/wire mesh tray.
  • Set timer for ~15 minutes
  • Once timer is over, use a fork or skewer/satay stick to feel the pasta sheets: you want them to be soft.
    At this stage they should still be a bit hard, so set timer again for 5 minutes and check again.
    Take this opportunity to make sure the top layer of cheese is not burning.
  • Optionally: you can use the grill mode at the end of brown up the cheese, but this shouldn’t be needed.

After roughly 25 minutes, the lasagna should be done.

Beyond Beef Lasagna
Beyond Beef Lasagna

Let it cool down a bit, cut it up and serve.

Nom nom nom. This was a picture from the previous lasagna and the cheese could have been slightly less grilled.
Categories
Misc Networking

0x04

Almost 10 years after I registered 0x04.com, it’s time to part ways.

0x04.com whois
old whois info — created 29 Aug 2010.

Yesterday I finalised the sale of 0x04.com.

My company in Singapore was called 0x04 pte. ltd. and to avoid any confusion I’ve renamed to su1 pte. ltd. su1 standing for Superuser.one. 🤷‍♂️

Categories
Hardware Misc

Air purifier

I live in Singapore. And haze is a thing. Thanks Indonesia and burning rain forests to create palm plantations. Needless to say, so far 2019 and 2020 haven’t been great.

Anyhow I got myself a Novita air purifier ~2 years ago, and I stole received a Xiaomi purifier from Liyun.

The Novita is pretty dumb (the PM sensor goes randomly nuts and it needs to be quite polluted before it really kicks in. It also needs to be turned off/on again every so often for it to keep on standby — if not it goes into some sleep mode).

The manual says you should consider cleaning (aka remove dust and cat hair) every 3 or so months, and replace the filter every 6 months. It’ll show a warning when the timer hits zero.

Selling new filters is how they make money I guess.

Buy a new filter (or don’t and use the same filter), reset the timer and things are back to normal.

For the Xiaomi it’s a bit harder. The “smart filter” is really just a HEPA filter with an NFC tag. It’ll calculate how often the purifier runs and calculate a % based on that. I’ve now hit 0% left on my filter after a haze season (September 2019) and ~8 months of normal usage (as it’s in the bedroom, it starts filtering around 21h00, and then runs in the quiet night mode until 9am next morning and then shuts off).

While the purifier still runs at 0%, it gives a big red warning both in the app and on the device itself and urges you to replace the filter.

You can tape off the NFC tag with some tinfoil, but that’ll just change the big red warning from “used and old filter, please replace” to “fake filter, please replace”.

Now I am not against replacing HEPA filters when they are used and are not actually filtering the air anymore. But I am also against uselessly replacing things for the sake of handing money to $BigCorp and ruining the planet with it.

Running a few tests with a relatively precise PM sensor (use this assembled kit if you are not into DIY) shows that for both my purifiers, the exhuast air is 0 PM1.0, 0 PM2.5 and 0 PM10. So that shows me that both are still working and cleaning the air just fine (further away in the room, the PM heads up to 10-20 on haze-free days).

PM Sensor

Am I missing something here? Why throw away something that still works?