Once upon a time, we soared into the solar system… for a few years… then we hurried back. The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.

via XKCD

Turn Capslock on and off in Chrome OS

I have had my Chrome OS netbook since January and I have never had an issue with the lack of a caps lock key… until today. Somehow while typing, I inadvertently turned it on.

The capslock key is replaced by a Search key

On Chrome OS netbooks the caps lock key has been replaced by a search button that opens a new tab. After bashing on the search button a bunch of times I used one of the new tabs to search for information about my problem. The solution is simple. Press both shift keys at the same time to activate and deactivate caps lock.

Problem with Django Form Wizards and Django Debug toolbar

Today I ran into a problem while creating a Form Wizard for the first time. I was using Django 1.3 with django-debug-toolbar v0.8.5 on Python 2.6, and when I tried to view the form wizard I got this error:

TemplateSyntaxError at /form/
Caught AttributeError while rendering: ‘FormWizard’ object has no attribute ‘__name__’

This is not just a problem with Django Debug Toolbar. There are also a number of Django decorators that raise an AttributeError when you use them to decorate a form wizard instance. To make everyone happy, it’s easiest to just declare the __name__ property in your form wizard classes.

class RegistrationWizard(FormWizard):
    def __name__(self):
        return self.__class__.__name__

    def done(self, request, form_list):
        return HttpResponseRedirect(reverse('registration_complete'))

Git Aliases

We have recently switched to Git and Github for our code projects at work. Now that I’m in and out of Git all day, I’ve developed some favorite aliases.

    st = status
    br = branch -a
    df = !"git diff . | mate"
    rshow = remote show origin
    pretty = log --graph --pretty=format:'%Cred%h%Creset -%C(yellow)%d%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr) %C(bold blue)<%an>%Creset' --abbrev-commit --date=relative
    last = !"clear;git --no-pager log -1"

Things to note: shell commands can be aliased by adding ! before them. Piping the output of git diff into `mate` opens the diff in my favorite text editor, Textmate. Also you can chain together multiple commands using a semi-colon.

Our House

As you probably know, after dating for almost 4 years, Becka and I got engaged. We’re getting married October 24th. I graduate from college in December. We have decided that after I graduate we’ll be staying in Hays. Becka already has a job as a 911 dispatcher for the police department, and I’ll try to find something computer related in the area after graduation.

My lease was up in June so we started looking for places to live. The places we looked at renting were too expensive, so we started looking at buying a home. After lots of searching and open-houses, we put an offer on this one and it was accepted.

It is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home built in the 1930’s. There is a porch on the front and a deck/patio on the back. We’re currently doing some renovations that I’ll post some pictures of later.

Back in the saddle

The last time I wrote on this blog was back in January of 2008. A lot has kept me busy (mainly school and work), but I’ve been feeling the itch to start blogging again. 

I have redesigned JeffBaier.com to help me be more productive. The long posts I write are now located under “Articles.” These are mostly Howto’s, tutorials or long recaps of events or trips. I am reserving my front page for my 3 latest tweets and recent blog posts. My goal is to keep the ‘blog’ posts shorter and more interesting. They will most likely include pictures and may end up being more personal in nature. Becka and I just bought a house and we are remodeling. Expect lots of pictures of that.

I was also tired of my old design. Hope you enjoy the new look and content of JeffBaier.com!


This is the pictorial story of my bout with cellulitis.

Friday, November 9th, I woke up around 4am shivering uncontrollably. I got up and got more blankets and went back to sleep. I woke up later in the morning to go to class. My right leg was hurting badly. It felt like I had pulled a muscle. I also felt nauseas, had a high fever, and also still had chills and shivering. I decided to skip classes, and just sleep all day.

The next morning I woke up and my leg still hurt. I had trouble walking and noticed that my leg was developing what looked like a rash. I eventually went to the Emergency Room, and this picture was taken shortly after I got done.

Day 1

They diagnosed me with cellulitis, prescribed me some pain medication and Bactrim antibiotics, drew a blue line on my leg, and sent me home.

This photo album is of my leg slowly healing.

VMware Unveils VMware Tools as Open Source Software

VMware is recognized by many as the virtualization leader in the technology industry. They have now announced that they will be releasing a majority of VMware Tools as open source software as part of the project Open Virtual Machine Tools. VMware Tools is a set of guest operating system virtualization components that enhance performance and improve management of VMware virtual machines. The source code is available today to enable Linux vendors to integrate open-sourced VMware Tools into upcoming versions of their operating systems.

“We are very pleased with VMware’s demonstrated ability to work with the open source community. Open Virtual Machine Tools streamlines the process of providing ISVs with an edition of Ubuntu optimized for virtual appliances that follows the JeOS concept of ‘Just Enough Operating System’ and allows us to provide end users of the Ubuntu operating system with a compelling out-of-the-box experience. We look forward to the debut of Open Virtual Machine Tools within a future release of Ubuntu.”

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project

VMware’s move to open source will prove to be important in making more efficient virtual machines and getting more people to use virtualization products.

via VMworld 2007 Press Release

Exploding Batteries Are No Laughing Matter

Battery 2

Today I realized I had done something incredibly stupid. About 9 months ago Apple initiated a worldwide battery recall. I bought one of the 15″ Macbook Pro’s when they first became available in February of 2006. My original battery had just begun to have problems. It would only hold a charge to about 40%. So the timing of this recall was just about perfect.

I filled out the form, and within a few days I had my brand new battery. You were supposed to send back your old battery, but I didn’t. I was curious to see what would happen. I never got charged for it, so I went ahead and kept my original battery. I figured having an extra would come in handy, even if it would only hold half a charge.

Flash forward 9 months later, and it wasn’t that handy to have an extra semi-functional battery. The battery had been stashed away in my old school backpack for the better part of 8 months. Today I found it while cleaning out my room. This is what it looks like now.

The moral of the story is that if Apple is recalling these batteries, it’s probably for a good reason.