External Hard Drive Breaking WiiU WiFi

Strange thing I discovered today. A family member of mine got a new external HDD to expand the storage of their Wii U. After plugging it in and configuring it correctly, they later discovered that the console would no longer connect to WiFi. Curious, we experimented by powering down the console, turning off the drive, then powering it back on. Sure enough, the console connected to WiFi without issue. A bit of googling lead me to this page, which explained the problem. Apparently the HDD in an enclosure created enough electromagnetic interference that it conflicted with the wireless bands used for wireless internet. The solution: move the drive 1 foot away from the console. I couldn’t help but laugh that this worked, though it makes sense. The range of interference is rather small, and since the USB cable for the drive wasn’t overly restricted, increasing the distance between it and the Wii U was sufficient to avoid the problem.

Efficient AFK Fishing Farm in Minecraft

While it’s not something I normally do, I’ve decided to make a YouTube video. I recently discovered a technique for AFK fishing (i.e. fishing while not being present at the computer) which I felt I should share with the community. The design for the system is much more simple than other ones I’ve seen, as it doesn’t use clocks or pistons. It’s also very accurate, meaning the bobber is seldom reeled-in at the the wrong time. The video can be seen here. The only downside (if it can be called that) to my design is that it only works in Minecraft 1.11 and newer versions of the game, due to a bug that was fixed.

Cartoons to RSS

While I’ve already proclaimed my love for RSS, I’ve discovered yet another reason for it, and it makes me giddy. One website which, while I desired to follow, didn’t seem to offer proper feeds, is on Watch Cartoons Online. This website provides watchable content for various cartoons and anime. While poking around at the idea of using a 3rd party service to generate a feed, and having difficulty accomplishing this, I began searching for pre-generated feeds for this website. To my surprise, I discovered that it in fact already fully supports RSS, though it is not well advertised. Put simply, given any page on that website, adding /feed to the end of the URL turns it into an RSS feed. With this, I can find out exactly when new episodes for my shows are out. Hooray!

Removing extra language packs in Firefox on Linux

Something that had been bothering me for a while now was that whenever I went to change the dictionary I used to spellcheck in Firefox, it would list about 20 different variations of English, of which I only used 2. Looking in the Dictionaries list in the add-ons menu, there was only one of those packs listed, which I added manually. As it turns out, my installation of the hunspell-en package added every variant of English, and for whatever reason Firefox decides to include all of them. The easiest way to remove them is deleting the non-essential packs listed in /usr/share/hunspell. After a quick restart, they are no longer listed in Firefox.

Updates to boot time optimizations

Thanks to the efforts of myself and tukozaki, I was able to re-upload the e4rat-lite-git package to the AUR. This one circumvents all the issues previously had with having to manually build the e4rat package. There are also no issues saving the log files, and the preload actually works. I get the feeling that my neglect to modify the original preload may have had an impact on this, but I digress.

The original post has been updated with the new commands and instructions.

Cleaning up Linux journal

While reading up on a few random things, I stumbled across info on the Arch Wiki about how the system journal archives can get quite large, and may cause slowdowns. This is caused by a lack of limit in place for the size of journals stored. To my surprise, I had nearly 4GB of space taken up by system journals in /var/log/journal. I ran the following command to clear that up:

journalctl --vacuum-size=100M

This brought the size down to approximately 100MB. Along with this, I’ve set a limit to the journals, by editing the /etc/systemd/journald.conf:

SystemMaxUse=100M

Doing some testing this didn’t have any impact on my boot times, but it certainly didn’t hurt either.

Disabling middle-click page loading in Firefox

One little annoyance I’ve had recently is accidentally middle-clicking on a web-page when my clipboard contains a URL. When this happens, it load that page on the current page. I don’t find this behaviour particularly useful, and more of a frustration. I originally thought it was due to an add-on, but I discovered is a built-in setting in Firefox, so I disabled it. In the about:config menu, set the following to false:

middlemouse.contentLoadURL