Matrox Dualhead2Go DP and 3840×1200 on a Macbook Air

This week and I changed my setup at work and got the Matrox Dualhead2Go DP Edition in order to use two 24″ monitors with a 3840×1200 resolution.

The Matrox device is small and I was able to hide all the cables behind the monitors but it put up a fight to let me use the 3840×1200 resolution. At the beginning and out of the box it would only do 3360×1050. I had to reach out to the Matrox tech support to get help. All I had to do was change the firmware, something that I had tried but then realized that I was using the wrong firmware and thankfully the software didn’t let me change it. The Matrox website is quite confusing.

Quoting the tech support’s answer to my email:

From the “M” Matrox icon, access EDID management. Remove all of the active resolutions and refresh rates from the 4 cells on the right.

Now select {number of monitors} 2 and aspect ratio {wide). From the drop down menu select 1920 x 1080@50.

If you do not see this resolution available to you, perform a firmware update: http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/support/drivers/download/?id=443 and then repeat the aforementioned steps.

I ended up achieving the 3840×1200 resolution after the firmware update. There’s only one catch with this, OSX sees the two external monitors as one but the Matrox software helps to handle the dock and shift it to the left or right. I recommend it if you want two external monitors connected to your Macbook Air (I guess it also works with the Pro).

FREE NTFS Support on OSX

By default OSX doesn’t support write for NTFS devices, it’s read only. This is quite annoying but there’s an easy way to work around this and install a free NTFS driver.
All you need to do is install homebrew and run the following command on the terminal (and follow the instructions):
brew install fuse4x fuse4x-kext ntfs-3g

That’s it! Now you should have proper NTFS support on OSX. I tested this on Lion and Mountin Lion.

Moving to San Francisco

Moving to San Francisco

I moved to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago and decided to share my experience through some tips.
I was lucky enough to have lots of people helping me out and giving me nice tips but you always get second thoughts about what they tell you and end up googling those exact things, seeking any sort of confirmation.
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rsnapshot vs rdiff-backup

Some time ago I was researching open source backup tools and the available solutions were narrowed down to rsnapshot and rdiff-backup. I did kind of a benchmarking between both solutions. I was (and still am) interested mainly in the performance aspect of the backup tool, which of the two was more efficient. I did some tests and the goal of this post is to share the result.

I wont be getting into the differences between them. There are lots of great articles online that already do that and also a great book by O’Reilly called “Backup and Reovery” that also convers both these solutions.

The idea
Start with a 5Gb MySQL database that would grow between backups. Each growth would add random data to tables and new tables (new files). Rsnapshot would do new hourlys and rdiff-backup would do incremental backups once the first one was made. All backups would be run manually so that no simultaneous actions would happen.

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Linux: delete files for a given year

After a short conversation with my friend and colleague Carlos Limpinho about how to delete files from a given year within a directory when ls doesn’t output the year for the modification date, I suggested the following solution based on a bash statement (example for 2010):

for f in *; do if [ `stat --format %y $f|cut -d "-" -f1` -eq 2010 ]; then rm $f; fi; done

Another possible solution would be to use find but the time options require one to calculate the days and make a range.
Feel free to comment and share if you have other solutions.