How to Stop your Synology NAS from Junking up your directories with @eaDir directories

If you start mounting Synology volumes over NFS, you will quickly learn that the Synology NAS drops directories cryptically named “@eaDir,” in every single subdirectory on your data volumes. 

They are hidden from Windows clients, but they are there.

The “@eaDir” directories are created for convenience by a system daemon, and they apparently contain image thumbnails or some such nonsense.  There is no easy or convenient way to turn them off or otherwise stop them from being created.

Getting rid of them takes some effort, and here is the easiest way – simply disable the system daemon.

Disable the Synology deamon the Creates the @eaDir directories

To stop the thumb service from creating the @eaDir directories, SSH into your NAS and stop the daemon.  This will keep new directories from being created until the next boot.

/usr/syno/bin/synomkthumb -stop

Next, to remove the service from starting up when rebooting, delete the script:

rm /usr/syno/etc.defaults/rc.d/

Removing the existing directories

SSH into your NAS and you can locate them by typing:

find /volume1/ -type d -name "@eaDir"

Finally, when you are feeling good, you can automatically search and delete them:

find . -type d -name "eaDir" -print0 | xargs -0 rm -rf

The Perilous Road to 500,000 Miles


Odometer: 1,000

Last month I traded in my 15 year old F-150 pickup truck and purchased a shiny new 2015 Nissan Frontier. 

It is time to see how many miles and how many years I can keep it going.  My goal is at least 500,000 miles on the odometer, hence the shiny new 500000 challenge category on the blog.

Condensed Study Notes to the Rescue

studyguideThis semester, in addition to taking an independent study Calculus course, I’m also taking a “hybrid” General Chemistry I class.

What is a “hybrid” class you ask?  It basically means that we meet once per week to take exams, quizzes, and do the required labs.  To put it another way, the class is basically directed self-study with four hour a week lab session. 

At first, I struggled with the online and self-directed courses.  It rankled me that I was paying a premium for a course and I wasn’t being taught; I was left to my own devices, so I spent a lot of time thrashing. 

It took me a while to figure out how to study for these types of courses, then I finally had an epiphany.

I read countless blog posts on how to study, and I watched dozens of hours of videos of regurgitated study tips.  But it wasn’t until I started researching how medical students cope with a fire hose of high yield information did I finally pick up some usable actionable study tips.

The best technique was to create a set of condensed study notes.

Your goal is to create a set of condensed notes, a minimal study guide and study that, not a verbose textbook or plow through videos, class lecture notes or study guides.

The process is incredibly simple:

  • Reading (and highlighting) a text book is a passive activity.  For scientific text books, chances are that simply reading the book will result in very little retention of the information.  Taking notes is a more active form of studying and will increase the amount of information you retain.
  • Start by reading the textbook and take note of information that you don’t know or is important.  Start fleshing out a document with condensed, high yield information. 
  • Read through the power point presentation or lecture notes and add more information and focus on items or concepts that overlap in the book.  Same for lecture notes.
  • Do the same for any supplemental information.
  • Take multiple passes to revise the condensed notes.  Remove stuff you know and add supplemental information you want to review later.

Review: Boost.Asio C++ Network Programming


Boost.Asio is a phenomenal framework that will allow you to write portable, scalable, and efficient asynchronous I/O code.

Unfortunately, the framework leverages some interesting design patterns and is not well documented beyond simple examples and tutorials.  So when I saw a book written on Boost.Asio, I leapt at the chance to read it.

My initial reactions were quiet negative.  The book is an expanded, fluffed up version of the official Asio examples and documents. There are a lot of gaps in the book as the authors shift from synchronous to asynchronous, and vice versa.

If you are an experienced Asio user, you won’t benefit from this book.

In any event, I would recommend watching Christopher Kohlhoff’s BoostCon presentation regardless:

Rack mounting a Fluke 8846A and Fluke 8808A (A review of the Fluke Y8846D 19” rack mounting kit)

What?  Rack mounting a DMM in a home electronics lab?  That’s just plain crazy talk.

IMG_0426Space is at a premium in my home office. 

Long ago, I started rack mounting computer and networking gear in order to keep from getting overrun by clutter.  As a result, when I go shopping for electronics, it has to be quiet, rack mountable, and power efficient…  In that order.

I already had a fluke 8846A 6.5 digit multimeter and was planning on purchasing another lab multimeter, and I wanted to rack the two together.  After looking at various multimeters, I decided to get a fluke 8808A 5.5 digit multimeter after talking with several electronics test instrumentation vendors.

I purchased the Fluke Y8846D rack mount kit and am happy to say that the multimeters are now racked. 

This kit (Fluke Y8846D rack mount kit) is basically a shelf, with holes drilled into the sides to match up with the holes in the sides of the multimeter.  The meters fit onto the shelf, are screwed in on each side of the shelf, and have a filler plate which is pushed between the two meters.

IMG_0428Before I purchased this kit, I had a lot of questions and even asked a few equipment vendors whether or not I could rack mount an Agilent or Tektronix DMM (or power supply) next to the Fluke DMM.  The answer is not really.  The back edge of the shelf it bent up at a 90 degree angle which fits up to the back of the DMM.  My Tektronix power supply is too deep to fit and the shelf.  moreover, the screw holes on the sides of the instrument do not match up with the holes in the side of the shelf.

It works very well for the Fluke meters.

Escape from a Flying Club

Several years ago I bought into a flying club; it was one of the few financial decisions I truly regret. 

Thankfully, as of today, I’m finally free of the financial and emotional entanglements.  

In any event, I learned a very valuable life lesson – be wary of partnerships or financial arrangements which will bind you to the whims of strangers– be it a time share, club, home owners association, start-up, or partnership.

At the time I joined, the Prescott Flying Club was being actively sued because one of the idiot member pilots took off in one of the planes –overloaded, with a tail wind, and wrecked the plane.  His passengers were badly hurt and they promptly sued the club. 

Additionally, several members simply stopped paying their monthly dues and the club desperately needed to sell the memberships.  As a result, I was given the opportunity to buy into the club for $2,500 – “a deal of a lifetime.”  Monthly dues would be $105.00, to cover the fixed costs, and the rental rates for the planes was provided.  I would be part owner in two hangars and three planes.

I cut a check and immediately made arrangements for a FAA medical.   I booked a ground school class to get the IFR written out of the way.

At the medical exam, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes thanks to a failed urine dipstick test.  I walked out of the medical exam in shock, followed up with my primary care physician who confirmed I had diabetes.  


During the next several months, I submitted more and more information (blood test reports, doctor statements, optometrist statements, etc.) to the FAA and was eventually granted a special issuance medical permit, good for one year.

Next, I needed an instructor for a Biannual Flight Review (BFR) and to sign me off to fly solo.  I reached out to several of the Club’s instructors via email.  Only one responded, and after several attempts he simply couldn’t find time in his schedule.

Since it was the dead of winter, I didn’t pursue it again until started to warm up. 

Wash My Plane B*tch, or Pay the Price

imageWhen I joined, I was told that there would be a few “plane washes.”  To encourage participation, people who didn’t attend would be charged a “few dollars” to help pay for hotdogs and drinks that will be served during the plane wash.

Turns out, the penalty was $25. 

The plane washes were scheduled on the weekends, and I elected to skip all of them because I didn’t want to wash a plane I couldn’t legally fly.

After writing dozens of checks, I decided to put my membership up for sale on the wait list.

On a side note, on average, roughly 60% of any given flying club’s members don’t fly and simply cut checks to subsidize the members who do.

New Management, and The President’s New Cirrus

imageAfter nearly a year of being on the “sell list,” the board was taken over by a new more active board.

They wasted no time in making changes.  In rapid succession, there was:

  • A new logo for the club; and
  • New hats with logos; and
  • New shirts with logos; and
  • A new Facebook page; and
  • A new website; and
  • A new mobile phone application; and
  • A scheduled factory tour of the Cirrus factory in Duluth; and
  • Movie nights with the kids…

What.  What?  Movie night with strangers and their kids?  Oh hell no.  

The plane washes and all meetings were scheduled for 6 p.m., always on Thursday nights.  If I wanted to attend, I would have to leave work early and skip my EE class.  Not an appealing option. 

When I objected, I was told my options were: a) stop paying and they would repossess my membership and resell it, b)  they had someone interested in buying in, for $2k — less than I paid in.  

One board member, (who had a relative that worked for Cirrus) managed to schedule a tour of the factory. 

imageNext, an special meeting was scheduled, to look at “options” for replacing one of the planes.  The agenda merely mentioned that a discussion of the possible options of what to do.

Since the special meeting was scheduled the night before my EE 201 final exam, I started pestering board members for a proxy form and requesting what votes would be called so I could vote my proxy.  That is when I was told that a vote would be held to purchase a Cirrus SR-20.

What?  Purchase an SR-20?  They are $350k new.  That is a lot of cheddar.

When it became obvious that I was going to vote against the purchase, the board member who had previously stated he would be happy to my proxy suddenly became less helpful, stating that he couldn’t — I had to find a proxy to vote for me by myself. 

I sent an email to the membership list asking for someone to be my proxy for the meeting and added a snarky comment about I hope they didn’t schedule the meeting to limit participation on the vote for an SR20 and then take a victory tour of the Cirrus factory (they had a tour scheduled on Saturday to walkthrough the factory).

Holy crap. I set off a fire storm.  Two board members called me in rapid succession, fuming mad.  It turns out that most of the members didn’t know there was going to be a vote.  The former president even replied and emphatically said that because this was a special meeting, there could not be a vote. I wasted over 2 hours on the phone talking to irate board members who were pissed that I exposed their plan to secretly ram rod a $150,000 to $250,000 purchase through the club.  Assholes.

I found a proxy.  That is when I was told that even if I had a proxy, whomever I chose to vote for me, they could change my vote.

When I said I was going to become more active in the club, Dan (the president) suddenly found someone who could buy my membership.  

imageUltimately, the board’s shenanigans wasn’t necessary; the members that attended voted overwhelmingly to purchase the Cirrus.  Dan quickly started sending out “strip tease” photographs, gloating, which I found personally offensive.

The SR20’s rental rate was originally quoted to me as $125 per hour, but I knew they couldn’t make that number work.  Once they took delivery, the rental rate was set at $136.50, which I think is still too low.  I believe they are going to have to reset the rental rates in January. 

Yet Another Plane Crash

In the mean time, another pilot crashed the Arrow when he or she overshot the run way in a gusty crosswind and totaled the plane.  Another special meeting was called to “discuss the options.”  I think you know where this is going…

A survey was sent out asking how much more the members would be willing to pay per month in dues, in order to buy a “better” plane. 

I finally received the check tonight and I have to say that today was a very happy day.  I am happy to done with them, and wish the person who purchased my membership has a better experience than I did. 

You’re Not Paranoid If They Really Are Out to Get You.

imageLooks like 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the hacked credit card.  My school’s been hacked; Many retailers have had to own up to the fact they’ve been hacked.

Just about every major retailer has been hacked.  Hedge funds have been hacked and their trades rerouted across the net.  Hacked.  hacked. hacked.

Well yesterday, I got a call from my credit card company.  Some ass-hat used my credit card to purchase auto parts, and went on a tear charging up several thousand dollars in fraudulent charges.

Another credit card cancelled.

Now I have to reset my passwords on just about every shopping site I’ve ever used. 


Kicking the Habit, Cold Turkey, and My Very Own Private Hell

fortune-cookie-testAs I slid the last Copenhagen wintergreen smokeless tobacco pouch into my mouth, I looked at the thunderstorms dancing on the horizon. 

As the nicotine slowly coursed through my veins, I remember thinking, “the next couple of weeks are going to be absolute hell.” 

That was the last coherent thought I had for nearly two weeks. 

There was no backing out.  My classes were finished for the semester, there was a natural lull in my work schedule, and ahead was a three day weekend.   It was the best time to quit and try to detox before my schedule heated up again.

But I implicitly knew it was going to be a lot tougher this time, but I didn’t realize how tough it was going to be.  The last time I quit tobacco was years ago — I quit smoking and packed on the pounds.  Dip and chew contain a lot more nicotine than cigarettes; a cigarette has about .5 mg nicotine; a single Copenhagen tobacco pouch has 11.2 mg/g nicotine (6.8 mg/g free nicotine).

Day 1.  I woke up and slapped on a 21mg nicotine patch.  The first day was uneventful until the afternoon.  Phantom hunger pains and mild fidgety nervous energy filled my hours.  I was mildly distracted, but other than that I was able to focus on my work.  I was overtaken by fatigue and ended going to bed early.

Day 2. Withdrawal starts to really hit.  I had more nervous energy, fatigue, anxiety, and brain fog.  Time appeared to slow down as I counted the minutes until I could go home.  I felt miserable. 

Day 3. Feeling better, adjusting to 21mg, but brain fog and a general lack of motivation, anxiety, fatigue, and crazy dreams.

Quitting Cold Turkey

I realized that if I continued using the nicotine patches, it would be weeks of withdrawal.  I made the decision to go cold turkey and toss the patches in the trash.

The first three days were pure hell.  The next several days weren’t so good either.

Cold Turkey Day 1. Saturday morning I awoke, and promptly went back to sleep.  I was highly irritable, fatigued, and suffered chills/shivers.  I also had heart burn and mild nausea. 

Cold Turkey Day 2.  Withdrawal hits like a freight train.  This is where I stopped being able to regulate my body temperature.  Hot flashes, where my arms feel heat radiating from them.  Later I would get the chills.  I experienced terrible jitteriness, cold intolerance, hot flashes, sweating, fatigue and nausea.  I spent most of the day in bed.  I couldn’t get enough sleep.

Cold Turkey Day 3.  Memorial day.  Full on flu-like symptoms.  I spent the day restlessly watching TV, angry, irritated, depressed, as I restlessly waited. 

At the 72 hours mark, over 90% of all nicotine metabolites should be gone.  Honestly, I didn’t get any cravings for nicotine, just the general feeling of being unwell.


Cold Turkey Day 4.  A rainbow of human emotion, drifting from near psychotic rage, depression, anger, anxiety, and debilitating fatigue.  Most troublesome is the brain fog – the inability to concentrate or think.  Muscle coordination seems to have been affected.  Somehow I managed to get through the workday.


I’m now at 18 days and counting.  I’ve already saved $58.5, not counting the endless trips to the corner gas station.

The next milestone is 21 days, where the number of acetylcholine receptors are down-regulated to match the levels seen in the brains of non-smokers (i.e., the physiological effects of nicotine are almost entirely reversed).

At 8 weeks, insulin resistance should have normalized.

In any event, quitting tobacco and dealing with the nicotine withdrawal has consumed my life for the last several weeks.  It has been more difficult than I expected. 

#5 Notable on the InterWebs

I’ve been enormously busy catching up with the EE courses, so here is a dump of the interesting links that people have sent me or have come across my desk in the last two weeks:


Open Source

  • Lynus – open source security auditing tool.
  • Free programming books.  Pointers to lots of free books on a variety of computer science subjects. 
  • Also I found a free book on FPGAs entitled, “FPGAs!? Now What?”  Pretty good tutorial.
  • Portia – open souce visual web scraper.

Computer Science / Programming

SEO / Marketing

Twitter Ends the Career of Another Executive

I’ve said before– I just don’t get twitter.  I deleted my twitter account a long, long time ago. 

Lets face it, a majority of the accounts are fake or inactive.  The users that are active constantly spew self centered garbage that I don’t really want to read.  I really don’t want to be bothered by people tweeting about their bathroom habits, political rants, or racist diatribes framed within a 140 character limit.

At first, I viewed twitter as a avenue for spammers and narcissistic people to broadcast the details of their lives (as if anyone cared).  Now, I think has one redeeming use case: it kills the careers of idiots.  It is like Darwinian selection in the digital age.

In any event, news broke that PayPal executive Rakesh “Rocky” Agrawal’s tenure as a PayPal’s “Strategy Director” is over due to a series of of inappropriate, drunken tweets

Rocky wasn’t the first to get canned because of an inappropriate tweet, and he won’t be the last.