PDF problems

I don’t like that I now have to think twice before printing PDFs — I find more and more they’re not actually designed to be printed — just viewed.

The reason: all the background colour. White text on a dark background looks nice on a produced brochure or report, or on a website, but not when I’m printing it at home to read in detail. It just hurts to think of all that ink being wasted — even if I print in grayscale.

Here’s a possible guideline: don’t design a PDF page that will be so wet with ink that it will warp as it comes off a consumer printer.

Installing Debian on Orange Pi PC

After misinterpreting the forum and trying to use loboris’ instructions on the official OrangePi Debian Server image, then having temporary success with a friend’s help, I’ve finally got it working.

The short story is to use loboris’ image, and his uImage and script.bin files, and follow the instructions here.

Step 6 took place within the BOOT folder — so really just copying the uImage_OPI-2 file over uImage, and script.bin.OPI-PC_720p60 over script.bin. First make sure you’ve copied the most up-to-date versions of those two files into the BOOT folder.

My initial error on step 6 was to assume that I was copying from the non-SD location and copying onto the SD. So I started in dev/sda and tried copying into dev/sdb (i.e. BOOT)

I ran through all the steps using Lubuntu. It was quick and works.

Orange Pi PC

I decided it’s finally time to get a mini server running at home to handle the basic webserver stuff that my shared host can’t handle (python, etc.).

I recently bought an Orange Pi PC from a friend, and it’s got a little more oomph than my old Raspberry Pi Model B, so that’s what I’m going with for now.

The issue I kept running into with the rPi was forgetting what hardware version I had, and the specs of that version. To avoid that with the OrangePi…

Stats for future reference (from OrangePi.org):

Orange Pi PC

Same chip and RAM as:

  • Orange Pi 2
  • Orange Pi Mini 2
  • Orange Pi Plus
  • Board imprinted with: PC v1.2
  • CPU: ARM H3 Quad-core Cortex-A7 H.265/HEVC 4K 1.536 GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali-400 MP2 @ 600 MHz
  • RAM: 1GB DDR3 (shared with GPU)
  • SoC: Allwinner H3
  • Storage: TF card (max 64GB) / MMC card slot
  • NIC: 10/100M Ethernet RJ45
  • Video Input: A CSI input connector camera:
    • supports 8-bit YUV422 CMOS sensor interface
    • supports CCIR656 protocol for NTSC and PAL
    • supports SM pixel camera sensor
    • supports video capture solution up to 1080p@30fps
  • Audio Input: MIC
  • Video Outputs:
    • supports HDMI output with HDCP
    • supports HDMI CEC
    • supports HDMI 30 function
    • Integrated CVBS
    • supports simultaneous output of HDMI and CVBS
  • Audio Output: 3.5mm jack and HDMI
  • Power Source: DC input can supply power, but USB OTG input don’t supply power
  • USB Ports:
    • three USB 2.0 HOST
    • one USB 2.0 OTG
  • Buttons: Power Button (SW4)
  • Low-level peripherals
    • 40 Pins Header, compatible with Raspberry Pi B+
  • GPIO(1×3) pin: UART, ground.
  • LED
    • Power LED
    • Status LED
  • Key
    • IR input
    • POWER
  • Supported OS
    • Android Ubuntu
    • Debian
    • Raspberry Pi image
  • Product Size: 85mm x 55mm
  • Weight: 38g
Orange Pi PC board (click for larger version)
Orange Pi PC board (click for larger version)

Starting out with Debian Server for OrangePi2.

Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and Me

Kate Bowler — a professor at Duke Divinity School — has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

But one of my first thoughts was also Oh, God, this is ironic. I recently wrote a book called “Blessed.”

A few years ago she wrote a history of the prosperity gospel, and this article is a sort of mini history, particularly looking at how it shaped the ways in which Christians respond to “bad things” including impending death.

The prosperity gospel has taken a religion based on the contemplation of a dying man and stripped it of its call to surrender all. Perhaps worse, it has replaced Christian faith with the most painful forms of certainty. The movement has perfected a rarefied form of America’s addiction to self-rule, which denies much of our humanity: our fragile bodies, our finitude, our need to stare down our deaths (at least once in a while) and be filled with dread and wonder. At some point, we must say to ourselves, I’m going to need to let go.

Many of her points also permeate the non-prosperity North American church. She deals with the religious, the cultural, and the personal with depth, humour, and frankness.

Cancer requires that I stumble around in the debris of dreams I thought I was entitled to and plans I didn’t realize I had made. But cancer has also ushered in new ways of being alive.

Read it.