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Controlling an Aseba robot from a headless system

If you want to control an Aseba-Robot from a headless system, such as a raspberry pi, you can do that with asebamedulla and a Python script, possibly inheriting from the example Aseba client provided on github (beware, the example run of the script did not work for me, because of the with-Statement).

However, running asebamedulla on a headless system means, that no dbus session bus is present and the dbus autolaunch of the client script will fail. To fix this, include

export $(dbus-launch)

in your script that starts asebamedulla and then your client script. In the Aseba forum I could only find the solution to simply boot up the graphical desktop environment, which creates unnecessary overhead.

Debian: Setting english as default language while keeping german time

If you have chosen the MATE Desktop Environment on debian, setting the language while keeping german time/date settings is a little tricky:

“dkpg-reconfigure locales” also sets the date and time to US American, if you choose en_US.UTF-8 as locale… so what you do is the following

  1. Generate the locale via editing /etc/locale.gen and running locale-gen
  2. export the LANGUAGE, LANG and LC_TIME variables with your chosen locales in /etc/profile
  3. AND also edit /etc/default/locale to contain those variables

LUKS swap crash on fde debian

In recent versions, Debian offers easy support for full disk encryption with LUKS+dmcrypt directly from the installation - almost zero work needed.

Yesterday, I crashed my LUKS-encrypted swap partition - I’m not sure exactly how, but I entered the password to unlock the partition falsely thrice on waking up from hibernate. Since the root partition was correctly unlocked, the system proceeded in booting normally, or so I thought. Only after I rebooted again, my system couldn’t find the LUKS volume with the swap partition on it any more and would refuse to boot up at all. Here is how I fixed it:

  1. Boot from a live linux system
  2. Verify that the LUKS volume is completely gone :-(
  3. Create a new LUKS volume on the original partition with cryptsetup. This will destroy all data on there, yes, but it is a swap partition anyway.
  4. Mount it, run mkswap on the mapped partition (i.e. /dev/mapper/sda5_crypt)
  5. Update /etc/crypttab to the new UUID
  6. Go to your /boot partition and fix the initrd.img by unpacking, replacing the UUID with “sed ’s/OLD_UUID/NEW_UUID/’ INITRD_FILENAME > INITRD_FILENAME” and then repacking it with gzip
  7. Reboot.

Training accessory: Sandbags

Sandbags are a useful addition for any strength-based training and a staple in strongman sports - here’s one way of making them:


The building is pretty straightforward: Fill the bags with the wood pellets to your liking, leave a little space when you close them with the zipties, so that they won’t burst immediately when placing them down, close the zipties themselves as tightly as possible. Cut off the unneeded plastic endings of the zipties and cover the zipties with a few layers of duct tape.

Regular heavy duty bags should hold a maximum of around 60 to 70kg when built this way. Enjoy.

2013 Training results

2012 had ended with the conclusion that my Leangains experiments were a total disaster for me to train and eat by, and that Madcow’s 5x5 (Intermediate Linear) only worked so long as I was willing to invest more food and sleep than was possible. So, shortly before the turn of the year, I switched to Wendler’s 5/3/1, knowing that my progress would be much slower, but probably more sustainable.

Here is what 2013 brought me:

I find that far from impressive - but nevertheless, it’s progress, especially after the end of 2012 did not look too good. Also, I finally broke the 200 kg barrier on deadlifts and the 4-plate barrier on squats. The lack of substantial progress on my squats and overhead press can partly be explained by the fact that around July I had to severely reduce both, because I blacked out all the time (systems always came back online before I hit the ground/before the barbell hit me, a slight adrenaline kick and everything was alright again… but still, not much fun). And it can be partly explained by the fact, that I was not doing all the necessary work (accessory lifts - even sounds boring, eh?). Something to do better this year. Oh wait, I’m not allowed to make New Year’s resolutions, otherwise I’m not cool, right?

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