One Chat 1.0 for macOS

I receive a number of product announcements each day. I decided to start posting about some of the macOS products.

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AppYogi Software has released version 1.0 of its One Chat social networking App for macOS. This is an all-in-one chat App capable of communicating with Messenger for Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Telegram, Skype and Slack. Compatibility with other messaging clients is planned in future releases.

AppYogi claims that One Chat Features include:

  • Notifications: Displays notifications natively
  • Sync Services: If you use One Chat in different computers, you can synchronize your configuration
  • Don’t Disturb: Can disable all sounds and notifications
  • Reply directly from native notification
  • Menu bar icon notify with unread messages
  • Multiple account use for same service
  • Retina Display enabled icons
  • Easy to use interface

This software requires macOS 10.10 or later. One Chat 1.0 is $19.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Social Networking category.

World’s Largest Aircraft Takes Flight

The Airliner 10 took its maiden flight August 17th. Granted it was only a 30-minute,  five-mile loop around the airfield never exceeding 500 feet altitude, but it did make its debut. While it was originally built for long term surveillance duties, it has the potential with a 50ton cargo capacity of fulfilling several other roles. The new aircraft is expected to find use in civil, military and leisure applications.

This aircraft is 92 meters (301 feet) long with a wing span of 43 meters (142 feet) making it the largest aircraft. It uses helium to lift and has four diesel engines that can power the craft at 148 km/h (92 mph). The vertical take off and landing capability will allow it to operate without an airfield.

Who knows. A ‘cruise’ in the not too distant future may have you looking down at the passing countryside. A throw back to the airships of the early 20th century.

Review of “Lammas Night”

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“Lammas Night” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1983) and was written by Katherin Kurtz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Kurtz). Ms. Kurtz published nearly 40 novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the early days (1940) of World War II. The British Expeditionary Force has barely escaped the continent through Dunkirk ahead of the German army. All of England fears that an invasion is soon to follow.

The primary character of this story is Colonel John “Gray” Graham of the British MI6. Not only is he working within the espionage community to defeat Germany, but he is also a practitioner of the occult arts. England is not only facing Germany’s military strength, but their occult assault as well. Graham and his close occult comrades want to organize as many of the occultists in England to rise up on Lammas Night to resist the pending invasion. But this must all be done very carefully as the hint to the public of involvement in magic would be devastating to any of the involved families.

Complicating this is a close friendship with Prince William of the British Royal family. The Prince soon convinces Graham to involve him more in the effort to organize the occult resistance to Hitler. The Prince and Graham soon realize that one of them may need to make a personal sacrifice to save England.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10.5 hours I spent reading this 448 page novel. This was not a fast paced novel, but the intriguing story kept me very interested. I have read other novels by Kurtz and I have liked them all. I am a fan of World War II stories and really enjoyed this one, even thought it was more of a fantasy than most. I guess I would classify this as an Alternate History novel as the world in which it is set parallels ours, but allows for magic. I also think that the new cover is better than the one used on the original paper publication. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The History Major”

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“The History Major” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Michael Phillip Cash (http://www.michaelphillipcash.com). Mr. Cash has published 10 novels.

I received a galley of this novella for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and is very strange. The story is set on a small college campus. The primary character is college freshman Amanda Greene.

Amanda wakes up hung over. But that is not all. Her dorm room looks strange. Her room mate is strange. Even the campus grounds outside the dorm window looks strange. Things do not improve for Amanda as her day progresses and she tries to attend her first day of classes.

She finds her schedule has been changed and she is in history class. She hates history. She tries to get the class changed, but the women the registrar’s office just tell her to go to class. When she gets to class, it is the strangest thing yet.

So . . . I spent less than 2.5 hours reading this 132 page novella. I almost called a Rule of 50 on it, but kept reading until the end. I should have quit. I am not sure what to say about this story. It is strange. It also seems to ramble along without a clear point. There is a point in the end, but the route to that end really did not set well with me. I think that this is best classed as a Psychological Paranormal story.

The cover wasn’t very informative as to what you will find within the pages. The story was last paced, but almost frantic. Did I mention that this story is strange. I give this novella a 2 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

CLI – rsync

The rsync command is a utility common to Linux, Unix, BSD and macOS. Versions of rsync are now available on Windows systems as well.

This command is used to synchronize files and directories. This can be done between locally attached storage, or between two different network connected systems. Design of the rsync algorithm minimizes the network usage, while still maintaining file synchronization.

The rsync daemon can be run on a machine to allow other remote machines to copy file to or from it. The rsync command requires arguments indicating the source and destination locations.

There are many different command line options available to rsync. The general format is: rsync options source destination

One of the nice features of rsync is that it only copies files that have changed since the last time they were transferred. Check the reference list at the bottom of this article for suggestions of the best set for your application. Some of the simplest are:

  • rsync -avh /home/usr/dir/ /media/disk/backup/
    – this copies everything in the directory /home/usr/dir/ to /media/disk/backup/
  • rsync -avh –delete /home/user/dir/ /media/disk/backup – does the same as above except that files deleted from /home/user/dir/ will also be deleted from /media/disk/backup
  • rsync –progress -avh /home/usr/dir/ /media/disk/backup/ – does the same as the first example, but show how much of the copy is remaining

When I run rsync -h on my macOS 10.11.6 system I get the following list of options:

rsync is a file transfer program capable of efficient remote update
 via a fast differencing algorithm.

Usage: rsync [OPTION]... SRC [SRC]... DEST
 or   rsync [OPTION]... SRC [SRC]... [USER@]HOST:DEST
 or   rsync [OPTION]... SRC [SRC]... [USER@]HOST::DEST
 or   rsync [OPTION]... SRC [SRC]... rsync://[USER@]HOST[:PORT]/DEST
 or   rsync [OPTION]... [USER@]HOST:SRC [DEST]
 or   rsync [OPTION]... [USER@]HOST::SRC [DEST]
 or   rsync [OPTION]... rsync://[USER@]HOST[:PORT]/SRC [DEST]

The ':' usages connect via remote shell, while '::' & 'rsync://' usages connect to an rsync daemon, and require SRC or DEST to start with a module name.

Options

-v, --verbose               increase verbosity
 -q, --quiet                 suppress non-error messages
 --no-motd               suppress daemon-mode MOTD (see manpage caveat)
 -c, --checksum              skip based on checksum, not mod-time & size
 -a, --archive               archive mode; same as -rlptgoD (no -H)
 --no-OPTION             turn off an implied OPTION (e.g. --no-D)
 -r, --recursive             recurse into directories
 -R, --relative              use relative path names
 --no-implied-dirs       don't send implied dirs with --relative
 -b, --backup                make backups (see --suffix & --backup-dir)
 --backup-dir=DIR        make backups into hierarchy based in DIR
 --suffix=SUFFIX         set backup suffix (default ~ w/o --backup-dir)
 -u, --update                skip files that are newer on the receiver
 --inplace               update destination files in-place (SEE MAN PAGE)
 --append                append data onto shorter files
 -d, --dirs                  transfer directories without recursing
 -l, --links                 copy symlinks as symlinks
 -L, --copy-links            transform symlink into referent file/dir
 --copy-unsafe-links     only "unsafe" symlinks are transformed
 --safe-links            ignore symlinks that point outside the source tree
 -k, --copy-dirlinks         transform symlink to a dir into referent dir
 -K, --keep-dirlinks         treat symlinked dir on receiver as dir
 -H, --hard-links            preserve hard links
 -p, --perms                 preserve permissions
 --executability         preserve the file's executability
 --chmod=CHMOD           affect file and/or directory permissions
 -o, --owner                 preserve owner (super-user only)
 -g, --group                 preserve group
 --devices               preserve device files (super-user only)
 --specials              preserve special files
 -D                          same as --devices --specials
 -t, --times                 preserve times
 -O, --omit-dir-times        omit directories when preserving times
 --super                 receiver attempts super-user activities
 -S, --sparse                handle sparse files efficiently
 -n, --dry-run               show what would have been transferred
 -W, --whole-file            copy files whole (without rsync algorithm)
 -x, --one-file-system       don't cross filesystem boundaries
 -B, --block-size=SIZE       force a fixed checksum block-size
 -e, --rsh=COMMAND           specify the remote shell to use
 --rsync-path=PROGRAM    specify the rsync to run on the remote machine
 --existing              skip creating new files on receiver
 --ignore-existing       skip updating files that already exist on receiver
 --remove-source-files   sender removes synchronized files (non-dirs)
 --del                   an alias for --delete-during
 --delete                delete extraneous files from destination dirs
 --delete-before         receiver deletes before transfer (default)
 --delete-during         receiver deletes during transfer, not before
 --delete-after          receiver deletes after transfer, not before
 --delete-excluded       also delete excluded files from destination dirs
 --ignore-errors         delete even if there are I/O errors
 --force                 force deletion of directories even if not empty
 --max-delete=NUM        don't delete more than NUM files
 --max-size=SIZE         don't transfer any file larger than SIZE
 --min-size=SIZE         don't transfer any file smaller than SIZ
 --partial               keep partially transferred files
 --partial-dir=DIR       put a partially transferred file into DIR
 --delay-updates         put all updated files into place at transfer's end
 -m, --prune-empty-dirs      prune empty directory chains from the file-list
 --numeric-ids           don't map uid/gid values by user/group name
 --timeout=TIME          set I/O timeout in seconds
 -I, --ignore-times          don't skip files that match in size and mod-time
 --size-only             skip files that match in size
 --modify-window=NUM     compare mod-times with reduced accuracy
 -T, --temp-dir=DIR          create temporary files in directory DIR
 -y, --fuzzy                 find similar file for basis if no dest file
 --compare-dest=DIR      also compare destination files relative to DIR
 --copy-dest=DIR         ... and include copies of unchanged files
 --link-dest=DIR         hardlink to files in DIR when unchanged
 -z, --compress              compress file data during the transfe
 --compress-level=NUM    explicitly set compression level
 -C, --cvs-exclude           auto-ignore files the same way CVS does
 -f, --filter=RULE           add a file-filtering RULE
 -F                          same as --filter='dir-merge /.rsync-filter'
 repeated: --filter='- .rsync-filter'
 --exclude=PATTERN       exclude files matching PATTERN
 --exclude-from=FILE     read exclude patterns from FILE
 --include=PATTERN       don't exclude files matching PATTERN
 --include-from=FILE     read include patterns from FILE
 --files-from=FILE       read list of source-file names from FILE
 -0, --from0                 all *-from/filter files are delimited by 0s
 --address=ADDRESS       bind address for outgoing socket to daemon
 --port=PORT             specify double-colon alternate port number
 --sockopts=OPTIONS      specify custom TCP options
 --blocking-io           use blocking I/O for the remote shell
 --stats                 give some file-transfer stats
 -8, --8-bit-output          leave high-bit chars unescaped in output
 -h, --human-readable        output numbers in a human-readable format
 --progress              show progress during transfer
 -P                          same as --partial --progress
 -i, --itemize-changes       output a change-summary for all updates
 --out-format=FORMAT     output updates using the specified FORMAT
 --log-file=FILE         log what we're doing to the specified FILE
 --log-file-format=FMT   log updates using the specified FMT
 --password-file=FILE    read password from FILE
 --list-only             list the files instead of copying them
 --bwlimit=KBPS          limit I/O bandwidth; KBytes per second
 --write-batch=FILE      write a batched update to FILE
 --only-write-batch=FILE like --write-batch but w/o updating destination
 --read-batch=FILE       read a batched update from FILE
 --protocol=NUM          force an older protocol version to be used
 -E, --extended-attributes   copy extended attributes
 --cache                 disable fcntl(F_NOCACHE)
 -4, --ipv4                  prefer IPv4
 -6, --ipv6                  prefer IPv6
 --version               print version number
 (-h) --help                  show this help (-h works with no other options)

References:

  1. How to Backup Linux? 15 rsync Command Examples
  2. Do-It-Yourself Backup System Using Rsync
  3. Back up like an expert with rsync

See my other Command Line articles


 

Review of “Trial of the Seventh Carrier”

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“Trial of the Seventh Carrier” eBook was published in 2016 (the original print version was published in 1990). and was written by Peter Albano. Mr. Albano published 11 novels, this is his sixth in the “Seventh Carrier” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set in the late 1980s in a Alternate History. Islamic terrorists have taken control of much of the western Pacific. Japan and Israel stand alone against them while Russia and the US are in a stalemate, but holding weapons technology to the level seen towards the end of World War II. Orbiting Chinese weapons platforms have failed in a way that causes all modern jet and rockets to be shot down.

The primary character is US Navy Lieutenant Brent Ross. Ross is in many places and fills many rolls. Executive officer on the only submarine the Japanese have, a Naval Intelligence officer assigned to the World War II era aircraft carrier Yonaga (the Yonaga was held frozen literally for 40 years and only freed themselves in the mid 80s. Primarily it is crewed by Japanese, but American, British, Israeli, and other personnel are also aboard to fight the Arabs), and finally as the gunner on a Japanese dive bomber. Without spoiling the story, I can only say that Ross and his colleagues find themselves in one dire situation after another.

I did find the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 321 page novel interesting. I like alternative history and World War II novels, so this book appealed to me. Unfortunately I had not read the first 5 books in the series, so I was not aware of all of the backstory. It did serve reasonably well as a stand-alone read though. The concept was very interesting. Both sides of the conflict were using a variety of weapons, all World War II relics – Japanese Zeros, B5N ‘Kate’ torpedo bombers & Aichi D3A dive Bombers, British Spitfires, and US Hellcats against US AT-6s & DC-6s and German ME109s and Stukas.

The story has a fast pace with action constantly popping up. This is clearly an Alternate History Fiction novel. The plot seems a little far fetched, but then I haven’t read the previous five novels so things may be well explained. The cover for the eBook edition is OK, but I prefer the cover for the original print version. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5. I would certainly go back and read the prior as well as the following novels in this series.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Deep Space Travel: NASA Picks Six Companies to Build Habitation Modules

A good summary of the commercial vendors chosen by NASA to develop habitats for space exploration. It is good to see that there are a variety of alternatives. Particularly like the Bigelow approach. It will be interesting to see how the two year prototype evaluation turns out.

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Traveling to distant planets can be tough on space travelers. Spacecraft are constantly bombarded with radiation, debris impact is an ever-present threat, and cramped confines can cause even the most steely-eyed astronaut to question his or her sanity. It’s no surprise that NASA is looking to a number of companies to design and develop ground-based prototypes for the first generation of deep space habitation modules.The companies range from young, post-startups to long established giants in the industry.

Bigelow Aerospace

Betting on what is called expandable module technology, Bigelow Aerospace has already designed what is sure to be one of the more innovative prototypes. Essentially, it’s an inflatable balloon of sorts that provides more usable space for less mass and launch space. Currently, NASA is testing a smaller prototype called the ‘Bigelow Expanded Activity Module’ – or BEAM – that is docked with the International Space Station (ISS). It was successfully attached…

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Review of “The Golden Amazon”

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“The Golden amazon eBook was published in 2016 (Original paper version published in 1944) and was written by John Russell Fearn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Russell_Fearn). Mr. Fearn published nearly 100 novels and numerous short stories.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the decades following the end of World War II. The main character is Violet Ray. Found as a baby after a German bombing raid on England, Dr. James Axton operates on her to give her superior strength, intelligence and resilience. He planned for her, as a female, to use her unusual skills to prevent future wars.

This is her story as she matures into a 20 year old and begins to wield her powers. While her goals may be peace in an England totally under her control, her methods are not without their cost.

I thought that this was an interesting 4 hour read of 178 pages. It is classic Science Fiction. The ‘science’ is far from that which we know today, so that aspect is clearly dated. As is the language and structure of the story. It reminds me of reading some of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Given that his is a short read, I did not object too much to the out-of-date feel to the novel. Reading this, and similar vintage novels, gives one an idea of how we got to Star Wars, Star Trek and such of today’s Science Fiction. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).