just another web log

29 Oct 2023:
android screen mirroring to linux

I wanted to see how easy it was to mirror my Pixel 7 Pro Android phone screen to Linux. Turns out that it's quite easy.

First turn on Developer mode on the phone and enable USB debugging .

There is a trick to this. Supposedly so you cannot stumble across it by accident.

Go to Settings and About phone and then keep tapping Build number until it tells you that Developer mode is enabled

That unlocks a new set of options under Settings / System / Developer options . Under the heading of Debugging make sure that USB debugging is enabled.

That is it from the phone side.

Connect via USB and in Linux run


After I had authorised the connection on my phone, the screen is shown in a new window on Linux!

There are some tricks you probably want to know before going any further.

Middle mouse button to Go To Home Screen

Right mouse button to Go Back

(you can also do this and a number of other actions via the keyboard shortcuts listed at the repo)

scrcpy shortcuts

I was specifically looking to record the screen, but the phone kept locking.

scrcpy --no-audio --record=file.mp4 --stay-awake

Will stop the phone locking while streaming and automatically saves the session as an MP4 video.

There is quite a lot of useful documentation at scrcpy GitHub repo

27 Oct 2023:
lusha is coming for your children

I got a weird email at work.

Subject: Notice of personal information processing. (This is not an advertisement)

From a company that I have not heard of before, but has got a large footprint on the internet: Lusha

It is a long and very detailed email, that basically says " we have your details "


But the best bit is the attempt to be GDPR compliant.

Lawful Basis

Your personal information is processed by Lusha based on the legitimate interest of itself and its customers to engage in direct marketing.

Which to me is the complete opposite of what " Lawful Basis " relates to in the GDPR. I have worked with companies that have literally had to retain personal data to comply with the law and they would have been in big trouble if they had not stored it.

So they scrape data. Possibly against a sites terms and conditions. But based on the following we will never know.

Lusha gathers personal information from several sources, which include publicly available sources such as websites and government records, contributions from our customers, third party data providers, and members of the Lusha Community Program. Our proprietary algorithm scans publicly available sources and retrieves public information with advanced tools. Because information from several sources may be combined into one record, it may be difficult or near impossible to identify the exact source of one particular piece of information.

This all leave me wordless ...

Googling Lusha and GDPR, show they are looking for chinks in the GDPR armour where ever they can.

One word: " scary "

27 Oct 2023:
copy target from grep and xargs

Quick random console tit-bit

I had large number of files with a keyword in and only a few that I needed copied to folder so I could work on them.

grep -il keyword * | xargs cp -t /tmp/workingdir/

The magic is specifying the cp target directory option -t

Without it cp does not understand what you are trying to do and fails trying to copy the first file to the last file (as a folder)

08 Oct 2023:
it is a feature the power button falling off

I currently have a Pixel 7 Pro phone at the moment thanks to an anonymous donation. So I was a bit disappointed when the power button fell off!

Luckily I had the official case and that happily holds the button back on.

Normally I wouldn't defend this sort of stuff, but I am trying to deal with so many things at the moment I am just going to suck it up and ignore it.

08 Oct 2023:
power cable for a power supply no why

I was/am a tech hoarder. But moving house and previously downsizing did require me to be a bit ruthless. OK, very ruthless, but I had literally no space to keep anything extra.

One of the things that got junked was a huge collection of power cables. There were multiple wall-warts for long dead items and with no way of ever identifying what they were for. There was many kettle cables, including two pin versions and an assortment of lengths with UK plugs.

I could only recall a couple of times ever needing to find an extra cable and even then it was because I was too lazy to go fishing behind a desk or TV unit. So I took the lot to the tip and didn't think much about it. Until ...

My friend bought a GameMax PSU for their new PC build and it didn't come with a power cable!

They complained to the Amazon seller to find that it does actually same in the listing that it is sans-cable.

I was a bit stunned. Why would you sell a power supply without a power cable?

Very luckily I did actual find a spare to give them.

I was also recently bitten by an Amazon purchase where I got what the listing details. When I cannot think of why a customer would want one with out the key ingredient and for an exorbitant price.

Buyer beware !!

08 Oct 2023:
where is the power switch cable building someone elses pc

I was helping a friend build a PC. They had researched and bought all the components without my help and attempted to construct the unit.

When it got to me it was not working and never had even powered on.

I found numerous issues. From cables not being completely connected to components in backwards or just not fully seated.

I ripped it apart and started again from scratch...

Only to find I could not get it to power on...

I have built a number of computers from the 286, through Pentiums to 64bit chipsets. I have a reasonable understanding of how to build and troubleshoot computer builds.

But this one had me stumped. The case, a very nice Fractal Meshify 2 RGB (white) , has some tricky bits .

Normally that would refer to the case volume or cable management, but not in this case (pun not intended).

More annoyingly these issues only affect the RGB model. There are a number of connections from the case to the motherboard for USB. Nothing unusual there except these were not the standard USB port headers... Because of this and the fact I could not find the front panel cables anywhere (I unscrewed the entire head unit), I assumed that the USB was handling the RGB and the case front panel.

There was another annoyance with the motherboard. MSI PRO B760-P Wifi DDR4 . There is no light to indicate when it is powered.

So after using the paper-clip trick to confirm the PSU was at least working I advised sending the motherboard back as faulty.

I then found that there was a single cable for PWR SW coming from the case, but it had been plugged into a fan controller.

Finally got a replacement motherboard and this had the same weird USB connectors. Gigabyte Z690 UD DDR4 . But this time I had the very clear power switch cable and the pin layout to add it correctly. It powered on. Tiny LEDS on the motherboard and then the BIOS came up.

Still couldn't work out how the RGB was supposed to work, so instead just connected all four case fans to the power and they also worked. There is no information about the RGB other than a diagram of plugging in cables to one another in a chain. But there are two sets of cable per fan and it is unclear what you are supposed to do.

Owner was happy, as this was an expensive set of components and they had been trying to get a working PC for a while.

To avoid this post getting to rambling and long I am going to add some other less related notes to another post.

08 Oct 2023:
Thrice Upon a Time is number four and comes after redo

I arranged to take an Anime fan to see Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time in the cinema as a special treat.

We had both seen it before on the small screen Dubbed and were Neon Genesis fans.

Watching it Subtitled on the big screen was a memorable experience. The immersive sound and huge visuals made it so much more .

This is the forth film and directly follows from the events of Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo . Starting with a very rapid recap of previous plot lines.

Neon Evangelion is a complex beast and not at all the Fighting Mecha it seems to be on the surface. In fact it gets very very deep on philosophical matters about what is means to be human and the future of humanity.

It is a serious investment to watch all the episodes and then all the films (some of which are built using scenes from the series). But in my opinion totally worth it.

08 Oct 2023:
no more rent to pay but now i have a mortgage

I have finally moved house !

Out of rented accommodation and into a house I can call a home.

It has been quite a ride to get here and now I am surrounded by boxes and bags and all sorts of DIY jobs.

I made an offer on the property, that was accepted immediately, back at the beginning of May and I moved in at the end of August. This was with neither party having any kind of chain.

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