Monitor Skype disk activity in Mac OS X

Skype refused to launch today – failed with Disk I/O error. Had to delete the whole ~/Library/Library/Application Support/Skype/ folder to return it back to life.

But, on re-launch, Skype started to eat 20% of CPU – probably generating all caches/downloading avatars/… we just deleted. Hey, let’s find out what the Skype is actually accessing on a hard disk. How hard can it be to monitor that?

Open the terminal and type in a command:

sudo fs_usage -f filesys | grep -i skype | grep stat

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How to re-charge alkaline button cell easily

1.5 volts alkaline cell

Wanna share a nice little hack I’ve developed recently – how to re-charge a 1.5 volts watch alkaline battery, or in my case – cycling computer cell (L1142, LR43 1.5 volts). Haven’t found one in a corner shop, so decided to make my one to live a bit longer. It’s not recommended to re-charge alkalines – use this trick on your own risk, please!

Okay, the things we need:

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Italian, Lesson 10: Modal verbs, part 4. Sapere (know/know how/can)

Ciao a tutti! – Hiya all!

View from the Leaning Tower of Pisa
View from the Leaning Tower of Pisa

This is the last part about Italian modal verbs. But first let’s refresh our memory. We know 3 modal verbs (verbi modali) and theirs forms:

  • potere – can (posso, puoi, può, possiamo, potete, possono)
  • volere – want (voglio, vuoi, vuole, vogliamo, volete, vogliono)
  • dovere – must/have to (devo, devi, deve, dobbiamo, dovete, devono)

Today we’ll talk about fourth modal verb (or modal helper) – sapere (know/know how/can). Typical usage – we know and can do something well:

  • I can drive a car (I know how to)
  • I know how to cook

See, looks somehow similar to potere examples. But sapere and potere are different. Later we’ll see that. Continue reading

Italian, Lesson 8: Modal verbs, part 2. Volere (want)

Ciao a tutti! Sono Taras – Hi everybody, I’m Taras.

È voi? – And you?

Trevi Fountain in Rome
Trevi Fountain in Rome

Okay, as we know already, there are 3 modal verbs + 1 semi-modal helper in Italian:

  1. potere – can
  2. volere – want
  3. dovere – have to
  4. sapere – to know
Volere (want) – modal irregular verb
  • io voglio – I want ([v'olio] – see, no ‘g’ in transcription!)
  • tu vuoi – you want
  • lei/lui vuole – she/he wants
  • noi vogliamo – we want
  • voi volete – you want (plural)
  • loro vogliono – they want

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Italian, Lesson 7: Modal verbs. Sentences with 2 verbs. Potere (can).

Ciao a tutti! – Hello all!

Mountains in Trentino
Mountains in Trentino

Last time we tried to learn 10 new verbs and all theirs forms. And, I know, it’s a lot of words, and it’s difficult. Happily, there’s a trick how to build sentences in Italian easily – sentences with modal verbs (Verbi Modali).

There are 3 modal verbs in Italian + 1 semi-modal helper:

  1. potere – can
  2. volere – want
  3. dovere – have to (obligation)
  4. sapere – to know (semi-modal)

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Italian, Lesson 6: Verbs of 3rd type, -ire

Ciao a tutti! Sono Taras. È voi? – Hello everyone, I’m Taras. And you?

Mountains near Garda lake
Mountains near Garda lake

As we know from previous lesson 5, there are 3 type of verbs in Italian: ending on -are, -ere and -ire. Like parlare (to speak), scrivere (to write) and aprire (to open). Today we gonna learn how to transform the third type of verbs, ending on -ire.

Our today’s examples: partire (to leave), dormire (to sleep), aprire (to open).

Partire – to leave
  • io parto – I leave
  • tu parti – you leave (singular)
  • lui/lei parte – he/she leaves
  • noi partiamo – we leave
  • voi partite – you leave (plural)
  • loro partono – they leave

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Italian, Lesson 5: Verbs of 2 type, -ere

Ciao a tutti! Sono professore d’Italiano :) He-he, I’m kidding.

Roman Forum
Roman Forum

As we know, verbs in italian change their’s form in conjunction with different pronouns. We already know how to change the verbs ending on -are: parlare, studiare, amare. But, not all italian verbs end on -are!

There are 3 types of verbs in Italian:

  1. ending on -are (parlare – to speak, studiare – to study, amare – to love)
  2. -ere (scrivere – to write, vivere – lo live, prendere – to take)
  3. -ire (partire – to leave, dormire – to sleep, aprire – to open)
  4. +irregular special cases. But they also end on -are, -ere and -ire.

Each type has it’s own transformation rules. And this is something that we need to remember.

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