Fix for Wifi issues on a Mac (Yosemite)

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Since the Yosemite upgrade to OS X, I have been facing lots of WiFi issues on my Mac. As I go from home, to cafe, to airport, to train, to cafe etc I notice that my connection just stops working. I kept blaming the public wifi routers until I realized that many times the issue is with OS X. This is not a comprehensive guide on how to fix WiFi issues on a Mac. But this one thing does work, so try it and good luck!

Launch “Terminal”

Now this may appear a little scary. But it’s quite easy. On every Mac, there’s a “command line interface” which lets you type instructions to your computer. This lets you do more advanced things that are not always possible by clicking with a mouse on buttons.

To do this,

  1. Press the “COMMAND” and ”SPACE” keys at the same time.
  2. This will open “Spotlight Search” in the middle of the screen.
  3. In that search box, type “Terminal” and hit “Enter/Return” to launch it

It will look something like this:


Find “discoveryd

Discoveryd is a tool introduced by Apple in Yosemite which is quite buggy and has been the main reason behind the issues. We won’t go into details but you first need to find it on your laptop. You do this by typing the following command in the terminal window:

ps -ax | grep discoveryd

Note that the vertical line is a “pipe”, the key above the return key.

This will show you all the processes running on your laptop with the name discoveryd. In the above example, on my laptop, it is the first result with an ID of 1169. Find the corresponding number on your laptop and note it.

Kill discoveryd

Now, all you have to do is “kill” discoveryd which will force it to start again and magically fix everything. You do this by typing:

sudo kill <process id number>

Sudo tells the terminal to run this command as an administrator. This may prompt you to type the password for your account. It’s safe to enter it here.

Replace 1169 with whatever was the number that you found in the previous step.

Conclusion

That’s it. This should fix the issue. If it doesn’t then you may have o resort to a more comprehensive troubleshooting guide.

Alpine Climbing Equipment

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Alpine Climbing Equipment

When going out into the backcountry, one has to be prepared for all kinds of weather. The goal is to read the weather and understand the conditions in advance and avoid running into a bad weather window to begin with. But it’s all a probability and everything helps in making sure you stay safe. Here’s the climbing gear between two climbers:

Starting from the bottom is the insulation pads to protect from the cold snow on which you sleep. The crampons attach to the climbing boots and provide traction in icy terrain. The helmets are a must to protect from rock-fall caused by other climbers or melting snow. These boots have a 3’4th shank of metal in the sole which is very useful for kicking steps in the snow and for getting strong levarage when trying to step on 1” ledges on rocks.

The best way to carry water in the cold, freezing conditions is these wide mouth ones. Easy to put fresh snow into as you sip from it. At night it also doubles up as a warm water bottle that you slip into your sleeping bag. The rope here is not the actual climbing rope we used – the purpose of rope in alpine climbing is also for traversing on glaciers and rescuing from crevasses. The ice-axe is the hiking stick, gives you support when going up, helps you arrest a fall when you slip, can be used as a quick belay, as a deadweight anchor etc. The gaiters are worn on the boots to prevent any snow from creeping into the feet. Climbing harness, carabiners, rescue pulley

Sleeping bags, down summit jacket, extra fleece layer – when in doubt, throw in an extra layer. Gloves, hats, mittens, redundancy is very useful. If you lose a glove, and that’s all you have, you will eventually lose your hand or have to turn around. Tent, tent poles and tent snow stakes. All 3. If you forget one, you are screwed. We learned it a very very hard way.

We carry a fancy GPS, but also carry old school compass and maps. Sophisticated technology is more likely to fail. Redundancy, and proficiency helps.

Glacier glasses. When you are exposed to bright snow for 16hours, your eyes get fried. It can take a day or two to be able to use them again. Glacier glasses are a must. They prevent light from entering from anywhere. On that note, you have to protect even the inside of your nostrils from the sun. Anything exposed to light will get sunburned and it’s painful.

Pickets to create quick anchors when you end up in tricky spots or to rescue someone. A quick showel to create a platform for the tent, or to dig out a teammate from an avalanche (can’t really joke about this).

Stove, firestarter, fuel. Duct tape. Be safe.

Soylent – Food as a Service (FaaS)

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Soylent. I am calling it Food as a Service (FaaS). Because you pay $9 for 2000 calories of full nutrition, no compromise food with no prep time, planning needed. Absolutely beats resorting to fast food, ramen noodles etc. Also, it can potentially help address global malnutrition by at least playing a complementary role to other efforts.

I got my pre-order delivered while I was out of the country, so just tried it. Tastes like a healthy smoothie with a cake batter flavor. Has to be consumed cold for the best taste. I do like a hot soup and more flavor so clearly this is not going to replace all meals. But I love how it can fill in some meals so you don’t have to always keep planning. Also, you can easily measure calories so it helps stick to diets etc. Will see how my body reacts to it and see if I am getting all the nutrition I need.

Verdict for now is that I am quite excited by it and curious to see how this pans out.


Understanding weather forecast trends for alpine climbing

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We were planning on climbing Mt Rainier this weekend and then decided not to. Here’s why.

Hidden in the small text changes between the forecast right now (left) and the forecast earlier this morning (right) is the information that the conditions are slightly worse than they initially thought. For optimal climbing conditions – you wanna catch a positive trend in forecasting, not a negative trend. So we’ll likely delay our summit attempt to a later window.

The concerning detail is that 2 days ago it was supposed to be sunny on Sunday. Last night they predicted thunderstorms on Sunday. This afternoon they are predicting snow showers on Sunday. Even though each prediction is a “slight” chance, cumulatively it points to a larger negative trend that makes it smarter to avoid from a mountaineering risk analysis perspective.

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Inside a crevasse on a glacier

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I have been alpine climbing since February this year. Every weekend has been learning some new skills, practicing them during the week, lectures, reading books and homework and then trying them out for real.

All the months of training leads to this big day – Crevasse Rescue. I had practiced this on grass and inside a building so had some idea. However, it takes a leap of faith to trust your life to your teammates who have all been learning with you.

Crevasses are dangers in mountain climbing because they can be anywhere on a glacier and unless you mitigate risks while climbing, they can be very very bad.

I learnt how to arrest quickly if anyone on my rope falls into a crevasse. Then we do a drill of quickly setting up a z-pulley to draw the person out. See the picture below for the description and the text. But it was nice to be finally pulled over the lip and be standing on firm snow after 30 mins.

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