Sundry, Testimonials

SAQ: Are Window Screens Permitted Next to Fire Escapes in New York City?

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2009/09/09/saq-nyc-fire-escape-window-screen/

It feels like it has been longer, but at just over a month our apartment building has installed the window screens.  Boy is it nice to have window screens!  Of course, it would have been nicer if we had had the window screens during the really hot days of August, but I try not to gripe too much.

Of course, when the guy came by to install the window screens, he had to explain that management had instructed that screens not be installed on windows opening on to fire escapes.  Since this is an idiotic request, and since I had explicitly requested window screens on those very same windows, he installed screens anyway, explaining that if the management company later insisted, he would have to remove them.  I was happy to take the chance.

Later I mentioned the issue to our superintendent, who agreed that window screens do not belong next to fire escapes, and that is just one of the tragic outcomes of a city with so many complex rules governing it.  I found that a bit unsettling.

Sometimes I find it hard to sleep at night, and my mind will churn with the great questions of our day, like “is there really a restriction against installing window screens on windows that open on to fire escapes in New York City?” Well, the wisdom of the Internet led me to the  Rules of the City of New York, which explains in Chapter 15-10(k)(2):

Wire screens and storm windows. Wire screens are permitted on a door or window giving access to a fire-escape. Such screens may be of the rolling type, casement or of a type that slides vertically or horizontally in sections, providing that there shall be a clear unobstructed space two feet (2′) in width and two feet six inches (2′-6″) in height when the screens are opened and further provided that no such screen shall be subdivided with muntins or other dividing or separating bars into spaces less than two feet (2′) in width by two feet six inches (2′-6″) in height.

So yeah, window screens are completely legitimate. I don’t know if this contrary idea is actually with the management or some fanciful notion that has somehow been implanted into our superintendent, but should the issue need revisiting I can leverage my powers as Internet Man to defend the placement of these window screens for which I have long waited.

Feedback Welcome


Firing Off SSH Commands

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2009/09/09/firing-off-ssh-commands/

This is more for my own reference, because there are some broken rc scripts that don’t detach the PTY correctly, which can be really aggravating if you’re starting or stopping multiple daemons on multiple servers.

1-7:45 djh@opshost ~> cat .ssh/config
StrictHostKeyChecking no
BatchMode yes
KeepAlive yes

That KeepAlive yes is more for my interactive sessions. but here’s the real mojo:

ssh -f user@server command

I can add an & if I like . . .

Feedback Welcome


HOWTO: Ubuntu Support for Audio in XVidCap

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2009/09/28/howto-ubuntu-xvidcap-audio-support/

XVidCap is a very nice screen-capture program for Linux.  I have been dabbling in it to capture video of my desktop.

Unfortunately, the binary offered by Ubuntu’s software distribution has audio disabled. I found a bug about that somewhere and added my two cents, then went and installed it manually. Then I had to reinstall it manually because the Ubuntu version had been bumped and the “newer” version replaced my audio-supporting version.

Step 1: Remove Existing xvidcap

sudo aptitude remove xvidcap

Step 2: Install XVidCap from SourceForge

http://sourceforge.net/projects/xvidcap/ — click “download now” and the rest is all point-and-click.

Step 3: Lock XVidCap Version

Ubuntu will be quietly bide its time until it can “upgrade” xvidcap to a version that doesn’t support Audio. Fortunately, you can tell it not to do that!

Open: System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager

Search for “xvidcap”

Select the package, go to the Package menu and select “Lock Version”

(From what I can tell, sudo aptitude hold won’t actually prevent xvidcap from being “upgraded.”)


Arrr! . . . Avast!
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