Salomon inline skate strap repair

I have a pair of Salomon Smart Skate Chill LX inline skates. They’re pretty nifty — combining skates and shoes into one, so you have less to carry.

Recently, one of the straps broke in half. As Salomon no longer makes skates, I had to shop around for replacement parts. Both Inline Warehouse and Roller Warehouse have a variety of buckles/straps.

Unfortunately, none of them fit exactly — they are too wide for Salomon’s receptor.

  • Salomon: 17.1mm
  • Powerslide: 20.7mm
  • Razors: 21.5mm
  • Rollerblade (19.05mm, 15.875 kids)
  • Flying Eagle (20mm)
  • FR (20mm)
  • K2 (unknown — no answer from manufacturer)

The Powerslide receptor fits the Powerslide strap, but its bolt hole is rotated 180° from Salomon’s. The Razors receptor has the correct orientation. However, using it would mean threading around Salomon’s loop.

The fix was to trim 3mm off of the Powerslide strap with a utility knife. Use masking tape to mark the depth, and go slowly.

Eight ways to improve 401(k)s

Congress is working on the SECURE Act 2.0. It provides for automatic enrollment, increases the catch-up contribution limit and makes many other changes.

Here are eight more ways to make 401(k)s fairer. Call it SECURE 2.0.1.

  1. Mandatory Roth
    Not all 401(k) plans allow for Roth 401(k)s. Mandate that plans provide this as an option.
  2. Don’t punish good savers
    If you max out your 401(k) before December 31, you can lose the benefit of the company match, unless the plan offers a true-up. Many plans do not have this feature. Make true-ups mandatory.
  3. In-plan conversions
    Some plans allow you to convert traditional 401(k) contributions to Roth contributions, requiring you to pay the taxes. But not all plans do. Once idea (1) is implemented, more plan participants could take advantage of this, Make in-plan conversions mandatory.
  4. Immediate vesting of matches
    Some plans require participants to be with the employer for many years before they can keep any earned matching funds. Retirement plan money should not be used as leverage/a threat. Ban vesting periods.
  5. No waiting periods
    Some employers don’t allow contributions to 401(k) plans until the employee has been there for several months. Ensure all employees are eligible on their first day of work.
  6. No fractional matches
    Some employers will match 50% of up to 4%. This is confusing and punishes those who can least afford it. This match should be 100% of the first 2% instead. Only allow matches 1:1 or greater. 
  7. Immediate custodial transfers
    Many providers send funds via paper checks via untracked mail. This is slow and increases the potential loss. Require all providers to make transfers electronically by default, and complete them within 72 business hours of the request.
  8. Good selection of index funds
    Many plans greatly restrict the choice of funds. Often, these choices have high fees or poor returns. Require plans to provide access to a complete set of index and target date funds from at least one provider (Schwab, Vanguard, Fidelity, etc.)

On asking questions

John Sawatsky is an expert on interviewing and asking questions. Here is some coverage of his work.

HOWTO create a bootable USB installer for Mac OS X Lion

Here are instructions for doing this in the Terminal. (Other answers you find are out of date, as they change every time Disk Utility’s UI changes, which is a lot.)

Before you begin, make sure to partition the USB drive as GPT and format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) (aka JHFS+).

Make a copy of the installer dmg:

$ cp "Install Mac OS X" ~

Scan the image to make it ready for restore

$ asr imagescan --source InstallESD.dmg 
Checksumming partition of size 0 blocks...done
Checksumming partition of size 4 blocks...done
Block checksum: ....10....20....30....40....50....60....70....80....90....100
successfully scanned image "/Users/paul/InstallESD.dmg"

Restore the image to as USB drive

$ sudo asr --source InstallESD.dmg --target /Volumes/Untitled --erase --noprompt 
	Validating target...done
	Validating source...done
	Retrieving scan information...done
	Validating sizes...done
	Restoring  ....10....20....30....40....50....60....70....80....90....100
	Verifying  ....10....20....30....40....50....60....70....80....90....100
	Restored target device is /dev/disk6s2.
	Remounting target volume...done
asr: Couldn't personalize volume /Volumes/Mac OS X Install ESD - State not recoverable

HOWTO update HP LaserJet Pro P1102w firmware on macOS

The current version of the firmware (20201023, as of January 22, 2022) for the HP LasterJet Pro P1102w only runs on macOS 10.14 or earlier.

This is not great, as macOS 10.14 was released back 2018. If you try to run the (unsigned, sigh) updater, it crashes looking for a missing dylib (/usr/lib/libnetsnmp.15.dylib):

Not only is this binary unsigned, it uses com.yourcompany instead of com.hp.

The workaround — using an Intel-based Mac — is to install Windows in a VM and update it from there. Here’s how:

  1. Download and install VirtualBox and VirtualBox Extension Pack
  2. Download a Windows 10 VM
  1. Import the VM into VirtualBox
  2. Plug your printer in via USB
  3. In VirtualBox, select your IE Win10 VM. Click Settings > Ports > USB, enable the USB controller and add a USB filter for your printer.
  1. Start Windows. Remember the password is “Passw0rd!”
  2. Go to the HP P1102w driver page. Select Windows and “Windows 10 (64-bit)”:
  1. Download and install the driver. A test page will print.
  2. Download and run the firmware updater

You’re done! Shut down the Windows VM and go about your day.

HP LaserJet Pro P1102w driver fails to install on macOS ≥ 12.0.1

Cross-posted from HP support forum.

HP’s LaserJet Pro P1102w printer drivers (download) fail to install on macOS 12.0.1 or later. Attempting to install them displays the error:

This update requires macOS 12.0 or earlier.



  • macOS 12.0.1 was released on October 25, 2021.
  • HP’s drivers (5.1) were were released on October 27, 2021.
  • Previous thread (“Hp printer driver for Macos Monterey 12.0.1 not available“) October 11, 2021. Support agent @Kumar0307 failed to escalate this to engineering and falsely suggested the driver would work with 12.0.1; it does not.
  • macOS 12.1 was released on December 13, 2021.
  • As of December 29, 2021, HP has not released a fix.

The problem is due to the Distribution script in the installer. It looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<installer-gui-script minSpecVersion="1">
<options hostArchitectures="x86_64"/>
<installation-check script="InstallationCheck()"/>
<license file="License.rtf"/>
<line choice="manual"/>
<choice id="manual" title="SU_TITLE">
<pkg-ref id="HewlettPackardPrinterDrivers" auth="Root" packageIdentifier="">#HewlettPackardPrinterDrivers.pkg</pkg-ref>
function InstallationCheck(prefix) {
if (system.compareVersions(system.version.ProductVersion, '12.0') &gt; 0) {
my.result.message = system.localizedStringWithFormat('ERROR_25CBFE41C7', '12.0');
my.result.type = 'Fatal';
return false;
return true;
<pkg-ref id="HewlettPackardPrinterDrivers" installKBytes="933742" version=""/>

The script is checking for 12.0 instead of 13.0.

The workaround is described in a macrumors thread: run these commands in Terminal:

curl -o ~/Downloads/hpdrivers.dmg&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"></a>
hdiutil attach ~/Downloads/hpdrivers.dmg
pkgutil --expand /Volumes/HP_PrinterSupportManual/HewlettPackardPrinterDrivers.pkg ~/Downloads/hp-expand
hdiutil eject /Volumes/HP_PrinterSupportManual
sed -i '' 's/12.0/13.0/' ~/Downloads/hp-expand/Distribution
pkgutil --flatten ~/Downloads/hp-expand ~/Downloads/HP_Drivers_12.pkg
rm -R ~/Downloads/hp-expand

Then open the newly-created HP_Drivers_12.pkg and install it.

Music booking and house concert notes

House concert information

Businesses that book small shows


HOWTO change a theme slug in WordPress

If you rename a WordPress theme, you will lose customizations (theme mods). They’re stored in wp_options based on the theme’s slug.

WP CLI makes it easy to quickly copy the theme options over:

wp> $new_slug = "my-new-theme-slug";
wp> $theme_slug = get_option( 'stylesheet' )
wp> $mods       = get_option( "theme_mods_$theme_slug" );
wp> update_option( "theme_mods_$new_slug", $mods );

State legislature websites, compared

Having recently spent some time with OpenStates data, I noticed the state government websites varied … a lot. Wanting to quantify this variation, I used the SSL Labs scanner, Lighthouse, and some Ruby scripts to compare the 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico’s legislature’s websites.

The table below covers usability (is the hostname flexible), security (does it allow or require HTTPS), server configuration (SSL Labs) and performance (Google Lighthouse).

state URL www .gov HTTPS Support HTTP Upgrade SSL Labs Perf AX Best Practices SEO ✔️C56747369 🚫 root15766075 🚫 root✔️B65948784 ✔️✔️A43907382 ✔️✔️B31926080 ✔️✔️B30688091 ✔️A29938090 ✔️✔️B22896792 ✔️A64817377 ✔️✔️B14856776 ✔️✔️B44888791 ✔️✔️B69827391 🚫 root✔️✔️A231008092 ✔️✔️B85567350 🚫 root✔️✔️A+94718078 ✔️✔️B27877369 ✔️✔️C87615350 ✔️B96776775
KSkslegislature.org72786067 🚫 www✔️✔️B38898068 ✔️✔️B48738074 ✔️✔️B41858091 ✔️✔️F301007371 ✔️B60926088 ✔️✔️F41827377 ✔️A76857389 ✔️✔️B98946762 ✔️✔️C86978791 🚫 root✔️B32988090 ✔️A+91008779 ✔️✔️B94619354 ✔️✔️B10937384 ✔️❌❌B34658082 ✔️✔️B37916777 ✔️✔️B40936788 ✔️✔️B651007364 ✔️✔️B80998097 F0846075 ✔️A+89674775 ✔️✔️B87807383 ✔️B581006791 ✔️✔️B57988799 ✔️✔️A39806785 ✔️✔️B27987369 ✔️✔️B34616075 ✔️✔️A7767383 ✔️✔️B43907388 ✔️✔️B29977374 ✔️B82638074
PRtucamarapr.org14846067 ✔️✔️B12736769 ✔️F58694742 ✔️✔️B89827379 ✔️✔️A69893100 ✔️✔️B641006782 ✔️✔️B68976769 ✔️✔️B52807377 ✔️✔️A71988085 🚫 www✔️✔️B46876769 🚫 www✔️✔️B90947387 ✔️✔️B34897380 ✔️✔️B80958770 ✔️B86847390 ✔️✔️B4928083


  • Three sites don’t support HTTPS: Alabama, Kansas and Puerto Rico’s lower house. Mississippi downgrades HTTPS request to HTTP.
  • Of the sites supporting HTTPS, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire and Rhode Island get an “F” grade. (Get it together, northeast!)
  • New York’s old state assembly site ( still works and doesn’t redirect you to
  • The Michigan House uses; redirects there (but doesn’t have a valid certificate).
  • The Michigan Senate uses the opposite: Going to redirects you there (and also lacks a valid certificate).
  • Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa and Minnesota require you add a www prefix.
  • Kentucky, Virginia and Vermont don’t permit www prefixes.
  • The Minnesota state senate uses an .mn domain, which belongs to the country of Mongolia. Seems like a security risk.

Installing and updating Creative Suite 6

After upgrading from Mojave to Catalina and Big Sur, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard no longer worked (despite Illustrator and Photoshop being 64-bit apps).

Not wanting to spend $60/month for occasional use, running these under Mojave in a VM was my next-best option. After repeatedly running into an error using a VirtualBox setup script, I downloaded VMware Fusion 12 Player and tried to install it. The installer got stuck at the macOS Utilities screen, regardless of whether I dragged the Mohave installer app to Fusion or built an ISO.

Eventually I installed Mojave on an external hard drive and used Fusion’s “Install macOS from the Recovery partition” feature to create a working VM.

Once Mojave was up and running, installing Creative Suite from the DVD worked as expected.

After installation, I ran Adobe Application Manager to check for updates. The apps themselves (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) updated successfully. However, several pieces of support software failed to update:

  • Adobe Bridge 5.0.2
  • Photoshop Camera Raw 9.1.1
  • Adobe Extension Manager 6.0.8
  • Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Tools 2015.5

The updater would get to the end of the process and error out.

Updating these four components manually was difficult.

Adobe Support was anti-helpful. @AdobeCare sent me to chat support, who told me (rather ungramatically) that since CS6 was discontinued, support wasn’t available. I didn’t need support, I just wanted the updater to work and for their website to have working links. They sent me to the Bridge updater page (the one I had already found, with its broken link). After I told them (via email) the link was no good, they doubled down on the idea the link was working:

We would like to inform you that the direct download link is working fine at our end. You need to to follow the “Right Click” steps which was attached with the last email for downloading the file on your computer from the link below:

Thanks, folks. I know how to click things, and I know when something is 404:

~  $ curl -I
HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Server: Apache
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Length: 0
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 2021 15:56:23 GMT
Connection: keep-alive

Since updates took a while before failing, I figured it was actually executing something and used fs_usage -f filesys -w | grep -i adobe to check. Sure enough, it was downloading a file … but deleting it on error, before I could save the downloaded installer file.

My next step was to figure out what was being dowloaded and download those files manually. Using tcpdump -A port 80 | grep -A 5 GET, I was able to grab the URLs the updater uses, and manually download:

Each dmg contained an installer that ran successfully.