ssh, tmux, and mouse select for copy-paste: Make sure X forwarding enabled!

Ohhh I’m a dum-dum.

I was struggling for a full 30 mins to an hour trying to be able to get copy and paste working over tmux. I already had some settings for it in tmux.conf and was wondering why nothing I tried was working.

What I wanted to be able to do:

Remote in tmux: mouse click – drag – select – text in a pane in tmux (over ssh).
Local: Paste into a notepad



ssh -X user@

Editing my ~/.ssh/config file to

ForwardX11 yes

right the heck now.

Installing MIT VPN (Cisco Anyconnect) on Ubuntu 18.04

I was recently trying to set up the MIT VPN and John Aleman provided these helpful instructions to me.

1. Download anyconnect:
2. Untar the file:
tar -zxvf anyconnect-linux64-4.6.03049-predeploy-k9.tar.gz
3. Move to /opt (optional step)
mv anyconnect-linux64-4.6.03049 /opt/cisco_anyconnect
cd /opt/cisco_anyconnect

4. Install anyconnect libs
cd vpn/
sudo ./

5. Launch VPN
The fill in boxes should have:

  • Connect to:
  • username: “Username without”
  • Password: Your kerberos
  • Second password: “push”

Then you need to use the duo authintication app on your phone to authenticate.
6. Profit
If someone finds an easier way, please tell me

Pandemic Diary #14, 11 Jun 2020

so much has happened in the last week

cat: ;12.6 lb, diet food seems to fill up a bit more, harness training was a failure, not sure why she’s so terrified but she is. diet: she does seem more frustrated / grumpy maybe due to hunger, and she KEEP SCRATCHING little tufts of fur out. got toys so she can entertain herself and not be bored instead of scratching (that’s the assumption) but no she only plays if you are playing with her… i have work to do! trying to reconcile that because i cannot control her itchiness not necessarily a bad cat caretaker… my friend says her cat from the shelter was pretty itchy too, and she gave some aloe vera shampoo bath and he stopped scratching, and that after a few years of baths he doesn’t complain anymore and they still are friends (thinking: eastern vs western attitudes toward pets as members of family vs pets. north american vs european attitudes of indoor cats vs outdoor cats). i guess toilet training kit will have to wait…got an automatic cat feeder finally, $60. still within budget of $200 startup, $70 monthly ($30 emergency fund monthly)

protests: eating a lot into my mind. so hard to concentrate. not sure why my life cannot be stable, bad luck or am i just a bad lazy person? my heart is in ai for society. hard to reconcile. need more skills. so burnt out of always being on the run. yet, trying to stay positive

oh my general drama. cross gender general is the woman artist type is the man. passes the bechdel test, in part because the male lead has three concubines in addition to the wife. strongly mixed feelings. good avenue for discussing gender roles nonconfrontationally and relaxed. (if general has kids that means she can no longer be a general – point out that clearly her dad was a general with kids). a lot of chinese terms. not sure how much is sticking in my head.

protests. i eat my words about not being sure about efficacy of protests. read dead aid, interest perspective, that billions of aid actually shackled africa. that socialist or democratic does not matter so much as free capitalist market for lifting people out of poverty. reflecting on covid – china surpassing usa in controlling covid – no longer the developing country of my childhood. rapid rise of millions out of poverty (still poor compared to us, but also quite modern – latest cities are futuristic compared to us). should be possible in sub saharan africa too. trevor noah born a crime – super interesting look at race relations in another country, that history of apartheid and having to hide parentage. and the perspective of wanting so badly to be black. having to pick sides. using language accents as a way to avoid confrontations and impress people. eating only caterpillars for a month to try to rescue a small business.

tired. protests: how public opinion swept me along into black lives matter. was less decisive. like how on this blog you can see my old post on trying to be less anxious by comparing covid to flu (!) and immediately eating my words two or three days later. painful to admit my ignorance at first. uncertainty where to begin learning. (google play books – quickly spent a lot of money… effective at getting me to binge read books, also has an amazing free read-aloud service). defund/abolish the police never heard of just 4 or 5 days ago, understanding now: redirect police funding to social services. makes sense. radical.

protests. as unity: the youth across races. hopeful for the future. seeing trump start being unpopular. of seeing the flaws in my own thinking until i replace the character: woman, chased by three men, two pickups back and forth on a road. men with guns, trying to round me up. dying like that, nowhere to go. actually having FOMO on history by not going to protests and experiencing or seeing tear gas. finding myself to be conservative compared to my friends. considering watching 13th with my parents to help them understand.

tired. saw dermatologist – schedule contact allergy tests.

tired. find a research direction – find funding – find energy. how did i burn out so fast? i was unconscionably excited four months ago. an uncritical mind. what do i gain from criticizing myself in my mind? paralysis. feel that i have no skills, don’t know how to make cs projects happen. somehow. so lost to be like this – treating this so differently than a startup, where i relied on my wits and networking and talking to people. feeling incompetent and unclear why.

roses need spraying, need fertilizer, weeding, things i’ll never get around to. need to fix sleep schedule. maybe find creative outlet to relax. or am i too relaxed. i’ve been running in circles for a long time trying to find what i would find cool to work on. is it just halloween candy? what of art, what of dynamic movements. learning, learning, why do i keep putting myself in painful situations where i feel incompetent? tired, tired, to turn around and be the one who cannot be an activist, when i had implicit criticism of those who didn’t do anything to act. yet, my own future. yet, i am lazy compared to my parents.

stop the noise.

icra conference – organized happy hour. vitac workhsop great. “online town – new friends – best part of the conference so far for me” – mostly first years – people still open to forming collaborations and friendships.

find a cs mentor.

Pandemic Diary #13, 04 Jun 2020

1/2 can wet, 1/2 scoop dry, 7 treats
90 cal, 50 cal, 10.5 cal = 150 cal

136.6 – 123.8 = 12.8 lb

Jun 04, 12.8 lb
Jun 02, 13.0 lbs
May 10, 13.2 lbs.
May 02, 13.5 lbs .
Apr 27, 13.7 lbs.

Cut off a bit of nail that had separated yesterday, I think it was causing her some pain.

Pandemic Diary #12, 03 Jun 2020

quite quite stressed.

feelings: ignorant for wanting to understand police side more by default, guilty for not reading up on BLM before, stressed about COVID and protests, for talking about my own experiences, weird to be the one bringing it up in group slack?, confused that i am not instant deep friends with labmates (or something lol), useless for not completing any coding for my class this semester, stressed to update my portfolio to prove I can code, bought a ebook online for the first time (anti racism), upset that my parents are going to stores more regularly, stressed about them buying a used laundry machine that leaks, that my dad never even puts his dish in the sink after he’s done eating, that i’m not learning chinese efficiently enough watching tv dramas to be worth the time, that i’ve wasted too much time in my life, that i’m not hardworking enough and would fail out as an immigrant (well, that’s definitely the case), reflecting that i’ve come a long way since i was out-of-control depressed, wanting to do startups / hack on code, feeling like i know how to write bash scripts but not real large code projects, simultaneously feel frustrated to be working with people who don’t know how to version control, use branches, and do peer review, stressed that my cat is possibly angry at me for reducing calories again, not sure if i’ll ever get her happy to use the harness, bought cat and sewing machine things on amazon that weren’t at all essential and feel bad about that, stressed about trying to keep up with ICRA, miserable about having only one paper after three years, miserable to not be doing any COVID activism and keeping up with the news, to worry about my friends and wonder proactively try to feel safe to talk to or i should ignore them, guilty that i am not doing more of the cooking and chores around the house

i think the cat is definitely angry at me, the mews sound different

maybe that is all?

saw lightning bugs today!! up to ep 18 on the oh my general drama. uncomfortable: gender swap, but is it feminist?

icra conference – sourcing – label images – run yolo – paper

ICRA happy hour, losing steam…

Pandemic Diary #11, 02 Jun 2020


Rosie’s (cat) weight:

Jun 02, 13.0 lbs exactly.
May 10, 13.2 lbs.
May 02, 13.5 lbs .
Apr 27, 13.7 lbs.

Despite changing from 200 cal down to 150 cal, almost a week ago, little progress. Current target calories was: 150. (90 from wet food, 50 from dry, 10 from treats)

New target calories: 90 wet food, 30 dry, 10 from treats.


Harness arrived. Serendipitiously, it’s the same color as the paracord she loves playing with. (Okay, to be fair, I used my favorite color for both).

Town Announcer NPC for Online Town (ICRA2020 virtual happy hour)

Made a quick NPC announcer for this virtual pokemon style gathering tech (aka Online Town)

Online Town was used for a previous conference, ICLR, where people even “went to the beach” (there’s several environments, I chose the conference hall one).

ICLR Town: Pokemon-esque environment to wander around and bump into people, which syncs almost seamlessly with video-chatting capabilities. — maithra_raghu

However there is no chat history, and no way to set a description or announcements. In order to do so, Ondrej Biza suggested I actually just have a repeating audio announcement character: the Town Announcer.

After some googling, I quickly whipped together a set of bash scripts to do so. This is is Ubuntu 18.04.

1. Create recording of the announcement

I used `festival`, since I already had that installed for my terminal timer (blinks the terminal red, plays a loud sound, and speaks “n minutes are up”).

sudo apt install festival
text2wave onlinetown.txt | lame - text.mp3

Inside the text file I had

$ vi onlinetown.txt

Welcome! The next scheduled event is: Happy Hour at 5pm Eastern. Again that
is at 5pm Eastern. Move away
to stop hearing this voiceover. To add to this voiceover email me at a b c at m i t dot edu

(Side note: Somehow festival is really bad at pronouncing email, oh well).

2. Create “virtual microphone”

I can then select this as my mic input for the videoconference

As per sebpiq on stackoverflow

pactl load-module module-pipe-source source_name=virtmic file=/tmp/virtmic format=s16le rate=16000 channels=1

3. Play speed recording over virtual mic

As per sebpiq on stackoverflow

ffmpeg -re -i text.mp3 -f s16le -ar 16000 -ac 1 - > /tmp/virtmic

4. Create bash script to continuously do so

$ vi

while true
echo "Press [CTRL+C] to stop.."
ffmpeg -re -i text.mp3 -f s16le -ar 16000 -ac 1 - > /tmp/virtmic
sleep 0.5

5. Run it

chmod +x

Check that it’s in the settings

Then open, and when it asks for which microphone input to select, select the Unix FIFO.

To check that it’s all working, I joined from another computer & could hear the announcer. Sometimes it does seem like I can’t hear the announcer when joining, but I can’t reliably reproduce it.

Another sanity check is to go back to Sound settings and check that the “input level” bars are going up and down.


I did try speeding up the audio, but it did introduce new audio artifacts (squeaks). If you want to do so, add a setting when generating the mp3. Below it speeds up to 2x.

 text2wave -eval "(Parameter.set 'Duration_Stretch 0.5)" onlinetown.txt -o text.mp3

( I also tried speeding it up in the `ffmpeg` command, it sounded horrible).

Better text to speech

This was a pain… ! Not sure why. Very confusing instructions.

Helped in part As per.

These are final records of what worked.

 2022  apt-get install -y espeak libsndfile1 python3-venv
 0000 python3 -m venv env
 0000 source env/bin/activate
 2029  pip3 install -U pip setuptools wheel
 2050  pip install
 2001 git clone
 0000 cd TTS
 2053 pip3 install packaging
 2052 python -m TTS.server.server 
 0000 firefox localhost:5002
# FAILS unless inside TTS git folder!

Traceback from failure:

$ python -m TTS.server.server
> Loading TTS model ...
| > model config: None
| > checkpoint file: None
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/lib/python3.6/", line 193, in _run_module_as_main
"__main__", mod_spec)
File "/usr/lib/python3.6/", line 85, in _run_code
exec(code, run_globals)
File "/home/chai/projects/TTS/server/", line 62, in <module>
synthesizer = Synthesizer(args)
File "/home/chai/projects/TTS/server/", line 36, in __init__
File "/home/chai/projects/TTS/server/", line 52, in load_tts
self.tts_config = load_config(tts_config)
File "/home/chai/projects/TTS/utils/", line 16, in load_config
with open(config_path, "r") as f:
TypeError: expected str, bytes or os.PathLike object, not NoneType

Some other commands I tried (didn’t work)

sudo apt-get install -y espeak libsndfile1 python3-venv
python3 -m venv env
source env/bin/activate && which python3
pip install -U https//
pip3 install -U pip setuptools wheel
$ python -m TTS.server.server --help

It will say synthesizing, After a minute or two it will finish and start playing the audio. Right click and “save audio”

Output is a wav file.
What successful TTS.server.server looks like:

(env) 15:53:25 chai@W530:~/projects/TTS (master %)$ python -m TTS.server.server
/home/chai/projects/env/lib/python3.6/site-packages/librosa/util/ NumbaDeprecationWarning: An import was requested from a module that has moved location.
Import of 'jit' requested from: 'numba.decorators', please update to use 'numba.core.decorators' or pin to Numba version 0.48.0. This alias will not be present in Numba version 0.50.0.
  from numba.decorators import jit as optional_jit
 > Loading TTS model ...
 | > model config:  /home/chai/projects/env/lib/python3.6/site-packages/TTS/server/model/tts/config.json
 | > checkpoint file:  /home/chai/projects/env/lib/python3.6/site-packages/TTS/server/model/tts/checkpoint.pth.tar
 > Setting up Audio Processor...
 | > sample_rate:22050
 | > num_mels:80
 | > min_level_db:-100
 | > frame_shift_ms:12.5
 | > frame_length_ms:50
 | > ref_level_db:20
 | > num_freq:1025
 | > power:1.5
 | > preemphasis:0.98
 | > griffin_lim_iters:60
 | > signal_norm:True
 | > symmetric_norm:True
 | > mel_fmin:0
 | > mel_fmax:8000.0
 | > max_norm:4.0
 | > clip_norm:True
 | > do_trim_silence:True
 | > trim_db:60
 | > sound_norm:False
 | > n_fft:2048
 | > hop_length:275
 | > win_length:1100
 > Using model: Tacotron2
 > Loading PWGAN model ...
 | > model config:  /home/chai/projects/env/lib/python3.6/site-packages/TTS/server/model/pwgan/config.yml
 | > model file:  /home/chai/projects/env/lib/python3.6/site-packages/TTS/server/model/pwgan/checkpoint.pkl
 > Setting up Audio Processor...
 | > sample_rate:22050
 | > num_mels:80
 | > min_level_db:-100
 | > frame_shift_ms:12.5
 | > frame_length_ms:50
 | > ref_level_db:20
 | > num_freq:1025
 | > power:None
 | > preemphasis:0.98
 | > griffin_lim_iters:None
 | > signal_norm:True
 | > symmetric_norm:True
 | > mel_fmin:0
 | > mel_fmax:8000.0
 | > max_norm:4.0
 | > clip_norm:True
 | > do_trim_silence:True
 | > trim_db:60
 | > sound_norm:False
 | > n_fft:2048
 | > hop_length:275
 | > win_length:1100
 * Serving Flask app "server" (lazy loading)
 * Environment: production
   WARNING: This is a development server. Do not use it in a production deployment.
   Use a production WSGI server instead.
 * Debug mode: off
[INFO]  * Running on (Press CTRL+C to quit)
 > Model input: Welcome! The next scheduled event is: Happy Hour at 5pm Eastern. Again that is at 5pm Eastern. Move away to stop hearing this voiceover.
['Welcome!', 'The next scheduled event is: Happy Hour at 5pm Eastern.', 'Again that is at 5pm Eastern.', 'Move away to stop hearing this voiceover.']
[INFO] - - [01/Jun/2020 15:54:03] "GET /api/tts?text=Welcome!%20The%20next%20scheduled%20event%20is%3A%20Happy%20Hour%20at%205pm%20Eastern.%20Again%20that%20is%20at%205pm%20Eastern.%20Move%20away%20to%20stop%20hearing%20this%20voiceover. HTTP/1.1" 200 -

Hurray. ! The output sounds much nicer.



Undo with

pactl unload-module module-pipe-source