Monday, 31 December 2007

FYI: Happy 2008...


As a little gift to all of you for this lovely new year. I would like to point to you to ack. This little nifty piece of Perl code, will make your development searching way more easy then using crippled grep for the same purpose.

Just give it a try and you feel so much better :-)

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Getting FreeBSD libaries in one line

Libraries are common practice these days, but maintaining them is sometimes a bit problematic. FreeBSD has some beautiful tools to fix this. One of them is portupgrade.

So let's review it:


[rick@traffie] /lib $ sudo portsclean -LL
** You have multiple versions of libgpg-error but 1 of them are not from packages:
gpg-error.3 (/usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.3) <- ?
gpg-error.0 (/usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.0) <- libgpg-error-1.5
and the symlink (/usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so) points to:
gpg-error.0 (/usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.0) <- libgpg-error-1.5
--> Skipping gpg-error.3 because it is newer than what the packages provide


Ok we have a problem, let's see who did install the files in the first place

[rick@traffie] /lib $ sudo pkg_info -W /usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.0
/usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.0 was installed by package libgpg-error-1.5
[rick@traffie] /lib $ sudo pkg_info -W /usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.3

Thats odd one of the files was linked by any package anymore, as we are all humans there might be a bugs somewhere.
Lets check wether the files really differ:

[rick@traffie] /lib $ md5 /usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.{0,3}
MD5 (/usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.0) = 3fecd10d408cacc034d767d19465784b
MD5 (/usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.3) = 8259f0206df08b699bae266a12b99d20

They are, might be a forgotten removed file then?

[rick@traffie] ~ $ find /usr/ports/ -name pkg-plist -exec grep -Hn libgpg-error.so {} \+
/usr/ports/security/libgpg-error/pkg-plist:7:lib/libgpg-error.so
/usr/ports/security/libgpg-error/pkg-plist:8:lib/libgpg-error.so.0

Nah, no luck only the installed package libgpg-error. So the final but dangerous -meaning not, no really not! to be tried on a mission critical system- let's remove/rename it :-)
sudo mv  /usr/local/lib/libgpg-error.so.3 /root/


Watch your logs for over a week to spot any weird errors.




If you have many multiple dependencies problems and one of then which references to /usr/X11R6 and you 'recently' updated Xorg please alter /etc/rc.conf and include

ldconfig_paths="/usr/lib/compat /usr/local/lib \
/usr/local/lib/compat/pkg"
ldconfig_paths_aout="/usr/lib/compat/aout /usr/local/lib/aout"

and rerun /etc/rc.d/ldconfig and /etc/rc.d/ldconfig_compat

Sunday, 23 December 2007

imagemagick postscript file generation...

When doing batch processing/manipulation of images imagemagick is one of the most powerful tools around. And the best of it, it open source -GNU to be exactly, so I will not call it free ;-)-

But as with most powerful tools you will need to understand the manual to start working with it properly and hereby comes the problem; I was looking for a way to convert scanned images from a book back together to a postscript document. Running

convert -page letter p*.jpg   hp-437-439.ps
did result into a ps document with a lot of very small pictures. Fixing it was not very easy, cause I had to find one implicit fact; Postscript files by default have a DPI of 72, imagemagick convert every picture which needs to be included to 72 DPI and thereby scales the picture down to a smaller format.

To avoid this make sure to explicitly 'downgrade' your picture using the density setting.

convert -page letter -density 72 p*.jpg  hp-437-439.ps

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Winter is coming to town...

This is just beautiful , is it? To be a good IT-Dutchy you need to love to things; The beautiful winters where ice skating is possible and having one of the best broadband penetrations in the world of course ;-).

I made my first steps on the frozen ditch today -it have been freezing cold for over a week now- and I just cannot wait to go ice skating, except for the fact that I have to do a exam Concept of Programming languages today :-(

Just which me luck, although I hope I do not need it ;-)

Monday, 10 December 2007

Bloody linux...

As some of you now I run an Ubunu box which I try to keep up2date. apicron reports me the problems/updates on a nearly daily basis, which kind of surprises me. Most of the times I have to update libaries due some security flaws or something else? 

It just does not seems logical to me as running the same set of software on a FreeBSD machine will not report not that many problems at all. Which OS to trust?

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Openoffice.org Mac OS X version


Openoffice.org started porting it's beautiful product to Mac OS X. Some of you might wonder and start pointing to NeoOffice which is doing this job for quite a few years and pretty well. But I just like to check out OOo their latest alfa/beta and it is actually preforming pretty well.

But there are some fundamental differences between the versions, which explained at openoffice.org wiki. One of the main is licensing, as NeoOffice is licensed GPL which does not allow this code to be imported the main OOo project which is licensed as LGPL.

The small conclusion; Having NeoOffice has been a great big advantage, cause OOo under X11 was so damm slow that it was not workable. But the new development OOo native is starting to get way more attractive in terms of speeds and usability. It will properly take a few years before NeoOffice is gone, but it will for sure not last forever.

PS: I do would like to do a big thanks the NeoOffice guys -core development is done by 2 persons only!-, cause you are saving my ass for a few years now. Your product did really help me survive in the bloody 'Word/Excel/Pointerpoint World'

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

pushing a new 'standard'...


Which the new version of Microsoft Office 2007 they also pushed the default fileformat to be their bright and shiny docx files, which kind of surprises me. The new version has no big pro's against the old version doc and if you compare it to the open document standard odp it does not seems to have any advantage.

Their attempt to make their fileformat an open standard in order to make sure that their products could be used in organizations which require such standards -like governments- is a pretty smart move if you look at it in an business prospective. If you are looking for open communication and collaboration it is not a very smart move. Just implement the open document standard and the whole world will be better.

It is quite odd that Microsoft is trying to keep itself on the market by making people depending on them and make it pretty expensive to migrate away from the products, which again sounds logical business wise but will on the long run most do a lot of harm, cause Google, Novell, Apple and others are looking for their part of the pie.

Just think to yourself and the way you are sucked in using Microsoft Office products and thinking the Microsoft way. It is just a vicious cycle, you grow up using Microsoft Products, Office/Windows are the default installations at school -they received their system with a huge scholar discount-. At home your PC is shipped with Microsoft Vista/Windows by default. Hardware manufacturers only build their software for Microsoft Operating systems.

Due the fact you are working with Microsoft products so long, you preform best at work using Microsoft products as well, which gives the company no choice then to move to a Microsoft based environment.

I just wonder, when, who and how will this cycle be broken?

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Typing skills...


Self learned typing ain't that good as you think it is. I tried the very cool -and free of course- flash based typing course made possible by Thinkquest. The UI is dutch, but is very intuitive.

I discovered I was only using a few fingers instead of all -which I thought I did-, the course showed me how to type way more effectively.

Go check it out and when do play the game and try to beat the best -not me ;-)-

NOTE: It is something a bit low on loading, just be patient.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

psyko pictures...

Movement faked only by the brain, Akiyoshi Kitaoka is really super good in playing tricks with your mind. Go, go check it out. View his website or enlarge the sample by clicking on it. Can you see it happen?

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Davilex upgrades gives me a quick vista review for free...

I got a request from my aunt to have Davilex Club installed on her new laptop which had vista installed. She was still using a Windows 98 SE with Davilex software based from 2000. Lets rant about the installation and configuration of Davilex.


  • Their main shipped released versions: Davilex 8 (DaviClub 2000) -> Davilex Business 9.0 (2003) -> Davilex Business 9.2.0 (2007), which is nowhere to be found

  • The switched from informing by paper to e-mail based communication, but forgot to check whether an account had an email address at all, meaning no communication was received in ages

  • When making a support call they do not even check whether some details exists, but just bluntly assume the email is configured

  • Version 9.0 had a migration wizzard to import version 8, they removed this in 9.2.0 ,meaning in order to update you have to do at least tho steps

  • Their support portal is buggy -under IE7-, crashing and making exceptions all over the place

  • If you do not have an active account you are unable to view the basic FAQ questions, which for example gave me a big frustration of finding out that 9.0 was not working under vista, but does install :-(. Not support component was an old version of SQL Server namely 2003



After all this shit I finally managed to install and get it configured. Having to work for 2 days with Vista was actually big fun to me and I learned a lot about this new and shiny OS. I am not a great fan of the interface however, the graphics are not that clear to me and the nagging about whether something is allowed or what will be solution is somehow a bit irritating, the '+' in front of the folder has been made a bit smaller to be used efficiently, so you are now stuck in moving you move all over the screen to navigate to an folder. The graphical style by default is also disturbing, cause blur-ing what its on the background of sizes of an active window is just one of those examples which distracts you.

When going a bit deeper into the configuration I see they have not changed much about it -like the System Manager window-, which kinds of surprises me. But I guess the took the approach newer change a winning horse ;-). Seeing all this graphical power I am a bit worried about power consumption while working on full power.

The overall conclusion will be a bit pessimistic, but thats mainly cause my style of work is more unix related and I feel much better in using VIM/latex to write my minutes/reports to have all the bloat of Office -both Microsoft and OpenOffice- to 'help' me write it. I did not see much new stuff either which is really handy, but I guess I have to dig a bit deeper. Meanwhile I will pretty happy with my good old MacBook Pro ;-)

Monday, 26 November 2007

A traceroute problem...


As part of my hobby Wireless Leiden I am developing Node factory, which is basicly a bunch of shell script files bundled together to provide a stripped down version of FreeBSD. This could be used as wireless router or proxy machine. But when working I tend be a bit to enthusiastic in stripped files which result in pretty weird error messages,like

root@CNodeZwet:~# traceroute zwet
traceroute: unknown protocol (null)

The solution however is very simple, take a look at the lines
traceroute.c
505: cp = "icmp";
506: pe = getprotobyname(cp);

getprotobyname call requires /etc/protocols to be present which I forgot ;-)

Friday, 23 November 2007

To like it or not...

A ITer judging on fashion, that is not a very usual combination, but what the heck, we live in a free country ;-) With the ultra low hip jeans and cycling in Holland are both very popular we all see underwear showing up. This behavior in general looks pretty good in combination with a thong ;-) but with the Bjorn Born type underwear...

Girls please if you do want to show your underwear please make sure it looks pretty ;-)

Thursday, 22 November 2007

bloody wireless (after mac os x upgrade to 10.4.11)...

Just upgraded my macbook pro to 10.4.11 and it just keeps disconnecting from the wireless access points at home. I know both of the access points has got Senao prism 11b cards -cause they are part of our city homebrew network Wireless Leiden-, but I really do not have a clue on the cause yet.

Lets see whether we have some time later this week it fix this nasty problem


UPDATE: Give the machine a reboot -cause if froze again, I would prefer a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) instead of just not doing anything anymore- and it seems to work perfect again.

Mister Apple, I know you want to have Microsoft Windows XP/Vista users switched over, but implemented the bad behavior is not gonna work I guess ;-)

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Bicycle + failing hardware = auch!...

Cycling home after a long day of hard work -with a speed of 25km/h- and suddenly. Bang! The saddle pin bolt broke off and a hit the ground pretty hard :-(

Unlucky this is not the first time this week I got contract with the earth pretty rough. Slippery leafs and a broken pedal where the other problems.

Who did call cycling harmless and healthy?

FreeBSD ports update hidden gem

Ones a while you gets really fed up of something and you struggle trough the source to get some fix, well this is just one of them. Update all packages mark critical by portaudit without getting those blue config screens in which you choose the default options anyway, cause the port maintainer knows his job well!



#fetch latest portsversion
$sudo portsnap fetch
$sudo portsnap update
#update portaudit
$sudo portaudit -F
#update the critical ones :-)
$sudo portupgrade -mBATCH=yes `portaudit -aq`

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Subversion as backup system...

I just started playing with svnsync and it really works pretty well and I am thinking on replacing some of my backups currently done with rsync by using subversion. A few big pro's


  • Always have every status of your data back
  • Efficient algorithm in transferring data, read this on the NetBSD list
  • Very easy to create multiple backups and now the exact status of each of them

  • Got meta data on actions, so might able to analyze trends and problems

Monday, 19 November 2007

Planet blog, but what about backups...

Blogging is hip, blogging makes your live cool, and Planet blog software makes grouping of blogging a fun job :-). There is only slight little problem, what if Mr/Ms Google decided to suddenly deletes my blog due some reason?

For this cause I wrote a few lines of shell code to auto import new blog entries, fetched by Planet into subversion. I live living on the save side of the planet :-)

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Google is your friend?...

I just caught myself in thinking the Google way, which is something like this: I want to report a bug to my provider, lets use my gmail account instead of my providers ones, cause it always works. How many people hits my blog or website? Ah I will embed analytics instead of awstats cause it is done in a sec. Lets use Google calendar to share my appointments with my wife. Nah no need to setup WordPress I will use blogger.

Google is no longer a search engine anymore, but also a very effective in basically every type of web based application. Take for example this blog ;-)

And yes I have to admit Googles' web-based applications are very superior in just all ways, people which do use analytics, gmail or something else, knows where I am talking about. The UI is great, features needed are present and able to extend anything is possible using the API's.

Googles presence in the open source world in the terms of code-sharing supporting -using Summer Of Code- or collaboration -Firefox,StarOffice- is pretty high.

Having this 2 facts makes criticism against Google very low, which kind of worries me. Cause a company which that many power should be used with care. Just take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Google and judge for yourself

Ubuntu distribution upgrade...


UPDATE: For some reason Google finds this 3 years old post still useful, but the way Ubuntu does distrubution updates changed the last years a bit (as rightfully mentioned in the comments). Please follow this instead:

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/upgrade



I promised you all, we gonna do some Ubuntu distribution upgrades (using the terminal) -Edgy Edge (6.10) -> Feisty Fawn (7.04) -> gutsy gibbon (7.10)-. For all dutch speaking lads, this forum post by anika did help me a lot to keep on going...

This actions could potentially kill your system or worse, so be careful. It is your system and you cannot blame me if something goes very wrong


The rules of the game:

  • Make a backup of all your data and config files, it will save your ass in case of problems :-)
  • If I tell you
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    , please run the command again if you no not see the message
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
  • Try to answer yes to all questions about replacing maintainers specific config files, if you did modify them, you most likely did not choose the right location
  • Do move forward one distribution of the time
  • When working from a remote computer, make sure the connection is stable and the computer cannot run out of power. Best way hack around both problems is to use the handy program screen.


Actual upgrade


A up2date system will be a first pre-requisition, so lets do it :-)
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
if you did upgrade some dist stuff after your last reboot, please reboot -sudo reboot-

Ones you are back in we gonna prepare your
/etc/apt/sources.list
to fetch the new packages. As we only can do one major distro jump at the time, edgy to feisty will be the first one. Replace all references ``edgy'' to ``feisty'' using your favorite editor or shell skills ;-)

Lets do the update, fetch the new index files and start updating. Follow the steps pointed out above for guidelines in the upgrade process. Just try to keep your system as close to the original distro as possible and edit configuration files on the places you will asked to edit them.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
as you did upgrade dist stuff, please reboot -sudo reboot-

Ones the system is back up it is running feisty instead of edgy, check whether all services are still running as expected and you are done or continue to upgrade to gutsy.

Next upgrades


You can follow just same steps as the upgrade from edgy to feisty to replace feisty with gutsy. Just make sure to use the different name in the
/etc/apt/sources.list


Problems...


Unable to fetch file, server said 'Failed to open file.  '
Failed to fetch ftp://ftp.rz.tu-bs.de/pub/mirror/ubuntu-packages/pool/restricted/l/linux-restricted-modules-2.6.22/linux-restricted-modules-common_2.6.22.4-14.10_all.deb  Unable to fetch file, server said 'Failed to open file.  '
E: Unable to fetch some archives, maybe run apt-get update or try with --fix-missing?

Ehm, dead mirror try to find a new one at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Mirrors or wait a few hours and try again

Package Configuration (blue screen)

Just follow the directions provided, most of the time, just press OK

Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

Review packages you would like to install and confirm

Configuration file `/etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf'
==> File on system created by you or by a script.
==> File also in package provided by package maintainer.
What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
D     : show the differences between the versions
Z     : background this process to examine the situation
The default action is to keep your current version.
*** apache.conf (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ? 

Make sure to installed the package maintainer's version (Y) after reviewing (D)

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Ubuntu release cylces...

My external server runs at Hetzner but the have made the 'bad' choice to ship their root servers with Ubuntu 6.06 by default, instead of a decent operating system like FreeBSD ;-)

But anyway we cannot have it all -actually I can run BSD on the machine, but this either cost me some money to have them do it for me, or I will need to follow this hack- and it would not be bad to get some some inside details how you Linux guys made to keep a server running.

There is at least one thing that annoyance me a bit, cause running the 6.06 LTS (Long Term Support) packages seems to be 'frozen'. Take for example subversion 1.3.2 which now lives at 1.4.5. I know all of this is done to ensure stability and such, but running 'outdated' software is in most of the times not very workable if you are running in a cross-system environment with both FreeBSD, Windows, Mac OS X system.

So get ready for my next post, we gonna do some dist upgrades :-)

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Mr symantec, it just looks like spam to me...

How cryptic could unsubscribing be, check this one from symantec


To unsubscribe from this broadcast email, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
To view this email as a web page, click here.


No details at the bottom of the page only a link to privacy stuff and finally I ended up at this page https://www-secure.symantec.com/custserv/cgi-bin/cs_privacy_dyn.cgi

Filled the form -just put on every field not required, else it will not process your form-

Privacy Options
Your privacy information will be processed.

The majority of preferences are processed within a few days. However, please allow up to 8-12 weeks to ensure all updates are complete.

We apologize we are unable to stop any mail already in the delivery process. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Thank you for using online Customer Service.


8-12 weeks(!) and all the mess, that's way above the 'standards', but where to report to? I do not know...


Time to write a nice complain email :-)

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

building a static subversion...

Installing a latest version of subversion can be a real pain in the ass is you are not allowed the alter the base system (read: no root access) and the system administrator rather drinks coffee than keeping his/her system up2date.

Luckily most of the times the compiler is installed and so are the header files, so no worry I will provide you a way to get the bleeding edge to work :-)

First some boring, but handy background. Subversion uses several libraries and programs to extend it functionality, which all good programs should do ;-). Some of them are not optional and needs to be compiled first, these are apr, zlib and neon. 'Luckily' all external needed program sources are pre selected and put into the subversion-deps archive :-)

In order to avoid the library mess, I will try to use as many static libraries as possible. This might make your program feel to load a bit slower, but you do know for sure you are using the right libraries.

FYI: The --without-gssapi disables advanced authentication (kerberos and such) and the --without-swig disables the python bindings, cause python was not installed on the machine :-(


$ curl -O http://subversion.tigris.org/downloads/subversion-deps-1.4.5.tar.gz
$ curl -O http://subversion.tigris.org/downloads/subversion-1.4.5.tar.gz
$ tar -xvzf subversion-1.4.5.tar.gz
$ tar -xvzf subversion-deps-1.4.5.tar.gz
$ cd subversion-1.4.5
$ ./configure --with-ssl --without-gssapi --without-swig --enable-all-static
$ make


Working :-)


[hvdzwet@silver 0:23 /scratch/hvdzwet/subversion-1.4.5] > ldd ./subversion/svn/svn
not a dynamic executable
[hvdzwet@silver 0:23 /scratch/hvdzwet/subversion-1.4.5] > ./subversion/svn/svn --version
svn, version 1.4.5 (r25188)
compiled Nov 14 2007, 00:06:52
# Big beast :-)
[hvdzwet@silver 0:30 /scratch/hvdzwet/subversion-1.4.5] > ls -lh ./subversion/svn/svn
-rwx------ 1 hvdzwet student 5.8M Nov 14 00:11 ./subversion/svn/svn

It is proven, she is smart...

Whowho, partytime! My girlfriend just heard from the Erasmus University that her final paper has been approved. From 13 December on I will need to call her 'Master of Science of Economics and Business I.N. Hiemstra' and I am proud of it!

Monday, 12 November 2007

iPod ears broken...

My iPod ears broke down after 1 years of 'moderate' usage ;-). Thinking that I was able to repair them myself, I discovered those damm Apple gods put a build in protection into the ears. Ones you opened them there is no way to get them to work again, sigh :-(

Steve, I am not gonna make you happy, I bought Creative ones ;-)

Dead switch...

Huh, 90% packetloss on a wired link? Turns out you could fry a chicken on my main switch :-). Took my multimeter and checked the actual output of the adapter. 12,5V(!) instead of 7.5V.
On advise of Ed I shorted the adapter using a big resistor, cause adapters could have a big voltage drop when they get some load.

Still 9.75V, so this adapter is marked dead ;-)

WM6 password bug on home cooked images...

Oops my QTEK 9090 did it again -or actually I did cause I let it run out of battery- it locked my device completely not allowing me to enter it anymore. Which is a known bug at my favorite mobile device hacking forum http://xda-developers.com. But I got the system running in 10 minutes again:


  • Hard-reset: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=1164331

  • Re-install of GPRS connection

  • Re-install of custom root certificate

  • Setup active sync to sync with the Zimbra service

  • Minor tweaks in notifications

  • DONE



I disabled the password protection for the time being and started searching for a more decent phone or at least a better operating system ;-)

Sunday, 11 November 2007

optic hacking...

We (meaning the Wifisoft people) are hacking with optic links from Ronja, just check our project page

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Bye, bye my dear shell server


Welcome to the LIACS shell server.
Please do not put a heavy load on this machine.


After many years of service, this shell-server is going to
be retired. It has been running for over 6 years.
For an old PII, this has been a good investment.

Next vriday (nov 9) it will be switched off permanently.

Please use ssh.liacs.nl to connect to our new
shell-server.


Why replacing it always worked :-) I better of recompiling all my personal binaries again :-(

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Directory hopping in the terminal...

Tried of hopping a around in your favorite bash/sh shell and typing the full directory every time? At least I did ;-) Put the code attached below in your $HOME/.profile and start using quick jumps :-)

Make a mark of a current directory using `mark `. And go back by it using `back `. As the directory mapping is shared throughout all your open terminal hopping around will never be the same again!

Happy hopping!


markBackCommon()
{
MARKFILE="$HOME/.mark"
DIR=`pwd -P`
if [ -z "$1" ]; then
MARK=B
else
MARK=$1
fi
}

mark()
{
markBackCommon $1
grep -v -e '^$MARK#' -e '^B#' $MARKFILE > $MARKFILE.tmp
(cat $MARKFILE.tmp; echo "$MARK#$DIR"; echo "B#$DIR") | sort -u > $MARKFILE
}

back()
{
markBackCommon $1
TARGET=`awk -F# "/^$MARK#/ {print \\$2}" $MARKFILE`

if [ -n "$TARGET" ]; then
cd $TARGET
fi
}

listmark()
{
markBackCommon 0
cat $MARKFILE
}

alias m=mark
alias b=back
alias lm=listmark

Friday, 2 November 2007

Exchange 2007 (and less)...

Ever wanted to use entourage 2003 with exchange 2007, I strongly suggest you wait till office 2007 for the mac comes out begin 2008, cause you are most likely to get into a lot of weird issues.

Some background, Exchange 2007 is equipped with 'legacy' 2003 support, and most important with a so-called DAVEx.dll which handles the virtual /exchange calls.

Entourage 2003 uses the 'legacy' /exchange calls to connect to the exchange system and some other settings:
* URL: https://<exchange>/exchange/<username>/
* Domain:
* LDAP: FooBar (not secured so please do not use)

All of the sudden you might get errors like temporary unable to connect or complete request which cryptic error messages codes like 501, when you for example rebooted your exchange server. You better of trying to login using the administrative account and then the error seems to be gone again.

Still do not know what is going on over here, but someday I will post a few extra notes how to start debugging this issues. In the meantime just remember this keywords as a first start:

* Client Logfiles
* event manager
* IIS Logfiles
* Exchange Logfiles

Enjoy debugging exchange problems :-)

Reset admin password a 3com superstack 3 switch...

I got a switch 3CR17500-91, but no password :-(. Luckily the knowledge base of 3com was able to help me (3KB10785)

* Login at CLI -default serial 18600, 8N1- using username/password recover/recover
* Hard reset -eg poweroff-poweron-
* Wait till you see

Enter the new password for the Administrator:
and enter your new password
* Now able to login username ``admin'' and your newly typed password :-)
* You are back in business!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Sound at a equal level...

Imagine; listening to your iPod and having to adjust the stupid volume time by time, cause the songs are not equally leveled or call it normalized.

As iPod or iTunes does not give you the right tools to do it at ones, let me help you a bit -with a big thanks to the makers and maintainers of MacMP3Gain-

First of all install the lovely piece of Software MacMP3Gain, you properly know the drill, download, load, drag and drop to the Applications Folder.

Next normalize all your iTunes songs:
WARNING: Please make a backup of your iTunes directory before continue, cause this will ruin your iTunes collection if things goes wrong and as always, I am NOT responsible.

As I do not like the GUI and just want to normalize all my songs the command I use will be:

$find $HOME/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music -type f -exec \
/Applications/MacMP3Gain.app/Contents/Resources/aacgain -c -r -m 0 {} \;
# -c = ignore clip
# -r = radio style, level number to specific value
# -m 0 = use the default level of db 89


Now you will see all your files processed, it might take a (long) while, making your machine slow and less responsive, but it will do the job :-)

When you import a new album or song, just run the command again. It will skip songs already processed.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Damm apple keys...

Ever wanted to use a key shortcut discribed in symbols, but does not know where to find the key on the keyboard. I did :-(

Luckaly I was able to find the symbol -> key mapping over here:

http://blog.nominet.org.uk/tech/2006/10/30/apple-keyboard-symbols/


And forward Delete works like pressing Fn + Delete, as told by Apple:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Cryptic OpenSSL...

$ openssl pkcs12 -in rick.p12 -info  -nodes
Enter Import Password:
Can't read Password

Can't read Password, brrr something naghty, bug found?

No the reason is pretty simple, the max length of the password cannot be more then 50 characters as you can see in the source

char pass[50], macpass[50];
source: pkcs12.c

Ultimate trust of FreeBSD port system...

Do you trust your system configuration and the port system, then give the following commands a try. I have to warn you, I am not responsible for any problems caused and a proper sysadmin first tries this at a sandbox (or at home ;-) )


#install latest ports
$sudo portsnap fetch
#spot out of date ports
$sudo pkg_version -vIL=
#check whether install all ports goes fine
$sudo portupgrade -na
#stop all relevant ports, apache in my case
$sudo /usr/local/etc/rc.d/apache22 stop
#install them all
$sudo portupgrade -a
#restart any service updated, in my case apache (mind the out of date list)
$sudo /usr/local/etc/rc.d/apache22 start

When talking about FreeBSD ports you might also want to checkout the handbook about portsnap to install a small cron line to report outdated ports everyday

While installing port monitoring tools you also need portaudit to have critical port vulnerabilities reported to you

Friday, 12 October 2007

CGI whitespace...

I Just could not get rid of the stupid newlines and whitespace in front and at the back of my entry :-( Someone pointed me on a forgotten newline character, so this will do it :-)


#! /usr/bin/env python

import cgi
import cgitb; cgitb.enable()
from common import *


def process():
fields = cgi.FieldStorage()
print htmlHead()
if fields.has_key('testbox'):
print "XXX<pre>%s</pre>XXX" % fields['testbox'].value.strip('\r\n ')

else:
print """
<form action="test.py" method="get">
<textarea name="testbox"></textarea>
<input type="submit">

"""
print htmlFooter()
if __name__ == '__main__':
process()
</form>

Note: the htmlHead() and htmlFooter() functions are just the value of the html head and footer code, which live in my own library common

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Libraries and Mac OS X...

Ever wanted to build a shared library and hit a mac os x like machine, than the regular commandos:

$ gcc -c -fPIC calc_mean.c -o calc_mean.o
$ gcc -shared -Wl,-soname,libmean.so.1 -o libmean.so.1.0.1 calc_mean.o
will give you the error:
gcc -shared -Wl,-soname,libmean.so.1 -o libmean.so.1.0.1  calc_mean.o
i686-apple-darwin8-gcc-4.0.1: unrecognized option '-shared'
/usr/bin/ld: unknown flag: -soname
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
You know why? Could those lovely things are called dynamic libraries in macworld and need the corresponding syntax ;-)

$ gcc -c -fPIC calc_mean.c -o calc_mean.o
$ gcc -dynamiclib -install_name libmean.dylib -o libmean.dylib calc_mean.o

Thanks to the example of René Nyffenegger about shared libraries in C

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

iPhoto & Kruitvat (Gunpowder barrel ;-) ) photo software is not a very good combination...

Oops, installed Kruitvat photo software; Popups up a small warning like iPhoto v4.0 is not compatible and whooes their goes my whole iPhoto Library.

Yes I know I am still be able to find my photos at

~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals
, but having them to reindex all over again and make new slideshows is quite a bit bummer :-(

Thursday, 20 September 2007

So glad I made it...

I so glad to have you share this memorable fact . I graduated for my Propedeuse, meaning I am officially capable to continue my study Computer Science :-)

Monday, 17 September 2007

Damm cab files and windows mobile...

When you want to download a cab file to your windows mobile device 5/6 from an apache webserver, which you are able to control (legally ;-) make sure to set the mime-type correct or else your device will just love to show you the binary junk on his screen :-(

Set application/x-cab-compressed to the cab files, when you are using ubuntu (cause your hosting provider to to lazy to install a proper BSD OS by default) use

$echo 'application/x-cab-compressed cab' | sudo tee -a /etc/mime.types
$sudo killall -HUP apache2
Now check whether it worked fine
$curl -I URL
Kudo to 6brand for the hint

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Big guy came home...

After a little bit of a bumpy flight, we finally came back home. Thanks to my lovely girlfriend, which offered to drive us home.

I desided to get on the balance, cause my belt was not needed anymore. 90kg(!), made my BMI 30. the critical mass has been reached :-( Time for a public statement: "I will loose 10kg"

So guys when you see me around, offer me a beer, but do not invite me for dinner ;-)



Target

The day after...

Ssssssst please keep quiet, hackers with hangovers are working over here.

It is quite pointless to say that we drunk o lot of beer yesterday, it was even a part of the program (like all good things are). But we had still had to checkout at 9 o'clock :-(

So with a table filled with orange juice and water the most creative inventions (discussed yesterday) are be implemented or proven to be totally wrong.

I cannot wait to go to Strassbourg (EuroBSDCon2008)!!!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

My first blog ever...

It might be funny for a digikid like me, but I tend to keep far away from blogging. But I finally got the call...

Hacking a whole week long at EuroBSDCon 2007 finally reveals the need of this digital portal. I just CANNOT keep all this exciting new development -zfs/refuse/puffs/carp- away from you all...

Just check http://rickvanderzwet.nl/eurobsd and read the whole story

PS Did I mention the new development of the USB stack of FreeBSD made by Hans?