Twitter Updates for 2009-10-23

  • reeeeeevertb! Ouch! Can barely understand what you're saying. #tmh19 #
  • I, for one, am glad zombies are replacing "vampires" as the chic horror meme #
  • That's just filled with AWESOME! RT @grantimahara YES! This is exactly the cake that I wanted!! RT @thinkgeek: #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-10-22

  • Playing Farkle #
  • is seriously hooked on Facebook games. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-10-21

  • Damit, I've been wanting to meet @choochoobear for a long time, he's going to be at a local con… ON MY WEDDING DAY! TANJ! #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-10-20

  • Just finished addressing a bunch of wedding invitations. Now no more than I want to about MS Ofice mail merge. #

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Nifty tool I just read about that tells you what will happen next time you reboot your Windows system. The idea being when you install an app that insists you must reboot to complete the install, this tool will tell you what’s going to happen.
Read about it here:

Twitter Updates for 2009-10-13

  • Stop
    Andrew Edelstein #

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Guardian blocked from reporting Parliament

Guardian newspaper gagged from reporting the proceedings of Parliament

For the first time in history, a British news paper is blocked from reporting the proceedings of Parliament.
A law firm, Carter-Ruck, representing an oil company successfully obtained a gag order preventing the Guardian from reporting that a member of parliament has asked a question of a cabinet minister regarding the actions of the oil company, Trafigura, in dumping toxic waste in Ivory Coast.
This is apparently possible due to a the creation of the British Supreme Court earlier this month.

Twitter Updates for 2009-10-09

  • RT @supersiblings Wha… wha? Obama got a noble prize for NASA bombing the moon because Marge Simpson is in Playboy? #twittermash #
  • Anyone on Google Wave? I can haz invite? #
  • /me waves at Nija (unfortunately, not Google Wave…) #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-10-08

  • Working on learing PERL once and for all. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-10-06

  • Apparently someone really wants to get into my gmail account. 10 attempts to reset my password since 3:00. #
  • I love it when customers have a "DOH!" moment and realize the error they're seeing is THEIR fault. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-28

  • Those of you on LJ, check your friends page for important news re: wedding. #
  • Enyoying my lovely dinner from Nikki's #
  • Dinner done (delicious Chicken Aristocrat. If you live in mid-cities, I really recommend Nikki's). Time for WoW. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-25

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-23

  • RT @joedecker My apologies for the next tweet, but I actually want a 7D #
  • Win a new Canon 7D (or 2500 photo scans) from @ScanCafe & Scott Bourne. Pls RT. Details here: #
  • Win a new Canon 5DMKII (or $2500 Gift Cert) from @OPGear & Scott Bourne. Pls RT. Details here: #
  • I wish Yoono worked for LiveJournl the way it works for Twitter. #
  • Yooono devs/support follows twitter. Who knew? #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-21

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-20

  • Heading out for late dinner with Kestrel #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-18

  • Question for the cloud: When you find something you want to blog about, but don't have time right now, how do you mark/save it? #
  • Hmm… My profile pic disappereard mysteriously… #

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Question for the blogosphere

When you run into a site or blog post somewhere on the ‘Net that you want to blog about, but you don’t have time to do so right now, what tool do you use to save or mark it to come back to later, or remind yourself to write your blog post?
For example, amuse blogged about a post by Jason. Some thoughts occured to me and I decided I wanted to write a full blog post, rather than just a quick tweet, but I’m on the phone with a customer right now (luckily he’s busy adjusting his firewall right now). I wanted to save both links to include in my blog post, but couldn’t think of a way to do that easily. OK, I’ve just included them in THIS blog post, but the thought occurred to me that those of you who do a lot of time surfing and blogging and commenting on other blogs (via your own posts) must have some sort of tools or other system to say “I want to blog about this, so let’s save this in my list of things to write about later today / this week, where it’s easy to come back to it”.

Twitter Updates for 2009-09-17

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-16

  • Home from work, home from Best Buy, time to hit Tournament of Champions. #

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Twitter Updates for 2009-09-15

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Engagement Ring – a set on Flickr

Pictures of the engagement ring.

Engagement Ring – a set on Flickr.

Shhh! I told her it wasn’t ready yet.


All gone?

Just marked all posts on this site “private” until further review. Most of it is just plain uninteresting to anyone other than me, many were supposed to be private in the first place, but imported from another site and accidentally exposed to the world. Many will be back, once I verify they’re OK for public consumption.

VMware ESXi on USB thumb drive

Running Dog Leaugue has a good write up on how to install VMWare ESXi on a thumb drive.
With this I was able to get it up and running on a Dell PowerEdge 850 that would NOT install ESXi from a CD (couldn’t find a storage device to install to).

Writing documentation

Not my idea of fun.

The WoW fans will appreciate this

Chrome Cow ยป US Democracy Server: Patch Day.

2008 Election Results from Google

“Disabling” web sites

Sorry, Right click is disabled.
Sorry, Right click is disabled.
I think I’m going to start a new category for web sites that like to disable your browser. You know the ones. They use javascript disable your right mouse button, telling you you don’t have permission to use that feature. Presumably they do this so you can’t right-click, select “view source”, cause they don’t want their source “code” revealed.
I’ll start this Wall O Shame with a real doozy:

USA Web “Solutions”.
These tools have not only “disabled” the right mouse button, but any key on your keyboard that might lead to telling your browser to do something. Ctrl, for example. Or Alt.

Sorry, you do not have permission to press this key.
Sorry, you do not have permission to press this key.

That’s right, you can’t do “ctrl-r” to refresh the page. Or “ctrl-arrow” to go forward or backward in your history. Or ctrl-u to view their source. Or alt-tab to another window…

And here, just to shame them, is their source code:
Continue reading ““Disabling” web sites”

Google Chrome

I’m playing around a little bit with Google’s “Chrome” browser. The jury is still out, but I am very impressed with it’s rendering speed. Everything I’ve thrown at it so far, the only rendering delays I’ve seen so far are things outside of the browser’s control: time for the DNS server to resolve the hostname, bandwidth, speed of the remote web server. Rendering the page once it’s downloaded is the fastest I’ve ever seen.
I also like how well it imported all my Firefox settings, including history, bookmarks and saved passwords. The last is a little creepy, but sure saves me having to re-enter them all for every site I want to test that is behind a login.

Day two on the new job

Yesterday was spent mostly dealing with HR, getting benefit paperwork filled out, getting ID bages, waiting for a new workstation, then getting logins to all systems I need to log into.

Today has been reading some documentation, attending one meeting (a weekly ticket status update), familiarizing myself with all the different ticket / email systems. (Kana: support email. Not related to our Outlook / Exchange email used internally, HEAT: support ticket system (not to be confused with support mail system), Remedy: internal ticket system and replacement for HEAT. Are you confused yet? I am.)

Taking the train to work has it’s perks. It would take just as long to drive, I’d have to deal with traffic, put miles on my car and burn gas^H^H^Hmoney. Taking the train I drive 5 miles to the station, buy a ticket, wait for the train, then read my book for the next 40 minutes. Change trains at Union station, get off at City Place, take two escalators, through a secure door, another escalator then an elevator up 23 floors.

The break room is near by and has free soda machines (and free juice machines). Coffee is also free. Gotta buy our snacks though.

Now, if I could just get half the fluorescent lights over my desk turned off… becomes changes look, name.

So after I don’t know how long has been around, they finally sold out and become Can’t really blame them. Those-other-than-geeks are so tuned to the “everything on the internet ends in .com” mindset, and putting too many dots in the name confuses people, that it makes sense eventually. But it doesn’t quite have that same flare to it.
Along with the new domain name, they’ve made some changes to their infrastructure, engine and look-n-feel. Check it out.

delicious blog

When lesbians get hitched

Congratulations to my good friends and “p”.
They snuck off to “Canuckistan” to get married. From the pictures it was a lovely ceremony.
I wish them all the best and look forward to the reception they have planned here in Big D some time in Oct.

Setting up a web page to keep …

Setting up a web page to keep track of Diplomacy game contacts

When death strikes close to home

Coming home from work the other night, as I turned into my neighborhood I encountered a bit of police and fire activity. No lights and sirens and fire was leaving the scene, so I didn’t think much of it. Probably someone called 911 for a medical emergency and it was all over. There was one police car still in the neighborhood and he drove off when he realized he was blocking me from turning onto my street.

Kestrel said there were two police cars out front when she got ome and the officers were talking to Jeff, our neighbor across the street. I know Jeff has a past, so I was a little worried, but she said they seemed to be laughing and joking. I stopped worrying figured I’d just ask him what happened the next day.

I came home from work yesterday, saw that Jeff was home so headed over to ask what all the excitement was the day before. Jeff and Jonnetta, his wife, were sitting at their kitchen table with Chris, the neighbor that shares the other half of their duplex. I’d never met Chris before, though I had spoken with her boyfriend and roommate, Mark. I’d seen her coming home from work so I recognized her and Jeff introduced us.
Monday afternoon, Mark died, apparently of heart failure.

He’d been ill for several months, first pneumonia, then a couple of bouts of bronchitis. He was fighting off another round of bronchitis when his doctors told him if he didn’t quit smoking, it was just going to keep coming back and his lungs would never heal, so he quit. 8 days later he was dead.

Chris said she called around 3:45 to get a phone number. He said it would take him a minute to get to it, as he was rather weak and was moving slowly. When he didn’t come right back, she figured he got distracted by a book or something, as he was in the habit of doing. (I saw him many times, at all hours of the day and night, stepping out to his porch to have a cigarette, always reading a book. He made his living buying and selling books online. Their house is so packed with books they can barely move.) Later she got an uneasy feeling and came home early, to find him collapsed on the floor, unresponsive. She called 911 and they had to take him out through the bedroom window. He was probably already dead before she got home, but they transported him to the hospital, attempting to revive him.

After getting back from the hospital, she had to deal with calling his parents to let them know their son had died. While still on the phone the police showed up and made her get off the phone RIGHT NOW, so they could remove her from the house and seal it off. They wouldn’t even let her re-enter the house to feed the dog. It wasn’t until midnight that they had their search warrant, completed their search and let her back in, satisfied that there was no appearance of a crime.

Chris and Mark had just gotten engaged and were supposed planning to sign the papers on a house they are buying this Friday. Instead she’s traveling to Oklahoma City bury him.

Twitter “auto followers”

Given the nature of Twitter, I don’t understand those who just automatically follow everyone who shows up on the Twitter home page. I just blocked about 5 “followers” who were each following a couple of thousand people. Some were following as many as 80k people! Clearly they’re not actually “following” any of them, just automatically adding everyone who posts, hoping to GET as many followers as possible. “TwitterMosaic”? If I wanted to see everything posted by everyone on twitter, I’d just look at the twitter home page, not follow a specific user, who just reposts everything everyone says.
Then there was the guy who’s every tweet was “Let me help you make your life better! Read my web site!” and variations thereof. Yeah, I need twitter spam about as much as I need email spam.
On the other hand, having finally gotten up and started my e-day, one of the first emails I read told me a lovely red-head and good friend had started following me on Twitter. ๐Ÿ™‚

CentOS domU under Debian

I finally got a CentOS 5 domU running under Debian.
The xen-tools xen-create-image method didn’t work. I managed to find an appropriate build script for centos5, but it was pretty badly out of date, trying to install RPM versions that don’t exist on the mirror servers any more. Trying to bring it back up to date would have been a PITA. It has the RPM versions hard-coded in the script.
However the instructions at worked a treat.
After following those steps, I converted it from a file-based image, to an LVM, with the following steps:
Manually create logical volumes for the filesystem and swap. I use 40G filesystem LVs and 128M swaps.

# mkdir /mnt/loop
# mkdir /mnt/cenots
# mount /home/andrew/centos.5-0.img /mnt/loop -o loop
# mount /dev/mapper/ember-centos5–disk /mnt/centos
# cd /mnt/loop
# cp -Rp bin boot dev etc home lib media mnt opt root sbin selinux srv sys tmp usr var ../centos
# cd
# umount /mnt/loop
# umount /mnt/centos

Then edit /etc/xen/domains/centos.cfg and change the following lines:

kernel = “/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-4-xen-686”
ramdisk = “/boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-4-xen-686”
vif = [‘bridge=xenbr0’]
disk = [‘file:/xens/name_of_new_server_to_be/centos.5-0.img,sda1,w’,’file:/xens/name_of_new_server_to_be/centos.swap,sda2,w’]


kernel = ‘/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-xen-686’
ramdisk = “/boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-6-xen-686”
vif = [ ‘ip=’ ]
disk = [ ‘phy:ember/centos5-disk,sda1,w’, ‘phy:ember/centos5-swap,sda2,w’ ]

Then “xm create centos”. Boom! Centos 5, running as a domU on a Debian Etch dom0, from a logical volume.
And I still have the original centos5 image file for creating fresh domUs.

How to Speak Republican

I never was any good at foreign languages.

I’m voting Repulican!

Because I don’t think I should have money. Let Saudi Arabia have it all.

Xen and the art of server maintenance

Aught to be a good title for a book on Xen, no?

Anyway, while discussing Xen with the COO (and it just occurred to me, really this project should be the CTO’s, not the COOs… odd how the COO does all this stuff…) he came to the conclusion that, like openVZ and Virtuozzo, Xen guest systems shared the kernel with the Host. That didn’t sound right to me, but I couldn’t disprove it with my Xen server, where every DomU had an empty /boot.

So I updated the kernel in Dom0, but didn’t reboot. I now have a newer kernel installed than the one it’s currently running.
I then tweaked the /etc/xen-tools/xen-tools.conf and built a new DomU, to use the new kernel. Everything went without a hitch. I now have a Dom0 running 2.6.18-4-xen-686, with a domU running 2.6.18-6-xen-686. So it would seem that while they all “share” a kernel in the sense that they share a single install on the hard drive (all pulling from the dom0 /boot directory), they aren’t sharing a single instance of the kernel in memory.

I then tried to get a working CentOS 5 domU running, but ran into some snags. That will be another post.

I’ve been a busy little geek

So far this week I’ve:
Finally gotten a working Xen system that will boot a Debian guest.
Successfully installed ispCP on the Debian guest.
Built another Debian guest to be an OpenVPN server.
Successfully built an OpenVPN server and got two clients to connect from outside the network, through the DSL modem/router.
Correctly configured the VPN server to give the client access to the full network via IP masquerading (next trick: get the network to simply route the packets instead of having to use masq).
Got ddclient working on the VPN server to keep dyndns updated so I don’t have to hard code an IP address in my VPN clients and check various server log files to see if it changed.
Fixed ddclient, when it failed to update dyndns with new IP address after my DSL provider mysteriously issued a new one, not 3 hours after setting up ddclient in the first place.

I can now log into my ispcp box from my desk at work, as though it was on the same network. I can now proceed with trying to get Mailman to play nice with ispCP when it’s slow at work.

I get productive when I ignore my games.

Getting hpasm installed on Ubuntu server

While installing Ubuntu Server 8.04 beta on an HP DL-320, I discovered I had some trouble getting HP’s “Proliant value added software” (hpasm) package installed. This package contains their system health check and control software which, among other things, switches the fans from “full-time full speed” (which is quite noisy) to temperature controlled speed (eg: normal (read: quiet) fan speed when system temp is normal).
The problem with installing and runnning this software stems from the fact that Ubuntu, for some reason, links /bin/sh to dash instead of bash. Dash is another bourne shell clone, but doesn’t understand Bash (bourne-again shell) specific syntax.
Re-linking /bin/sh to bash instead of dash solved the problem and the server is now humming (quietly) along.

Big Buck Bunny – Official Trailer on Vimeo

This is the first I’ve heard of this, but this is the first trailer release of a new movie being produced entirely on Open Source software, under a Creative Commons license.

Big Buck Bunny – Official Trailer on Vimeo

Bad telephone design

What fucking MORON designs a telephone so that you can’t replace the CORD????
I have an important phone call to make in half an hour. I don’t trust a mobile phone in this house to not drop in the middle of the call, so I went out and bought a basic land-line phone and a 25-foot phone cord so I don’t have to stretch one across my office to my desk.
I take the phone out of the box, unravel it’s cord to remove it and plug in the 25-footer… and you can’t detach it! I’m stuck with the 6 feet or so of cord that comes with it and not enough time to go buy another one. And any other I buy is likely to have the same issue, since the store only stocks the one brand (GE. GE for crying out loud! Who at GE would be that stupid?)

Edit: And to top that off, to call from 817 area code to 972 area code (across town) the phone company considers this “long distance”. Since I didn’t get long distance service with my land line (I only got it for the DSL) I can’t make the call.

last few days

I’m back.
OK, I’ve been back about 36 hours now.
Not that most of you noticed I was gone.

Next time I have to go to Houston I’ll just drive. Travel time by Southwest Airlines from DAL to HOU, including getting a ride to DAL[1], allowing for security, waiting for boarding, waiting for shuttle to hotel from HOU, crack-head shuttle driver, is about an hour longer than it would have taken to just drive. Return trip was the same, sans crack-head driver, since we just took a taxi, whose driver had a bit more clue where he was going. And big cajones[2].

The hotel[3] was not the nicest I’ve ever stayed, but it was very nice. It was easily the nicest bed I’ve slept in. I must acquire a set of bedding like theirs. Mattress pad, nice sheets, top sheet, pad, another top sheet, nice comforter.
No vent fan in the bathroom, so all the mirrors (and my glasses) got fogged up. Who ever heard of a hotel/motel that doesn’t vent the bathroom?

The conference was, over all, a waste of time. Their “beginner track” was too basic. “Installation”, “Configuration” and “SSL” scheduled for an hour each, were done in 10 minutes. The “advanced track” covered “Advanced troubleshooting”, mySQL, Anti-spam and php. “Advanced Troubleshooting” was simply “How to use strace”. Gee, how informative. mySQL covered “why you shouldn’t upgrade to 4.1 unless you REALLY mean it”. PHP was “don’t install 5.0. Really. Just don’t.” All of them were presented by a guy who started each presentation with a rundown of his resume (as if we were supposed to be impressed that he was a “senior technician” with one of the vendors at the conference before he came to work for cPanel.) His anti-spam presentation basically amounted to “make anyone who sends you mail prove their a real person by blocking their mail until the respond to your auto responder” and “RBLs suck. The people who run them are evil and clueless.”[4] Obviously he’s been using the wrong RBLs and doesn’t know how much the “prove that you love me” technique just pisses people off.

However, it was two days off work, with pay, some good meals and socializing with other industry folks.

Yesterday, I met up with for a while. Turns out the place he’s staying here in Dallas is just the next apartment complex over. Afterward I came home and got ready for a pool party at Amythest’s, with her sister, and other DFW Ufies. Shared that bottle of wine I bought a couple of weeks ago at the wine tasting and watched a silly movie.

So far last night / today I’ve made progress on Project X by getting Open-LDAP installed and successfully added an entry to the database. Next I get to configure Qmail to authenticate against it.

[1] Since ${poe} was too cheap to pay for a shuttle. REALLY cheap, since we were going to need a shuttle at the HOU end anyway.
[2] Got in the exit lane for the freeway interchange, which came to a complete stop. So he got out of the lane, slammed on the gas, passed everyone waiting to get on the interchange and cut right back in at the very last second.
[3] If I ever have to travel on business and the person arranging the travel forgets to PAY for the hotel again, I will hand them my two week notice. Going to check into a $300/night hotel and being asked for MY credit card was not fun. One call to the boss and he took care of it with his card, but he had to fax them both sides of his credit card and drivers license.
[4] With FUD like “All it takes is your competitor forging headers once to get you added to a whole bunch of RBLs” and “You have to pay each of them a ‘bribe’ to their pet charity to get off their list”. Guess he’s never heard of rfc-ignorant, ORDB, MAPS-RSS, MAPS-DUL, SORBS, DSBL

Don’t suppose anyone knows how to get Plesk 8.0.0 to install on FreeBSD 6.0?

Start packages installation
Install package psa
bsdtar 1.02.023, libarchive 1.02.026
Use gtar
bsdtar 1.02.023, libarchive 1.02.026
Use gtar
To continue installing, you should install Perl 5.008008 (you have Perl 5.008007 installed)
Execute cmd failed: sh /root/psa/PSA_8.0.0/dist-standard-FreeBSD-6.0-i386/
ERROR: Error while install .sh package
ERROR: Installation failed