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Empty moderation page on WordPress 2.1
Date: July 29th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Interweb, Software, Wordpress

Like a bunch of other users, I suddenly noticed “moderation.php” returned completely empty pages. Apparently something broke, when too many posts are to be moderated. You can either use the links in your email to moderate them, or use this “fix” from the support forum.

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Removing Oracle on Windows when the Installer gives up
Date: June 6th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Oracle, Software

Below services post was needed for the following:

I had a machine with Oracle 9 installed, and wanted to uninstall it. The uninstlaler installed on disk however told me that I needed a newer installer to remove the software (old installer used for base, then newer installer on CD used for patches/upgrades, and the new installer not installed on the harddisk). So this is what I learned from a colleague who used to work at Oracle:

  • Stop all oracle services
  • Remove all oracle services
  • Delete c:\oracle
  • Delete c:\documents and settings\all users\start menu\oracle*
  • Delete c:\program files\oracle
  • Start regedit and delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Oracle


Apparently at Oracle the same method is used quite often. 🙂

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Removing services in Windows XP
Date: June 6th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Computing, Software, Windows

Open up a command prompt and typing sc delete <servicename> will remove a service. (and sc create will create one)

One has to wonder why you can’t do that through Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services though… 🙂 

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Lookout! QuoteFix!
Date: May 5th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Interweb, Software

Via cedric (on IRC):

If you use Outlook as your email client and make use of plain-text messages, you will have noticed that Outlook doesn’t exactly feature the most intelligent quoting algorithm; in fact, it’s the silliest one imaginable. Outlook-QuoteFix can modify MS Outlook’s message composition windows on-the-fly to allow for correct quoting and to change the appearance of your plain-text replies and forwards in general: move your signature, use compressed indentation, customize your quote header, etc.

If you (have to) use Microsoft Outlook for your e-mail needs, you really do need Outlook-QuoteFix – I didn’t know it existed up till now (I knew there was a patch for Outlook Express only), so that’s quite some good news… Outlook really isn’t that bad, but there’s still a few things I don’t like about it before I could use it on my windows box as my email client…

Fwiw, I use Evolution 2.6.3 via Remote X (Cygwin) on my Windows box 😉 

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Date: May 5th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Software

error: Username is empty!

You need to check "Save username and password", otherwise it’ll simply not work.

info: [openvpn] Options error: Unrecognized option or missing parametr(s) in /home/user/.kde/share/apps/kvpnc/openvpn.thingy.conf:8 cd (2.0.7)

You need to fill out the certificate path in the profile options, if it’s empty it’ll just put "cd <nothing" instead of omitting the command. 

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Programming for MythTV
Date: April 17th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Development, Linux, Rants, Software

I’ve set up MythTV with a separate frontend and backend machine a while ago. Now, I don’t always watch TV on my TV, but also on my workstation (as does Diana), which runs Windows XP (yea yea, eww, eww, etc). There isn’t any working MythTV windows frontend available, and some people don’t seem to like the idea so they guess there never will be one.

I’ve asked a few questions on the #mythtv-users channel relating to documentation of the protocol, which is severely lacking, but apparently the only thing one should do in that case is bash the person who is asking the question. So I’ll just bash back: someone really needs to learn how to write a decent protocol.

For starters, there is no back/forwards compatibility. At the start of the session you announce your version, and if it doesn’t match with the backend, you just get thrown out. Done.

Then, it’s a bit of a ridiculous protocol, with 8 characters where you can put (in text format) the length of the upcoming message, and then for x characters, the message itself. Parameters are separated by []:[], okay, probably not a likely sequence to be somewhere inside a variable. But you can only do some things with this protocol. If you want to get information instead of action out of the backend, you have to connect to the MySQL database yourself, which means another open port, another grant statement into your MySQL users, and another way to get incompatible when some small part in the database structure changes.

MythWeather, the weather forecast plugin, is also broken. Well, it’s broken in reality right now because msnbc changed their site, but that’s bad luck and can be fixed. But it’s also broken by design, as there is a webpage part, in PHP, for your MythWeb server, and then there’s a python part for on your frontend. Both with totally different code, just pulling the location from the database – in my opinion the frontend should query the backend through the protocol for the current weather info and be done with it. A frontend should be just that, a dumb front end retrieving info from the backend.

MythMusic. Ah, another great piece of design. You have a music collection on the backend, which is set up for MythTV. Then you have your frontend, which contains the actual music player. However, the backend does not stream your music data to the frontend, instead you must mount a (smb/nfs/whatever) share on your frontend (on the same mountpoint as where the music is on your backend, no less) and then it will play your mp3’s locally.

Of course in the transcoder profiles, many ID’s are hardcoded so you can rename and switch all you want, the transcoder will still pick profile id 2 from your database wether it’s what you wanted or not.

I haven’t dug deeper into this stuff, but I’ll bet there’s more where that came from — in my view caused by lack of decent coder docs combined with a broken protocol implementation.

I read on the channel the backend would likely need a complete overhaul, the database structure is completely idiotic and the frontend theming sucks majorly, so one has to wonder if there is ANY piece of this software which actually works the way it’s supposed to. 

Update after more coding: it also crashes the entire backend when you give it bogus data. Combine this with absolutely no authentication whatsoever on the protocol and anyone can fuck up your scheduled recordings, tv watching, etc.

Update after calming down and receiving a wider audience by way of many of these issues are known and are being worked on, but of course Rome wasn’t built in a day – if you can help, I guess it would be welcomed in making MythTV better — after this post you may think I hate it, but in fact I think it’s great, otherwise I wouldn’t be using it 🙂

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When ‘re you gonna realise, it was just the time that was wrong…
Date: April 9th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Computing, Linux, Software, Stupid

Goddamnit, VMware server just gave me a few more tens of grey hair. It appears to be a hell of a job to get your Linux clients to keep time correctly… well, unless you know exactly what you need. So here it is, courtesy of 2 hours of googling and trying out + magic words from Ruben :

  • Set your kernel timing to 100Hz
  • Add the following to your kernelboot commandline: clock=pit nosmp noapic nolapic

Done! Woot. etc. *sigh*

(topic title courtesy of Bernard

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asterisk authentication woes
Date: April 8th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Software, VoIP

I’ve been trying to find why the phone here in Switzerland didn’t work anymore with my asterisk PBX. After 5 minutes I noticed it wasn’t registering correctly, and it seemed to be due to an authentication failure (401 Not Authorized). Err, I didn’t change the phone config nor the asterisk config…. perhaps I upgraded asterisk some time ago, I don’t know (was there a security issue or something?) — in any case, after a LOT of tinkering, I changed the secrets to md5secrets and it all magically started working again. WTF.

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Gaim has a new funky name
Date: April 8th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Interweb, Software

It’s now called Pidgin . The reason behind the rename, is as you would expect, legal shite from AOL . It’s a surprise to me the developers had to seek legal support so many times, even ending up forming a "Instant Messaging Freedom Corporation" to take care of the legal issues…

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MythTV with ALSA
Date: March 30th, 2007 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Software

This is one for googlability (yes, I just made that word up).

If you’re running MythTV and wonder about how to get it to correctly use ALSA (it’s not in the list of sound devices, so you think maybe your build was compiled without ALSA support?), here’s a big tip: the dropdown box for the sound device (showing /dev/dsp and /dev/adsp) isn’t really just a dropdown, but a combobox. You can just as well type stuff in there, and if you type ALSA:default and it’ll use your default ALSA device just fine. Reasoning behind this is they can’t/don’t want to enumerate all possible ALSA devices in a dropdown, so they just put the standard ones and let you type the rest yourself. I’d think ALSA has a way of detecting the present devices and just show those but anyway, this is how it should be done if you want to use ALSA.

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