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Archive for February, 2006

Fosdem Day Two…
Date: February 28th, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Activities, Computing, Development

I realise it’s tuesday already, but I haven’t really found the time to write anything. So here’s a small writeup of Fosdem day two…

Woke up (too!) early, left at 9:30, arrived at 10:50. Still early enough to walk into RIFE, we thought. So we did. Very earl-y, as this guy decided to pronounce URL as “Earl” instead of “You are ell” 😉 The presentation wasn’t all that interesting, but I guess that’s what a Java Framework is supposed to be 🙁 Still, I would think it could have been presented more interestingly.

On to Subversion, a very interesting talk, which has opened my eyes even more about how SVN owns CVS in many ways. Also learned the O’Reilly SVN book is available for free (as in speech and beer) at www.svnbook.org.

Valgrind was next on the program, went maybe a bit too “deep” inside the matter, maybe assuming a bit more previous experience with valgrind or memcheck, but all in all not a bad presentation.

Lunchtime, we brought our own food as to not have to queue for 45min like last year 😉

Beagle presentation, by The Guy Who Now Works For Google. Very nice presentation, mostly questions and answers, but very interesting. Also, I was surprised at the quality of the questions asked. Useful and to the point. A total difference from what Rega people would ask, if they even asked anything.

OpenOffice.org, by Michael Meeks (who was preparing his slides right in front of me during the Valgrind presentation). Apparently mr. Valgrind was using a “magic build” of Michael for his presentation, which screwed with the colors somewhat *G*. What was very clear is that Michael was painting a picture of OOo being that it was not good at all, still way behind on what it should actually be, slow, etc. But the presentation was pretty humourous and light, showing new features in 2.0, showing what can and should be done, and ofcourse, a call for developers.

XUL. What can I say about that. The presentation absolutely sucked ass. The original presenter couldn’t come, so someone else came in his place. Assuming everyone knew what XUL was, and that even everyone in the room was developing XUL software day in day out, he enumerated directory structures, which files were in them, and then even the content of each and every file. Very strange presentation. When we left (after 20 minutes of almost falling asleep) , many others were too. We joined in OpenCA, and first thing I heard was “And this is the point of asses.” Must be Italian English for access 😉 10 minutes later, OpenCA presentation was over and noone seemed to have any questions, so we didn’t hear much of it.

Then, luckily we were already in the Janson room, it was Jeff Waugh’s turn. While waiting he put the Xgl demo video on the big screen for everyone to drool on. His talk was quite good. Design vs Megapixel! LAMP: Linux, Apache, Most of our scripting languages start with P, and PostgreSQL. More funny stuff. And very valid points made, iPod vs Zen, … A very interesting and nice talk to end Fosdem with.

Pity for the people manning the booths that everyone had packed up before that, as in my eyes this would be the perfect end of Fosdem, to go home and buy that one Debian T-shirt you first decided not to buy, or that O’Reilly book that you thought you didn’t want… not possible unfortunately.

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New OpenWrt package tracker
Date: February 28th, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Interweb, Software, Websites

The OpenWrt.org package tracker has been offline for a prolonged time and it doesn’t look like it’s coming back any time soon. So I took the task upon myself of creating a new one, started on friday, went public yesterday. I posted the link into the OpenWrt forum and have had some users use it already. You can find it at www.ipkg.be. Now my cute Sun Netra X1 “magic” finally has something to do 😉

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Fosdem Day One…
Date: February 26th, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Activities, Linux, Software

Went to FOSDEM yesterday. Skipped RMS and GPLv3 talk; the former because it’s always the same anyway, the latter because it doesn’t attract me very much to be debating license issues time and time again. So we arrived at 2, just too late to join the SER seminar (at least not by walking in late) – so we walked around and checked out the T-shirts etc. Big dissappointment, Openstuff wasn’t there, so no penguins for me 🙁

At 15:00, LPI exam started, so I took the 102 there – as far as I can tell, this will be no problem. Results in 6 weeks…

At 16:00, we went to see the Xen talk, pretty interesting.

Haven’t seen much of the talks yet, but on sunday I’ll probably see most. It’s a pity the wifi is not working at all and won’t be working for the rest of FOSDEM. I simply can’t understand how you can break that when it’s so easy to set up. Apparently the soekris boards were only delivered on friday with an atheros card, and the atheros card “Breaks(tm)” under high load. I dunno, many people use madwifi and that works just fine… (but Soekris boards run BSD). Would have  been nice to do some live discussion, surfing, ssh’ing etc.
Now on to Day Two …

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For news junkies
Date: February 24th, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Interweb, Websites

Found this VERY nice sort-of-RSS-reader just now on IRC.

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Debian GNU/kFreeBSD
Date: February 23rd, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Debian, Development, Software

I’ve done a few installs of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD lately… for some tests. Seems to work fine for the most part, although I haven’t really used it like I used the GNU/Linux “edition” 😉 Still, looks quite nicely run, so I’m setting up a Belgian (local) mirror on the PowerSource/Phyxia mirroring box. If nothing else, this will allow me to continue playing/testing this even if their main mirror (gnuab.org) goes offline. This happens a few times a day as far as I can tell, not really handy. I’ll have to see if I can get this to run permanently on a not-so-important box… 😀

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Wifi
Date: February 23rd, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Hardware, Networking

Been looking around for toys -errm, hardware and possibilities to build the long-discussed wireless link between me and Michiel. I think I got it now, just need a little hardware and help from Fabian… 🙂

Currently, my plan is to put a Linksys WRT54GL in a waterproof box (which I assume I can easily find at Brico), and put this on top of the roof, right next to the Yagi antenna (so we don’t get any loss over the antenna cable, plus save some money). I will pump up the default 30 mW transmit power to 90 mW (which is what the chip is actually rated for, and close enough to the allowed 100 mW). Power will be supplied over the ethernet cable (so I’d need an injector and something to take it back out, the WRT’s don’t support PoE natively). The ethernet cable will then run down the building, go inside via an air hole for the garages; through 2 neighbours’ garages, back out at the back (that’s where our terrace is), then back into the house through the window of our serverroom, et voila.. Connectivity(tm). Or so I hope it will be…

Waterproof box: 5€ (?), WRT54GL: 75€, WAPPOE: 60€, UTP: No idea. Toys for the boys…

Update:  since I actually bought a new wireless router (Asus WL-HDD) to play with, we should be able to use our current WRT54G instead of buying a new WRT54GL. Good, cause LDLC doesn’t have them in stock anymore 🙁

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Fun for today
Date: February 23rd, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Fun, Software

One nifty ‘bug’ in Norton’s Personal Firewall… this tells you all about it 😉 Updated info shows this only works when your IRC client is writing logs to disk – it doesn’t actually work when only traveling over the network. Which is odd in itself. Anyhoo, putting this in a channel topic could surely screw a lot of people’s IRC connection.

Next up, you may want to check this screenshot out … and run a virusscan on your PC 😀

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Uncool
Date: February 22nd, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Home

Came home to find the garage half flooded. Not the first time this happens. Sigh. Neighbours’ garages also flooded. Big fun. Architect must die.

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Tip of the day
Date: February 19th, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Home, Stupid

Not the first time I’ve been bitten by this — tip of the day: if your computer is connected to the powerline by a power brick thingy with an on/off button … make sure it’s not easy to hit it accidentally. Especially not multiple times.

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FastTrack is braindead.
Date: February 19th, 2006 by SiD3WiNDR
Categories: Hardware

I’ve got a server here with a “Promise FastTrack ATA100 IDE RAID controller” … Yay 2 extra IDE ports with semisoftware RAID. Not all too useful in a 1U box with 2 drives, unless you’re into that semisoftware bios-windows RAID crap. So… don’t connect anything to it, and all is well, right? Not exactly. When you do that, all you get on boot is a message saying it didn’t detect any disks, hasn’t configured any RAID sets, and asks you to press CTRL-F to enter it’s BIOS or Esc to continue booting. Phew, okay, that’s fine, let’s just wait like 10 seconds and see if it continues booting. Nope, not after an hour either. Why the *bleep* do you have to press Esc to continue booting … especially in a server! Even if you have a disk connected but haven’t configured a RAID set it will stand there waiting for your Esc. (note: configuring a single-drive RAID0 array does the trick there). Add to that there was no option in the BIOS to turn off the controller… So I dug out the PDF manual from Gigabyte.com.tw and found the jumper to turn it off.

But how irritating is this?! I have a Tyan board that also has that controller on board (but with a BIOS option to turn it off) and it does the same thing if you don’t shut it up… Retarded if you ask me… 😐

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