A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- November 30
- Drinkz with da boyz.
- November 29
- Drove about 400 miles in the name of
work. Cisco VPN stuff on Linux
- November 28
- I finally added Xine to my
"configured it in 1994 and haven't changed it much
since" FVWM desktop. That
about fills the button bar from top to bottom, so if I want to add
anything else I'm going to have to come up with some new ideas. Of
course, I could shrink the power monitor down, and ditch xpdf and
the logfile icon...
Wow, something working for me for a change. Not only did I get the
Cisco VPN client working on
machinery, I also got it working on Gonzo
without disturbing the rest of the networking. The freaky part is
that although it creates a pseudo-device called cipsec0, that
device never appears to be active nor is there any routing
visible. Yet I was able to surf the tunnel (woah, gnarly) from any
of my NAT'd boxes sitting behind Gonzo.
Tis MADNESS, I tell you.
Now to construct a firewall/proxy/dialup/VPN box to install in the
- November 27
- Added a bunch of link tags to a page to test
'em out. I don't like that Mozilla treats any unrecognized
tags as something to be crammed into a submenu; perhaps there's a
way for me to cause them to be ignored. It'd be nice to be able to
frob the little icon, too.
Grabbed, built, and installed Mozilla 1.2. New features that
I like: image preloading and the ability to load a bunch of pages
instead of just one page as your startup. Neat-o!
Modified the diary template (and code) to include site navigation
hints, as I've added to this page. Of course, I'm going to have to
back-propagate to all the other entries, too.
- November 26
- I'm thinking of maybe moving all the
computer stuff into the smaller room, mainly because it gets so
much colder at night than the bigger room. Hmm.
Also, copying a Red Hat 8.0
distrubtion across a 2Mbit wireless link takes a lot of
Tweaked my ifup script to update the nearest DNS, if that
- November 25
- Since I didn't get finished with the Windows stuff at
the weekend, I spent the day working at home trying to complete
the task. Gave up around 11, although I've a few more pointers as
to what might be wrong. Bah.
- November 24
- Hurk. A little hungover, and now I have to
do work. The great Windows eviction
starts here, or something.
distcc is the absolute
bomb. I can compile stuff configured for my slow machine on my
fast machine without library
- November 23
- Spent most of the day arguing with various
things. It seems that something has changed in Red Hat 8's distro build process
that is preventing me from doing it correctly, but at least I
didn't burn a few coasters to find this out.
My brother's machine plays DVDs better under Linux
than it does under Windows. If this
isn't proof of the benefit of open source, and more to the point,
proof that throttling things like DeCSS is just
plain stupid, then I don't know what is, really.
- November 22
- Oh the irony. You can get a free, if legally
dubious due to DeCSS code, DVD
player for Linux
without any problems whatsoever. FreshRPMS.net will even
provide a version packaged with DeCSS code and
menu navigation. For Windows, you're
pretty much stuck with payware.
- November 21
- Fixed up my mailcrypt installation, which
has been broken for ages. I'm not even sure why it originally
worked, to be honest.
Also killed a working motherboard. Oops. Fortunately, it's not
like it was a highly valuable motherboard, but it did stop me from
doing some tests with the Samba stuff. Basically, it booted
up and complained that the CMOS battery was low. I reconfigured
the CMOS, rebooted, and it continued to complain, and wouldn't let
me boot the machine. So I inspected the board, located a
likely-looking plastic cap, and removed it. Presto, a small disc
battery. Soldered to the CMOS chip. And I thought
I was a cowboy... anyway. I decided to pull the chip out
(I do have a chip extractor, before you ask) and see if
the battery was in any way replaceable. Tug. Tug
tug. Yank. CMOS chip comes out, battery goes flying. Along with
two legs from the chip, snapped right at the
- November 20
- Ok. Here's an approximate summary of the Samba situation: Samba TNG is probably closer
to being a real PDC or BDC, but all the useful documentation seems
to be out of date and any attempt to get an answer on such issues
as the LSA secrets database results in a post from Luke Leighton
about how Tridge's coding choices suck; Samba 3, on the other hand, is
pretty solid code (albeit flagged alpha) that doesn't do quite so
much at the RPC end (meaning that the NT-based manipulation tools
won't generally work) but on the whole I've been able to get
further with it. At least in terms of hoovering off accounts,
anyway. Next thing is to see if I can make the resulting domain
- November 19
- Hmm. I appear to have solved my BDC
problem. Essentially, you need the add user etc. scripts
to be valid and working and suchlike.
Needed to reboot Gonzo
to pick up a fresh kernel, so
I decided I'd take the opportunity to install the extra memory I'd
inadvertently bought, remove the DVD ROM drive (I'm going to put
it in my brother's machine and see if I can make it work), and
install the 60GB drive I bought a while back. Alas, the 60GB drive
and my BIOS do not have, as the phrase goes, an understanding. I
suspect this is associated with the 80-conductor cable which I
didn't know about until Sunday, and such mystery phrases as
ATA-100 and the like. This is what I get for not keeping my
hardware up to the state of the art, or something (also, I note my
bank balance is healthier than that of some of my more rabid
hardware-acquiring acquaintances). And, of course, Linux
on Patrick's goes "shrug, new drive" while Windows has a
screaming hissy fit and locks right up. Brilliant.
Accidentally rebooted the WLAN box in the middle of all this
fussing, too. I should really move the WLAN card into Gonzo
and go back to experimental hardware tricks with the WLAN box
(since that's what I built it for anyway).
- November 18
- Continuing to argue with Samba variants over BDC,
mainly. A little UPS wrasslin' as well.
- November 17
- More work on the brother's machine; turns
out that graphics acceleration was turned off, which explains why
various Direct X things weren't working. Also discovered that
there's an 80-pin cable for hard drives. I have no idea how old
this standard is!
Found a neat GTK::Perl
tutorial which gives far more information that the rather
meagre man pages that come with the module. Still doesn't tell me
how to get my toys to read X resources, though.
- November 16
- Did some work on my brother's PC, which
turned out to be riddled with Klez.E and a few ElKern
variants. Put Linux
on it, too, during one of the reboots.
- November 15
- Spent the day arguing with UPSes. Powercare's software seems to
imply that I can have one machine hooked directly to the UPS
serial port and have a bunch of others communicating with the
controller program over the net, but damned if I can get it to
- November 14
- I've spent most of this week arguing
alternately with Samba 3 and
Samba TNG. Both are
designated alpha-quality, and both appear to be maddeningly close
to supporting Linux-as-BDC.
If I can make this work, I will be well pleased. Alas,
documentation on both is out of date, and both are failing in
non-obvious ways. I'm reluctant to go hack the source just yet,
but it seems I may have to.
- November 13
- Well, it can't have been the real Bob, because my
hangover's pretty mild.
- November 12
- The usual "Bob turns up, Waider goes
- November 11
- I am appalled. I have a Barney toy in my
house. This wasn't listed under "Duties of Godfather"
when I accepted the post.
- November 10
- Ran into the dead serial port problem
again. It appears to be related to use or not of the IrDA
- November 9
- Drove down the country to visit the folks
and my new niece. I had planned on installing Red Hat 8 on my brother's
machine, but time and the like conspired so that didn't happen. Oh
- November 8
- The DSPsrv web server broke again
yesterday. No idea what happened it, just that it was down when I
went to check something or other. This time, the only way I could
get it to come back up was to disable PHP's IMAP support, which breaks our
JawMail setup. Bah.
- November 7
- More recabling, also trying to figure out
which of Samba 3 or Samba-TNG I should attempt to
grok for future use (work-related). Both are alpha and both have
exclusive features that I'd like, so I suspect some
experimentation is on the cards.
Also, the more I learn about Lotus Notes the more I'm convinced
that no sane person would advocate it, much less use
- November 6
- Useful info, since it took me an age to find
it: Nortel BayStack 450 switches with older firmware have a
default backdoor password of NetICs. Case-sensitive. Feed it in at
the console password prompt.
This nugget enabled me to get into and reconfigure two second-hand
BayStack switches so that the office I'm working in is now running
at 100Mbits. Some complaints about the network running too
fast after that...
- November 5
- I had planned on going to bed a little
earlier, but ended up hacking at the linux-wlan driver so that it
now has bytecounts. Only for Rx, though; I couldn't make it do
anything with the Tx side of things without digging deeply, and I
wasn't in any frame of mind for digging deeply.
- November 4
- Looking at someone else's Java-based chat client, and I got
highly annoyed with it because of the effort it was taking to even
get it to run. Eventually, when I did get it running, I decided to
sniff the protocol to see if it was anything obvious that I could
hook a regular client up to. And lo and behold, I saw a join
message coming through.
Complete with the hostname of the joining user.
I shall have to investigate further, but it looks like I could
perhaps build myself a far, far better client with this
Inklings of an idea about the metadata thing: it appears there's
some sort of UDP traffic going on that I should know about. I
suspect reading will be required. Note, however, that I can't get
metadata working shoutcast-style, either (UDP is x-audiocast or
Aha. Got the Shoutcast-style streaming working. Basically, if you
enable streaming titles AND the UDP stuff in XMMS, it doesn't ask
for Shoutcast titles to be streamed. And my peculiar network setup
means that I'm in an oddball part of the network that isn't
playing right with UDP.
- November 3
- Rebuild Icecast and Ices, but I'm still
getting the same problem I got the last time I tried this - it
just fills up the Recv-Q on the listener, eventually getting to
the point where the music craps out and resets itself. Feh. Plus
streaming titles don't seem to be working on XMMS, a problem I've noticed with
listening to other streams. I'm pretty sure I've got all the
relevant knobs turned and levers pulled. On the plus side, I've
put it all under RPM control
this time, so when I get fed up with tinkering with it, I can just
can the whole lot with a flick of my rpm -e.
Discovered that I'd accidentally blackholed some email, including
a reply to someone to indicate that I'd already sent 'em a mail
(yes, the original was blackholed too). D'oh. Freed it up, and in
doing so forwarded two messages onto the BBDB list which weren't
intended for it. Double d'oh.
Icecast: rebuilt with a
fresh copy of libshout. Tried Windows Media
Player. WMP sees a single "track" of 56 minutes 15
seconds, after which it determines that the stream has
ended. The only meta information it sees is the stream name. Tried
Winamp, which sees the stream ok but can't get any meta
information. Double-checked my configuration and, well, I'm sure
I'm doing everything by the book, but it's still not working. Back
land, XMMS is still dropping
the stream after a period of time (which I should determine, in
case it's the same length as the WMP timeout.)
- November 2
- Okay, I think I've managed to correctly
configure my home DNS to (a) not look elsewhere for answers for
things it is supposed to be authoritative for; (b) allow local
network clients to update it. Next, I'll need a local network
client to update it from Linux
xplanet is pretty,
but I'd prefer if it was the earth program from Snow
Applied a several-month-old patch to BBDB. My original beef with
the patch was that it doesn't work properly under some arbitrary
older version of Emacs; now
I'm thinking that, well, CVS
is for development. Better to get the code out there and fixed
than not have it at all.
- November 1
- Poking and prodding at my network scripts
again. Some day I'll be happy with them.
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Now is the winter of our disk content