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by lunarg on April 28th 2007, at 00:18
If you are blessed with ssh access to your webhosting, then a world of goodies opens up. One of these is rsync. When installed on your webhosting (which usually is), you can use this instead of ftp to maintain your website.

Rsync is mainly used for syncing two file structures (directories and subdirectories) together. It works by comparing the two structures and check out each directory and files on modified date and time, but also content of the file (using hashes).
While mostly used for backup, this thingy is very handy when maintaining a website. Rather than figuring out which files need to be copied, rsync does it all for you with a single command.

rsync -e ssh -rltDv <local website  ...
by lunarg on April 28th 2007, at 00:16
When you're running Windows on a system with 4GB RAM, you might have noticed that the entire amount of RAM is not detected (it's somewhere around 3.6GB). This is because of the way HIGHMEM (4GB and up) is handled.
Fortunately, there is a way to solve the problem, allowing the full use of 4GB...

A solution to our problem is by forcibly enabling Intel's Physical Address Extension (in short, PAE). This is done by taking the following steps:

Locate the boot partition (this usually is C: but could be something else): it contains the bootloader files such as ntldr, boot.ini, etc.

Open the boot.ini file, which is in the root of that partition (e.g. c:boot.ini). Note that you might need to change  ...
by lunarg on April 27th 2007, at 23:56

Copy the following code into your ~/.screenrc
Or if you want to add the statusbar globally, add it to /etc/screenrc.

# An alternative hardstatus to display a bar at the bottom listing the
# windownames and highlighting the current windowname in blue. (This is only
# enabled if there is no hardstatus setting for your terminal)
hardstatus on
hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string "%{.bW}%-w%{.rW}%n %t%{-}%+w %=%{..G} %H %{..Y} %m/%d%C%a "

When running screen, the result should look similar to this:

by lunarg on April 27th 2007, at 23:50
During the installation of a device (hardware, or a software emulation driver, such as OpenVPN's TAP-Win32 driver), you get the following message:
The system cannot find the file specified.

After that, it goes into a hardware detection loop, meaning it finds and tries to install the same hardware again and again until the cows come home.

Windows 2000 and XP has a bug that it cannot properly install drivers using INF-files, when the RunOnce registry key is missing from the following location:


This key is often used by installers to execute post-reboot scripts and programs, but when these run, they sometimes inadvertently de  ...
by lunarg on April 27th 2007, at 23:41
When attempting to send a message which is too large for your mail server, it may become stuck in the outbox, unable to delete it, because Outlook says it has already started to send the message.
If this happened to you, there are two things to try...

Try setting Outlook in offline mode:

In the menu, click File, then Offline

Wait about a minute or so, then close and reopen Outlook

If everything went well, you should now be able to delete the message from the outbox, or at least, move it to another folder before attempting to delete it.

When this worked, disable offline mode: click on File in the menu, then again Offline

Finally, restart Outlook and everything should be well again.

If   ...
by lunarg on April 26th 2007, at 22:34
Every now and then, one might need to resync one or more disks that were in a linux software RAID array. This usually is not a problem at all, but once in a while (in particular on SATA controllers), the resync takes up a lot of system resources, regardless of the fact that the resync doesn't exclusively uses bandwidth (i.e. it only uses the free available bandwidth).
In this case it may be necessary to cap the maximum resync speed limit to a lesser value, so a bit of bandwidth becomes free again, seriously reducing the I/O load.

Changing the maximum and minimum speed limits is easy. Like most system things, this is done by echoing the desired speed to a file in the /proc filesystem:

To se  ...
by lunarg on April 23rd 2007, at 23:33
Spam nowadays is a real pain. While linux users are fairly safe against most common viiri and spyware, spam mail affects everyone.
While there are many spamfilters out there, I've found that only one is pretty effective, on the long run as well. This guide provides a solution to implementing this filter into KMail for local scanning, filtering and retraining.

A working KMail configuration for scanning and retraining spamfilter with POP3 accounts (IMAP is not supported because mail doesn't really get "downloaded").

A DSPAM 3.6.x using the hash_drv, with training data stored in the user's homedir (~/.dspam)

KMail (of course)

A sane build environment (gcc and co)

Superuser access (for DSPA  ...
by lunarg on April 12th 2007, at 17:36
Uninstalling a managed Symantec Antivirus is no picknick: it requires you to enter a so-called uninstall password, one which of course you never had to enter, or otherwise know about...

After numerous attempts of inserting the local administrator password, the domain admin password, the Symantec Control Center password, etc., I had nowhere to turn but to Google.

After a few searches, I stumbled upon a site explaining steps on how to remove the thing. Preparing myself for a lengthly uninstall process with many steps, the site mentioned between the steps, to try an uninstall using Add/Remove programs in Windows, and if it was a managed install, to use the password symantec.
As I didn't feel   ...
by lunarg on April 3rd 2007, at 17:28

Found this article to be useful while installing a Gentoo in a virtual machine for VMware:

I found the kernel configuration portion particularly useful, especially since I managed to enable every SCSI controller and network adapter accept the one I needed.

by lunarg on March 31st 2007, at 18:28

Server will be down again this weekend on account of a new kernel and the addition of extra RAM.

by lunarg on March 28th 2007, at 11:10

If VMware Server Console doesn't work on your Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy install, here's what to do.

If after installing, the console does not launch, but instead takes up 100% CPU until the end of days (or until you kill it), try starting the console with this command:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/$LD_PRELOAD vmware-server-console

This fixes some yet to be resolved issue around shared libs.

by lunarg on March 26th 2007, at 21:12
In my trial runs of various filesystems, I decided to convert the data partition of my server/devel pc from ReiserFS to XFS...

Steps are quite short. Since convertfs is highly discouraged, I did it the long way:

I used dar to pack the data partition and moved it to external storage.

Did mkfs (read below).

Extract the thing back to the data parition.

Since XFS is a bit sluggish, I followed the forum thread at to speed things up a bit. I used the following for mkfs:

mkfs.xfs -l internal,size=128m -d agcount=2 /dev/sda6

The explanation for all these parameters can be found in the forum thread I mentioned earlier.

This allows for a bit mor  ...
by lunarg on March 26th 2007, at 20:48
Did (again) a reinstall of my laptop to get rid of all the funny unused packages and software (which was quite needed). Well, the other real reason was for me to test out a new filesystem. While my original plan was to go with XFS, I decided to try on Reiser4.

Installation was not a real easy task: while Gentoo can be installed through virtual any LiveCD (yeah Gentoo), there are not much livecd's out there with new enough (2.6.17+) reiser4 support, and even less cd's that are on top of that 64bit. In fact, I found none.

Since it's impossible to chroot into a 64bit system when running a 32bit kernel, I had to pull some stunts to get my reiser4 installed on Gentoo.

I used these resources:

by lunarg on March 26th 2007, at 20:08
Apparently, there's no package for MS-SQL support in Debian or Ubuntu. Why this is, is not very known, in particular since there is MS-SQL support in PHP4 and PHP5.
I found the following steps somewhere on the internet.

The following was tested on a Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy, but will probably work on others as well.
Also, whenever I refer to php5, it could well be replaced with php4, which I've tested as well.

First of, make sure the necessary build tools are installed:
# apt-get install build-essential debhelper

It's possible more tools are needed, depending on which ones have already been installed, but basically, if you can compile other packages from source, you should be good to go.

Next up  ...
by lunarg on March 17th 2007, at 09:39

It will be but a few days before I have both my eyes lasered. Glasses, fare thee well...

The actual operation will be on Thu March 22nd (that's only a few days away), with a checkup the day after (Fri that is). As a result, I still have the weekend to adjust to the new situation; after the weekend, I'm thrown back into the life of work and more work.

The procedure itself is called Lasik (short for LAser In SItu Keratomileusis). More information can be found on the internet or on this site (in Dutch though):

by lunarg on March 16th 2007, at 17:32

Because of relocation of my webhosting to another server housing, this site (and others on that particular server) will be unavailable.

The relocation is planned on Thu 15th February around 4am. Expected downtime should be about 2 hours (depending on traffic ;-) ).

by lunarg on February 11th 2007, at 19:50
Installing Internet Explorer was never so easy with IEs4linux, a script that does all the work for you. Download and try it now:

It's really easy, but here's how I did it. Note that the instructions are also on the website of IEs4linux.

First, make sure the required software is installed:

wine: very obvious, you need this to run the installed IEs;

cabextract: required to unpack the CAB files that get downloaded.

You don't need to backup your current ~/.wine/ directory, as IEs4linux created a separate profile for the IEs. If you do happen to need IE for your other apps, it's best to start with a clean profile, as a profile with other apps installed   ...
by lunarg on February 10th 2007, at 19:06
Was upgrading a bit on my laptop (amd64), and this included udev and baselayout.
After a reboot, my whole system did funny things. All was retraceable to one thing: the system was automatically loading modules as it pleases, which caused all kinds of problems...

I have a pretty custom configured system concerning hardware.
By default, I only use wireless, and thus don't load the local netif modules (Realtek 8139) and definitely not the IEEE1394 (Firewire) link, as I very rarely us this for networking (and when I do, it's mainly for high-speed p2p transfer - no I don't have gigabit network).
Secondly, I have both my onboard sound card, as well as my Audigy 2 PCCARD configured. Naturally, the  ...
by lunarg on February 4th 2007, at 16:03
Thought it was time to do a reinstall of my server/development pc (called Ayanami)...

Since it was more of a hassle to do an update (especially with the gcc update from 3.4 to 4.1), I decided to do a reinstall.
I wiped out my very old 2005.0 install cd, mkfs'ed the / and /boot and downloaded the 2006.1 stage3 and latest portage. Installation went smoothly, and it's currently merging the necessary stuff: Apache2, PHP (apparently Gentoo has moved to PHP5 as the default), MySQL5, etc.
Later on, I'll probably install a desktop environment as well, but haven't really decided whether I stick with KDE, or move to another one. The eventual idea is to get a TV-tuner card (probably some bttv-chipset)  ...
by lunarg on January 31st 2007, at 20:50
Did an upgrade of my Linksys WRT54GL to the latest OpenWRT firmware. These are roughly the steps I followed.

My old firmware was a OpenWRT rc5, default release. For my new firmware, I used the ImageBuilder to create a more customized firmware with a lot of packages (such as ntpclient, openvpn, nas, gpio, ...) preinstalled in the squashfs image. I left the new Webif^2 out on purpose, as it's updated at a fair regular base. The image (which has it's build list attached) is called cad, which is because I originally selected it for use with routers at work.

Anyway, updating my WRT54GL, was not as straight-forward as I had hoped. The upgrade firmware function of both Webif and Webif^2 did not w  ...
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