zen.org Communal Weblog

October 13, 2009

Origin of the Species

Filed under: — brendan @ 23:19 GMT

The original IEEE Transactions on Communications paper A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication (as a PDF) by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn describing the seed that made the Internet come to be. Geek mana. I don’t know how long Princeton will keep it up there before I’ll have to delete the link.

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September 15, 2009

An easy way to remove redeye in Linux

Filed under: — brendan @ 13:13 GMT

I’ve got a bunch of photos I’d like to adjust to get rid of the redeye effect. A bit of searching found a few different tutorials on how to accomplish this in GIMP. But the effort is just plain nuts…you’re doing an awful lot of clicks and menus and finding your way down channels and tunnels … you’d never find the rest to do what should be a point-and-click sort of thing. (For those of us not using expensive commercial packages which have that…)

Because of a great howto, I discovered Digikam, a free KDE package which is perfect. You select a picture and click Edit, then select the region around the eyes. Click Enhance->Red Eye to see a popup showing both the original and, next to it, the fixed version. It’s perfect. Click OK, then Save, and you’re done.

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September 7, 2009

Kill tracker, long live tracker

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:39 GMT

I’ve found more often than not my attempts to log into my desktop (which is running Ubuntu Linux) have me staring at a black screen with a white cursor, waiting forever for the login window to come up. It appears this is because an uber-indexer, trackerd, is swallowing up all sorts of CPU time.

There’s no elegant way to disable it. I could kill the process, but that’s only usable until the next time I reboot the system or log off and log back in. So instead I had to do System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager and search for “tracker” (not “trackerd” which doesn’t get it). I right-clicked on tracker, selected Mark for Complete Removal, and clicked Mark to accept that both of the packages libtaskbar-tracker and tracker-search-tool would be getting unistalled too. A click of Apply and then Apply again finally got rid of it. I quit the Synaptic Package Manager, my therapist to help me get away from this constant frustration.

Now if I walk away for more than five minutes, the screen saver will come on…but the idle system won’t give trackerd the ability to work it into the ground, in lieu of any other practical use of the system. Like, say, its user trying to actually use it.

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July 12, 2009

Easy printing to a Mac printer from Vista

Filed under: — brendan @ 13:22 GMT

This morning I discovered Apple has made a seductive play on having your printer hosted on a Mac and shared on your network. Bonjour for Windows was a simple exercise of installing and then using its wizard on the Vista laptop to find the printer. It was added with just a few clicks. No more messing with finding the .PPD file, drivers, whatever. Pretty slick!

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June 25, 2009

Cobol to Java — with only a click?

Filed under: — brendan @ 00:31 GMT

This is awesome: in a fully automated way, convert a Cobol application to its iso-functional Java equivalent.

Hmm, garbage collect my savings account?

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June 22, 2009

Random info on surviving HughesNet satellite Internet access

Filed under: — brendan @ 22:25 GMT

You can telnet to 192.168.0.1 to get the HN7000S’s vxWorks command prompt; for username do brighton and password do swordfish. Or telnet to 192.168.0.1 on port 1953 to get the menu interface.

Browsers can use the HN7000S box as a proxy to get traffic accelerated quite a bit by configuring to use 192.168.0.1 port 87 as the HTTP proxy (In the past some things have failed when going through this, though, but we don’t have any notes yet on what those were.
). In the list of exceptions to using the proxy, remember to put 192.168.0.1 itself there, as well as ‘localhost’ and 127.0.0.1, at least. I added our local subnet as well with 10.9.79.0/24 so I can properly visit the various access points, etc.

If SSL traffic is so slow as to be unusable, try configuring your browser to use a proxy for SSL also: host is 69.19.14.10 and port 3128. It’s not necessarily faster under normal circumstances.

Make sure anyone using your connection has DISABLED any operating system updates on their computer. Laptops which download Mac OS X updates, for example, will slam you to exceed the 24-hour download cap and make you suffer for 24 hours at ~30kps cuz of the (un)Fair Access Policy.

To get at the advanced configuration page, point at the URL
http://192.168.0.1/fs/advanced/advanced.html

The status page at
http://192.168.0.1/sys_status/
has a Diagnostics Code value like
0000-0002-6400-0002
You can visit
http://192.168.0.1/cgi/execAdvCom.bin?Command=30&NoAutoRefresh=1&PrintMsg=Diag%20Code%20Analyze
and put in the code from the status page. This will give you an explanation for why each of the particular bits are set to make up that series of numbers, with the values covering the most recent hour, 1 hour later, and 2 hours later.

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June 16, 2009

Make a proxy so people in Iran can get the truth out

Filed under: — brendan @ 14:21 GMT

I set up a proxy to contribute to the effort to get information out of Iran after the nutzo election. Whether Linux, Mac, or Windows, you can too.

cf. http://blog.austinheap.com/

P.S. I think you need a static IP address, otherwise when you reconnect your broadband the address you shared will no longer work. It should also be a system that isn’t closed/turned off.

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January 22, 2009

Changing how long my Nokia N95-8GB rings on Vodafone

Filed under: — brendan @ 15:47 GMT

To scribble down electronically what’s scribbled in pencil on a piece of scrap paper on my desk:

To change the length of time my Nokia N95-8GB spends ringing for an incoming call with Vodafone, I enter

**61*0875xxxyyyy**sec#

then press the green Call button. In this, xxx and yyyy are your mobile phone number, and sec is the number of seconds (divisible by 5) ranging from a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 30 seconds. So 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30.

Paper recycled. 🙂

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December 9, 2008

Remember To Reset Your Clocks

Filed under: — Sven @ 15:21 GMT

At 2008-12-31T18:59:59-0500 (2008-12-31T23:59:59+0000) there is going to be a leap second! Anybody have a good cocktail suggestion to celebrate this? If you are in Japan, perhaps something to stave off the hangover from the previous night’s party.

It’s a good thing my systems use ntp.

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October 6, 2008

Numeric keypad just doesn't work under Ubuntu

Filed under: — brendan @ 11:52 GMT

I’ve had the odd problem where the numeric keypad keys on my keyboard just don’t cause anything to happen. I run xev and I can see the keypress happening, but nothing appears where I’m typing.

A great blog entry by Peng Barthelmess has the workaround until Gnome does the real fix:

Go into the Keyboard Preferences (System >Preferences > Keyboard) and go to the Mouse Keys tab. Simply uncheck the box for Allow to control the pointer using the keyboard. (I know the grammar sucks on that sentence. I need to find a bug for that as well.) That will let users of Ubuntu Hardy, and other distros that use GNOME 2.22, to regain the use of their numeric keypad.

Worked like a charm!

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