Eponym Update

I recently added a couple of cool features to Eponym.  In addition to supporting DynDNS.org hostnames, it now supports your own domain names through ZoneEdit.com’s dynamic DNS service.  So now you can use Eponym to help run yourdomain.com on your home computer, instead of having to use yoursubdomain.dyndns.org (though that is still supported too).

Secondly, it will now send you an email whenever your IP address changes, and whenever there’s a problem updating your hostname(s).

If you’re running any kind of server on your home system and you’d like a static hostname (whether you.dyndns.org or yourowndomain.com) to go with it, check out Eponym.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Speaking of Reasons to Hate Windows...

The thing that most frustrates me about Windows is its lack of command-line remote administration.  You can hack it in via OpenSSH for Windows but it’s far from perfect -- you can’t use any interactive commands because of problems with STDIN/STDOUT mapping, which cuts out a pretty large swath of the programs you’d like to run.  And it lacks tab-completion as well as command history; pressing the Up key actually makes the cursor move up on the screen.

Even if it worked perfectly, Microsoft makes some things impossible via command line.  For example, I recently discovered that you can use Scheduled Tasks (in the Control Panel) to run a program at boot without having it attached to a window.  That’s awesome for background programs that you’d like to keep running all the time but that you don’t really want cluttering up your taskbar because they take no user input (like Eponym).  But there’s no equivalent command-line way to access the Scheduled Tasks functionality.  There’s "at" but it can’t schedule an event at boot nor multiple times per day.  There’s "schtasks" which actually IS equivalent to Scheduled Tasks in the Control Panel, but it’s not included in XP Home.

The unxutils package improves the situation drastically, giving you lots of the most handy Unix tools like grep and wget.  And of course you can use VNC to do remote administration via the full Windows GUI.  But that’s inconvenient because most internet links are slow, and because you often can’t or don’t want to take over a system that someone else might be using just to do a task that should only require the command-line anyway.

I say that MS should take after Apple: admit that the only thing going for their OS is its nice looks and ease-of-GUI-use, and then get to work building that on top of a REAL OS with nice internals (i.e. Linux or BSD).

And also, Superunknown is still a really good album.

Posted by Anthony on 7 replies


Posted by Rolly on 1 reply

Problems come Mozilla's way

Posted by kaiser on 2 replies


Every day I hate Apple a little more.  (I know... and you thought I already hated them as much as possible.)

Why do I have to pay $300 for an adapter to use an Apple LCD on a VGA video card?  Why does the nohup command fail to log output if I run it in the background?  Why does the entire system lock up if I use any part of the GUI while fscking a partition?

Posted by Anthony on 6 replies

And Now...

With the switch from PHP to SSI/Perl, and the modifications to my visitorlog that allow it to run without any manual maintenance for log-rotating, I can now deploy my website system (blogger, vlog, stats, and photo-scripts) on other sites with minimal hassle.

Kim has a new website at kimi.is.dreaming.org and my scripts are running there.  I did most of the script-setup work, while Kim did most of the design work, except for me pestering her to say "ew, I don’t like that color..." :)  What’s particularly cool is that the whole site is running from her laptop.  Anyway, she’s got scads of photos, and heck, I’m even in some of them, so go see (:

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Get It Faster

For the past 8 weeks or so, I’ve been slowly re-coding parts of my website to improve performance and fix a few bugs.  The work has been focused mainly on my visitor logger and my weblog script, with one big exception: I switched the entire site from PHP to pure SSI+Perl.  I switched mainly because SSI/Perl can do everything that I had been using PHP for, with the added bonus that SSI is built into Apache and Perl is installed on every Linux server already (and easily installable on Win32 systems), whereas PHP is often not installed by default and is somewhat of a pain to configure.  (At least compared to Perl, which requires no configuration whatsoever.)

If none of that means anything to you, you can still appreciate the results of the performance improvements and bugfixes.  The site loads much faster now, because the visitor logger now automatically rotates its logfiles and caches the site stats, so it’s not scanning through tens of thousands of lines of logfile every time a page is loaded.  (But don’t look at the rewritten stats page yet; the tables still need to be organized into a more presentable layout.)

On the bug-fixing tip, the blogger’s spell-checker now properly ignores any special tags (notably links) in posts, so the preview no longer barfs when trying to display them.  I also fixed a bug that truncated any posts that contained both an image and a double-quote character, but of course you’ve never noticed that bug since I don’t allow people to post images unless they are logged in with an admin account, and only I have such an account around here :)  (Well, the blogger on the photos pages allows image-posting even for not-logged-in users.)

I also fixed the bug whereby if you entered a name into the site that contained spaces, the spaces would be displayed in their encoded form, as ’%20’ instead of ’ ’.  The fix was trivial, notwithstanding allegations that I had been "making excuses" for it, ostensibly because I didn’t feel like fixing it.  In the process, I also discovered an off-by-one bug in Apache, which will be fixed in the next release of that program.

In other news, my trusty old (OK, maybe just "old") 233mmx system recently decided to start booting again, so I’ll now start to debug the strange disappearing-text bug that some people have reported when using IE.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

Rant For The Day

Go to this Launchcast support page and click on the "No" button, then type them a nice message like this:

This has to be some kind of joke, right?  Your software fails to work on all but 2 browsers on 2 operating systems?  So... your software doesn’t work at all for Linux users, it only works for Mac users if you use a browser that’s 3 years old, and it only works for Windows users if you use the most insecure program ever written as your web-browser.  Mozilla/Firefox is the most standards-compliant browser there is, it’s architecture is entirely open, and it runs on virtually every OS in existence; it can’t possibly be that hard to make Launchcast work with it...

Posted by Anthony on 6 replies


epifagus:/Users/fgpbackup/backups root# ps -lax|grep rsync
su: ps: command not found
su: /usr/bin/grep: Too many open files in system

Thanks, Mac OS X.

Posted by Anthony on reply

New Rox This Weekend

Last week I (half-jokingly) posted on the Rox mailing list that it’d been two and a half months since there was a new release of the Rox Filer.  Then a couple days later, Thomas Leonard (Rox’s author) announced a new release for this weekend :)  Sweet.  The new release will contain a few fixes that I’m excited about, mainly much faster thumbnail generation when browsing image files.  Which was a bug that I also reported, after noticing that gThumb generates thumbnails about an order of magnitude faster than Rox.  It turned out that a simple single-line change in a few places -- using a function that allows you to specify the thumbnail size when allocating the buffer for the resized image, instead of a function that doesn’t -- was all it took to make Rox’s thumbnail generation almost just as fast as gThumb’s.  I wasn’t the one who found the solution, but I’m glad it was so easy, and I’ve been anxious for the new version.

Posted by Anthony on reply

Meriam-Webster help

Under the category of ’let me drop everything and work on your problem’, could you add ’auto spell correction’ to your preview of weblog posts for your spellingly challenged Mom?

Thanx :>}

Posted by Mom on 1 reply
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