Thursday, December 31, 2009

Safari beachballing solved

Safari 4 on Snow Leopard seemed to be getting slower each day. Especially opening the top sites view could hang with a beach ball for a minute.

Fortunately all this was solved simply by changing the default RSS reader from Safari to Mail.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

IGEP or beagleboard

Beagleboard would be an interesting toy. If it only had Ethernet.

IGEPv2 seems like a good alternative. Roughly the same specs and price, with Ethernet included.

Monday, November 23, 2009

beautiful ascii graphics

Text is graphics is text:

JavE - a graphics editor for editing texts
ditaa - DIagrams Through Ascii Art
ASCIIO - draw ASCII charts using a GUI

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Progress bar on any unix pipe

pv adds progress bar to any unix pipe. There's a nice tutorial on it by Peter Krumins.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Windows App Store / apt-get for Windows

I don't see myself switching back to Windows, but these could turn out useful at work or with family.

Windows software installation is no fun after getting used to Debian Linux or macports. These tools together could be a poor mans apt-get for Windows:

PcDecrapifier - To unload the unwanted preloaded software.
Ninite - To easily load all the common software.

BaseShield - An alternative to Ninite, perhaps.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

public samba share

I've often found it difficult to set up a public shared directory using Samba, so that windows workstations could access it easily without passwords or anything.
This time I tried these excellent instructions and it worked right away on a debian lenny/sid box and Windows XP.
Configuring anonymous public shares with Samba 3

Let's recap that with Ubuntu 15.10 and Windows 7 amd64 SP1

# prepare directory
sudo mkdir /opt/share
sudo chown nobody:nogroup .

# install samba

sudo aptitude install samba

# add samba share
sudo sh -c "cat >> /etc/samba/smb.conf <<EOF
        comment = Public Shares
        browsable = yes
        path = /opt/share
        public = yes
        writable = yes
        guest ok = yes

# configure anonymous access,
sudo sed -i '/^\[global\]$/a \     guest account = nobody' /etc/samba/smb.conf


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Subversion repository fix

A locally accessed subversion repository is a bit fragile on unix permissions.

It might work fine for first 1000 revisions, and then suddenly all svn operations fail with an error:

svn: Can't move '/home/svn/...' to '/home/svn/...': Permission denied

Fortunately this is easy to fix by making sure the
- shared directories have group 'svn'
- shared directories have mode 2775
- and that the svn is always invoked with umask 002

The umask is easy to enforce by installing a wrapper for the svn binary, which sets the umask and exec's the original binary.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

easy debian server monitoring

Finally I ran into a tool to quickly set up monitoring of a Debian server.

"aptitude install munin"

It graphs more than I was hoping for, including: disk space, cpu load, network and even disk smart parameters.

Basic configuration of alerts is simple, edit /etc/munin/munin.conf
- Uncomment and edit a contact -line
- Determine name of plugin to configure, for example "cpu"
- it's the suffix after hyphen in the detail view URL.
- Determine name of the field to configure, for example "user"
- The fields are listed in the bottom of the detail view.

Add the warning and critical limits in [localhost.localdomain] section, for example:
cpu.user.warning 200
cpu.user.critical 200

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

iTunes and car audio synchronization.

My car has a USB socket for MP3/AAC audio, but so far it has been to much of a trouble to regularly fill up a flash drive with music and podcasts. iTuneMyWalkman is originally made for synchronizing a mobile phone, but it seems to work great with any flash drive.

Only thing better would be an iPod dock on the dashboard.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From Parallels to VirtualBox

I had Parallels 3.0 for running Linux virtual machines on my Mac. Upgrade to Snow Leopard would have required the purchase of upgrade to Parallels 4.0.

Instead, I tried uninstalling Parallels and setting up Sun VirtualBox 3.0.6. This works fine with Snow Leopard and the whole system with the virtual machines running feel much more responsive.

Unfortunately I had to discard the old virtual machines and install new ones from scratch. There would have been a way to convert them using a converted from VMWare, but it looked like too much trouble.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diagrams without drawing

I've always preferred keyboard over mouse, so I've found these tools very interesting

sdedit: quick sequence diagram editor.
umlgraph a tool for declarative specification and drawing of UML class and sequence diagrams.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Robust bash scripts

A practical guide to making your bash scrips a bit more robust.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reading on git

Pro Git, an online book on git.
Git Magic.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Qucs a Quite Universal Circuit Simulator, is a circuit simulator with graphical user interface.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Open Test Lab

CE Linux Forum Open Test Lab seems like a nice effort for automated testing of Linux on various embedded platforms.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Software Carpentry

An open source intensive introduction course to basic software development practices for scientists and engineers