Tuesday, December 30, 2003

This site,World66.com, is probably the best example i have seen so far of a "Wiki" website. It's a travel directory , where you can add your travel tips on anything from entire regions right down to suburban areas or even small villages.

The basic tenet of a "Wiki" site is that visitors can add to the site without registering , completely anonymously. Of course , there is always the risk of malcontents adding inappropriate stuff, but this is more than balanced out (and indeed eliminated) by the genuine contributors. In fact, genuine contributors can remove or edit inappropriate additions.

So, if your town or location isn't on this site, why not add it - after all, you live there.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Am I Patched or Not?

The I.T. Industry is shifting away from Microsoft

Companies take take take from open source

Guardian - Best British blogs of 2003

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Happy Birthday Perl - 16 years old

Perl is now old enough to have a drivers license. On that note , here's a thread snippet from Slashdot

Perl Drivers License (Score:5, Funny)
by SeanTobin (138474) *

I could just imagine the kind of drivers license issued to Perl. First off, it would have a magnetic stripe, barcode, brail, and RFID encoded driver's license number on the back. The photo would be in the visual, infra-red, and ultraviolet spectrums. The license itself would be an actual 4d hypercube turning into your social security card, credit cards, gas cards, library cards, and translations of all the above into every language depending on the licenses orientation in space-time. In the event of emergency, the license would also be a flotation device and in the rare case of ending up on a desert island can be turned into a Swiss army knife and satellite GSM phone with GPS capabilities. Biometric identification built into the license allows it to change into the proper license for whoever is holding it. The license would be powered by a kinetic energy system similar to no-wind watches. It would also have a backup fusion generator, solar cells, hydrogen fuel cells, lithium ion battery banks, and be expandable for anti-mater generators once they become available.

Then you would lose it and it would be eaten by a snake.

Re:Perl Drivers License (Score:5, Funny)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 20, @12:27AM
no, no, by a python

Interview with Alan Cox, who's on a year long sabbatical from kernel development, whilst he does his MBA at Swansea University in Wales. He talks about translating KDE & Gnome into Welsh, software patents and plans for the future.

What A Crappy Present
Sound advice - in short, instead of buying your kid's or younger relatives a music CD by some big name artist, buy them a pack of 50 CD-Rs instead.

Mars Express
Only 4 days left to orbital insertion. You can see where Mars Express is here

The European Space Agency have a webcam of their control room in Darmstadt , Germany here

This is Europe's plan for landing human astronauts on the moon and Mars.

Friday, December 19, 2003

The Wonderful World of Linux 2.6

Good guide on the new features of the 2.6 kernel

KOffice 1.3 Christmas preview
No Kexi yet - that's slated for release sometime next year.

Lightweight window manager.
XFce4 Rpms for Mandrake
The latest XFce version 4 in Mandrake RPM format.

Grepmail home page
Jeremy Zawodny on grepmail
"grepmail is to email what Perl is to text processing -- a Swiss Army chainsaw."

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

New Debian based distro I came across recently - Mepis
OSNews has a detailed review here.

And here's another new one - PCLinuxOS, produced by Texstar and based on Mandrake 9.2
It gets the thumbs up from in this review by MadPenguin.

Teaching educators about free software
"I was shocked when the middle school principal told me he could not accept free software for his journalism program; that all he was allowed to use was fresh-from-the-box commercial software. "It's school district policy," he said. "We can't even bring software from home now. It's because of the licensing. There are big fines for using unlicensed software. We can't risk it." This was an educated man, a fine teacher and administrator, but he knew nothing about the licensing terms under which Linux, OpenOffice, and many other fine programs are distributed. Neither, apparently, did his superiors in the school district administration. We need to teach them."

Behlendorf: Open source at a 'tipping point'
KDE and Debian developers call for greater desktop collaboration

Bruce Perens announces that UserLinux will use Gnome & PostgreSQL
No Kde due to QT "licensing" issues , and no MySQL either.

The feedback isn't that good . Over here the KDE Developers forum discuss the decision. Again, the general mood isn't favourable.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Joel Spolsky has a review here of The Art Of Unix Programming by Eric Raymond.

There's an amusing parable here from this book on the difficulties of code re-use with binary libraries (as opposed to open source Linux libraries).

Linux Questions.org
Lots of forums and discussion on everything to do with Linux. Highly recommended.

Linux Questions interviews Gael Duval of Mandrakesoft

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Saddam Arrested - Iranian news agency

BBC is reporting this too

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Came across this site whilst Googling for something else: Tech Recipes
Nice layout , and there's lots of useful nuggets of sysadmin info on there. I like the comment system on each recipe as well - a kind of peer review. You can add your own recipes as well if you want to contribute. I certainly will be.

Here's a few examples of the receipes posted up:
How to safely reboot a Linux box
Extract a gzip compressed tar archive in Linux
How to change the MySQL root password
Loop over a set of files from the shell

There's a contest over here on giving RSS a catchier name. Feel free to drop your suggestions in. Searchblog is also running an open thread on better names for RSS.

Microsoft are patching, even though they dont know how the patch is getting out
Building a low budget Tivo
Microsoft running on Microsoft again
After months of running on Linux.
UK Anti-spam laws come into force
UK govt pitches Sun as OSS challenger for 500k desktops
Mr Ballmer has already got his plane tickets...

Monday, December 08, 2003

Sun Negiotiating With WalMart Over Java Desktop
Slashdot crowd aren't impressed. And quite right too - the Sun Java Desktop has nothing to do with Java - it's a Gnome Desktop running on Linux with a Java VM thrown in.

SF Chronicle Interviews Marc Andressen
The creator of Netscape talks about the post-dot com era.

Slashdot mentions SETI at Homes best candidates
A signal called SHGb11+15a looks like being the best candidate at present.

Slashdot - Winners and Losers In Outsourcing
Inland Revenue Might Ditch EDS

UK NHS trials Sun Linux, threatens 800k user defection from MS
Is Ballmer on the plane yet?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Using chkconfig & /sbin/service to manage run start up scripts in RedHat

Avoiding plain text POP passwords with Stunnel

Secure Remote Logging with syslog-ng and stunnel HOWTO

Stunnel home page

Looking for RootKits on your comprimised box (google groups discussion)

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Remote Logging with Snort

First it was kernel.org, and then Debian was hacked - now it's
Gentoo's turn.

Sounds like a concerted effort to discredit OSS.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

How to compare 2 files and show the items that appear in both

Command: comm -12 file1 file2

comm output has 3 columns : colum 1 - items that only appear in file1 , column 2 - only in file2 , column 3 - items that appear in both files.

Extract a listing of email addresses you have sent email to from your maillog and stick it in a text file, making sure that the mail addresses listed are sorted from A to Z and are uniquely listed.

grep "status=sent" maillog | awk '{print $7}' | cut -d'<' -f 2 | cut -d'>' -f 1 | sort --field-separator="@" | uniq > emails_sent_to.txt

Note: the awk command means "print column 7". A space separating an item of text in a line is considered a column delimiter by Awk

GKrellM: Geek eye-candy, monitors, and more

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Comic Icons
Great cartoony icon set for Linux available, although it's not very extensive - but what is there is top class, excellent work.

Linux 2.6 expected in mid-December
Bill Joy spurned job at 'out of control' Google
Major vendors to push Linux to the desktop
Krusader 1.30 Does Tabbed-Browsing
XDefine KDE icon sets
Kool Gorilla
Blue Gorilla iconset for KDE

Still haven't gotten around to setting up my icecast server. Just dumping some links here.
IceCast FAQ here
"OddcastV2 - XMMS is a combination of a few different products. The purpose is to provide a method of using XMMS for broadcasting."
Radio Paradise
The Bleeding Edge

Friday, November 21, 2003

Feel Free to Jack Into My iPod
Fascinating Wired article on a new social phenomenon , whereby total strangers listen to each others iPods. The distinctive white earbuds of the iPod allow this to happen , as you can spot another iPod user whilst walking down the street.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Well , I have to admit it - i've finally gotten all religious and joined this church

You can view the entire series of "The Theory Of Everything" aka "The Elegant Universe" from this PBS website. Now that's a seriously excellent link. I wonder if they'll get Slashdotted? Hope not....

Monday, November 17, 2003

Shock! Horror! The Inland Revenue appear to have a sense of humour

Gateway to start selling SuSe servers
Sun announces AMD product line

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Microsoft "Hall of Innovation"
The Bloatware Debate
Microsoft's Really Hidden Files

Spam surge raises fears of junk mail assault
"Organised spammers may have launched a new assault on Web users, with an anti-spam company reporting a spike in the amount of junk mail being sent"

Latest figures from MessageLabs report that 50.5 per cent of all email is now spam. And that's probably an underestimate.

IP To Country
Useful csv database that can map a visitor's ip address to their country. Sample code provided.
Linux on the desktop - the man from Armonk, he say yes!
Mission impossible? Blunkett's big biometric ID adventure
About the British ID card proposal.

Desktop Linux Conference: KDE Report
"Our PR is worse in North America than I had originally imagined."
" Browser plugins are a mess."
"Businesses want a corporate partner to buy their free desktop from. Go figure."
"We need to integrate better with OpenOffice, and we need to better educate people about Konqueror."

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Interview with George Staikos
The USA Linux User Group interview George Staikos, who is a KDE core developer, app developer, North America/Canada press contact, and I also involved in North American PR for KDE.
KDE Wins Spot At Comdex Open Source Pavillion
KDE came second in an online O'Reilly poll.
KDE Traffic #67
Regular newsletter on all things KDE
IE to block pop-ups in XP service pack
Don't bother Microsoft, we've already moved to Mozilla Firebird.

And speaking of Mozilla, here's
101 Things You Can Do In Mozilla That You Can't In IE

Wired -"Yet Another Rendition of Linux"
Wired article on Bruce Peren's forthcoming "UserLinux" project , which is aimed specifically at the average desktop user.

The Slashdotters are having a big discussion about this here

"Programmers are like artists" - an interview with Bruce Perens

Monday, November 10, 2003

Monday's Linkdump
Spammers Can Run But They Can't Hide
NY Times interview with Steve Linford, head of Spamhaus
AA - Cryogenic style
New eye candy for KDE
Kicker PNG's
Cool backgrounds for your KDE kicker panel , in various colors.
Slashdot on "Why Blacklisting Spammers is a bad idea"
The Register: "Penn State Pigolist Pork Is Not Smelling Sweet"

LED Binary Clock
"Yes, It's A Clock. No, Your Mom Cant Read It"

Friday, November 07, 2003

KDE screenshots
Here's some screenshots contributed to KDE Look
Click on the thumbnails in the pages linked below to see the full screenshot.

Think Linux
Karamba Slicker Dragon
Orange Luv
Bugs Desktop

Here's some customisation components that went into building the OrangeLuv screenshot:
Orange KDE wallpaper
Noia Warm Iconset
Micromon komponent
Liquid Weather
Smoothy panel
Alloy style

The OrangeLuv screenshot , and many others, use the Superkaramba KDE extension.

Friday's Linkdump

K3b: better than advertised
NewsForge readers pick their favorite desktop Linux apps
"The MoviX project is a series of three different tiny Linux CD distributions containing all the software to boot from a CD and play multimedia files through the MPlayer, the best multimedia player in the Unix world"
Star Wars Original Trilogy Gets DVD Release Date
Linux Journal: Penguins for President?
Your 99c belong to the RIAA - Steve Jobs
Information Week: PHP becoming dominant

Thursday, November 06, 2003

KDevelop 3.0 (snapshot20031031) with MDK 9.2
From the Kdevelop forum, posted by Bluepanther

1.) do the make cvs "make -f Makefile.cvs". It will generate the configure script and so on
2.) exec "./configure --prefix=/usr" now it configures all and creates the Makefile's
3.) edit the file "languages/Makefile"
3.1.) search for the entry "SUBDIRS=" and remove: pascal, ada (this three plugins make an error by compiling it... you will miss it when you need one or both of this two languages, but if you needn't it you won't need it
4.) now execute "make" in the root directory of the sources
5.) now su to root and "make install"
6.) now ther comes the dirty part ^^... cd to the directory "/usr/local" and execute "ln -s /usr kde". why you ask? it's simple, when you wana create a new project with the wizzard, it searsches for a perl module called "kdevelop.pm". but it won't search in the correct dir "/usr/share/..." it search in the dir "/usr/local/kde/share/..." and so you need this link
7.) now lets make the last step... kdevelop will not find itself... I now this is funny but true. when you start it now it will cry, that it doesn't find its plugins ^^
But the solution is simple.
Execute in a console "export KDEDIRS=/usr/bin:/usr:$KDEDIRS && kbuildsycoca"

so, now its done, execute "kdevelop"... it will start fine, and now you can work with it. I don't know if there are mor problems, but if I find sone I will try to solve it and post it here.

Mandrake bashrc profile for compiling Gideon
this was also posted in the forum

The other thing you have to do is set the KDEDIRS environment variable so that KDE understands where to find application data (otherwise Gideon will start and not be able to find its own bits and pieces).

I put the following things in my .bash_profile :

export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/usr/bin:/usr/lib/qt3/bin
export KDEDIR=/usr
export QTDIR=/usr/lib/qt3
export KDEDIRS=/usr:/home/nic/usr

I run Mandrake, so the locations of KDE and QT may be different for you..

KDevelop Forum #1
KDevelop Forum #2

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Red Hat CEO says you should buy Windows
"I would say that for the consumer market place, Windows probably continues to be the right product line," he said. "I would argue that from the device-driver standpoint and perhaps some of the other traditional functionality, for that classic consumer purchaser, it is my view that [Linux] technology needs to mature a little bit more."
"Consumers want USB drivers and digital camera support; but for the enterprise desktop, that is a little bit different - that area is ripe," he said. "We think that the enterprise desktop market place is much more strategic and has buyers whose needs we can exceed."

Novell buys SuSe Linux in $210m cash deal
And IBM takes a $50 million stake in Novell....

Monday, November 03, 2003

KDE 3.2 Beta "Rudi" released
Over here the Slashdotters chat about it.

KDE will feature in the new series of "24" as shown in these screenshots - now, how cool is that?

Handy Sed one liners
Introduction to Awk
Linux Cookbook

Joachim's Round the World travel blog
Follow Joachim as he embarks on a round the world trip, leaving his job, property and friends behind.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Linus Torvalds Interview at a recent Geek Cruise
Japanese team reports quantum computing breakthrough

Friday, October 31, 2003

Friday's Linkdump

Dave Gorman's Googlewhack adventure

The conspiracy against our inboxes
Anti-spam measures will only help the spammers...
Linux Documentation Project is 10 years old
Congrats to the LDP team and contributors!
Gates - "You don't need perfect code for good security"
No , but it helps
Microsoft's new CLI
About 30 years after Unix....oh dear....
American Express adopts Linux
Linux further encroaching into Sun.com

Saturday, October 25, 2003

The Worlds Best Bars
Bars from cities around the world - what makes this site interesting are the customer comments from travellers who have actually been to these places.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Sendmail,procmail,spamassassin and fetchmail
Fetchmail, Mozilla & Spamassassin How To
SpamAssassin & Kmail integration

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Poor Google results
Source: The Register
"Plagued by link farms and blog noise, Google's engineers have resorted to brute force suppression of the search results, in the process, throwing out the baby with the bathwater. "

More Reg stuff on Google here, here and here

Generating a ssh-keygen public/private key
Step by step guide to creating rsa key pairs - very useful for non-interactive ftp'ing to a box (or boxen) during overnight cron jobs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Tuesday's Linkdump
SGI hopes NASA's Linux spend will boost results
"SGI's latest results edged closer to profitability, as it announced NASA had bought a Linux machine with 256 Itanium 2 processors and was planning to buy more"
Monty Python Spam sketch
This is where the term "spam" in regards to email originated from.
1 Million iTunes For Windows downloads in 3 and a half days
14 million songs sold by iTunes since it started in April.
Linux Cost Savings Add Up

Crontab @reboot

From the "they didn't have that in BSD 4.2 so I didn't know about it" department, a handy feature in Vixie cron: the @reboot option. It means run once at restart, an alternative to /etc/init.d for ordinary users. Vixie cron has other useful features:
@reboot Run once, at startup.
@yearly Run once a year, "0 0 1 1 *".
@monthly Run once a month, "0 0 1 * *".
@weekly Run once a week, "0 0 * * 0".
@daily Run once a day, "0 0 * * *".
@hourly Run once an hour, "0 * * * *".

This has been available since 1994 but it doesn't show up in RedHat or Mandrake man pages. It does show up in Debian.

Jeremy Zawodny mentions this as well.

Monday, October 20, 2003

The Art Of Unix Programming
Why Unix is so..... Unix-ey.. An interesting online book on the philosophy and culture of Unix.

Happy Birthday KDE!

A tutorial on KDE dialog
Shell scripting with KDE dialogs

"There are some misconceptions that KDE is only a graphical environment. While it is true that KDE is an outstanding desktop environment, the Unix heritage of command line and scripting is also well supported by KDE. In particular, KDE applications can be controlled from the command line, and shell scripts can make use of some of the KDE widget set."

Friday, October 17, 2003

To find out the current version number do
/usr/sbin/sendmail -d0.1

MySQL Breaks Into the Data Center

Friday's Linkdump
Introduction To Thunderbird
A viable , free alternative to Outlook Express, with built-in spam filtering technology.

New Mozilla Beta site
New kernel set to speed Linux adoption

Yet Another Critical Windows Flaw
MySQL Clustering coming soon

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Hello Craig - yes , this really is my blog. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wired has a lengthy interview with Linus Torvalds

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Mandrake 9.2 is out

Slashdot has a linkdump on the release of Mandrake 9.2 .

Although the ISOs will be available for free, you can pre-order full Mandrake 9.2 boxed packs (including manuals) from MandrakeStore. Do your bit for OpenSource, and buy it , even if it's the ONLY Mandrake that you'll ever buy.

Key features of the 9.2 release available here

Killing Apache zombie processes

Somehow, issueing an "apachectl stop" killed off the parent and left about 50 errant child processes on my box. Issueing "apachectl stop" again only threw back an errror about a missing httpd pid (because the parent is now dead)

Here's how you can kill all those child httpd processes in one swoop:

ps -ax | grep httpd | grep -v grep | awk '{print $1}' | xargs kill -KILL

Monday, October 13, 2003

Obie Trice has some free mp3s of his infectious , funky, hip hop. With all the news of RIAA sueing downloaders, I find Obie's site refreshing. You can view videos of his tunes here too.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Friday's Linkdump

Hubble has captured a stunning image of the Sombero galaxy.
Mars Global Surveyor :The first public requested image.
Mars Global Surveyor : The 134,000 image online gallery

Apple's Missed Opportunity??
Google bug blocks thousands of sites
What will be in Linux 2.7?
New Element 110 - Darmstadtium

Is the universe a dodecahedron?
If you consider that the ancient Greek philosopher , Pythagoras, thought that
the dodecahedron was a divine shape, symbolising the cosmos
the above story is quite remarkable.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The Man In Seat 61
Came across this excellent site today , with caters for travelling by train & sea throughout Europe and beyond.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The Degree confluence project
A fascinating and compelling site.
"The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location."

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Northern Germany

While reading the Lonely Planet book on Germany, I came across a great accomodation idea - "Heu Hotels". Literally "Hay Hotels" - in other words, farmyard barns.

Saxony (north Germany, around Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen) has a network of these, and you can get more info about it on this website.

There's an extensive listing of kid-friendly places to stay, which will be useful , as I intend to bring my little sprog along.

Hanover Region - Accomodation Booking
Stadt Celle
Photo of Gottingen
Deutschland Panorama
Serengeti Park

Friday, October 03, 2003

Longhorn - two years away

Interesting quote from this :
"In other words, the point is to knock down the walls that separate data in a Windows environment. For instance, Outlook Calendar data would no longer be restricted to Outlook, but could be utilized by other applications, so long as they are designed to work with WinFS. "

Oh dear...
KDE already has this, and it's nothing to do with the file system - it's DCOP messaging.
More sledgehammers to crack a smallish nut from Micro$oft.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Crap Towns.com
Run by the folks who publish The Idler, this lists Britain's crappiest towns. There's a new section for the USA as well. After reading that, I don't think I'll be holidaying in Gary, Indiana.

The BBC news website is covering this story as well

Miniscule Of Sound
The world's smallest nightclub - with probably the smallest website in the world as well.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Today's Linkdump

The "Like the World Really Needed Another Blog" Awards.
A9 - Amazon search startup
"Seattle-based Amazon has dubbed its search startup "A9" and set up offices in Palo Alto, not far from Google's Mountain View headquarters. A9 hopes to launch in October with 30 employees and grow much larger as it develops a search engine that will be licensed to other Web sites, said spokeswoman Alison Diboll."
Response to MS's PHP -> ASP.NET migration document
Electronic Paper
Poll: New KDE logo

Monday, September 29, 2003

AMD show off Linux PDA prototype
"AMD Inc. has begun showing an updated reference design for a PDA running the Linux operating system to hardware makers, according to a company executive."

In a similar story today , on The Register , rumours are flying that Sharp might release the Linux based Zaurus PDA in Europe.

The Sharp SL-C760 Zaurus PDA

InfoSync have a review here

Sunday, September 28, 2003


"We're a record label. But we're not evil.
We call it "try before you buy." It's the shareware model applied to music.

Listen to hundreds of MP3'd albums from our artists. Or try our genre-based radio stations.

If you like what you hear, buy our music online for as little as $5 an album or license our music for commercial use. "

SlashDot have picked up on this site, as has UnixDude

Friday, September 26, 2003

NaDa does nothing for nobody

no comment needed... :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2003

How the I.T. Industry REALLY works
Original article found here

There's a big gap between how outsiders think the IT industry works, and how it really does. It's time to spell it out.

What recent graduates think their new jobs in IT will be like

Graduates with skills in IT arrive at their new jobs bright-eyed and enthusiastic. They expect to soon be set challenging problems where they can use their intelligence and creativity for the good of the company. They hope to soon be seen as capable professionals, who've made a real contribution.

Every recent graduate's dream is to start building clever new systems that create value. They want to unleash their imagination in the cause of creating value through clever use of technology. They plan to astound their team with their inventiveness and be held up as an example of the type of employee every company would love to have on the payroll.

How IT jobs usually are

A new starter will arrive at her place of work eager to begin. Her manager has said that he's been desperate to get a new resource and there's work banked up. The new starter will then be sent a whole bunch of boring meaningless documents to read over. She will spend the first month doing not one bit of productive work. Everyone will tell her to enjoy this quiet period, as it's unusual. She's just hit IT industry rule no 1.

IT industry rule no 1 - every IT department pretends that it has ten times the work that it actually does

Finally the manager will arrive with a project. The new starter will look at it and immediately recognise that it should be no more than three day's work. Everything looks straightforward, but it isn't. The new starter soon finds she has a project manager, two business analysts, an administrator and a trainee assigned to the project.

IT industry rule no 2 - no job is so simple that it doesn't require 5 people to do it

After the project manager and business analysts have argued amongst themselves for 2 months and produced three useless documents, the new starter finally gets to begin work on the project. She knocks out a working prototype in a couple of days. She then spends two months sitting around doing nothing while the project manager and business analysts argue about the prototype and organise meetings to discuss it.

IT industry rule no 3 - nothing takes only a couple of days

Finally, the project manager asks her to change the entire thing. He insists she build it in a way that she knows is stupid. He's not interested in her opinion.

IT industry rule no 4 - you are always victim to the whim of everyone else who has a stake in the project.

They now want her to integrate the new system with another system they have. This seems like it shouldn't be too much of a problem, until she actually has a look at the other system. It seems to have been deliberately built to be difficult to understand and unintuitive.

IT industry rule no 5 - a lot of systems are deliberately built to be difficult to understand and unintuitive

To help her understand the other system, the project manager sends her to see the cleverest person in the world.

IT industry rule no 6 - every IT department has someone who's the cleverest person in the world

The cleverest person in the world is not very helpful. He seems mainly interested in patronising the new starter and withholding information from her. She is shown some of his other systems which are also difficult to understand and unintuitive. She soon finds that she doesn't have the information to do what she's been asked. Blame and suspicion begin to be directed at her.

IT industry rule no 7 - your workmates are there to make you look stupid and less important than them

Finally she is called into a room and told off by her manager and project manager.

IT industry rule no 8 - your only reason for existence is to be a scapegoat for management

After being bullied and harassed for weeks on end, the new starter finally completes the project. She is a month past deadline, but at least it's over with. The system will actually never be rolled out. It will sit in test for six months before being forgotten about.

IT industry rule no 9 - the IT department doesn't exist to produce actual output

Aged 31 and thrown on the scrap heap

A frightening story from Namesfacesplaces.com about an I.T. worker in Australia, thrown on the scrap heap. It makes for sobering reading.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Beating the averages
Fascinating article , in which the author describes how his e-commerce start-up thrashed the competition by using a certain programming language.

And no - it wasn't Java , or PHP , or Perl or VB or C++ or Pyhthon or ASP.

First off , I'd like to make 100 per cent clear that i'm a total unbeliever in astrology.
But sometimes we all need a bit of light relief, and I found this a bit of a laugh:
Career Horoscopes for I.T. geeks

Geek Eye for the Luddite Guys

Fortune magazine does an experiment - let loose three tech experts in an average family's home.

php cruise

punBB - a lightweight, no frills php bulletin board system.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

JPL Galileo Webcast

Live webcast , 7pm GMT (2pm U.S. Eastern)

Nine German cities posed to adopt Linux

Munich's decision to move to Linux has certainly had an effect.

Bye bye Galileo - 6 hours to impact

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Galileo Impact to Jupiter Countdown

1 day 19 hours and 46 minutes to entry into Jovian athmosphere as I write this.

Friday, September 19, 2003

From the "you couldnt make it up department"

Laugh? Laugh is too mild a term for the sheer mirth I felt when i read this article.

Thursday, September 18, 2003


DCOP rules

Found this on comp.os.linux.advocacy:

"I'd like to take this opportunity to draw attention to the DCOP feature,
which I feel may be overlooked. It'll also add a bit of advocacy to
this forum, for a change. OK, so it's more KDE advocacy, but what the
hell :-)

Having a GUI is nice, but sometimes it can be beneficial to be able to
control the GUI from the command line. This allows for scripting stuff
like logouts, or helping someone on a remote site.

I'll give you an example. A few days ago my mom called me about some
problem with the computer. Her explanation was something along the
lines of "the gray thing on the bottom of the screen is acting weird".

Okay ... So I eventually reconstruct the events, and it seems like she
may have panicked when she accidentally dragged the panel to a different
position, and somehow also managed to resize it (that one really had me
puzzled). She used to do the same thing in Windows, from time to time.
For a few minutes I try to explain how to set things straight, but in
the end it's just too difficult to explain over the phone.

Well, it's DCOP to the rescue! First I log into her computer, and su to
her account. Then I export the DISPLAY variable, so DCOP knows where
it's supposed to act. I could also have used '--user ' on
every command. Then I run 'dcop' to see what's running in KDE.
'kicker' is the application that handles the panel, so 'dcop kicker'
shows what interfaces I have to it. 'Panel' is obviously what I want,
so to show the available commands, I type 'dcop kicker Panel'.

Once I got that far, I thought I'd see why she was complaining about it
"acting weird", so I called the 'panelSize' and 'panelPosition'
functions. The panel was on the right side of the screen, and
apparently 453 pixels wide (or little less than half the screen). Weird
doesn't describe it well enough ...

Anyways, I checked out what the values were on my system, and set hers
accordingly with 'dcop kicker Panel setPanelSize 46' and 'dcop kicker
Panel setPanelPosition 3'. Then I ran 'dcop kdesktop KDesktopIface
rearrangeIcons', to correct the icon mess that had resulted from the

I only dread the time I would have had to spend on this trivial issue,
if she had still been using Windows ...


Globe of Blogs
Interesting site, that divides the world of blogs into countries and continental regions. So, if you ever wondered if there was a blog from Albania, then you can find out here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

some kde links

KDE documentation, bag o' links:
KDE documentation team,
Crashcourse in Docbook
KDE Editorial Team
Lauri's KDE doc progress table - currently being updated

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Inland Revenue suffers its greatest court defeat in 80 years

Great news for I.T. contractors.

"The ruling means that tax inspectors must issue formal warnings to those whom they suspect of evading tax, just as the police have to do.

And, glory of glories, it is thought to mean that contractors will no longer have to help the tax inspectors with a plethora of information relating to their company, when the Inland Revenue have decided to investigate them."

Nmap now has version detection

Previously, Nmap would detect ,say , that "Apache" was on port 80. The latest version will report the version of Apache

80/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.0.39 ((Unix) mod_perl/1.99_07-dev Perl/v5.6.1)

Monday, September 15, 2003

The Outsourcing Backlash
From CIO magazine:
"As a growing number of IT jobs move overseas, some CIOs and economists prophesy a political storm against offshore outsourcing."

A related article, also from CIO Magazine:
The Hidden Costs of Outsourcing

Motor giant Ford to Move to Linux

"Motor giant Ford is switching to Linux for its sales systems, human resources, customer relations and infrastructure"

Mad Hatter Meets The MCSE

An excellent , in depth, article , on the costs and benefits of migrating from a corporate Windows environment to a Linux/Unix base. Estimates and costings are included as examples, as well as the matching of MSCE skills with the required skills of Linux/Unix environment.

Well worth reading.

A review of "Writing Secure Code" by Microsoft Press

The reviewer says
"In essence, this is a book about how Microsoft has screwed up security in their programming practices over the years and how they are trying to fix it"

Friday, September 12, 2003

Inside Windows Update
An analysis of what really gets transmitted back to Microsoft when an user uses it's Windows Update service.

The KDE XmlRpc Daemon


Today's bag of links...

Linus Torvalds to Darl McBride -- "please grow up!"

Windows faces fresh web worm woe
The havoc caused by the MSBlaster virus could soon happen all over again.

Sharp to ship 3D notebook
"Sharp plans to release a notebook next month with a 15in display capable of showing stereoscopic 3D images.

The 2.8GHz Pentium 4-based notebook's release follows demand from content creators for a machine capable of displaying true 3D content rather than a 2D rendition of a 3D scene, the way almost all 3D imagery is handled these days."

KDE 3.2 Alpha 1 Finally on FTP

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Alan Knowles, living in Hong Kong, needs a job.

PHP Cruise
March 2004 Cruise in the Carribean for 5 days, with a PHP conference onboard too. Neat!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Those friendly Movable Type people, Mena & Ben, have met up with Howard Dean.

There's certainly a kind of momentum ,aura, and general "buzz" growing around Dean. I can certainly feel it, even if i'm across the Atlantic , 3000 miles away.

Here's some Dean links:
The Official Howard Dean Blog
Dean For America

BigChampagne is Watching You

Fascinating Wired article on how one company is turning file-sharing into the world's biggest focus group.

Big Champagne, the company in question, is selling P2P download data to record companies, so that they can push radio stations to air "hot" tracks that aren't getting much rotation - which in turn, can lead to more record sales.

"Fleischer is VP of sales and marketing for a company called BigChampagne, which has a better window into consumer demand. By matching partial IP addresses to zip codes, the firm's software creates a real-time map of music downloading. The company sells subscriptions to its database that let a user track one album for $7,500; bigger labels have annual deals for up to $40,000 per month."

CNN = "Contains No News"

Analysis of CNN primetime broadcast reveals that only 5 minutes of real news was broadcast in an hour. If you've ever stayed in a hotel on a business trip and flicked CNN on, you'll more than likely agree.

Bill Joy Leaves Sun

All is not well at Sun Microsystems.

RIAA keeps 12 year old quiet with $2000 bill

"It took all of twenty-four hours for young Biggie Brianna to be hit with a lawsuit and then pay up for her alleged crimes. The youngster's mother has agreed to shell out $2,000 to get the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) off her family's back. This marks the first settlement to come as a result of the 261 lawsuits the RIAA filed this week. "

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Some webcam links for gKrellmKam

New York:

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Moby weighs into the p2p/RIAA/"piracy" debate

This is a full repost from his blog article, "Changing Industry"

Changing Industry
9/5/2003 - New York City

so the universal music group are lowering their cd prices by $3 in an attempt to get people to start buying cd's again.
it's a good idea, but it might be a case of too little, too late.
if anyone were asking me (and they're not, actually) i would advise the music business to do the following:
1-come up with a standardized platform for file-sharing that all of the labels would provide music to, but that would be owned by an independent 3rd party source.
something like the apple on-line store. when the record companies try to start their own on-line retail services they invariable become proprietary and greedy. at some point the record labels are going to have to realize that you can't expect people to pay a lot of money for something that they can get for free. so:
a-the price needs to come down
b-the value needs to increase
c-the product has to be easy to acquire.
2-sell cd's at two retail prices, kind of like hard-cover and paperback books. sell your basic cd for $5 or $6 with very minimal packaging, and sell an enhanced cd package for $15 that would include bonus discs and posters and free access to on-line material and discounts on concert tickets, etc. that way the casual consumer can buy a cd without it costing too much and the bigger fan can buy a more exciting and value-filled product for slightly more money.
3-stop spending insane amounts of money making records and videos.
the world doesn't need albums that cost more than $100,000 to make, and the world doesn't need videos that cost more than $50,000 to produce.
how much did it cost to make 'nevermind'? how much did the 'smells like teen spirit' video cost? expensive records and expensive videos are a waste of everyone's time and money. it's just insane that most 3 1/2 minute pop videos cost more than a 50 acre estate in north carolina.
4-stop putting out shitty records. people don't associate music with value because most record labels put out valueless music. and they know it. their goal is to get a single on the radio and then put out a crummy album that will sell on the strength of the single with no thought to artistry or artist development. they don't sign artists based on artistic merit, they sign artists if the artists look and sound like the other artists on radio and mtv, and that's a recipe for long-term musical and corporate disaster. if you consistently make a crummy product then at some point people will lose interest in you and your crummy product, and they certainly won't be willing to pay for your crummy product.
5-stop persecuting people who are music fans. people who engage in file-sharing are people who like music. you can't make people feel guilty about loving and listening to music. the record companies need to see people who engage in file-sharing as music fans and not as criminals. and then they need to try to convince people to spend a little bit of money for music (with added value) rather than downloading it for free.
record companies and rich musicians complaining about file-sharing rings terribly false with most people. i mean, how can a 14 year old who has an allowance of $5 a week feel bad about downloading music produced by multi-millionaire musicians and greedy record companies? the record companies should approach that 14 year old and say, 'hey, it's great that you love music, instead of downloading music for free why don't you try this very inexpensive service that will enable you to listen to a lot of music and also have access to unreleased tracks and ticket discounts and free merchandise?'
the record companies and the riaa have up until this point been like nero, fiddling while rome burned (or george bush, vacationing while the economy implodes...). the record companies are faced with an inescapable fact: the music business has changed and will continue to change. if the record companies can't change with the times then they will very quickly become obsolete.
whether that's a good or bad thing, it really is as simple as that.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

What If - A Virus that will end the Internet?

A 7 page article on a possible future "internet killer" virus.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to LINUX Mandrake 9.1

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Celestia - a free 3D space simulation

"Celestia is a free real-time space simulation that lets you experience our universe in three dimensions. Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy"

Screenshots of this are VERY good. You can download from here, where the author has thoughtfully placed Mandrake & SuSe rpms.

new site.

"Welcome the PHPHUB, the place for PHP gurus to find the latest news, newgroups, tutorials/articles and forums feeds. All brought together in one central place. "

Telstra goes open-source
"TELSTRA, Australia's largest technology company, has nailed its colours firmly to the mast of open source software, creating a potential nightmare for Microsoft and sending shivers through a range of traditional platform providers."

Monday, September 01, 2003

Linux Mag article on using Rsync

Waiting for the Year of the Linux Desktop

Saturday, August 30, 2003

What Should Google Do
A PDF e-book, edited by Seth Godin.
Thanks to Ensight for pointing this one out.

The "Google" branded bricks-and-mortar drop-in centre in tourist-heavy metropolitan areas is a particularly good idea (page 22).

One can easily imagine this scenario:

"Hey , we've flow into Berlin for this conference - where do we get a great Chinese meal around here?"

"I know , let's go to the Google centre on the K'Dam, have a coffee, and find out. They can also point out points of interest for us, and book us some tickets for the Berlin Philharmonic tommorow night."

Kerneltrap have a feature on how on to upgrade to the 2.6 kernel

The intended audience is for Linux users who are already comfortable with compiling the 2.4 kernel. If you've never compiled a kernel before the Linux Kernel How To is a good introduction.

Interesting Wired article on the Time Travel spammer.

"The anonymous e-mail offered $5,000 to any vendor capable of promptly delivering a collection of far-fetched gadgets for conducting time travel.
Hill, a computer programmer living in Iowa, said he normally deletes a couple of dozen junk e-mails every day with hardly a glance. But this time, he hit the reply button instead.

"It was just so weird, I had to respond. I sent him a message saying I could get him what he wanted," Hill said. "

Thursday, August 28, 2003

UK IT experts fear for jobs
"British IT consultants, hit hard by technology spending cutbacks over the past three years, are concerned that a probable deal at the upcoming World Trade Organisation meeting in Cancun could lead to further job losses.

The European Union has offered to welcome foreign providers of computer services, "including highly skilled, self-employed, com- puter experts".

Power Outage Brings London Trains to A Halt
And so soon after the U.S. blackouts.... spooky.

TrustCommerce interviewed on their usage of KDE

"It's simple: KDE makes the UNIX desktop usable for non-IT workers. If it wasn't for KDE, we'd have to pay a lot of money for proprietary hardware (Apple) or software (Microsoft). More importantly, the machines are more stable and easier for our sysadmin to maintain. That's a big savings in cost - not having to hire another sysadmin as our employee count continues to grow. "

Linux vs. Windows: Choice vs. Usability
Quote:"One of the major roadblocks for Unix was the lack of one single standardized platform for applications. Linux seems to be following along the same line, although on a different parallel. To compete head-to-head with Microsoft, Linux advocates should standardize the platform."

I tend to disagee with the author's premise. In my view, standardisation would kill off innovation.

Secondly, Linux users are generally extremely passionate about their preferred Window managers. I just love KDE 3.1 , but others swear by Gnome or Enlightenment. The cool thing is , is that Linux gives everyone that choice. Removing that choice removes the flexibility of Linux - which is the primary reason I switched in the first place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Hackers take SCO site offline

"A denial-of-service attack hit the Web site of SCO, which is fighting a controversial legal battle concerning Unix copyrights

Last weekend, a denial-of-service attack took down the Web site of The SCO Group, which is caught in an increasingly acrimonious row with the open-source community over the company's legal campaign against Linux. "

Software patent protest to block Web sites

Several hundred Web sites are to remove their front pages in protest against a European software patents directive, due for a final vote next week.

More than 600 Web sites are to take part in an online protest against a proposed European law on software patents, timed to coincide with a real-life protest in Brussels on Wednesday.

Writing in The Guardian in June, Arlene McCarthy, the British Labour MEP who is guiding the software patents proposal through Parliament, argued that the legislation would "provide legal certainty for European software inventors" and protect the investments of small European software companies.

"It is time some of the 'computer rights campaigners' got real," she wrote. "Patents for software inventions will not go away. It is infinitely better for the EU to harmonise laws across the EU with a view to limiting patentability, than to continue with the mess of national courts and European Patent Office (EPO) systems, and the drift towards US patent models."

Emailing a file via cron
Very handy discussion on emailing an attachment from a cron job here at devshed. I tried this out , using the Mime::Lite perl module, and it works flawlessly.

SpamAssassin - cannot write to User_prefs error

You may come across a lot of errors in /var/log/maillog to do with spamd not having enough rights to
the users "user_prefs" file:

"Aug 27 07:01:35 SERVERNAME spamd[8739]: Cannot write to /home/USERNAME/.spamassassin/user_prefs:"

There are 4 options to rectify this problem (which i found on a Debian mailling list)

* Remove -u nobody from spamd. The daemon will run as root. Children
will setuid() themselves to the appropriate userid when processing

* Make sure ~/.spamassassin is world-readable and has all the necessary
config files. If you are using bayes, you may need to make the
database files world-writable.

* Make ~/.spamassassin world-writable, and let spamd create whatever
files it needs.

* Create a special sa user and group, run spamd with "-u sa", set
~/.spamassassin's group ownership to sa, and add group read/write
access to it. Let spamd create whatever files it needs.

Yahoo RSS

Yahoo launch their RSS newsfeed service.

Jeremy Zawodny is also covering this

Saturday, August 23, 2003

SoBig virus traced to Canada
SlashDot is also covering this one.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Office Space
Wav files and pictures... <....shudder...>

Kde Look is worth a visit , if you want to customise your KDE install.
The iconsets that are available are well worth installing. These can radically change the look and feel of your desktop.

I personally give this site a +10 score as it's one hell of a resource for twiddling with your KDE. You can waste an entire afternoon just doing this, as I've found myself unfortunately doing. [ "oh crap - it's already 5pm .. and i've been customising since 11AM ! "]

Thursday, August 21, 2003

SoBig Virus - the worst is yet to come
Windoze gets infected , and the rest of us catch a cold. Thanks "Billy Gates"....

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Mandrake 9.1 Documentation
PDF & HTML, English, French, Spanish, Deutsch, Italian.

Mandrake Documenation Project
Interesting stuff on how they used XML Docbook,jade etc to produce the PDF manuals.

Microsoft Urges Users Not to Use Windows on the Internet

New Windows vunerability -- from MIDI files!!!

Microsoft Direct X Vunerability bulletin

"An attacker could seek to exploit this vulnerability by creating a specially crafted MIDI file designed to exploit this vulnerability and then host it on a Web site or on a network share, or send it by using an HTML-based e-mail.

A successful attack could also cause an attacker's code to run on the user's computer in the security context of the user. "

Oh dear - more whacked out "trustworthy" computing from Microsoft.

Monday, August 18, 2003

New Blaster Worm Installs Patches
The first case of a "good" virus?

DCOM Exploit With Universal Targets
Source code variant of the MS-BLASTER worm, without the viral self-replication bit.

Knowledge of the service pack of the target system is not required in the above exploit. It targets Win2k and XP systems.

Just download the source code, and compile using gcc:

(assuming you've saved as dcom.c)

su root
gcc dcom.c

KDE - Contributing to WhatsThis Tutorial

You don't have to be a QT coder to contribute to the development of KDE. Here's a link that gives a good overview on contributing to those "Whats This" tooltips that pop up when one hovers over an application icon.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Blacklisting Spam domains using Sendmail

In sendmail 8.8.7 and above, you can create a deny file that will block entire domains.

/etc/mail/deny file example:


After creating/editing the deny file you must issue this command:
makemap hash deny
which will create a deny.db file

to create the deny.db database file which sendmail uses.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

P2P meets push technology - a very interesting concept. Available on Linux, Mac and Windows.

Notes on sendmail smtp authentication

There are various notes around on setting up a password protected Sendmail relay box, which allows your users on one domain to send mail via sendmail in another domain, WITHOUT allowing relaying as an anti-spam measure.

Once set up, your users SMTP mail client settings require you to set a username and password.

You need to uncomment each of them, and make a few changes. Since verizon still uses plain text authentication, we need to tell Sendmail about that. After making the changes, my section in the sendmail.cf section looks like this (note the PLAIN as part of the AuthMechanism):

Once sendmail.cf is created with SMTP AUTH, you need to edit
the default-auth-info file (or create one)

Extract from sendmail.cf:
# list of authentication mechanisms

# default authentication information for outgoing connections
O DefaultAuthInfo=/etc/mail/default-auth-info

# SMTP AUTH flags
O AuthOptions=A

Example default-auth-info:

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Home of phpmyadmin.

Maguma now have a forum on their redesigned website.

Apt-get install notes for Red Hat by Void Main.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Setting up a Home Network with Linux and a Cable Modem Service
Setting DHCP, Samba and an description on how to set up IMAP, Sendmail, Fetchmail, Procmail on your home network utilising these on your Linux gateway.

Clean Mandrake 9.1 install and Apache

If you do a fresh 9.1 install, Mandrake installs the Apache 2 webserver.

Apache 2 radically changes where it puts its config files - rather than a single httpd.conf file, the various sections are now split into multiple conf files.

I had a problem getting apache to recognise .htm files as php. Here's how I solved it.

Go to /etc/httpd/conf.d
Edit 75_mod_php.conf
Add the following line in the section.
AddType application/x-httpd-php .htm

Restart apache (apachectl restart)

The default Apache 2 config is placed in
and its name is httpd2.conf

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Procmail filtering notes

Configuring a mail server with Postfix-Procmail-Fetchmail-SpamAssassin

Good series of notes, on a home setup

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Configuring Postfix to use SpamAssassin
Detailed instructions on how to get spamassassin to filter your email via postfix BEFORE its delivered. Handy.

Friday, April 18, 2003

css plugin for Xine

Now you can view ALL encrypted and locked dvds on Linux.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

From comp.windows.x.kde:

> 2. I have heard that the Windows fonts are pretty good.
> Which ones should I use and how do I install them?

Put the .ttf font files in a dir ~/.fonts
run fc-cache -f -v
you should be able to use all those new fonts in kde apps.

What works best for me, (I don't like small antialiased fonts; I think
they look bold)
is to rebuild the freetype2 lib with the bytecode hinter turned on -
it can not be turned on by default because of a patent issue.

Learn how to do that from the README.UNX file that comes with freetype, after you run ./configure; make, then cp and symlink your new libfreetype.so.6.3.2 in /usr/lib
restart X, it makes a huge difference.

Bash - complex commands for advanced users
Handy reference.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Is your sendmail DNS aware?

/usr/lib/sendmail -d0.1 -bt < /dev/null

Look for NAMED_BIND in the "Compiled with" box.

1997 paper on tuning Sendmail for mailing lists
Old paper, but a good read and still applicable.

SendMail book by O'Reilly
Web version. 1997 edition.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Kernel Newbies
Good site. Cute logo.

Dyers - setting up a Linux server
Easy going introduction to setting up a Linux box - Samba, Firewalling, DNS cacheing are covered.

Your Open Source Plan
Good article from a corporate CIO perspective with lots of examples of using Linux in a corporate environment.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

HOWTO - Run KazaaLite using WINE

Origins of the word "spam"

Installed Mandrake 9.1 on my Win 98 machine today, as dual-boot. Gave Mandrake 40 gig, Win 98 80 gig - install went like a breeze. Partitioning was very straightforward - the new Mandrake install wizard is extremely slick.

Some fun - take this quiz!
Which OS are you?

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Installing nano and pico on Mandrake 9.1

NANO and PICO missing from Mandrake 9.1

Here's a way of installing Nano easily once you've installed Mandrake 9.1

Go to http://plf.zarb.org/~nanardon/urpmiweb.php

Select plf, texstar, main, contrib, updates and the mirror servers nearest to you. (I had problems with the UK mirror recently, so dont select that one)

Hit the send button - you'll get a list of urpmi commands.

Open up a Konsole and su as root.

Highlight the commands and cut and paste them into your root Konsole.

The urpmi commands will go off and download RPM package databases to a local urpmi database on your box.

Once this has finished, type into the Konsole

urpmi nano

And you'll get something like this - nano will be then installed:
installing /var/cache/urpmi/rpms/nano-1.2.0-1tex.i586.rpm

Preparing... ##################################################
1:nano ##################################################

Type 'nano' from the command line - and you'll now have a Pico-like text editor in Mandrake.

It could be just me, but the Mandrake Forum is sometimes hard to find (maybe that's because theres so many Mandrakesoft websites??). Here's the direct link straight into the forum - non-club members can post questions in certain areas.

KVM Switch & Erratic Mouse Behaviour

This only applies to wheeled mice - switching to other boxes on a 4 port KVM switch and back to your Linux box results in erratic mouse behaviour.

Here's the solution (for Mandrake - probably applies to other distros too) - your wheel will stop working, but at least you'll be able to switch via KVM without your mouse going crazy.

Edt /etc/X11/XF86Config-4

Go to the "Section 'Input Device' "

Change the IMPS/2 in Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2" to "PS/2"

Restart X (ctrl-atl-backspace)

Thursday, April 10, 2003

I found a very useful Sendmail tuning document here.

Interview with Gael Duval of Mandrakesoft

Why I Hate Microsoft
Despite the shrieking title, this is actually a very articulate and detailed attack on Microsoft and its business practises. Well worth reading.

ISO Recorder
This is a completely free ISO recorder for Win XP - quite useful for burning Linux ISO images if all you have access to is an XP box. Unlike XPs built in CD recording, this does not create a temporary file before burning to disk.

Win XP annoyingly does this by default (700mb ISO + 700mb temp file = a 1.4 Gig free space needed to burn an image!!)

Mandrake 9.0 Upgrade To KDE 3.1

Problem: Lost desktop icons , can't change background

Issue: Probably didnt download all of the Texstar rpms.

Good answer by Texstar:
"Boot into gnome and remove previous kde and rename your .kde in your home
directory to .kde-old then urmpi:


This will get you a basic kde desktop.Log out of gnome and log into kde.
From here you can add the rest of the rpms such as kdenetwork, kdeadmin,
kdemultimedia etc.

These rpms were built on a stock Mandrake 9.0 install so there are no funny
or wierd libraries to contend with.


Gateway 1450 laptop Linux config notes
Includes instructions on getting the i830 Intel video chipset to work - this chipset is also found in some Dell laptops and can cause problems for X - the chipset grabs normal system memory for its own use, and to compound the issue, Intel have refused to release the technical specs to the open source word.

More info on the Intel i830 chipset issue
"Since version 4.2.0, XFree86 includes support for the Intel i830 family of graphics controllers. Unfortunately, Intel has decided that - in contrast, to previous chipsets in the i810 series - they do not publicly release detailed programming information for the i830 (and it's successor, the i845). This is rather disappointing and should be noted by all users of open-source operating system, as this policy slows down the development of reliable device drivers, as the example of the i830 has clearly demonstrated. In fact, Intel's i830 page is actually misinforming. As of 4 Sep 2002, it says in a note that ``[t]here is currently no Linux driver to bypass legacy memory limitations. The Linux drivers for the Intel 830M/MG chipset graphics do not currently support full video memory usage; that is, you will always be limited to the BIOS pre-determined memory amount. This is due to the dual-pipe graphics architecture of the Intel 830M/MG chipset graphics.'' As a matter of fact, this doesn't have anything to do with dual-pipe graphics architecture, but is entirely due to Intel withholding, on purpose, crucial technical information about the chipset"

Dell Inspiron - Mandrake 8.1 Installation Notes
Linux On Laptops - Dell Page
Yahoo Linux Dell Laptop Page

Over at distrowatch.com , there's a tongue-firmly-in-cheek article on the "Windows" distro...
Windows XP - An Operating System You Can Trust