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Jun 28, 2005


DrunkenBlog hosts two long articles on the issues surrounding Apples move to Intels x86 arch - Part 1 and Part 2. Discusses the unclean nature of OS X's current 64bit-ness as well as endian problems.

DVD - MacTheRipper and Handbrake are two useful OS X tools to rip DVD's to disk. MacTheRipper also removes region encoding and it will rip a DVD even though Apples DVD Player refuses to play it due to a different region code.

Simple command line tool to manipulate images - Sip. Also some useful OS X command line tips over at Acmetech - for example start a GUI app liike this open -a /Applications/

Tiny database - Stash is a small (20kb) command line database useful for maintaining simple lists.

NFS - How to handle NFS mounts on OS X. Shame you need a new NIS map for the NetInfo automount database. Why couldn't Apple just use a normal amd or autofs map ?

Cool - The Art of Science.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.28-09:47.00]


As seen on slashdot - Castle Infinity has been resurrected as a free multi-user game environment.

Nothing special in this article on running Oracle on Linux apart from the short section on using PartitionImage to clone a server. The mention of HP-UX in the article still makes me shudder though ...

Fonts - A survey of twenty typefaces.

Nice article on DShield - a distributed IDS (Intrusion Detection System). Interesting stats such as the Top 10 Targeted Ports and the Top 10 'Offenders'.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.28-09:14.00]

Jun 24, 2005

Site Statistics to 25/06/05

Amusing statistics collected since putting in Statcounter.

From this graph it appears the majority of visitors stick around for less than five seconds - I'm guessing they ended up here by mistake :-)

From this graph it seems visitors from the US have superceded even my occassional visits to the site; although I usually visit my site via RSS which doesn't register as a site-hit.

[/stats] | [permalink] | [2005.06.24-21:10.00]

Jun 22, 2005

Links (Updated 25/06/05)

This is cool - hacking a cheap WiFi IM gadget with Linux and then using it to display what the Sony Aibo 'sees' via its camera.

A simple but horribly useful Windows command line too - RenTS will rename and timestamp a file - handy for rotating log files.

Amit Singh provides a flash based presentation of the OS X Kernel.

Via TinyApps - interesting hack: Boot Windows XP Off a Compact Flash Card.

Unix Security - 1001 Ways to Harden Linux.

Create your own Polaroids from normal images via The Polaroidonizer.

Useful Windows Admin articles - Sending emails via script, Recovering the Directory Services Restore Password and Subnetting to improve performance.

For the Mac - NeoOffice 1.1 Final has been released. NeoOffice removes the need to have X-windows running and it attempts to make it a more Mac-like application.

Lego - Brick Journal is a magazine devoted to advance Lego projects. The 2001 Starship model on the cover is amazing!

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.22-05:53.00]

Jun 20, 2005

Linkies (Updated 21/06/05)

Long overdue - Groundwork. GUI configuration for Nagios.

Article on server virtualisation to reduce wasting resources - How Linux Reins in Server Sprawl. I guess the next logical step is that mainframe servers (VMS, iSeries etc) prevent Linux server sprawl. Computing goes full circle :-)

And this type of thing is why OS X is so much more 'fun' when compared to other OS flavours - DittyBot. Request songs in your iTunes collection via SMS and have them played down the phone to you. Not practical but great fun.

Via Make magazine - Converting a rotary phone to a rotary cellphone. Turning into a fairly common mod but it would be great to have one of these.

Sun open-sourced their OS via OpenSolaris. Some nice supporting information over at Blastwave who do the excellent pkg-get for Solaris. And the first OpenSolaris based distro is out - Schillix.

Promising music 'zine - Dusted. Anyone that reviews new Skullflower can't be bad. Shame they don't have an RSS feed though...

A nice article which posits the idea that American culture is in fact less violent because of its apetite for visceral violence in entertainment (based on the fuss surrounding Grand Theft Auto 4) and homogenous populations. Whereas Britain actually has a overt violent undercurrent due to the greater variety of cultures and communities mixing together in pubs/clubs and the vicarious thrill of 'slumming it'. Having said that the UK is an infinitely more interesting place than the US (sweeping generalisations aside of course ;-). Read the article over at Popmatters and see what you think.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.20-09:22.00]

Jun 17, 2005

Interesting Links

Via Ed Brill - Law Firm switches to iSeries over Windows. Hopefully better than Notes on AIX - we used to have fairly regular crashes of the Domino process (once a month or so). I wonder if Domino is developed across platforms simultaneously or if the Windows version pops out first and then the rest (AIX, Solaris, Linux, iSeries etc) ....

Fantastic - Tiny Houses. Wonder if anyone makes similar houses in NZ ?

Its finally happened - someones ported Mac-on-Linux to OSX creating Mac-on-Mac. You can now run OS X, PPC Linux and MacClassic as a Virtual Machine inside OS X (a la VMWare).

Tempted to switch to ReadingList to handle my reading list in Blosxom.

Useful examples of using Pipes & Filters.

Shown recently at Computex 2005 is the miniscule Flybook Laptop/Tablet.

Super stylish Urinals.

Starting to hear a little about Dave Winers new Really Simply Groupware / Instant Outliner. It looks like it has a lot of potential based on this screenshot.

If you like Linux LiveCD's but need an easy way to create them then MySlax looks pretty neat - its a Windows app to create a live custom Slackware based CD.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.17-23:15.00]

Jun 15, 2005

Multisession VNC on Tiger (Nifty!)

Via Hack the Planet and Slashdot:

Try with Mac OS X 10.3 or later. If there are no display devices on-line the window server will create a virtual framebuffer.

In Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4, fast user switching gets a related feature. When a user session is switched off-screen, if a screen watching program such as OSXvnc-server is running, the off-screen session will get a virtual framebuffer so that it can be remote-operated while another user session or a login window is on the hardware console.

Try running, for example, and switching users. A remote VNC viewer will be able to connect to the session switched off-screen, so you can continue working from a remote location. When you set this up, make sure you set up a password for access and take the usual security precautions for a remote-controlled system.

[/tech/mac] | [permalink] | [2005.06.15-03:03.00]

Jun 12, 2005

Interesting Links

Via Statcounter I have come to realise a few people are heading this way via Google searches - of course the Google link is to the blosxom cgi and not the post itself. So people come looking for old content and find new content. I'm sure this is pretty annoying so if you're one of these people you might want to try the local site search or use the Google cache of the search results to find what you were after. I'm not entirely sure why Google doesn't properly crawl the site links (they're all there via the Archive sidebar) though . . . Odd.

The GTD (Getting Things Done) meme seems to be huge right now - DIYPlanner is a card based PDA - print the Acrobat files onto card, cut to size then assemble together and keep them handy.

Logging - The Eighth Commandment of system administration: Syslog. I didn't realise it was so easy to setup. There is a more modern Secure Syslog project too.

Classic Mac - Mainly Neat Stuff contains useful Mac Classic information (pre PowerPC). This guy even has a nice right up on ending up with an old IIfx owned by Douglas Adams. I wound up finding this site searching for the old Ethernet/LocalTalk Bridge software Apple made available to allow a pre ethernet LocalTalk Mac to connect to Ethernet AppleTalk and TCP/IP network.

Shell tip - if you want an audio cue that a shell task has completed try this simple and nifty shell tip from Brenden Robinson.

Solaris - Sample Project Using Solaris Zones.

Linux Performance - Performance analysis on Linux using tools like vmstat, iostat and netstat.

Backup - Rsync over SSH for secure remote backup.

Excellent advice - How to Lose Friends and Alienate People With Email. Genius.

A nice review of the newly released Debian 3.1. For people who want a more bleeding edge Debian-style experiance try Ubuntu or Gentoo.

Anti-powerpoint - Stop your presentation before it kills again.

Solid-state storage - 30Gb holographic storage cards. $1 for the card and $1800 for the drive.

Useful tools - Xtort Freeware Collection and utilities to make your PC work like a Mac.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.12-19:15.00]

Jun 10, 2005


Jon Udell has a nice piece on Cracking WEP in 10min using Whoppix.

Exchange - Exchange Storage Rules: 15 Ways to Simplify, Solidify and Save.

Looks like FreeNX will replace VNC as the best way to remotely access a Unix/Linux system - FreeNX Builds Momentum.

Multiple logins/passwords is a pet-peeve of mine so this was a nice read - LDAP at the heart of the secure organisation. Its a shame that while LDAP is cool no one seems to have made it particularly simple to use as a canonical information source for client authentication across a variety of systems.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.10-05:20.00]

Jun 08, 2005

Interesting Links

After a dearth of anything decent to write about in the technology world comes a whole bunch of interesting stuff...

One of my fave kiwi bands finally got an updated TrouserPress entry - The Chills.

Chess - Chess Tactics Explained.

A wonderful monograph on the venerable IBM Type M Keyboard. I had one in the UK and it was great - I need to get my hands on another one...

The wonderfully named Treehugger has information on new Sharp roof tiles with built in solar panels or is that solar panels in the form of roof tiles ? I wonder how efficient they are ?

ArsTechnica has a post-mortem on the Apple Intel Switch.

Andrew Roberts has written a series of tutorials on Getting to grips with Latex.

In a similar vien - Ten common typesetting mistakes in technical documentation.

Vendor specific Unix assistance via Sunhelp and a similar though less well developed SGIhelp. Note that Sun also have the excellent BigAdmin resource site.

As an ex-Waffle BBS user (via 2400 and then 14400 baud modems) this looks really interesting - BBS Documentary. My Waffle account was via Manawatu Internet Services which was setup by Alan Brown of ORBS (in)fame(y). I think the MIS Waffle BBS was superceded by their more popular SLIP/PPP service back in 1997.

Ed Brill (IBM/Lotus Blogger) points out the insanity inherent in Exchange clustering vs the capability and flexibility of Domino clustering. I'd have to agree - Microsoft Exchange is a dog - sure the client is nice to use (even here Lotus Notes 6/7 has caught up in terms of usability) but the backend is an administrative/management nightmare.

If you're after a free web stat package I highly recommend StatCounter. Since my Blosxom page count plugin died I've lost track of who has been visiting this site. The free StatCounter seems to provide greater functionality for less effort - they make their revenue from the ads when you check your site stats.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.08-09:47.00]

Jun 06, 2005

Apple Switching to X86!

Looks like the speculation was on target - Apple is switching to Intel. I wonder what this will do to sales of G4/G5 hardware until late 2007 (Intel hardware will appear in June 2006) when the transition is due to be completed.

I've got a NeXTStation (a 68040 machine running NeXTStep 3.3) and OpenStep 4.1 for Intel so the whole fat-binary thing should be a complete non-issue from and end-user perspective. In the old NeXT days apps would come ready to run on Motorola/Intel/PA-RISC/SPARC/Intel.

Support and software will be a phased transition so the PowerPC architecture will see updates for many years to come. Apple is an expert at this type of thing having moved from 680x0 to PowerPC and MacOS Classic to Mac OS X.

Oh well - leave it to Apple to keep the tech-world interesting . . .

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.06-19:50.00]

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith

So I've just seen the final Star Wars film Revenge of the Sith and I'd have to say its the best of the three prequels. Which doesn't say much but at least I get closure. The plot isn't to bad but you could still drive several star destroyers through the holes. The dialog and acting is universally terrible but the visual spectacle is still the primary draw-card. The initial opening space battle is definitely my fave scene - its a shame Babylon 5 didn't get a bigger budget for its special fx as its an infinitely better example of the 'space opera' genre than the last few Star Wars movies (my fave is probably Empire Strikes Back).

Someone really needs to turn one of Iain Banks Culture novels into a movie for a decent example of a hard sci-fi story set in the distant future.

[/film] | [permalink] | [2005.06.06-07:20.00]

Jun 05, 2005


Plenty of speculation on Apple getting cosy with Intel - John Gruber has a nice take on it over at Daring Fireball.

Looks like someone has a preconfigured mini-itx style X10 controller ready to go with the RemoteLife Home Controller.

Security - Why your internal security investigation will fail.

A huge list of Irix Tips.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.05-21:16.00]

Jun 02, 2005

Grep and Sed Tips

I'm terrible at this type of thing so I need lots of examples

Simple 'sed' Example

sed '3,10s/REGEXP/replacement' book

Will search the file 'book' and replace 'REGEXP' with 'replacement' on the third and tenth lines only.

Some more simple examples

sed 's/red/green'

Replaces the first occurrence of 'red' in a line with 'green'

sed 's/red/green/4'

Replaces the fourth occurrence of 'red' in a line with 'green'

sed 'car/!s/red/green/g'

Replaces all instances of 'red' with 'green' except in lines containing the word 'car'

Simple 'grep' Example

Find a matching phone number

grep '408.[0-9]\{3\}.[0-9]\{4\}' mail/*

Will search all files in the mail directory for a pattern which will match 408<'.' = any single character><[0-9]\{3\} = three digit number><'.' = any single character><[0-9]\{4\} = four digit number>

Note the use of '\' to escape (ignore) the following special character '{' and '}'

[/tech/unix] | [permalink] | [2005.06.02-03:46.00]

Jun 01, 2005

Interesting Links

A guide to Voice over IP (VoIP) and the open-source Asterisk project.

This Vestax turntable will cut your own vinyl records. I still have a few hand-cut vinyl records from back in the days when my friends were in bands and someone had a hand operated record cutting lathe.

I'm a big Bloom County fan - here are a collection of ones featuring the original Mac-piss-take - Banana Jnr 2000.

A simple Introduction to SNMP from a Windows perspective. A few interesting Linux/Unix related SNMP resources - SNMP Howto and SNMP Walk. Plenty of useful tools over at SNMP Link.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.06.01-19:30.00]