Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Harmony Remote and Logitech

Harmony RemoteThe harmony remote is the best universal remote that I have used. It has hard buttons, so it is a lot easier to use than the Philips Pronto remotes (which I have owned also). You connect it to your computer, and use their web based interface to program it. It work great with Mac OS X

It looks like Harmony was bought by Logitech. When you go to the harmony web site at http://www.harmonyremote.com, the browser gets redirected to http://www.logitech.com/harmony.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Motorola V3

Motorola V3
Engaget has a post on this great phone. It is just 14mm thick, with a case made of titanium. It has a builtin camera phone, Bluetooth, a 4096 color external LCD, and a 26,000 color main display.

If this works with Apple's iSync, this will be the best phone that I have seend

Touch Screen Smart Watch

Smart watchesThe Tissot High T Touch Screen watch is a very cool watch. It receives personal content such as appointment reminders, or Instant Messages. It has a touch screen to interact with the interface. It costs about $725, and that includes 6 months of service.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Updating modified php install

There is a new update to php. yum offered to install the update for me, but I couldn't do it since I modified my php installation. I compiled php with mcrypt, so I could use encryption with Maia Mailguard

These are the steps that I use to update php

  1. Download the source rpm from Red Hat
  2. rpm -Uvh php-*.src.rpm
  3. cd /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/
  4. edit php.spec to include "--with-mcrypt "
  5. rpmbuild -ba php.spec
  6. cd /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i386
  7. rpm -Uvh php*.rpm
  8. restart apache

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

google and atom.xml

I have been noticing that Google has been trying to crawl a file named atom.xml, even though I don't have any links to this url. - - [21/Jul/2004:23:01:17 -0700] "GET /atom.xml HTTP/1.0" 404 1085 "-" "Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)"

I believe that atom is Google's replacement for rss.

Since plog has the atom feed at /rss.php?blogId=2&profile=atom, I wrote a rewrite rule so my atom feed will be crawled by Google.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^/atom.xml$ /rss.php?blogId=2&profile=atom [L,R]

New domain

I just registered a domain for this blog. I registered paulstimesink.com from Aplus.net, for only $5.95. The main reason that I wanted to do this is to add search to the blog. plog, doesn't have a search functionality (which I think is pretty bad), so I am going to add a google search, since it can be set up to limit results to a certain domain.

I also have created a mod_rewrite rule to automatically forward traffic from www.westbrooks.org/blog to the new domain.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Motorola V710

V710Engadget has a post on the next phone that I want get. The Motorola V710 has a 1 megapixel camera phone, as well as BlueTooth. It looks like Verizon will be locking down the phone to only work with their software. If this will work with Apple's iSync, I will get one of these.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Motorola Bluetooth adapter

Motorola Bluetooth AdapterEngadget has a post on Motorola's bluetooth adapter. It adds Bluetooth functionality to Motorola cell phones that have a data port. The prices is pretty good, as it is only $39.99.

I will buy one of these for my T720, if I can verify that when using the bluetooth adapter it works with iSync. The phone currently work with iSync with the USB data cable. Also, if I bought it, I would think about buying the BlueTooth Car Kit. It does look like the car kit will only work with the V600 and the Timeport 270c. Maybe iw will work with my T720.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


TinyURL.com is a very cool but very simple service. It will convert long urls to short ones. For example it converts:


Right now the service is free, but I could see themputting ads into it. For example, when clicking on one of the tinyurl.com links, it could put the linked content into a frame, with ads around it.

cyrus imap ssl

Today, the certificate for my imap server expired, so I had to generate a new one. The problem was that I couldn't remember how I generated it the first time. I looked online to find some instructions, and I found these

openssl req -new -nodes -out req.pem -keyout key.pem
openssl rsa -in key.pem -out new.key.pem
openssl x509 -in req.pem -out ca-cert -req
-signkey new.key.pem -days 999

mkdir /var/imap

cp new.key.pem /var/imap/server.pem
rm new.key.pem
cat ca-cert >> /var/imap/server.pem

chown cyrus:mail /var/imap/server.pem
chmod 600 /var/imap/server.pem # Your key should be protected

echo tls_ca_file: /var/imap/server.pem >> /etc/imapd.conf
echo tls_cert_file: /var/imap/server.pem >> /etc/imapd.conf
echo tls_key_file: /var/imap/server.pem >> /etc/imapd.conf

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Realtime black lists

Trying to prevent the denial of service and spam attacks that I was getting, I looked into setting up some real time black lists for Postfix. I tried relays.ordb.org and xbl.spamhaus.org. ORDB.org is a black list that only lists verified open relays. The Spamhaus Project has two black lists
  1. xbl.spamhaus.org lists machines that have illegal 3rd party exploits, like proxies, worms and trojan exploits.
  2. sbl.spamhaus.org lists machines that have been verified UBE sources
I ended up not using xbl.spamhaus.org, since it didn't seem to be catching the zombie machines that were sending email to me. Also in some ways, I don't want to block spam, since I want my Bayesian filters to be as accurate as possible, so I want to scan all of the spam that I am sent.

Date for Alpine iPod device

Alpine KCA-420iA while ago I wrote a post about Alpine's iPod interface. Gizmodo posted an article stating that Alpine has announced their availibility date for the KCA-420i. It will be avalable in late September.

Belkin PureAV

Belkin PureAVGizmodo had a post about a new digital audio receiver. Belkin is coming out with their PureAV Wireless Digital Audio Receiver at the end of this year. It look like this will be pretty cheap at $130. It has 802.11b and it will stream mp3s from the local network. Also it will play internet radio without a computer being on.

Monday, July 12, 2004

mail dictionary attacks

It looks like one of the domains that I administer is being dictionary attacked for spam. It looks like it is adistributed attack, where all of the requests are coming from what appears to be zombie machines. The thing that doesn't seem all that smart about the attack is that they are using a first name + last name in the user name.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Amazing Watch

Tag Heuer Monaco V4I just saw this Tag Heuer Monoco V4 watch mentioned in the latest Popular Science. This is a beautiful watch is driven by an interesting mechanism. It uses 13 half-millimeter-wide synthetic belts. They drive metal wheels that rotate on microball races. The watch is powered as you move your wrist. It looks like it will keep a charge for up to 50 hours when the watch is not being worn.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

New version of Gallery

A new version of Gallery was just released. Gallery is a great web based photo gallery program. It is very easy to creat albums and make photos availble to friends, and they can purchase hard prints of them.

Version 1.4.4 RC-1, has some interesting features. The one that interests me the most is that now gallery has built in rss feed. So now it is very easy to see when a new album is added to the gallery. It is a pretty cool feature, especially for family members who want to keep up with the latest photos.

I am looking forward to gallery 2. I believe that it will be mysql based. Once that is out, I will want to modify NetjukeTiVo to use gallery for displaying photos on my TV.

Thursday, July 8, 2004

20Gb Hard drive

SmartDisk FireFlyGizmodo posted about this nice little drive. It is a USB 20 Gb hard drive. It requires no power, as it gets the power from the USB port. The only downsides are that it is based on a 4,200 rpm drive so it is not that fast. Also the case does not have a firewire port. But for $189, it is pretty cheap.

Backlit TV

Philips Ambilight TVNow, this is a nice TV. The Philips Ambilight flat screen TV has built in backlighting that changes depending on the content that is being displayed. This line comes in 32’, 37’, 42 and 50’ models, and they start at $5,500.

If I had an extra $5,500 just burning a hole in my pocket, I could see myself buying one of these

Updated HomePod

HomePod w/ remoteEngadget mentions an interesting MP3 player. The HomePod plays MP3 from Mac, Windows or Linux Computers via 802.11. There are internal speakers, but it also has RCA, and coaxial and optical digital output for connection to your AV Receiver.

HomePodI like the fact that there is an LCD where the track names can be displayed. I hope that the protocol that it uses, so other people can write their own servers, if the supplied one is not good enough. I do think that the current $249 is a reasonable price for this.


GeekTool screenshotI just have started using a very cool, but probably not all of that necessary, tool. It is called GeekTool. It will create windows that will either always be on the desktop, or floating above other windows that will display three types of information.
  1. Contents of local text files (using tail)
  2. Local or remote graphic
  3. Output of shell command

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Shuttle's cube computers

Shuttle CubesEngadget has a post about Shuttle's new cube computers. These look pretty nice. It looks like there is room for two 3.5" drives and one 5.25" drive.

Since Shuttle isn't sellling them, I wonder what the prices will be. Also I wonder how loud the internal fan is. I just wish that Shuttle would come out with a convection cooled computer. I would definitely buy one of those.


SqueezeboxThe Squeezebox looks like a very cool device. It plays MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC or uncompressed audio on your home stereo. It has a LCD display to display the menu for selecting songs, as well as the currently playing track. There is a 802.11 wireless version and there is a ethernet version.

One of the best things about this, compared to the other devices of this type, is that the server is open source. There is quite a lot of development on this. Also this sever can be used for streaming to a computer.

It looks like the wired version starts at $199

Network Storage Device

Linksys Network Storage LinkA while ago, I seriously looked into buying a Network Attached Storage device. I was having problems getting DSL to my house, so I was thinking about moving the server offsite. The only problem with doing this is that currently all of our music is stored on it.

When I looked at the NAS out there they were too expensive. Here is a 80 Gb NAS and print server, for $500. I didn't think that it was worth it, since you can get a computer for that price.

Today I just saw this interesting product. Linksys has their Network Storage Link. The really cool thing about this device is that it is only $80. Here is a review of it. With this, you can attach one or two USB 1 or USB 2 hard drives and put them on your network. It looks like that it uses samba to make the the drives available on the network. Also there is web based administration for the user and permissions. Also, It looks like there is read only access to the files, from the web server.

I wonder if it would be possible to use this device for some of those home mp3 players that get the files from samba shares. I assume that those devices will just use a certain named mount point.

Friday, July 2, 2004


The MediaMVP is a little device that allows music, photos and video to be streamed from a PC to a TV. It looks like it is based on an enhanced version of VNC, with some media streaming support. It looks like it cost about $100. It does look like the only server is for Windows.

It does looks like there is an open source project that is working on making a server for the MediaMVP. I downloaded the source, and tried building it on my Mac OS X, and it didn't work. It looks like there are some dependancies on some libraries. They should create a configure script to test for these dependancies.

Quiet linux server

Right now this my linux server is running in my garage. I would love to put it somewhere in the house, where I can control the dust, but the main problem with this is the noise of running the server in the house. I don't have any areas that are unreachable by our son, or where we wouldn't mind the noise. (Currently there are 4 fans in the case, as well as two drives.)

A while ago I had a G4 Cube, which was great because it was quiet. Something like that would be great, then I could keep the server in the house some where. Even thought the G4 Cube would be perfect in design elements. I did run a server on a PPC computer, with Yellow Dog Linux, and the main problem was getting installing new software. I had to build most of the software myself, and that was a pain. One major requirement is that I can install all software with rpms, so I want to stick with a Fedora installation.

iPod and Alpine

ipodIn an earlier post, I mentioned that Alpine was working on a interface to use the iPod with their Ai-Net system bus. This will allow the ipod to be used with Alpine car head units. It looks like the iPod interface will be displayed on the head units display, including the track and album titles. Here is an MacCentral's article on the latest announcement. It looks like it is coming out this fall.

This looks like a very cool product, especially if you already have a Alpine head unit.