Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Firefox 1.5

Firefox-Logo-1Firefox has just been updated to 1.5.  It is working fine for me, but I haven't really noticed any of the new features.

The one problem that I had was getting some old extensions to work.  This post has some instructions on getting this to work.

[via MAKE: Blog]

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Script to remove old files

I finally got around to writing a script to remove old files from dcc that were filling up my disk.  The script was pretty simple.

DATE=`date +"%y%m%d"`
if [ -d $LOGDIR ]; then
find $LOGDIR -type f -name 'msg.*' -mtime $TIMELIMIT -exec rm {} \;

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Cast Away

CastawayToday, I downloaded Cast Away, which is an applescript that allows you to specify settings for each podcast in iTunes. For example, you can specify how many episodes to keep for podcast.

It looks like it can do this cleanup on a daily basis.  When you set this up, all that it does is an a entry in your user's crontab.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get this to work.  I was getting some AppleScript error.  Until I get this to work, I have reverted to manually deleting podcast episodes that I don't have time to listen to.

[via TUAW]

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convert between text formats

I just saw this post that describes the textutil command line tool.  This tool can convert between text, html, Rich Text, Microsoft Word formats, in addition to others.

It is pretty cool that this is built into to Mac OS X 10.4.

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Digital Life

I just saw the HDTV edition of Digital Life TV, and I actually liked this show.  It is a lot like the old Screen Savers from TechTV.

Here is the link to subscribe to this in iTunes.

[via HD Beat]

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Apple Mail and dialup

Over Thanksgiving, we were staying in a condo that did not have high speed network access, so I was using dialup to access the network.

I have configured Mail to get my mail with IMAP.  The main reason that I did this is because I want to leave my mail on the server, so I can check it with different clients.  Another benefit of IMAP is that that clients can only download the headers instead of downloading the whole message.

It sees that Apple's implementation is pretty poor when it comes to IMAP. Here are the probelems that I have seen:

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hopefully last memory post

Hopefully, this will be the last post that I have to make on this topic.  The problem that I was having was that I was running out of memory when there was a lot of access in apache.  The swap partition was being filled up, and eventually the machine just bogged down swapping.

Part of the problem was that LifeType is using a lot of memory.  This is being fixed in the 1.1 release.  But, I don't want to upgrade to it until it is more stable.

In the mean time, I have just reduced the number of threads that apache can start.  The worst thing that can happen is that when there is a lot of access, some requests may be denied.  At least this is better than having the whole machine go down.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Forty Faces

Forty Faces is an interesting site.  It will show a photo representing each of the most recently updated blogs that it is watching.

Currently, it is looking at the rss feed to determine when there are new posts.  Maybe in the future it will use xmlrpc pings to determine when new posts are made.

[via Paint the Tiger • Carve the Swan]

The neighbors must love this

This video is pretty cool.  At first I though that this person just hooked up X10 controlled lights to a midi player, but I think that some more thought went into this.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Synergy Gui

SynergyI just saw this post about a UI for synergy on Mac OS X.  I have been using synergy to share the keyboard and mouse on my Windows and Linux workstations at work.  Previously, there has only been a command line version available on Mac OS X.  Now SynergyKM provides a UI for configuration of Synergy.

I see that it includes a version of the synergy built in.  I wonder if you want to use a different version, if it would be possible to put one in your search path.

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spam and virus in .Mac mail

I have been getting a lot of spam and virus messages through my .Mac email account.  Recently, I have been receiving a lot of email with the the Sober.U worm in it.

I would think that Apple would want to protecting their customers from these things.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Found memory leak

I think that I have found the problem that I was having where it appeared that apache was leaking.

I had some mod_rewrite rules that forward request from where this blog was hosted to the new domain name.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule ^/blog$ [L,R]

RewriteRule ^/blog/(.*)$1 [L,R]


I changed this to:

Alias /blog /<path_to_LifeType>

When people browse the old url, the url that they will see in their browser will be the old one, but I think that is reasonable.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Video over IP

Ever since I had to change one of the the RG6 cables coming into our living room, from a satellite feed be used for the ATSC antenna, I have been trying to figure out how I can use the other TiVo, without bringing  another drop to the room.  I have been thinking about getting a device that would send the audio and video signal over TCP/IP.  I want to put the DIRECTV receiver near the multiswitch, and then send the video signal over a ethernet cable.

I saw these products that are Cat-5 based video distribution systems.  Unfortunately, these don't say that they use TCP/IP.  I assume that they send analog signals over the 8 wires of the Cat-5 cable.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Google Analytics

Google just came out with their Google Analytics.  This is a service to allow statistics about web traffic maintained.  It is using the Urchin software that Google bought earlier this year.  Urchin created software products that allowed companies to track their web site usage.

I signed up to have my stats tracked through Google Analytics.  I had been using Site Meter.  I  Both of these services require javascript to be put into pages, and then the services track these impressions.  One problem about these are that the tracking depends on the browser downloading the scripts to do the tracking.  I also am using awstats which parses the log files, so this should be more accurate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Power failure and Linksys PSUS4

Last night a transformer exploded in our neighborhood, so the power went out at our house.  After about an hour our UPS ran out of power so the remainder of the network equipment turned off.

This morning I tried to print something, and I noticed that the Linksys PSUS4 was not accepting print jobs.  It looks like it wasn't using the ip address that I had previously allocated to it, and it wasn't getting an ip address from the dhcp server.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Authentication for WDS

Previously, I had a problem getting WDS to work with WPA or WEP.  One of my coworkers directed me to this page that describes some steps needed to get an Airport to work with a Linksys with WDS.

I was able to get these instructions to work with 128 bit WEP, and not WAP.  I am sure that it wouldn't be too difficult to to get this to work with WAP.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Improve quality of iPhoto Books

Today, we ordered an iPhoto book.  I just tried this hint to improve the quality of the books.  It changes the dpi of the pdf files that iPhoto creates from 150 dpi to 300 dpi.  Hopefully this will improve the quality.

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Another benefit of XM on DIRECTV

On Friday, XM broadcast a "I Crossed the Line" with Bill Cosby.  I wanted to hear it, but I was busy with the kids.  I was thinking of setting up a script similar to this one that would record the broadcast with Audio Hijack.  But I didn't have the time to set this up.

I mentioned previously that DIRECTV is going to broadcast XM channels as their music channels.  When they do this it should be possible to record these channels.  I have a standalone DIRECTV receiver plugged into a TiVo.  It should be possible to schedule a recoding for that channel at the specified time.

This should work as long as DIRECTV doesn't enable macrovision on these channels.

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

C'etait un Rendezvous

This post has a link to a torrent of the 1978 film where a Ferrari 275 GTB drives through the streets of Paris at up to 140 MPH.  The footage show the driver running red lights, weaving though traffic and pedestrians.

This short reminds me of a lot of the car chases in

Someone posted a page that put the
route on a map via Google Maps

Participatory Culture]

Jinzora 2.3

I have updated the version of Jinzora that I had installed previouslyVersion 2.3 includes podcast support.  With each podcast, you can specify how many shows you want to keep.  So you can keep only one of a daily news show, while you may want to keep more of a music podcast.

Another feature that this version adds is "link tracks".  These are links to music files that are not local to the Jinzora installation.  These tracks appear as local tracks do.  There doesn't seem to be a way that you can a whole directory structure in this manner.  Also it would be cool if there were some common interface so different jukebox software could share tracks.

Creative Commons support in Google

Google has added a "Usage Rights" filter to their advanced search page.  So it looks like you can limit your searches to pages that have been marked with certain Creative Commons licenses. 

It looks like Google's cache knows about the license that I have put on my blog. It would be good to know what it is looking for when determining a page's license, so I can make sure that my other sites are correctly tagged.

[via Google Weblog]

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MailtagsiconI saw this post that mentions MailTags.  This allows you to tag mail messages with metadata such as comments, due dates and other information.  Once the messages are tagged, you can create Smart Mailboxes to automatically group these messages.

Unfortunately, it doesn't support IMAP mail boxes.  Once this problem is solved, I will use it.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Sveasoft Talisman 1.1

Yesterday, I noticed that the 1.1 version of Sveasoft Talisman firmware was available.  I downloaded it to try it out, and I had some problems with it.  The settings that I saved from the 1.0.5 version were not completely successfully loaded into it.  It looks like the port forwarding settings are not backwards compatible.

Once I manually created the port forward settings, I went to set up the QoS settings.  I encountered a bug where as soon as I set up one QoS rule, none of the incoming connections worked.

Since these problems were happening, I decided to revert back to version 1.0.5.

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Bayesian filter for trackbacks

I have finally checked in the change that runs the trackbacks through the Bayesian filter that is part of LifeType.  Now if you use svn to get the plugin, you will get this functionality.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

dns blacklists in validatetrackbacks

I have noticed that the validatetrackback plugin was doing "expensive" work when it wasn't really necessary to do this.  I have seen some trackbacks come from machines that are listed on real time dns blacklists.

Doing a dns check is a lot faster than downloading a html file and parsing through it, or even running the Bayesian filter.  So I added an option in the validatetrackbacks script to check the black lists before doing any expensive operations.

I have posted a copy of the plugin here, but my hope is to check it into the tree in the next few days.

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pLog is now LifeType

pLog has been renamed LifeType.  At the same time, the team has redesigned the web site.  Apparently, Amazon holds the "plog" trademark in the US.

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Added timeout in validatetrackback plugin

I added a time out to the validatetrackback plugin for pLog.  Now this plugin will not leave a thread around if the server specified in the trackback leaves the connection open.  This has been checked into svn.

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Updated Post Trackback script

I updated the Post Trackbacks script.  Now it correctly handles titles that have quotation characters in them.  You can download the script from this page.

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Make disk image from folder

I was attempting to create a Automator action that would create a disk image from a folder.  After spending about 10 minutes trying to do this, I saw this hint that describes a easier way.  All you have to do is to drag the folder onto the Disk Utility application icon.

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Using Wi-Fi at Willy's

In a previous post, I mention that Armadillo Willy's has Wi-Fi Internet access.  I thought that it was pretty silly to mix computers and barbeque.  But here I am eating my chopped briscit, while using my laptop.

My wife is out of town for a couple of days, so I am home watching the kids.  The babysitter came over for a few hours, so I am taking this opportunity to check my work email.  Bit since I was pretty hungry, I didn't want to just go to Starbucks to use the network access there.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Battery menu item

I just removed the battery menu item from my menu bar, as I was attempting to remove clutter.  I then noticed that I didn't get any warning when my computer was about to go to sleep when the battery was dead.

It looks like Apple has put all of the logic that displays the warning about forced sleep, into the menu item application.  I think that they should have separated these two applications.  Now I am going to look to see if I can find a third party application that does this.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005

911 with Vonage

This past weekend, we had to call 911. (It wasn't an emergency in our house, it was to report something happening outside).  We had entered our address into the online form for the 911 information.  When we called, we actually got the emergency dispatch for our city.

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