Yeah, so I decided to move to WordPress.. as you can see. September 23, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Had problems (again) after upgrading Movable Type, and wordpress has really matured in the last couple years, with tons of cool plugins.  So I’m giving it a try.

Got a fairly decent setup similar to what I had before FAR faster then it took to do the same with MT.

The only negatives I’ve seen about WP really, are periodic security issues, which isn’t exclusive to WP.  I’ll have to make sure to keep and eye on logs and such and keep up with any updates, that’s for sure.

You think I’d learn.. at 1:27 am

not to update late a night or when I don’t have a lot of free time on my hands, but I figured, eh.. update from MT 4.1 to 4.21 can’t be that big a change, right?   Well as you can see, it broke the layout/widgets somehow and it’s not clear how.  I’ll have to fix when I get a chance.   Basically had to flip layout to get sidebar to show up at all and everything is squished.  Bah.

NX server auth suggestion… local/passwd auth without allowing passwd auth on public sshd July 21, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I thought this was pretty simple, but after chatting with a few, apparently not a lot have thought of it.  If you want to use NX to connect to a server from the internet, but also want more security on that same host by only allowing known rsa/dsa keys the ability to login, and you don’t like the nx passworddb option; you can use the following setup:

  • Leave the “public” sshd process listening on port 22, only allowing known keys (and don’t allow root logins IMO).
  • Setup a 2nd “local” sshd process listening on another port.  My setup is as follows:
    • Create /etc/ssh/sshd_config_local, in that file there will be 2 differences…
    • Port 222
    • UsePAM yes (or set PasswordAuthentication yes if you don’t use PAM).
    • For extra super security, also set: ListenAddress 127.0.0.1
  • Setup another init script (I just copied sshd to sshd_local) and add the following to the line that spawns the sshd process:
    • -f /etc/ssh/sshd_config_local

Setup your links, run chkconfig, whatever your distribution does, and then start the service (sudo su – root -c ‘/etc/init.d/sshd_local start’).   You should now have another daemon running that looks like:
 /usr/sbin/sshd -f /etc/ssh/sshd_config_local

The only configs needed for nx (I’m using the free nomachine server, not freenx, might be slight differences) are (in /usr/NX/etc/server.cfg):

  • SSHDAuthPort to 222
  • EnablePasswordDB = 0

..and that’s it.  Now connections to the server connect to port 22 as user nx using the key that came with the client (or you can setup a custom key… you figure that out) and then it does the ssh step (to auth/fwd the connection) via basically doing an ‘ssh -p 222 -l $USER localhost’ on the server, so it uses your “local” sshd copy and passwords work.

Temporarily disabled comments May 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Not that I get all that many.. but I see odd entries in apache logs and see grumblings online about a possible exploit in mt-comments.cgi to send spam again.  Just to be safe I disabled comments until it looks like it’s ok.

ImageMagick… had issues, again. May 26, 2008 at 11:02 pm

Found my system run out of ram a few times lately.  Just again tonight.  Found there’s a fairly well known bug in ImageMagick in re: to libgomp.so.1 in gcc-4.2.x (See this Gentoo bug entry for an example).  Didn’t see any openmp flag check in the ebuild for imagemagick so I added the –disable-openmp bit to configure and re-emerged imagemagick and it’s ok now.

So if you tried to comment recently and it never came back… sorry.  Should be fixed now.  Will try to comment to this myself to make sure.

Finally April 11, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Only took them a month.. but my 360 finally showed back up last Friday.  They never bothered to even send an email letting me know it had shipped so I could be there to sign for it… luckily they left it with my neighbor who called me (first time he ever did.. at first I was worried my house was on fire or something until he said he had a package).   Sadly… either swapping out a DVD drive is far too difficult for MS techs or something on the mobo itself was failing (maybe the sata controller) because they sent me a replacement unit.  Why that took 4 weeks to do is beyond me.

However it seems to be running fine.  I have to at least give them credit for getting me back a working unit.  There have been plenty of stories out there about people sending in broken 360s that come back and are DOA.

Haven’t had a reason to complain about Microsoft in awhile… February 23, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Boy do I have a reason now though.  I now have had 2 out of 3 Xbox 360′s fail.  That is so pathetic. 

I’ve had gaming consoles going back to the original 8bit NES (and we had an old Pong system in the 70′s that my dad bought) and I don’t remember any ever having issues on the level the 360 has had.  Yeah, eventually (after several years) the NES and Coleco systems both suffered from oddities where you had to do things like blow in the cartridge slot and/or cartridge itself… click the NES game up and down a bunch of times to get it to lock properly, or you’d suffer graphics glitches.  However, they continued to work long past the time the next gen consoles came out and still worked by the time they were retired.  

(more…)

The HD battle.. and why I would rather see Blu-Ray win December 17, 2007 at 8:58 pm

For those who don’t know.. or just haven’t paid attention, there’s a battle going on in the marketplace right now about which format should replace the current DVD one.. the 2 competing formats are HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (HD and BD from here on out).  If you really want more info, I suggest  this page at Wikipedia as a good starting point. They have a few pages there, with a really good chart comparing HD and BD with DVD for added info. You’ll note from the linked page that there are a few other competing ideas too, and there’s downloads, but these are the 2 big dogs. I pretty much discount downloads for Hi-Def content anyway, as the data sizes for storage and the required download times just won’t really work… today.

(more…)

I got a fever, and the only prescription… November 25, 2007 at 11:04 am

Rock Band is extremely cool.  Yes, it’s basically just a compilation of the Guitar Hero, Karaoke and a drum game.. but when put together, it’s more then just the sum of it’s parts.  The solo careers are pretty much run of the mill; much like the previous games already listed.  However, when you play in a group, it’s so much fun it’s insane.  We played for several hours over at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving, and man was it fun.  Of course my parents and grandparents didn’t care for a lot of the music included, but even they were singing along with some of the songs, like Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive.


The new drum set (the one real new addition to the game over previous Harmonix games) are both extremely cool, and quite hard.  My niece was actually the most talented out of the box.   She was wailing on stuff on Medium with barely any practice at all.

Not having played the karaoke games, this is the first experience I’ve had with the singing.  While everyone seems embarrassed to try it in front of a group, it is a lot of fun to do in the privacy of your own home without anyone around to hear. :)

Anyway, to refer back to the title.  The BOC classic is included.  Even better, there are periods in songs where the vocalist can hit the mic in time with some marks on the screen as a tambourine.  However, in this track, you actually are doing the cowbell… I started laughing so hard when that first happened.  Here’s a little taste to show you (yes, it’s crappy quality.. I just pulled out my little cam to snag this real quick):




No, I’m not posting any of me singing on here.  :P

If you already knew about Rock Band and were on the fence, then you need to get your ass off there and find yourself a bundle.  I’ve read that they might really be having supply issues on the east coast, but on the west coast, there are (or were before Black Friday anyway) tons of them in stock (for the xbox 360 at least) all over the place.  The Best Buy in Mission Valley near me had tons of them on Tuesday when it was released.

Update (12/17/2007): Switched to much better flash player

Thank you sir, may I have another? November 16, 2007 at 5:19 pm

I was rear-ended today.  Gee was that fun.  Most people’s first thought is probably, “eh, people get rear-ended all the time.”  Yeah, but I was going about 60mph at the time, and the idiot still managed to ram into me.


I was on my way into work around 1:45pm (hey, I was up until after 1:30am working on urgent stuff).  I entered the 805 North from 52 West, and after I looked in my rear view, I saw a commercial truck (not a big-rig, but uhaul sized or so) coming up on me fast.   He came pretty close but slowed down and fell back.  He fell back enough that I didn’t keep track anymore.  About 2 miles later, as I was approaching Miramar Way.. I had to slow down a little (maybe down to 55) due to slower cars in front of me.  There wasn’t any real traffic to speak of, but I was going to be exiting soon and wasn’t in a hurry.  The car in front of me got into the “Exit only” lane to take Miramar, and I noticed the car in front of him was an old VW (or maybe Volvo) and it was the slow car.  I was catching up to him a bit (he was a couple hundred feet ahead) when he took the 2nd lane exit to Miramar.  At this point I started accelerating again to get back up to 65, and seconds later I checked behind me again.. . lo and behold, here came the same truck from before.  I started to think something along the lines of “here comes that jackass again,” but quickly realized he was going to hit me!  I couldn’t swerve either way (short curb for exit on right, car in lane behind me a bit to the left) so I just jammed down the gas to try to minimize the speed difference.  Then he nailed me.

I don’t think the speed differential was more then 10mph… but goddamn was the hit hard.   Luckily I didn’t lose control at all, and immediately we both pulled over and stopped.  I got out figuring the back end of my car was smashed to hell, but it turns out there was almost no damage whatsoever.  I was in that fairly angry, but really shaken up mode.. so while I did get his info, I completely spaced on getting his name.  I got the insurance info and wrote down the license plate too just in case.  I didn’t feel any ill effects, nor do I yet.  I’m pretty sure I put my head against the head rest to minimize any whiplash… still a tiny part of me worried about the horror stories you hear about people who feel fine then wake up the next day with their necks killing them… hoping nothing like that happens.

Some crazy things I noticed that gave some indication of the force of the hit:
- The moon roof in my car had opened up about 4 inches.
- I had a soda can in the center console cup holders, which barely had any soda in it.. and some of that splashed out onto the gearshift.

The only visible damage:  4 nut imprints in the bumper.  2 from the license plate, 2 from wider out on his front bumper.  That and a bit of the left side of the bumper had popped out of place a bit, but it snapped right back in when I pushed on it.   Took this shot as soon as I got to work… can see the 4 bolt spots.  Part of why I took it was for a date/time stamp just in case too.

071116_140322.jpg

All in all, it could’ve been a hell of a lot worse, of course.  It’s a good thing I didn’t swerve too, I’m pretty sure that would’ve pretty much guaranteed that he still would’ve hit me, but at an angle instead of flush, which would’ve made me fishtail and lose control I’m sure.  All the drivers training (that drove me nuts at the time) that my grandfather put me through likely helped me keep my cool and maintain control too.  Thanks for that gramps. :)  Kudos to Toyota for building a hell of a car too.

Going to call dealer tomorrow (would’ve today but I was still really busy) and set an appointment.  I have a couple things that already needed doing, but I figure it’d probably be a good idea to have them check out the car for any damage I can’t see.  Just in case.