Do you know where your towel is? (more tests)

As a reaction to Deckardt and Faragon‘s blogposts… another ‘what character are you’ test

Which Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy character are you?

My result:
Zaphod Beeblebrox (president)
Zeeeoow! Are you one seriously odd dude! You are Zaphod Beeblebrox, president of the universe and boy do you have some serious problems. You usually have no clue what’s going on, have terrible personal relationships and are completely self-centered. Hahaha, no wonder you’re my favorite!

The answers may be a bit obvious as to what character results from them, but fun non-the-less. I wouldn’t say I completely agree with the above profile of myself 🙂

Shell weirdness

Habbie pointed me to this one, but I thought it would be wise to write this down for future reference. The shell source command (.) in bash (and others) works like exec, not like open, (which you might be confused to think) in that it searches your $PATH for the argument, and if it can’t find the argument in the $PATH, it looks in $PWD



$ echo “bin/meuk” > ~/bin/meuk
$ echo “home/meuk” > ~/meuk
$ cd ~

$ . meuk
$ source meuk

Update: Tested with bash / dash / ash / pdksh
All give the above result

From the manual:

source filename [arguments]
Read and execute commands from filename in the current shell
environment and return the exit status of the last command exeâ
cuted from filename. If filename does not contain a slash, file
names in PATH are used to find the directory containing fileâ
name. The file searched for in PATH need not be executable.
When bash is not in posix mode, the current directory is
searched if no file is found in PATH. If the sourcepath option
to the shopt builtin command is turned off, the PATH is not
searched. If any arguments are supplied, they become the posiâ
tional parameters when filename is executed. Otherwise the
positional parameters are unchanged. The return status is the
status of the last command exited within the script (0 if no
commands are executed), and false if filename is not found or
cannot be read.

Enabling the posix option in bash doesn’t change it’s behaviour, disabling sourcepath does:

$ shopt -u sourcepath
$ . meuk


Due to the Akismet advisory that was released today I had to disabled it. I installed SpamKarma2 as a replacement spam-filter (until akismet is fixed).

So far I’m really impressed by SpamKarma2. Installation is a breeze (unzip, done) and it already caugt a fair number of spams without blocking any legitimate comments. It also includes captcha‘s when it isn’t certain about a comment and checks if people actually visited the comment page and how long then spent there before submitting.

You can even see how much spam was eaten at the bottom of the blog, at the time of writing this post it’s at 13 🙂

Update: Akismet fixed, and re-enabled, now working besides SpamKarma2

Power management in Linux

Intel released Linux PowerTop, a tool to monitor power-usage. It still won’t display anything on my core2duo mobile board (in a server), but I think that’s because I’m still missing some required kernel options (still running 2.6.18). They also have a long list of tips and patches to limit power-usage. A recommended read for all laptop-users using linux on laptops.

Copilot promotion

Just spotted the following on Joel On Software. They are making CoPilot available for free on mothersday (and fathersday). I’ve always liked CoPilot, so if you’re not familiar with it, this sunday you can try it for free. So go help your mothers or computer-illiterate friends without even having to leave the house ;).

Also still looking to set something like this up myself… shouldn’t be too hard, as it’s basically vnc over https with a connecting proxy in the middle. The pre-configured client is a nice touch for noobs though 🙂

Write down: “09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0″

Yup… there’s been attempts at censoring / abolishing the above number from the intarwebs… It appears to be the HDDVD Processing key for all current released HDDVD’s. Thank goodness the DMCA doesn’t hold any ground outside of the US of A… If I receive any take-down notices, this could be fun :), as trade secrets are not secrets anymore, and have no legal protection.

Some interesting links:

Update: Freedom To has a nice view on the subject. And also some explanation for non-techies:

While it’s obvious why the creator of a movie or a song might deserve some special claim over the use of their creation, it’s hard to see why anyone should be able to pick a number at random and unilaterally declare ownership of it. There is nothing creative about this number — indeed, it was chosen by a method designed to ensure that the resulting number was in no way special. It’s just a number they picked out of a hat. And now they own it?
© Freedom To Tinker

Experimenting with Pandora since the non-US shutdown

As an avid listener I was quite miffed by the news that pandora would be shutting out non-us users of their service. I was also a bit pissed earlier when I found out that my squeezebox only included 90 days of free pandora and I couln’t get a non-free account because I was living on the wrong side of the big pond (so much for that major selling-point).

But being the computer geek that I am, I wasn’t going to let simple IP-geolocation stop me from listerning to my favorite tunes… First I played around a bit with Pandora to see what filtering happened, and when I would be blocked. Then I tried some publicly available proxy-servers, and some of them would allow access. Most of these proxy servers however are too unreliable, and way to slow for audio-streaming.

The next attempt meant re-enabling Tor, something I’ve used before but didn’t really have a serious need for before. It’s an onion-routing system meant to anonymize/obscure your traffic. This would still block my access to pandora most of the time, as it seems most exit-nodes are germany- and france-based.

I decided to work through the tor nodeslist my server had collected, filtering on nodes in the US by looking at IP-adresses, hostnames and whois info. I came up with a list of .us nodes and fed this list to my tor server.

This allowed me again to load up and get music going… but very slowly, too slow for listening. While googling some more for options and alternatives I disabled tor again (proxyswitch plugin for firefox), and clicked a new station in Pandora. Surely enough it started playing, without hickups and delays… It seems audio-data isn’t filtered by the geo-ip filter, only the flash applet and metadata requests.

Hmm… seems I was wrong, as I can’t reproduce it… but it seems I’ve just been getting some better tor exit-nodes… the quest continues…

Rain — Finally

So…it’s been very dry for this time of the year, having seen no raid rain for more then 40 days, but this morning I woke up to the sound of raindrops.

Seems i’m right in the middle of a large downfall 🙂

Lets hope traffic isn’t too bad because of it, they’ve been warning of slipperyness for days (for when rain would finally come and wash away all the muck stuck in the tarmac)

Seems I’m out of luck… looking at the above traffic overview, so far about 500 km of traffic-jams, when a normal monday would have ~180. Don’t expect me in the office before 10 😉