Visiting Linux-Kongress.de

This week I’ll be at the Linux Kongress in Hamburg Germany. It’s a quite small congress, with 2 technical tracks which go quite in-depth into kernel stuff.

There doesn’t seem to be any official WiFi here that’s free to use, so I have been using Iodyne dns tunnels, and I’m not using an event accesspoint that’s put up by the GUUG guys.

My hotel only has paid wifi as well, but I couldn’t get Iodine working there. I did notice that ping traffic is allowed and let trough, so I’ve setup a ping tunnel now, using icmptx, which I’ll be testing tonight, when I’m back at the hotel.

Yesterday evening after I arrived in Hamburg I walked around town a bit, looking for a nice bar to have a drink… There aren’t too many near the reeperbahn (mostly just private clubs, sex joints and hookers…) but I finally found a nice Irish bar, with an unhealthy supply of Guinness and Murphy’s

Update: I was back at the hotel, and the pingtunnel (icmptx) works over wayport wifi 😉 I also got the gifts I wanted to buy today 🙂

Proxytunnel over JoikuSpot

JoikuSpot Light is an application for Symbian S60 devices (like the Nokia E70) which will turn your gprs/umts mobile phone into a WiFi hotspot. The free ‘light’ version of Joikuspot only allows HTTP and HTTPS connections, by proxying them. I always like to possibility to use SSH, and other protocols, so I tried to use proxytunnel to connect with ssh. I couldn’t get a connection working, while regular HTTPS traffic from my browser to a banking-site worked perfectly.

After playing around a bit with Wireshark, netcat and proxytunnel I found out that the Joikuspot accesspoint will only proxy connections created with the HTTP/1.1 protocol, and not with the 1.0 protocol.

Proxytunnel only uses 1.0 connections, and netcat would also not work when using ‘-X connect’ proxy support. Proxytunnel was quickly fixed to use the 1.1 protocol, as I don’t think there are any proxies out there that do not support 1.1, I expect this won’t have any side-effects.

So, if you are a proxytunnel user, please test the current subversion snapshot (r248) and report any regressions/issues to the proxytunnel list. If you are a JoikuSpot user, please try out this new proxytunnel version, as it should now work with your mobile accesspoint.

Eth-0 — A very nice and small lanparty

This week I spent my days at eth-0.nl, a new but very nice outdoor lanparty, organised by KillerCow and friends in a nice location near Wieringerwerf, Netherlands. As usual when you plan an outdoor lanparty you can guarantee lots of rain… which was present this time, as usual. The partytent village I was staying in with Buzz, Alex, Jeroen, Gido, Psy and Stoney managed to keep most of our stuff dry, even during some of the worst weather.

During the week we spent much time near the campfire, attending lectures and general ‘lamballen’ :).
There were even some small competitions, including a team-based scavenger-hunt, which consisted of weird tasks like eating grass and garlic to solving mathematical problems. Another activity that I’ve spent a lot of time on was the water-rocket competition, where my rocket kept first-place for quite some time, to eventually end in third place. The Photo-website isn’t up yet… (will paste like when it does become available) but there are a few video’s below.




Creating LTO barcodes

At work we use LTO-2 and LTO-3 tape-robots, which use barcodes to identify tapes. However, these barcodes can be very expensive and hard to come by. This made me look for a method to create the barcodes myself.

I’ve put my web-based version on a new page: Barcode Generator

I found Terry Burton’s ‘postscriptbarcode‘. Which is capable of creating the required ‘Type 39’ barcodes.

After mucking about in postscript (which is not something I do with pleasure…) for a while I got a decent working layout/method to create my barcodes. It can be automated even more, but I only need 1 or 2 sheets of barcodes, so I’ll leave this as an exercise for the reader :).

  1. Download ‘postscriptbarcode‘, and extract barcode_with_sample.ps from it
  2. Remove the lines (near the end) between ‘Helvetica findfont’ and ‘showpage’
  3. Replace the lines with the output of genbarcodes.sh (included below)
  4. Preview the file in evince or a viewer of choice
  5. Print the postscript file, preferably on sticker-paper, cut and stick on tapes

The required barcode-lines can be generated with the following simple bash script:

#!/bin/bash

BASE=”100″;
NR=$BASE

for hor in 30 220 410
do
ver=740
while [ $ver -ge 40 ];
do
printf -v FNR “(%06dL3)” $NR
echo “$hor $ver moveto $FNR (includetext height=0.55) code39 barcode”
let ver=$ver-70
let NR=NR+1
done
done

Replace ‘BASE’ with the number where you want to start numbering, it is incremented by 1 for each barcode, and the barcodes are formatted with the number, filled to 6 digits, appended with ‘L3’. The coordinates are for A4 format paper.

The resulting pdf example of the above script.

Xvideo not displaying full-screen

This week I had a problem with mplayer on my ubuntu machine. Playing a movie at full-screen would only display it at 1024×768, while my desktop was at 1280×1024. Other XV and GL applications would also only use the top-left most 1024×768.
This was caused by Xorg detecting two displays, the connected Acer TFT, but also a LVDS (Laptop screen). This machine being a server/desktop system, there obviously is no laptop panel, but the gnome resolution applet would tell me there was.

The solution to this problem was to tell xrandr to disable the lvds output. I have not rebooted the system yet to see if this setting sticks (or maybe if that would have solved it in the first case) but I’ll report on that as soon as I know it.

The image below shows what it looked like in the gnome resolution applet (only this time from my laptop as the problem is fixed on the desktop)
monitor resolution applet showing dual-heads

Hmm… something weird going on

The post I just made today had changed this afternoon, it contained spam, not in the comments, but in the actual post. This is something really stange.
What I also noticed is that on the last post the ‘comments’ option had been disabled. I had seen this a few times before during the last weeks.
I think there might be an exploit around, or maybe someone has found out my password.

I changed my passwords, and will be keeping an eye out for modifications… and maybe I should upgrade or at least read the last few release notes of wordpress to spot issues.

I’ll keep this post updated with things I might find. The blog should at least be clean again 🙂

This guy is a genius

I just stumbeled upon some articles by “Rands” on his website randsinrepose.com. I started out with the Nerd Handbook and then followed on to the Cave and Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder.

Most of the text seems to relate quite well to the nerd way of life and I can see some of it in myself, maybe not too extreme, as I take everything in moderation 😛

3wplayer, trying to get around it

Those of you who download a movie here or there might have spotted a few movies that won’t play using the regular media-players. They only play a short (20 second) clip showing the following text “This media file can only be played using 3wPlayer that is completely FREE … Please visit go.play3w.com to download!”.

The 3wplayer tries to install a shitload of spyware, which my IDS/Virusscanner blocked (I knew it was spyware, and I knew it would block it, don’t try this at home). However, after you have installed the 3wplayer (without spyware enabled) it will actually play the movie.

Now in the 2 times I’ve encountered a 3wplayer movie so far, the first time it was actually the movie advertised, just today I got a second, which turned out to be a german dub of Final Destination, which isn’t what the movies filename would suggest (Transformers [2007][Unrated]DvDrip[Multi-Language].avi).

As it seems that the files in question are actual movies, there must be some way to convert/hack these back to regular avi’s. The 3wplayer isn’t complex enough to have it’s own codecs, so I’m quite sure it’s still just regular divx/xvid with mp3 audio. I’ll be looking into ways to convert the 3wplayer movies to regular avi’s… any hints, tips and idea’s are more then welcome.

Updates here as I find stuff… in the mean-time… comment on the torrent-sites when you encounter 3wplayer files, lets try to get them off the networks.

Update:
You can download my 3wdecode (zip) here.