Hypocriet

Je kan je tegenwoordig afmelden voor het ontvangen van de papieren Telefoongids en Gouden Gids… Die antieke stapels papier zijn natuurlijk compleet niet meer van deze tijd, en ik kan me niet meer herinneren wanneer ik er voor het laatst eentje heb bekeken.

Het afmelden kan hier
Als je het formuliertje dan invult krijg je een mailtje, waarin o.a. de volgende text staat:


Denk aan het milieu voordat u deze e-mail uitprint.

Dit bericht is afkomstig van De Telefoongids BV en uitsluitend bestemd voor de geadresseerde. Dit bericht kan vertrouwelijke informatie bevatten. Als u dit bericht per abuis hebt ontvangen, dan wordt u verzocht de afzender te informeren en het bericht en eventuele bijlagen te vernietigen.

Tja… dat komende van het bedrijf dat heel Nederland jaarlijks een pak papier van 5cm stuurt, dat in 95% van de gevallen direct weer naar het oud papier gaat.

Solaris 10 as LDAP client (to OpenLDAP 2.4.x)

During the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on getting a central directory setup for my client, running on OpenLDAP 2.4. Not having worked with LDAP a lot before it proved quite a challenge, especially getting Solaris 10 to work with the LDAP server without any glitches.
In this document I’ll try and describe how this setup was made, because I have been unable to find a single consistent document describing all the intricate details.
At this time I have all my problems fixed (AFAIK), but during the setup phase I experienced various problems:

  • Solaris 10 not seeing any users from LDAP
  • Solaris seeing users, but not letting them log in
  • Log-in working from console, but not ssh
  • Passwordless login (pubkey) not working in SUN-SSH
  • Users being able to hack extra permissions for themselves
  • etc…. etc….etc…

The entire article has been moved to a more permanent location, as a page on this site. You can find it under the ‘Pages’ header on the right. Setting up ldap

Upgrading my PS3 harddrive

Today I bought a new external USB harddrive, a MSI 320 GB, 4200 rpm 2.5″ disk. I removed it from it’s cabinet and replaced the 40GB disk from my PS3 with the 320 GB Fujitsu disk that came from the MSI case.

I expected the disk-upgrade for the PS3 to go quite easy, as I had already heard of some other people doing it, and many instruction pages and video’s online. I was however surprised by a message that popped up when I booted my PS3 after swapping the hard drive:

The system software cannot be run correctly. Press the PS button to try to restart the system.
If the system cannot be restarted, the system partition of the hard disk must be reformated and you must install the system software. Insert storage media that contains update data of version 2.30 or later, and then press the START and SELECT buttons at the same time.
For information on how to obtain update data, refer to the SCE web site for your region

After some searching I found the right update software and copied it tot a usb-stick and booted my PS3 again… still no luck.

After some more googling I found out that the update file “PS3UPDAT.PUP” needs to be placed in the /PS3/UPDATE directory on the usb-stick, or the PS3 won’t find it.

For EU playstations, you can get the update file here: http://uk.playstation.com/help-support/ps3/system-software/download/
For US playstations: http://www.us.playstation.com/Support/SystemUpdates/PS3

So now I’m waiting for the formatting to complete, and then I can restore my backup. Which will leave me with 280 Gigs of empty space to fill up with games, music and movies 😉

Computer failure

How to turn on an ATX power supply (connect pin 4+5)
How to turn on an ATX power supply (connect pin 13+14)

Last weekend the PC I use as mediacenter (xbmc/vlc) wouldn’t boot anymore. It would turn on, but then nothing would happen, just a black screen, no BIOS messages, no beep, no nothing.

Trying to debug the system I unplugged all non-essential hardware (disks, pci-cards, usb, video, etc) and re-seated the memory. The system still didn’t respond, so I carefully inspected the mainboard for busted capacitors or other possible failures, but I couldn’t find any obvious issues.

When I turned on the system the powersupply fan and cpu-fan would start turning, but nothing more. I expected the mainboard to be dead, or maybe the bios to be broken, both things I couldn’t really fix myself, so the system was a write-off and I was looking for a replacement.

I ordered a new Dell Studio system, as that seems to be a good replacement for mediacenter use. It’s small, looks nice and has enough power to play back HD media. Another nice feature of this system is that it had a HDMI interface to connect it to my HDTV.

I was still fiddling with the pc when I friend called and suggested that the power-supply might be faulty. I still had a brand new power-supply lying around which I got at eth-0, so I swapped it with the old and noisy powersupply and booted the system.

The fans started spinning and *BEEP*, there was the all to familiar on-boot beep telling me that the system seemed to be working again. I turned off the system again, reconnected the harddisks, plugged in the videocard and closed the case. I connected the system to the tv and could finally watch some movies and series again 🙂

While watching the remaining Firefly episodes I decided to test the old/failed powersupply, and looking on the web for the correct pin-out/voltages and the method to turn it on (connect pin 13+14 with a paperclip). My multimeter told me that all pins and voltages were correct and within specifications, so it seems that they might only be wrong when put under load. I have no idea how to test that, but i’m open to suggestions… otherwise I’ll just bin it, as it was a cheap supply anyway… but I should get a new spare… you never know when you need one.

I expect the Dell Studio to arrive in about 2 weeks… but I’m happy to have fixed my older system again, as it’s the only system I have which has halfway decent (nvidia 6600) graphics hardware (all other systems use in-chipset video (intel 945, sis, via) for playing games.

A review of the Studio will follow asap.

Very pricey domain-name

I got this renewal letter for a domain I manage…

very expensive domain-name renewal
very expensive domain-name renewal

While domain-names come in various price ranges, 500 pounds was a bit steep for just the name. A short call to the registry later the bill was reduced to a reasonable 24 pounds 🙂

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.

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 😛

Re: Deckardt: Google shaping the world

My reply to Deckardt‘s posting ‘google-shaping-the-world

Google has great potential to use this massive amount of data at their disposal. That’s why it’s important that their company motto is “Don’t do Evil”.
Great care is taken to make sure that the data is only used in ways that are acceptable. Of course this is also in Google’s interest, as no-one would use their services so much if we couldn’t trust our data to the company.
We should all take care to keep some things to ourselves, and not put privacy-sensitive or business data on outside sources if we are not willing to live with the consequences. (That’s why we have a corporate policy against using Gmail etc for ‘work’.)
In the end it’s a balance between convenience and privacy, and each of us will have to make their own decision about how much we use these services.