Category Archives: the ugly truth

What I Really Hate About Windows

I don’t run Windows regularly. I use Mac OS X. I use Ubuntu. I use Solaris. But when I need to run Windows it will never, ever fail to remind me why I don’t run Windows. It’s as simple as that. If updates are available, Mac OS X will inform me. Ubuntu will inform me. And if I told it to do so, Solaris will inform me. But all of these systems will never fucking ever *reboot* my machine just because they *thought* it’d be necessary. And even if they did have a function like that, they’d sure as hell be intelligent enough to find out that there are tasks running and stop or at least postpone the reboot. Oh well, after all it’s Windows I’m ranting about here ;)
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As If You Were In China

ChinaChannel FireFox AddonThe Firefox add-on China Channel offers internet user outside China to surf the web as if they were in China. Take an unforgetable virtual trip to China and experience the technical expertise of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (supported by western companies).
Or watch the video first.

Code of the day

#if __APPLE__ && __MAC_OS_X_VERSION_10_5
int inxorcise(int nochdir __attribute__((unused)),
              int noclose __attribute__((unused))) {
    fprintf(stderr, "Apple does not want programs to use
        daemon(3) and suggests using launchd(1).  We don't
        agree, but their dad is bigger than our dad.\n"

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Move it, move it (a.k.a. “Screw it up the IBM way”)

I work with web sites for a living. I give them a place to live, I trash them when they’re no longer needed and I also move them. And believe me, moving a site is the trickiest of the jobs. But in all of my professional life, I’ve never ever seen a blunder like this (output shortened for brevity):

crow:~$ dig
; < <>> DiG 9.6.0-APPLE-P2 < <>>
;		IN	A


Really. Did they outsource the last thinking person in their networking department? Ok, maybe they fixed it and the change just hasn’t trickled down. So let’s try a different approach (again, shortened:)

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Quote of the Day (German DB-Edition)

Im Osten kriegt die Bahn EU-Fördermittel zur Modernisierung im Rahmen des “Aufbau Ost”. Deswegen sind die da mit dem Stellenabbau schon weiter.

Bahnmitarbeiter aus dem Osten auf die Frage, warum er und viele seiner Kollegen vermehrt in den Südwesten kommen.

Interesting searches: readynas uninstall togglessh

For reasons unknown to me, I get a lot of hits from searches for “readynas uninstall togglessh”. Obviously a lot of people who tried the ToggleSSH addon for their ReadyNAS found that it didn’t suit their needs and now want to uninstall it. Ok, so I’m going to tell you how to fix your problems ;)

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Remove outdated languages from Ubuntu’s Firefox

Always on the bleeding edge I like to use beta versions of upcoming Ubuntu releases. This sometimes poses a little problem: More often than not, there come outdated language definitions with Firefox, causing some minor annoyances.
The biggest annoyance of which is that you just can’t seem to delete those offending addons:


The solution, albeit simple, is harder to find:

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Real Internet Gaming

An attack by a Chinese online game provider meant to cripple the servers of its rivals ballooned to cause an Internet outage in much of the country in May.

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VMware VMCIDatagram_CreateHnd undefined

Today I tried to install VMware Server 2.0.1 on my Ubuntu 9.04 (64bit) box. It some kind of worked but I was constantly presented with the following error when compiling the vsock kernel module:

WARNING: "VMCIDatagram_CreateHnd" [/tmp/vmware-config11/vsock-only/vsock.ko] undefined!
WARNING: "VMCIDatagram_DestroyHnd" [/tmp/vmware-config11/vsock-only/vsock.ko] undefined!
WARNING: "VMCI_GetContextID" [/tmp/vmware-config11/vsock-only/vsock.ko] undefined!
WARNING: "VMCIDatagram_Send" [/tmp/vmware-config11/vsock-only/vsock.ko] undefined! 

Unsurprisingly, the module wouldn’t load into the kernel which in turn resulted in sluggish response from the server console. After a bit of research (Google to the rescue ;)) I found that this fix still did the trick. If you don’t want to register with Ubuntuforums, here’s the patch:

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Alda Tschau

Wenn man jung ist kann das Leben noch so einfach sein. Ich befürchte nur, so wird das nicht wirklich was mit der Kündigung ;)


Microsoft, OOXML and the ISO

Microsoft plays to win. As a result, it seems to regard any legal means as justified, and sometimes even strays outside the law, as the US anti-trust case demonstrated. In the context of marketplace rough-and-tumble, such aggressiveness is perhaps acceptable, but in other realms, there may be serious collateral damage. A good example of where that is the case is Microsoft’s behaviour during the OOXML standardisation process at the ISO.


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URL file access is disabled in server configuration

Once in a while you’ll see the error message “URL file access is disabled in server configuration” when opening an external URL using PHP. In general, this means that the HP setting


is set to false. Today I ran into this problem but

allow_url_fopen was set to <em>true</em>. As it turned out the culprit was

this time.


So either set in php.ini

allow_url_fopen = On
allow_url_include = On

or use this in your PHP code:

ini_set('allow_url_fopen', 'on');
ini_set('allow_url_include', 'on');

I should probably add that both settings default to ‘Off’ for a reason. Both are the major entry gates for malicious code when used without proper care.

We’re back

Thanks to some very strange procedures at my provider, the server was taken down on Sunday but it took them ’til now to realize that they actually did it and that they thus were indeed able to put it back online. Wonderful world.