Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Strange tone / beep in KDE related to kwifimanager

Recently when using KDE I've been hearing a strange tone that loops in the background. As you can guess searching Google for "strange sound kde" can be pretty uneventful.

I decided to check `top` first and discovered kwifimanager sitting at well... the top.

After killing the process the strange KDE tone vanished. I'm not sure what KDE or kwifimanager has to do with this issue. I recently started using it without issue then all of a sudden I'm getting this tone. I know for a fact that I didn't experience this problem when I first started using kwifimanager.

I also use gnome with my wifi and experience no strange tones.

System Specs
Debian Etch 4.0r1
Linux 2.6.18-5-686 #1 SMP
KDE 3.5.5
kwifimanager 4:3.5.5-5
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88w8335 [Libertas] 802.11b/g Wireless (rev 03)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Opera stuff

Just discovered some of this stuff for Opera.  So far it's made my Opera experience a lot more enjoyable.

With some work Opera can look a lot like Firefox.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Windows Firefox install size off the charts

Add remove programs reports the Firefox 2.0.0.8 install is 592 MB


Take a careful look at this picture - something* is very wrong.

Your first natural thought is probably that I simply have my cache set to ~500 MB or so. Wrong.

I don't think I ever adjusted my cache settings. Right now FF claims it's using a mere 50 MB for the cache.

My cache is only set to 50 MB


If you're totally clueless to the cause of this issue welcome to the party cause I am too.

A weak shot in the dark would be addons, skins and all that other stuff.

Wrong. Wrong and wrong again.

A quick trip to Explorer clears up the confusion. I have two rather large PS (post script) files (200+ MB a piece). These are the results of some fairly large File->Print->Print to file operations.

So if you discover your Firefox (or whatever else) installation size is OFF THE CHARTS check out the folder in Explorer. Chances are it's just some other files laying around throwing off the numbers.


* Bonus points if you noticed that Windows gets the "last used" date all wrong. The screen shot (like this post) was taken @ 10/26/2007 however WinXP claims FF was last used on 10/22/2007. I've used FF at least 100 times since 10/22 !

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Debian : Install Firefox

Tonight I made the switch from Ubuntu 6.10 to Debian 4. My first priority is getting Firefox (not Iceweasel) up and running. As you probably know this isn't a straight forward situation. After a bit of searching I still didn't have a clear cut answer.

The error I kept getting was :

./firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: libmozjs.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I also got :

./firefox-bin: error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

A quick search shows that most of the files missing live in :
/home/me/firefox
/usr/lib/iceweasel

Of the possible solutions this is the one that worked for me. I know it's not the prettiest fix but it will due.

1. Download and unzip Firefox.
2. apt-get install libstdc++5
3. Copy the libs from /home/you/Firefox/ to /usr/lib/ (or some other acceptable place).
4. Run firefox-bin from the directory you unzipped it in.

Other possible solutions :
Add /home/you/Firefox to your path
Create symbolic links from the libs in /Firefox/ to /usr/lib (or something)

Other files Firefox may complain about being missing :

libfreebl3.so
libnspr4.so
libnss3.so
libmozjs.so
libnssckbi.so
libplc4.so
libplds4.so
libsmime3.so
libsoftokn3.so
libssl3.so
libxpcom_compat.so
libxpcom_core.so
libxpcom.so
libxpistub.so

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ubuntu : Firefox crashes related to VLC plugin

There is a lot of confusion about this topic so I'm going to keep it short and sweet.

I was using Ubuntu 6.06 + Firefox + VLC plugin, life was good, everything worked.

Then I upgraded to Ubuntu 6.10. Shortly there after I noticed that I couldn't stream audio of the x-mplayer2 variety. As soon as the page which initiates the stream loads Firefox would crash.

I tried a number of fixes but they didn't work :

-reinstalled Firefox
-reinstalled VLC + its plugins

When I ran Firefox from the command line upon crashing this is the only error I would get :
Segmentation fault (core dumped)
After much Googling it came to my attention that the plugin which handles such media types (the VLC plugin) may be to blame.


Long story short : I noticed the latest version of the VLC plugin is 0.8.6 which Synaptic told me I had installed. However about:plugins in Firefox told me the VLC plugin version was 0.8.4

It seems that when VLC upgraded it only upgraded the libvlcplugin.so in these locations :
/usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/libvlcplugin.so
/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libvlcplugin.so
and not in this location :
/home/Me/.mozilla/plugins/libvlcplugin.so
So I deleted the above copy of libvlcplugin.so and then used Synaptic to do another re-install of the VLC plugin. I then copied libvlcplugin.so from /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/ to /home/Me/.mozilla/plugins/

Firefox no longer crashes when I visit the offending pages (sites that use the VLC plugin) however my streaming radio still doesn't work.

Hopefully this information will be of some help.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Teh Post 1yr Anniversary !

Today (or tomorow..maybe yesterday, I'm not really sure) marks the 1 year anniversary for Teh Post !

Woot !

Teh Post has come a long way. The first version of Teh Post used the standard lame-o blogger templates.  Now Teh Post boast features almost no other web sites have (look closely).

The very first post on Teh Post was about how a major web masters forum was cheating digg. Since then I've covered Opera, Linux, Windows, Grub, Enemy Territory, AdSense, Nvidia tweaks, a previously reported botnet (!), Wordpress, Firefox, Xubuntu, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Windows Live Spaces, Cricket (the cell phone company), MySpace, Web 2.0, Internet Explorer 6, Security, Motorola Hacking, Ad-Aware, Gnome, Cingular, Blogger and maybe a few other things I've over looked.

It's nice to have passed the year mark, many blogs and web sites never make it this long. I read once that the average life span for a blog is 9 months, I'm a full 3 months a head of the game !

Teh Post has strived to bring you consice, reliable and important information. I'm not in the business of posting crap everyday just to put new info out there or to keep up with the Jone's.

Many of the post here cover problems I actually had myself and then tracked down the solution for. Although a lot of my information can be found at other web sites I try to keep things short and to the point. There is nothing I hate more than going to a site to get some info for a fix only to find five some odd pages of unimportant crap.

After this one year of service I'd like to ask a question of you my visitors. Why don't yall ever leave me some comment love ?

Cheers and I look forward to another (more exciting) year. Keep an eye open for Teh Post in a news article near you ;)

Sincerely,
Management

ps. Get back to work, you're not being paid to believe in the power of your dreams.

;)

Web Design & Font Size aka Don't use small fonts retard

Many web masters seem painfully unaware of any news that doesn't come from digg, their favorite web master forum or some other social bookmarking site.

I've read two studies that show web browsing has become the new favorite hobby for many retired people. This isn't noticed by most web designers (or other people in general) because another study showed that older people (retired age) were less likely to interact when on the net. In the event they do "interact" there is a decent chance they are choosing to interact with people in their age range to avoid all the lame teenagers on the internet who "know it all".

Short version : there are lots of old people on the net but they aren't interacting

What does it all mean ?

This is the part that really gets me. I'm in my mid twenties and I run across sites all the time that use a 9px font for regular text. Are you retarded ? I have excellent vision and even I have trouble reading fonts this small. Furthermore, even if I can read it what makes anyone think I want to read 9px font for hours on end ?

Web masters do this in order to cram more content on the page for one reason or another. But in most cases they end up loosing visitors because the font is so stupidly small. Before anyone leaves me a comment saying "oh but duh you can resize the font doing XYZ". Guess what, not everyone knows that. Do you think your grandma knows that ? There is a good chance she doesn't. On top of that there are many web pages that have fixed sized fonts, they can't be enlarged. Why people engage in this level of stupidity is beyond me.

Short version : Hey web masters, make your fonts bigger and make them re-sizable. No one wants to read whatever it is your writing on a 9px font.

FYI : In firefox you can resize fonts by holding down the CTRL key and scrolling the mouse wheel (towards you for bigger, away for smaller). Also you can hold CTRL and press the + key. In IE I think you can go to View -> Font Size.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

US Gov GPO site hacked ?

Can anyone explain this picture ?

Hoodia is an ingredient which many diet pill companies claim will cause weight loss. I was searching the net for information .gov sites had about hoodia and came across this.

How did a .gov site end up with a "buy-hoodia" type spam site attached to it ?



gpo.gov belongs to the U.S. Government Printing Office
purl.access.gpo.gov belongs to the U.S. Government Printing Office's PURL Information Page

What is a "PURL" ?, from the PURL FAQ :

1.1 What does PURL stand for?
PURL stands for "Persistent Uniform Resource Locator."

1.2 What is a PURL?
Functionally, a PURL is a URL.

Instead of pointing directly to the location of an Internet resource, a PURL points to an intermediate resolution service. The resolution service associates the PURL with the actual URL and returns that URL to the client, which can then complete the transaction in the normal fashion.


Any ideas ?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Opera : Change the default search engine



Here is an easy way to change the default search engine Opera uses.

1. Open C:\Program Files\Opera\search.ini


2. Find the search engine you want as the cut it's block of code excluding the stuff inside the brackets []


3. Past that code under [Search Engine 1] at the top.


4. Move the original code from [Search Engine 1] to where ever to cut the code from in step two.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wordpress line break issue (<br /> , <br> & <p>)

So your awesome new Wordpress blog isn't doing line breaks (returns/blank lines) like it should after paragraphs and you need answers fast.

A "line break" is simply a blank line between sentences or paragraphs (much like the space between this sentence and the one above it).

I had this problem for about a week and it drove me crazy, I was sure it was a Wordpress problem until I discovered it was actually an issue with my theme.

Here are the symptoms ... These tags will not cause line breaks (returns) as they should :

<br />
<br>
<p>
</p>

Look inside your Wordpress theme css file and see if you can find something like this :

p {
margin:0px;
padding:0px;
}

If you do try removing it (only after making a backup of the code) and see if that works.

I had two instance of that type of code which was controlling how my post looked. After I removed the above type of code everything worked like a charm.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ad-Aware update error

When you try to download an update for Ad-aware do you get an error that says, The downloaded definitions file could not be read, please update again ?

If so you've come to the right place !

Ad-Aware update error message : The downloaded definition file could not be read, please update again

The fix is very simple, do the following :
  1. Open My Computer
  2. Open the C: drive
  3. Open the Program Files folder
  4. Open the Lavasoft folder
  5. Right click the Ad-Aware folder and chose properties at the bottom
  6. Click the middle tab at the top called security
  7. Place a check in the box for Full control
  8. Click ok
You should now be able to update Ad-Aware with no problems.

The cause of this issue is that when Ad-Aware installs it does not grant you full control rights over the folder the program and definition file live in.

So when you try to download an update Ad-Aware tries to modify the definition files and Windows does not allow this so Ad-Aware generates an error.

The irony of it all is that Ad-Aware is the cause of it's own error due to it improperly setting the permissions on the folder it lives in.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wikipedia

Taste great less filling

Do you remember your thoughts upon finding out anyone could edit Wikipedia ? I do.

Wikipedia , you don't know what you're missing.

I thought it was lame and didn't consider it a credible source. I didn't like the idea at all.

Over the years I've come to appreciate Wikipedia and use it daily.

However recently while researching a large and sometimes corrupt corporation I decided to have a look at its Wikipedia page.

To my surprise the words "fraud" ,"Enron" and "WorldCom" aren't even on the page.

This is extremely significant.

Those three words play a major part of this companies history and the history of the United States. For these events to be "missing" is beyond the pale.

What it all means

Sometimes Wikipedia is awesome and sometimes it's not.

Do you know enough to be able to tell the difference ?
Next time you're reading at Wikipedia ask yourself this question,
"am I informed enough on this subject to be able to spot errors or realize information is missing ?"


note : Did you hear the one about the guy on Wikipedia pretending to be a professor of theology ? Click here.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The cost of distributed computing projects like SETI and Folding at Home

Wonder no more how much it cost to run SETI, Folding at Home or the other distributed computing projects. With the help of a simple yet powerful tool we can unlock the secret mystery out of how much F@H cost you.



Let's say you run BOINC at 100% CPU usage. By looking up you PC model number, looking in the manual or looking on the back of your power supply you should be able to find the maximum number of watts the power supply is capable of using.

watts per hour * hours per day * days / 1000 * Cost Per kW = $ Total Cost

kW = kilowatt, 1 kW is equal to 1,000 watts

This computers power supply is says it uses 240 watts per hour max and right now a kW cost about 15 cents.

So the cost of F@H for 22 hours a day, 350 days out of the year :

240 * 22 * 350 / 1000 * .15 = $277.20 per year (not including taxes and fees)

Or to run BOINC at 100 percent CPU usage 24 hours a day for this month (March) :

240 * 24 * 31 / 1000 * .15 = $26.78


Personally I have Folding at Home set to only use 11% of the CPU and BOINC set to use 10%. I don't want the PC working hard all the time nor do I want to hear the fan running all the time trying to cool the CPU down.

Running distributed computing programs at low settings lets me keep the energy cost down, keep the noise levels down and keep the amount of heat from the PC to a minimum.

- Please let me know if my math is wrong :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Grub : Booting Windows XP Using Grub

This is how I boot Windows XP via Grub which was installed by the Kubuntu 6.10 CD

Added this entry to the end of the file /boot/grub/menu.lst :

title Microsoft Windows
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
root (hd1,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1


I'm told the map commands make Windows think it's the first hard drive (hd0). There are several variations of this command if this doesn't work for you.

You'll want to replace the bold values with your own settings which you should be able to see via "fdisk -l".

hd0 = first hard drive
hd1 = second hard drive
hd1,0 = second hard drive , first partition

Friday, February 09, 2007

How to change the Firefox error message page

If you're trying to change the Firefox error message page you won't find that option in the Preferences menu.

If you use Linux, click here.



The Firefox error message page is stored in web page (xhtml) file.

In Windows that file (netError.xhtml) is stored within the archive toolkit.jar

Browse to this folder C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\chrome\

Then inside Explorer in the meu at the top you should have a Tools button



Click Folder Options and then click the View tab at the top




Now make sure the box that says "Hide extensions for known file types" is unchecked.

Click apply, then ok.

Right now would be a good time to make a backup copy of this file in case anything goes wrong.

The file toolkit.jar must be renamed to toolkit.zip so we can open it.

Select the file toolkit.jar and press F2 on the keyboard. Press backspace and the name toolkit.jar should erase, type in toolkit.zip and press enter. Windows will warn you with a pop up, ignore it.

Open the file toolkit.zip

Open the content folder

Open the Global folder

Find the file netError.xhtml

Extract this file to your desktop, my documents or where ever.

This is the file which generates the Firefox error message page :



You can edit this file with notepad and make whatever changes you desire. After you change the netError.xhtml page you MUST put it back into the toolkit.zip file.

To do this :
  1. Right click the custom netError.xhtml file you made, left click copy
  2. Open toolkit.zip, open the content folder, open the Global folder
  3. Right click, chose paste - or maybe go to Edit @ the top and chose paste. You may even be able to drag and drop the file into this window.
  4. If it ask you if you want to overwrite the old file chose yes

You MUST rename toolkit.zip back to toolkit.jar

You may have to restart Firefox to get the effect.

I changed mine to this :



Code :


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<!DOCTYPE html [
<!ENTITY % htmlDTD
PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
"DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
%htmlDTD;
<!ENTITY % netErrorDTD
SYSTEM "chrome://global/locale/netError.dtd">
%netErrorDTD;
<!ENTITY % globalDTD
SYSTEM "chrome://global/locale/global.dtd">
%globalDTD;
]>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title>&loadError.label;</title>
</head>
<body>Problem Loading Page</body>
</html>






Linux / Ubuntu
How To change the Firefox Error Message Page


Update :
I recently did a system update and now the netError.xhtml is setup like on Windows (contained inside of toolkit.jar in the /opt/firefox/chrome/ directory). I basically had to the same steps as on Windows. Extract the file from toolkit.jar, edit it, re-add it to toolkit.jar then restart Firefox. If your setup is the same the below directions will not work.

I use Kubuntu Linux, it's a spin off Ubuntu which of course is based on the popular distribution Debian.

Kubuntu Ubuntu

On my machine the file netError.xhtml was located in :

/usr/share/firefox/chrome/toolkit/content/global/

This may be different on your machine. Try doing a file search for it if you can't find it there.

In my case I did this command to edit it :

sudo kate /usr/share/firefox/chrome/toolkit/content/global/netError.xhtml

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ubuntu : Gnome - Mapping the Logitech Access Keyboard multimedia keys

An easy way to map the extra buttons of a Logitech Access Keyboard inside of Gnome.

Short version :

1. Click the System Menu, then Preferences and then Keyboard Shortcuts
2. Click the action you want to assign and then press they key(s) you are assigning this action to.

Note :
I wasn't able to assign actions to all the extra buttons at the top.

Note : When I changed my keyboard layout settings some of the other buttons started working. Find this in System -> Preferences -> Keyboard under the layouts tab.

Tip
:
To get ALT+F4 to work you may have to turn "F Lock" on by pressing the F Lock key which is to the left of the escape key. When "F Lock" is on the bottom led closest to the number pad should be on.

Long version + screen shots :

Tonight I came across the ever so famous Logitech Access Keyboard and decided to give it a shot in Ubuntu. I never expected any of the buttons to work however the Email, My Home and Search button all worked right after I plugged it in.

Logitech Access Keyboard

While researching this issue I noticed two schools of thought :
  1. edit some text file and map the keyboard manually
  2. download an application which will "manage" the extra keys for you, etc
However I found the Gnome Keyboard Shortcuts tool to suit most of my needs.



Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcut ->

Gnome Keyboard Shortcut tool image

I was able to map keys to adjust the volume, load my browser, start my email program and start the gnome search tool all with.

* I also discovered that ALT+F4 will not close the current window unless you've turned on "Function" by pressing the small F Lock key to the left of the escape key.

F Lock Key

When F Lock is "on" the bottom led light will be on. For me when FLock was off I was unable to close active windows with alt+f4.

F Lock led light

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My Server Side Includes (SSI) Guide

I love server side includes (SSI). It's my most favorite thing in the whole wide world of making web pages.

Note : This is not a comprehensive SSI guide. What is server side includes ?

Here is my advice for using server side includes :

1. Ensure your server supports server side includes. Most paid servers do. Most free servers do not.

2. Add these lines to your .htaccess file :

Options +Includes
XBitHack on

3. Create the file to be read (inserted into another web page). I'll call that file ssi-read-file.shtml

With the option "XBitHack on" you shouldn't have to name the files with the extension .shtml - any extension should work. But name it .shtml just in case.

4. Inset the following code into the web page you want the contents of the file ssi-read-file.shtml to show up in. This may be your index.html file or some other web page.

<!--#include file="ssi-read-file.shtml" -->

5. Use a FTP program or some other means to change the permissions of the file in step 4 to 755 also known as -rwxr-xr-x (other permissions also work, play with this if you like)

Your SSI should now work. When you load the file from step 4 (index.htm, index.php, etc) the code from ssi-read-file.shtml shoud be displayed within it.

Apache SSI Guide