Howto install bindgraph in Ubuntu

This is a simple howto on getting bindgraph installed on your Ubuntu system. Bindgraph is a handy CGI tool written in perl that gathers statistics from your BIND9 installation, so see exactly what sort of DNS lookups are made to your DNS server.
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Accessing MSSQL with perl in Ubuntu/Debian

Have you ever had the need to access a MSSQL database from Ubuntu/Debian via perl? Well, it’s rather easy once you have the right tools. All you need is to install a few things, edit a config file and off you go. Just follow the below instructions and you should go good to go.

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Howto set up a backup MX for Zimbra in Ubuntu/Debian

Have you ever wanted to set up a backup mail exchanger (MX) for your main Zimbra installation? Recently, I had this need for two of my Zimbra installations. Of course, if you run the enterprise version of Zimbra where they offer you the tools to do this without too much work out of the box. But if you just don’t have the resources to put up another full scale Zimbra server, you can achieve much of the same with much less. Of course, it won’t offer you all the bells and whistles that a full Zimbra installation will, but it does the trick if your needs are sparse. Read more »

Howto install Redmine on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

Preface

What is redmine? Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using the Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. What does that really mean though? What it means is that it gives you a great tool to manage your coding projects, either if you’re working solo or working in groups of people doing work on the same project. What’s great about redmine is all the nice little features it offers you, that makes managing your projects so much easier, some of them being

  • Multiple projects support
  • Flexible role based access control
  • Flexible issue tracking system
  • Feeds & email notifications
  • Per project wiki
  • Per project forums
  • SCM integration (SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs)
  • Issue creation via email

Having a tool that gives you all this makes it easy to follow what you’ve done on a project so far, what issues that have been uncovered with the code so far, and what has been done to fix these problems. But not only that, it also gives you a great tool to write online documentation for your projects, and have user driven forums for them at the same making the integration between you as a coder and the end users even more tighter. As an added bonus, as with any community as it grows the community starts helping itself, making you able to focus on what’s important and that’s improving your code. Its ties to most modern VCS systems, such as Git, Subversion and Bazaar also makes you able to track code changes in real time through the web, much like you do on Github and similar services.
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Make time for yourself

Joshua Bell performing in Washington DC Metro Station

Joshua Bell performing in Washington DC Metro Station

This is a rather personal post, but after having seen this picture on Facebook and read the related article over at The Washington Post, my fingers started reacting. What was only meant to be a short comment on Facebook ended up with a small rant, but I guess my fingers wanted to say more on the topic than my head originally intended. What it ended up was this short little rant/comment/observation.

Hmmmm, what can you say about something like this? The only thing that springs to mind that there is some truth to this.

I was brought up to enjoy the smaller things in life, as they are a lot more common than those big moments that come so seldom. Sure you tend to remember those rare days/nights more vividly than the small things you experience every day, like someone offering you a smile, a gentle nod, someone opening the door for you, offering you a seat on the bus when you have your hands full of grocery bags etc. At times, even a simple hello is enough to make your day, or someone unknown that you talked to on the phone that seemed so full of life and happy, that you just couldn’t help yourself from being smitten and ending up with a smile and a cheer as well.

Perception is a strange thing. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The problem with modern life is that we tend to be rushed, always going fast, never really taking the time to actually make time, take it easy, sit down and do nothing. Or in this case, to stop up to listen to someone conveying something both immensely technically difficult and at the same time beautiful. Many people complain that “there’s is never enough time” and that “the day should have more hours”. Let’s face it, the day will never have more than 24 hours (unless someone comes up with an ingenious plan to slow down the earth’s rotation), and as for never enough time, the only one that can give you time is yourself.

I constantly hear from other people that they feel they fail to live up to the expectations of others, as they can’t make the time or can’t afford to attend a party, an event or some kind of other social relation. The thing is, even if you were able to make the time and could afford it, does it increase the quality of your life to such an extent that you couldn’t be without? Or could you actually be better off staying at home, putting your feet on the table, opening up a good bottle of wine, lighting some candles and just take a deep breath and relax?

In a world filled with unfulfilled expectations and rush for “something better”, it’s allowed to be selfish and actually think about yourself and how you spend your time. And I say selfish, but is thinking about yourself a selfish act? When push comes to show, the only one you can truly rely on to take care of you, is yourself. Sure, you can have great friends, family and acquaintances surrounding you, and sure they can offer you great insight and advice, but at the end it’s up to you what you end up doing.

This might be a bit of a rant, but what I’m basically trying to say is this:

You are allowed to sit down, take a breath and slow down and think about no one else but yourself. Allow yourself to do just that. Make a date with yourself and enjoy your own company. Why? Because you’re worth it.

goosh installer for Debian and Ubuntu

Yesterday, a guy came into #debian @ Undernet, asking for help on how to install goosh on his Apache server in Debian. I had heard about the goosh project in the past, but nothing more than that. Being somewhat curious, I had to do some more digging, as it turned out the process was far from straightforward. And it didn’t really help either that the project was rather undocumented. But I don’t really like to give up, and took it upon me to find out and solve this little puzzle.

It took me down the path of having to refresh my BASH knowledge and writing up a small installer. The result can be found on Github -> https://github.com/tolecnal/goosh-installer.

Please feel free to try it out, and if you find any bugs please report them back to me (patches are more than welcome).

Valve and Steam forces Europeans to pay in Euros

As some of you might have noticed, my real life has taken precedence over my blogging the last half  year. Ever after having started my current job, it’s been a long process to adjust to a new life with new working hours and a totally different job than what I was used to. For those of you that have been with me for quite a while, know that I used to work as a bartender in a sports pub and worked the really odd hours. But at least at that time, my work was close to home and I had way more free time than I have now. Today, I work the usual nine to five scheme, and pretty happy about that. But seeing as my new job is quite a distance from home, I’m using roughly three hours of every day getting back and forth to work. And let’s face it, more often than not I work more than my assigned eight hours. So on most days, I’m way from home for no less than twelve hours. Many people like to jump into the couch and turn on the telly when they got home, but I need to do something, something that makes me interact and get my load off, something to preoccupy me. And for this, I have gaming.

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Sony denies repair of a Playstation 3

We all know that major corporations at time are really hard to deal with being your average common man. That when you try to take on a company of big size to get something fixed, or just a comment on something is a task that seems a bit like climbing Mount Everest. This is something a guy named Adrian found out lately, when his Playstation 3 needed service. So what was the problem you ask?

Well, Adrian got his Playstation 3 as a Christmas gift, and for this reason he never got a receipt to go with it. So when he called Sony to have his Playstation 3 serviced, they of course asked his receipt, as to where he told them he had none as he got it for Christmas and the ones that bought it to him had lost their receipt. But there was a way to prove that his unit was still under warranty, as the sticker on the back that tells when the unit was manufactured clearly said that it was made “July 2007″.

This was not proof good enough for Sony, who still refused to accept the unit for repairs. Adrian was at a loss for what to do next, so he of course resorted to what many people do in this time and age; the internet. He was instructed to have the people that bought the unit to get their credit card company to deal with the matter, as they have much more weight in dealing with such a matters. Fair enough, but I find it hugely disturbing that companies fail to see the logic in such cases. When the customer can prove without the shadow of a doubt that a unit is still under warranty, the company should accept that proof. Yes, I know the rules are there for a reason, but for godness sake use your head and common sense!

Sony, I sincerely hope that you get this issue sorted you big brute!

“Gay” gamer banned by XBox Live!

The other day, a XBox 360 user by the name of Grant was banned from using XBox Live after his gamer tag “theGAYERgamer” was reported as being offensive by fellow gamers. Grant of course was somewhat stunned about this decision, so he tried to get in contact with Microsoft XBox Live customer support to inquire on the matter. There he got in contact with a customer representative by the name of Roxy, who could tell Grant that the greater XBox community found his tag offensive, but she herself admitted that she didn’t find it offensive.

We all know from online gaming that we at times find offensive and downright abusive players, and most games and servers has the ability to filter these elements out. If a player is offensive over voice comms, many games gives you the ability to mute the player in question. If a player continues to be abusive, most servers have server administrators that take the necessary steps to get rid of the unwanted elements. Unfortunately, there will always be disturbing elements as long as you have human players. Humans are per definition self destructive and abusive, but not everyone. And then comes the question of tolerance.

In the civilized world that we live in, being gay has become socially acceptable. People don’t look down upon gay people and frown upon their existence, at least not most people. When I look at a gamer tag like “theGAYERgamer”, I assume that the person behind the tag meant to be humorous and not offensive. Would people find tags like “theHAPPYgamer”, ‘”theHETROgamer”, “theSADgamer” or “theLONELYgamer” offensive? I rerckon not, and I find it sad that people have to be so petty as to report tags like ‘theGAYERgamer’. Seriously, don’t you people have better things to do?

I’ve seen far worse gamer tags than that, that are both discriminative, racist and offensive that are allowed and which are still allowed to use XBox Live. This is just plain stupid, let Grant play! And people, get a life! Remember, it’s only a game!

WordPress for mobile phones

If you’re anything like me, you may have asked yourself the question; “How do I make my WordPress blog available for users with a mobile phone?”. Well, I did after I visited my blog with my mobile phone. Okay, it still looked good but was no where near mobile phone friendly. The sheer size of the blog, all the extraneous content, heavy images etc made the blog rather hard to load. And lets face it, size matters when it comes to mobile phones. Not only because of the screen size on most phones devices, but also the fact that surfing using a mobile tends to be quite expensive.

Here many of you may think that making your blog accessible for mobile phones is a hard, rather long winded task. But fear not, it’s actually very very easy thanks to the work of Alex King. Alex King is an excellent WordPress plugin developer, who has developed quite a few plugins, many of whom I use on this blog. The plugin in question is the excellent WordPress Mobile Edition. With this nifty plugin, you will have your blog available for mobile phones in a matter of minutes, saving both you and the readers of your blog precious bandwidth.

To get this plugin installed, just follow these simple steps. SSH into your account, and go to your plugins folder, which should be in ~/path/to/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/.

wget http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/wordpress-mobile-edition.2.1.1.zip
unzip wordpress-mobile-edition.2.1.1.zip
rm wordpress-mobile-edition.2.1.1.zip

Then go to your blog’s admin plugins page, and enable the plugin there. If everything goes according to plan, your plugin should now be activated. What next you might ask yourself? Haha, I hate to disappoint you but that’s it. Nothing more to be done, as no configuration is needed. Now all you have to do is fire up your mobile phone browser, and point it to your blog. You should now get a nice bandwidth friendly version of your blog. Enjoy!