Ramblings & ephemera

A quick tutorial on writing a program that accepts plugins

On the CWE-LUG mailing list, someone asked a question about creating a program that can be extended with plugins. I thought the answer was so useful that I wanted to save it and make it available to others. On 2/17/07, Mark wrote: I’m a young programmer (just finishing high school) who has done a fair […]

Find out a hard drive’s UUID

If you want to add a device like an external hard drive to your /etc/fstab file, it helps if you know the hard drive’s UUID. If you use K/Ubuntu, the following command will display the UUID, along with other useful information. $ sudo vol_id /dev/sdo1 Password: ID_FS_USAGE=filesystem ID_FS_TYPE=ext3 ID_FS_VERSION=1.0 ID_FS_UUID=4857d4bb-5f6b-4f21-af62-830ebae92cff ID_FS_LABEL=movies ID_FS_LABEL_SAFE=movies

Retrieve CD Key from Windows 95 or NT

Start | Settings | Control Panel | System Under Registered to, you’ll see user name & a 20-digit number. Digits 6 through 15 make up the CD key. If you’re using an OEM version, the entire number is the CD key.

Ubuntu Edgy changes to fstab

I upgraded my Ubuntu Linux desktop today from Dapper to Edgy. It appears that in /etc/fstab, LABEL= no longer works, and you must now use UUID=. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=278652 So my fstab now looks like this, for instance (these are all external drives): UUID=a3d8a126-a7fc-4994-9675-748ed62c3109 /media/music xfs rw,user,noauto 0 0 UUID=e6e83a83-7487-4f22-a7ac-42cb100dfe24 /media/music-copy reiserfs rw,user,noauto 0 0 UUID=99198c52-3f9e-4255-9326-7891a90223ac /media/temp […]

The politics & basics of Unicode

From Tim Bray’s “On the Goodness of Unicode” (6 April 2003): Unicode proper is a consortium of technology vendors that, many years ago in a flash of intelligence and public-spiritedness, decided to unify their work with that going on at the ISO. Thus, while there are officially two standards you should care about, Unicode and […]

My new book – Linux Phrasebook – is out!

I’m really proud to announce that my 3rd book is now out & available for purchase: Linux Phrasebook. My first book – Don’t Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox – was for general readers (really!) who wanted to learn how to move to and use the fantastic Firefox web browser. I included a […]

1st 2 questions AOL tech support asks

From Spare me the details (The Economist: 28 October 2004): LISA HOOK, an executive at AOL, one of the biggest providers of traditional (“dial-up”) internet access, has learned amazing things by listening in on the calls to AOL’s help desk. Usually, the problem is that users cannot get online. The help desk’s first question is: […]

Unix specs vs. Windows specs

From Peter Seebach’s Standards and specs: Not by UNIX alone (IBM developerWorks: 8 March 2006): In the past 20 years, developers for “the same” desktop platform (“whatever Microsoft ships”) have been told that the API to target is (in this order): * DOS * Win16 * OS/2 * Win32 * WinNT * WinXP * and […]

Windows directory services

From David HM Spector’s Unfinished Business Part 2: Closing the Circle (LinuxDevCenter: 7 July 2003): … an integrated enterprise directory service does give network managers a much greater ability to manage large-scale networks and resources from almost every perspective. Unlike most UNIX systems, Windows environments are homogeneous. There are three modes of operation in terms […]

When to use XML

From W3C’s “Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One“: XML defines textual data formats that are naturally suited to describing data objects which are hierarchical and processed in a chosen sequence. It is widely, but not universally, applicable for data formats; an audio or video format, for example, is unlikely to be well suited […]

Good instructions on creating a podcast

From Jake Ludington’s “Create Podcasts Using Your PC“: I’m walking through the steps required to record and post your own podcast using tools virtually everyone has or can easily acquire on a tiny budget. … I recommend starting out with Audacity, an open source audio recording application.

Articles read on 25 November 2003

Crypto-Gram Newsletter of 15 November 2003 "I don’t believe that airplane hijacking is a thing of the past, but when the next plane gets taken over it will be because a group of hijackers figured out a clever new weapon that we haven’t thought of, and not because they snuck some small pointy objects through […]

Articles read on 20 November 2003

The CUPS printing system http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue90/ward.html The Linux Process Scheduler http://linuxtoday.com/developer/2003111400526OSHLDV "Learn all of your favorite Linux scheduling ins and outs: policy, the scheduling algorithm, preemption and context switching, real-time scheduling, and Scheduler-Related System Calls." The final irony http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,985375,00.html "’Isn’t it ironic?’ You hear it all the time – and, most of the time, actually no, […]

How to add menus to Radio Userland

I don’t use Radio Userland any longer, but I found these instructions incredibly helpful, so here they are: go to system.verbs.builtins.radio.data.systemUrls add a name: kitNews value: /system/kit/news now go to system.verbs.builtins.radio.macros.adminMenu scroll down to addCommand list add the following: addCommand (“Kit News”,radio.data.systemUrls.kitNews) save

SSL in depth

I host Web sites, but we’ve only recently [2004] had to start implementing SSL, the Secure Sockets Layer, which turns http into https. I’ve been on the lookout for a good overview of SSL that explains why it is implemented as it is, and I think I’ve finally found one: Chris Shiflett: HTTP Developer’s Handbook: […]