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September 2009

(SCO Unix)How can I assign a user process to a specific pseudo tty?   by Anthony Lawrence
- The desire to assign logins to a specific pseudo tty DOES pop up now and then on the web, but so far I've seen no answer for Linux (other than portservers, see below).
 
(SCO Unix)Why is ftp transfer between two 100Mb machines so slow?  by Anthony Lawrence
- Ftp does a lot of work; junk affects it more than simple http, telnet or ssh connections
 
The fish basket and the flower seller   by Girish Venkatachalam
- One day it was raining heavily and this woman with the fish basket took shelter under a tree in front of a big flower seller's house. The rains lashed mercilessly and as it grew dark, the flower seller consented to accommodate her for the night in his outhouse.
 
Get some rest - be a winner!   by Anthony Lawrence
- Some people (even some of the people I play with) think poker is mostly luck. It definitely is not. In fact, whether you are playing traditional five card draw or any of the wild card games we play, winning at poker consistently requires concentration and skill. There's a lot involved, from the psychology and current mental state of the other players and your own self, odds, pot odds, expected value - luck may get you a good hand now and then, but luck alone won't send you home a winner.
 
Site Work   by Anthony Lawrence
- It's a good thing Girish Venkatachalam has been posting so much - it has given me time to do some much needed maintenance here.
 
We can get bad service for a lot less, can't we?   by Anthony Lawrence
- I had breakfast with an old friend who asked if I could recommend a Windows support firm to him. Unfortunately, I can't. His problem is that people he had recommended have let him down. Missed appointments, unreturned calls and even worse: incorrect setup of system software. All too typical, unfortunately, which is why I can't recommend anyone any better. The only thing I could offer is reflected in the title of this post: if all we can get is bad service, I do know people who can do that for less money.
 
Eat the Mangoes   by Girish Venkatachalam
- Long ago there were a bunch of "scientists" who were doing research on mangoes. They measured the length of mango twigs, they measured the angle of shadows created by mango trees, they looked the soil and conditions for growth of mango trees. They were doing a PhD dissertation on the wonderful fruit.
 
How can I make X start on a different tty?  by Anthony Lawrence
- We're talking about the default, automatic X session - if you just want to start a session where you are, use "startx :1" (assuming :0 is running already and :1 is not). X implementation varies a lot from system to system. I really recommend "X Power Tools".
 
How do I capture program screens to a file or print them?  by Anthony Lawrence
- For a "user friendly" OS, Windows has had really awful screen capture in the past. You press PRT-SCRN, which appears to do nothing. You then have to open a program like Microsoft Paint, hit CTRL-V to paste in the shot, and then you can do whatever you want with it.
 
Weave your spider web   by Girish Venkatachalam
- Weaving a web is not an easy task. It may be instinctive and effortless for spiders but for we humans it is quite hard. We humans need a web that is quite as useful as spider webs are for a spider.
 
HP makes me grumpy   by Anthony Lawrence
- Thinking about anything SCOish fouls my mood anyway, but asking me to think about it with a cold is really a bad idea.
 
Facetwin logs wrong ownership   by Bill Mohrhardt
- Facetwin writes a message to /usr/adm/syslog every time it finds a file in my /1/users/prog that has ownership other than prog! I often wondered why there was such a delay in building the window.
 
Print file listings from the command line  by Anthony Lawrence
- The OS X Finder suffers from a rather amazing limitation: you can't print the list of files you see in a Finder window. You can grab them and paste the list into something that can print, or you can do a screenshot and print that, but that's almost all.
 
Windows 7 Secrets   by Anthony Lawrence
- Any technical book with "secrets" or "unleashed" in the title pisses me off to start with. Usually it's downhill from there. This week I sat down to read "Windows 7 Secrets". Only two of the three words in the title really annoyed me... can you guess which two?
 
Eight million pageviews later..   by Anthony Lawrence
- I signed up for Google Analytics in November of 2005. Since then, some 8 million pageviews have been tracked by their software, allowing me (and of course) them, to learn a lot of useful information about page performance and popularity.
 
Take Control of Mac OS X Backups   by Anthony Lawrence
- I've been known to say that there's no such thing as too much backup. I was proven wrong on that, but few of us need worry about having too much: most of us really don't have enough.
 
How to use multiple consoles in Single User mode   by Anthony Lawrence
- Single user mode (init 1, init S) is sometimes necessary but inconvenient. Why not have tty2 (or any other tty) available to use with the console Alt-Function keys?
 
Googled: The End of the World As We Know It   by Anthony Lawrence
- My first impression was that this book would be a glossy overview of Google's rise to power. The first few chapters seemed to confirm my expectation of an author awash in slack-jawed admiration of the company and its founders.
 
Why I don't trust RSS subscriber figures   by Anthony Lawrence
- What you don't know is whether a reader saw one ad or many. Google puts a variable number of ads into your feeds, and that number is only partially under your control. You also can't control how often people are reading: you might post once per day, but a subscriber might read only once or twice per week. These variables make it impossible to directly correlate Adsense impressions to feed subscribers. However, we can get some clues.
 
Watching a Spammer   by Anthony Lawrence
- I've had a really stubborn (or really stupid) Russian spammer trying to post comment spam here most of the morning. He (or she) has made hundreds of attempts, a very few of which temporarily got by me until I adjusted my spam patterns to reject new drug terms I hadn't seen before.
 
Google Micropayments   by Anthony Lawrence
- The newspaper and magazine industry is clamoring for Internet micropayments. They've realized that nobody is going to pay even 50 cents to read a news article - what they probably don't realize is that people might not even pay 50 cents a year for full access to everything.
 
I am always right - aren't you?   by Anthony Lawrence
- Don't we ALWAYS think we are right? Sure, there's room for doubt and sometimes we just say "I have no idea", but if we have reached an opinion on who to vote for or what to do about Pakistan, illegal aliens or whatever, don't we always think we are RIGHT? Can you hold an opinion that you think is wrong? Of course not.
 
C is for Crap   by Andrew Smallshaw
- I've seen many gushing uncritical treatises praising C to the hilt over the years. They usually strike me as naive and this one is no exception. This one at least avoids portraying C as all things to all people, but ultimately C is in many ways a backwards and primitive language.
 
Powerful crypto from the UNIX command line   by Girish Venkatachalam
- OpenSSH project relies on OpenSSL for its backend crypto operations. Though named as an SSL library, it is a very comprehensive toolkit with all kinds of facilities related to cryptography. Even simple things like random number generation, base64 conversion, file integrity checking with SHA1 or prime number generation can be done with the OpenSSL command line tool.
 
X hotkeys with xbindkeys   by Girish Venkatachalam
- xbindkeys is very easy to use when you wish to bind hotkey presses on X sessions, either when you are on a xterm or otherwise. You have be within the Xwindow session, that is all.
 
A primer on networking and routing topologies   by Girish Venkatachalam
- We are going to look at how you can setup your home or office Linux box to do simple packet forwarding with static routes. Most routers on the Internet do not run any routing daemon. They have a bunch of static routes and even in the case of big routers, the default route takes most of the traffic load. A core IP router not only runs BGP but it is also free from default routes. Such routers are very rare on the Internet.
 
The Genius of the Perl programming language   by Girish Venkatachalam
- Programming languages are used to express one's idea in a way that machines understand. Computers need to told accurately what we have in mind. They do not understand nuances and body language like we humans. Consequently programming languages need a lot of precision and painstaking effort to be told exactly what we want.
 
Network Time Protocol - get atomic clock's precision from the Internet   by Girish Venkatachalam
- It is ridiculous that a computer that we buy for several hundred dollars cannot be as accurate as a watch that be bought for less than 10$. That does not have to be the case once you read and understand this article.
 
What is a watchdog timer panic or error message?  by Anthony Lawrence
- A watchdog timer is a piece of code (or external hardware) that attempts to keep some other piece of code (or hardware) from getting stuck in an endless loop. The thing being watched is critical and nobody can imagine why it would have stopped unless all hell has broken loose somewhere
 
A command line dictionary for UNIX   by Girish Venkatachalam
- Google has released pygoogle for google searches from the command line and many options exist for accessing flickr photographs. Nearly every online service including rememberthemilk todo lists, delicious bookmarks and of course mail services like gmail include a way to access and modify your online storage from the command line.
 
Calling C functions from a Python interpreter   by Girish Venkatachalam
- There seem to be two ways to marry Python with C. One is called extending Python and another is called embedding Python. Embedding seems to be the tougher thing with extending being a subset of embedding Python.
 
Easy file editing with Tie::File and perl   by Girish Venkatachalam
- The fun with perl is that its manuals are very verbose. Usually it hurts more than helps since you waste a lot of time to learn something. In most cases you want to get your job done and you don't have time to learn everything. You want to use the best tool for the job and save time to get to the juicier parts of your work.
 
A gentle routing tutorial   by Girish Venkatachalam
- The Internet is held together by the layer III of the TCP/IP protocol suite. Layer III is commonly known as the routing layer or the IP layer. I mean IPv4 throughout this article as IPv6 is not something I have woken up to yet. I have not had to worry about it in programming yet. With that as a starting point let me try to take you through this interesting topic gently and with care.
 
The C programming language and its importance   by Girish Venkatachalam
- I have been doing serious C programming for close to a decade now. But Ifeel like a child on the seashore picking up a pebble here, a pebble there when the vast ocean lies unexplored in front of me.
 
How do I set up a network printer or print server?  by Anthony Lawrence
- HP printers, Netgear print servers and others often use direct socket printing. To print, you simply send data to a specific network port: 9100 for HP, 9101 for the second printer on a HP multiport print server, 4010 for Netgear and so on. There's no protocol, headers, trailers - whatever you send, the printer gets