Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Trackback spam queue starts here

For whatever reason, one specific entry here at ACD is being buried in Trackback spam.

Setting a new daily record with 40 hits.

Initially the theme in current use here did not read the approved metadata state of trackbacks and displayed them anyway. Being a moderated site, I would get emails about each trackback and this is fine with me, but I don’t want the spam to be displayed. That defeats the purpose of moderation!

Some velocity edits…and the spam queues for moderation…right to /dev/null, bitch.

I’ll post a patch file for the theme shortly, just need to get the source into my CVS repository. Not tonight though.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:47 PM in kaffehaus

Sunday, 28 May 2006


I always set my ServerTokens to Prod[uction] for a touch of “security through obscurity.”

This setting will report just that I'm running Apache, nothing else.

[root@mercury conf]# curl -I localhost
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 20:55:02 GMT
Server: Apache
Last-Modified: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 20:16:24 GMT
ETag: "23029d-2c-4c23b600"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 44
Content-Type: text/html

[root@mercury conf]#

Apache 2.2.x has a new conf file layout, sub-dividing functionality into multiple files and Include'ing them into the main configuration file.

To accomplish the same thing in a pre-2.2x build of Apache, you would edit one file, ${APACHE_ROOT}/conf/httpd.conf}. Out of the box 2.2.x looks at multiple files, as noted, and you need to edit two (2) files: ${APACHE_ROOT}/conf/httpd.conf and ${APACHE_ROOT}/conf/extra/httpd-default.conf.

Edit ${APACHE_ROOT}/conf/extra/httpd-default.conf and uncomment ServerTokens Full (set to Full by default), and replace it with:

ServerTokens Prod

Next, edit ${APACHE_ROOT}/conf/httpd.conf and uncomment the Include directive for ${APACHE_ROOT}/conf/extra/httpd-default.conf, otherwise you will get a “default-default” set of directives and restarting Apache will leave you quizzically wondering why editing ${APACHE_ROOT}/conf/extra/httpd-default.conf didn’t do the trick.

Restart the service—not the server!—and hide behind your new cloak.

The real trick is to hack the source and extend ServerTokens to identify your Apache as IIS, or Tomcat, or…you get the idea. These patches exist on the Internets, and I leave it as an exercise for the reader to implement them as desired.

Posted by caffeinated at 1:28 PM in kaffehaus

Apache 2.2.2 notes

My toy rig is functioning at previous benchmarks.

I built Apache 2.2.2 with SSL last night. Ran into a hurdle with my original config.nice1 initially:

"./configure" \
"--with-ssl=/usr/include/ssl" \
"--with-mpm=worker" \
"--enable-mods-shared=all" \
"--enable-proxy=shared" \
"--enable-proxy=http=shared" \
"--enable-ssl=shared" \

The emphasized line seemed to bomb the build. Not sure right now why it bombed. May or may not look into it…but removing that single line was the antidote to the poison in the Makefile.

[root@mercury apache]# /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start
[root@mercury apache]# curl -I localhost
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 18:37:20 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.2 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.2 OpenSSL/0.9.8a DAV/2
Last-Modified: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 20:16:24 GMT
ETag: "23029d-2c-4c23b600"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 44
Content-Type: text/html

[root@mercury apache]#

meta-footnote-1=config.nice is a script generated by configure when building most autoconf compatible software. A nice reminder of how one last built Apache if coming back to it for a modification. My original config.nice came from my backup of my last Fedora install (FC4) with Apache 2.0.54. I'll have to check for some hidden incompatibility of the SSL headers that Apache found offensive when specifying the toolkit directory in the configure arguments.
Posted by caffeinated at 9:32 AM in nerdery

Friday, 26 May 2006

Error 500

[Penny Arcade] is currently one of the largest Ruby on Rails implementations on the web.1

At two days and counting any viewing of the archive returns an “Application Error (Rails).”

So… fix the damn thing!

…and as I write PA admins seem to be on the case, but some pictures are turning up 404s. The heat on this missive jumped to “flamebait” now that readers won’t experience the error as well.

meta-footnote-1=Penny Arcade on Wikipedia
Posted by caffeinated at 10:44 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Thursday, 25 May 2006


I finally got FC5 on my toy rig. Toy? Yes. Let’s look at the specs: Gateway, Pentium 366, 160MB RAM (up from an original 32MB), 20GB HDD (replaced the 2.1GB HDD), 56X CD-ROM (swapped out the original 8X), pre-1998 BIOS, no DMA, Ethernet (an add, not available when shipped).

It was a bitch too. The ISOs would not complete an install, stopped consistently with python errors on memory resources. I did learn, in the many failed attempts, that 160MB is at least near the bottom limit for a graphic install, 128MB won’t do it.

Four days later, I had about given up on having the newest release of Fedora, when I stumbled on the idea of a yum-based install. I thought to myself, “of course, make the end run around.”

This morning I woke up to a completed yum-based install of FC5.

Basically, I followed the direction of Brandon Hutchinson’s guide, as follows, starting with a fresh install of FC4:

  1. Upgrade to the newest FC4 kernel release
    # yum -y kernel
  2. # yum info kernel
    ...determine which kernels are installed...
    # yum remove [all kernels less than latest]
  3. At this point I turned off SELinux, just to be sure it was off.
  4. # reboot
  5. I installed the newest fedora-release package per Brandon’s guide.
  6. # yum -y upgrade
  7. At this point, either watch the excrutiatingly boring upgrade, get some exercise, coffee, beer, liquor, brunch, lunch, dinner, sleep, or sex (depending on the access to, or availability of, said distractions; I always prefer the last over any of the others).

Reboot after the upgrade and bask in the glow of the terminal that is FC5.

If nothing else, it was, is, an administrative exercise with Linux. It’s a good learning experience when starting with a clean slate.

And I’m excepting donations for new rig, looking at sub $1000 dual core AMD rigs, no monitor necessary, if you feel sufficently sorry for the state of my current rig.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:24 AM in nerdery

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Linux or LinuX?

So I have this “Penquin Power!” pin. Got it from a Tux stuffed doll at a garage sale. The copyright is 1998. Linux is clearly spelled with a capital “X.”

Was Linux ever known as “LinuX”?

Posted by caffeinated at 11:12 AM in nerdery

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

the zsh

I’m contemplating a switch to zsh. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

The zsh seems to be getting a lot of attention of late, or it seems that way. Today, my choice is tcsh on my Mac systems (it was the default in the original builds of Mac OS X, and since DP4 was my first regular use of a BSD system, I built some solid understanding of tcsh).

tcsh’s big drawback is a lack of function/scripting support. Yeah, there are workarounds, but I’ve generally learned to live without it.

I just ordered From Bash to Z Shell: Conquering the Command Line. Jerry Peek (is||was) the“ Power Tools” columnist for Linux Magazine, Martin Streicher is the editor of Linux Magazine. Should be a good reference.

Posted by caffeinated at 1:07 PM in 0xDECAF

Fedora bloat, or LSB

Fedora’s bloat seems to stem from the Linux Standard Base (LSB) initiative.

A fairly standard install will satisfy a ton of dependancies defined for the LSB. My inherited system is the definition of legacy; I need less, not more. Come on, sendmail!? I don't need a smtp-server.Do subsystems like cron and logwatch need it? Can anyone answer that? Subversion and CVS. I’m sure Subversion is great, but I’m a CVS man, I don’t need no new fangled version repository.

Bottom line, I don’t want to be the bitch of Fedora, I want a Fedora that is my bitch, tattooed…with a toe ring. I think some of my install bloat stems from a lagging text installer (compared to the graphical installer). I will shortly blog about the text installer—if only briefly about a missing screen (step) or two I’m fairly sure are in the graphical installer.

Okay, I’ll continue to clean up my install a bit and then get to work, and promise to make this less of a bitch feed and more of a log about configuring my system in a manner for broad Java development.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:55 AM in nerdery

Tuesday, 9 May 2006


Does Fedora has a serious bloat problem?

I don’t have a CD-R, why then install cdrecord? Dependency? Maybe. But damn, I’m fairly sure I didn’t ask for it, deliberately.

WTF? mozilla? I’m not running any GUI. I know I specifically unchecked “Graphical Internet.”

Moral: read /root/install.log after your install.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:41 PM in nerdery


Too much coffee today.

My blather with another coworker today about Fedora Core 5 (the latest offering from the Fedora Project), reminded me of a long thought about category for my ongoing mad experimentation and adventures with Linux.

My oft talked about development box (the one that needs the upgrades) is a Linux box. So, here’s my new category feed.

I’ll be regularly adding my adventures about my use of Linux here, maybe it will be helpful to someone…n00bs most likely.

For instance, I installed FC5 overnight on the box. Full drive wipe and clean install. I have yet to firewall the box and reboot, but I’m hoping to make this category something a notebook for those “someones” I just mentioned.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:39 PM in nerdery

International iPod

iPod owners get together and share your ideas, questions, tips and thoughts. You might find out something that you didn’t know about your iPod or accessory.

My coworker and I were chatting about car radios and the Griffin iTrip performance or lack of performance. Since I swear by my wife’s iTrip mini, I got the iTrip for the 5g iPod and, well, have been less than happy (but I blame that in part on the shitty radio my Toyota sedan has in it and the otherwise full spectrum FM offerings in my area.)

But a visit to Griffin Technology showed how to set the iTrip to “international mode” allowing a wider range of station settings, into part of the FM spectrum I know is all static for my area.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:08 AM in the mac bloc

Childhood diversions

My wife ordered the soundtrack to Hookwinked yesterday.

T-minus 36 hours to iPod portability. Schweet!

Ed. note: Don’t get it? Then you haven’t seen Hoodwinked. This movie is an example of what a good children’s movie should be. Cute, fuzzy animated animals and enjoyable characters bundled nicely with clever writing and original music the parents, or any adult, will enjoy. Oh, I should disclose that I recently joined both the Barnes and Noble and Amazon affiliate networks. Couldn't hurt to link from time to time to items one or the other offers, and make some coin at the same time.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:21 AM in Bohemian Breakfast

Monday, 8 May 2006

vim 7

Just built vim 7 on my Mac.

Some neat new features. Mostly out of the box, but had some problems with the GUI portion. There is something about that part of the build that makes it possible, I just didn't want to worry my day away trying to get it work, so I dropped that portion of the build.

Just uncommenting CONF_OPT_GUI = --disable-gui seemed to do the trick.

# make config && make install built the default binary to the /usr/local directories. I did update my symlink in /usr/bin to use the new vim.

Posted by caffeinated at 4:08 PM in the mac bloc

Saturday, 6 May 2006

Simple PHP Blog and some feedback

Since not all hosts have Java available, in fact let's face it, unless you're willing to pay the premium, you ain't gittin' a caffeinated server.

So I turn to PHP often for work that I might be doing for someone. This does not make me a PHP evangelist, far from it. I'm a Java bigot. Scripting languages, with their loose typing and weak OO, just make me cringe.

Anyway, I mentioned Simple PHP Blog back in January (damn!). I continue to play with it, and have encountered another problem with it. This bug further highlights a couple of things that think the author/lead should take away and run with before going “1.0” (currently sphpblog is Specifically, Simple PHP Blog could learn these lessons from blojsom (and by extension bloxsom):

  1. Fix the “data format”.
    Pipe delimited is so wrong. A line delimited format would be far superior, self-documenting and much more human readable. A string of pipes quickly becomes jibberish.
  2. Build categories on the filesystem with folders/directories
    I can't possibly believe the pipe delimited, text formatted, text list is scalable.
Posted by caffeinated at 9:55 PM in 0xDECAF

Monday, 1 May 2006

Update fever

Quarantine me.

I’m planning some big updates for ACD. Migrating to the newest JVM, J2SE 5 (1.5.0_x). Moving to Tomcat 5.5.x. Fronting with Apache 2.2.2. PostgreSQL and blojsom 3.0 M1.

All overdue really. I gotta stay current with technology.

I’ll incrementally make the upgrades on my basement server first (between the actual basement upgrades underway... read sheetrock, insulation, etc.). Let’s see how it goes.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:43 AM in Bohemian Breakfast