Computers

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OUCH!

[music | The Pixies - Break My Body]

If you'll remember back a few months, I lost a toenail after catching a drunken pit guy at Rev. Horton Heat. In today's installment, it's a fingernail.

Today I was putting some switches in a rack, and was putting in cage nuts the un-safe way. With a screwdriver instead of a cage nut tool. Here's what the aftermath of that can look like unless you're more careful than I am.

I'm putting pictures behind here for people who are queasy:

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This is fantastic

Thanks boingboing.

Here is video and a couple of scanned articles by James Leatham. He made a great SciFi short in 1981 using an Apple II for special effects. The long and short of it is that since the Apple didn't have the horsepower to produce the actual animations he wanted, he set it up to render still images and control a stop motion video setup.

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CSSManager

The CSSManager is meant to allow access to certain functions of the Cisco CSS series load-balancers to less trusted (non network-engineer) staff without opening the CSS up to too much risk of misconfiguration. Currently it allows web users to suspend and activate Services in bulk quickly and safely. There are also value-added features such as "locking" servers so someone can't accidently activate a server that was suspended for a reason, comments are also useful, especially when used in conjunction with CSSPump to give context to a suspended or down server.

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I'm deeply annoyed with IMAP

Since my exit, stage left from VistaPrint earlier this year, I've been running my site at 1and1, with no real complaints, except that their VMs only offer Fedora Core 4, which is ages and ages old. I've been running UW-IMAP since then, and I've had some complaints. I believe those complaints might be client relate, but they might not, so I decided to try out some different servers. My only real complaint is that when running multiple clients against the same message store, they get out of sync.

Mail.app and IMAP Folders

For some time, I've been annoyed by Mail.app not checking all folders every time it checks mail. My situation is that I have an IMAP server at a colo, a Mac Pro at home usually with Mail.app running and more importantly, running its filters, and a MacBook running Mail.app that I take with me to work or wherever.

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MacBook Air

[music | Public Image Ltd. - Same Old Story]

I think this machine defines the fine line between "Apple Fan" and "Apple Fanatic", so here are some first thoughts on the Macbook Air in disorganized bullet-point fashion:

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OSX vs OpenSuSE

[music | Leaether Strip - What If (Beats on classic mix)]

The Amarok discussion usually comes as a result of a wider discussion/flamewar about the "little things" that bug the shit out of me a year after dropping SuSE for OSX as my home desktop. I used Linux as my desktop for about 8 years, and before that for more "traditional" server type applications. I've had a Linux desktop since Redhat 4.1, but it didn't replace Windows completely until about 1999. That gives me a different perspective on how a computer Should Just Work. My definition of that is skewed by things like uptime and standards compliance. I have no idea what the Standard Uptime is for a Windows desktop machine. My Windows desktops have always stayed up for months and months, because they do nothing except run Outlook and specialty business software that I couldn't get to work under Wine.

So from that perspective, OSX is not particularly stable. The only time I ever rebooted my linux machines was when either the power went out or I was upgrading SuSE. Aside from that, they Just Worked. I don't count things like upgrading KDE as a reboot, because it was just an X11 restart, ctrl-alt-backspace, new DE starts, no reboot. Leopard is more stable for me than Tiger was, especially in terms of returning from standby on the laptop. However in terms of applications "beachballing" and having to force-quit things, well that kind of thing rarely happened to me in SuSE. I'd probably kill Firefox every couple of weeks because something screws up or its footprint was too huge. I have to force-quit Safari every day or two (no SIMBL or other wackiness anymore until I figure out why this is).

Here's a quick list with some detail about what really bugs me, and what I really like in OSX:

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Amarok vs iTunes

I get asked a lot why I hate iTunes and what's so much better about Amarok. This is about Amarok 1.4.7, since there is no good way to run Amarok 2 yet. When I can get any copy of Amarok 2 to load a track and play it, either via the KDE4 Live CDs or from RangerRick's KDE on OSX native project, I'll give it a spin.

Here's a quick list of beefs with iTunes:

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Cisco CSS Services Page

Fixed Tags:

Here's a quick tool to show up/down/suspended status for services on the Cisco CSS line of load balancers. It's intended to abstract the majority of people who will ask for this data from the device itself. Cisco's web gui is an abomination, and this is much more efficient to get the data you want.

The site this was written for had many webservers each with many localized sites, such that a list of services could be:

www1.company.com
www1.company.co.uk
www2.company.com
www2.company.co.uk
etc.

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FreeS/WAN or OpenSwan and Cisco PIX VPN

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Config guide for FreeS/WAN and OpenSwan to Cisco PIX VPN

I've noticed some search engine activity hitting my resume looking for FreeS/WAN to PIX information, since I happen to mention both on there. I am currently running such a VPN, and decided I should tell people how I did it. It's easy.

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