Computers

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

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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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Tools and Hacky Stuff

Here are some tools I've written which could be of use to other folks. It's going to be mostly Cisco related, some of which is still being formatted before I upload it, more to come.

CSSManager is a tool to simplify suspending and activating services in a Cisco CSS load balancer. It adds a couple of features like the ability to "lock out" a server and to add comments to a suspended machine to give context for its suspension. More features to come.

New Blog

I'm going to try out a blog on my own for a while, see if I can get it customized at all, and whether I like it better than lj. My guess is I'll be mirroring most of the content between the two for a while anyway.

Update:
I'm still in the process of moving blog posts over, and recreating all the old content on the new site, but I've decided to put it live anyway.

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Leopard Love/Hate

[music | Bauhaus - Exquisite Corpse]

Mostly hate, but there are some things to like here:

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Web-Designer "Defined"

[music | Bjork - Storm]

Why do companies constantly classify programmer/DBA/admins as "Web Designers"?

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