Archive for: January, 2012

Having a go at contributing back

Jan 26 2012 Published by under linux

Feeling somewhat inspired by LCA2012 I have a large list of possible things to try, although I am mindful of not committing to too many projects as was pointed out by Rusty in the newcomer session (which I missed but managed to catch on YouTube after getting home)

Then today whilst performing a diagnostic on my home wifi I actually hit a bug, and this time found myself in a position to not only report the problem but actually submit a patch for the first time ever!

Using a tool called bing to try and measure bandwidth I noticed weird output when for kicks I pointed it at a site on the Internet. Further digging uncovered a bug filed against the package in the Debian bug system. To cut a long story short I worked out the problem (ICMP message timeouts do not always get reported properly) and made a short patch and submitted this by email to the bug tracker.

Actually I sent that 15 minutes ago but haven’t yet seen it on the web page for the bug, or received any automated reply, so I am currently wondering if my email got through… I guess I have a learning curve ahead of me


my bug report and patch is up at, woot!

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Blog Architecture

Jan 25 2012 Published by under blog

I think I might split out extended how-to into separate Pages somehow, with much shorter blog entries. That way the main page wont look so cluttered, and I want my blog to be readable by more than just people who understand source code…
Problem is my current theme doesn’t seem to have much support for extended menu development.
There seem to be some wiki-type plugins for WordPress but then it just got too late so I left it for now.
Another alternative is some kind of TL;DR button to get to the longer technical stuff which would be hidden somehow by default in the main page yet remain visible when the article is the URL.
Some homework to do…

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Remastering Youtube videos into AVI for your Set Top Box

Jan 22 2012 Published by under howto, tech

I wasn’t going to post here for a week or so as I need to clear my head and catch up with real world stuff, but I did this and thought it would be helpful to share.

As of now most of the sessions have been uploaded onto YouTube. All the LCA2012 videos can be found at There is speculation (most likely) they will be mirrored at some point but I don’t want to wait so I have started watching them from YouTube.

Continue Reading »

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How to Enable / Disable remote X connections in Debian Squeeze

Jan 19 2012 Published by under howto, linux


Using my AspireOne at LCA2012 I realised I had a hole that really needed to be tightened before using the Most Excellent LCA2012 wireless network instead of a 3G dongle.

One of these is that I was gaining an ipv6 address on the LCA network. (This was not the hole.) My 3G only has ipv4 and at I only run ipv4 at home.

After connecting I had both ipv6 and ipv4 addresses, but importantly upon running netstat -antp realised I had kdm [1] listening on 6000 wide open – I had it firewalled out on ipv4 but had never setup ip6tables (oops)

To sort things quickly I subsequently disabled ipv6 [2] but I first killed off my local X/server from accepting connections anyway (you cant be too cautious, in a large crowd of very skilled people, potentially prank-minded, right? following good advice – ‘take precautions’ …)

me@xxxxxxx:~$ sudo netstat -lntp

Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State       PID/Program name
tcp        0      0  *               LISTEN      13494/X         
tcp6       0      0 :::6000                 :::*                    LISTEN      13494/X  


To disable network connections on port 6000 using kdm:

  1. Edit /etc/kde4/kdm/kdmrc
  2. Look for a section [X-:*-Core]
  3. If missing or commented out, add the line ServerArgsLocal=-nolisten tcp, if it is already there, instead append -nolisten tcp to the line starting with ServerArgsLocal
  4. Either reboot, or kill X and restart kdm


me@xxxxxxx:~$ sudo netstat -lntp

Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State       PID/Program name

To _enable_ connections, simply ensure the -nolisten tcp arguments are not present.

FWIW I have had to do this on gdm in the past as well.
Instructions for this are actually provided in the Debian Reference Manual, Chapter 7 (section 7.4.2, tips)

YMMV if you have more than a basic configuration or are running some other variant or distribution.

[1] I only use kdm for login, for performance I run openbox
[2] Yes, I know, I should use ipv6, I even agree with all the reasons listed by Julien Goodwin at his excellent SysAdmin miniconf talk on why I should use ipv6, but that will need to wait until I get home (and depends on my ISP.)
(And facepalm to self for mixing up selinux with ipv6 before coffee this morning)

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Buy a raffle ticket and support the Country Fire Assocation

Jan 17 2012 Published by under realworld

At there may still be raffle tickets left for sale, from the registration desk, there are great prizes – most importantly this is in support of the CFA – I like this as my dear wife is a CFS volunteer (Country Fire Service – the South Australian equivalent.)

Ballarat CFA Station

Ballarat CFA Station

They fight fires but also attend country car accidents and may save your life one day.

In South Australia you can even monitor going incidents.
In Victoria the CFA also has a graphical system.

(Photo was taken by Zachary age 10. Please assume this is under a Creative Commons Attribution License.)

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