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 linux.conf.au sessions have been uploaded onto YouTube. All the LCA2012 videos can be found at www.youtube.com/user/linuxconfau2012/videos. 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.

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How to Enable / Disable remote X connections in Debian Squeeze

Jan 19 2012 Published by under howto, linux

Background

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 0.0.0.0:6000            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN      13494/X         
tcp6       0      0 :::6000                 :::*                    LISTEN      13494/X  

Procedure

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

Result:

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.

Footnotes
[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 linux.conf.au 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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Linux.conf.au A First Timer Day 2

Jan 17 2012 Published by under linux, realworld

Again instead of focusing on tech stuff I am sharing my personal experiences, hopefully this may prove useful to others in the future.

There is a great First Timers Guide and of course the main site and wiki. But I thought I would make a list of some LCA hints and gotchas in no particular order (apart from coffee!) Note I personally only stumbled into some of these, the rest I have garnered in conversations and third hand… of course all involved remain anonymous…

  • Most important: Coffee. Get to the Cafe early so you have time to get served before keynote / session, there is a long queue in the morning!
  • During breaks just walk up to a table and introduce yourself – this really works well!
  • Get there Sunday arvo there is an Intro session (which I missed unfortunately)
  • Be prepared to become an event organiser if you suggest an event :-) – and a big thank you to the organising committee!
  • Don’t press ENTER to tweet too soon especially during a keynote
  • For those in accommodation, take care not to lose door passes, tags or accidentally let doors shut behind you
  • Don’t put empty coffee cups in your bag they can still leak the leftovers (yuck)
  • Secure (attach) your USB keys to something
  • If you don’t want to keep fiddling with your phone print out the schedule before you come (or get a better phone)
  • (Important) Take time out to reflect and take a breather and catch up it is easy to become overwhelmed.

I have been trying to keep track of everyone I meet and reply to all email and tweet and SMS but I think I will be fighting a loosing battle to keep that up – so sorry in advance especially as I have trouble with placing and remembering names and faces sometimes!

Edit – also, buy a raffle ticket.

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Linux.conf.au (LCA2012) a First Timers perspective

Jan 16 2012 Published by under linux, realworld

I was gong to blog on the sessions I attended by I will catch up on that a bit later, I am sure there may well be many other doing that so I have decided to go for a more personal perspective first up.

Well this is my first LCA – I am a newbie :-) . It would seem that before the past week I knew either personally or virtually about all of one other delegate… this was therefore a leap out of my comfort zone – at least over the years I have improved my skills at meeting new people significantly compared to where I was at a couple of decades ago. Of course, I knew _of_ many fellow attendees – some I even happened to be following on Twitter or blog aggregators,

Having previously read the First Timers Guide by Simon Lyall, and registered with the friendly helpful and well prepared volunteers, first up was the opening session. One thing I am appreciating is that this is a very laid back conference. The motto is ‘Be Excellent to Each Other’ which bodes well to meeting new people it a friendly atmosphere. Actually I managed to start on that task in the cafeteria in the line up for coffee – so thats a tip for anyone new attending – order coffee, and introduce yourself to the other delegates who are waiting. Most will be wearing a neck badge with name and other information. Speaking of this, the Swag Bag was full of more than just the usual T-shirt – the retractable USB thingy I have already used, and at some stage I may have time to investigate the USB ‘leo’ an Arduino gadget that was included.

The name badges are very useful for me because I always struggle to remember names, and my brain is definitely going to explode long before the end of this week.

By the end of morning tea I had managed to have a conversation with four people already, and after briefly catching up with my very busy friend Jonathan (co-organiser of the Music and Multimedia miniconf) by the end of afternoon tea I had managed to meet around a dozen fellow attendees, and most interestingly with a wide geographical spread from nearby Melbourne through to New Zealand and Europe.

Having return to lodgings to dine with family, tonight a tour of the Ballarat observatory beckons.

PS Along the way I managed to put a very quick bio on the wiki.

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