Friday, September 18, 2009

Searching Craigslist Autos For Specific Years

Have you ever wondered how to search craigslist for a specific years of vehicles? It is possible using the pipe "|", here is an example search for a 1969-1979 ford truck.

ford truck (1979|1978|1977|1976|1975|1974|1973|1972|1971|1970|1969)

Go to your city and past the above search into the search bar and see what happens, you should be able to take it from here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

UPS Humor

Not sure if this is actually true but funny either way.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS ' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud..
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last:

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Problem with Debian "apt-get upgrade"

Recently when attempting to upgrade a server that was being neglected we ran across an issue with Debian stating.

trying to overwrite `/usr/sbin/add-shell’, which is also in package passwd

The solution was simple and was required on a few similar errors where the overwrite and package names changed. Again we had really neglected this server and had not run the apt-get upgrade in a long time.

The fix?
dpkg -r --force all passwd
apt-get -f install

To explain briefly the "dpkg -r --force" forces the removal of the package "passwd". The "all" switch turns on(or off) all force options. An important note taken directly from the dpkg man page.
Warning: These options are mostly intended to be used by experts only. Using them without fully understanding their effects may break your whole system.

If you are worried and do not understand the possible risks DO NOT run the above dpkg command. The "apt-get -f install" is less risky but again, research before you apply.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to Prevent Gmail Spam Filtering

As discussed in last night's post, Google Apps Outlook 2000 How To, we were migrating a client from their existing email hosting to Google Apps Standard. Although Google does a good job with Postini of filtering spam it still was too much for them and they wanted to disable all spam filtering.

Fortunately a blog post, Bypass Gmail's Spam Filter, covers it however it appears there is not a way to disable it for all accounts in the Google Apps Administrative interface.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Google Apps Outlook 2000 How To

We were doing a migration for a client today that was moving from a local hosting company to using Google Apps Standard for email hosting. Most of their workstations were using Outlook 2003 and 2007 however we found one that was running Windows 2000 and Office 2000. Although Google provides some good tutorials for configuring email clients it did not cover our version. it turns out that the Outlook 2002 setup was close enough to get everything configured.

Outlook 2002 Setup for Google Apps
Outlook 2003 Setup for Google Apps
Outlook 2007 Setup for Google Apps

An interesting note is that Google apparently moved from using SSL for outbound to TLS in Outlook 2007. So make sure to read the correct tutorial for your version of Outlook.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How to Lock Windows XP from Command Line

Start > Run type cmd

C:\> rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation

Monday, June 29, 2009

Free and Easy Way to Merge PDF Documents

Recently when downloading a free, multi-part pdf copy of The Foxfire Book on Scribd it reminded me that there was a way in cygwin to merge those multiple copies into a single pdf, enter pdftk. It is extremely simple to merge with a single command.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Visio Shape Protection - How Can I Resize a Shape?

If you have worked with Visio long and especially on Visio diagrams generated by other business analysts you might have encountered the following dialog when attempting to Ungroup or perform some shape changes.

The solution is easy once you have done it...aren't they all? Select the object and select the following menu item Window > Show ShapeSheet. In the dialog that appears look in the Protection section for the LockGroup attribute, change it to 0 and the object should be editable now.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Visual Studio 2008 Extensions for SharePoint

If you have been struggling with some of the shortcomings of using the 64-bit Orca hack to to us the previous version of extensions your prayers have been answered. Microsoft has released the next version of the extensions to run on the 64-bit platform.

New Features in VSeWSS 1.3

* The extensions now install on x64 bit OS. Visual Studio 2008 and SharePoint must be already installed.
* Command Line Build option for TFS and MSBuild integration
* Separate WSP Package and Retract commands. You can now build the WSP without deploying it
* SPSolGen to Support Exporting from Content Management Publishing Sites
* New Item Template for RootFiles Deployment
* Automatically Remove conflicting existing features on development SharePoint server
* WSP View New Feature Dialog Improvements: scope, receiver checkbox, element checkbox
* WSP View can now be used to merge features and it blocks site features being merged into web features
* Allow adding separate binary files such as Workflow assemblies
* Some refactoring allowing for Web Part renaming and removing lines from feature.xml Item Removed
* Allow selection of GAC or BIN deployment for Web Part Project not including CAS generation
* Increase visibility of hidden features that VSeWSS creates
* Add fast update deploy for DLL only or file only changes to solutions
* Numerous Bug Fixes and improvements to error messages

source: Announcing Public CTP Release of VSeWSS 1.3

A few recommendations to assist with the installation:
1. Uninstall the 1.2 Extensions before performing the installation.
2. Do not click on the .msi. Open a command prompt using the now famous "Right click, Run As Administrator" and execute the following command "msiexec /i [downloaded 1.3 package]"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

...and wait....and wait.

Finally a Google Talk for Linux that has not only text messaging but voice chat as well. Thank you James for the quick post about which IM client to use. Thank you to the team who built the IM for making our life on Linux just a tad bit more enjoyable.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Increase Readability In Firefox on Ubuntu

If you are familiar with ClearType in XP you know what a difference it can make. For the most part we have been satisfied with the look and readability of fonts in Ubuntu Intrepid however the default Firefox fonts were rough. This simple fix went a long way in increasing readability and strain on my eyes.

Go to Edit > Preferences > Content > Advanced [Under Fonts & Colors section]. Change to the following settings for the Serif:, Sans-serif:, and Monospace: settings.

source: firefox to look good, configure fonts

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Firefox Plugins

If you ever wondered how to see the detailed information about plugins in Firefox and how to uninstall them, this is your day.

To find which ones are installed type "about:plugins" as the URL in Firefox.

If you'd like to uninstall just perform the following steps:
1. In Firefox type the URL "about:config"
2. Double click the line "plugin.expose_full_path" so the full path to the plugin will be shown
3. In Firefox type the URL "about:plugins"
4. Remove the file next to the plugin title

Install Flashplayer in Firefox on Ubuntu Intrepid 64-bit

Before starting the install make absolutely sure that you have run the following command which should uninstall nspluginwrapper and flashplugin-nonfree.

user@machine~> sudo apt-get remove nspluginwrapper

Now you can use the following short installation guide
How to Install Adobe Flash Player 64-bit on Ubuntu 8.10

Cross Platform Password Programs

If you are considering a password program or looking to migrate from your current password program I'd highly recommend you consider the following two applications. They are cross platform so you can keep the databases and Windows portable versions on a USB key and reference the databases from your Linux version or you can copy them from your Windows installation to your Linux install or the other way around if you switch operating systems with any consistency.

Windows Version
Install on Debian based distro by using apt-get install keepassx

Windows Version
Can install on Debian based distro by using apt-get install password-gorilla

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Do I Find Out My Linux Version

lsb_release -a

If your distro returns a "command not found" try

cat /etc/*version and you should see a number returned

Monday, January 12, 2009

Resize a VirtualBox VDI

Recently we wanted to create a series of vdi images. Each image would be built with a minimum disk size and increase. The issue we discovered however is increasing the size of the vdi files as we migrate to each successive image.

Here is a simple solution from the Crooked Spoke blog.

Since the blog is now offline swiped the original post from the Wayback machine.

There are quite a few advantages to using VirtualBox, an open source virtualization software, over the industry-standard VMWare, not the least of which is that the former doesn’t nag you for serials.

Unfortunately, VirtualBox is lacking in some functionalities I’d like - one of them is to resize a VDI (virtual disk image) after you’ve created it. I ran into a problem when I once created a 6GB disk image for a virtual install of Fedora 8 on a Windows XP host. I got to the point where it needed more space. Unfortunately, this is not a built-in functionality in VirtualBox.

Fortunately, there is a way around it. What you’ll need:

•A Gparted LiveCD, or some similar rescue CD or LiveCD

◦VirtualBox (and to be fair some other virtualization software) allows you to treat raw ISOs stored on your hard drive as virtual optical disks for the guests. This is very flexible and convenient - the Guest VM will “see” a regular CD or DVD. Further, this is probably faster than running through an optical drive.

◦Specifically, any LiveCD with the Linux utility dd will suffice for the first part (copying the existing data from one VDI to another), but you’ll need some sort of partition resizing software for the second part (setting your virtual machine’s OS to use all of the new, bigger virtual disk). For that reason, I suggest Gparted or any other rescue disk with both dd and partition resizing software.

•Two virtual disk images

◦The old one (the one that you’ve found is too small) with an operating system

◦The new one (made with a larger size); it should be “raw” (unpartitioned)

The general steps are fairly simple if you’re already familiar with Linux and VirtualBox. Sorry - if you’re looking for lots of screenshots and hand-holding, look elsewhere.

1. If you want, burn the Gparted LiveCD to a CD - it’s a nice tool to have around in general, but not strictly needed if you plan to mount the raw ISO as a virtual optical disk.

2. Back up the old VDI and Machine (in case Murphy’s Law kicks in), unless your VM is expendable.

3. Using VirtualBox, create a new VDI with a larger size that you want to expand the virtual machine to

4. In VirtualBox set the “virtual bios” for the machine to boot from CD before the virtual hard disk

5. Leave your existing VDI as the primary IDE master. Set the new VDI to be the Primary IDE slave for the machine.

6. Put in the LiveCD and let VirtualBox know that it is to “present” your physical optical drive to the virtual machine, or point VBox to the raw .iso of Gparted on your hard disk. (The idea is to boot into the virtual machine with the LiveCD.)

7. run fdisk -l (that’s fdisk-space-dash-lowercase-l) to view your partitions. You should get /dev/hda and /dev/hdb. /dev/hdb shouldn’t be partitioned at this point. /dev/hda should be your primary master (the original VDI that is too small for your needs), and /dev/hdb should be the new image (virtual primary IDE slave).

8. Do not mount those. You don’t need to for this procedure. Instead, use dd to copy the old image to the new one:

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb

This will make a copy of the original image (the one that’s too small) on the new one that’s bigger. This step may take awhile.

9. For good measure, you may wish to run fsck on the newly created partition.

10. Launch gparted, and resize the partition on /dev/hdb (the new image) to take up the entire disk. This may take awhile.

11. Poweroff with the GParted LiveCD once this has completed.

12. Finally, set the new image (resized) as the primary master for the virtual machine. Uncheck the primary slave. Boot into the machine to verify that it worked.

This worked for me in expanding a ~5GB virtual disk image to ~15GB (Fedora 8 Guest, Windows XP Host - the steps should be pretty much the same for a Linux host). Your mileage may vary. If all went well, you should now have your working install from the smaller VDI on a larger VDI. I did have problems when I first booted up the virtual machine using the new VDI as the primary master, but it was fixed by running fsck on the file system that the Fedora 8 VM complained about (hence step #9). If it does complain, boot up using the LiveCD/.iso image again and use that to run fsck on the dirty file system.

I’m not sure if this is doable with a virtual disk image with multiple partitions.

Once you’re done and have confirmed your guest OS sees the new disk image at its proper size, take your old VDI and do whatever you want with it - keep it for a backup, delete it, shred it, or whatever.

UPDATE: I have tried the above procedure - modified slightly - with VMWare virtual machines (specifically Server 1.0.6) and can confirm that I’ve managed to use a similar process with success with vmware.

To those of you who have expressed problems with the above procedure, I have been unable to duplicate the issues. Keep in mind that, as always, this guide comes with no warranty and that, as always, YMMV.