Michal Čihař - Archive for Jan. 1, 2006

Make distclean

I just finished make distclean in my CDs. In past years I collected many data CDs which I will hardly use in future. Many of them contains various software for Windows I used in past, rest are free applications which were given with some computer magazines. They are anyway obsolete by now even if I'd use Windows.

So about hundred of CDs travels to waste bin for a long jurney to landfill :-).

Pinging blog indexing services

When I noticed that something like indexing services for blogs exists, I hacked simple dog command to download ping page. This worked more or less, but it didn't gave me any feedback. Today I decided it's time to switch to something more sophisticated.

As most (if not all) services are using XML-RPC with same functions, implementing this in python using xmlrpclib was quite easy. After few minutes reading documentation I had working code which can be attached to publish command in nanoblogger:

import xmlrpclib
import sys

def do_ping(url):
    print "Pinging %s ... " % url,
    sys.stdout.flush()
    try:
        s = xmlrpclib.ServerProxy(url)
        r = s.weblogUpdates.ping("Nijel's Weblog", "http://blog.cihar.com/")
        if r['flerror']:
            print "FAILED"
            print " error: %s" % r['message']
        else:
            print "ok"
        sys.stdout.flush()
    except Exception,v:
        print "FAILED"
        print " error: %s" % str(v)

do_ping("http://ping.blo.gs/")

I'm only affraid that ping services don't like me much now as during testing I produced lots of pings :-).

Happy blogging with nanoblogger

More than month after starting this blog, it's time to summarise experiences with nanoblogger. I enjoy blogging this way much more than previously used web based interface on abclinuxu.cz. Partly this is caused by change in editing (vim is much better than textarea in browser), another reason definitely is markdown which allows me to forget about HTML in most cases.

Anyway this way leads to creating many short posts, while previously I usually posted longer stories. I don't know which way is better and readers do prefer :-). So I will try to keep rate on approximately one (short) post per day.

And back to nanoblogger. It's not perfect system, however I was not able to find better suited for me. Generating blog is quote slow, but I don't care much. I had to switch to CVS version because some URLs were wrong in rc. And I had to modify even this CVS version to fit my needs, but those were only small changes. If you want text editor driven blogging system without comment support, nanoblogger might be good choice for you, otherwise you probably need something else.

DVB-T hell

I today spent quite a lot of time while trying to setup new television OVP CTV 2991 RF DVB-T. The only reason why we choose this one is because it is cheap and has integrated DVB-T tuner. Set top box was not an option because it would be too complicated for grandma who will be the only user.

The DVB-T tunes in this TV seems to be crap. It requires much stronger signal than my Hauppauge Nova-USB. Why the hell they can not make simmilar quality receiver as in cheap USB adapter? And don't trust anybody who will tell you that DVB-T can be received on anything.

New place to live

After quite long searching we finally managed to choose new place to live. Looking was hard due to requirements on low price and good quality, however I thing result is quite good. It's located at the end of Prague near underground station Opatov.

Moving will start next week, hurray.

Source code search

Have you ever need to lookup something in source code? Most developers probably did so. I needed to lookup something in Gammu sources and I decided to setup search engine over it. I decided to use Gonzui as it looks good and was easy to setup. So if you want to find something in sources, just point your browser to gonzui.cihar.com.

Later I added also other my code (phpMyAdmin, Wammu, python-gammu, polld), so you probably want to use advanced search to limit results.

Recent Gammu in testing

Finally recent Gammu version (1.06.00) has been migrated to testing. It took so long as it needed manual hint because of both python-gammu/gammu breakage loops. Unfortunately there is no other way to resolve unstable Gammu ABI than using so strict dependencies.

Now I finally undestand why Gnokii is using that complex way for passing parameters. It is painful to use it, but it keeps ABI stable enough. We need to find better solution for this.

How to get info about DNS server?

I never knew there are few special zones in DNS to grab infromation about DNS servers. Today while browsing PowerDNS recursor configuration, I noticed several config options defining replies on those special queries. So if you want to know which server is on the other side, you can try querying version.bind, version.pdns or id.server (CHAOS type, TXT class):

$ dig version.bind chaos txt

; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> version.bind chaos txt
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 56291
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;version.bind.                  CH      TXT

;; ANSWER SECTION:
version.bind.           86400   CH      TXT     "PowerDNS Recursor 3.1.1 $Id: pdns_recursor.cc 838 2006-05-19 14:35:27Z ahu $"

;; Query time: 0 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1)
;; WHEN: Fri Jun  2 15:30:06 2006
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 119