resolv.conf vs. Claus - 1:0 (11 Oct 2012)

After upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04, I started seeing pretty funny DNS behavior. For example, I could connect to a wireless network successfully, but still could not connect to external IP addresses because of DNS resolution problems.

After a lot of fiddling, I realized that the problem is probably related to resolvconf and its main configuration file, /etc/resolv.conf. On my system, this file sometimes disappears, and sometimes it loses its previous entries.

So far, I have learned that Ubuntu 12.04 indeed introduced a new approach of handling DNS resolution and in particular the resolv.conf file. If my understanding is correct, whenever the system finds a DHCP server, it is supposed to re-create the /etc/resolv.conf file using DNS information it receives via DHCP.

The discussion at http://askubuntu.com/questions/130452/how-do-i-add-a-dns-server-via-resolv-conf hints at similar problems. But I guess I do not know enough about Ubuntu's networking internals to really understand what is going on, unfortunately frown

The following voodoo script sometimes helps me to resurrect /etc/resolv.conf with sufficient DNS information in it. But it drives me mad that I don't have the slightest clue what I am doing there. If you read this and feel an urge to slap your forehead, feel free to consider me a raving idiot, but do drop me a line to help me educate myself on this issue. Thanks.

#! /bin/bash
pushd /etc
if [[ -r resolv.conf ]]; then
  if [[ ! -L resolv.conf ]]; then
    mv resolv.conf /run/resolvconf
    ln -s /run/resolvconf/resolv.conf
  fi
fi
popd
resolvconf --enable-updates


Downloading streams on the command-line (11 Oct 2012)

MediathekView is a fine application, but for me, sometimes it fails to stream some shows. Fortunately, you can right-click any show and inquire its streaming URL.

mediathek.png

On Ubuntu, rtmpdump then fills the gap for me, for example:

 rtmpdump -r 'rtmpt://foo/bla/fasel/foo.mp4' -o foo.mp4


Memo from git-svn: Could not unmemoize! (25 Oct 2011)

After upgrading to Ubuntu 11.10, git-svn started giving me a hard time.

Updates from the SVN master repository started to fail with error messages like this:

Byte order is not compatible at ../../lib/Storable.pm (autosplit into ../../lib/auto/Storable/_retrieve.al) line 380, 
  at /usr/share/perl/5.12/Memoize/Storable.pm line 21

Could not unmemoize function `lookup_svn_merge', because it was not memoized to begin with 
  at /usr/lib/git-core/git-svn line 3213
END failed--call queue aborted at /usr/lib/git-core/git-svn line 40.

Apparently, git-svn maintains cached meta information in .git/svn/.caches, which the Perl Storable.pm library choked on. I guess what happened is that Ubuntu 11.10 came with a more recent version of Perl and the Perl libraries, and the new version of Storable.pm did not know how to handle data stored with older versions. Again, just a guess. Discussions at http://lists.debian.org/debian-perl/2011/05/msg00023.html, http://lists.debian.org/debian-perl/2011/05/msg00026.html and http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=618875 suggest this may in fact a bug in the git-svn scripts, but I did not venture to analyse the problem any further.

Anyway, the following took care of the problem for me:

  rm -rf .git/svn/.caches


Heisenberg uncertainties in Thunderbird: Both online and offline at the same time (02 Sep 2011)

My netbook's network connection was working perfectly fine, and yet Thunderbird stubbornly refused to go online.

For the weekend, I had been traveling and therefore had put Thunderbird 6.0 into offline mode. Today, I hooked up the netbook to the network, and asked Thunderbird to check for new email. It responded by noticing that it was still in offline mode, and asking me I wanted it to go online again. I confirmed, but nothing happened. According to "File/Offline", Thunderbird now even felt it was in online mode again, but no new email arrived. I had it check for email again, and once more I was told that Thunderbird still was in offline mode, and whether I wanted it to go online.

I tried a couple more times - often enough to feel pretty foolish about it. Then I created a new email message - and was greeted by a message box claiming that an unresponsive script was still running. I stopped the script (whatever that script may have been doing) - and now I could go online again.

Later I found that the problem is already described elsewhere, for example at http://www.thunderbird-mail.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=54968.


NetBeans vs. Cygwin vs. Subversion (24 Apr 2010)

NetBeans, Subversion, Cygwin: Pick any two of them, and you will sail smoothly. Use all three, and you're in for a slightly less agreeable ride. The NetBeans folks make no secret out of it: "Please note that NetBeans Subversion support does not work when used with Cygwin."

First things first: I'm both a NetBeans newbie and a fanboy. This is not an attempt to (pardon the pun) bash the IDE; just trying to iron out a few wrinkles.

NetBeans autodetects Subversion clients on your system and will use them automagically, which is very convenient. However, NetBeans will also happily use the svn version compiled for Cygwin when it finds it in your PATH - and that's where trouble starts. Some related bug reports: 108577, 108536, 124537, 124343, 108069, 144021.

Fortunately, it is simple to work around the problem, as NetBeans can either download an integrated SVN client, or you can configure it to use plain vanilla Windows versions of svn.

netbeans_idelog.jpg That, of course, was way too simple for me. I wanted to know what really kept my preferred IDE from having polite conversations with Cygwin executables.

As a first step, I ran tests with the "IDE Log" window open (accessible from NetBeans' "View" menu). I also cranked up NetBeans logging levels; example:

  netbeans.exe -J-Dorg.netbeans.modules.subversion.level=1

From the logging output, it looked like the Cygwin version of the svn client fails because NetBeans passes file paths in Windows notation, i.e. the paths contain backslashes. I didn't want to mess with NetBeans code, so just for laughs, I built a trivial interceptor tool which converts paths into UNIX notation and then calls the original Cygwin svn.exe. This took me a little further, but it wasn't sufficient. For example, NetBeans often runs the svn client like this:

  svn info --targets sometempfile --non-interactive....

And the temporary file sometempfile contains additional file specifications (in Windows notation). I hacked those temp files in my interceptor as well - and now I'm getting results from NetBeans! Whoopee!

Yeah, I know, this is totally a waste of time, since using an alternative Subversion client implementation on Windows is a) trivial to accomplish and b) so much safer than this nightmarish hack of mine, but hey, at least I learned a couple of things about NetBeans and its SVN integration while geeking out.

A safer fix would be for NetBeans to detect if the version of svn.exe in use is a Cygwin version, and if so, produce UNIX paths. That fix would probably affect SvnCommand.java, maybe also some other files.

Without further ado, here's the code of the interceptor. Obligatory warnings: Makes grown men cry. Riddled with bugs. Platform-dependent in more ways than I probably realize. And largely untested.

#include <malloc.h>
#include <process.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <syslimits.h>
#include <sys/cygwin.h>
#include <unistd.h>

// Experimental svn interceptor, to help debugging
// debug NetBeans vs. Cygwin svn problems. See
// http://www.clausbrod.de/Blog/DefinePrivatePublic20100424NetBeansVersusCygwin
// for details.
//
// Claus Brod, April 2010

char *convpath(const char *from) {
  if (0 == strchr(from, '\\')) {
    return strdup(from);
  }
  ssize_t len = cygwin_conv_path(CCP_WIN_A_TO_POSIX, from, NULL, 0);
  char *to = (char *) malloc(len);
  if (0 == cygwin_conv_path(CCP_WIN_A_TO_POSIX, from, to, len)) {
    return to;
  }
  free(to);
  return NULL;
}

char *patchfile(const char *from) {
  FILE *ffrom = fopen(from, "r");
  if (!ffrom)
    return NULL;

#define SUFFIX "__hungo"
  char *to = (char *) malloc(PATH_MAX + sizeof (SUFFIX));
  strncpy(to, from, PATH_MAX);
  strcat(to, SUFFIX);

  FILE *fto = fopen(to, "w");
  if (!fto) {
    fclose(ffrom);
    return NULL;
  }

  char buf[2048];
  while (NULL != fgets(buf, sizeof (buf), ffrom)) {
    char *converted = convpath(buf);
    if (converted) {
      fputs(converted, fto);
      free(converted);
    }
  }

  fclose(fto);
  fclose(ffrom);
  return to;
}

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
  char **args = (char **) calloc(argc + 1, sizeof (char*));

  // original svn client is in /bin
  args[0] = "/bin/svn.exe";

  for (int i = 1; i < argc; i++) {
    args[i] = convpath(argv[i]);
  }

  // look for --targets
  for (int i = 0; i < argc; i++) {
    if (0 == strcmp(args[i], "--targets")) {
      char *to = patchfile(args[i + 1]);
      if (to) args[i + 1] = to;
    }
  }

  int ret = spawnv(_P_WAIT, args[0], args);

  // Remove temporary --targets
  for (int i = 0; i < argc; i++) {
    if (0 == strcmp(args[i], "--targets")) {
      unlink(args[i + 1]);
    }
  }

  return ret;
}

netbeans_svn.jpg Usage instructions:

  • Compile into svn.exe, using Cygwin version of gcc
  • Point NetBeans to the interceptor (Tools/Options/Miscellaneous/Versioning/Subversion)

The interceptor assumes that Cygwin is installed, along with a Cygwin version of svn in /bin.

This is a debugging tool. Using this in a production environment is a recipe for failure and data loss. (Did I really have to mention this? big grin )


Thou Shalt Honor RFC-822, Or Not Read Email At All (08 Nov 2009)

Thunderbird is my preferred mail client, and so I'm using it to connect to our Exchange mail server at work via IMAP. This worked great for quite some time, until Thunderbird started reporting errors like "The requested message could not be converted to an RFC-822 compatible format" whenever I refreshed my inbox. Today, I finally bit the bullet, and started an IMAP debugging session using telnet.

With the excellent tutorial Accessing IMAP email accounts using telnet at hand, getting up to speed with IMAP was a matter of minutes. Digging into the protocol was pretty cool (in my very own sick and geeky sense of coolness), and I learned a few things. It seems that Exchange Server, when contacted via IMAP, tries to convert all messages into RFC-822 format, and when this fails, said error is reported. So as far as I can tell, this isn't really an email client issue, but rather a problem in either the original message data or in the conversion process on the server.

However, those insights didn't solve the problem right away. I tried deleting a few suspect messages by ID, without seeing much of an improvement. After a while, I resorted to a more radical experiment:

  • Create a temp folder on the IMAP server
  • Move all messages from the Inbox to the temp folder
  • With all inbox messages out of the way, hit Thunderbird's "Get Mail" button again.

You'd think that with an empty inbox, there shouldn't be a reason anymore for error messages - but still, Thunderbird kept reporting RFC-822 conversion issues.

Thunderbird glitch? Bad hair day? What was going on?

Desperate as I was, I did something which, being a Thunderbird devotee, I would never do under normal circumstances: I ran Outlook. And indeed, to my surprise, Outlook still displayed a number of messages in my inbox! All of those were meeting invitations. Apparently, those were the messages which were in some way incompliant or at least incompatible with RFC-822. I deleted all those messages in Outlook, emptied the "Deleted Items" and "Trash" folders, then ran Thunderbird again.

Argl. "Get Mail" still reports the same error messages.

Another telnet session followed:

  telnet int-mail.ptc.com 143
  . login cbrod JOSHUA
  . select INBOX
  . fetch 1:100 flags

Surprisingly, IMAP still reported 17 messages, which I then deleted manually as follows:

  . store 1:17 flags \Deleted
  . expunge
  . close

And now, finally, the error message in Thunderbird was gone. Phew.

In hindsight, I should have kept those invitation messages around to find out more about their RFC-822 compliance problem. But I guess there is no shortage of meeting invitations in an Outlook-centric company, and so there will be more specimens available for thorough scrutiny big grin


TWiki, KinoSearch and Office 2007 documents (20 Jul 2009)

Both at work and on this site, I use TWiki as my wiki engine of choice. TWiki has managed to attract a fair share of plugin and add-on writers, resulting in wonderful tools like an add-on which integrates KinoSearch, a Perl library on top of the Lucene search engine.

This month, I installed the add-on at work. It turns out that in its current state, it does not support Office 2007 document types yet, such as .docx, .pptx and .xlsx, i.e. the so-called "Office OpenXML" formats. That's a pity, of course, since these days, most new Office documents tend to be provided in those formats.

The KinoSearch add-on doesn't try to parse (non-trivial) documents on its own, but rather relies on external helper programs which extract indexable text from documents. So the task at hand is to write such a text extractor.

Fortunately, the Apache POI project just released a version of their libraries which now also support OpenXML formats, and with those libraries, it's a piece of cake to build a simple text extractor! Here's the trivial Java driver code:

package de.clausbrod.openxmlextractor;

import java.io.File;

import org.apache.poi.POITextExtractor;
import org.apache.poi.extractor.ExtractorFactory;

public class Main {
    public static String extractOneFile(File f) throws Exception {
        POITextExtractor extractor = ExtractorFactory.createExtractor(f);
        String extracted = extractor.getText();
        return extracted;
    }

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        if (args.length <= 0) {
            System.err.println("ERROR: No filename specified.");
            return;
        }

        for (String filename : args) {
            File f = new File(filename);
            System.out.println(extractOneFile(f));
        }
    }
}

Full Java 1.6 binaries are attached; Apache POI license details apply. Copy the ZIP archive to your TWiki server and unzip it in a directory of your choice.

With this tool in place, all we need to do is provide a stringifier plugin to the add-on. This is done by adding a file called OpenXML.pm to the lib/TWiki/Contrib/SearchEngineKinoSearchAddOn/StringifierPlugins directory in the TWiki server installation:

# For licensing info read LICENSE file in the TWiki root.
# This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
# modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
# as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
# of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
#
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
# GNU General Public License for more details, published at 
# http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

package TWiki::Contrib::SearchEngineKinoSearchAddOn::StringifyPlugins::OpenXML;
use base 'TWiki::Contrib::SearchEngineKinoSearchAddOn::StringifyBase';
use File::Temp qw/tmpnam/;

__PACKAGE__->register_handler(
  "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet", ".xlsx");
__PACKAGE__->register_handler(
  "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document", ".docx");
__PACKAGE__->register_handler(
  "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation", ".pptx");

sub stringForFile {
  my ($self, $file) = @_;
  my $tmp_file = tmpnam();

  my $text;
  my $cmd = 
    "java -jar /www/twiki/local/bin/openxmlextractor/openxmlextractor.jar '$file' > $tmp_file";
  if (0 == system($cmd)) {
    $text = TWiki::Contrib::SearchEngineKinoSearchAddOn::Stringifier->stringFor($tmp_file);
  }

  unlink($tmp_file);
  return $text;  # undef signals failure to caller
}
1;

This script assumes that the openxmlextractor.jar helper is located at /www/twiki/local/bin/openxmlextractor; you'll have to tweak this path to reflect your local settings.

I haven't figured out yet how to correctly deal with encodings in the stringifier code, so non-ASCII characters might not work as expected.

To verify local installation, change into /www/twiki/kinosearch/bin (this is where my TWiki installation is, YMMV) and run the extractor on a test file:

  ./ks_test stringify foobla.docx

And in a final step, enable index generation for Office documents by adding .docx, .pptx and .xlsx to the Main.TWikiPreferences topic:

   * KinoSearch settings
      * Set KINOSEARCHINDEXEXTENSIONS = .pdf, .xml, .html, .doc, .xls, .ppt, .docx, .pptx, .xlsx


Java-Forum Stuttgart (06 Jul 2009)

At this year's Java forum in Stuttgart, I was one of 1100 geeks who divulged in Suebian Brezeln and presentations on all things Java.

After a presentation on Scala, I passed by a couple of flipcharts which were set aside for birds-of-a-feather (BoF) sessions. On a whim, I grabbed a free flipchart and scribbled one word: Clojure. In the official program, there was no presentation covering Clojure, but I thought it'd be nice to meet a few people who, like me, are interested in learning this new language and its concepts!

Since I had suggested the topic, I became the designated moderator for this session. It turned out that most attendees didn't really know all that much about Clojure or Lisp - and so I gravitated, a bit unwillingly at first, into presentation mode. Boy, was I glad that right before the session, I had refreshed the little Clojure-fu I have by reading an article or two.

In fact, some of the folks who showed up had assumed the session was on closures (the programming concept) rather than Clojure, the language big grin But the remaining few of us still had a spirited discussion, covering topics such as dynamic versus static typing, various Clojure language elements, Clojure's Lisp heritage, programmimg for concurrency, web frameworks, Ruby on Rails, and OO databases.

To those who stopped by, thanks a lot for this discussion and for your interest. And to the developer from Bremen whose name I forgot (sorry): As we suspected, there is indeed an alternative syntax for creating Java objects in Clojure.

  (.show (new javax.swing.JFrame)) ;; probably more readable for Java programmers

  (.show (javax.swing.JFrame.)) ;; Clojure shorthand


Speeding through the crisis (22 Apr 2009)

That darn ol' MP3 player. Five years old, but still looks cute. Stubbornly refuses to break, too, so no excuse to go out and buy a new one. Which, of course, I wouldn't do anyway these days. You know, the crisis and all - who has the guts to make investments like this now. I mean, a new player could easily cost me as much as 30 euros! wink

So I'm sticking to the old hardware, and it works great, except for one thing: It cannot set bookmarks. Sure, it remembers which file I was playing most recently, but it doesn't know where I was within that file. Without bookmarks, resuming to listen to that podcast of 40 minutes length which I started into the other day is an awkward, painstakingly slow and daunting task.

But then, those years at university studying computer science needed to finally amortize themselves anyway, and so I set out to look for a software solution!

The idea was to preprocess podcasts as follows:

  • Split podcasts into five-minute chunks. This way, I can easily resume from where I left off without a lot of hassle.
  • While I'm at it, speed up the podcast by 15%. Most podcasts have more than enough verbal fluff and uhms and pauses in them, so listening to them in their original speed is, in fact, a waste of time. Of course, I don't want all my podcasts to sound like Mickey Mouse cartoons, of course, so I need to preserve the original pitch.
  • Most of the time, I listen to technical podcasts over el-cheapo headphones in noisy environments like commuter trains, so I don't need no steenkin' 320kbps bitrates, thank you very much.
  • And the whole thing needs to run from the command line so that I can process podcasts in batches.

I found it surprisingly difficult to find the single right tool for the purpose, so after experimenting for a while, I wrote the following bash script which does the job.

#! /bin/bash
#
# Hacked by Claus Brod, 
#   http://www.clausbrod.de/Blog/DefinePrivatePublic20090422SpeedingThroughTheCrisis
#
# prepare podcast for mp3 player:
#  - speed up by 15%
#  - split into small chunks of 5 minutes each
#  - recode in low bitrate
#
# requires:
#  - lame
#  - soundstretch
#  - mp3splt

if [ $# -ne 1 ]
then
  echo Usage: $0 mp3file >&2
  exit 2
fi

bn=`basename "$1"`
bn="${bn%.*}"

lame --priority 0 -S --decode "$1" - | \ 
  soundstretch stdin stdout -tempo=15 | \ 
  lame --priority 0 -S --vbr-new -V 9 - temp.mp3

mp3splt -q -f -t 05.00 -o "${bn}_@n" temp.mp3
rm temp.mp3

The script uses lame, soundstretch and mp3splt for the job, so you'll have to download and install those packages first. On Windows, lame.exe, soundstretch.exe and mp3splt.exe also need to be accessible through PATH.

The script is, of course, absurdly lame with all its hardcoded filenames and parameters and all, and it works for MP3 files only - but it does the job for me, and hopefully it's useful to someone out there as well. Enjoy!


mod_ntlm versus long user names (06 Mar 2009)

At work, I administer an internal TWiki site. The web server runs on a Linux box and connects to the Windows domain servers to provide authentication, using mod_ntlm. Recently, a new user registered, but could never log in.

In Apache's server logfiles, I found entries like the following:

[Mon Mar 02 11:37:37 2009] [error] [client 42.42.42.42] 144404120 17144 
/twiki/bin/viewauth/Some/Topic - ntlm_decode_msg failed:
   type: 3, host: "SOMEHOST", user: "", domain: "SOMEDOMAIN", error: 16

The server system runs CentOS 5 and Apache 2.2. Note how the log message claims that no user name was provided, even though the user did of course enter their name when the browser prompted for it.

The other noteworthy observation in this case was that the user name was unusually long - 17 characters, not including the domain name. However, the NTLM specs I looked up didn't suggest any name length restrictions. Then I looked up the mod_ntlm code - and found the following in the file ntlmssp.inc.c:

#define MAX_HOSTLEN 32
#define MAX_DOMLEN 32
#define MAX_USERLEN 32

Hmmm... so indeed there was a hard limit for the user name length! But then, the user's name had 17 characters, i.e. much less than 32, so shouldn't this still work?

The solution is that at least in our case, user names are transmitted in UTF-16 encoding, which means that every character is (at least) two bytes!

The lazy kind of coder that I am, I simply doubled all hardcoded limits, recompiled, and my authentication woes were over! Well, almost: Before reinstalling mod_ntlm, I also had to tweak its Makefile slightly as follows:

*** Makefile    2009/03/02 18:02:20     1.1
--- Makefile    2009/03/04 15:55:57
***************
*** 17,23 ****

  #   install the shared object file into Apache
  install: all
!       $(APXS) -i -a -n 'ntlm' mod_ntlm.so

  #   cleanup
  clean:
--- 17,23 ----

  #   install the shared object file into Apache
  install: all
!       $(APXS) -i -a -n 'ntlm' mod_ntlm.la
  #   cleanup
  clean:

Hope this is useful to someone out there! And while we're at it, here are some links to related articles:


Honey, where did you put the wireless LAN cable? (13 Jan 2007)

So there was this old laptop, an HP Omnibook 6000, and it just sat there all the time, gathering dust - old, but not old enough for scrapping it.

And thus was born the idea of installing Linux on it, just for the heck of it. Over the years, I had already tried various Linux distributions. Some time ago, I even bought a copy of SuSE Linux. But like that laptop, those Linux installations were never really used much.

With my earlier inclination towards SuSE Linux, it's no surprise that openSUSE (version 10.1) was my first choice. I wasn't too happy with it, though. Installation was a pain, mostly because of the stubborn way in which its package manager ignored the fact that a human lifespan is limited. Even the most simple installation tasks took ages. Alright, that laptop isn't the snappiest of them all, but still - I don't think I'm asking too much if I expect that checking for and downloading a copy of, say, a CLISP package should take less than half an hour (over a 2000 kBit/s DSL connection).

Sound didn't work properly, either. I couldn't connect to my WLAN network. The system was paging all the time. And I found myself editing way too many cryptic configuration files without really knowing what I was doing. And no, I'm not even a complete UNIX newbie. In fact, HP-UX was my main development platform for about 7 or 8 years, and during that time I turned into a UNIX bigot who was so notorious for scoffing at PCs and Windows that my bosses decided to make me the project lead for our first Windows port just so that I would finally shut up big grin But I digress.

I don't mean to bash the SuSE community, not by any means, but at least the 10.1 distribution apparently was targeted at more recent and more powerful hardware than I had at my disposal. I hear that 10.2 has a new package manager which is probably snappier than what I used, so maybe I would have had more luck with that version.

Anyway, I was frustrated enough to consider other distros now. These days, of course, you can't even shop at your local grocery store without overhearing the shop assistants discussing the latest version of Ubuntu. Who am I to resist such powerful word-of-mouth marketing?

And I'm glad I didn't resist. Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) installed quickly and with only a few mouse clicks and user inputs. Interactive performance after installation was a lot better than with openSUSE, and Ubuntu's "Synaptic" package manager was fast and simple enough to use so that even I grokked it immediately.

The only part of the installation that was still giving me fits was WLAN access. The Omnibook 6000 itself doesn't have any WLAN hardware, but I still had two WLAN adapters, a Vigor 510 and a Vigor 520, both from Draytek. The Vigor 510 is a USB device, while the Vigor 520 uses the PCMCIA slot.

I spent an awful lot of time trying to install the Vigor 510. Drove me nuts. I know a lot more about Linux networking now than I ever cared for. Here are some of the documents I used for this noble endeavour:

Actually, I think I was pretty close to get it working, using the "native" Linux drivers which are part of the wlan-ng package. I'm guessing that the one thing missing was a firmware upgrade for the Vigor 510.

But I will never know for sure, because I moved on to the Vigor 520, and instead of using open drivers, I succumbed to my fate and installed ndiswrapper instead, which makes it possible to use native Windows drivers for network adapters under Linux. With that approach, I finally succeeded - and now my Vigor 520 is happily transmitting data through the ether.

Since I'm apparently not the only one who had problems setting up such a configuration, I hope I'll find some time to outline in more detail which steps I went through. In the meantime, here are some documents which I found useful on my quest:

Part of the solution also was to get the contents of /etc/network/interfaces right:

auto wlan1
iface wlan1 inet dhcp
wireless yes
wireless-mode managed
wireless-essid FRITZ!Box Trallala
wireless-key open s:1234567890123

So except for the WLAN adapters, Ubuntu installation was a breeze, mostly because it's a nice distribution, but also because the Ubuntu community has in fact produced a lot of helpful documentation and guidelines which were written for the average geek, not for the Linux rockstars. I found the whole experience encouraging enough to install Ubuntu on an old system at work so that we can use it as a fileserver - but that's another story...


Getting organized (21.1.2006)

I've been meaning to install and tame Minimo on my PDA for some time. Finally, I can tap my way through my first blog posting from this cute little browser. I had to switch off the SSR (Small Screen Rendering) feature, but now, at last, my PocketPC displays web pages in a manner that is suitable for human consumption. I never understood why IE, after quite a number of releases of the Windows Mobile/CE platform, still sucks that badly as a browser.

Typing with the stylus is a pain in the youknowwhere, so I probably won't be blogging from my PDA that often big grin But still, I love the Minimo browser, even though it is in its early infancy. It seems to do a much better job at displaying most web sites than IE; it groks the CSS-based layout of my own web site; it makes use of the VGA screen on my PDA; and I can now even use TWiki's direct editing facilities from my organizer. This project really makes me wonder what it would take to start developing for the PocketPC platform...

And then there is Rory Blyth's Tiny Things podcast which is also wetting my appetite for those little gadgets. But even if you couldn't care less about mobile platforms, I hereby guarantee that listening to the intro section of each of the episodes will give you a good chuckle. Well, let's say that I'll guarantee a chuckle only if you promise that you won't sue me for making such potentially groundless claims. You'll know what I mean once you've listened in to Rory's show.

Man, I long for a real keyboard now.

-- ClausBrod - 21 Jan 2006


When asked for a TWiki account, use your own or the default TWikiGuest account.



to top


You are here: Blog > WebLeftBar > BlogOnSoftwareOpenSource

r1.12 - 11 Oct 2012 - 18:09 - ClausBrod to top

Blog
RSS
  2014: 5
  2013: 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5
  2012: 2 - 10
  2011: 1 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 12
  2010: 11 - 10 - 9 - 4
  2009: 11 - 9 - 8 - 7 -
     6 - 5 - 4 - 3
  2008: 5 - 4 - 3 - 1
  2007: 12 - 8 - 7 - 6 -
     5 - 4 - 3 - 1
  2006: 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
  2005: 12 - 6 - 5 - 4
  2004: 12 - 11 - 10
  C++
  COM & .NET
  Lisp
  Scripting
  Windows
  CoCreate Modeling
  OpenSource
  Java
  Stuff
Changes
Index
Search
Maintenance
Impressum
Home



Jump:

Copyright © 1999-2014 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback