Tales of an IT Nobody

devbox:~$ iptables -A OUTPUT -j DROP

A priceless gem March 31, 2010

A co-worker linked this to me today as a ‘MUST HAVE JQUERY PLUGIN’. I totally agree.


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Categories: programming

Is apt apting nasty? March 15, 2010

Doing spring cleaning on our dev box today – apt has been starting to harp me about wanting to autoremove a lot of useful packages – including apt itself! Odd! I’ve learned a few new things today, that’s for sure.

So I went on a mission today to clean up everything package related on the box. In the end, I cleaned out packages, and freed ~800MB.

You can see more diagnostic information/steps on my linuxquestions forum post.
I also came across a handy resource in downgrading that goes into good depth here.

Here’s some things you might find useful if apt is being a pain – My biggest problem came in the form of a nasty autoremove message from apt:

The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
   apt libwrap0-dev
The following packages will be REMOVED:
   apt libwrap0-dev

That’s right – apt wanted to remove itself! Turns out this is a product of having a misconfigured sources.list:

  deb http://debian.uchicago.edu/debian/ stable main contrib

Somehow, running dist-upgrade over time caused apt to update to the squeeze version of apt

To fix this, I had to change stable to lenny in my sources.list, then you can perform a downgrade on a specific package like so:

  deb http://debian.uchicago.edu/debian/ lenny main contrib
  cd /var/cache/apt/archives/
  rm -rf *
  mkdir partial
  apt-get update
  apt-get install apt/stable
  apt-get update && echo “For good measure!”

Because of your sources.list change, apt will think the proper version is the ‘stable’ one, and will REINSTALL/DOWNGRADE apt for you. This fixed the version issue.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Command line musings: whiptail and dialog

A quick jaunt on cool command utils for ‘command line ui’ installations/prompts for those who are into that kind of stuff for configuration tools, etc;

Whiptail is a handy utility that allows you to create colorized command line dialogs that you see when configuring certain things such as postfix or zend server, etc.

For scripts that utilize this, it’s important to note the latter part of the man page. Yes/OK returns 0; No/Cancel returns 1. For internal errors/malformed command, whiptail returns -1.

Sample output:

 * Note: The “10 30” is height, and width represented in cols and rows not pixels.
Sample command:
whiptail –yesno –title “Question for you” “This is cool, no?” 10 30

Dialog is a more powerful counterpart than whiptail, much more verbose in it’s usage providing flexability.

Sample output:

Sample command:
dialog –title “Dialog title” –checklist “Instructions for dialog”, 15 60 2 \
optionA “Description for A goes here” valA \

optionB “Description for B goes here” valB

Make sure you read the man pages on the return codes for use in your various shell scripts, etc.

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Categories: linux purdy

Take it to the next step March 14, 2010

Very cool (albeit somehow hectic page) on pythian on a recent Rasmus session.

There’s a HUGE amount of information in this for people wanting to ‘step to the next level’ with web application development. You’ll have to turn over some stones of your own and reapply some of this to you independent scenario, but still a wealth of info!


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Categories: linkspam php programming

On coining terms, AKA: OCT March 12, 2010

Am I the only one who near refuses to accept the buzzphrases thrown around by marketers; I just found a new one today mentioned in a ZDNet article, called ‘APT‘ – ‘hip’ marketers drop these phrases to make it seem like they have some sort of new invention. Pisses me off.

Maybe it’s the fact, being in the industry, I feel compelled to know what all these damn acronyms mean. Granted, there are some that one should know; but is keeping on top of the non-ending twists of acronyms important to maintain stature in our industry. It is dizzying. You’d think the fact that engineers are sick of it all – they’d stop cropping up.

‘Spear phishing’, a mere form of phishing, really deserves a distinct title? Blegh.

I’m sick of feeling frustrated at myself for not knowing what these new terms are when they appear in articles.
Luckily it takes a mere second to remind myself that it’s the nature of the beast, but that little fire inside me never goes away.

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Categories: marketing rant

Time to be informed! March 2, 2010

What would you do if you received a legitimate looking email from your hosting company asking you to OPEN an SMTP relay?

That’s apparently a new style of spam (to create more spam !) targeting administrators. I’m sure there’s a handful of ‘admins’ who can get by and would more than happy to oblige their skillz in opening a relay without really thinking about how fricken nuts it sounds …


Time to separate the weak from the weaker, or is it more weak?

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Categories: security servers

Cloud Computing and the 3rd Reich

Co-worker suggested this would be a good one to put up, I agree; and this clip never gets old!

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Categories: rant security servers