Sunday, February 25, 2007


Have a T-Shirt made that shouts:

I don't care about spelling unless it involves Vi !

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Days progress

Null (0)
Eines (1)
Zwei (2)
Drei (3)
Vier (4) - tis one hard to remember lol
Fuenf (5) - properly fünf
Sechs (6)
Sieben (7)
Acht (8)
Neun (9)
Zehn (10)
Elf (11)
Zwoelf (12) - properly zwölf
Dreizehn (13)
Vierzehn (14)
Fuenfzehn (15) - properly fünfzehn
Sechszehn (16)
Siebzehn (17)
Achtzehn (18)
Neunzehn (19)
Zwozig (20) - I wonder if Zweizig would be interrupted as 20. Seems that 'zwo' seems to be used in place of Zwei at times to avoid confusing people.. Probably foreigners lol.
einetausend (1000)

For the most part German numbers seem pretty logical and seem to follow the same convention style as English numbers. I.e. 15 in English is Fift-Teen, rymes with 5th (fifth, Viertel) a fraction and teen being a fairly standard suffix for any thing between ( > 10 && < 20 ). So Siebzehn makes sense for Seventeen. Its more or less 'Seven Ten' which is basically what a 17 is. Or maybe it could just be my backwards mind that finds this all so logical ! hehe I dunno.

Larger numbers seen to follow a similar style but with a und (and) in the middle and changing suffixes as you got, teens, twenties, thirties and so on. But each comparable German suffix seems to end in 'zig' except for Dreissig (dreißig, thirty). Much like how in English many of then have a 'ty' suffix often preceded by an r or ir. Fourty "four'ity" (Vierundvierzig), Seventy (Siebundsiebzig), or Fifty (Fuenfundfuenfzig). Quiet logical imho.

Sechhundertzweiundzwanzig (626) looks about right to me aside from being a mouth full but who says I know any thing. Six hundred Two and Twenty - logical.

It seems while we use a decimal point . In German a comma , seems to be used and pronouced. I wonder how 600,400.01 would be spoken if 3.04 would be like 'Drei Komma null vier'. I think thats some what grammatically correct. 'Komma' always seems to be capitalized, the first word being capitalized the way I wrote it is probably an English'ism. I've yet to learn much for German grammar and punctuation. Instead concentrating on basic spoken communication and reading. I'll worry more about it when I have a rough understanding of how words work out, then I'll worry more about sentences and phases.

So far though the only languages I know my way around well is C and English +S lol sorry to say but I think its in that order :-P

Get this for my BDay

Friday, February 23, 2007

read file

This is a little thing I've been working on this month. Its made to simulate the behavior of 'cat file' and 'head -n' / 'tail -n' more or less scratch a little itch. It works very simple as its supposed to be simple. It parses arguments taking a count to its -t and -b switches. It looks through argv till it finds a file to open. It'll read the entire file out, if it's given the -t switch it will read out up to the count its given. If its given the -b switch, it will read the entire file. Store the location of every newline in a linked-list. Then rewind the list, seek to the specified location (plus padding) and print out the end of the remainder of the file.

Heres a straight copy & paste of it. Portability wise it assumes that the file is in the correct format and requires a number of functions that first appeared in BSD 4.x, namely getopts, fgetln, and err/errx. It also presumes that their should be enough room to store the location of every newline in the file within memory. So if one only has 64K of RAM, it might be a problem to read a few files xD.

I can't say if its well written or not... I don't know of any program with my system that does exactly this other then what this simulates. Rather then wrap around cat/head/tail using system() or including the sources I worked through this as a learning experience. Its more or less written in the style I prefer, the type on a line of its own bit in function declarations is the only 'real' part of it stemming from my occasional reads of stuff in /usr/src alone.

 * rf read file to standard out

// vim: set noexpandtab ts=8 sw=4 ai :
// vi: set ai nu ts=8 sw=4 :

#include <err.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <limits.h>
#include <unistd.h>

static void readall( FILE *, int );
static void readtop( FILE *, int );
static int readbottom( FILE *, int );
static void usage( void );

struct lnpos {
 long nl;
 struct lnpos *next;

main( int argc, char *argv[] ) {
 char *erptr;
 int t_flag = 0, b_flag = 0;
 int ch, lncnt;
 FILE *fp;

 extern char *optarg;
 extern int optind;
 extern int optopt;
 extern int opterr;
 extern int optreset;

 while ( (ch = getopt(argc, argv, "b:t:")) != -1 ) {
  switch (ch) {
  case 'b':
   lncnt = strtol(optarg, &erptr, 10);
   if ( *erptr || lncnt <= 0 )
    errx( 1, "Improper line count -- %s", optarg );
  case 't':
   lncnt = strtol(optarg, &erptr, 10);
   if ( *erptr || lncnt <= 0 )
    errx( 1, "Improper line count -- %s", optarg );
  case '?':
   return 1;
  argc -= optind;
  argv += optind;

 /* loop through cli args and find a file to open */
 for ( int i = 0; i <= argc; i++ ) {
  fp = fopen( argv[i], "r" );
  if ( fp == NULL )
   err( 1, "File does not exist or could not be opened "
   "for reading -- %s", optarg );

 if ( (t_flag < 1) && (b_flag < 1) )  {
  readall( fp, lncnt );
 } else if ( t_flag > 0 ) {
  readtop( fp, lncnt );
 } else if ( b_flag > 0 ) {
      readbottom( fp, lncnt );
 } else {
  errx( 1, "flag processing failed" );

 fclose( fp );
 return 0;

 * print out an open file to standard output

static void 
readall( FILE *fp, int lncnt ) {

 while ( (lncnt = fgetc( fp )) != EOF ) {
  printf( "%c", lncnt );

/* Read n lines from the top of the file.
 * note that it was very inspired by the head(1) implementation of BSD
static void
readtop( FILE *fp, int lncnt ) {

 char *cp;
 size_t error, rlen;
 while ( lncnt && (cp = fgetln( fp, &rlen )) != NULL ) {
  error = fwrite( cp, sizeof(char), rlen, stdout );
  if ( error != rlen )
   err( 1, "stdout" );

/* Read n lines from the bottom of the file 
 * This function really should be broken up - but I have not learned how yet.
static int
readbottom( FILE *fp, int lncnt ) {

 char *cp;
 int hmany = lncnt;
 long nlnum = 0;
 long where;
 size_t error, rlen;

 struct lnpos *root;
 struct lnpos *cur;

 root = malloc( sizeof(struct lnpos) );
 if ( root == NULL )
  err( 1, "can't init the list" );
 root->next = 0;
 cur = root;

 cur->next = malloc( sizeof(struct lnpos) );
 if ( cur->next == NULL )
  err( 1, "can't add nodes" );
 cur = cur->next;

 /* read the file, count every '\n' and store them in a new member of
  * our linked list.
 while ( (lncnt = fgetc( fp )) != EOF ) {
  if ( lncnt == '\n' ) {
   cur->nl = ftell( fp );
   if ( cur->next != NULL ) 
    cur = cur->next;
   cur->next = malloc( sizeof(struct lnpos) );
   if ( cur->next == NULL )
    err( 1, "can't add nodes" );
   cur = cur->next;

  /* rewind our linked-list and seek b_flag + 1 segments short of the
   * end of the list. 
 cur = root->next;
 while ( hmany < nlnum ) {
  cur = cur->next;

 where = fseek( fp, cur->nl, SEEK_SET );
 if ( where != 0 )
  err( 1, "could not seek through the file\n" );

 while ( lncnt && (cp = fgetln( fp, &rlen )) != NULL ) {
  error = fwrite( cp, sizeof(char), rlen, stdout );
  if ( error != rlen )
   err( 1, "stdout" );
  cur = cur->next;
  if ( cur->next == 0 )
   return 0;
 return 0;

static void
usage( void ) {
 fprintf( stderr, "usage:\n rf file\n "
         "rf [-t number lines from the top] file\n "
  "rf [ -b number of lines from the bottom ] [ file ]\n" );

Any comments about the file it self or its design is much welcome by this moron who tries to teach him self.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Nice pair

Pioneer HDJ-1000 headphones /w ear-cup

Saturday, February 17, 2007

How to distablize BSD

Be running a system upgrade via remote from a windows machine

when the windows machine crashes while the BSD box is building !

F you Windows.

Friday, February 16, 2007


hunt down some flag images

UK (british/scottish)


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Temptational joke

Three Distros for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Steve Ballmer on his dark throne
In the Land of Redmond where the $hadow$ lie.
One distro to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One distro to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the $hadow$ lie.

There can only be one distro and its MicrosoftSUSE !

Sorrry, I couldn't resist doing that just for the laughs !!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SSMTP/Getmail how-to part III

back to part II

The getmail documentation said that was the best way to automate it, and its bloody better then buling up getmail with 'daemon mode' code. But also like the documentation said if we want to 'stop' this daemon like mail checking we need a script for cron to run getmail through and program it to not run getmail if a file is pressent. Now we can do this many ways, heck we could set a enviroment variable if we want.

I've written a little script that can be run with a users cron jobs and skip over all mail or only the given account. You need one rcfile per account and you can tweak it to follow any conventions you want. My RCFiles follow the convention of getmailrc-shortaccountname, hence getmailrc-bell and getmailrc-sas for my bellsouth and sasclan accounts. This script should work on any system that has a bourneshell compatible /bin/sh. Just edit the shebang if you need to run it as another shell (such as /bin/ksh).


# Use getmail to check my E-Mail account using the RC variable
# This script has the advantage that one can save it as another file, change
# one variable and set a cron job to check each account at different times (1
# cron job per script). Then not only use a file in their .getmail folder to
# stop all the scripts from running getmail or use a file to stop one script
# from checking its account. It also keeps a log which will be trimmed by
# another script

# Name of the getmailrc file to use

# log to a file when mail is checked

# If a nomail or nocheck file is found in ~/.getmail/ exit without checking
# else look for a no file. Where  is equal to every thing that
# comes after the getmailrc- in $RC. If none of these files exsist check mail
# using the $RC file.
if [ -e ${HOME}/.getmail/nomail ]
        LOG=$(echo "Skipping mail for $RC")
        exit 1
elif [ -e ${HOME}/.getmail/nocheck ]
        LOG=$(echo "Skipping mail for $RC")
        exit 1
        DIE=$(ls ${HOME}/.getmail| grep $RC | cut -d '-' -f 2)
        if [ -e ${HOME}/.getmail/no${DIE} ]
                LOG=$(echo "You have desided not to check this mailbox - $DIE")
                LOG=$(echo `date` "checked mailbox with $RC")
                getmail -r$RC

# Update log with the result
echo $LOG >> $LOGFILE 2> /dev/null

if you want to use the script copy and paste it into a text file and mark it executible. I saved them as ~/.getmail/ and chmod'd them 0700

Ok, let us make a cron job, because this is allready a big long post that took me forever to write with the way my house is. I'm not detailing cron(8) so please read the handbook or read the fine manual.

I created this crontab file to run my scripts to check my accounts every 5 and 4 hours respecfully and to 'trim' my log file every week.

# rstf's crontab
#minute hour    mday    month   wday    who     command
# check sas every 5hr
5     *       *       *       *       rstf    ${HOME}/.getmail/
# check bell every 4hr
4     *       *       *       *       rstf    ${HOME}/.getmail/
# trim log @weekly
0     0       *       *       0       rstf    ${HOME}/sh/trim-getmail-cronlog

The trim-getmail-cronlog script is thus


# Rotate my logfile for running get mail via cron


if [ -e $LOGFILE ]
        tail $LOGFILE > $TMPDIR/gmlog.$$
        rm $LOGFILE
        mv $TMPDIR/gmlog.$$ $LOGFILE
        exit 1

To load my crontab file into crons system i.e. /var/run/tabs/${USER} all I have to do is run a simple command.

crontab ~/rstf-contrab

SSMTP/Getmail how-to part II

Back to Part I

It should've taken like two minutes to install or so. The getmail program is very nice and it follows the concept of do one ting and do it well + allows for a great level of modularity. We can use it with a number of protocols and other softwares like procmail, spamasassion, clamav e.t.c.

Setting up getmail is very easy and theres great documentation so far I've been very happy with it. Lets go to our home directory, we do *not* want to be the root user for this.

I'm gong to use a console because thats how i like it, so I'll short how to do it via that way. If you want to use a GUI app like Konqueror to do it be my guest, you should be able to easy enough.

Make a directory your home directory called .getmail and set the permissions so that only you have access.

mkdir -m 0700 ~/.getmail That ammounts to the owner having read, write, and execute but no one else but the root user being able to enter the directory. Lets cd over to our ~/.getmail folder and create a rc file. By default getmail reads the ${HOME}/.getmail/getmailrc file but we can create multiple rc files and have getmail use the one we choose.

getmail -rRCFILENAME

if its not in our .getmail/ folder we need to supply the path to the rc file, if its in .getmail we can skip it.

The syntax of the file reminds me alot of .ini files on Win32, to be perfectly honest the getmailrc file syntax is the easist I've seen. Heres a copy of one of the RC files I use complete with anotations of what the ooptions do. After this I'll go into more detail about the options to help you get a owrking rc file.

# This file is getmailrc-sas which is for checking my account
type = SimplePOP3SSLRetriever
server =
username =
password = My_Password


# This destination is just for my e-mail not the systems local mboxes.
type = Maildir 
path = ~/Mail/
user = rstf
filemode = 0600

# Note that '0' means disable for all integar values.

# (int) 0-warn/err only, 1-retriv/delete only, 2-every thing
verbose = 1
# (bool) true = fetch all, false = only what getmail has not seen before
read_all = true
# (bool) true = delete messages after downloading, will override delete_after
delete = true
# (int) delete messages from server after int days
#delete_after = 1
# (int) max server reported message *total* size to download per session
max_bytes_per_session = 0
# (int) do not retreve messsages larger then this number of bytes
max_message_size = 0
# (int) max number of messages to process
max_messages_per_session = 0
# (bool) adds Delivered-To: header field to the message.
delivered_to = true
# (bool) add received: header field to the message
received = true
# (str) log to file
# (bool) use system logger
message_log_syslog = false

as a reminder so I wouldn't have to check the documentation in /usr/local/share/doc/getmail/ or online. I put comment notes in the file briefing discribing what each option does and the type of setting, namely bool (i.e. true/false), int(eger) i.e. 0 1 or 435 e.t.c., or str(ing) likethis. Basically you need to have a [retriever] and a [destination] section. Under retriever we tell getmail what type of protocol to use, taken from the documentation heres the options.

  • SimplePOP3Retriever
    — for single-user POP3 mail accounts.

  • BrokenUIDLPOP3Retriever
    — for broken POP3 servers that do not support the
    command, or which do not uniquely identify messages; this provides basic
    support for single-user POP3 mail accounts on such servers.

  • SimpleIMAPRetriever
    — for single-user IMAP mail accounts.

  • SimplePOP3SSLRetriever
    — same as SimplePOP3Retriever, but uses SSL encryption.

  • BrokenUIDLPOP3SSLRetriever
    — same as BrokenUIDLPOP3Retriever, but uses SSL encryption.

  • SimpleIMAPSSLRetriever
    — same as SimpleIMAPRetriever, but uses SSL encryption.

  • MultidropPOP3Retriever
    — for domain mailbox (multidrop) POP3 mail accounts.

  • MultidropPOP3SSLRetriever
    — same as MultidropPOP3Retriever, but uses SSL encryption.

  • MultidropSDPSRetriever
    — for domain mailbox
    SDPS mail accounts,
    as provided by the UK ISP Demon.

  • MultidropIMAPRetriever
    — for domain mailbox (multidrop) IMAP mail accounts.

  • MultidropIMAPSSLRetriever
    — same as MultidropIMAPRetriever, but uses SSL encryption.

Odds are if you don't know what you need, its probably SimplePOP3Retriever. If you've ever set up a mail client before you should know it, your ISP or webhost should be able to tell you as well. Next we gotta tell getmail what server to fetch mail off of with the server option. If your ISP is some thing like charter, its probably I don't have charter but all the mail servers I've seen have been mail.ispname.topleveldomain lol.

We need to set the username and password so the server knows its us and which mailbox we want. Other wise it will tell us to go 'eff off.

Now we need to tell getmail what to do with our mail once it checks the incoming mail server. This is what the destination section is for. You basically have two big options here, Maildir or MBox. I've always used mboxrd since thats what Mozilla Mail&Newsgroups, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Seamonkey Mail&Newsgroups used. Plus the systems local mailboxes are mbox format as well. Theres various 'variations' of mbox and probably maildir but compatible enough for our needs I'd say. Other options for 'type' allow us to use an

External Message Delivery Agent (MDA) like procmail.
Mutilple Destinations, using multiple maildir/mbox/externMDAs e.t.c.
Mutiple message sorting
Sort mitple messages into geussed destinations
And to use qmail-local to deliver messages as instructed in the .qmail file.

The exact specifics and how to set getmail to use these features are in the manual, go read it if you want to know more. I suggest ether mbox or maildir personally.

Maildir is pretty simple there is a folder containing new, cur, and tmp directories full of e-mails. If you plan on checking e-mail often or automating it (as I do) this is probably for you. Each e-mail gets its own file in one of those directories which I personally think makes it better suited sharing messages but bad for FAT32 file systems (i.e. many small files).

We can make a mail directory like this on the command line, assuming we want ~/Mail. Or just make four directories in a GUI file manager.

mkdir -p ~/Mail/{new,cur,tmp}

You'll need to set the path to the mail directory as well to use Maildir. You can also set the user and file permissions to use. You've got to use the unix octal format, i.e. 0755 instead of u=rwx g=rx o=rw or some thing.

type = Maildir 
path = ~/Mail/
user = rstf
filemode = 0600
Setting filemode to 0600 means only I and the root user have read-write permission to my mail.

Now if we want to use mboxrd we have to specify the type and path to the mbox file as well. The user option works here too. Also you need to consider the locktype option. It takes a string argument and you have a choice of 'lockf' which uses fcntl locking or 'flock' default as of this writing (getmail v4.7.0) is lockf.

type = Mboxrd
path = ~/Mail/inbox
user = rstf
locktype = lockf

We can also set up filter sections to use stuff like clamav & spam assasion on our e-mail. Considering that the odds of a virus or trojan that can invect a windows machine through being ssh'd into a freebsd box that is using mutt to view mail fetched with getmail from a server that filters spam (optional /w my ISP) and scans for viruses (nice ISP). I don't blood ythink I need to filiter things through an Anti-Virus ! But if you like go read the documentation on how to set that up.

I think I'll be looking into spam assasion for my ISP account though so maybe I'll have some thing topost there.

The options section I don't think is required but I'd suggest you set your read_all and ether delete or delete_after options.

My suggestions

# fetch all mail on the server
read_all = true
# then delete it after its in our Maidir or Mboxrd destination(s)
delete = true

# fetch mail getmail has not seen before
read_all = false
# then delete old messages after 1 day
delete_after = 1

The bottom option deletes the messages you download today from your mail server (not your destination) the next time getmail checks for mail and sees that the old messages are '1' day old. Any integer number will do but not a floating point number. i.e. 4675 will work but 2.43 will not.

I have two getmail rc files one for each account
$ ls -R ~/.getmail                                             20:21
So I can run getmail and tell it which file to use so Ican deside which mailbox to check. I've made a pair of shell aliases in my shells rc file to save typing.

alias gm-bell='getmail -rgetmailrc-bell'
alias gm-sas='getmail -rgetmailrc-sas'

Ok, lets run getmail (I'll skip the alias), it will take a few seconds bu t if it takes a really long time you might want to make sure your system is configured correctly to resolve the hostnames.

rstf@Vectra$ getmail -rgetmailrc-sas                                                       20:22
getmail version 4.7.0
Copyright (C) 1998-2006 Charles Cazabon.  Licensed under the GNU GPL version 2.
  0 messages retrieved, 0 skipped

Looks like I have no new mail in the account.

Ok, lets try some automation we can set cron jobs to run getmail -rRCFILE when ever we want on one or all of our files.

SSMTP/Getmail how-to part I

This is a short how to for kicking sendmail in the buttocks and setting up a micro-replacement for send-only usage on a FreeBSD (post 5.x) system. Plus using the getmail utility to check for new messages. I spent long enough screwing with it after I miss-read some documentation (fbsd handbook/ssmtp).

The goal is to be able to use utilties such as mailx, mutt, and other MUA's dependant on sendmail (or exteneral) MTA(s) and be able to check mail easy and automaticly. I assume you at least know how to setup a mail client such as Mozilla Thunderbird or Outlook Express (or can get the relivent info) and know how to edit files as root when needed.

First we have to kill sendmail. For this we need to edit the /etc/rc.conf file, since I've cleaned mine up to place various options in related 'sections' heres the relivent one from my rf.cofing. Note all the sendmail_* options at the bottom.

#                               SERVICES                                #



ntpd_falgs="-c /etc/ntp.conf -f /var/db/ntpd.drift"

# Completly kill sendmail

Save rf.config with those sendmail lines in it and we can stop sendmail from working. Sendmails probably the worlds most used Mail Transfer Agent but for a desktop we don't really need it. While its well known for its history of security problems according to some OpenBSD people, at least they still patch it. Now with sendmail gone we have two problems.

  1. Daily run messages are usually mailed to root and this might break that a tad.
  2. MUA's dependant on external MTA or utils dependant on sendmail may require configuration changes or stop working

Now to fix this we want some thing small that will allow us to send e-mail through some thing sendmail compatible'ish. I'll assume that you have ports installed or know how - so go do it and update them. Personally I try to update my ports tree every few days or just before building a port if I rarly install stuff on the machine. I also prefer cvsup/csup :-)

Ok, now that you have ports ready to go lets install some software. Open a shell (or use a GUI) to cd into /usr/ports/mail/sstmp/ so we can build it. Run the commands

make install replace clean

it shouldn't take long to install so no need to go on coffee break :-P
In case your wondering what ssmtp is heres the pkg-descr:
A secure, effective and simple way of getting mail off a system to your
mail hub. It contains no suid-binaries or other dangerous things - no mail
spool to poke around in, and no daemons running in the background. Mail is
simply forwarded to the configured mailhost. Extremely easy configuration.

WARNING: the above is all it does; it does not receive mail, expand aliases
or manage a queue. That belongs on a mail hub with a system administrator.


Basically it doesn't handle fetching or checking mail or reading it but it lets you send it. While some thing like sendmail, qmail, or postfix should at least provide send/recieve if you want to go bugger setting up a full blown mail server be my guest :-)

sSMTP is really s send-only app that tries to emulate sendmail, most of the command line options to sendmail are accepted but many are just ignored. Some MUA's can check mail for us, mutt springs to mind but I rather like using getmail so far. At first I thought I would use sendmail/fetchmail/ but I saw an app called 'getmail' in ports and checked it out. Its not as buggy as fetchmail is *said* to be, its got great documentation, and its really simple. So if your going to use getmail once ssmtp is done building start on /usr/ports/mail/getmail/ while we open another terminal to configure ssmtp while getmail compiles.

Using a shell or file manager like konqueror cd over to /usr/local/etc/ssmtp/ . We can ether use the .sample files here or create new ones from scratch. We to create a ssmtp.conf file that tells ssmtp how to send e-mail to our out going mail server. The config file syntax is a cake walk, its key=value and # for comments to end of line like many a language or file has.

# Your E-Mail _address_
# Your outgoing mail server, normally the TLD is .net, .com, or .org
# Where mail looks like it came from, just stick in your e-mail address.
# Your hostname, your e-mail address should be fine if your not a mail server
# Set this to never rewrite the "From:" line (unless not given) and to
# use that address in the "from line" of the envelope.

save as /usr/local/etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.config and that takes care of that. You might want to nuke sendmail or reboot of course for this to take effect. Now since we do want our daily run stuff to still work we will set up an alias so mail sent to our user account locally will actually be sent to our e-mail address. We'll do this with the revaliases file in the same directory.

This ones a little bit og a bug but its not once you figure out how. Basically the syntax is like this


# Alias e-mail to the system root account to go to my private e-mail
# Alias my_username to my email address so I get my cron-job reports

This way the daily run and cron e-mail messages will still work and they will be in my e-mail rather then /var/mail/${USER} where I often forget to check 8=)

I've yet to figure out how to set up ssmtp for multiple outgoing mail servers but I'll figure it out later & post it.

Ok, now lets get back to getmail

Monday, February 12, 2007

To do this week

My monster list in short form.
  • My normal work week
  • I have *GOT* to get a test out for school
  • Get my printer functioning over th enetwork (Vectra)
  • Get my E-Mail working again, probably move things over to Vectra and ssh in to use a CLI mail client. Best start telling peoople to stop sending me HTML E-Mail 8=)
  • Consolidate my data backups
  • Check for a WinSucks equiv to mount_smbfs or a more reliable method then Windows XP's own handling of SMB
  • Set up a FTP server on my local LAN
  • Get a LDAP based Address Book solution going if at all possible
  • Clean up my system configurations, ssh, sendmail, cups, samba e.t.c.
  • Keep up with business as SSM, RvS Dept. 22nd [SAS] EVR
  • Deal with being an associate web master
  • Finish my coding project in C
  • Put together that thing for Shield
  • Boost my studies in PHP and JavaScript

Sunday, February 11, 2007

broken bones

Well, since my USB flashdrive died for all intents and purpsoes today. Lucky I did get a full backup while I could still get it to mount on occasion.

I cracked the sucker open, yanked out the PCB (printed circuit board) from the looks of it. Nice little thing /w a few DIMM'ish things on it. Ones probably the 1gb of disk space and the other a *real* microprocessor. Maybe even a picoprocessor if you think about how big some desktop PC's CPUs are with a heat sink on top of them.

The USB connector was just clipped on, with a few metal prongs coming out of it and into the board. Looked like they might slide out so I pulled it off, sure enough the things didn't slide out and they broke off from the looks of it. Although I think I'd need a magnifer to be sure of 3 of them. One is clearly destroyed.

The funny thing, is when I stuck it all back together and put the tape back 'round the case. It sat just right, before it died. Well it got a bit bent at the port one day & started to split the case. Hence the tape...

I think assuming that I broke all 4 connectors instead of just 3. I might've been able to save the bloody thing. Oh well I got the data backup and thats what counts. Not to mention I got to have a look see just what is inside a USB Flash Drive :-)

Now if only Windows could be trusted to access my SMB shares 24/7 and I could get a nice little 20GB PATA drive for Vectra I could complete the more Network Centric restructings I wanted to work on. Only I didn't think I'd need to !.

Gonna have to start using ftpd to or find a winsucks == of mount_smbfs.


Talk with Wiz about modules during my 'coding hour'
Well I found the anwser to my problem by kicking around rather then kicking my self.

(t_flag < 1) && (b_flag < 1)


((t_flag) && (b_flag) < 1)

*smacks self* sleepy idiot !
Well, I hit the point for destruction or construction....

ether go insane and smash stuff or do some thing useful. So I ripped apart my room probing for a rough idea of how to sor things and rearranged every thing.

GOD, I've been wanting to get that shelf out of here for years. Got things rearranged and even a little work station for me set up. After all I did start off trying to figure out how to get my self a little microcomputer lab going.

I also got to throw out a crap load of stuff, yeah I'm a pack rat...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I t hink I'msnapping..

I've tried switching to my laptop, practiclly locking my self in a room on the other side of the house.

Putting my laptops volume to the max with near max HW volume + 50+ % on Amarok & blasting music

Turning the TV volume as high as it goes and the Cable Box up so you not only can here me accross the house but probably in the next apartment and the apartment building !

AND I STILL CAN'T BE LEFT ALONE TO DO MY WORK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For petes frigging sake I should make these people read K&R Cover to cover and write a bloody operating system kernel and see how they like torture !

Dying a mad mans death bit by bit.


Can't do shit, have to walk dogs, clean up, do stuff, deal with ma's computer functional illiteracy.


Lunch, forums, first login, web-chores. Can't do shit - dog and bird driving me batty.


Dinner followed by can't do shit

Wee Hours of the morning:

Freedom, can work till I collapse.

If working - probably can't do shit, have to get up early.


I'm going f***ing crazy here.

Peopole get paid to work for then 60 fucking hours a week on this shit and they won't even alot me a few hours a day to work in piece. Even if I switch to my room, use the laptop. Kick the TV up so you can here it outside put headphones on and blast heavy metal till my ears hurt. THEY WONT FUC@ING LET ME SIT THE FSCK DOWN AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THE F&CK I'M DOING !!!!!

Its intolerable ! and moving out is not even a frigging hope let along an option.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Force Building

An old hobby of mine, designing military hardware and organizing units. Maybe
its one of the reasons I got into the CBT (Classic BattleTech) side of things in
my MechWarrior career and love RTS (Real Time Strategy) games.

Any ways what I've been pondering over to night.

A simple 'Element' being the lowest level of the fighting force. Consisting of
ether 8 Infantry, 4 Land Vehicles, 2 Air/Sea/Space Craft under 500 Tons, or one
ship over 500 tons.

Two classes of infantry, soft armored and battle armored. Soft armored would be
more or less what we have to day. Using soft-body armor or hardened ceramic
armors (think Marines from ALIENS) and standard weapons. While battle armored
infantry would be fitted with a suit of armor. Figure avg trooper becomes
about 2 meters tall with a 3 meter jump height using the heating/cooling
management systems to assist the trooper. Armed with 6.2mm Rifles and 10mm
Pistols. And enough hard armor to shrug off a few standard rounds.

I remember reading that a round has to be > 22Cal but < 30Cal to really be
effective so I think a 6.2x48mm rifle round would be an interesting experiment.
As a trade off between 9mm and .45Cal pistols 10mm is also interesting in
concept. Instead of normal ammo the rifles would fire a special round. A 6.2mm
armor piecing round thats designed to explode when hitting hard objects. Like
walls or cars. Yet made to fragment instead of go kaboom when hitting soft
targets like people. If you figure the blast could have enough force to take
most of an arm off. Its much more humane to just kill the sap not blow them up.
And to have the balence that the micro HE stock is good reason for the enemy
to rethink how they armor their own troops while improving joe rifle mans
ability to hurt armored fighting vehicles :-)

I think being centered around the idea of a Combined Arms Operations Company is
the best plan.

4 x Mechs, 1 Support unit, 1 Command unit, 2 Assaulter's.
3 x Main Battle Tank
1 x Command/Control/Communications/Intelligence vehicle which can tow a pair of
field guns for use as part of an artillery unit.
1 x Self-propelled missile artillery or Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).
8 x Infantry in battle armor or gun crews.
2 x Close Air Support units.

My ideal configuration would be. 8 Battle suited infantry supported by a
tracked or hover-craft driven IFV /w 4-tube Anti-Tank missile launcher & 45mm
Autocannon. Toss on a pair of 12.7mm Anti-Near-Anything fifty cals on the top
for balance.

3 Main Battle Tanks maybe 45-75 Tons each. 135-142mm rifled cannon with 40-60
shells. 3 12.7mm MG, two top mounted + one coax with about 1600 Rounds. A pair
of triple tube smoke discharges on the front of the turret plus a pair of
single shot recoilless anti-tank rocket tubes on the sides of it.

Yes I'm kind of a nut about packing in as many weapons as possible followed by
as much armor as she'll hold without losing the desired level of agility/speed.
:-) Hehehe

Two CAS units consisting of STOL (Short Take Off & Landing) capable strike
fighters powered with dual-engines. A pair of 25mm Vulcan cannons, pair of wing
tip mounted Air-To-Air medium range missiles al cine to real world AMRAAMs.
4 Internal bays for deploying two 3-tube micro-missile stations and two
stations holding two smart bombs or 3 air-to-ground missiles. (HRTSG-ATG) 2
Under wing stations (per wing) for 2x bombs or 3 x air-to-air /or air-to-ground
missiles + 1 more under wing stations (per wing) for an Air-To-Air missile. All
of these under wing stuff being at the cost of stealth that is. More or less a
pair of harrier jump jets on steroids !

Or even a pair of helicopters packing a 17mm chin gun slaved to the gunners
head. Dual 12.7mm electronically fired forward mounted machine guns for the
pilots use. Wing tip mounted 5-Tube rocket pods and two stations for 4x
Missiles on each stub wing. Where thers a mixture of TV guided wire controlled
fine stabilized anti-armor missiles and Hybrid Radar / Thermal Semi-self
Guiding Air-To-Ground (HRTSG-ATG) missiles. Now thats a painful combo hehe.

A 'Mech element with a support unit with long range missiles, heavy cannon, or
long range weapons like a super long range sniper rifle/laser. Two general
battle configured 'Mechs of the line, CQB Configurations, or Spec Ops Raiders.
Plus a Commanders 'Mech.

Wheeled or Hovercraft based truck with AA ability to provide a mobile
command/control post with lots of communications and intelligence gathering
tools. Plus it could tow a few cannon for arty units.

8 Infantry in battle armor or a gun crew.

A Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) like self-propelled missile artillery
unit for close'ish arty support on the go.

Total of about 4 mech, 3 tank, 1 MLRS, 1 command post, 8 infantry, 2 vtol/stol
units for air support.

A Lance Captain in charge backed by a lieutenant and a Gunnery Sergeant to run
the show. About 30 combat personal. Able to bring a lot of fire power to bear
on the enemy. Plus having enough combined arms to deal with most threats.

Now organize these CAOC into battalions of six + one company is full of
support personal and equipment. We have a big enough force to consider when one
counts armor and air power as the prime assets and infantry more so for close
in MOUT and Commando work.

24 'Mechs
18 Main Battle Tank
at least 6 pieces of missile artillery.
12 Attack Choppers / Fighter-Bombers
48 Infantry with battle armor
6 Command Trunks to provide logistics and communications.

Per battalion. Now if we organized the force into regional commands based on
Regiments of 2-4 Battalions where preferably we have a battalion capable of
operating on its own and a regiment capable of transporting itself any where in
or around the planet.

Organize logistics, support, and command systems around a Divisional level with
the Regimental Combat Teams making up the back bone of the military force. And
I think we might have a fun CBT style game to play, or a funky study in future
military tech.

Plus a naval unit to supply sea and space based operations. Plus air power like
what the USAF would be tasked with. You could say its my
battletech/gundam/macross loving background but I consider 'Mechs and air power
the prime focus of a modular combined arms task force.

Hmm, if I had the time I think I'd write a TBS (Turn Based Strategy) game on

UNIX Rules & DOS Drools !

In my cousre of trying to brush up on DOS CLI work I've come to a cacussion. Its a quick and dirty product that must have been written very fast or half hazardly. Because UNIX makes it look like a moronic idiot with 10bytes of RAM ! I just... can't stand DOS give me a decent Unix any day... A real operating system.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Ahhh Rubin sandwhiches, a cheese bear claw and a litre of Mug root beer + a zonk'd out nap. Now thats how to take it easy after 3 sortes. Took the bosses dogs to the vet, came home got our dogs. Whent to work then dropped our dogs off at home. Then picked up the bosses dogs at the vet and took them to work. 0.o

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Sigh, what do you do when life hands you a $\>1+ burger and tells you to chow down ? To bad we can't just send it back to the cook... I've got work extra early so I have to get to sleep ASAP, yeah like thats gonna happen. I know my self better then that. We've got to take 3 of the bosses dogs to get their teeth done. Then start a new job, then pick up the dogs. And Thursday not only do I have to do our biggest work day. But we also got to take the bosses other 3 dogs to the vet. Joy, me and Barny getting sat on and licked to death my Macy while Leo fiddles about... Barny is nearly 20 years old, blind and nearly deaf. Macy is bigger then me had if shes an ounce lighter then 70lbs I'd be shocked. Dogs the kind you give a WIDE birth and avoid getting sat on. But sweet as can be. Leo's just a big loveable mutt of about 55-65lbs. And I'm gonna get sat on I know it, I just know it lol. I get up, I work, I try to get to sit on my ass for af ew. Try & get a few games in, do my work /w the [SAS] e.t.c. and its heck at times. While my moms 'active' on or off her couch. I can't do a lot. Because I'm the errend boy and what ever I'm doing no matter what. Is and can never be more important then any thing she wants. Yeah, thats it. I see the FreeBSD kernel as a work of art to read, a thing of beauty. To my mom? Bah she'd probably call it worthless trash. When its just as much art as the works of Michelangelo (di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) Michelangelo had a talent with his hands and heart taken to sculpture. Just the same, in code form and engineering design from where I stand. So is the FreeBSD kernels sources. Damn its like reading the work of a master. Sigh, no coding to night. Since I have to go to bed.. not like I'm likely to sleep worth a fart in the wind. How can one sleep when ones mind is free in torment ? I dunno. Heck if I was a drinking man. I think I'd be stone cold by now, sad thing I'm not maybe.. *SIGH* Why, why... can't things just work. I work like a dog, and what do I have to show for it? I've seen a do be treated better. Now thats kind of sad isn't it? lol. ph|_|{|<. In a way, I miss times since past. Yet at the same times hate them with ernest. No longer a pet spider, not enslaved yet still forced to toil.. well I now I'm not making much sense but. To make a long story short. Don't ask, just leave 'pet spider' alone, its an emotion thats not going any where fast. I remember, being able to spend hard times in the company of som eone ho cared.. it was a good thing. Who knows maybe I'll again share such a thing with some one special. I know the relationship we had was, I admit in the end not the way it had began. Lol, the tease put out of conmission by the one who wouldn't flex. Uhh never mind that too. Life was kinda good for awhile, but it did teach a very good lesson. When they stop complaining after you havn't shaved a week and things heat up even more. Be alarmed, be very very alarmed. ph|_|{|< only one to get me to exersie. What the frig was I thinking man.. like I don't get enough of that at work ha ! I dunno any more. Was life really any better that way then it is like this ? Some times I wonder..but I think it is, or at least no worse. Oh well, at least shes not around to tempt me... man I wish I could dive into some code for the night.. but no I've got to get to bed.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

ASAP to do

Sort the files form the SAS James mappack Check my backup CD's for a copy of the (CS) de_dust RvS Map. Send to Wiz.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

late night

Well I spent an interessting night, still havn't solved the issue of whats wrong but I did accomlish a few things. Better code checking with gcc How to use lint How to use the GNU Debugger Personally I think that graphical front ends can have some very great advantages. But one should be able to use the basic tools by hand when/if necessary. As being able to live in a shell (no gui enviroment) is a part of my studies. So Being able to use a debugger on the CLI is important to me. Oh well each in turn. Most IDE's provide some sort of user interface to wrap around the make and debuging tools. The basic idea that most compilers (so I've heard) follow including the GNU Compiler Collection gcc/g++ (gnu c/c++ compiler) use. Are as follows. gcc source.file -o outfile Now we don't need the -o outfile if we like for example to compile our source.file into an execuitable named a.out in this case ! With the -o option we can choose a name for the execuitable. So 'gcc rf.c -o rf' would create an executible named 'rf' instead of 'a.out' from our rf.c source file. Is this any harder then Build->Compile in an IDE /w a mouse? Not really in my humble opinoin. Especially if you can sider that CLI access is embedded in many editors and many editors work in the CLI. Lets turn on some simple warnings gcc source.file -Wall -o outfile Now while one might argue any code that compiles and works is good enough. But what if it doesn't work as exspected or it's not very good? The -Wall option will at least give us a stronger warnings and errors about bad practices. Since -Wall turns on a bunch of warnings I'll walk through some of them at the end. I personally have used -Wall since I found out there was an all switch (Thank you FreeBSD KNF Style manual!). And when it trips a warning message it usually reminds me I'm doing some thing wrong or I need to go correct a magic typomatical error. I noticed a few other niffty things in the OpenBSD KNF style guide. gcc -Wall -W -Wpointer-arith -Wbad-function-cast source.file -o outfile Gives us plenty of useless-to-semi-useful-to-useful information at times. Theres even more options. Since this is a lot more to type and I'm to lazy to whip up a little Makefile for all my stuff. I made a shell alias for it. I think its worth while to explore the available warning options and sort them as one needs. Note to self, work on some Makefile templets. Another intereing tool I always wanted to toy with, is lint. lint is a code checker for trying to detect features in C sources that are likely to be bugs, non-portable, or wasteful, e.t.c. The lint program h as a good enouhg manual which documents its command line switches but the basic useage is. lint source.c So far I like the -cehuz options most often and have an alias for it. And the -s and -p options from time to time have use hehehe. One thing I found odd about lint, is that it complaned about my // comments. rf.c(5): warning: ANSI C does not support // comments [312] Normally I use only /**/ comments and occasionally a few // in C++. Or I'll mix /**/ and // comments if I'm leaving my self comments of diffrent types in a non-source file. Like /* Change done to something */ What I changed // Note for later for a meeting about it When I'm writing up files for things as I do'em. In this partuclar file how ever, since rf.c has been floating between systems a bit and editors I placed a pair of mode lines in it to set some options for my editors.
 * rf read file to standard out

// vim: set noexpandtab ts=8 sw=4 ai :
// vi: set ai nu sw=4 :
Basically turn on line numbering in Vi and make sure my indentation settings are consistant, then turn on auto-indent in case I want it. (I don't often use it). I remember, why I started using strictly /* Comments */ when I had always used // comments before. Was because I was told that some (older) compilers had problems with the newer // Comments. To use the GNU Debugger gdb to debug a program, first we need to enable the debugging symbols in GCC. We can do this by appending a -ggdb option some where in our compilation. gcc -Wall source.c -o outfile -ggdb Then we can run gdb outfile to start the debugger. At first when I tried looking at the debugger ages ago I didn't have much luck with it. But after reading the manual like I usually do _before_ toying with CLI software it makes much more sense. You can get a topic list by typing help and more specific help like help breakpoints With GDB we can step through the program line by line, set break points at lines and/or functions. Examine data since as what value does variable foo have ? Run backtraces, look at the stack, set the command line arguments and all kinds of stuff. Really GDB deserves its own attention to the subject. Its long been my practice to save and pump code through GCC every few minutes or routines just to see if I missed any syntax errors I may have made. You don't want to know how many times I've been preplexed just because I used a comma instead of a period or a period instead of a comma. And after hours infront of an editor couldn't see the difference in my font lol - yes I am looking for a better fixed-width font ^_^ Now with lint and the various options of GCC I can do more for less :-) Since trying todo ANY THING during day light is pointless in this family. And trust me, when your the kind that inhales good manuals. And it takes you 30 minutes just to get through the first paragraph of a manual on PHP Syntax you know you have a fucking problem. So si nce I can't code during the day. I have to do it late at night and I can't do shit for long. So like 0735 in the morning these tools do kind of help me correct errors. From man 1 gcc Warnings are diagnostic messages that report constructions which are not inherently erroneous but which are risky or suggest there may have been an error. The -Wall option I listed turns on all this according to the manual Warn whenever a declaration does not specify a type. Warn whenever a function is used before being declared. Warn if the main function is declared or defined with a suspicious type. Warn whenever a function is defined with a return-type that defaults to int. Also warn about any return statement with no return-value in a function whose return-type is not void. Warn whenever a local variable is unused aside from its declaration, whenever a function is declared static but never defined, and whenever a statement computes a result that is explicitly not used. Warn whenever a switch statement has an index of enumeral type and lacks a case for one or more of the named codes of that enumeration. (The presence of a default label prevents this warning.) case labels outside the enumeration range also provoke warnings when this option is used. Warn whenever a comment-start sequence `/*' appears in a comment. Warn if any trigraphs are encountered (assuming they are enabled). Check calls to printf and scanf, etc., to make sure that the arguments supplied have types appropriate to the format string specified. Warn if an array subscript has type char. This is a common cause of error, as programmers often forget that this type is signed on some machines. Some optimization related stuff. Warn if parentheses are omitted in certain contexts. When using templates in a C++ program, warn if debugging is not yet fully available (C++ only). From man 1 gcc: The remaining `-W...' options are not implied by `-Wall' because they warn about constructions that we consider reasonable to use, on occa sion, in clean programs. And here they are stright from the fine manual.
              Warn  about certain constructs that behave differently in tradi-
              tional and ANSI C.

          o   Macro arguments occurring within string constants in  the  macro
              body.  These would substitute the argument in traditional C, but
              are part of the constant in ANSI C.

          o   A function declared external in one block and  then  used  after
              the end of the block.

          o   A switch statement has an operand of type long.

              Warn whenever a local variable shadows another local variable.

              Warn  whenever  two  distinct identifiers match in the first len
              characters.  This may help you prepare a program that will  com-
              pile with certain obsolete, brain-damaged compilers.

              Warn  about  anything  that  depends on the "size of" a function
              type or of void.  GNU C assigns these types a  size  of  1,  for
              convenience in calculations with void * pointers and pointers to

              Warn whenever a pointer is cast so as to remove a type qualifier
              from  the  target  type.  For example, warn if a const char * is
              cast to an ordinary char *.

              Warn whenever a pointer is cast such that the required alignment
              of  the  target  is increased.  For example, warn if a char * is
              cast to an int * on machines where integers can only be accessed
              at two- or four-byte boundaries.

              Give  string constants the type const char[length] so that copy-
              ing the address of one into a non-const char * pointer will  get
              a  warning.   These  warnings will help you find at compile time
              code that can try to write into a string constant, but  only  if
              you have been very careful about using const in declarations and
              prototypes.  Otherwise, it will just be a nuisance; this is  why
              we did not make `-Wall' request these warnings.

              Warn  if  a prototype causes a type conversion that is different
              from what would happen to the same argument in the absence of  a
              prototype.  This includes conversions of fixed point to floating
              and vice versa, and conversions changing the width or signedness
              of  a  fixed  point argument except when the same as the default

              Warn if any functions that return structures or unions  are  de-
              fined  or  called.  (In languages where you can return an array,
              this also elicits a warning.)

              Warn if a function is declared or defined without specifying the
              argument  types.  (An old-style function definition is permitted
              without a warning if preceded by a declaration  which  specifies
              the argument types.)

              Warn  if  a global function is defined without a previous proto-
              type declaration.  This warning is issued even if the definition
              itself  provides a prototype.  The aim is to detect global func-
              tions that fail to be declared in header files.

              Warn if a global function is defined without a previous declara-
              tion.  Do so even if the definition itself provides a prototype.
              Use this option to detect global functions that are not declared
              in header files.

              Warn  if  anything is declared more than once in the same scope,
              even in cases where multiple declaration is  valid  and  changes

              Warn  if an extern declaration is encountered within a function.

              Warn about conversion between different enumeration  types  (C++

              Warn  if  long  long type is used.  This is default.  To inhibit
              the  warning  messages,  use   flag   `-Wno-long-long'.    Flags
              `-W-long-long'  and `-Wno-long-long' are taken into account only
              when flag `-pedantic' is used.

              (C++ only.)  In a derived  class,  the  definitions  of  virtual
              functions  must  match  the type signature of a virtual function
              declared in the base class.  Use this option to request warnings
              when  a  derived  class declares a function that may be an erro-
              neous attempt to define a virtual function: that is, warn when a
              function  with  the  same name as a virtual function in the base
              class, but with a type signature that doesn't match any  virtual
              functions from the base class.

              Warn  if  a  function  can not be inlined, and either it was de-
              clared as inline, or else the -finline-functions option was giv-

              Treat warnings as errors; abort compilation after any warning.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Ever think about some thing and not be able to get it out of ya head? Then when you try to you can't remeber the details ? Hah I'm crazy. Oh well back to BBC Radio 1 and some ANSI C.