Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2007

unicolet.org continued

I contacted AIT which is, well was, the registrar of unicolet.org until last november. They say they tried to contact me about the renewal of the domain but I failed to answer so the registration expired. In fact I never received any email from AIT regarding the domain renewal not only this year but also in the past 4 years years that I've been with them.
Also they don't know or can't say what the emails were about because they are generated from an automated system. They only aknowledge the email was sent to my gmail account on certain dates before the renewal expiry date. Now this looks strange to me: it has indeed happened that gmail marked legitimate emails as spam, but it happened very rarely. Because of this gray area I can't make up whether the failure to renew unicolet.org was on my or AIT's side (so I guess I'll just blame myself for not checking more thoroughly).

Lessons learned: if you have registered any domain make sure that your registrar is actuall…

Cyber squatting

I also eventually became a victim of cyber squatting. The domain unicolet.org, which I registered in 2004, has become registered to a domain parker called sedo.
Not I used that domain a lot, but it really feels bad when someone walks in, takes away something of yours and then, if you want it back, you have to pay.

The folks at AIT domains which was supposedly in charge of handling the registration and renew process of unicolet.org say they can't do anything. The simplest procedure (the Uniform Dispute Resolution Process created by ICANN) to have the domain back without paying the snatchers will cost at least 1000$.

I'll contact AIT to understand what's happened...

Comparison of (2) Javascript compression tools

I use more and more javascript files in my web applications and their size is slowly becoming a problem, especially among those users who connect infrequently and are on slow links.
So I have eventually decided to google the internet for javascript compression tools.
What I need though is not a generic web-based javascript compression tool, but one that I can easily incorporate in my ant build scripts.

In the end there were only two candidates left: ShrinkSafe from dojotoolkit and jsjuicer. So I tried both of them against prototype.js which I happen to use on many projects and is actually quite large (96K!).

The results is the following:unicoletti@ziggy ~/bin $ll prototype*
-rw-r--r-- 1 unicoletti unicoletti 71758 2007-05-31 17:27 prototype-jsjuicer.js
-rw-r--r-- 1 unicoletti unicoletti 68004 2007-05-31 17:27 prototype-shrinksafe.js
-rw-r--r-- 1 unicoletti unicoletti 96046 2007-05-31 17:26 prototype.js
And the winner is: ShrinkSafe, even though it a little slower and more hungry on resources…

Mac Mini Antenna from Quickertek

My intel mac mini is sitting quite far away from my wireless router and the signal strength is totally unsatisfying so, after some digging in the net I decided to buy an external antenna from Quickertek.
The signal strength has in fact improved (about 30%) but not as much as I hoped. Unfortunately this is probably the best it could ever get because of a wall that sits in between the mini and the router.

As for the antenna it is quite easy to install once you learn how to rip your mini open (grin...) and the Quickertek support was kind enough to send me (at no extra cost) an extra pigtail connector when I found out that the one I had ordered was not compatible with Intel mac minis.

I am now going to bid on ebay for a better antenna for my router too and this is going to cost me a lot less, I hope...

OpenDNS

NewsForge is running a story on OpenDNS, a new re-thought and compatible implementation of dns that can fix spelling errors, typos and even help in blocking phishing sites.

These guys did a great job of taking something that has always existed and is deeply rooted at the heart of the Internet and improved it while keeping it compatible. It is so simple that you wonder how you didn't come to think of it earlier, like the egg of Columbus!

Before you rush to try it out think about the implications of its spelling correction on your mail servers while they attempt to deliver mail. This could save you a couple of bounce back if you're lucky, but it could screw your DNSBLs.
It seems that OpenDNS is smart enough to figure out if you're querying a BL, so it should be safe even on mail servers.

Schneier is skeptical on NSA 'helping' Microsoft secure Vista

I don't trust Microsoft to run my laptop, should I trust it after NSA has jumped in to help it improve Vista?
Bruce Schneier is suspicious: has NSA effectively made Vista more secure or has it injected its own backdoors for later use?

Was there a prior relationship among the two:
http://www.answers.com/topic/nsakey

http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-9909.html#NSAKeyinMicrosoftCryptoAPI

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,21577,00.html

VMWare and time syncronization

I have an Ubuntu server with vmware-server running three other linux guests and, except, for time syncronization it runs quite smooth.
Today I eventually found some time to devote to this long-standing issue and I have applied this solution. It should keep behind the time in the guests so that the vmware-tools can update it.
On my machine I have a 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 cpu so I have set
host.cpukHz="3202000"
a bit higher to compensate for the higher frequency. Let's see how it works...

UPDATE: after two days the guests are still two hours ahead, so I decided to go for the easy route and set up a cronjob every two hours.

UPDATE 2: since time is not handled correctly also the cron job approach does not work.

[SOLVED] Eye Candy

I have eventually solved all the eye candy problems described in my previous posts.
I have emerged aiglx and then configured beryl to use aiglx instead of nvidia for desktop effects.

For more than a day it is now all working pretty well except for some occasional high cpu usage by X.
Java apps, even under jdk 1.6 b2, still suffer from minor problems, like menus being offset from the pointer of a certain fixed amount.

Compiz and Java

So yesterday I was enjoying my new compiz-powered linux desktop in all its glory until a bug bite me.

I launched my favourite Java application and it was all grey, but menus seemed to work, if I clicked in the right spot. At first I though it was this bug, but setting this environment variable did not help:

AWT_TOOLKIT=MToolkit

Since I am using the nvidia drivers (not aiglx or xgl) to provide the compositing effects i remembered seeing reports about the black window bug. A quick search provided me with the solution: start compiz with this option:

/usr/bin/compiz --loose-binding --replace gconf

Compiz on my laptop

After come time spent evaluating the pros and cons I've decided to take the risk and upgrade from Xfree86 to xorg and then install compiz to enjoy the same visual effects that I happen to like so much on when I'm on my mac mini.

On my gentoo 2004 laptop it has not been easy, but following the accurate guide at Gentoo Wiki made it at least painless. I did not even had to edit my xorg.conf, just restart X and it was all there, only much better.

Compiz proved to be much harder, particularly because of some bad interaction with Nautilus that decided to crash when I started compiz and so I had to emerge gnome (from 2.14 to 2.16). Emerging gnome was also not easy, because gnome-cups-manager aborted with compilation errors, due (it seems) to an old gcc (I have 2.3.3). I decided not to upgrade gcc and simply emerged a previous version of gnome-cups-manager and after two days compiling here I am enjoying all the usual desktop composting goodness!

BTW: the new Wanda icons are really bett…

Greasemonkey

I am getting increasingly tired of the massive amount of advertising that is stuffed into most web pages. So I decided to drop epiphany for firefox which has excellent ad-block support and for some time I have been quite happy with it.
But lately I got really annoyed again when I occasionally surf the corriere della sera.
I will talk another time about the horrendous fixed-size design which wastes good part of 23" Cinema display, for today I'll only mention the heavy graphics divs that appear on the left and the right columns of most articles.

Those are really difficult to get rid of, even with adblock. So I decided to take greasemonkey for a spin. I installed it and after skimming through the manual I dived into my first script which is right below:
// Corriere.it user script
// version 0.1 BETA!
// 2005-04-22
// --------------------------------------------------------------------
//
// This is a Greasemonkey user script.
//
// To install, you need Greasemonkey: http://greasemonkey.m…