Technology related rants and documentation

Funky routing of mail on non-standard ports

  • Posted on: 28 April 2004
  • By: agittins

For a while now I've been providing a secondary mail service for a friend, using my home server connected to BigPond Cable. It all works rather well, but Telstra have recently announced that they will be blocking outbound port 25 to mitigate the steaming hordes of spam monkeys they've attracted over the years. For one I applaud Telstra's action, albeit years late - at least they're making an effort now. But since it requires some reconfiguration to handle this I figured I'd throw it up here so that others in a similar situation can use this method to continue providing secondary mail services.

Site Update - Drupal now in control

  • Posted on: 12 April 2004
  • By: agittins

The site update has been done. Almost all content is now driven by Drupal, the old stuff has either been migrated across or is on the to-do list. I'm still using gallery for images, and the langame section is now more or less crippled compared to the old site. Next on the list is sorting out the langame registrations, but if you find anything wrong (like missing downloads, broken links, external links that sent you here but you didn't get what you wanted etc) please let me know via webmaster AT purple DOT dropbear DOT id DOT au.

System Information

  • Posted on: 11 April 2004
  • By: agittins

Well, this is hardly news, but I had to seed this with something, so a summary of the machine behind this website seems in order.


*gasp* it's a Pentium200-MMX, with 128MB of ram! It has a system drive of a whopping 1.5GB, with an additional 10GB drive for further data. It's got a stallion 8-port Brumby serial card, a modem, two NICS (one e100pro, one 3C509b), a SCSI 2x CDBurner which turned into a coaster-maker only recently, a HP-4P flatbed scanner and a few miscellaneous serial devices connected depending on what I'm playing with at the time.



  • Posted on: 11 April 2004
  • By: agittins

The following Statistics are available for this Site and network

  • Webalizer - web server stats
  • MRTG - Traffic Statistics for my local network(s)

Drupal (the content system driving most of this site) also has it's own statistical collections, but you would require administrative access to get to them (no, that's not a challenge :-) )

Lirc on the Sharp Zaurus

  • Posted on: 11 April 2004
  • By: agittins

Update 24/06/03: I've just switched over to using OpenZaurus, so I won't be able to verify myself if later versions work on the Sharp ROM. However, it does mean that as soon as I get the time I'll be able to sort out the mess I made when building lirc, and provide a clean patch with config files and scripts back to the openzaurus repositories, and further up to if they want it. I'll post here as soon as I've had the chance to do this.
LIRC on Zaurus
I have repackaged the LIRC (Linux Infra-Red Control) project to suit a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 using the Sharp-supplied ROM (UPDATE: Jared has just informed me that it works on OZ 3.1 as well - Thanks Jared). I cannot vouch for it working on other models.
The binary packages elsewhere on the web (as at 01/01/2003) would not work on my unit. Since it took a lot of effort to set up the cross-compile environment, and then to make it work at all, I decided to put the package up here so that others need not experience the pain...

03 Navigation

  • Posted on: 10 April 2004
  • By: agittins

Navigation in drupal can take some work to get your head around. I've gone down the Taxonomy path, which I suspect is the correct one :-). At first I was using the taxonomy_menu module, and it seemed to work reasonably well. As I actually started to get some content online though, it irked me that when you chose a vocabulary, the content returned was from all vocabs, not just the one you chose. It seems that the design idea is that content is filtered only based on vocab terms, not vocabularies in general - ie, once you chose a term from that vocabulary, the correct content was returned. I figured I'd have a look at another taxo-nav module.

Printing from a Windows box via samba to CUPS

  • Posted on: 8 April 2004
  • By: agittins

This little fix had me stumped for several hours. From a windows box, printing to a samba server using CUPS gives no joy. Windows has it's own drivers, so it will send raw printer instructions to CUPS, expecting these to be passed directly to the printer. CUPS usually expects to be able to do the data conversion itself using it's drivers, using a set of mime-types to recognise incoming jobs, and translating them to the proper printer language on the way, be it postscript, bubblespeak or whatever your particular paper-chomping animal speaks. CUPS seems to ship (on RedHat / Fedora at least) without support for application/octet-stream support. Is it just me, or is octet really hard to type?

Kernel 2.6, Fedora, and ECN - or "Why do I get connection refused / timed out on website so-and-so?"

  • Posted on: 8 April 2004
  • By: agittins

People too slack to run a decent firewall (like whoever carries the traffic between me and won't be getting too many hits from Fedora users who have updated to kernel 2.6. Unless said users bother to find out this little nugget - 2.6 Kernels in Fedora ship with ECN enabled. Huh? What's ECN? It's Explicit Congestion Notification, nicely overviewed here by Peter Samuelson, and it helps hosts to more efficiently negotiate just how many bits they can ram down each other's throats without going backwards. The problem is that some crappy firewalls and routers (ie, outdated and bad, or just bad) will drop packets that have ECN enabled on them. They shouldn't, but they do. There are two ways to get around this:

Building Rosegarden (maybe other Qt apps) on x86_64 / Fedora Core 1 & FC2

  • Posted on: 6 April 2004
  • By: agittins

Configure/LD fails to find or link to libqt-mt

This is not likely to be useful for anyone on it's own, but nonetheless it's something I had to do on my system to make Rosegarden-4 (a midi sequencer) build on my amd64 system.
Using the planet-ccrma src rpm, configure failed while detecting Qt. Investigation of config.log shows that ld (the linker) is failing to find libqt-mt. On FC1, that's in /usr/lib64/qt-[ver]/lib/, but the config script/ld looked only in /usr/lib64/qt-[ver]/lib64/, which kinda makes sense, but alas there be no library in those waters. Solution: