Oct 082011

This past Friday, my son and I attended promotional testing; I for my upper green belt, he for his green belt.  Despite being a few ranks up from white, this was our first public promotional testing.  We were both a little nervous and weren’t quite sure what to expect.  In this instance, they split us up by white and yellow belts, green belts, and blue, red, and black belts, so my son and I weren’t in the same group.  There were a ton of white and yellow belts to be tested this time around and I felt kind of bad for the kids in that group.  Some of them sure looked bored waiting for their turn. Continue reading »

Sep 212011

For the past few weeks, I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to get CentOS 6 to use Active Directory (Windows 2008 R2-based) for user information and authentication. I currently am using LDAP for these purposes, but in the interest of moving towards a more centralized environment am working towards having all of the UNIX and Linux hosts use AD as a central repository for user information and authentication. This is can be done relatively easily and can be done a couple of different ways that I will outline for you here.

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Sep 012011

Reagan - Who is Awesome?If you’ve ever been in a store, library, or some other public place that has a community bulletin board, you’ve no doubt seen the ads that people put up that have the little pull tabs at the bottom that have a phone number on them.  Apparently certain people thought it would be funny to create less-than-sincere ads and post them in various places.  I thought some of them were pretty good, and I wanted to put one or two up in places near me.  So I went ahead and re-created them.  I’ve also created a few of my own.

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Jul 192011
PHP Logo

A new TLF yum repository has been created for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6-based distributions (ie CentOS 6).  As of right now, there is only a 64-bit repo.  32-bit packages are forthcoming.  php 5.3.6 packages are available here by running the following set of commands:

There are several php packages available and the above yum command is only an example if you wanted to install php, the cli, and the mysql and mbstring extensions. The extensions you need will be based upon your usage.

Jul 102011
PHP Logo

The Linux Fix yum repository has been updated with new rpm’s for the tlf-release package and for php version 5.3.6.  The new tlf-release package includes changes to the layout of the yum repository, including splitting off a separate 32-bit and 64-bit repo.  You can read the release notes for php 5.3.6 here.

You may install or update the TLF repository with the following command:

Note that this command will work on 64-bit architectures as well.  I also need to repeat the disclaimer that using any of the database extensions for this version of php will also update sqlite to version 3.6.20, which replaces some pretty core functionality of RHEL and CentOS, so please use them at your own risk.


Jul 032011

Over the past couple years, I’ve written several little php-based application that rely on LDAP for authentication.  More recently, I’ve been using CodeIgniter to write more apps.  I thought it was about time to handle LDAP authentication a little more elegantly.  To handle this, I’ve written a library for CodeIgniter called Ldap_Auth.

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Vegan Black Metal Chef

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May 102011

Today, Steve sent me a link to a youtube video that stole my soul, crushed it, chewed it up and spit it out, but at the same time left me feeling remarkably well-nourished.  If you’ve ever wondered how to make Pad Thai, look no further – Behold – the Vegan Black Metal Chef!

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May 012011

I recently got a Bluetooth Magic Mouse for my Mac Book Pro.  It’s a great piece of hardware.  I love the gesture feature, especially when browsing.  It’s pretty sweet to be able to go back a page or forward by simply swiping your fingers left or right on the top of the mouse.  In the past couple of weeks, though, the mouse has been randomly disconnecting.  It was annoying but since the MBP has a track pad built into the wrist rest, it was relatively easy to reconnect it.  Not so for those who have an iMac or Mac Pro and have to connect a USB mouse in order to reconnect.  I eventually figured out that the disconnect “feature” was reproducible any time I knocked the mouse against the side of my laptop or reached the edge of the mouse pad and had to pick up the mouse and set it down again.  It also came to my attention that if I set the mouse next to the track pad and click, it reconnects.

I ultimately found several threads detailing the same problem.  One of the proposed fixes was to jam some paper into the battery compartment.  I did so, but it wasn’t really clear to me how.  After some playing around, I found that one configuration that works is a piece of paper across the bottom of the battery compartment 3 pieces high, the batteries, then two more pieces of paper on top of the batteries, followed by the batter cover.  That seems to have cut down the number of disconnects in a most significant manner.  Now to find a real solution to this issue rather than applying a band-aid.  I’ll probably have to give a call to the Apple store.

Apr 142011

Today I was trying to help someone with a regular expression to match an e-mail address.  He was developing on a Solaris server and sent me the regular expression outlined in RFC 822 which outlines message formatting for e-mail headers.  The command he sent me to test with took a little tweaking, but I eventually came up with:

Pretty straight-forward.  Search for any alphanumeric, dot, underscore, percent sign, plus sign, or dash, repeating one or more times followed by an ‘@’ sign, then another alphanumeric, dot or dash, repeated one or more times, a dot, and then an alphabetical character repeated 2, 3, or 4 times.

The thing that gets me is that this command worked on my Mac.  It worked on a Linux server.  I sent it back to him, he tried it, and… it didn’t work.  After poking around a little bit, I determined that it was because on Solaris for this to work correctly, you need to use /usr/xpg4/bin/egrep rather than /bin/egrep, which brings me to the original reason for this post.  On Solaris, there are no fewer than four places where you may find standard OS commands – /bin, /usr/xpg4/bin, /usr/ucb, and /usr/sfw/bin.  A couple other third party distributors will also package core OS utilities (like the GNU toolset) and install them in their own directory under /opt.

Larry Ellison and His Sausage

Larry Ellison - It's his sausage, but it's not his fault.


I’d like to blame Oracle for this, but quite frankly, Sun has been doing this since I can remember with Solaris 2.5.1, which is the earliest version I’ve worked with.  I’ve been getting annoyed by this quite frequently lately, and it was finally time for me to vent.  Thank you for listening and remember, when you are on Solaris and you want to run a basic command, you must choose.  But choose wisely.  Today, with /bin/egrep, I chose… poorly.

Dean Markley Lives!

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Apr 092011

I was browsDean Markely Strings - Regularing around on Amazon a couple weeks ago and I came across these beauts.  The Dean Markley vintage re-issue strings, regular gauge.  I used to play these things back in the 90′s and I absolutely loved them.  They maintain great tone and last longer than other strings I’ve tried.  The best part is the regular gauge are sufficiently heavy to fit my taste (.10 tops, .46 bottoms).  I picked up a set and they are just like I remember.  The only thing missing is the Dean Markley sticker that came in every pack.  That was a little disappointing.  In any case, a great set of strings.  I might try the light top heavy bottoms next time, but those may be a little heavier than what I want to put on my Strat.