Sunday, December 21, 2008

ClamAV Live CD being updated every hour! (+ script)

So, I haven't been doing my duty of updating the Live CD as much as I should have lately. Tonight, I set off to automate updating everything so I just have to set a cron to do everything for me. I have been asked numerous times to supply some kind of script to do this so the person asking didn't have to re-download the whole iso over again. Here is the script (if you have any suggestions on how to do something better, feel free to suggest away):

START=$(date +%s)

cd ~/Projects/clamavlivecd

mkdir iso
mount ClamAVLiveCD2.0.iso iso/ -o loop

cp -R iso/ image/

echo "Decompressing SquashFS...\n"
cp iso/casper/filesystem.squashfs ./
unsquashfs filesystem.squashfs

echo "Setting up Live CD chroot...\n"
cp /etc/resolv.conf squashfs-root/etc/resolv.conf

chroot squashfs-root/ mount /proc
chroot squashfs-root/ mount /sys
chroot squashfs-root/ mount -t devpts none /dev/pts

echo "Refreshing and updating ClamAV virus definitions...\n"
chroot squashfs-root/ freshclam

#cleanup chroot
echo "Cleaning up chroot...\n"
chroot squashfs-root/ rm -rf /tmp/*
chroot squashfs-root/ rm /etc/resolv.conf
chroot squashfs-root/ umount -l -f /proc
chroot squashfs-root/ umount -l -f /sys
chroot squashfs-root/ umount /dev/pts

echo "Removing old SquashFS filesystem...\n"
rm image/casper/filesystem.squashfs

echo "Creating new SquashFS filesystem...\n"
sudo mksquashfs squashfs-root image/casper/filesystem.squashfs

echo "Finding and creating MD5 hash sums of files in image...\n"
cd image
find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 md5sum > md5sum.txt

echo "Removing old old image and creating new old image...\n"
cd ..
rm ClamAVLiveCD2.0_old.iso
mv ClamAVLiveCD2.0.iso ClamAVLiveCD2.0_old.iso

echo "Creating new image...\n"
sudo mkisofs -r -V "ClamAV Live CD 2.0" -cache-inodes -J -l -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/ -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o ClamAVLiveCD2.0.iso image/

#cleanup working directory

echo "Cleaning up working directory...\n"
umount iso/

rm -rf squashfs-root
rm -rf image
rm -rf iso
rm filesystem.squashfs

echo "Getting MD5 and SHA1 sum of image...\n"
echo "MD5: " > clamavlivecd.sums
md5sum ClamAVLiveCD2.0.iso >> clamavlivecd.sums
echo "SHA1: " >> clamavlivecd.sums
sha1sum ClamAVLiveCD2.0.iso >> clamavlivecd.sums

END=$(date +%s)

echo "\nDone at `date`. The whole process took $(($END - $START)) seconds!\n"

Well, now I should stop worrying about not having time for this project! yay

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What am I going to do?

I am 19 years old. I will be turning 20 at the end of January. All my plans for college so far have been blown to shit by recent life happenings, but I have a nice job right now. I work with great people and I can think of only a few jobs that I would rather have than the one I have now. I live in downtown Dallas in a nice apartment, I even have a backyard. I am a trains ride away from anything I could ever want.

I have the feeling I have grown up way faster than any of my friends. I also have no idea what I am doing. I don't know how to manage my money, though I try and assume I am doing it right. I just make stuff up as I go, which works when you are 19, in college, still dependent on your parents, and have only your classes to worry about. That is something I have had to learn the hard way. I know I have probably pissed off some of my coworkers by taking the "throwing darts in the dark" approach to things, but that is always how I have handled things and it hasn't failed me that often.

At every job I have had, I have been the youngest person there. At Joe's Crab Shack, I start 2 days after I turned 17, 17 being the youngest you could start working there. After that, I moved on to Computer Care of Arlington, where it was me, a college guy named Kyle (a senior), and Chris (my boss) (eventually, Geoff came on after Kyle left, I am not sure who is older between the two of us). I left Computer Care after a year and a half to work at a place called VALID Systems. I was the youngest by 10 years-ish. I now work at a place called Institution Solutions with a bunch of great guys whom are, of course, considerably older than me (8+ years).

Sometimes I wonder if I did miss anything not working with people my age. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret any of what I did and would still do it over. In school, all I did was write programs, study computers, how they worked, why they worked, etc... instead of doing my school work, which pissed off a fair share of my fellow students (including my friends). I didn't hang out with people very much, outside of people on the intertubes.

To tell you the truth, I am not even sure if I want to be a (professional) programmer for the rest of my life. I would much rather be a musician, and if I can make that happen, which I don't see why I can't, I will gladly take the job. I enjoy programming thoroughly. My problem is I don't do well working on a single project for months at a time. I suck it up and do my best, but it certainly isn't enjoyable to me.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, even though I have taken a radically different route than my friends, I have ended up in the same boat. I don't know what I am doing or what I am going to do in the future. All I know is "let the chips fall where they may". I have friends whom are entirely too concerned about who they are now that they aren't paying attention to who they will be in ten/twenty/X years. They seem to be even more lost than I am.

So if anyone out there thinks that i had this planned all along, or that I have some kind of plan, you are completely, utterly wrong. And I wouldn't have it any other way. It is too much fun :-).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eh, book meme :-)

Here are the rules:

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

And the result:

Setting an images border property to none will remove those ugly borders.

From: "The CSS Anthology: 101 essential tips, tricks, and hacks" by Sitepoint

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pretty sexy tabs in CSS

So, I figured out how to do some pretty sexy tabs in CSS. Works inf Firefox, dunno about anything else since no extensive research has gone into it (highly doubt it will work with IE properly).

width: 1000px;
height: 20px;
text-align: center;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
padding-left: 0.5px;
padding-right: 0.5px;

width: 1000px;
border-bottom: solid 1px #000;
padding-bottom: 1px;
float: left;
position: absolute;
z-index: -1;

border-left: solid 1px #000;
border-right: solid 1px #000;
border-top: solid 1px #000;
padding-left: 10px;
padding-right: 10px;
height: 20px;
float: right;
margin-right: 5px;
vertical-align: bottom;
position: relative;

border-left: solid 1px #000;
border-right: solid 1px #000;
border-top: solid 1px #000;
padding-left: 10px;
padding-right: 10px;
height: 20px;
float: right;
margin-right: 5px;
vertical-align: bottom;
z-index: 1;
position: relative;
background-color: #fff;

<div class="navbar">
<div class="navele"><a href="">Misc</a></div>
<div class="navele"><a href="">Blog</a></div>
<div class="navele"><a href="">Music</a></div>
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<div class="navele"><a href="">Projects</a></div>
<div class="navele_current"><a href="">Home</a></div>
<div class="navfill" >&nbsp;</div>

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am going to start revamping, make it more dynamic (right now, it is completely static and the only way I can change something is to edit the HTML directly). I am thinking of using a fusion of Worpress and my own little hackery to do this, that way I can have the rich plugin interface Wordpress has. I will be completely redoing the stylesheet, new colors, etc... I am also moving all my projects (the ones with code anyway, which is all but the ClamAV Live CD) to an SVN repo that I installed on vm.n yesterday. I think that with my new job, new apt, new everything, I should bring everything in a full circle and redo my website as well.

I would also like to add to the web site, I have music and things I would like to put up there that I have recorded over the past few months, make it easier for me to add various (code) projects, which is why I think I will be using Wordpress stuffs.

Has anyone out there integrated some sort of CMS with their website? If so, what did you use? I am partial to Wordpress because it is PHP. We use Umbraco at work, but I am not sure how well it would work with mod_mono and I am not terribly fond of it myself anyway.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obligatory election post

I have found within the recent months, discussing politics and such, that many (if not most) of the people that I consider intellectual (not just intelligent, or smart, as there is a difference) are voting for Obama. I also find that the ones whom have no idea what they are doing and are only influenced by what the deem as "cool" are also voting for Obama. The ones that I consider not so intellectual (though maybe intelligent), but still at least have an understanding of what is happening are probably voting for McCain. Now, this is in no way a jab at anyone and there are certainly exceptions. This is just the trend that I have found, and I wish it weren't so.

McCain himself doesn't strike me as a particularly intelligent person, just from the way he talks, reading his facial expressions during the debates, mannerisms, etc... I also lean towards believing that people whom attribute various aspects of diplomacy and politics (or anything, for that matter) to God to not be all there in the head, which given our current national situation, isn't something I would feel terribly comfortable with. Obama, while attending church and saying he is Christian, doesn't seem to do this. In my opinion, I don't even think Obama is a Christian. He is probably an Athiest (or at least Agnostic), but if this were to become known, there wouldn't be a chance in Hell that he would become President (look at what happened to Romney, and he still at least believed in God).

All this being said, I have no room to talk. I am not even registered to vote. :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

FacebookChat with pidgin


Download the deb they have built, install it, then restart Pidgin! You will then have a FacebookChat option in your accounts manager dialog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

75 days of #ubuntu-us stats

75 days ago, I opened an irssi session called ulog in #ubuntu-us and had pisg analyze and generate an HTML report hosted here:

I think after a 75-day reporting period, the details are pretty much averaged out.

I think my favorite thing to see is this:

Word Number of Uses Last Used by
1 ubuntu 132 tyche

The word 'ubuntu' has been used the most in the 75 days of reporting. :-) At least we know we are kind of dedicated.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I am moving on Oct 30th to Cityplace in downtown Dallas! I have to start packing soon, so if you have some boxes I can have, that'd be great.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Winbind in Intrepid

We use winbind at work to auth our Ubuntu desktops to Active Directory. I am the first to upgrade to Intrepid, in which winbind seems to be broken. It fails at random intervals (or so it seems). The way I found easiest to get it back up is to run wbinfo -u. If you don't do this, you can't use sudo, pwd won't work (a lot of stuff breaks, essentially). So, to hack around it, I wrote a script called keepActiveDirectoryAlive and put it in $HOME/bin.



while true
sleep 30s; wbinfo -u;

Easy! This probably isn't the best or most efficient way to do this, so if you have a better idea, I am more than welcome to suggestions.

I set this to start with GNOME in my Sessions. I also had to set wbinfo -u to run in /etc/rc.local (though I seem to remember Ubuntu/Debian ignoring this file) so that I can login through GDM. It seems to be working as expected.

VMware 6.5 Workstation, Vista guest, Intrepid host

Weird. In my Vista VM, Vista thinks my down-arrow key is right-super, the enter key is the down arrow, left-arrow is right-alt, right-arrow is right-ctrl, etc...

Keyboard map on Vista is Standard 101/102 key and on Intrepid, the map is us pc105.

Any thoughts on this? It is really annoying...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How I save money

Since money is such a big thing right now, i thought i would post some things I do to save money and make sure I don't overspend budgets.

1. Savings and checking accounts

I have 2 savings account and a checking account. One of the savings account is a high-interest/high-minimum savings account. This is where I drop my long-term savings into. The other savings account is a low-interest/low-minimum account for short term savings. This is for bills, rent, anything I know I will have to pay at the end of the month. I also dump extra cash into the short term savings and keep my checking account low (usually $100). This keeps me from spending more than $100 at any one time. In order to do it, I have to go and transfer the money, then go buy it, which makes me think if I really need the thing in question.

2. Groceries

Take a calculator with you when you go and buy groceries. I tell my self, I won't spend more than $75 on groceries when I go. Taking a calculator with me, I can calculate what my total will be before the clerk at the register does it for me, so no surprises, and I know I am getting what I need. I also buy a lot of rice, chicken, cheese, etc... Cheap food that can go a long way (ok, maybe not the cheese, but it is a nice snack). Frozen food like chicken and pizza, and things like sausage that are vacuum-wrapped (sammich makings and the like) are awesome.

I don't, however, track my expenses, which I need to start doing. I did for a while with GnuCash, which I really like, I just can't be bothered to track them. Maybe I will start trying again...

What do you do to save money?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This was on PGO.

  • Take a picture of yourself right now.
  • Don’t change your clothes, don’t fix your hair…just take a picture.
  • Post that picture with NO editing.
  • Post these instructions with your picture.

I need to shave :-/

ALSO: SFD pics are up :-)

A big thanks

One of my favorite .NET blogs to read is Beth Massi's blog. She can make even the dullest topic interesting enough to keep reading. While she is a VB dev, that is just something you can get over because she always has interesting topics to share (and even a cool car). Plus, VB translates to C# pretty well, so it isn't all bad. It has really helped me with my Mono development for any Mono devs out there.

If Beth ever reads this, thanks! Keep on making interesting posts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wireless is technically working and other good things.

Thanks to the comments to my last post, I now have a working (sort of) wireless card. It shows up in iwconfig/ifconfig, I can do iwlist scanning and get a list of ESSID's. I can't, however, use the network manager to connect to (or even see for that matter) my wireless network. As I said before, iwlist scanning works and finds it and connects to it if I tell it to. I am working on how to get this to work properly.

This is one thing that I think GNOME (Network Manager) does very well. All I have to do is click on the adapter in the tray, find my network, click it, and, if need be, put in my WEP key. So far, I have been less than impressed with the network side of KDE.

On the plus side, I have configured Kontact to use my Gmail account through IMAP. I really like it (a lot more than Evolution, but that isn't saying much). It isn't trying to be a clone of Outlook. I also like the "plasmoids", or widgets as I call them.

So far, I have mixed feelings about my first day of KDE use. More to come.

Trouble with KDE and WiFi (bcm43xx)

I have finally gotten to install Kubuntu Alpha 5 on my laptop (desktop is next). I am having a problem installing the bcm43xx driver for my wireless card. If I go to the Hardware Drivers application in K > Applications > System > Hardware Drivers, I will click "Enable" and it says I need to reboot my computer. So I do. When I reboot, my wifi card still doesn't come on. I go back to the Hardware Drivers app, the enabled box isn't click, so I click it again, it informs me I am install the bcm43xx drivers, then tells me I need to reboot. I reboot, wifi card doesn't come on. So, I open the Hardware Drivers app and "enable" isn't checked...I think you know where this is going. It never actually enables the driver, just tells me to reboot.

Any ideas with this?

Also, What other options are there for a web browser? Do most KDE users use Firefox or Konqueror? Konqueror has some weird bugs with rendering (like right now on Blogger).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

After SFD

After SFD (Sept 20th), I will be stepping down from the DFW Team Leader (for a while at least). The past couple of months have been a time crunch for me, and with personal life becoming a bit...convoluted...starting school next semester, work, and other things, it won't be practical for me to run the team.

I will still stay pretty active in the community (as much as I can, safely) and help out whenever I can. I really enjoyed the time I was the leading the team and met some great people.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Experimenting with KDE 4.1

Today, I will install KDE 4.1 on my main box at home. Ever since I started using Linux, I have been a GNOME fanboy, but I think it is a good time to shake things up a bit (who knows, I might even like it). I will probably write about it off and on, giving feedback as to what I think and such, not that I will be the first to do this. I think my biggest hurdle will be getting used to Konsole. I just don't like it. I have been using gnome-terminal for too long. From what I understand, though, Konsole has had some major improvements since I last used it.

I am looking forward to making some KDE users very angry within the next couple weeks ;-).

Monday, September 8, 2008

visudo and echo

If you don't feel like opening up visudo to edit something like the /etc/sudoers file, just echo "user ALL=(ALL) ALL" >> /etc/sudoers. Nifty. Not sure of any security implications of doing this though...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thank you, lazyweb!

The comments from my last post helped my sister tremendously (thanks Mackenzie for the 190% quirk!). Per her:

(10:38:55 PM) Brittany Perry:
tell them all i say thank you SOOO much

I love this community.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What to do, lazyweb?

My dad, brother, and sister run Ubuntu at my dad's house. They use OpenOffice for writing their papers and such, but almost every time, my brother and sister say that the teacher got onto them and docked points for using too big of spacing, or margins aren't right, or some minute detail that apparently Microsoft Word handles differently. My dad has emailed the teachers saying that they use a different office suite than the teachers are using and that my siblings are technically following the teachers orders (double spacing, X-sized margins, etc...), but that hasn't seemed to help. The teachers are less than apathetic towards my siblings and still dock points for things like this. This doesn't seem like it would be legal, but I don't want to go there (docking points for something that is out of the students control).

They are running Hardy and have OOo 2.6 iirc. Are these known issues in OOo? Apparently, the double spacing in OOo isn't the same as in Word... Has anyone had problems like this with teachers? How did they resolve them? Would it help to install the 3.0 beta?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

ClamAV Live CD 2.0 is out in the wild

I uploaded the ClamAV Live CD 2.0 last night and updated the site to point to the correct ISO. You can get it here:

I also created a logo type thing for the CD here. I burned it to a CD of mine (takes like 15 minutes!) using LightScribe. I really like how it looks:

Live CD

If you would like a CD with this logo etched into it, I am willing to send some out to the US only for now. I am not in the position to pay shipping for non-US places.

EDIT: Sorry to all the Planet people that got the gigantic picture :-/. My bad...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SFD Swag In!

What a crazy, random happenstance! Yesterday, our work network went on the fritz, so my boss told us we could work from home today. This morning, I get a knock at the door and the mail man has my SFD swag! Had the network not been on the fritz, I would have had to wait to get the stuffs.

I think this is a sign.

Monday, August 25, 2008

ClamAV Live CD 2.0 Beta released

I uploaded the beta of the ClamAV Live CD 2.0 today. I was able to bring the image down to 113 MB (more to come hopefully, as I close in on final). I need beta testers to make sure I haven't broken any key part. I have tested it myself, but I know my circumstances aren't the same as everyone else's.

Features included are the latest and greatest ClamAV engine yet (0.94RC1) and of course a smaller size and footprint. Currently, it is just the scanner on the CD, no chntpw or dban. Once I know that the scanner is working properly, adding the rest is trivial. The CD does include, however, ntfs-3g drivers, testdisk, the chntpw binary, and hwinfo.

If you are willing to beta test, you can get it here, and leave a comment if you find any bugs or would like to request a feature. I am also in #clamav-livecd on freenode if you want to catch me there.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Microphone output on Dell Inspiron (and possibly others)

This works for Windows XP.

I had to connect to male 1/8 inch speaker cords together. I don't have a dual-female connector, I decided it would be really easy to use one of my laptops to do this. I was wrong. On Linux, the audio is _way behind_ and very crackly when played (audio in being played through audio out). On Windows, apparently Dell ships with some rather crippled audio drivers that don't allow you to even see the mic input in the sound control. To fix this, you need to install the real drivers here. Once installed, reboot. Then you will be able to play through the speakers what is coming in through the mic. This worked for me on both an Inspiron 1501 and 9400.

On a side note, does anyone know why, when I record through my mic on my desktop (Intel HDA onboard), the audio is crackly. It isn't a microphone issue, as I have connected my amp up directly to the sound card and turned it almost all the way down to make sure it isn't overpowering the soundcard, and even with the tiniest amount of noise, I have crackling in Audacity. On Vista, I can't record at all, even with the mic input unmuted.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Free and Open Source Software as a Service. I am looking for some neat and innovative SaaS apps that are also FOSS. Which is your favorite and why? Do you use multiple ones? If you can describe how you found it/them, that'd be great information also.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Did I miss something?

Me: you know what would be cool?
Me: an mp3 player that could connect to wifi so you can stream music
Me: fitness places could offer free wifi
Someone: i have that
Someone: the ipod touch or the iphone
Me: that doesn't cost 200 dollars
Me: well, I am not sure what the touch costs
Me: but even a hundred dollars
Someone: so apparently you want something that's not cool enough to be worth $200
Me: it shouldn't cost 200 bucks for something like that
Me: maybe a hundred
Me: and that is a big maybe
Me: like, if apple made one that they didn't try to cram every feature ever into and make it only compatible with iTunes, I would certainly buy it
Me: just a simple Wifi-enabled MP3 player
Me: simple LED screen, nothing fancy
Me: I don't want an MP3 player that can also do my taxes
Someone: that sounds like a really crap device
Someone: wifi with an LED screen?
Someone: you are misunderstanding the prereqs
Me: how so?
Someone: how are you going to connect to APs? how are you going to type in keys? find internet radio stations?
Me: you would put the m3u's on beforehand
Me: like an mp3
Someone: something tells me you would never buy this hypothetical device, even if it existed
Me: and yeah, I guess having a slide out qwerty would be ok
Me: that would make it worth 100
Me: the LED on my current MP3 player has more than enough space to find your AP
Me: I probably wouldn't buy first gen
Me: let the bugs get worked out
Me: but if 2nd gen was really what I was looking for, I would certainly by it
Me: buy*
Someone: so you're saying someone should produce a device for less than a hundred dollars that has such a spectacularly ridiculous hodgepodge of features that only four or five people on earth would find it useful, that you wouldn't buy it, and that if they put out a second version you might buy it
Me: :-/
Someone: fortunately, apple makes the ipod for everyone with reasonable needs

Uh, what? How did that turn into an iPod conversation?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Translators needed!

I have written a tutorial on using the ClamAV Live CD. Understandably, the Linux commands won't change language to language, but I would like to make the tutorial as friendly as I can to as many people. If you are willing to translate a small document (a few paragraphs) to your native language, it would be much appreciated. Leave me a comment or email me at bperry[dot]volatile[at]gmail[dot]com if you are willing to translate this.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Our team will be starting the OCAM (One Computer A Month) again soon for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The team will be donating at least one computer a month with some flavor of Ubuntu on it to a family in the D/FW area (and surrounding areas) that can't afford a computer. I will be making a logo sometime before Sunday (our team meeting).

Some background info: I started OCAM about a year ago, while I was working as a computer technician. Our shop received a lot of donated computers that people didn't want anymore, so i started loading them with Ubuntu and giving them to teachers and families who didn't have computers. After I left the job, the computers pretty much dried up and I couldn't give any more computers away, so the project died a slow, painful death.

This is a shoutout to anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If you have a computer that you want to donate (it can be just the CPU itself, monitors/keyboards/mice/speakers aren't a problem), please email me or leave a comment. Recycling your old computers is the best thing you can do (what good is it doing just sitting in your garage?). I am willing to pick up the computers, all I need is a supplier. :-) Keep in mind, we will be loading the latest LTS release on the machines, so specs must be approximate. We can add RAM/Hard drive as necesarry, but processors and such not so much. Any computer is OK, we can find something to do with it, but please think about the specs before hand.

Looking forward to hearing from some of you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

File extensions and Security: Windows vs *nix

I am having an argument/discussion with a close friend about the security implications of file type detection by extension (Windows) and vice versa (*nix). Over the years, I have heard that the Windows way of doing thing is a larger security risk than *nix's ( on *nix you don't need a file extension, so you can throw any extension on there and make the user think they are clicking on something legit).

While I do think the *nix one is better, I do see why it might be a problem. My friend thinks the arguments are bogus, and I see no reason to disagree with him outside of my own gut feeling and lack of articles/statistics on the subject make it difficult to prove one or the other. Can anyone shed some light on this? Obviously, the Windows way will be much more widespread and will be considered more unsafe due to volume of use (and misuse).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lazyweb, some help please

I manage a CD called the ClamAV Live CD. Currently, I am disappointed with it. It has grown to about 170 MB (it started at 140 on Edgy). The GParted Live CD is ~50 MB and does everything I need the ClamAV Live CD to do (inet connection mostly, ntfs-3g drivers). My current way is to use debootstrap and work from there, but that doesn't yeild very much shrinkage. I have played around with using Gentoo and compiling very small images, but it never works out the way I hope it to.

My question, I am looking to make the ClamAV Live CD smaller, are there any tricks I should know about before I venture on this? I already use LZMA compression on the squashfs images.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thanks for the replies to my last post, but none of them really worked for me (too much work). I ended up writing a small Python script that will read the todo.txt and spit out a nicely formatted PNG every 5 minutes. It is my first ever Python script, so there may be some weird things, but I am proud of it :-).

You can get the script here.

I have it setup to start as soon as GNOME starts (in the Sessions), and updating the BG every 5 minutes works for me, but you can change it up in the script if you want it to be slower or faster.

Any questions, comments, or concerns are greatly appreciated!

Text as Background in GNOME

I am trying to find a way to set my todo.txt as my background in GNOME. I haven't looked at Devil's Pie yet since I am hoping there is an easier way to do it. Has anyone done this?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quick Note

If you are doing a string split in C#, but are only using one character, you don't have to create a new char array to hold the one char, use this:

string str = "omfg|this is cool";
string[] arr = str.Split("|".ToCharArray());


Friday, August 1, 2008

I am at QuakeCon

I am at QuakeCon this week in Dallas at the Hilton-Anatole. My nick is 'radiohead' and I am security staff this year, so you will probably see me around. Feel free to stop and say hi!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I almost died today

Ok, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but it was close!

Some background information. I don't have air conditioning in my car, so I leave my windows down pretty much all the time, unless it is going to rain. Because of this, I have found some really interesting (and living) thing in my car when I get to it in the morning. Among these being raccoons, cats, and birds. It doesn't happen enough to warrant a change of habit though.

This morning, I was driving to work. About halfway there, I got stopped at a rather long red light. At about the time I I came to a full stop, I started hearing this really low buzzing sound behind me. All of my windows are rolled down except one, the one behind the passenger seat. It only works about half the time, so I generally leave it rolled up. As I look behind me, I see what I think is a small humming bird flying around in the back of my car. That is, until it landed on the one window that I couldn't roll down. It was a huge wasp. Like 2-3 inches long. The thorax was oval-shaped (this comes up later on) and very round and shiny. The wasp itself was black, brown, and yellow. Right now, I am pretty much paralyzed.

What I think happened is I have some bottles and stuff in my back seat. The wasp had crawled up under my seat last night. As I was stopping, a bottle hit the wasp or disturbed it or something and it starting flying around.

Anyway, I am at a red light. I have to figure out a way to get the wasp out of the car before the light turns green. Since all the windows are down but one, once I start moving, all this wind change will probably freak the wasp out and it will kill me. I a slowly move my hand over to the window button and start pressing down on it. It doesn't work, I press and depress about 5-6 times. As soon as the light turns green, the window starts to move down. By this time, the wasp is literally headbutting the window. It is loud, too. I can see the lady in the car behind pointing at it with a "WTF" expression on her face (it was that big, you could see it from the car behind me). Once the window is down about halfway, the wasp flies away.

Seriously, I don't know if I have been that scared in my life. As soon as I got to work, I started looking up giant wasps. There are some here in Texas, but they don't match the description of what I saw (the Cicada Killer wasp has an elongated and pointed stinger, the one I saw was round). The closest I found to what I saw was this.

Has anyone ever seen a wasp like this in Texas or have a better idea of what was in my car this morning?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I will be getting an iMac

Within the next month (at least the beginning of next month, after QuakeCon), I will be getting an iMac. I will be getting the 24" model with 2.8 ghz processor. With Parallels, I will keep OS X, but my other OS is a toss up between openSUSE 11 and Ubuntu 8.04 (I am leaning towards openSUSE). It is quite an expensive toy, but I think it will be worth it. I hope it will be worth it :-).

I also need a computer around the house that I am not afraid will freeze up or something on friends or relatives considering I keep everything pretty bleeding edge (SVN, git, etc...) and bugs tend to pop up :-). That is the main reason for keeping OS X on there.

I am sure there are a few more kinks I have to work out, which is why I am posting this on the Planet. If anyone out there has SUSE or Ubuntu on an iMac, any tips would be appreciated. I will be getting the wireless mouse and keyboard upgrades, if that makes any difference.

Other news, the Ubuntu Texas Logo contest has ended and it looks like jegHegy won :-). Congrats! A big thanks to the other entries. It was a great contest.

Just a few more hours

There is just a few more hours left the Ubuntu Texas Logo Contest, so if you haven't voted yet and want to, better hurry up!

EDIT: We have a winner for the Logo Contest. jeghegy has taken the most votes. Check out the poll for more details.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mr. Stedfast, I feel your pain

J Stedfast has been having a lot of problems with Pulse Audio. People have been saying it is just him, his configurations, etc...

Well, I am having the same problems he is, as is my dad and sister (they use the same computer). I can handle going and fixing it every time I want to listen to something, or watch a flash video. My dad is starting to become very annoyed with having to switch between ALSA and Pulse Audio so that he can use Skype, then listen to his music, then watch a video on MSN. I am pretty sure all the sound problems have turned my sister completely off on Ubuntu, to the point to where she may never come back.

My dad used to even brag to people about how he doesn't have to deal with all the crap on Windows, but is still just as productive. Now, when he talks about it, there is obvious agitation and reluctance in his voice. All because of this Pulse Audio crap. My sister will call me up asking to fix the sound. My dad will call me up asking to fix the sound. Before Hardy, they _never_ had a problem with anything sound related. They hardly had any problems at all.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the ideas behind Pulse Audio are great. But I also think that they currently are not implemented well enough, especially for an LTS release. In my book, that just isn't acceptable. It could have waited 6 more months. It should have waited 6 more months (at least).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bricks would be shat -- Trent DeGray

Supposedly, many years ago, Mars was "awash with water". The article says that there is a pretty good chance that it could have supported life as well (while now there is a fairly slim chance).

My question of the day: What if in the (hopefully near) future, we excavate and find dinosaur-like (or even humanoid-like...think mermaids :-)) remains? What kind of impact would it have on a religious level? Would we want to keep excavating?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New office building

Our lease is up for our office at the end of September. This couldn't come at a better time seeing as how we have no more room to hire people. We are moving to a more central location in downtown Fort Worth. It is right next to Trinity river and across the river is Trinity Park.

The building we are moving into has 6 stories, and we will be on the 5th. Apparently, there is a bakery in the building with us, as well as many healthcare company things above and below us (well, one above us :-)).

Also, there a bunch of nice restaurants (so lunch is about start being more expensive), but we won't have to drive, so it might even out.

The Google Map is wrong, if you go north along the river, our new building is the triangular one.

Ubuntu Texas Logo Poll Open

The Logo Poll for the Ubuntu Texas team is now open. Register and vote for your favorite (if you live in Texas)!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dropping the ball

I haven't updated the ClamAV LiveCD yet. Usually, I just compiled it from the source tarball, but to be able to support it a bit better, I am waiting for the 0.93.3 package to be built. Hopefully, it will be sometime this week. If not, then I will go ahead and compile it.

On a lighter note, the Ubuntu Texas Logo contest ends tomorrow! We will have a week of voting for the best one, so for any late bloomers out there, get those logos in today! I will probably close the topic tomorrow after work and open a poll with the submitted logos. You will have to register at in order to vote.

I will be writing a post on the OpenDiagnostic blog about SSH proxies and how you can use to get around any pesky filters that are in your way tonight, so if you are interested in that, take a look!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Any compression experts out there?

I had this idea today. Can anyone tell me how possible this is? I don't know anything about compression algorithms.

You create a mutating virus. The virus in itself includes a mutating compression algorithm that uses the MD5 sum of the mutating virus as the basis of the mutations of the compression algorithm. Given the compression will change each time the virus mutates, the virus definitions must be very generic* which would lend itself to many false-positives, unless you have an excellent heuristics engine (Avira has one of the best out there).

*This is speculation. I have only written small virus definitions, nothing to the extent of a mutating virus.

ClamAV Team Rocking (to and fro)

Today ClamAV 0.93.2 was released. Apparently there was a bug with freshclam and using previous definitions (or something of that manner), so within the next two hours, 0.93.3 was released to fix the bug.

So, if anyone is looking for 0.93.2, you won't find it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My first package - endeavour2

I packaged endeavour2 today, my first package for Ubuntu. Rock. The current AVScan doesn't work without the latest libendeavour2, so it needed to be packaged.

I won't be updating the ClamAV LiveCD today. ClamAV 0.93.2 is due to be released tomorrow, so I will update the CD to the latest engine and grab the freshest definitions tomorrow (saves me bandwidth rather than uploading it twice in two days).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The future of computer software and piracy

Over the years, I have seen software companies (nearly) cripple their software with DRM and other similar technologies. The companies spend just as much money on the anti-piracy technologies as they do on the software using it. After they release their software, 0-day exploits and work-arounds are found, over and over again, causing the software company to constantly spend more and more money, time, and resources on a piece of technology that was originally meant to do the exact opposite. Yet software companies continue to think that this kind of business model is working (while it does to some extent, I can't imagine it will become easier to use this model, even in the near future).

IMO, within the next 10-20 years, the creation and selling of software won't be worth the time and trouble of coming up with "newer and better" anti-piracy technologies. Creating the software will cost a tenth of implementing any anti-piracy technology. Even now, my personal belief is that (even if your software isn't open source, but freeware), you will make just as much money from contracts and support (through companies and home alike). It may require a pretty hefty EULA (I don't speak legalese, so I am not sure what kind of things you would include in something like that compared to current EULA's), but many anti-malware companies such as Lavasoft, Grisoft, and Avira are already seeing this as a very marketable stance on software, giving away free personal licenses for their software, but charging for support.

I think watching the software industry for the next decade will be very interesting, to see the new ways they face piracy, whether it is crippling their software even more, or freeing it up (it isn't stealing if it is free!).

Any thoughts on this? Is there something I am missing or I should look at more closely? I am more than open to ideas and thoughts on this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Microsoft 'Equipt'

So, Microsoft will be releasing this pack of software called "Equipt" (for a yearly subscription of 69.99 US) which contains Office (Home and Student 2007), Windows Live Mail, Windows Live One Care, Live Messenger and Live Photo.

Let's see, spend 69.99 US a year for basic computing programs or run Ubuntu.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Only 15 days left in the Ubuntu Texas LoCo Team Logo contest (say that 5 times fast). Still time enough to get together a really kickin' logo for the Texas team. Sign up at to participate! Don't forget, winner will receive one prize of their choosing from the Canonical store.

Other news, I have started another blog ( about diagnosing and repairing computers using FOSS tools (hopefully, it will go along with a new CD I am creating to go along with the ClamAV LiveCD). Only one post so far, I will try to post at least once a week.

I haven't had a lot of time to work on Project Euler problems, which makes me a little sad. I really enjoy working on them. Maybe sooner, rather than later, I will be able to get some more time.

Software Freedom Day is Sept 20.

The next DFW LoCo team meeting will be July 13th at Java and Cha in Plano, Texas. I was not able to make it to the last meeting due to a sudden bout of sickness, I guarantee I will be at this one.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Praise for Leonov

While I am not a big KDE fan (more a GNOME fanboy), I thought the Leonov project was really neat. I decided to install it this morning. I had downloaded the tarball and when I ran the, it told me I needed to install KDE 4.1-Beta 2. Ok, not a problem. I put the PPA repos in my sources.list, update, and grab KDE 4.1-Beta 2. After that, I ran the setup again. Hmm, I still need to install KDE 4.1-Beta 2 still? So, I make sure that I am running the latest of everything. Yep.

So, it seems I have run into a bug. I hop on IRC and get pointed to #leonov. Stephen Hermann was more than willing to point me to a new updated tarball that fixed the bug. I installed the newer tarball and everything worked (I have run into a couple bugs that I am trying to track down, I haven't done much in Python before, as well as KDE, so it should be fun :-)).

Congrats to the Leonov team! I know this is an "early adopters" release, but I think this will turn out to be an awesome app. I hope I can help out!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Awesome Smoothie Time

Ok, so I was experimenting today with ingrdients for a smoothie and I have come up with one awesome smoothie.

1/2 a banana
3-4 Strawberries (depending on size)
3/4 can Sprite
4-6 Ice Cubes (depending on size)
A couple (big) spoonfuls of Neopolitan icecream (get a good mix of vanilla and strawberry, maybe a little chocolate)

I put in some vanilla protein powder since tonight is one of my workout nights.

Blend and enjoy. Seriously, it rocks hardcore. I will try Vault tomorrow-ish.

Also, thanks to those who commented on my last post about Java. While my reservations for it haven't changed, I have learned more about its functionality (specifically on ARM devices, thanks jldugger!) and conveniences/inconveniences.

Friday, June 27, 2008

tanks, now i r confuzzled

Dear lazyweb,

I don't understand why people seriously use Java. I know that most colleges and schools teach kids to program in Java, but that doesn't mean it should be used in the real world (how much stuff do you learn in school that really is meant to be used in the real world?). It is a "gateway language" if I had to choose a name for it. If you are doing web development, use OO/PHP or Ruby (I don't recommend ASP simply because I write in it almost everyday and it isn't that great). If you are doing desktop development, use C++ and make it portable.

A) PHP and Ruby are (nearly) completely OS independent, and I have never run into problem moving from one OS to another (with PHP, I am just learning Ruby, so I have no personal experience with moving it. I have heard good stories though).
B) C++ is like a hairy Java on steroids. No, it isn't as clean, but it is much faster and more powerful.
C) You can run C++ apps on embedded devices without the bloat of a virtual machine to run the bytecode.

I would greatly enjoy someone explaining to me why Java is taken seriously. It is something that has been bugging me since high school.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have always had a bias towards nVidia. Every year at QuakeCon, nVidia has been an _excellent_ vendor and sponsor. It is instills a great sadness in me to see the way they are acting towards the Free Software community. I am sad to say, the next rebuild I do, it will probably be an ATI card.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Project Euler is cool!

Whoever posted on the planets (debian, ubuntu, gnome, I am not sure) about Project Euler, I love you. I was planning on starting the puzzles today (which I got to eventually, after being sick). I was able to solve problems 1-3 today (about 2 hours of work) in C# on Mono. I am going to upload my solutions to on my projects page, just in case they can help people out... If you are doing the Project Euler problems and having some trouble (and I have done the problem), feel free to check out a solution.

I can't make this meeting

My apologies, but I won't be able to make it to the DFW meeting today. I am not sure if I ate some bad food or what, but I have been living in my restroom the past 12 hours or so.

/me goes back to his restroom.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Woes with upgrade?

My dad has been running 7.04 since it came out (he had a nasty bout with a virus that deleted all his data). This weekend, I was planning on upgrading his computer to 8.04 and let him sit on that till the next LTS release.

I have never done and upgrade that large before. I know I should do it incrementally (7.04 -> 7.10 ->8.04). Has anyone had a problem doing this? All his apps are from the repos, so there aren't any weird apps on there. Should I

cat /etc/apt/sources.list | sed -e s/feisty/gutsy/g | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot


cat /etc/apt/sources.list | sed -e s/gutsy/hardy/g | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

??? Or would you suggest just letting Update Manager handle it?

I would like to try as hard as I can to not have to format.
Any tips (outside of backing up data, that is a no-brainer) that could help are greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Man, I have been busy lately. I didn't have time to update the ClamAV LiveCD this weekend, so I did it tonight. It is now running 0.93.1. Get it here.

I have been doing some research on ncurses for a ncurses-based ClamAV TUI. Not exactly sure how I want to do it at the moment, but I am getting an idea. Hopefully, once things slow down a bit at work, I will get a chance to implement some stuffs.

There is just under a month left in the Ubuntu Texas Logo contest which is plenty of time to get a nice looking logo, so for any artistic Texans out there, you don't have to be a member of an Ubuntu team to help out and join up!

The Dallas team is also having their meeting this weekend on Saturday at Java and Cha in Plano at 3, hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nvidia/nv driver issues

Dear lazyweb,

In my pursuit for the ultimate media center, I have attached my desktop/server to my TV in the living room using S-Video. It was using the nvidia driver originally, but I was only getting black and white color. I figured I wouldn't be playing any games on it, so I switched it to the nv driver. That didn't fix it, that just made it worse. It was just "snow" (it looked like someone was playing an uber fast game of Galaga). After that, I tried the vesa driver, and everything works without a hitch (low res, but it works).

I haven't ever done a bug report for X11 or kernel-level drivers. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about doing this? What logs I need to look at and if it is indeed X11 or the kernel itself? Thanks in advance.

I have a feeling...

I have a feeling that when I am 30, there will epidemics of diabetes and skin cancer because of all the "energy drinks" and tanning going on now.

I have been extremely busy this weekend, so the ClamAV LiveCD may not be updated till late tonight (I have some SQL work I need to do for work beforehand). So, if you are needing an updated ISO, you may need to wait until tomorrow to get it.

Just a reminder: We are having the Ubuntu DFW meeting this Saturday at Java and Cha at 3.

Happy Father's day to all the fathers out there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Installing ClamAV latest from source

I love ClamAV. The team rocks, the project rocks, the idea rocks. While the detection rate isn't as good as some name-brand AV distributors (if you are looking to get some name-brand AV for your Linux boxen, check out Avira, they also rock), the response time for ClamAV is uber high since it is open source. Here is how to install the latest version:

Open up a terminal

cd ~
mkdir tmp
cd tmp

This creates a working directory for you to mess around in. After creating the directory, grab the latest stable version from SourceForge. Now, untar the archive, grab the deps, and create the clamav user and group.

tar xzf clamav-0.93.1.tar.gz
sudo apt-get build-dep -y clamav
cd clamav-0.93.1/
sudo adduser clamav --no-create-home --disabled-password

When you create the user, you will be asked for some information. You should be able to just hit enter a couple times and say 'yes'.

To make ClamAV, we must first configure. We will use the --enable-experimental flag which gives us better virus detection at the expense of reliability. I have never had a problem with this flag :-).

./configure --enable-experimental

Now, just to be safe, we will do a though cleaning to make sure there aren't any previous installations on your computer.

sudo apt-get remove --purge clamav
sudo make uninstall

Now, you can install it.

sudo make install

Before we can update the virus defs, we must first edit the ClamAV config files in /usr/local/etc/. I originally used vim to do this, but sed is faster.

cat /usr/local/etc/freshclam.conf | sed -e s/Example// | sudo tee /usr/local/etc/freshclam.conf
cat /usr/local/etc/clamd.conf | sed -e s/Example// | sudo tee /usr/local/etc/clamd.conf

You can now update your virus definitions and start scanning!

sudo freshclam
cd ~
clamscan -v -r ./

Some people may get an error that references You should be able to run sudo ldconfig to fix the problem.

I am currently learning how to package, so hopefully, I will be able to start packaging the ClamAV releases and you won't have to do this :-).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Intrepid Alpha 1 release tomorrow

Christer has brought to my attention that Intrepid Ibex Alpha 1 will be released tomorrow. I have an old Dell lying around at my apartment that I will load it onto and start testing for bugs.

For more info, please see

catch bugs early, get 'em fixed!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Skimming == Stupid

There has been a lot of buzz about the "Google is making us stupid article". It is bull.

The author, Carr, says that people are more skimming web pages than reading them, not really taking in what they see. They are becoming impatient and "jumpy" as I would put it. I completely disagree with this line of thought. What is happening is that people are gaining the ability to make educated guesses with as little information as possible on the quality of the article/web page and whether it is beneficial for them to keep reading. This is a lot like speed reading, in that you aren't going for all the information, just the information that is pertinent for what you are trying to accomplish. People are learning how to analyse and decipher what they are reading a lot faster than they had previously. If that sounds like stupidity to you, then you might want to take a quick look in the mirror.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My network setup

I set my media network up this weekend. It rocks. Here is how I have it set up:

My main desktop is the server. I have 3 250 GB hard drives and an 80 GB. My Movies are spread out across two of the 250's, Music is on the 80, and OS + Misc is on the other 250. I have setup gnump3d so I can stream my music from anywhere in my apt. I have my movies on an NFS share, mounted on my laptop with an XP virtual machine. The mounted shares are set up as shared drives in VirtualBox so Windows Media Player 11 has access to the movies, so I may stream them on my XBox 360. Not as clean as I would like it, but it works.

All I need now is a really awesome stereo system that can take input from my laptop so I am not using my crappy laptop speakers. If anyone has had good experiences with a nice stereo system (in the $200 range), leave me a comment.

In other news, I am announcing that the Ubuntu Texas Logo contest will end on the 15th of July. You don't have to be a part of any team to participate, so feel free to be creative! Another submission was added this afternoon, so this should turn out to be a lot of fun.

Also, I am looking for a touch screen that will work with minimum configurations with Hardy. If you have any recommendations, they are much appreciated!

Current Ubuntu Texas Logo Submissions

First of all, I would like to to thank Nate Willis, imtehk, and rugby471 for the submissions to the contest.

We currently have 3 logo submissions (actually more, if you count the small and large versions). I can't wait to see what other logos people come up with. There is still plenty of time to submit your logos, I haven't yet decided when the contest will end, probably next month. If you still want to submit a logo, join up and submit!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Technology/Security in Education

I have always had a beef with (most) teachers in the Technology fields of public schools. I got my A+ certification my senior year (I was actually taking A+ and Net+, but the school district screwed up my test waivers), the guy who taught the class should _not_ have been teaching it. He had supposedly gotten his A+ cert ~10 years before, but his knowledge of computers didn't go very far past that initial certification. This wouldn't have gotten to me, but he would walk around as if he knew it all, talk down to the other kids in the class (he wouldn't do it to me, I made it quite clear in the first couple weeks that he shouldn't try to get technical with me), and other small things.

I had brought an Knoppix disc to class one day and booted up to it, just to show the other kids in the class how you can go about removing a password off of a Windows box. When my teacher saw this, he became furious, but he not because of what I was doing per se. He had no idea what Knoppix was (he kept referring to it as Windows 95) and he wasn't happy that I was teaching the other kids something that wasn't on the curriculum. This was before class started, it wasn't on his time, but for some reason, it really pissed him off. At the time I didn't know what to make of it.

The previous year, I was doing some research in the library at school for a paper I was supposed to be writing. I had brought a flash drive with some documents on it to save stuff to. When I had plugged it in and gone to My Computer, I noticed that _tons_ of teachers had shared drives publicly available with a lot of sensitive stuff (IE gradebooks) on them. Now, most students wouldn't know how to get to some of the stuff, but I didn't think that mattered. After I finished doing my research, I went to the IT lady at school, told her what I had found and showed her exactly how to get to the stuff. She got on to me for "hacking into the school system" and told me to go back to class because they had it covered.

The point I am trying to make is that the school districts really need to get a handle on technology, the people maintaining it, and the teachers teaching it. There are too many educators/sysadmins just barely getting by with things that they learned 5, 10, or even 20 years ago, and it is affecting the entire system, whether they realise it or not.

I do understand that schools have a limited supply of educators. I guess it just goes back to the whole "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.".

END rant

Ubuntu Texas Logo Contest

To any Texas Ubuntu'ers: WE NEED A LOGO FOR TEXAS!

We had a previous contest for a logo a couple months back, but due to lack of interest, it went belly-up. We added about 6x the members now on (and I know that they aren't the only Ubuntu'ers in Texas ;-) ) since the last contest, so maybe we can get some steam going on it. Also, I have decided to make it a bit more interesting. Whoever has the winning logo will get to choose one item from the Canonical Store as their prize. And that includes any of the expensive stuff (like the backpack).

So please, if you think have the skillz to make an awesome logo for the Texas team, join up on the site. The contest can be found here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Zombie meme

I saw this on Bastien Nocera's entry:

You are in a mall when zombies attack. You have:
1. One weapon
2. One song blasting on the speakers
3. One famous person to fight along side you.

Ok, let's get creative.

1. I have to agree with Bastien. Pump action shotty.
2. Beware by Deftones (sound quality is pretty bad, but I can see some really awesome slow-motion zombie battles to this song)
3. Abe Lincoln. I am pretty sure he would kick ass.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My plans for the weekend

Don't expect me to have much time this weekend to hang out and stuff. I have a lot of things I want to finish by this Sunday night:

Finish the ClamAV LiveCD tutorial, update the virus defs for the ClamAV LiveCD, and upload the USB image with persistent filesystem enabled (possibly also a script to setup the USB drive for the user).

Learn how to package so I can start helping with the Debian/Ubuntu packages for ClamAV and Banshee.

Start backing up my laptop so I can load 8.04 on it (currently has Windows because of work) some time this week.

Setup my media network separate from my internet network so streaming music from my Ubuntu boxen to my Xbox 360 doesn't stutter when I am downloading/uploading stuffs.

Ubuntu Dallas Launchpad Team

A big thanks to Brian Rogers for setting up the Ubuntu-Dallas Launchpad group! I hadn't thought about doing that (don't ask why). If you are an Ubuntu User in Dallas/Fort Worth, feel free to join the group.

Don't forget, the 21st of this month is the Ubuntu D/FW LoCo meeting. We meet at Java and Cha in Plano, Texas around 3 PM. Meetings usually last a couple hours.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


It looks like the Planet grabbed my last three posts, so I didn't get to formally introduce myself.

Hello Planet Ubuntu!

My name is Brandon Perry and I was given membership last night. I am the Dallas/Fort Worth Team Leader and have been since mid 2007.

I have been running Ubuntu since the days of 4.10, when we thought 4.10 was the best thing to come around since sliced bread. I am not sure what else to put, so cool!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Now an Ubuntu Member :-)

I am now and Ubuntu Member. If you don't know what that means, it means that after working on Ubuntu and related things, I was able to go in front of a panel and be like "Yo, dis is why I think I should be uh Ubuntu Member" and tell them about what you have done to support Ubuntu, help Ubuntu grow, what your plans are for the future, etc... If the panel thinks you are eligible to become a Member, they take a vote and one you go, an Ubuntu Member.

It feels really nice to have the responsibility :-).

Stubbs the Zombie on Linux

Stubbs the Zombie is plagued with a dinput bug in WINE that causes the mouse to move off the window. There is a patch that fixes this, but because of where the bug is, it could possibly break many other apps by fixing it for just a few games that are affected by this bug (like Rainbow Six: Raven Shield, Lineage II, Postal 2, etc...)

Here is how to fix it. You first need to get the patch:


You then need to build the dependencies for WINE and get the sources:

sudo apt-get build-dep wine

Once you have the sources, untar them, then patch WINE with the mouse patch.

untar xvjf wine-1.0-rc3.tar.bz2
cd wine-1.0-rc3/
patch -p0< ~/stubbs.patch

Now, we build WINE. This will take a while (like 45 minutes on my machine). Go grab some food or run some errands:

make depend && make

Once that is done, you can install it your newly built WINE. You have to uninstall any other WINE installations:

sudo apt-get remove --purge wine
sudo make uninstall
sudo make install

Now, you have to start Stubbs the Zombie with WINEFORCEWOUSEWRAP (I play Stubbs through Steam, but it is the same for the standalone game, I am sure)

cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Steam
WINEFORCEMOUSEWARP=yes WINEDEBUG="-all" wine steam.exe

You should now have a fully functioning Stubbs the Zombie! Rock!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The more you know *star falling*

As some/most of you may not know, I am indeed a metal-head at heart (even if I don't look it). Some of my favorite bands include Tool, NIN, APC, Sevendust, and Metallica. I get this from my dad, who has listened to rock music since I was like 0 years old. That being said:

For Father's Day, I got my dad two tickets to OzzFest on August 9th. He thinks he talked me out of getting them for him, but I got two (one for him, and one for my Uncle Chip) and they are being mailed to my dads house. They are pretty nice seats, directly across from the stage. Hopefully, he will enjoy himself and relax. He has had to go through a lot the past couple months. My brother and sister are getting him two Swedish Massage gift certificates.

Monday, June 2, 2008


brandon|work: we already think omfg! brandon|work around here

From the man himself, Christer Edwards.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

System diagnostics and awesomeness

For parties interested in this, here are some neat little tricks I have found lately that have really helped debug problems.


This nifty little progam gives you a lot of really nice info about your motherboard and hardware on your system (say if you are trying to find drivers). Output looks like this (using dmidecode -q)

bperry@w00den-pickle:~$ sudo dmidecode -q
BIOS Information
Vendor: Phoenix Technologies, LTD
Version: 6.00 PG
Release Date: 01/19/2006
Address: 0xE0000
Runtime Size: 128 kB
ROM Size: 512 kB
ISA is supported
PCI is supported
PNP is supported
APM is supported
BIOS is upgradeable
BIOS shadowing is allowed
Boot from CD is supported
Selectable boot is supported
BIOS ROM is socketed
EDD is supported
5.25"/360 KB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
5.25"/1.2 MB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
3.5"/720 KB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
3.5"/2.88 MB floppy services are supported (int 13h)
Print screen service is supported (int 5h)
8042 keyboard services are supported (int 9h)
Serial services are supported (int 14h)
Printer services are supported (int 17h)
CGA/mono video services are supported (int 10h)
ACPI is supported
USB legacy is supported
LS-120 boot is supported
ATAPI Zip drive boot is supported

System Information
Product Name:
Serial Number:
UUID: 00000000-0000-0000-0000-00508D49B91E
Wake-up Type: Power Switch

Base Board Information
Product Name: AN8 Series(NF-CK804)
Version: 1.x
Serial Number:

Another nice one is hwinfo. In conjunction with dmidecode, these can become quite powerful tools. Printout of hwinfo --short below:

bperry@w00den-pickle:~$ hwinfo --short
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3700+, 2200 MHz
/dev/input/event1 AT Translated Set 2 keyboard
/dev/input/mice Apple Macintosh mouse button emulation
graphics card:
nVidia GeForce 6600 GT
Creative CT4850 SBLive! Value
Floppy disk controller
Promise Ultra100
ABIT CK804 Serial ATA Controller
ABIT CK804 Serial ATA Controller
IDE interface
eth0 ABIT CK804 Ethernet Controller
network interface:
eth0 Ethernet network interface
lo Loopback network interface
/dev/sdb MAXTOR 6L080L4
/dev/sda WDC WD2500JB-00R
/dev/sdb1 Partition
/dev/sda1 Partition
/dev/sda2 Partition
/dev/sda5 Partition
/dev/sr0 SONY DVD RW AW-G170A
usb controller:
ABIT CK804 USB Controller
ABIT CK804 USB Controller
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
AMD K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCIE Bridge
nVidia CK804 PCI Bridge
ABIT CK804 ISA Bridge
Linux 2.6.24-17-generic ohci_hcd OHCI Host Controller
Linux 2.6.24-17-generic ehci_hcd EHCI Host Controller
Main Memory
firewire controller:
ABIT TSB43AB22/A IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)
DMA controller
Keyboard controller
Creative Gameport Joystick
ABIT CK804 Memory Controller
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
PnP Unclassified device
/dev/input/input2 Logitech USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse

Happy debugging!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

ClamAV Live CD back up

So, after my previous web host screwing me over and everything and me finding a new host, getting it setup again, losing all my backups from the old site, a recreating a lot of content, the ClamAV LiveCD is back up.

Only like a month late, but this release is pretty nice. The previous releases were using Edgy, but with Hardy being an LTS release, I decided to upgrade the CD to Hardy until the next LTS release. It makes the CD about 20 megs bigger, but I think having the latest drivers and stability is worth it.

Grepping and Awking text

I have been working today on retrieving, formatting, and displaying text in a certain way and have learned a lot about grep and awk. For instance, grepping strings with hyphens isn't as easy as "grep -dev". What you need to do is "grep [\-\]dev". I was also needing to get every other line of output from one command, and I found a way to do that in awk:

command | awk 'NR > 2 && (NR % 2 == 0 ){ print} /^$/{NR=0}' | xargs other_command

This stuff is quite fun. Hopefully, pretty soon, I will have a bunch of scripts that get what hardware you have (as seen by linux) and get the Windows-driver counterpart among other things.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Bitch Album


Metallica - Ain't My Bitch
Buckcherry - Crazy Bitch
Alanis Morissette - Bitch
Ben Folds - Bitches Ain't Shit
HED PE - Bitches
Eminem - Bitch
Ludacris - Move Bitch
N.W.A. - One Less Bitch
Prodigy - Smack My Bitch up
Snoop Dogg - Bitch Please
N.W.A. - Bitch iz a Bitch
Jet - Cold Hard Bitch
Guns N' Roses - Back Off Bitch

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Programmer vs Pornstar: The Duel

1. We use our hands all day long.
2. Chances are the thing we are working on has been worked on by more than one person.
3. We can do it at home or at the office.
4. If you are sober, you might make things worse.
5. As long as you finish, who cares how you get there.
6. If you can't finish on time, you will probably get fired.
7. Your free time and work time don't differ very much.
8. The end result is all people care about. (related to 6, but not the same)
9. When you can't satisfy the other person, you call in backup.

From this logic, there isn't much of a difference. ;-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Happy Medium

I love programming. I also love being social, having friends over, etc... But the problem is that the two don't mix well at all. I could go on and not talk to people for days as long as I was in the middle of a good project or two. It has happened before, it will probably happen again. I could also stop programming in my free time and go hang out with people instead. This isn't optimal (at all). I have yet to find a happy medium of the two. Yes, I am a programmer by trade. Sometimes, work is a bit slow and I don't get much programming done, but other days it is all that I do (especially at the beginning of a project). I love it (outside of writing documentation). I really don't want to end up like a lot of (open-source) developers that spend their whole life programming, not starting any families, etc...

There is a happy medium out there, I just have yet to find it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

FBench Redux: With Threads

DISCLAIMER: These aren't "professional" tests. These are just me running and giving you what I have found. Don't take these as cold, hard facts.

I added support for threads in FBench to see how Mono and .NET do compared to each other with threads. Most of the results weren't very surprising, but running them both threaded at the same time gave some very interesting results. I realised I was running an older version on Mono (just a couple minor build behind), so I updated it to the latest windows build on the Mono site. Pictures Below:

This is Mono and .NET running unthreaded. I first ran .NET, waited for it to finish, then ran Mono.

This is Mono and .NET running threaded (2 threads). Again, I ran .NET first and Mono second.

This is running both at the same time. This wasn't very surprising. (I clicked .NET, then Mono as fast as I could :-) ).
These are the results that surprised me. Running them both threaded at the same time (.NET, then Mono) resulted in Mono being considerably quicker (~7 seconds quicker).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Top 10 people who annoy me

Ranked from most annoying to least annoying (though they are still really, really, overly annoying).

1. Carlos Mencia
2. Sarah Jessica Parker (I am sure she is nice/not annoying in person)
3. Steve Jobs
4. George Lopez (not nearly as bad as Carlos Mencia, I can at least watch him without wanting to kill myself)
5. Paris Hilton
6. Theo de Raadt (of OpenBSD fame)
7. Steve Ballmer (he has gotten better over the years, a couple years ago, he might have beat Carlos Mencia)
8. Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr. (aka Perez Hilton)
9. Flava Flav
10. Bret Michaels

Monday, May 12, 2008

Summer project(s)

Mono has been part of the GSOC for the past couple of years now. This year, I wasn't sure if I was going to have time to do a project for them (it would be my first), so I am too late to formally join Mono's SOC. Although, I have talked to some of the guys in #mono and they said go for it anyway and if whatever you do is good, I doubt they will have a problem including you in the end. So, I have decided on what I will do. It will be a small cross-platform security suite
with antivirus/antispyware powered by ClamAV (it will have an option of scanning incoming webpages from all the mainstream web browsers for viruses or malicious code as well as phishing filter), an optional web filter for schools or parents who would like to filter their kids searching, and possibly some other things. This should be really fun. One disappointment I found is that the ClamAV bindings for C# haven't been updated since October of 2005 :-/. So, I will probably write my own.
I haven't decided on a name yet, but that isn't the most important thing right now.

Another thing I might start is the GIT# implementation needed for MonoDevelop.

Friday, May 9, 2008

John Walker's FBENCH: Mono vs .NET

I implemented John Walker's FBENCH today in C# to see how Mono did compared to MS.NET. I had always thought that Mono's integer arithmetic was faster than MS.NET, but these test results say differently.

This is the benchmark being run in .NET. The times were about as consistent as you can get.

This is Mono running the benchmark (again, times were extremely consistent).

The benchmark did 1000 iterations of John Walker's raytracing FBENCH. Source code can be found here. This is my first try at something like this, so if you see something I did wrong, please let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Party Hardy

Party this Saturday at my apartment. Games, music, and drinks a plenty. Just show up after like 7 or something. If you don't have my address, get a hold of me over Facebook or something.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Never again

From now, if I get tagged in a note about computer repair, I am untagging myself. kthxbai.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fake it if you don't belong here

And you should know that lies won't hide your flaws...but the internet does. This seems to be a popular idea amongst the "internetters". Since it seems to be working _so well_, I have decided to follow suit and act like a general bad-ass all the time. But only on the internet.


Brandon Perry

Monday, April 21, 2008

M-O-O-N, that spells Ubuntu

It has been brought to my attention that if you google "ubuntu dfw" (quotes or no quotes), my blog comes up first on Google. This is really nice, but that means that I need to start blogging more. And about Ubuntu-relevant stuff, too. So, starting now, I will start blogging more. Good day.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Me, Geppy, Robert, Chris, and Jesse went to see a movie called Frag last night. It is a documentary on professional gaming, the ups and down, drugs, sex, etc... It was a _really_ good movie. Entertaining the whole way through. A lot of big name gamers were there (Fatal1ty, Lost-Cauze, Carmac, Sephi), as well as Jarrett Cale and Geoff Lepaire (aka Jeremy and Kyle from PurePwnage). We got a chance to chat with them after the movie until they kicked us out of the room for being there too long. After that, we got some pictures in the lobby. Rock.

This is Geppy with Geoff (Kyle) and Jarrett (Jeremy). I would have liken a picture with Geoff also, but he wasn't around when I got mine taken.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another (more complex) way to hover in ASP in IE6

IE6 doesn't have support for pseudo-class hovering (only anchor hovering). I was working on a piece of code today and we wanted to get a bunch of labels to change background when hovered over. We only support IE6 SP2. This was a fun day, I must say. What I ended up doing was creating a div that held all the labels, gave it an ID and runat="server".

[div ID="someDiv" runat="server"]

I stuck all the labels inside this div. Then, I did a foreach loop to grab all the controls.

foreach (Control ctrl in someDiv.Controls)
if (ctrl.GetType() == typeof(Label))
ctrl.Attributes.Add("onmouseover", " = 'Grey'");
ctrl.Attributes.Add("onmouseout", ""White"');

The one I did was _much_ more complicated than this because I had to highlight multiple labels at once with one mouseover (as well as deal with some weird variable names). Much deeper looping, but once you get it going, it is just finding the right way to loop through it. In my testing, this did _not_ work in Firefox. Since I don't get paid to work on it for Firefox, I won't delve too deep into it. Though Firefox supports pseudo-class hovering, so that isn't really a problem.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Neat way to hover in .NET

I figured out a neat way to set an onMouseOver and onMouseOut property to a gridview with alternating colors. This way, you don't have to figure out background colors and such.

//Add onMouseOver/onMouseOut Functionality
if ((e.Row.RowIndex % 2) == 1)
e.Row.Attributes.Add("onmouseover", " = 'Grey'");
e.Row.Attributes.Add("onmouseout", " = 'White'");
else if ((e.Row.RowIndex % 2) == 0)
e.Row.Attributes.Add("onmouseover", " = 'Grey'");
e.Row.Attributes.Add("onmouseout", " = 'LightGrey'");

The % (modulus) returns any remainders of the e.Row.RowIndex being divided by 2. If there is a remainder, then it is odd, if not, even. You now know what color your rows BG should be on the onMouseOut. Nifty.

EDIT: The if statements really aren't clear and they actually do the opposite of what they look like they are doing. If e.Row.RowIndex % 2 returns a remainder, it returns false (0). If it doesn't return a remainder, it returns true (1).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Detecting virii, false-positives, and getting signatures

I help out the ClamAV dev team as much as I can when I find a virus/trojan/PUA/worm that is not detected by ClamAV, but is detected by others. The first thing I usually do is stick the infected file(s) on a thumb drive and transfer the files over to my laptop. It runs Linux, so there is no real chance of it becoming infected. I upload the file(s) to both and and have them scan the file. They use many different AV programs to scan the file and will send the results to any AV distributor that had either incomplete or no detection of the malware at hand. After that, I have the (generic) name of the malware, who recognises it, and a sample of it. I will take these samples and upload them to ClamAV so the dev team can get a signature out for the malware as soon as possible. Sometimes though, I do run into false-positives, which is when the AV at hand falsely detects a virus in a clean file. When this happens, I do the same first step as I do with an undetected piece of malware. Upload it to either Jotti or VirusTotal and see how it is detected and by whom it is detected. If it is just ClamAV, I will just email the list, give them my findings, and be on my merry. For the rest, the information will be sent to them from VirusTotal or Jotti, so I need not worry.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

It has been quite hectic the past couple weeks. In fact, I wouldn't have had time to write this had I not been waiting for an email. I will start my second project with VALID next week on Monday and I can't wait. I am actually working on a mock-up on and off tonight and will work on it more tomorrow so I can have something to show them on Friday, as well as finishing the last bit of the project I am on now, which should be done by Friday.

I fixed my computer desk chair tonight. Used some duct tape and a guitar strap to fix the back of the chair so that it is upright now and _very_ comfortable. I also put together the computer desk Nigel got me for my birthday/christmas present. I have actually done quite a bit today.

I know most of you probably wouldn't care, but the ClamAV Live CD got over a hundred downloads this month, which rocks. Also, I need a watch.

It is just Geppy and I in the apartment now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Things I learned entirely too late

1. What the "Mile High Club" meant.
2. That "twat" and "twit" are not the same thing.
3. Girls do not find movies like "Revenge Of The Nerds" romantic.
4. Girls do not find movies like "Dead Alive" romantic.
5. Girls do not find any good movies romantic.
6. There is a reason they are allowed to sell cooking wine to minors.
7. Quoting movies around people that have no idea what you are talking about just makes everyone else awkward.
8. Just because I would or did do it probably means I am the only one that would or did do it.
9. I should not consider myself normal by any means.
10. No matter how much I tell myself otherwise, running Linux does not mean I will pick up more women.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I think too much

I guess some could say it is a mixed blessing, but I think way too much about everything. Not that it slows me down in life really, but I am sure it gets annoying (or creepy?) for someone to be talking to me, and I am staring into space (generally something like the ceiling or something). On mornings that I wake up earlier than usual, I will just lay in bed, stare at the ceiling, and just think about things. A lot of times, I am not exactly sure what I am thinking about, which sounds crazy, but if you ask me what I was thinking about, I will probably just say nothing because I can't answer the question truthfully. Either that, or ninjas. I was thinking about ninjas.

Anyway, it can get in the way of personal things and make them quite difficult and sometimes a bit embarrassing, but I can get over those pretty easily as long as I realise what I did wrong in the past.

I guess what I am asking is, how do you not think as much, or stop your self from thinking about stuff?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My workspace setup

I have gotten my laptop as efficient as I can. I have no internet distractions outside of email (no AIM, Yahoo!, IRC, etc...). I have a Windows VM running in seamless mode on one virtual desktop and email, epiphany, etc... on the other. Inside the VM, I have a network drive pointing to my home dir on the host OS (Ubuntu), so any data that I need and can't get to from Windows, I can get to it on Ubuntu, stick it in my home folder, then grab it in windows.

It just works.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I demand it!

Why are there no Quake 3 Zombie mods? You would think that would be the one of the highest demanded mods, especially since the Quake 3 engine is GPL'ed. The Quake 3 engine would probably spit out some amazing zombie mods. I would love to write one, but the most OpenGL I have ever done is spinny things on a pictured background. I demand someone make one, now.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What if....

I have an uncanny ability to memorize the most random things in the world. Richard says that I can name 5 random facts about any movie and list everyone that was in it, as well as the crew that helped film it. This is obviously a stretch on things, but I do know a lot of pretty useless stuff. I am not sure why, but after I read an IMDB article on a movie or actor/actress, it just sticks. This works with anything I read, but for some reason, trivia like that tends to be much more prominent than the mating seasons of the Peruvian Seahorse or something. I have covered this before in an earlier post, but tonight we were watching I, Robot and, of course, I am just saying random facts throughout the movie. I really wish I could pinpoint what allows me to do this, it would be really interesting to see why I can do this type of thing and other can't.

I think one of the reasons (I don't know I have this, but it seems logical) might be a larger prefrontal cortex. Pathological liars generally have a larger prefrontal cortex as it aids in a longer "storage" of short-term memory. The only problem with this is I have a horrible short-term memory. And, yes, I read that in a book in Mrs. Shipley's class.

Anyway, not sure if anyone would be able to help me figure this out, but if you know of any articles or books on it, please suggest them.

EDIT: My dad also has this, so it is quite possibly genetic.

Friday, February 8, 2008

If words were wisdom, I'd be talking even more

I start programming for VALID Systems next week. Rock. ASP.NET/C#

Part time, more contract than anything. Can't wait to see what my first project is.

The interviews must have gone better than I had previously thought because Mr. DeGray said they really liked me. I didn't actually know I was talking to the CIO of the company until he gave me his card, and even then I didn't make the connection. I am playing some REM now really loud in celebration.

I have to work tomorrow. Suck. But after that, some rockin' movie time at UTA for the rest of the weekend. Rock.

50 points to who ever can tell me who sang the title to this post.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I can't believe I said that...

I went to what I thought was a "meet and greet" type thing at Trent DeGray's father's work, since he recommended that they take a look at me for some of there projects. It turns out it was more an interview, which I guess makes sense in hindsight, but the thought didn't cross my mind until it was happening, not that it is a bad thing.

I am pretty sure I made a good impression on the first two guys I talked to, as well as the big boss there...except for one thing that I said which probably made me look like a complete idiot. He was asking me questions about how I would implement such and such. I don't know why I thought this, or why I didn't catch it, maybe I was a bit nervous after realising that this was an interview, I don't know. He asked me a question about "many-to-many" databases, I thought he was saying "mini-to-mini". I figured this was some inside term that they use for bank transactions that had slipped out or something, so I look at him and "I am sorry, 'mini-to-mini'?". So he starts describing "one database with rules, one with locations". I am pretty sure I answered the question right, without realising he was saying "many-to-many". I was at my apartment when I realised what he was saying, so I emailed Trent's dad and explained what had happened, hoping to gain a little bit more dignity out of that question. We will see what happens...

By the way, I hate Texas for this exact reason. I wonder how many people have not been hired because of mistakes like this...