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Friday, April 29, 2005

whooshing deadlines

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." - Douglas Adams


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Handy windows keys

win+break : control panel

win+r : run dialog

Those would be more usefull if I had a windows key on my thinkpad. So, good things to type in the run box:

devmgmt.msc (device manager, my alltime favorite)
control.msc (control panel)
services.msc (services menu)
compmgmt.msc (computer management)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

diving into XML

Just going to try out a little XML rather than my usual strtok or regex file parsing.

Looks like namespaces and DTDs are to be avoided. Seems to make life easier anyways How Do I Hate Thee?

stl in qmake

Learn something new everyday. This one is from the magic of grep in the mkspec/win32-msvc directory

MSVCC 6.0 and it's lame STL libraries generate all sorts of exceptions and warnings. Rather than hacking the qmake.conf (as I've done in the past) you can just specify:

CONFIG += stl

Monday, April 25, 2005

802.11 radiotap

This has been a long time coming- in header 802.11 radio debug data

Manual Page - radiotap(9)

(also note that this is a terribly difficult search term for google, a9, or ask jeeves to make any sense of. Maybe kozoru will help)

Interesting Research

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

free your iTunes music

Monday, April 18, 2005


I've always contended that the most salient feature of a language is the APIs that it stands on. Looks like someone has updated LISP with a modern (network, DB, etc) APIs and other goodies:


Friday, April 15, 2005

Tor: An anonymous Internet communication system

digikey order review

So, I've been meaning to postmortem my Digikey purchases for about the
last four orders I've made.

It's hard to figure out exactly what you are going to get even when cross
comparing the 26 character description field, the printed catalog
page, and the oftentimes scant technical details from the manufactuer.

Most of the time I'm close, sometimes I get better than what I
expected, and a few times I've been dead wrong.

flexible SMA to SMA cables


Man, RF cabling is not cheap. I picked up some cables on extended loan
from our lab up in Waterloo, but they're too high grade for a software
weenie like me. I'd describe them as 'semi-rigid' though I think if
you ordered semi-rigid cables they'd be even less flexible. So I
ordered some more flexible ones. RG-178 seems to be the most
flexible, but is good only to 3 GHz. Though within my range of
general usage I couldn't resist the combo of better RF performance
(72db/100ft loss @5GHz) and price point of the RG-316DS cables.
They're slightly less flexible than I'd ideally want, but the grunting
ego part of me approves of the 10% horsepower increase.

A 6 inch cable, while usefull for my immediate application, is
just too darn short for future general use, and a 3 foot cable isn't nearly as long as you might imagine.

2 position, .25" square post sockets with crimp


I've been wondering what the precise name for the mate to standard
jumper headers. This is it.

These have a break off ticker tape edge (hows that for a technical
term?) setup for some automatic machine, and I can't tell if that
makes them cheaper or more expensive. However they look like they'll
do the trick for me. In my 5 minute quality test I crimped on two
AWG30 wires, gave them reasonable tugs, and only noticed a .4 ohm
increase in resistivity.

Test Lead Holder with three different slot sizes


In the past I ordered the orange pomona model 1508 lead holder, but I liked the idea of a variation in slot size. I'm slightly disappointed, because the smallest slot in this rack still won't nicely hold my tiny patch cables and ez-hook leads. Though it will hold my stray superfat Centronix printer cable.

7 pin S-Video like cable assembly


I bought some speakers off of ebay and was sent an incompatible
subwoofer with a 7 position MiniDin socket. We'll see if I can hook
the thing together myself, since the seller was a shiftless no good grifter.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Backup for everyone else

You'd be hard pressed to build you own barebones linux box with a new 120GB hard disk for $299.

Then you'd have to set it up too. time is money. And this is a cheap backup solution.

Mirra Personal Server

Appropriate technology company

Thursday, April 07, 2005


What color is my parachute? I'm working on that...

RF Code
Seqouia Communications


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Discover Circuits

this is a fun source for hobbyest electronics.

Discover Circuits - Television / Video Circuits

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

System Rescue with Knoppix


Repairing Filesystems

* ext2/ext3:
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo fsck /dev/hda1

Repairing Filesystems (cont.)

1. Check for errors:
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo reiserfsck --check /dev/hda1
2. Repair errors:
* If it reports fixable errors:
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo reiserfsck --fix-fixable /dev/hda1
* If it reports fatal corruptions (ouch), image the partition, then:
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo reiserfsck --rebuild-tree /dev/hda1

Repairing Filesystems (cont.)

1. Check for errors:
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo xfs_check /dev/hda1
2. If it finds errors:
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo xfs_repair /dev/hda1

Imaging Drives

* Disk to disk:
$ sudo dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb
* Partition to partition:
$ sudo dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdb1
* Partition to file:
$ sudo dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/mnt/hdb1/hda1_drive_image.img
* Partition to file over ssh:
$ sudo dd if=/dev/hda1 | ssh username@host "cat > /home/username/hda1_drive_image.img"
* Restore from a file to a partition:
$ sudo dd if=/mnt/hdb1/hda1_drive_image.img of=/dev/hda1

Imaging Damaged Drives
Why use dd_rescue and dd_rhelp?

* dd doesn't handle bad blocks well (even with noerror)
* dd_rescue retries bad blocks and writes a zero otherwise
* dd_rhelp uses dd_rescue, but skips bad block clusters until later
* dd_rhelp can be resumed easily

Imaging Damaged Drives (cont.)
Get dd_rescue and dd_rhelp

* dd_rescue binaries at
* extract dd_rescue binary from tarball
* dd_rhelp source at
* untar, configure, make dd_rhelp source
* copy dd_rescue and dd_rhelp binaries to ~/.dist/bin

Imaging Damaged Drives (cont.)
Use dd_rhelp

1. mount the destination drive
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo mount -o rw /dev/hdb1 /mnt/hdb1
2. run dd_rhelp
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo dd_rhelp /dev/hda1 /mnt/hdb1/hda1_rescue.img
3. fsck the image
knoppix@tty1[knoppix]$ sudo fsck -y /mnt/hdb1/hda1_rescue.img
4. mount the image loopback, or reimage to another drive