Tuesday, November 25, 2008

pf IPv4 and IPv6 shortcut

There's a shortcut for creating a pf rule that applies to both IPv4 and IPv6. E.g.:

pass in quick on em0 from {, 2001:418:c0de:babe::/64 } to any keep state label "experimentation"

Results in:

root@soulfury:~# pfctl -sr | grep experimentation
pass in quick on em0 inet from to any flags S/SA keep state label "experimentation"
pass in quick on em0 inet6 from 2001:418:c0de:babe::/64 to any flags S/SA keep state label "experimentation"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello world from links

I forgot to bring my MacBook, so I'm now surfing the Net in a text-only browser inside a server. I'm surprised that Blogger works. Very cool.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hello world from Acer 4330 and Windows Vista

Hello world! WLAN and LAN works fine.

Acer 4330 Driver Installation

I'm continuing the setup for my Acer 4330 laptop. I gave up installing Windows XP because I don't have the time to hunt down the correct drivers. I've installed Windows Vista instead.

I'm annoyed with Vista's UI. Fortunately, I won't have to use this because I'll give this to my parents. Sorry mom and dad, I really don't have time to install XP. This is the best I can do.

The DVD provided with the laptop contains multiple drivers. I think Acer doesn't use a standard hardware for all of its laptops. I think they just choose the cheapest hardware available at the time of production.

Anyway, here are the drivers that worked for me:
Chipset - Intel Chipset
VGA - Intel VGA driver
Audio - Realtek (No need to install; it works after installing Vista. Install this if you want the volume buttons to work.)
Modem - Foxconn, probably, but I didn't install it
LAN - Realtek
TouchPad - ALPS Touchpad
Card Reader - I don't know; there was no need to install it.
Camera - There are 3 drivers (Suyin, Bison, and Chicony), but I didn't bother installing any of them. Please leave a comment if you know the correct one.
WLAN - Atheros
BlueTooth - the only driver, Foxconn, doesn't seem to work. I'm not sure if there's really a built-in Bluetooth in this laptop. There's a Bluetooth button, but this may have been reserved for other models.

Friday, November 14, 2008

HOWTO Turn off DHCP Servers in VMware Linux

To turn off VMware's DHCP server in host-only network, simply find the appropriate DHCP process, and kill it:

root@soulfury:~# ps auxww | grep dhcp
root 5060 0.0 0.0 1892 252 ? Ss Nov10 0:00 /usr/bin/vmnet-dhcpd -cf /etc/vmware/vmnet8/dhcpd/dhcpd.conf -lf /etc/vmware/vmnet8/dhcpd/dhcpd.leases -pf /var/run/vmnet-dhcpd-vmnet8.pid vmnet8
root 5061 0.0 0.0 1888 520 ? Ss Nov10 0:00 /usr/bin/vmnet-dhcpd -cf /etc/vmware/vmnet1/dhcpd/dhcpd.conf -lf /etc/vmware/vmnet1/dhcpd/dhcpd.leases -pf /var/run/vmnet-dhcpd-vmnet1.pid vmnet1
root 21281 0.0 0.0 2796 748 pts/0 R+ 15:31 0:00 grep dhcp
root@soulfury:~# kill 5061

Thursday, November 13, 2008

FreeBSD Problem: Can't see files/dirty state at each boot.

Weird problem. The filesystem is in an unclean state at each boot, even though I have ran fsck before booting the system. Initially, our problem is that our app can't "see" certain files at first read, although subsequent attempts on reading them are OK. Later, we discovered that the filesystem is dirty at each boot. The problem is similar to this issue in FreeBSD-CURRENT. We're using FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE though, so I'm not sure if we have the same problem. I need to track this down.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

PHP doesn't support dot characters in form names

I've written a PHP proxy script that communicates with an underlying application. I encountered a problem where the script is unable to proxy data that contains dot characters in the form name.

To illustrate:
<form action="test.php" method="post">
<input name="this.is.a/variable" type="text" />
<input type="submit" />
array(1) {
string(0) ""
Notice the array key in the var_dump(); dots are converted into underscore.


I accessed the raw input stream directly instead of using $_POST:
$data = file_get_contents("php://input");
$response = proxy_blah_blah($data);

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

HOWTO Install Windows XP on Acer 4330

(Image courtesy of Raymond.CC)

I bought an Acer Aspire 4330 a few days ago, but I couldn't install Windows XP. I think it's designed for Vista, but I don't want to use it because it's unusable. Windows XP Setup coredumped after a minutes, and I thought I had to slipstream the installation CD to solve this. Fortunately, a friend told me that all I had to do was to change my SATA mode from AHCI to IDE. The setup then went smoothly.

Installing the drivers is a PITA. The drivers in the provided DVD doesn't work because they're for Vista. I had to download the files from their FTP site.

Unfortunately, they provide multiple drivers for the same device. Do I need to use the driver for Atheros? Or Broadcom? Or Intel? Blah.

I'll continue installing the drivers tomorrow. I still have to finish this router/load balancer that I'm making. Hopefully, our connection would become twice as fast after we combine Bayantel and Globe connections. More on this later.

Monday, October 27, 2008

PHP's New Namespace Separator

I don't like PHP's new namespace separator. I prefer '::' to '\'.

Aaaaargh... why did they choose the escape character?

Slow lighttpd using IPv6

I've been wondering why lighttpd seems to be so slow when IPv6 is enabled. I discovered that I had to bump the minimum and maximum number of FastCGI process (min-procs/max-procs) by twice as much because it appears that lighttpd divides the available PHP processes between IPv4 and IPv6. I dunno why it does that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How to destroy all gif interfaces in FreeBSD

To destroy all gif interfaces in FreeBSD (vanilla Bourne shell):
for i in `ifconfig -a | grep gif | grep -v '%' | sed -n -e 's/\(.*\):.*/\1/p'`; do
ifconfig $i destroy

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stuck DVD inside MacBook

A DVD got stuck inside my MacBook. What I did was to insert a prepaid card (it's made of plastic that's thin yet durable enough for this purpose) into the DVD slot, pushed it upwards and pressed the eject button. The DVD then came out.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Looking for a used PC

I'm looking for a used Pentium III (or better) PC that I can use as a router/firewall. No need for monitor, keyboard, or CD-ROM. Just a CPU with enough hard disk and RAM. Please contact me if you have one. Cebu area only.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Library dependency woes

One of my Unix workstation is now fucked up due to forced installation of incompatible libraries. I guess I'll have to reformat it in order to start from a clean slate. I'm planning to temporarily transfer my files to my external harddisk, but FreeBSD can't seem to read it although it has been formatted as UFS. I formatted that harddisk on my Mac OS X laptop, thinking that it can be read in FreeBSD, but Mac OS X seems to have a different interpretation of what UFS is. Blah. I guess I need to reformat my external harddisk to FAT32 too. Oh wait. If I format it as FAT32, what would happen with my file permissions? Maybe I'll just use tar or something. Blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Google Chrome Browser on Mac OS X

While waiting for a Mac OS X version of the Chrome browser, I've content myself with VMWare Fusion's Unity feature instead:

Cool, huh?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Figlet Preview

I wanted to use figlet but I can't decide which font to use.

To inspect all fonts visually, simply do:
% cd /usr/local/share/figlet
% for i in `ls *.flf | sed -n -e 's/\(.*\)\.flf/\1/p'`; do echo Phuselage | figlet -f $i; done | less

Your mileage may vary; the font dir may be different on your operating system.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Synchronizing two CVS repositories using Mercurial

We're in a situation where we have access to some of our partner's source code. We need to keep in sync with their repo, otherwise our copy would quickly become stale.

Currently, we can do this manually because our changes are still small. A few months from now, however, our changes will eventually drift away from their code and merging it with our tree would become difficult.

A distributed version control system is in order. Here's how I did it:

+-----------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +----------------+
| Upstream | | Immutable | | Working | | Local |
| CVS repository |-------->| Mercurial |---------------->| Mercurial |-------->| CVS repository |
+-----------------+ import | repository | Mercurial pull | repository | export +----------------+
+------------+ +------------+

In theory, exporting it back to CVS is no longer needed. In practice, however, I needed to maintain "compatibility" with my fellow developers who only use CVS. I hope we'll eventually migrate away from CVS though because merging lots of files is really time consuming. Merging/branching is CVS' main weakness.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

MySQL: How to merge two databases

I'm currently managing a couple of databases in a production server. The problem: I need to know what new tables were created from Database 1 and merge them to Database 2.

Here's the solution:

0. Backup the target database.
% mysqldump -h [HOST] -P [PORT] -u [USERNAME] -p[PASSWORD] Database2 > Database2.sql

1. Extract the table names from the source and target databases.
% echo show tables | mysql -h [HOST] -P [PORT] -u [USERNAME] -p[PASSWORD] Database1 | sed '1d' > one.tables
% echo show tables | mysql -h [HOST] -P [PORT] -u [USERNAME] -p[PASSWORD] Database2 | sed '1d' > two.tables

2. Perform the merge.
% mysqldump -h [HOST] -P [PORT] -u [USERNAME] -p[PASSWORD] Database1 \
`diff --unchanged-line-format='' --new-line-format='%l ' two.tables one.tables` | \

mysql [HOST] -P [PORT] -u [USERNAME] -p[PASSWORD] Database2

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Unix/Linux Tip: Syntax check your PHP files

If you wish to syntax check (lint) all the PHP files in your current directory, simply do:
    for i in `ls *.php`; do
        php -l $i

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fedora/Redhat Linux: C/C++ : unfound library "mysql.h"

If you encounter this problem while compiling an application that links to MySQL, you can fix this by simply installing mysql-dev:
    # /etc/init.d/mysqld stop
    # yum install mysql-dev

Saturday, April 26, 2008

FreeBSD Tip: How to delete all IPv6 address in an interface

You can delete all IPv6 addresses in an interface using the following command (vanilla Bourne shell):

while i="`ifconfig le0 | grep inet6 | grep -m 1 -v '%'`"; do
ifconfig le0 $i delete
Note: replace le0 with your interface name.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bridge problem with FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE

The FreeBSD Handbook states that "if the bridge host needs an IP address, then the correct place to set this is on the bridge interface itself rather than one of the member interfaces."

With FreeBSD 6.x and FreeBSD 8.0-CURRENT, setting the IP address on the bridge works without any problem. With FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE, however, this does not work. The OS doesn't even properly boot when the IP address is set via /etc/rc.conf.

This is probably a temporary solution, but try setting the IP address to one of the member interface. This is in direct opposition to the advice given in the Handbook, but it works for me.

If this is a bug (which I suspect it is), a patch probably exists somewhere. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, April 18, 2008

JPEG support for ImageMagick

On Debian Linux, there seems to be no out-of-the-box support for JPEG in ImageMagick.

First, install libjpeg62-dev library. libjpeg62 doesn't work because it doesn't include the necessary development files. Next, download ImageMagick's source and compile it manually. Use ./configure --with-jpeg=yes for configuring.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

OpenLaszlo IDEforLaszlo Eclipse plugin

Syte GMBH has provided an update for IDEforLaszlo plugin to support OpenLaszlo 4.0.10 and OpenLaszlo 3.4. IDEforLaszlo has been stale for quite some time now, and I'm glad that someone has offered their time and effort for this project. I'll be checking it out later.

IDEforLaszlo can be found at http://www.syte.ch/en/laszlo.xml.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Technical Humor

Yeesh, I found the links for the April 1 RFCs. Here's a dose of highly technical humor:
  • RFC 5241 — Naming Rights in IETF Protocols. A. Falk, S. Bradner.
  • RFC 5242 — A Generalized Unified Character Code: Western European and CJK Sections. J. Klensin, H. Alvestrand.
WARNING: Reading the above documents may result in nosebleed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

IPv4/v6 Regular Expressions

I found these useful regexes in my notes. I probably found this somewhere on the Internet, but I forgot where.

IPv4 address


IPv6 address


Note that this does not work with shortened form such as dead::beef. dead:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:beef must be used instead.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

dnsmasq: unknown interface xennet0

As of version 2.41, dnsmasq doesn't support Xen virtual network interfaces in NetBSD. This means that running dnsmasq inside a Xen domU results in the following error:

dnsmasq: unknown interface xennet0

Uberlord made a patch just a few moments ago:
- http://roy.marples.name/~roy/dnsmasq-netbsd.patch
- http://roy.marples.name/~roy/dnsmasq-bridge.patch

The beauty of Open Source... =)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Permission denied to call method XMLHttpRequest.open

When deploying DHTML OpenLaszlo applications in SOLO mode, attempts to fetch datasets results in the following error:

ERROR: uncaught exception: Permission denied to call method XMLHttpRequest.openLFCdhtml-debug.js (line 1421)
uncaught exception: Permission denied to call method XMLHttpRequest.open

As a security measure, most browsers restrict XMLHttpRequest such that they don't accept XML data if the HTTP response headers are not properly set. To fix this, simply change Content-Type to:
Content-Type: application/xml; charset=UTF-8

Monday, March 17, 2008

xen Error: Device 2050 (vbd) could not be connected. Backend device not found.

NetBSD dom0 is unable to launch more domUs. Attempting to launch more domUs results in the following error:
xen Error: Device 2050 (vbd) could not be connected. Backend device not found.
The system ran out of loop devices. Create more vnode disks using the following command:
/dev/MAKEDEV vnd1
/dev/MAKEDEV vnd2
...and so on

Friday, March 14, 2008

__LZgetNodes: p is null in Datapath

I'm creating an IPv4/IPv6 OpenLaszlo widget that can bind to a datapath. I spent hours trying to find out why this.datapath.getNodeText() doesn't work inside <handler name="oninit">, although it works fine inside <method>. I kept getting an error of "p is null in Datapath."

For developers experiencing a similar problem, you might want to check out Laszlonia's entry on his blog. It turns out that I simply had to use <handler name="ondata">.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

map methods execute*() methods in Agavi

Agavi is architecturally beautiful. I can really appreciate the way they designed this thing. One fundamental problem with this framework, however, is that it lacks good documentation. You need to read the code, or ask others who already did, for you to answer some very simple questions.

In my case, I was looking for a way to change the HTTP verb mappings with AgaviWebRequest methods.

Agavi maps executeCreate() with HTTP PUT and executeWrite() with HTTP POST. If I use these functions in the context of REST architecture, it makes more sense if they are mapped the other way around. Although I understand that there is no single way to implement REST, there seems to be a general agreement that update operations should be mapped to HTTP PUT while create operations should be mapped to HTTP POST.

Fortunately, Agavi provides a simple (undocumented) way to change the mappings. In config/factories.xml, simply add:
              <request class="AgaviWebRequest">
<parameter name="method_names">
<parameter name="POST">create<parameter>
<parameter name="GET">read<parameter>
<parameter name="PUT">write<parameter>
<parameter name="DELETE">delete<parameter>
Thanks to the crazy guy, MikeSeth. =)

Friday, March 07, 2008

confused on implementing REST using HTTP PUT

I'm implementing a REST web service using PHP5 right now. I'm a bit confused on how to implement a write operation using HTTP PUT verb.

In PHP, data that are sent via HTTP POST are in the following format:
The data is immediately available via $_POST. Data that is sent via HTTP PUT is uploaded as a file to the server and must be parsed before reading. There's nothing wrong with it per se, except that writing data is inconsistent. There's no problem requiring my REST clients to upload a file using HTTP PUT, except that it's inconsistent.

So far, I used curl for testing my web app. I haven't tried sending data via <form> using a web browser, and I don't know whether <form method="put"> works. If it does, then the browser would probably send the data similar to POST's format, with only a different header (UPDATE - 2008/03/11: yepp, it indeed works that way). Blah, possibilities, possibilities.

I'm using Agavi framework, by the way. It's a kick-ass lightweight framework. Agavi is beautiful, but the documentation is sparse. Documentation effort is underway, and I hope to see more of it in the coming weeks. Without it, Agavi is considered "fringe" at the moment (I like fringe software; I even use fringe operating systems such as *BSD hehe).

cvsmode in csup

Nice, there are now patches for CVSMode support in csup: http://people.freebsd.org/~lulf/patches/csup/cvsmode/. This means that csup can now fetch complete CVS repositories. Thank you Ulf, whoever you are!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

pfSense 1.2

It's official! pfSense 1.2 has now been released.

pfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD tailored for use as a firewall and router. In addition to being a powerful, flexible firewalling and routing platform, it includes a long list of related features and a package system allowing further expandability without adding bloat and potential security vulnerabilities to the base distribution. pfSense is a popular project with more than 1 million downloads since its inception, and proven in countless installations ranging from small home networks protecting a PC and an Xbox to large corporations, universities and other organizations protecting thousands of network devices.

This project started in 2004 as a fork of the m0n0wall project, but focused towards full PC installations rather than the embedded hardware focus of m0n0wall.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Live DVD for Linux Games

I'm currently researching for information on how to build BSD systems that are small enough to fit inside a CF card with enough space left for user data. This is for an embedded application project that would magically transform packets through some magical incantation.

As I was googling, however, I came across a Linux project for Linux games. The project is live.linuX-gamers.net, "a collection of games [that would run directly] from DVD without the user in need to know about Linux or care about his system." Its motto is "boot 'n play."

Very cool. I might try it some time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Xen on NetBSD amd64

I'm trying to install Xen hypervisor on our amd64 box with NetBSD-4.0. I'm getting a couple of errors on getting it to run. The friendly folks at #netbsd told me that I either need to use i386 kernel or use the bleeding edge NetBSD-CURRENT. They suggested that I setup a wiki page to document my progress. I've created an account at http://wiki.netbsd.se/ and I'll see how it goes. I hope this small contribution would benefit others who need to use Xen/NetBSD on x86_64 hardware.

UPDATE: Here's the wiki page-- http://wiki.netbsd.se/Xen_3.1_on_x86_64

Saturday, February 02, 2008

NetBSD 4.0

Okidoki, I finally had time to install NetBSD 4.0. As expected, NetBSD was able to support a box with ICH9 chipset. Impressive. I was about to assign almost 250GB to my / partition (I hate having to assign fixed space among multiple partitions, and I don't find dangerously-dedicated partitions particularly dangerous anyway), but I've stumbled upon an online discussion stating that Xen has some issues with a large root partition (yeah, yeah... I often find myself stumbling upon something that I wasn't looking for pretty lately. I seem to have this thing with serendipity). It also has a few issues on non FFSv1-formatted partitions as well. Oh well, I guess I just have to take their word for it. The box is humming steadily as it downloads the necessary packages.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Firefox 3 beta 3 screenshot

Okidoki, here's a screenshot of Firefox 3 beta 3 (?) in Mac OS X. I wonder why this version is called "minefield." Maybe it's because it'll explode anytime?

Firefox 3

I've switched to Firefox 3.0 beta 2 a couple of weeks ago because I've been frustrated by the constant lockups the browser gave me. Firefox was fine when I first started using it around version 0.x - 1.x. Sure, it did have some security issues, but the development team would quickly fix it up as soon as they were discovered.

Much (virtual) ink have already been spent discussing this issue on other forums, so there's no need to enumerate my problems here.

Firefox 3 beta 2 is cool, and I no longer experienced constant lockups unlike before. It would crash, yes, but only rarely. Too bad the Web Developer extension isn't available yet on Firefox 3.

Anyway, I'll be trying the nightly Firefox 3 build (is it on beta 3 yet?) for Mac OS X. It apparently has a new look, but I don't know if it already has native Mac controls. They promised that the final version would have one. Oh well, I'll wait and see.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lazy geek

I'm lazy. I'm often satisfied of simply knowing that I can do something if I want to, even if I don't actually do it.

I'll try to blog at least 1 post per 2 days. This will be an exercise in organizing my thoughts in a manner that is understandable by other people. Contrary to common misconception, my internal thoughts are very organized; it's just that it's structured quite differently (I've learned this the hard way as I grew old), and some of my internal thoughts don't seem to exist in verbal and numeric form. They exist as symbols.

Many of them exist as ideas that are not really ideas; they have this certain qualities that cannot be described with mere words. They are blah, blah, blah, and I think I have to stop introspecting now because this won't make sense anyway and I need to go home now.

Typing my thoughts impromptu makes some very weird post.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Free legal music at Qtrax

Qtrax is launching a legal ad-funded peer-to-per (P2P) music service. Their software doesn't seem to be available at the moment though. As of Jan 28, 2008 6:45PM (I'm here in a +8 GMT zone), Qtrax' website says that their Windows client will be available on midnight, EST. Their Mac OS X client will be available on March 18, 2008. Hmmm... this looks interesting

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Xen on FreeBSD-8.0

Oooh, there are updates on www.fsmware.com! Finally! :) Check out the FreeBSD/Xen wiki as well.

BSD on a box with ICH9 chipset

I've been trying to install FreeBSD on a box with an ICH9 chipset to no avail. FreeBSD-CURRENT (the soon to be 8.0) doesn't seem to work either. There has been discussions in the mailing list that it works with FreeBSD-CURRENT, but it really doesn't work on my box.

NetBSD seems to support ICH9 on 4.0, but I prefer FreeBSD over NetBSD. Oh well, I'll just download the ISO and see how it goes. If it works, then I'll try to replace the kernel with a Xen hypervisor. Our box has a whooping 250GB of hard disk space, and it's more than enough to run a few domU Linux systems. Hmmm... It'll also be an opportunity to run Plan 9 domU as well. I haven't tried that yet. I'm wetting my pants with nerdish delight now.