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Sat Feb 14 17:27:08 2009 GMT: Switched broadband connection to IDNet

Sun Feb 08 15:47:27 2009 GMT: Xref header filtering for newscache

Mon Feb 02 18:05:46 2009 GMT: Finally some snow around here

and the country almost comes to a standstill with complete chaos.

Sat Jan 31 10:23:16 2009 GMT: (Ab)Using OpenVPN

OpenVPN is a great VPN application for both Windows and Unix/Linux platforms, but it can also be of great help in situations where it's not immediatly obvious.

Because it provides a mode of operation where IP packets are tunneled in cleartext via UDP, you can actually feed your IP packets to a Python application and then do any packet munging you like in Python without having to think about low-level OS APIs - and it's portable across any OpenVPN-supported platforms.

Sat Jan 31 10:05:03 2009 GMT: Twinkle 1.4 Bug

Last weekend a new version of my favourite soft-phone was released, but unfortunately, it contained a serious bug when compiled with an old version of the (or no) speex library which results in no outgoing audio. I have been able to track down and fix the bug. BTW, a package for Ubuntu hardy heron with that fix is available from my .deb packages page.

Sun Jan 04 16:17:39 2009 GMT: Python DB-API Rant

SQLite really is a great database engine, but as it only supports database-wide locks, it's not really suitable if you want to concurrently access the database from different threads/processes. So I though, just switch to PostgreSQL which should be easy in theory as I am already using Python's DB-API 2.0.

Unfortunately, it's not that easy in practise, as the DB-API specification is not strict enough to make it really useful (and implementations have their own bugs on top of that). The main issue is that Python's built-in sqlite3 module uses "?" as the placeholder in prepared statements, whereas all PostgreSQL DB-API implementations use Python format strings (e.g. "%s") as placeholders. To make matters worse, some implementations expect "%d" for integer parameters, while others expect "%s".

So, essentially you can't use plain DB-API to write portable applications, but need another abstraction layer on top of it...

Sat Dec 27 21:24:53 2008 GMT: vAdmin SNMP Service

My new vServer provider apparently uses vAdmin as the management interface for the vServer. But one of the less than ideal side-effects of this is that the initial installation came with a snmp daemon (as part of the vAdmin setup) that was configured with an easily guessable (read/write) community name (and no IP-based filtering).

Needless to say, one of the first things I did was to deactivate that snmp daemon - but if you are also using a vAdmin based vServer, you might want to check if there is a snmp daemon running you don't know about...

Mon Dec 22 10:26:51 2008 GMT: 64-bit vServer

Sun Dec 21 10:21:31 2008 GMT: Server Migration

Mon Nov 17 20:29:55 2008 GMT: New Scientist Redesign

Mon Nov 10 21:22:00 2008 GMT: Seeing telecom data retention as an opportunity

Mon Nov 10 20:00:23 2008 GMT: Webdav Backup Scripts

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Christof Meerwald <cmeerw@cmeerw.org>
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