Linux and Open Source

About Linux and Open Source

A headusp that due to what I can only describe as a clerical error, the virtual machine that hosted linux.net.nz has been deleted in the last few days.

I've temporarily set up a Listserv on the NZOSS infrastructure (which I host) to keep folks in the loop. All the people whos email addresses I had in my inbox associated with NZLUG and Auckland LUG have been subscribed. Others are welcome. Details are here. I will update this page as I hear further.

Update: Dylan Reeve, who owns/co-ran the linux.net.nz hosting server, has explained what went on in a blog post of his own. :( Until Nic returns from his holiday we're not sure where the various LUG's stands, except that Nic does think he has backups of all important data (notably the list membership database and mail archive for the list) as of a few months ago. So the data loss may not be huge in that front.

Can't speak for the website however....

More as I hear.

I installed OpenShot yesterday and published my first Youtube vid edited with it: And i've embedded it here just coz it involves cats, and we all love cats... right?

Later on I observed that VLC was no longer installed on my machine.
I also observed I had some videos that wouldn't play anymore (in totem) due to missing Codecs.

I was prompted to check my apt/history.log file after someone on Facebook doubted the correlation... I suppose I should stop openly blaming things without checking... so glad I looked:

Here's an extract:

Start-Date: 2011-12-27 19:36:05
Commandline: apt-get install openshot
Install: melt:amd64 (0.5.6+git20100727-1, automatic), libavformat-extra-52:amd64 (0.6-2ubuntu3.2, automatic), openshot:amd64 (1.2.2-1), libatlas3gf-base:amd64 (3.8.3-22ubuntu2, automatic), libmlt++3:amd64 (0.5.6+git20100727-1, automatic), libsox-fmt-base:amd64 (14.3.1-1build1, automatic), libquicktime1:amd64 (1.1.5-1, automatic), python-mlt2:amd64 (0.5.6+git20100727-1, automatic), libsox-fmt-alsa:amd64 (14.3.1-1build1, automatic), libavutil-extra-50:amd64 (0.6-2ubuntu3.2, automatic), libcvaux2.1:amd64 (2.1.0-2, automatic), libavdevice52:amd64 (0.6-2ubuntu6.2, automatic), libpostproc-extra-51:amd64 (0.6-2ubuntu3.2, automatic), libmp3lame0:amd64 (3.98.4-0ubuntu1, automatic), openshot-doc:amd64 (1.2.2-1, automatic), libhighgui2.1:amd64 (2.1.0-2, automatic), libswscale-extra-0:amd64 (0.6-2ubuntu3.2, automatic), libgavl1:amd64 (1.1.2-3, automatic), frei0r-plugins:amd64 (1.1.22git20091109-1.1, automatic), libqt4-svg:amd64 (4.7.0-0ubuntu4.4, automatic), libcv2.1:amd64 (2.1.0-2, automatic), libxvidcore4:amd64 (1.2.2+debian-1ubuntu2, automatic), libgfortran3:amd64 (4.5.1-7ubuntu2, automatic), librtmp0:amd64 (2.3-2, automatic), libsox1b:amd64 (14.3.1-1build1, automatic), libmlt-data:amd64 (0.5.6+git20100727-1, automatic), libopenjpeg2:amd64 (1.3+dfsg-4, automatic), libmlt2:amd64 (0.5.6+git20100727-1, automatic), libavcodec-extra-52:amd64 (0.6-2ubuntu3.2, automatic)

Remove: libswscale0:amd64 (0.6.2-1ubuntu1~ppa1~lucid1), libavutil50:amd64 (0.6.2-1ubuntu1~ppa1~lucid1), libavcodec52:amd64 (0.6.2-1ubuntu1~ppa1~lucid1), gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg:amd64 (0.10.11-1), vlc-nox:amd64 (1.1.4-1ubuntu1.7), vlc-plugin-notify:amd64 (1.1.4-1ubuntu1.7), libpostproc51:amd64 (0.6.2-1ubuntu1~ppa1~lucid1), libavformat52:amd64 (0.6.2-1ubuntu1~ppa1~lucid1), vlc:amd64 (1.1.4-1ubuntu1.7), vlc-plugin-pulse:amd64 (1.1.4-1ubuntu1.7)
End-Date: 2011-12-27 19:38:00

plenty of vlc packages removed as a result of installing OpenShot... and a swag of codecs...
reinstalled vlc and let totem go codec hunting, at least I have a list of what's missing now should I need it... I should've paid more attention to what it was up to I think!

... I have found that over time i've developed the habit of using Ctrl-W to close Windows.
I suppose this replaced the old Ctrl-F4 habit I used to have when I realised that Ctrl-F4 was very much a Windows-Only thing and that Ctrl-W was more widely supported (in particular, in Firefox, regardless of OS.)

Today after closing Firefox inadvertantly (by hitting Ctrl-Q, instead of Ctrl-W, by accident, and not for the first time!) I threw a frustrated search into Google, pondering whether Ctrl-Q could be disabled.

What do you know.... It Can. Keyconfig installed, and configuration changed.
I also took the opportunity to disable the F12 mapping for Firebug - another Firefox addon that I have installed and use very occasionally - but not often enough to justify stealing the F12 mapping (that I do have to use elsewhere - mainly when using the remote KVM on our blade chassis at work...!)

I must admit it really is great to be able to use a tool like Firefox and know that there's an addon for just about everything. :-) I have FireFTP, Adblock Plus, HTTPS-Everywhere, Firebug, Gmail Manager, NoScript and User-Agent Switcher (off the top of my head) and the best part is that I can use those addons on any of my machines, as long as they run Firefox (of a current nature). Windows, Linux, the lot.

Now if only they hadn't changed to this crummy version numbering schema they're now using to keep up with the Joneses, or is that, the Googles...

So.. my Ubuntu 10.10 box having been supplied with RPA data for Firefox and Thunderbird, upgraded me to Firefox 8.0 about a week ago.

Interestingly now if I try to hit http://www.asb.co.nz it now tries to send me a download into my browser...

"application/vnd.wap.xhtml+xml (-1 bytes)"

If I hit their Fastnet site directly https://fnc.asbbank.co.nz that renders as expected - until you finish your session, click 'logout' and it tries to redirect you elsewhere.

I was engaging ASB via Twitter who have their guys 'looking into it' and it appears to be related to my Firefox 8 upgrade.

Interestingly I also discovered that www.hotfrog.co.nz wont load in Firefox 8 either. However I grabbed the User Agent Switching plugin last night, and today I can visit both of the above with an alternative user-agent selected.

For comparison here's my pre and post-upgrade user-agents:

"Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1"

(well, as of 11 November)

"Mozilla/5.0 (Ubuntu; X11; Linux x86_64; rv:8.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/8.0"

(as of today)

Interesting the 'Ubuntu' assertion that's been inserted.

So, um, 'hai hotfrog, hai ASB, please update your user-agent lists, thx!' :-)

(And it's not just me. Check out Auckland LUG discussion for more.)

Web URL's known to not work with my FF8/Ubuntu User Agent:

www.asb.co.nz as at 20111130 renders mobile site. @ASBBank have Acknowledged and are 'looking into' it.
www.hotfrog.co.nz as at 20111130 doesn't work at all. @HotFrogAU has Acknowledged which is excellent.
www.cudo.co.nz as at 20111130 renders mobile site. No tweeting for them?

I just want to say that 'dmidecode' is one of the most singularly useful commands i've come across in a while.
Not something you necessarily want every day, but, well, pipe it to less from a terminal and enjoy :-)

This is worth a look. Rare to see a drop of rationality in this world of polarizing, extremist views... http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2010/10/of-us-who-work-in-corporate-it-world.html

So... yeah... I think i've mentioned it on here before, but it's definately official now; i'm becoming an Aucklander again.

As of Saturday i'm domiciled back in Auckland; currently staying with my friend Nick while I 'sort myself out'.

The sorting includes getting settled into work; finding a new car, and a place for the family.

Hoping to bring everyone else up during the school holidays in July. So the hunting will begin in earnest from next week onwards, in terms of rental places. In the meantime i'm trying to sort out some wheels to get around in (hard to hunt for houses if you're immobile!)

Grateful to Nick and his fiance Lisa for their gracious hospitality; Lisa even loaned me her car for today to help me get to work and back. :)

Missing the wife and kids, I must say. Nothing quite like cuddles from your loved ones!

So in the meantime I bury myself in other matters. Today I set up an Ubuntu 10.04 box at work, to use as a 'second system' to provide me with a test bed for some stuff, and to free me from needing to have my laptop running constantly.

First thing I noticed was that They've Moved the Buttons that control Minimize, Maximize and Close. what a pain.

Fortunately the Python script Linked works very nicely, and i've been able to restore the old location. I'm moving between Windows and Linux constantly, a little bit of consistency (especially when you consider the habits of many, MANY years) is not too much to ask for!

Of course the Apple fanboys can keep things where they like them. Should be a choice. :-)

So while I settle into my new job (learning curve = steep, but a good challenge for me) I'll also get a chance to do some more tinkering, which is nice. Gotta brush-up on my Cisco-fu though.

So yup... the rumours are definately true...
I've landed a new job, based in Auckland, so my resignation is now in. I move to Auckland at the end of May, and the family will follow several weeks later.

So now the planning begins... !!

Meanwhile in the light-reading department, interesting to see folks making posts on how to tell Ubuntu 10.04 (just released, new long-term-stable) that you prefer some of the Older Apps that used to ship as default.

I for one prefer Ubuntu and Firefox. But I admit to looking forward to the idea of trying out 10.04 - when I lay my hands on a speccy enough machine to justify it...

GoPetition

By all accounts the PublicACTA event held in Wellington on Saturday was a roaring success. Sadly, I was unable to attend, and it sounds like I missed a great event. That said, we now have a bunch of smart folks who've had opportunity to discuss at length the issues that the so-called Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is generating, and to produce the 'Wellington Declaration'. This is to be presented to the Government in less than 2 days - and hopefully made available to the ACTA negotiators.

Everyone who cares about the ongoing rights and freedoms of citizens of NZ - in particular regarding the Internet but also regarding the ways Government creates law - should be paying careful attention to ACTA. If the contents of the declaration ring true with you, show your support and Sign the Petition.

I Plugged it on NZLUG, and AuckLUG as well. It goes a little way toward explaining the background of this, largely ripped directly from the PublicACTA website.

Big Kudos to InternetNZ (hat-tip Jordan Carter), Nat Torkington, Don Christie, Peter Harrison and all of those who've been involved in both PublicACTA and from my personal perspective, the NZOSS's arguments against ACTA - NZOSS have been very proactive in responding to ACTA's potential risk to the FLOSS community and i'm proud to be involved with such upstanding folks.

So yeah, anyway, get signing! And stay tuned, I have no doubt we've in no way heard the end of this.

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