Flashing a Vaio

Sony in it's infinite wisdom has decided to make updates for my Sony Vaio VGN-BX560B available as a Windows only executable. Unfortunately, I don't have Windows on the laptop, since I'm running Ubuntu almost exclusively right now. A lot of googling suggests that I'm not the only one who's had that trouble. I even tried finding a BIOS update right from Phoenix, but that didn't turn up anything.

perl out sorts sort

Once again, I found myself needing to sort a bunch of data, but this time from within a perl script written by a friend, which I was augmenting. The script was doing some ssh magic to retrieve a lot of data from several servers and building a 100+ MB file for each box. That is the data I was needing to sort. Since I was already using backticks for the SSH I considered using that to also sort the data. "But wait!" I thought. "maybe I should just use the Perl provided sort function". I decided to let performance be my guide.

The many circles of quoting hell

When it comes to shell programming quotes and escaped quotes and escaped escapes seem to offer a limitless pit of fun. At times it seems nearly insurmountable and depending on whether you are running interactively or from a script.

Recently I had the opportunity to assist in some bash shell scripting. The issue was largely based on trying to get smbclient to run via some options that were being passed and parsed into a script.

Raw CUPS configuration challenge!

So, I recently had the pleasure of setting up a printer on Windows Vista laptop. In the past I've always made the choice to go the 'Generic Postscript' driver route. This generally works, but does not allow the Windows client to adjust any of the printer settings such as color, quality, etc. With this in mind and the price of print cartridges I decided I should re-investigate the setup of the printer driver.

1 != 1 ... it's a type thing

I found myself scripting a nagios check the other day. That in itself isn't unusual, but in this case I was writing a script to run via NRPE on a windows host using WSH/VB. The script was intended to received 3 parameters: a string, a warning number and a critical number. It would then list all the processes on the windows host and see if they matched the string. If so it would count them and compare that count to the critical and warning values.

gentoo on apache with mod_suexec

In my last post I eluded to some difficulties in getting mod_suexec to build for apache on my gentoo host. It used to work for a long time and then it failed around the time that the gentoo team moved and changed some of the build flags from /etc/apache2/apache2-builtin-mods to /etc/make.conf.

I've been lazy and haven't file a bug report, but since I have a work around and it doesn't change that often, the pain factor has not reached critical mass.

The magic of /etc/conf.d/apache2 and it's failings

I'm still running a Gentoo despite of the recent political stuff they've undergone. It simply works well for me and why fix and switch everything to Ubuntu.

At any rate, there is a web server that lives on the Gentoo box, that I occasionally add things to. I'm a big fan of splitting each virtual host into it's own file for cleanliness and after making changes I tend to run apache2 -t to verify the syntax is correct in all of the config files.


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