All Articles

  1. Updated omniORB in Debian

    A while ago Thomas Girard started the Debian CORBA Team with the aim of maintaining omniORB and related packages in Debian. After a lot of work (and time!) we managed to get the packages of up to date versions in a good state fixing almost all bugs in Debian's BTS …

  2. Seeing your browser's headers using python

    There's a very annoying website that won't send their CSS to my normal web browser (epiphany ) which makes it rather ugly. However when I use iceweasel the CSS gets applied. Since both browsers use exactly the same rendering engine, gecko, on my machine as far as I know, I thought …

  3. Schneier: hammer, nail

    As Bruce Schneider says:

    If you remember, this was sold to the public as essential for fighting terrorism. It's already being misused.
  4. Making Debian packages on an SMP machine

    When you have an SMP machine (including dual core CPUs - but I'm sure everyone knows that by now), you quickly learn to use the -jN flag to GNU make(1). N is the number of CPUs you have and it lets make(1) run that many jobs in parallel whenever …

  5. How far does encryption get you?

    Finally, since a short while, all my hard disks are setup to use encrypted disks using LUKS. Works like a charm and you don't really notice it slow down. Unfortunately I am now left wondering what the point is, given that I currently live in the UK. Not that there …

  6. Simple music players

    A while ago I bragged about my own music player. Basically I couldn't find the player I liked so started creating my own. It was the first time I wrote anything related to media or a GUI -good thing my basic requirement was simplicity- and was interesting to do, but …

  7. There's a first time for everying

    flub@signy:~/src$ tar -xzf storm-0.10.tar.gz
    gzip: stdin: not in gzip format
    tar: Child returned status 1
    tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
    flub@signy:~/src$ file storm-0.10.tar.gz
    storm-0.10.tar.gz: POSIX tar archive (GNU)
    flub@signy:~/src$ mv storm-0.10.tar …
  8. EU in censor madness

    So the EU seems to think that the Internet should be filtered. The first step is blocking searches for bomb recipes.

    To any rational person it is obvious that this is wrong on more levels then I care to explain (others have done so already better then I can), but …

  9. Capable Impressive System Crippled OS

    That's my new acronym for cisco. Seriously, I did expect a learning curve for IOS when I was ordering a cisco 877W, but this is just disappointing.

    No doubt IOS was once very amazing and had a very nice and clear concept and interface to the first few products it …

  10. Source code to my music player

    Recently I said I created an increadably stupid, dump and boring GTK music player. I also offered to make the source code available in the very unlikely case someone else would find this thing interesting. I should have known to just do that right away, so here it is.

  11. My very own music player

    Yes, I've contributed to the masses of music players out there. It is pleasantly easy using python and the pygtk and pygst modules.

    But why yet an other music player? Well it is, intentionally, increadably simple.

    • No library. Just a simple list of files, played sequentially.
    • No metadata. If you …
  12. Encrypted hard disk: LVM on LUKS

    There are of course about a million other guides on how to use encrypted disks out there. However I did run into some trouble when trying this, so here mine. Specificly I address the issue of getting an encrypted root disk, with the root being on a Logical Volume Management …

  13. Writing entropy


    How long does it take to write a 120 GB disk full with random data?


    15 hours, 2 minutes and 27 seconds.

    Obviously this depends on the machine. For me it was going at just under 8 minutes per GB, others report around 5 minutes per GB. Also …

  14. Debian is 14

    Happy brithday!

    And thanks for everyone involved all those years.

  15. Gazpacho and libglade

    If you read my last post about using Gazpacho you should read the comment by Johan Dahlin too. He's one of the authors of Gazpacho and explains the libglade and save format issues^Wthings in Gazpacho nicely.

  16. Making GUI applications with Gazpacho

    Earlier I have made some simple GUI applications using PyGTK and Glade, which is surprisingly easy. Now I have another small itch to scratch and have another go at some GUI app. Only this time I decided that the coolness of Gazpacho looked slightly nicer to me, so gave that …

  17. Optimising python code by AST fiddling

    Obviously no real optimisation, just optimisation exactly like python -O [-O] would create. But in "normal" byte compiled files, i.e. in .pyc files instead of .pyo files.

    Why would I want to do that? Well, we really don't feel like shipping code with assert statements or if __debug__: ... bits …

  18. How to choose a web framework?

    So I have a bit of organically growing information that is nice to represent on internal web pages in a semi-organised fashion. The first iteration just runs a few python scripts from some cron jobs that utilise SimpleTAL to create staticly served pages. SimpleTAL as templating language simply because we …

  19. __slots__: worth the trouble?

    I find __slots__ annoying. They seem to have a lot of rules about their use and make things like a borgs rather awkward to use (I even prefer to use a singleton instead of a borg in new-style classes because of this).

    And all it does is safe some space …

  20. IPC in the stdlib(?)

    Many interesting comments on my last musings about IPC. Each and every one of them look very nice and have their application area, go and have a look! These found a weak spot in my heart though:

    • Candygram is Erlang style message passing. Very stunning, but to my liking a …
  21. IPC and the GIL

    As recently described excelently, threads are ugly beasts, waiting to get you when you let your guard down (and eventually you will). Yes, that means that I should really get my head round the asynchat module and stop using ThreadingMixIn with the SocketServer, but that's not the point of this …

  22. What's in a number?

    Ok, I coudn't resist this. Someone told me (as much as writing a blog counts as telling) this is my lucky number: 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0. Someone else says it's magic. Lucky and/or magic numbers... hmm, sounds …

  23. More roundup love

    As I've said before, roundup is an amazing issue tracker. Last time I wrote I had just implemented our internal bug tracker with all the weird requirements of a few developers. By now the incredibly flexible system, thanks to python, has been moulded into our complete project management tracker.

    This …

  24. Campaigning for -delete

    Whenever find(1) is used to delete some files there are always a few variants that can be seen. They are generally combinations of -exec and -print piped to xargs. While demonstrating the increadible power of UNIX shells and pipes etc they don't appear very practical.

    Most implementations struggle with …

  25. Debian Developers working together

    My quote of the day (from Josselin Mouette):

    BTW, who said flamewars are a nuisance to the Debian project? I've never seen developers as united as when Mr Schilling is around. With a few more people like him we would probably be always working together.
  26. Backup script in 43 lines

    This is no more then my personal backup prefference at this moment. It is full of personal preferences and might not be what other people like. It also isn't written with portability in mind. But I think it is rather elegant.

    My use case: on Friday evening I get home …

  27. Timers for profilers

    After some oh... and ah... experiences I have decided that the only timer that will give you correct results in a portable manner (accross POSIX platforms that is) is resource.getrusage(resource.RUSAGE_SELF) and os.times(). This is rather shocking, certainly after I then went on to discover that on …

  28. Schizophrenic thoughts

    On one hand I use tab-completion on the command line all the time. I even go as far as creating my own -terribly incomplete- completion functions in bash for commands that I use often

    On the other hand, when programming I don't use tab-completion -maybe mostly because it's not so …

  29. Roundup praise

    Roundup is just an amazing bug tracking system. It really is way more general then that, their own words for it are not bad: an issue tracking system for knowledge workers.

    Why I love it:

    • It's written in python
    • It has a poweful and flexible concept/abstraction of a database …
  30. Writing applications as modules

    The Problem

    I recently had to write a few command line applications of the form command [options] args that did some stuff, maybe printed a few things on screen and exited with a certain exit code. Nothing weird here.

    These apps where part of a larger server system however and …

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