Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bulk changing labels in Blogger

Say you decide to change the naming scheme of your labels, so you need to change one label into another.

You cannot directly do this, but what you can do is select all the posts with a given label, and apply a news label to them, and then remove the ld label. The help posting http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=50644 tells you how.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dalton Computer Dead Reckoning 4A


Ahhhh finding one of these brought back some memories!

The Dalton Computer Dead Reckoning 4A Ref. 6B/2645 originally designed in the 1950s. I'm sure our had slower speed sliders ie that didn't go to 800mph? But my memory is fuzzy.

I could get a fixed depart out in less than 2 minutes.

Those were the days!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Apple OSX - securely erasing disks

Its well known that thee are techniques that allow the retrieval of data from supposedly "erased" disks.

If you use OSX and you would like to make the recovery of data harder eg you are selling or giving away a computer and you wish to make sure that all your credit card, medical and bank data really is gone, you would use have Disk Utility because it has 2 security options to help you.

You should choose either 7-pass or 35-pass if you wish to securely erase a volume. The complete list is:
  • Don't Erase Data
  • Zero Out Data
  • 7-Pass Erase
  • 35-Pass Erase

With the "Don't Erase Data" option, only directory information is erased, the data itself is left unchanged on the disk. The data WILL be recoverable and for some time. As noted in Apple article, this option is the quickest, but least secure.

The "Zero Out Data" option writes zeros over all data on the disk. The article claims that "this option provides good data security in a minimum amount of time" but this is not really true. If the only thing that matters to you is time maybe this will suffice.

The "7-Pass Erase" option is the first fairly secure option which conforms to DoD 5220.22-M. Of course this will take longer than the first 2 options. DoD 5220.22-M actually calls for 3 passes, but Disk Utility performs seven.

The most secure is the "35-Pass Erase" option which as you would guess writes data 35 times, not just zeros but using the Gutmann algorithm, which means 35 different patterns are written to the disk.

Swisscom 3G vs Bluetooth vs Apple OSX

In a previous post I blogged how to get the combination of Nokia N73 bluetooth Vodafone and 3g going.

I find myself in Switzerland for a couple of weeks, so I needed to repeat using Swisscom. Through roaming I could just connect, but then there would be a very high data cost.

So I got a Swisscom sim and put that in my N73. The first thing that happened was that I got about 15 SMS messages telling me how to set up my phone for Swisscom. Well that was not required. So I hunted around to see what the dial-up settings are. I couldn't find any at all.

After some trial and error including 3 hard freezes, I got a setting that works:

Number: web
Account Name: gprs
Password: gprs

Then click 'Advanced'

Vendor: Nokia
Model: GPRS (GSM / 3G)
APN: gprs.swisscom.ch
CID: 1




Click OK, then Apply and then Connect and you should be good to go.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blogger / Blogspot - visitor tracking

Google handily offer some free visitor counting and tracking services through analytics. Go to www.google.com/analytics/ and sign in with your Gmail account, and off you go. Then modify your Blogger template - I put the tracking code (ga.js) into the template at the bottom, just before the final tag.

You can create multiple trackers for your other web sites as well.

Stats get generated daily.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Apple Macbook Pro and HP LP3065 30" monitor

Lucky me is currently using my Macbook Pro with an HP LP3065 30" screen.

With a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 its give massive screen real estate.

To run the screen requires a Dual-Link DVI-D cable. Forunately my Macbook Pro has a DVI port that support Dual-Link, so plug in and off you go.

Don't forget to adjust for the correct height - the bridge of your nose should be level with the top of the screen where it meets the bezel. Instructions are here.

You can run the LP3065 at a lower resolution, but the scaling work has to be doe by the GPU since the LP3065 has no built-in scaler. I guess this means that you cannot connect the LP3065 to a Macbook since Macbook do not have dual-link DVI-D.

So far, I have not found a way to calibrate the LP3065 on OSX using the non-purchased software.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Using a Macbook / Macbook Pro with an external monitor and the lid down - part 2 - using a bluetooth keyboard

Previously I had discovered how to use my Macbook Pro in lid down mode which was great, especially now that the 1.5.1 EFI firmware upgrade fixes the graphics issues.

On a short term assignment out of my regular office I wanted to use the more travel friendly Apple bluetooth keyboard.

Well its pretty easy really. Pair up the keyboard and Macbook. Put the Macbook to sleep and put the lid down. Let the bluetooth keyboard turn itself off.

Press the button on the right hand side of the keyboard, and you should get wakeup.

If this doesn't work, you need to check that bluetooth can wake the computer. The setting is in Prefs>Bluetooth>Advanced.


For a complete explanation, here's the text from Apple:

If you use an external display or projector with any MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro (17-inch), MacBook or PowerBook G4 with built-in Bluetooth and have a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard, you can close the display and still use the computer. Here's how.

  1. Make sure the computer is plugged in to an outlet using the AC power adapter.

  2. Verify that Bluetooth is turned on by using the Bluetooth pane of System Preferences or the Bluetooth menu icon.

  3. Pair your Bluetooth keyboard or mouse with the computer. For step-by-step instructions, click here for keyboard pairing or click here for mouse pairing.

  4. In System Preferences, be sure that the Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer option is selected.

  5. Connect the Apple video (VGA or DVI) adapter that came with your computer to the appropriate port on the external display or projector and turn the display or projector on.

  6. With the computer turned on and your wireless keyboard or mouse paired, connect the other end of the adapter to the video output port on your notebook.

  7. Once your computer's Desktop appears on the external display, close the notebook's lid.

  8. Once it's closed, wake the computer up by either clicking your Bluetooth mouse button or by pressing a key on your Bluetooth keyboard.
You should now be able to use your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or PowerBook G4 as you normally would, using your Bluetooth keyboard or mouse.

When you are finished using your MacBook Pro, MacBook, or PowerBook G4 in closed-lid mode, the internal display will not come on when you open the lid until you have disconnected the external display. If you want the internal display to enable again, remove the external display connector, put the computer to sleep, and then open the lid. This will toggle the computer to come out of closed-lid mode and once again provide power and a video signal to the internal display.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sharing Google Docs outside your domain

Ordinarily it seems you cannot share Google Docs with people outside your domain.

But using the Sites trick I blogged about previously, you can.

Create your Google Site and pages.

Create your Doc. Publish it. Share it with the external person

Insert it into your page / Site

Now send them the URL and they should be able to login and see your Site.

Selective sharing of Google Sites outside your domain

Google Sites does not have ACLs yet, so in the meantime here is a way to selectively share a site outside your domain.

Part 1: The person you want to share your site with needs to go to the Team Edition web site at http://www.google.com/apps/business/index.html and sign up. NB I haven't tested freebie webmail accounts other than gmail - you cannot use a gmail.com address.


When they get the confirmation email tell them to click the link,
follow it through and they will get the dashboard logon.

Part 2: When they tell you this is done,
you share out your site with this other account. Personally I would select 'viewer' for them.

You copy the URL from the site you are sharing, and send it them. When they load it they get this screen:


Part 3: They click on 'sign in with a different account' and put in their Team Edition credentials into the box labelled "Enter your email address", NOT the box above! Then press 'go'.

and they get the Site.

If you revoke their share permission they will get a denied page:



Thursday, May 8, 2008

OSX Server: servermgrd CPU ramps and consumes the system

I had a problem with my OSX Server box running 10.4.x where the daemon servermgrd would take ever greater amounts of CPU.

It seems this can be a problem even on very recent builds.

To fix I ran

killall -HUP

This kills and restarts the process.

To get the process ID you can of course do a 'top'

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Apple DVD player - getting 5.1 surround sound

Its not particularly well known that recent Apples support 5.1 surround sound via optical output. The headphone socket on the side does plain audio out for regular headphones.

But get a TOSlink adapter and you can feed the optical into your receiver. Then you'll need an application that can output source to 5.1 optical, such DVD Player.

To make DVD Player output 5.1 go to Preferences, Disc Setup pane and change Audio Output popup from the default to get the disk's 5.1 sound through the optical.

NB This option will only exist if you have a TOSlink connected.

Importing email into GMail part 4

If you've been reading the other parts (one, two and three) 0f this story, well, thank you! Here we are at part 4 and its looking good.

One of the things you can do in Thunderbird is to have tags, or in GMail speak, labels, for your email. Thunderbird allows you to colour them. So does GMail.

First create your labels, and then scroll down and then in the the small box to the right of the label, click in an select a colour.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Importing email into GMail part 3

So following part 1 and part 2, we've moved all the email stored remotely into GMail, but now what to do with the email in Thunderbird's local folders?

Well again Apple Mail comes to the rescue. We need to import the Thunderbird folders in Mail, and then we can drag and drop into GMail.

To do this safely, I went into the profile folder where Thunderbird keeps its mail

~/library/Thunderbird/profiles/xyz123.default/Mail/Local Folders

and in there found the items with email: Inbox and Sent. Copy them elsewhere, and stick a .mbox on them ie so they are named Inbox.mbox and Sent.mbox.

Then go into Mail and go into File>Import Mailboxes and select 'other'. Navigate to the folder where your mboxs are. They will be greyed out. Don't worry. Select 'continue' and they will be imported anyway.

After a few minutes they'll show up in Mail and you can then drag and drop into GMail.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Importing email into GMail part 2

In a previous post I discussed how to move email into GMail.

Some people have seriously large email collections ie tens of GBs, perhaps 1TB or more.

So if you want to move them to GMail you will need to factor the rate of ingestion ie how fast GMail is at importing email. This article talks about this issue -
they did 10,000 emails in 3 hours which works about to be about 1 per second.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Darwine applications have no fonts in OSX

After installing (dar)WINE on my Leopard MBP, I tried to run DPlot (a great graphing windows only application from www.dplot.com).

It runs, but had access only 2 of fonts, which is clearly not enough.

You can get extra windows compatible ttf fonts called Liberation fonts from Redhat. Unzip them and then copy then into the correct directory:

cp ~/desktop/liberation-fonts/* ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/fonts/

This puts the fonts in your own WINE settings, for other users copy for them as well