Category Archives: Uncategorized

Apache Training

Past the half-way mark in the Apache training class. Things are going well. Having an intelligent student makes all the differentce between a frustrating week and an enjoyable week. Having a student with Unix experience makes things even better. This has been an enjoyable week so far.

Weird thing happened this week. Elections coming up in Kenya on the 27th, and there are two people that really have a chance of winning. Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the son of the first president, and hand-picked by the current president to be his succsssor, and Mwai Kibaki. Kibaki used to be the current president’s vice president, but was fired a few years back. Kibaki was involved in a pretty serious car accident yesterday. The official story is that he is not badly hurt, but he was flown to London for treatment, which seems more serious than the fractured arm and sprained ankle that they are reporting. It seems rather suspicious, in a country where politicians have been involved in “accidents” as they rose to power. But today Kibaki assured people that there was nothing underhanded about the accident – that it really was a normal accident.

And today we had the first real snow of the year. There’s quite a bit of accumulation, and the roads were kind of a mess on the way home. People were driving 35 about the whole way, which got annoying real fast, but was probably just as well.

Listen, Port, Bindaddress

Yesterday started training again. I find myself wondering, yet again, why the default configuration file uses ‘Port 80’ rather than ‘Listen 80’, while the documentation says that Port and Bindaddress are deprecated. I’ll have to experiment with setting Listen, and not setting Port, and see if any bad things happen. The only strange thing that comes to mind is that Port has a default value of 80, so if we leave it out entirely, it is still set to 80. I think.

These classes invariably bring up something in the docs that could be done better. Which is pretty cool. It’s like these folks are contributing to Apache just by virtue of letting me talk at them. 😉

Pres. Lincoln

I have been reading my great great grandfather’s diary (Isaac F Nace, Company F, 128th Pennsylvania, Union Army), and today I came across this:

Fri, April 10th, 1863

Weather very fine. Pres. Lincoln had a review of the 11th and 12th army Corps. We were taken out about 9 A.M. and had to wait till about 8 in P.M. when the President together with General Hooker made their apearance to review our corps. After the review was over we proceeded to our camp tired and hungry. Subscribed for a picture giving the names of our company & battles we were in. Have to pay $1.00 for the picture.

Chrisman Cab, Vintner’s reserve

Just a quick note before I forget to mention it. I was at Chrisman Mill tasting room yesterday, and tasted the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, which just released. It was wonderful, but very very tannic. Chris says that it will age gracefully 25 or 30 years. Like I have that kind of patience. But I will try very very hard. I bought two bottles, and will try to keep them as long as I possibly can.

I also tasted the Vintner’s reserve, which is all Kentucky Chambourcin. It was fantastic. It is a light-bodied red, with all the fruitiness of a Beaujolais (Not a nouveau. Not that kind of Beaujolais. Think Beaujolais Villages.) It has not released yet. I know that there is an exceedingly limited quantity. I should have gone ahead and bought a bottle for her to hold for me. I hope I don’t miss it.

Anyways, if you want the cab, you better go quick.

Apparently the mead lasted less than a week, and I missed it. Darn. Maybe some of the local wine stores got some. I’ll have to check next week.


Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day,
The sun obliquely shoots his burning Ray
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign
And wretches hang that jury-men may dine

–The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope, 3:19ff

Cline Old Vines Zin

The Cline Old Vines Zinfandel is always a pleasure. Grown on vines that are somewhere in the 50-100 year age range, the wine is robust, big bodies, and powerful in the mouth. It always has that wonderful peppery zinfandel aroma and taste, and lots of good earthy smells.

The first time I visited Sonoma, I stopped first at Cline, which is down at the south end of the valley. I think that the sign said you were allowed to taste 4 wines, or something like that, and it was supposed to be a half ounce of each, perhaps. Well, the guy that was pouring that day was feeling generous, and I believe I probably had 8 half-glasses of wine – perhaps even more – before I was done. It made the rest of the day very interesting, and I have, since then, had a warm place in my heart for Cline.

And, of course, one of the wines I tasted that day was the Old Vines Zin, which has been a favorite of mine ever since, and I get it almost every time it is in stock and ye olde wine shop.

The particular zin I had this time was a 2000, and I’m afraid I have no idea what I paid for it, but I seem to recall it was in the $11 range. Perhaps a little more.


My various attempts to keep up a web site with my tasting notes have proved rather fruitless. The technology is just hard enough to use that I don’t stay disciplined, so I fall behind, and it goes down hill from there.

I’ve started using Movable Type for another project, and it seems to really work for me. So perhaps this will encourage me to stay up on this.

So, watch this space, and I’ll try really hard to keep notes on everything I taste. Of course, this is primarily for my own benefit, since I seem to have a memory like a seive lately, and can’t remember from one day to the next what I tasted.

New network card

How the heck did Linux users survive before Google? Perhaps they just figured stuff out on their own, or moved back to Windows. So maybe Google lets dumber people use Linux now. God bless it.

This morning when I inserted my network card, I got a “Nov 30 07:56:10 rhiannon kernel: eth0: MII is missing!” message. Which was completely greek to me. What I gathered, via experimentation (my other nic still worked) and googling (this is a generic hardware error for which there’s no particularly obvious solution) was that my card was toasty, and I needed a new one.

I have long loathed pcmcia network cards and their “dongles”. I figure that the guy that came up with the dongle idea was a genius. You sell a card with a dongle, and you only make dongles available with new cards. The dongle is going to break, no matter how careful you are, and then you have to buy a new card, even though the old card is working perfectly well.

So when various manufacturers started making pcmcia network cards without dongles, I determined that I would get one of those when my nic finally gave up the ghost.

There I am at CompUSA, and they have LinkSys cards, which is what I already had, for $20. But they had dongles. And they had Netgear cards without dongles, for $35. Well, I know that the LinkSys card will Just Work, with no additional effort, but I really want the one without the dongle. So I got it.

And, of course, when I got home and inserted it, I got “Nov 30 12:16:27 rhiannon cardmgr[52]: unsupported card in socket 1”. Joy.

I can take the card back … but, just in case, I turn to Google. And find … which tells me exactly what I need to do to get it working.

For the record, in case that site goes away someday, I had to add the following to /etc/pcmcia/config:

card "NetGear FA411 Fast Ethernet"
version "NETGEAR","FA411"
bind "pcnet_cs"

Scary movies?

I don’t see very many movies. Most of the stuff that comes out in the theatres looks sufficiently like dreck that it seems almost criminal to waste $6 on it. But, occasionally, I’ll go back and get something on DVD that I missed in the theater. I have a list, and usually stick to it.

Well, yesterday, I rented one of the movies that I missed, very intentionally, when it was in the theater. The critics raved. The masses flocked. I thought it looked like crap. Turns out I should have stuck with my first impressions.

The movie was “The Blair Witch Project.” Yes, that’s right, I had never seen it until yesterday. When it came out in theaters, my impression was that it was a badly done, low budget B-grade horror flick that was done by a buch of high school movie class dropouts. And, it turns out, I was a little too generous in my praise.

It was, I believe, the worse movie I have ever seen. It lacked plot. It lacked resolution. It lacked any hint of movie-making talent. Now, this latter was presumably the whole point of it – supposed to make it more raw, gritty, believable. Um. Yeah. Whatever. It was complete poo poo. I have nothing whatsoever good to say about it. It was at no point scary, believable, or remotely appealing.

By about halfway through, I found myself in that state that I tend to get into with really long Charlotte Bronte novels. I feel that I have a responsibility to finish the book, because I need to finish what I started, and because it is considered one of the classics and blah blah blah. People said that this was worth watching. That it used clever cinematic technique. That it has an interesting ending.

I can’t recal when I have so completely wasted an hour and 18 minutes since the last time I watched “The Brave Little Toaster.” Of course, at least when I watch the toaster, my daughter enjoys it, and that’s what life is all about. This was just wasted. I feel soiled. I need to do something useful for 3 or 4 hours for penance.

This was, by the way, last night. My video store has a 3 movies/$3/3 days deal on “older” movies, and, since I tend to rent movies that are not on the “new releases” shelf, that’s what I usually go for. The other movie I got was “Scream” which was very amusing, in a clichéd kind of way. Still a waste of time, but entertaining. I watched that today, since I sort of have the day off. I went in to work for a while, to do last-minute things for class on Monday.

Oh, I said 3 movies, didn’t I? Well, the other one was American Pie, which was not quite what I was expecting. I have to admit, at the risk of being branded a prude or an old fogie, I was somewhat shocked that this sort of thing would be shown in theaters. I guess it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve seen an R-rated movie. One tends not to see them very often when one has young kids. It wasn’t so much the sex that was alarming as the language, which seemed far harsher than I remember hearing in a theater before.


The goal today is to get Spamassassin upgraded without terribly breaking anything. The problem is that I am so far back that I am concerned that none of my mail handling scripts will still work. However, since I switched to spamd/spamc a while back, I may be OK.

I hunted for about 15 minutes to figure out how that was actually getting done. Turns out there’s magic in /etc/procmailrc – the last place I would have looked – that sends everything through spamd. (Um. Yes. That’s something that *I* put in place, myself, in May. Am I supposed to remember that sort of thing? Or document it?) Of course, if I had checked the documentation first, instead of last, this would not have taken quite as long. 😉

Anyways, I think I’m just about ready to install the new version, and then things should just work. In theory. There are, however a few non-local users for whom I forward mail, and they have smamfilter scripts that pipe stuff through spamassassin, and I need to make sure those are ok. The docs say something about the dangers of upgrading from anything pre-2.40, and I’m running 2.01. *sigh*


Followup: 10:26am

I seem to have spamassassin working, and I don’t seem to be losing any more email. I think I lost one message, but it appeared to be spam anyway.

In related news, it appears that is trying very very hard to relay thousands and thousands of messages through my mail server. I wonder if I am listed somewhere as an open relay? Anyways, I added the address to my firewall, and that stopped. The messages had faked headers from domains like and .nl.xso and stuff like that. What kind of an idiot mail server setup would you have to have to relay that stuff?