News archive 2004 - Koos van den Hout

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2004-12-20 (#)
ISDN working and ADSL working. On Friday the simple fix was to reseat the wires in the exchange connecting my line to ISDN and ADSL.

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2004-12-16 (#)
The phone company has surprised me. ADSL started working on the promised date, ISDN still isn't working (as of this morning). I really expected it the other way around..

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2004-12-14 (#)
Moved house.. lots of work and life is still in loads of boxes..

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2004-11-25 (#)
Yes, phpbb had a security problem. Again. Because I want something resembling a working webforum on Camp Wireless I now run php in safe_mode.

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2004-11-23 (#)
Interesting what you can see in a web access log: - - [23/Nov/2004:17:19:28 +0100] "GET /forum/viewtopic.php?t=12&highlight=%2527%252esystem(chr(105)%252echr(100))%252e%2527 HTTP/1.0" 200 15071 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0b; Windows NT 5.0)". Guess phpBB has a problem...

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2004-11-22 Camp wireless goes wap
Camp Wireless goes mobile. Wap browsers will find a lightweight mobile version of the directory of campsites at This solves the chicken-and-egg problem of being somewhere and finding a campsite with wireless Internet, without having Internet. Programming for wap is interesting. There is only one wap-browser for Unix available, wApua but that one does not support forms. And stuff that looks ok in wApua fails horribly on my Nokia with the helpful error for any page it doesn't understand (including wml format errors): 'File format not understood'.

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2004-11-15 (#)
Afgelopen weekend HCC dagen. Op de PCgg stand gespeeld met driftnet met output naar een videoprojector. Het algemene beeld is toch wel dat de beurs minder groot en minder druk was dan voorgaande jaren.

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2004-11-07 (#)
Fixed the antenna connector for my gpskit so I have working mapping with gpsdrive. Tried this in the train this weekend (screendump 1 and screendump 2 and screendump 3) and had kismet running giving wireless networks with usable map locations (after the first one).

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2004-11-04 (#)
Updated an xml-rpc interface. This may sound completely buzzwordian to you, but it's just that amazon offers amazon webservices where xml-rpc calls are one possible way to query their database. The Virtual Bookcase uses this interface for detail information about books and searches.

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2004-11-03 (#)
Round of Apache web server upgrades, with included PHP upgrade. Somehow Apache on FreeBSD still doesn't like to build shared objects, so the Apache on is statically linked again. Affected sites: The Virtual Bookcase, Camp Wireless,, Fight Spam on the Internet!.

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2004-11-01 (#)
Added more campsites to the directory of campsites at Camp Wireless. Now all the site needs is lots of visitors.

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2004-11-01 (#)
Memories of my Alaska holiday... since then, the FAA has added webcams with the purpose of seeing the current weather state at many airports in Alaska (to aid in planning visual flight rule flights). Nice to get an updated view of the weather when (limited) daylight permits. I see places on those images I visited (ok, if a road is visible and it's in a town I visited, I have been on that road. There aren't that many.)

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2004-10-21 (#)
Visited Camp Wireless yet?

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2004-10-21 (#)
Kismet in the train from Den Bosch to Utrecht. The most interesting SSID I found is dave.nu_wlan which made me visit (Hi Dave!). A change from all the default boring SSID names.

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2004-10-19 (#)
I bought a FrogPad one-handed keyboard. A whole new way of typing. It may also help prevent rsi because there will be more variation in the way I type. For now, it's just very new and I experience the feeling again of actually having to look at the keyboard.

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2004-10-11 (#)
Played a bit with Geo::METAR so now my Webcam knows the almost-local weather and pastes it into the image.

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2004-10-05 Thoughts from the Sane 2004 conference
I'm at the Sane 2004 conference.
It's a conference for system administrators (like I do for a living).

On Tuesday I followed the tutorial about wireless networks by Rudi van
. A very nice tutorial, with a lot of technical details and
background, up to the level of radio signals, antenna designs and the
complete story on decibel levels and signal strength.

On Wednesday I got bombarded with information about LDAP at the tutorial
Implementing (Open)LDAP
with lots of information about ldap, and using
ldap in everyday system administration. When to use ldap, when not to use it.
Gerry Carter is a good speaker and can entertain for a whole day.

Thursday was conference, with a first talk by Paul Kilmartin from Ebay.
He talked about the enormous scale of servers, and how to get high
availability with millions of pageviews per day. I was a bit dissapointed
that he didn't go deeper into detail about the problems with Sun hardware.
I followed several other talks during the day, most interesting being
Open Source security lessons and Special effects on the movie 'I, Robot'. Most
noticeable in that talk was that John Nelson asked at the start not to
use filming camera's. The material that he showed had big
"Fox Film Company" logo at the top. It seems Fox Films is really scared
about copies of their material floating around.

Thursday evening was the social event, where the bus ride + walk to the
boat the event was on took about an hour. Nice social event, talked to a
lot of people, got some nice reactions to my Dilbert 'The network is down
but I'm feeling better' t-shirt.

So Friday morning was a bit early morning ;)

The notable thing was that Geoff Halprin gave his talk
The Changing Face of System Administration at 09:30.
I guess it is true Australians can drink 'a bit more' than we are used to.
He was a lot more awake than I was ;)
Next was Deconstructing User Requests by Tom Limoncelli. A big fan of RT3,
just like I am ;) For those needing it: Find RT: Request Tracker here.

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2004-10-01 (#)
Quote I heard at Sane 2004 in the talk The Changing Face of System Administration by Geoff Halprin:
A system admin's life is a sorry one. The only advantage he has over Emergency Room doctors is that malpractice suits are rare. On the other hand, ER doctors never have to deal with patients installing new versions of their own innards!
from Michael O'Brein.

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2004-09-17 (#)
Ik ga mijn huis verkopen (en een ander huis kopen). Meer details op de funda site [link expired].

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2004-09-07 (#)
Genieten: mooie beelden uit Alaska! RT @hikingsite Menno Boermans neemt je mee naar Mount McKinley (Denali) in Alaska
2004-09-02 (#)
Moved to a host with more bandwidth, so it can take a slashdotting. This confuses Netcraft where the 'hosting history' does not show the new host but the 'uptime graph is for the new host. I guess a little caching problem.

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2004-08-24 (#)
Added an ICRA rating to Camp Wireless. The site does not need a rating very hard, but it helps with access from webkiosks that are strictly configured.

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2004-07-29 (#)
The big window in my living room will need to be replaced because of the crack (and the associated humidity that I mentioned on my webcam at home. The guy who came to measure the window told me that they will use a crane to lift the glass window to the third floor.

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2004-07-21 (#)
Updated the page about my Dell latitude c640 and linux with the latest experiences in getting bluetooth and gprs to work. Tested it in the train this morning: Mobile Internet at up to 140 kilometers per hour.

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2004-07-18 (#)
Back from a camping trip in the south of England. My home server decided to panic so was down. I took no laptop on my camping trip so I didn't use or update Camp Wireless. Wireless Internet access on campings in the UK seems non-existant. We did see some coffee houses offer wireless Internet access.

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2004-06-25 (#)
Kicked Camp Wireless on-line, my website project for wireless Internet access on your camping trip.

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2004-06-23 (#)
Checking my webcam at home for signs of the storm that is supposed to hit the Netherlands this afternoon. Update: current effect: slashdotted.

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2004-06-10 (#)
Now working with multicast technology at work.. it took a lot of thinking and testing before I convinced the cisco router to do multicast, but finally it started to work. Tried some of the mbone software. Now I can follow some of the stuff and see/hear all kinds of multicast streams. A desktop full of windows on the multicast world where scientists are being scientists...

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2004-06-01 (#)
All hardware sucks, including PC hardware. Had to replace the powersupply of my workstation at home. Bought a new one at Paradigit (chosen on the fact that their shop in Utrecht was open at 9am this morning) where they turned out to sell a nice silent powersupply.

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2004-05-31 To McAfee, re: antivirus autoresponse
Quoting who wrote on Wed, May 19, 2004 at 01:12:32PM +0000:

> This is an automated response. PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE.
> detected the virus W32/Netsky.p@MM in a message to with subject
> Mail Delivery (failure from and it was
> Deleted.

I am astounded by the fact that even McAfee, who are in the antivirus
business long enough to know that a lot of virusses fake the From: address,
still send these replies on virusses where it is a known fact.

Even your own virus database knows this. Quoting

"Note: Receiving an email alert stating that the virus came from your
email address is not an indication that you are infected as the virus
often forges the from address."

"The worm sends mails using SMTP. Email sent has the following

From: (forged address taken from infected system)"

It's 2004. Update your mail virus scanner to not send mail on recieving a
virus that uses a fake From:. Start delivering updated mail virus scanners
to your customers today.

I am awaiting apologies to the Internet community for continuing to
assist in sending unwanted and unnecessary e-mail to people not sending the

Koos van den Hout

Note: I sent this reply to McAfee on 25 May, no response at this moment.

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2004-05-31 (#)
And the current winner of the competition for most stupid antivirus autoreply is McAfee, who manage to have their own mail-gateway send replies to the From: address of a virus they themselves know fakes From: addresses. McAfee fails the simple 'enough clue to be on the Internet' test in a major way. See my reply to McAfee. No response has been received.

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2004-05-27 (#)
I'm at the NLUUG conference today. With enough wireless Internet access to update this.

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2004-05-24 (#)
Visited the UK (Dover area) last weekend. Nice views of the Dover cliffs and the beaches. Visited the Phileas Fogg restaurant in Broadstairs again.

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2004-04-26 (#)
Several updates to the page about the Dell latitude C640 laptop and Linux including fun with kernels, gcc and still no working IrDA.

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2004-04-14 CSS-isms

HR {
border-style: solid;

having really centered objects and tables:

div.centered {
text-align: center;
div.centered table {
margin: 0 auto;
text-align: left;

Fixing the problem with floats that flow out of their containter

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2004-03-31 (#)
Integrated amazon book reviews into The Virtual Bookcase. Some work parsing xml from Amazon Webservices, but a nice result.

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2004-03-28 (#)
Bijna overstroming in de keuken.

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2004-03-28 (#)
Fietstochtje en foto's gemaakt van de Lekbrug bij Vianen (A2).

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2004-03-26 (#)
Cool software I found: GpsDrive. Open-source navigation software. Quite nice to find yourself on the map.

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2004-03-11 (#)
Lies by Microsoft: Outlook is based on Internet standards according to this article. Well, dealing with multipart/signed is an Internet standard (RFC 2015), replying to the From: address and not the Sender: address is an Internet standard (can be found in RFC 822), responsible quoting behaviour is an Internet standard (see RFC 1855) and thinking anything with 'begin' in the wrong place is an attachment is not in the spirit of the Internet standards.

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2004-03-09 (#)
Non-solution to privacy-breaches by break-ins into computer systems: companies limit their liability for the data they keep. Thinking about the privacy of the client is already too hard, but being liable for keeping your data secure is also too hard?

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2004-03-06 FreeBSD installation notes
FreeBSD is not my 'main' operating system, but the jail support is
so much better and more stable than anything comparable offered by
Linux that I use FreeBSD for servers which need jails.

But it not being 'main' I keep forgetting things to set up ;)

Setting global variables for ports:

Servers will never have X11 (nor GTK) so I kept giving WITHOUT_X11=yes and
WITHOUT_GTK=yes to compile ports. Global place to set this: /etc/make.conf

Getting into a jail from the main server when sshd isn't running yet:

jexec ID /bin/sh

(ID is the jail id from jls)

Stopping a jail:

jexec ID kill -TERM -1
jexec ID kill -KILL -1

2004-03-04 (#)
The 10th Halloween document: Microsoft finances SCO. The battle for most hated tech company continues, with SCO in a strong lead.

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2004-03-01 (#)
Physical therapy for the shoulder problem ended today, since all pains are gone.

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2004-02-25 (#)
After about 4 months of using mod_gzip on The Virtual Bookcase, the results are less then expected since a lot of requests aren't compressable. In total, mod_gzip saved 15.86% bytes, on compressable requests mod_gzip saved 71.85% bytes.

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2004-02-25 (#)
Current 300.1 spam messages per day.

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2004-02-13 (#)
No personal damage from snowboarding has turned into one painful shoulder that needs physical therapy. I guess my fall was harder than I first thought and I was really distracted at that time by the fact that my glasses were broken.

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2004-02-09 (#)
Back from snowboard holiday in Les Gets, France. One pair of sunglasses broken, no personal damage.

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2004-01-19 (#)
Oude cylindersloten over? Ik wil graag oefenen, oefenen, oefenen op het picken van cylindersloten.

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2004-01-16 (#)
Mijn webcam is zelfs in de krant gekomen.

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2004-01-10 (#)
Kismet in the train from Utrecht to Leiden.

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2004-01-06 (#)
Wardriving on bike.. warbiking? From Utrecht to Nieuwegein. No GPS locations.. my gpskit broke :-(

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2004-01-05 (#)
Current e-mail spam rate: 258.4 spam messages per day.

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2004-01-05 (#)
begin 2004 you wrote... Erm. Different thing. Happy new year!

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IPv6 check

Running test...
, reachable as PGP encrypted e-mail preferred. PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers

Meningen zijn die van mezelf, wat ik schrijf is beschermd door auteursrecht. Sommige publicaties bevatten een expliciete vermelding dat ze ongevraagd gedeeld mogen worden.
My opinions are my own, what I write is protected by copyrights. Some publications contain an explicit license statement which allows sharing without asking permission.
Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites
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