Tony's ramblings on Open Source Software, Life and Photography

A great war time quote

Think about this. Really.

This is from 'Becket' a 1964 movie starting Tim Burton:

King Henry II: Am I the strongest or am I not?
Thomas a Becket: You are today, but one must never drive one's enemy to despair; it makes him strong. Gentleness is better politics, it saps virility. A good occupational force must never crush. It must corrupt.


Fetchmail POP sucks

I had problems in the past trying to run Fetchmail to retrieve e-mails from POP accounts. At that time I switched to a Windows based solution and ran it directly on my Exchange server.

Well I've phased out Exchange so I went back to Fetchmail on my cyrus server. Still problems.
It's the latest version of Ubuntu, and it still has the same bug that I experienced two years ago. Sometimes it just decides there's something in the POP3 box that it doesn't like and ends up dying. It stops retrieving mail entirely.


That's a loss for Microsoft

Some of you may recall my excitement when I found eGroupWare.

I just finished migrating our entire company off of Microsoft Exchange and onto Cyrus IMAP with eGroupWare.

Yeah. I did it. You always wished you did, but I actually did it.

eGroupWare seems to be a very mature product. It still lacks some polish you might expect of a $500 or more groupware server, but considering I was looking for FREE, you can't beat it. I'm using the Ubuntu 7.04 packages.The hardest part of the entire conversion was configuring Cyrus IMAP server the way I needed. The configs for Cyrus are still pretty detailed and cryptic so there was a bit of trial and error on my part. I went with Cyrus because I wanted to give the user's server-side mail filters using sieve. I also went for broke and used my NIS server to authenticate user accounts. Yes, I know, the wave of the future is using LDAP, but I already had the NIS server in place and my NFS shares authenticate with it.


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MythTV Part 3 - The remote

Suddenlink installed the HDTV Cable box today. Before I get to that, I'll cover the remote control setup for my MythTV:


MythTV Fresh Build Part 2

So the saga continues into the early morning...

Everything compiled rather easily, but to get the plugins to all work the way I wanted I had to add the following packages using apt-get:
libvisual-0.4-dev
libvisual-0.4
libmad0
libmad0-dev
libid3tag0-dev
libcdaudio-dev
libcdparanoia0-dev
libflac-dev
fftw3-dev
libexif-dev
libfaac-dev
libfaad2-0
libfaad2-dev
kdelibs4-dev

Some of this would likely have been installed had I used 'apt-get build-dep mythtv-plugins' but I didn't think that far ahead.

I also had to download and compile taglib.

MythTV wouldn't start the setup process until I added libqt3-mt-sql.

After that, I was able to setup my zap2it subscription inside MythTV (see the MythTV HOWTO for details) so it will download the TV listings for me.


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The Quest for the Perfect PVR

I've been running MythTV for years. Typically I just let it do it's thing, and I don't often update the box.

Lately I've had issues with the DVD info downloader and the weather modules. I also haven't had cable in a few months for various reasons and just ordered a digital HD package to be installed this weekend.

All seemed like a good opportunity to start the machine from scratch.


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Postfix aliases don't work sometimes.

It took me several hours, but I finally figured out why.

I had configured Postfix to deliver mail into my Cyrus IMAP server. The local accounts are all first name only such as 'tony' but our e-mail addresses use first name and first initial of the last name such as 'tonym@'. Since I'm now using NIS to authenticate users on the network and use just first name, I thought it would be trivial to just set an alias in Postfix to deliver them to the right Cyrus mailboxes.

Boy was I wrong.After turning on debug logging, I was seeing the following:


NIS + Cyrus IMAP authentication

What a long day it's been. I just finished configuring NIS authentication on a server and Cyrus imapd server for handling e-mail authenticating against NIS. All this so I could get eGroupWare to authenticate and only manage passwords in one location.

This is of course running on Ubuntu 7.04.

I won't go into too much detail but here's a few tips...First, make sure your NIS authentication is working for the workstation.

That means, setup the following files properly:

/etc/host.conf
/etc/yp.conf
/etc/nsswitch.conf
/etc/passwd
/etc/group

I missed the last one, and it caused me great stress later.

Next, configure imapd.conf like so:

sasl_mech_list: PLAIN
sasl_pwcheck_method: saslauthd

make sure that /etc/default/saslauthd has the following line:
MECHANISMS='pam'

And of course make sure all your accounts are created on the master NIS server and that the NIS maps are updated.

Please realize, that using PLAIN as the only method of accepting passwords (which is necessary for NIS auth through PAM) puts you at some risk.


Water must be golden here

I'm paying $5.72 per 1000 gallons of water, and $5.97 for sewer. Compare that to Los Angeles, CA for the cost for both together is $1 or ONE TENTH of what I'm paying. Average US cities pay $1.75 per 1000 gallons of water and $2.75 for sewer. And it's not like water is scarce here.

The real travesty is you can't even drink it. There's so much lime in it that your water fixtures need replaced every other year and water heaters need replaced every 5 years.

Then, tag on my city fees. Yes, there's more.

Read on...Utility Tax: $2.23 / month


RIAA: Can we get a colective WTF?

Let's say I decide to record my own electronica music. Let's say I'm just a geek liking to give away what I made because it makes me feel good. Let's say I let it be downloaded online for free.

Let's say I let a few Internet radio stations play it for free...

Whoops - the RIAA via their royalty collections body, has the legal obligation to collect royalties for me.