Author Archives: ashlux

Suppressing SSH banners

SSH banners are easy to suppress by editing ~/.ssh/config (create it if it doesn’t exist) and adding this line:

LogLevel quiet

Now when I work with CVS over SSH things will be more peaceful.

New computers makes me happy

You could build Legoland too, right?

You could build Legoland too, right?

Earlier this week I put together a new computer for myself with parts bought from newegg. Building a computer really isn’t that difficult. As Jeff Atwood explains, “If you can put together a LEGO kit, you can put together a PC from parts.” Choosing the parts that will fit into your budget can be time consuming, but there are plenty of online resources including forums full of people willing to help out.

So here’s a list of the components I ordered:

Monitor: ASUS VH242H 23.6-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor – Black I would sure like a second one of these turned vertically but that will have to wait.

Case: Cooler Master CM 690 II Advance ATX Mid-Tower Case (RC-692-KKN2) As the name implies, this is the successor to the CM 690. The black finish on the inside is a nice touch.

Mobo: I had several people online suggest the ASUS P6X58D Premium for my motherboard, but I had a hard time justifying it over the ASUS P6T series just to get USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0. Ultimately I decided to settle on the ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Motherboard for its ease of overclocking and it’s positive reviews. I suppose time will tell whether I regret that or not.

CPU: Quad core Intel for the CPU: Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8 MB LGA1366 CPU BX80601920. I was surprised to see how much AMD stinks with the high-end market nowadays.

Memory: The mobo I chose can support up to 24 GB, but I’m starting out with 6 GB of CORSAIR DOMINATOR DDR3 1600 RAM (3 x 2 GB).

PSU: OCZ 700W StealthXStream Power Supply

Primary HDD: I might have splurged a little on the HDD by getting an solid state drive (SSD). Prices aren’t great for the sizes, but performance is great. I grabbed an Intel X25M 80GB Mainstream Solid State Drive SSDSA2MH080G2R5 for running the OS and applications. I partitioned the drive into two sections, 12 GB for Linux and the rest for Windows 7.

Secondary HDD: After spending quite a bit on the SSD dirve, I needed a second drive mostly for data like movies, music, etc. I chose the Samsung 500 GB SATA II Hard Drive HD502HJ for its price and performance. 500 GB isn’t a huge amount of space, but with a mobo and case that supports over 9000 hard drives, I can add another one later.

GPU: Despite ATI cards being generally better than Nvidia, I really wanted a Nvidia card since the Linux support is better. Unfortunately prices for nvidia cards have gone up in the last month or so leaving ATI the only option that made sense to me. So I picked up a Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 1 GB DDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card 100281SR.

Support Wikipedia, donate today!

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

This slogan reminds me of Cowboys Forever. Yuck.

It’s that time of the year again, the Wikimedia Foundation (best known for Wikipedia) is raising funds. I do question the wisdom of raising money during Christmas time – perhaps it works well?

So what does donations to the Wikimedia Foundation go toward? Let’s take a quick peak at the FAQ:

To people and technology. Even though Wikipedia and its sister projects are one of the top five most-visited websites in the world, we employ fewer than 35 people; see our staff overview. Roughly half work on technology, a small team supports our public outreach and volunteer cultivation activities, and the remaining staff work in fundraising and administration. In addition, your support helps to pay for the technology infrastructure (servers and bandwidth) that keep Wikipedia running and growing.

Fundamentally, the Wikimedia Foundation exists to support and grow the enormous network of volunteers who write and edit Wikipedia and its sister projects — more than 100,000 people around the world.

Okay, so that’s light on raw numbers. But luckily last year’s financial report is available for the curious.

So if you use Wikipedia (who doesn’t?), donate today. I’ve seen donations for as little as $1.00, so you have no excuse.

IE, X, and You

While trying to get IEs4Linux installed (Why not call it ie4linux instead?), I ran into some issues with the latest Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

The program ‘ies4linux-gtk.py’ received an X Window System error.
This probably reflects a bug in the program.
The error was ‘RenderBadPicture (invalid Picture parameter)’.
(Details: serial 5546 error_code 158 request_code 148 minor_code 7)
(Note to programmers: normally, X errors are reported asynchronously;
that is, you will receive the error a while after causing it.
To debug your program, run it with the –sync command line
option to change this behavior. You can then get a meaningful
backtrace from your debugger if you break on the gdk_x_error() function.)

To solve this, I just told IEs4Linux to not use a GUI by using this command instead: ./ies4linux –no-gui.

A side effect is you lose the GUI to configure the install so you’ll have to use other flags if you want to deviate from the default install. To see the other options available use –help and –full-help.

I know you want a Google Voice invite

1896 Telephone

As you might have heard, Google Voice now allows you to use your own existing phone number with their service. Nice, but you will lose some features otherwise available to you.

While I have given out all of my Google Wave invites, I happen to have some Google Voice invites I can give out. Leave a interesting comment and I’ll use a completely arbitrary criteria to decide who will get an invite.

Use a service like emailcover.com to hide your email address. Even gmail isn’t immune to spam.

Link roundup: Dead fish in the Hudson

Lasso me some links

Lasso me some links

Link roundups are legitimate blog posts, right? It doesn’t matter because I’m going to post it anyhow.

We’ll start with programming-related topics:

Next off to the bizarre sciency stuff:

What is more off-topic than dead salmon? These links:

Google Wave on the iPhone

By default the Google Wave interface in Firefox on a PC has a lot of thrown at you. I was curious how the service looked on a small device, in this case, an iPhone.

First thing out the gate was not reassuring. Yes, it’s a dreaded “unsupported browser” message:


From Google Wave on the iPhone

Of course there’s no fun in stopping there, I had to go further down the rabbits hole by telling Google I wanted to proceed anyhow.


From Google Wave on the iPhone

Yup, it’s a listing of waves in a webpage clearly designed for a mobile device. In this case, a listing of waves in my inbox.

Naturally I had to take a look at how a wave is displayed.


From Google Wave on the iPhone

More screenshots can be found in my Picasa web album cleverly titled “Google Wave on the iPhone“.

Overall it is clear a lot of effort has gone into making Google Wave work and display well inside of a browser.

Performance was another issue altogether. Despite visiting Google Wave on a wifi connection, the site dragged so bad it was effective unusable. On a second visit performance was quite a bit snappier. I shutter to think about the performance if I was to use 3G or even Edge.