I am a freelance Linux consultant by trade, a sysadmin by vocation and an Open Source developer by conviction. Welcome to my soapbox !

Improving Putty settings on Windows

Since I started contract work for a new customer and have been offered a Windows Thinkpad to connect to the internal network, I have been looking at ways to make my life more comfortable. Putty is now my window to the world work so let's look at how I can make Putty nicer to work with by tweaking its configuration.

PS: Some of these options work equally well for Putty on Linux, put there is little use for that combination.

Rejected Wii Play games

I always wonder who has the time to come up with these funny youtube video ideas and has the time, resources and character to implement it.

The graphics look pretty good Wii-wise even though the ideas are plain stupid, but funny :-) Enjoy!

To Drupal release management...

...with love.

Would it be too much to ask if new Drupal releases could be announced on Freshmeat ? The current Drupal Freshmeat-record is out of date (last updated 3 may 2006) and still refers to 4.7.0.

Having a seperate branch for both the 4.7.x and 5.x stable releases as well as the 6.x development releases would be great. Links to release notes and downloads would be superb ! And a short description of the changes gain you additional karma points.

LinuxWorld Expo Brussels 2008

LinuxWorld Expo Brussels this year will take place on wednesday 19 and thursday 20 March 2008 in Brussels Kart Expo. Last year's edition was lacking any Open Source cooperation and this year the organisers acknowledged the benefit of an Open Source pavilion on the LinuxWorld exhibition.

Having this Open Source pavilion allows us (the Open Source community) to showcase some technologies and communities on an exhibition floor that is primarily dominated by sales and marketing people and that is aiming towards the business world.

Microsoft's smoke screen

Sometimes it is hard to explain to non-technical people what the problem is with Microsoft software and why it is in Microsoft's best interest to omit certain features that benefits the majority of the people.

One such question is: Why is Microsoft not in favor of a single vendor-independent open document standard ?

Drupal password reset and transparent proxies

Today I experienced a problem with Drupal's one time URL behaviour when resetting your password. I am a fan of the way Drupal does this, which I think is much better than most sites are handling password resets.

However in this particular case Drupal's solution failed to work. What happens is that the transparent proxy is making a connection to the URL (that I got by mail) and then does a second request that is actually going back to the browser. In a log, it looks like this:

Starting from today, you can call me Dag Wiiers

Yes, resistance was futile. When everybody in my team at work had one, I could not be left behind.

So I bought myself a Wii. Plenty of Wii's still in the stores in Belgium, but it seems that most of the Wii-motes and Wii nunchucks are out of stock.

Playing with a Wii for the first time is very different. I would not be surprised if people in 20 years time still remember the first time they played a Wii (and against whom and if they won). It's those little facts of life that people cherish :-)

Scratched DVD playback: Windows vs Linux

Few things are as frustrating as watching a DVD and suddenly the sound stops and the screen freezes. Well, the last few months we have been lucky in this area, but yesterday evening it was that time again.

VideoLAN on Windows yesterday skipped a lot of frames when I invoked it (no idea why?), so I went with PowerDVD to watch this rented DVD. We already watched two episodes of Desperate Housewives Season 3 disc 5 and suddenly playback froze.

CentOS on your laptop

The reasons for CentOS on your server seem compelling, but the same reasons apply for a desktop or your laptop. Especially for people that require a stable environment and have no need to a (bi-)yearly upgrade that may break or turn your world upside down.

As more people buy laptops instead of desktop systems, and because laptops come as a collection of hardware, it would be nice if we, the CentOS community, would actively start documenting our experience with CentOS on our laptops.

Citrix (ICA) Client on CentOS

My sister's laptop harddisk crashed recently and turned the Windows laptop in a blue screen generating device. When reinstalling her system with the official Windows XP Professional CD, the installation process failed on what I think was a damaged CD.

Having no Windows media at home (I do not want to support a convicted monopolist and I fear the BSA raiding my home) I decided to put CentOS on it and return it like that. Everything installed fine on this Toshiba Satellite A10 laptop, even the wifi required a 'yum install madwifi' that pulled in DKMS nice and easy.

I am sorry that your yum is broken

This weekend, after a few weeks of perl updates and fixing our perl SPEC file generator, I broke the perl dependencies and probably upset a few people along the way.

The good news is that we have some new tools for better automating and updating our perl RPM packages and the coming week I hope to finish updating the existing one.

The bad news is that your yum is broken by design. I wish apt was an option, but that possibility looks dimmer and dimmer. (Even though I am still an avid apt user)

OBEX for dummies

On Linux it was never that easy to access your phone's memory, especially not using bluetooth. For a few years I had been using obexftp for this, but pushing files one by one was far from simple.

As a result if I needed a picture from my phone's memory, I either send it from the phone to my CentOS. This works fine for a single file, but is tiresome for a collection. Or (and this is the default at my place) let Brenda's thinkpad synchronize the new photos from my cellphone.

This is very convenient, because Brenda takes care of the photo-collection housekeeping anyway ! (thanks hon)

Yeah, I won a book !

What did I do to win ? I just attended LinuxWorld NL :-) I don't know exactly if this was based on luck or whether I was subscribed to some of their presentations or whether I met Jo De Baer to thank him for his help on mrepo's youget. Maybe all three of them ?

But this is what I got in my mailbox last week:

The attached note below says:

Congratulations, you have won a book.

Skype plugin for pidgin: real soon now ?

My periodic search for a Skype plugin for pidgin brought up the following link:


Haven't figured out how to make it work, though. No documentation, little source-code and only a pre-built library to chew on.

Why is there no Open Source SLES ?

Fabian pointed to an interesting article from a Red Hat engineer about CentOS and Red Hat's position. An interesting question popped up that I asked myself before: "Why is there no SLES alternative distribution ?". Given all the benefits a free Enterprise Linux brings to Red Hat, Novell must be eager to want to tap into this resource, right ?

One comment suggested that Novell did not release SRPMs and therefor it was impossible to create a free SLES clone. Reality seems a bit different: Novell does release SRPMs.

There are a few reasons why there is no Open Source SLES alternative.