June 2004 Archives

Well, a lot of you are probably aware of the controversy of the Widgets that were introduces for Mac OS X 10.4, also known as Tiger, and their similarity to the Widgets made popular by Konfabulator. I'm not going to go into those issues here, but some clarification on exactly how Apple has implemented them has been written by Dave Hyatt, one of the Safari programmers.

Interestingly, they're a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, basically mini web pages. Very cool, should open up development of new Tiger Widgets to more folks than a JavaScript only solution.

Bad diode...

Filed under: Mac

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Well, I figured out the problem with the homebrew video adapter I was trying to get working. I tested the diode I was using at work today and it was defective. Maybe I damaged it in trying different combinations of settings, or it was DOA to begin with, don't know.

I'll give it another go tomorrow with a new part and see what happens.

I've been struggling the last two weeks trying to troubleshoot a problem with my server here, seems that if I'd connect to it too quickly after booting via Timbuktu, or at other odd times, it would just stop responding, though web and mail services kept running. Since I couldn't control it, I had no choice but to do a hard reset...

Well, I've finally tracked down the issue as being Timbuktu not liking my Mac booting headless (no display), so now I'm in search of a cheap fix.

Ok, when I first heard about this, I thought it was just another internet hoax making the rounds, but it looks like there's meat to this one, and folks need to speak up and make their voices heard.

I'm speaking about the INDUCE Act, check that link for more info and what you can do about it. Also do a Google seach on 'INDUCE Act' and you'll come up with more info.

I'm a Wright leaning sort, but this bill needs to be stopped...

I came across some very funny photos of the banners being put up for Apple's Worldwide Developers Converence (WWDC) poking fun at Microsoft, check them out at MacMinute.com. It's always fun to see Apple poke fun at other parts of the industry.

I've been using the Plantronics M3000 bluetooth headset for a while, and though slightly late to the party, I've finally had a chance to write up my review on it.

My friend CK over at 3650 and a 12 inch has linked to a blurb over at Engadget about Presidential candidate ringtones for your cell phone.

I don't share CK's political leanings, but these ringtones seemed a bit humorous so I thought I'd pass the info on.

I'll soon have online my docs on getting Gld, a greylisting utility for Postfix, to compile and run under Mac OS X. It took a bit for me to get this working, but I'm learning as I go. ;)

Also, the author informs me that a new release of gld is in the works, and I hope to be running a beta of that shortly. The 1.0 release was pretty raw, the 1.2 version on the way should be a fair step forward.

After some false starts and some tips from the author, I now have gld working to greylist incoming mail. It took a bit to get this all going, I plan to write it all up in a few days and will post the steps involved here.

Well, after dorking around for a while tonight, I finally got Postfix 2.1.3 up and running, using the basic steps from AFP548.com, but without the problematic SASL code incorporated. So far, it seems to be working fine, but I've learned a few lessons...

News is making the rounds about the first worm to infect Symbian Series 60 phones (Nokia 3650/6600, N-Gage, etc). The link posted even has a few screen shots of this proof-of-concept worm in action.

Like most worms/trojans of this type, it relies on the user to actually install it. Why anyone would just install something beamed to them via Bluetooth is beyond me, but it happens all the time with mail attachments in the Windoze world. P.T. Barnum's words were never truer than they are today... There's a sucker born every minute.

Well, looks like I'm a bit late to the party, but the folks at Six Apart have announced their revised pricing for Movable Type, and it's almost there...

Many of you last month read various criticisms of the originally announced pricing, and the new pricing is much better for the most part. But my feeling is that there should still be something in between the Free version (1 author, 3 weblogs, no support), and the $69.95 version (5 authors, unlimited weblogs, unlimited support).

Sad news from Wired, Thousands of Blogs Fall Silent. I'd like to wish all effected bloggers the best of luck in getting archives of their blogs, and would like to encourage those readers looking for these blogs to give folks time to get up and running on new sites.

It is a fairly straightforward matter of getting a spare computer up and running and serving your own website (a search through the early postings here will document my process), and there are a number of hosting providers out there for those that need such services. It's a shame that some transition time wasn't allowed for this, but unfortunately having a backup isn't something most folks consider until it's too late...

This is your brain with a USB interface... Any questions?

I think this is good news... The FTC will NOT be creating their do-not-spam list. This is one battle that needs to be better fought with technology, and not by legistlation.

The AFP548.com article I mentioned over the weekend is offlne for now, though that link will still work since it was direct to the article. The author is having some SASL issues that he's still working to resolve. The steps in the article are still good for compiling a newer version of Postfix, if you don't need the SASL support.

Apparently the newer versions of SASL were causing problems with OS X Server, but 2.1.15 'seemed' to work, but still apparently has issues.

Well, some good news on the spam front, it seems. Comcast has fessed up to being a major source of spam.

Good for them, let's hope their efforts pay off to cut down on that estimated 700 million spam mails a day their subscribers are sending out...

While surfing around for anyone that got Postfix 2.1 running under OS X tonight, I came across this article at AFP548.com. Not only does it give info on getting this running under Mac OS X 10.3, it also includes info on enabling PCRE, or Perl Compatible Regular Expression, a useful feature if you have more involved mail filtering rules set up. Most basic setups will use regex, more involved rules will require pcre, I've seen this most with some user created Spamassassin filters.

Also described are including support for SASL (Simple Authentication and Security Layer), but the article includes a (bad) link to an older version of this software, and isn't clear why the latest version (available when the article was published) wasn't used. I'm trying to contact the author for clarification. Also, the article seems geared towards OS X Server, but I'm assuming it should work well under standard OS X.

Doh!

Filed under: Postfix

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Argh! Well, on the good news front, I finally got Gld, a greylisting Postfix add-on, to compile, and it looks like it's pretty much ready to go. The bad news is, greylisting requires Postfix 2.1 or later, and of course Mac OS X 10.3.4 only has Postfix 2.0.10.

Maybe I'll upgrade this weekend...

This link found it's way into my mailbox today, you can now have a copy of the US Constitution on your iPod, courtesy the American Constitution Society.

So, I was at the mall today, and what do I see but a new Apple Store coming to my area. The new Barton Creek location in Austin will have its grand opening this Saturday. Crews were hard at work behind brown paper covered windows getting things ready. If you're in the area, stop by and join the crowds, it's sure to be a lot of fun.

This little gadget is totally the coolest thing I've seen all day. It may be one of the coolest things I've seen all year, for that matter. If you haven't seen it, check out the AirPort Express, the smallest wireless access point around, retailing for only $129.

MacWorld has a bit more about it here, as well as some info on the AirTunes software, used for streaming music from iTunes to your home stereo. While not quite as flexible as a full fledged AirPort base station, it's an incredible deal for what it does.

I've been giving more thought to greylisting, a process for temporarily delaying emails sent to my server, to help cut down on the spam that ultimately makes it through to my server. Some of my filters are being a bit problematic, and I've had a very small number of legitimate mails that didn't make it through, so I'm needing to revisit things again.

I've found an interesting piece of code called Gld, it uses MySQL so it should be fairly efficient, but I'm having trouble compiling the darned thing for OS X. Unfortunately, it's poorly documented and I'm waiting for the author to respond to my plea for help. But, it sounds promising, if I can make it work here.

Or maybe the PowerStore. Check this story over at Metropolis Magazine on the architecture of the San Francisco Apple Store. Some interesting details there that share similaritites with several different Macs.

I haven't been to this store yet (hopefully later this fall), I'm wondering if the Chicago Michigan Avenue store or any others share similar features? When the store closes for the night, do the overhead lights pulse softly till morning? Hmmm...

Ok, I had weird idea yesterday. In searching for batteries, I've found some larger battery packs that plug into a digital camera's DC IN port, and can mount using the same screw used by a tripod to the camera. Some of these packs don't appear to even have the power of the batteries I'm using based on the maH (Mili-amps per hour) rating, so I'm assuming the larger packs can put out power for a longer period at that rate.

So, I got to thinking of my Sony Camcorder and how I have a spare battery for it, and could I use that for my digital camera? Short answer would be yes, if it were 6v, but my Sony battery is rated at 7.2, and actually with a charge is over 8v. Ack!

I wrote the other day about bad battery life in my digital camera. After doing some research, it seems that the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries have a pretty low shelf life, they start to lose their charge once they leave the charger. That explains why I'm having bad luck, my batteries might sit in my cam for weeks before I take a shot. Guess I should work on that a bit...

Steve's Digicams has a nice page about these batteries, some alternatives out there, and better chargers to help improve the life of the batteries you already have. Check it out...

As I commented here last month, my Apache log file has been getting a lot of bogus entries like "SEARCH /\x90\x02\xb1 etc, which is from a worm/trojan/whatever from the Windoze world where such things are the norm. Problem is that it was screwing up my log analysis software.

So, I've finally written an AppleScript to remove those offending lines from my log. I'm doing the final testing now, and should have it posted in the downloads area soon.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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