1and1 domains: broken glue record controls

I have been using the 1&1 registrar for about ten personal domains and a bunch more company domains. I originally transferred my domains to them about eight years ago because at the time, they not only relatively inexpensive, but their control panel was far better than my previous registrar too: I could maintain my own glue records from their control panel; no need to file a support ticket!

It still was not perfect, because they're really set up for web hosting, and the process for creating glue records for those running their own DNS was confusing. Today, I am unable to create glue records at all, even after filing a support ticket! Since 1and1 now costs 50% more than other registrars, my original reasons for staying with them now don't apply.

Here's the problem described in detail.

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Skype and Gnome 3: Video, sound and start up issues

While it's amazing that Skype bothers to create a client for GNU/Linux, it is not quite as simple to use in Fedora as installing the RPM. Here are a few tricks to get video, audio and automatic start up working.

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XCP/XenServer on RAID1: booting pitfalls

Getting XCP to boot from a RAID1 partition has been worked out in a nice article: http://blog.codeaddict.org/?p=5

I discovered a few things on the way:

  • parted does nasty things to the boot configuration, and
  • what to do if the XCP install becomes unbootable;
  • extlinux is RAID-aware;
  • how to bootstrap if the BIOS won't allow you to select a boot disk and you don't want to swap cables

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XCP on USB: automate initrd rebuild

XCP, the Xen Cloud Platform, is meant to be installed on a regular hard drive. Some folks install on a USB flash drive instead, but the initrd does not include USB support, and will not boot.

A good article to solve this problem for those installing XCP manually is here. Thanks to GoofyGeek on spiceworks.com for the write-up.

For those automating installs with an answer file, here is a quick recipe to automate the solution.

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New Repo: Zultron CAD/CAM Bleeding with FreeCAD HEAD

There's a new FreeCAD git HEAD package in the Bleeding repository. Builds are not automated (maybe someday), but I'll try to keep them from getting stale. Feel free to request a new build in the comments below. Read the rest of this entry »

Updates to the Zultron CAD/CAM repos

This post is important only to anyone using the Zultron CAD/CAM repos before 2012-07. New users can follow instructions on the repo page: http://www.zultron.com/rpm-repo/ Existing users new since 2012-07 and users who already followed these instructions can simply run yum update and things should work properly.

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Python subprocess example: running a background subprocess with non-blocking output processing

This example runs rsync as a subprocess in Python using subprocess.Popen(). It is slightly more complicated than most other Popen() examples because the output of the rsync is directed into the logging module in a way that is non-blocking, so that the output is logged as rsync runs rather than after rsync finishes, and the python script is free to do other things while rsync runs in the background. Read the rest of this entry »

First release of new CAD/CAM repos

Finally out! The new CAD/CAM repos are built for fc16, and are the only RPMs for Fedora or any RH-derivative distro that I know of. The first entries are FreeCAD and OpenCASCADE that FreeCAD depends on.

On the back end, there is a brand-new infrastructure for managing the repos. Grinder keeps Zultron's Fedora and supporting mirrors up to date. Tito automates building RPMs from git tags. Tito sends releases to Koji, which manages the released Zultron RPMs, including those in the CAD/CAM repos. Koji builds the RPMs using Mock, which creates chroots to build RPMs for any distro or arch. Koji keeps track of which builds go into which repos, and also keeps track of package signatures. Sigul provides a secure interface to automate signing packages with the Zultron RPM signing key. Finally, Mash takes care of pulling the signed repos' packages out of Koji and putting them on the disk, along with the repo metadata and human-readable web pages. Whew!

Cheap projector bulb replacement

Replacement projector bulbs cost $150, or $250, or for my ancient out-of-production 3M MP8650, $1000! Recently I bought a Compaq MP1600 on craigslist for $15, but it needs a $250 bulb. This kind of investment is more than the projector is worth, so what do you do? Read the rest of this entry »

My start in computing!

My first "computer" was a DECSYSTEM-20 (see top picture). Actually, it belonged to the University of Texas, and my father had a terminal with a keyboard, thermal printer and acoustic coupler called a "Silent700" (see lower picture) that he dialed in with.

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