Tag Archives: 2013

2013 – A retrospective

House moving

2013 was a year full of surprises.

First off, the house moving was a lot more work than I’d expected. Not the move in itself, but settling in at the new apartment and making the apartment ready and getting it just the way I want it. So there has been a lot of home improvement, like customizing furniture and stuff. I don’t mind though, I like it. It’s just that time is limited. I get some free time when my daughter is taking a nap, but that’s not really the best time to bring out the power tools… Everything is coming along nicely though, and I really love the new place!

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Using smartmontools to test a Motorola VIP1963 disk

Background

As seen in my previous post, I’ve been having problems with some harddrives in my workstation. I’ve also had some problems with my TV’s digital box, a Motorola VIP1963.

At first there was some trouble with time-shift not working, but this could be resolved by simply rebooting the device. This wasn’t really worth noting because this device is constantly on and never rebooted, so I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Troubleshooting

Suddenly the other day, the device rebooted on it’s own, and when it came back up it gave me an error message saying that the harddrive could not be found. This message was in swedish:

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Reinstalling my workstation

Disclaimer

THIS IS NOT A BEST PRACTICE ON HOW TO INSTALL A LINUX BOX!
This document serves as a reminder to myself, on what needs to be done when reinstalling my workstation, and I have put it here to have it conveniently at hand. Because of this, the document may not be of any help to anybody but me. The last month I’ve had 3 failing harddrives, one new and 2 used ones, so this makes me want to document the process, at least in an overall fashion…

Installing dependencies

  • I have a script listing all my script dependencies and all software I always want installed, so this part is easy:
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Sudo NOPASSWD not working

Here is a quick reminder for sudo and non-working NOPASSWD statements.

 When multiple entries match for a user, they are applied in order.
 Where there are multiple matches, the last match is used (which is
 not necessarily the most specific match).

This means that more specific entries like this should be put towards the end of the file:

username ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/dbus-send
username ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend
username ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-hibernate

 

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Installing Net ID in Firefox

Telia have patched a security hole in their Net ID software so I decided to download the new version and try to install it.

I’ve never managed to get Net ID working in Linux, due to Telia only supporting Ubuntu 10.04 and a very old version of Firefox. For this embarassing reason (for Telia), I have been forced to use a virtual machine with Windows XP whenever I had to identify myself…

With the latest software update I was hoping that they would have corrected the previous problems. I downloaded the file iidsetup_64.tar.gz with the x64 version and after extracting it I installed it as root:

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Choosing default editor

For some reason my editor ofchoice (vim) reverted back to the default editor of nano on my server. The command for setting the default editor is:

sudo update-alternatives --config editor

Hopefully the setting will stick this time.

 

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Duplicate sources.list entry (apt-get)

It’s been bugging me for some time now. Whenever I do an apt-get update I get a warning:

# apt-get update
Hit http://www.ksplice.com quantal InRelease
Hit http://www.ksplice.com quantal/ksplice Sources
Get:1 http://www.ksplice.com quantal/ksplice amd64 Packages [1,566 B]
Get:2 http://www.ksplice.com quantal/ksplice i386 Packages [1,566 B]
Ign http://www.ksplice.com quantal/ksplice Translation-en_US
Ign http://www.ksplice.com quantal/ksplice Translation-en
Ign http://repo.steampowered.com precise/steam Translation-en_US
Ign http://repo.steampowered.com precise/steam Translation-en
Fetched 3,132 B in 3s (850 B/s)
Reading package lists... Done
W: Duplicate sources.list entry http://www.ksplice.com/apt/ quantal/ksplice amd64 Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/www.ksplice.com_apt_dists_quantal_ksplice_binary-amd64_Packages)
W: Duplicate sources.list entry http://www.ksplice.com/apt/ quantal/ksplice i386 Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/www.ksplice.com_apt_dists_quantal_ksplice_binary-i386_Packages)
W: You may want to run apt-get update to correct these problems

Obviously /etc/apt/sources.list doesn’t have any duplicate entries for the repository, so where does the warning stem from? Checking in /etc/apt/sources.list.d reveals a file called ksplice.list. The information in this file is the same as my entry in /etc/apt/sources.list so one entry has to be removed. I choose to move the file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ksplice.list out of the way. I prefer keeping my sources in /etc/apt/sources.list as this makes it easier to maintain between both upgrades and other machines.

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Creating PDF files from images

Creating PDF files from images is really easy to do with the ImageMagick suite installed. This software suite can handle over 100 different image formats and is essential to have if you manipulate large batches of images. It has all sorts of useful functions; translate, flip, mirror, rotate, scale,  shear and transform images, adjust image colors, apply various special  effects, or draw text, lines, polygons, ellipses and Bézier curves.

 

  • Install imagemagick if it’s not present:
sudo apt-get install imagemagick

 

  • Convert some files into a PDF file:
convert file1.jpg file2.jpg document.pdf

or

convert *.jpg document.pdf

 

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House moving update

If you’ve tried accessing this site for the last week, you already know that it has been offline. The reason for this is that I have been busy house moving, and setting up the server in my new apartment haven’t really been a priority. There is still loads of stuff to do, like unpacking boxes, buying new furniture, etc. We still have lots of stuff in storage, but we’re slowly getting all the pieces together. My painting/hobby station will be located inside the apartment this time, but some furniture is still missing.

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