Site Map vs. Site Menu

The discerning reader will see that there is both a site map and a sitemenu link at the top. Their functionalities overlap. But neither one of them seems ideal:

* Sitemenu expands categories and shows some of the sub articles, but doesn't give RSS feeds and doesn't list blogs, books, etc.
* Site map has RSS feeds, but doesn't expand categories.
* Neither one of them include static pages in the map, which is unfortunate because I would like to link to things like the pages in the "Resources" section.

One of these maps should go, and maybe we should keep a different one. Which should go? Which should we keep?

MarkSmarty plugin


This is my attempt to make *yet another input format*

+ Why do this?
+ I have no idea!
* But maybe it's a reasonable idea?
+ We shouldn't do things without a good reason.

I wonder how you end bullet lists?

System.out.println("This is code.");
System.out.println("Isn't it pretty?");

I guess that Markdown is the "cool thing" to use these days.

If you are curious about the syntax, check out

Here is the [Markdown page](

I am also experimentizing with different site maps.

Maybe it is time to kill the BBCode filter? I don't think anybody has used it yet...

Password hacking

So I have this Norstar Startalk Mini that I have to get going, but we've lost all the Windows software (a real shame), and no one knows the administrator password. I connected the serial cable from the Startalk box to one of the Linux boxes under my desk, launched minicom on /dev/ttyS0 with 300 7N1 and voila: I got to see the box doing system startup tests.

At this point I tried sending some break signals, hoping to stop the box before it loaded the system software... but no luck.

I looked into minicom's internal scripting language, runscript. If you have minicom installed you should be able to just type man runscript to see the commands runscript will take.

When nothing worked for the admin password I decided to try to write a script to send from 1000 to 999999999, the range the phone apparently could take. I excluded having a 0 as the first number, though this was a possible password. Unfortunately my script doesn't seem to be working correctly. When I echo the output I don't see anything being sent, but the script does cause new Password: prompts to appear. Here's the script (yes goto - yuck):

# Password hacking script

verbose on
set password 1000
send " "
timeout 9999999999999999999

if password > 999999999 goto endloop

expect {
"assword:" send password
sleep 5

inc password
log password
goto mainloop


new to KWLUG

I got to KWLUG via the WWITPRO web site. Didn't know that you gals and guys existed .
Richard, can you please contact me? I provide support to WWITPRO, and it occurred to me that KWLUG is equally deserving of support.

Hi All,

As mentioned at KWLUG, I'm enjoying the project. If you have an interest in Maps, GPS, geocaching, GIS or other location related activities you will find this project interesting.


"OpenStreetMap is a project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways."

You can support by making a paypal donation by contributing code and / or data and / or gps devices for use by other members.

Linux in Education

From CRN: Linux adopted in Indiana Schools.

Mike Huffman, special assistant for technology at the Indiana Department of Education, said schools in the state have added Linux workstations for 22,000 students over the past year under the Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student (ACCESS) program. And that could expand quickly with several new updated Linux distributions, such as Novell SUSE, Red Hat and Ubuntu.

This year, Huffman expects Linux desktop deployments to grow from 24 high schools to 80 high schools, driven by lower costs, higher functionality and early successes.

Mike Huffman also indicated that they were using Novell (SuSE) RedHat and Ubuntu in some districts.

Originally found via /.

What to do with the library...

As many of you know our LUG library has grown pretty large. At one point I was carting down 8 boxes of books, plus the projector, DVD, and speakers (often with the help of LUG members - thank you all). I've managed to reduce what I cart down to 4 boxes because I have quite a few on shelves around Computer Recycling -- but this limits what people see at each meeting. I'd like to make everything available to everyone, but it's a lot of work carting everything up and down, and I like to get out in time to join everyone for the after meeting meeting at Zekes.

I think what I'm going to do is bring down a couple of boxes with a good selection of titles. The library is on the web site. If people email me a couple of days ahead of each meeting I can confirm or deny whether a book is in or out. I think I'll work on managing and updating the library if no one minds.

I should mention that LUG members are more than welcome to sign out books at ANY time of the month. Just give me a couple of days notice before you want to come so I can make sure the book is ready.

If people have better suggestions about managing the library I'm very open.



Multi-site Drupal configuration

Are you using the Drupal content management system?

Want to run more than one Drupal site from your server? This should get you started. I'm presuming that you have root access to your Drupal box and it is called sandbox.local .

0. Set up a single site Drupal installation

Start a default, single site installation working by following the excellent instructions. Make sure that you can browse it by hostname. You do have local DNS , or a hosts file, right? You have it right when you can browse the site at sandbox.local .

How do we add the extra sites? There are only three things that have to be done.

  1. Add tables for the new site to the existing database
  2. Add a settings.php file for the new site
  3. Make sure you can find it

1. Add tables for your new site to the database

You'll need a distinctive prefix for the new tables. I'll use "xyzzy". And you'll have to put it in a few dozen places in the mysql install file (96 places in mine).

If your default installation used /database/database.4.1.mysql, copy it to /database/database.4.1.mysql.xyzzy or something else distinctive.

Modify /database/database.4.1.mysql.xyzzy so that every instance of
CREATE TABLE tablename ... becomes
CREATE TABLE xyzzy_tablename

Modify the database insert statements too.
INSERT INTO tablename
INSERT INTO xyzzy_tablename

As I said, in my set up I made the changes in 96 lines. Your file may be different.

2. Add the settings.php file for the new site

Your current settings.php file is /sites/default/settings.php You took the time to get it right for your default installation, so back it up now. If you install over Drupal, it will wipe your settings. Copy settings.php to settings.php.working for example.

Now add a directory for your new site in the sites directory. Then copy settings.php to this new directory. Your sites portion of the tree shuold look like this:

This settings.php handles the default installation
This settings.php handles the xyzzy_ site.

Now modify /sites/xyzzy.sandbox.local/settings.php it already has your database and password settings, because you copied them in the previous step. Change
$db_prefix = '';
$db_prefix = 'xyzzy_';

3. Find it

Add xyzzy.sandbox.local to your hosts file, or local DNS. It's just another alias for the sandbox.local box.
You'll know that you have it right when you see the default, new site welcome page when you browse xyzzy.sandbox.local

New project

A few months back I did a presentation on how easy it is to create Family Guy's Stewie using Inkscape. Well, I've started using those skills to reinvent the graphics for a video game. I'm not sure if the game is GPL or not - it is available for Linux. Until I figure out whether it is or not I'm holding back the graphics... all I'll say is that my graphics kick the current graphics' butt!

More RAM for the SUN Ultra 2

I have a Sun Ultra 2 at home that I've been building up step by step, it's a sick hobby. There's something about old hardware I couldn't buy 10 years ago that gets me going. I bought the Sun Ultra 2 (a whopping 200MHz processor) awhile back for $19.99 US plus $14US shipping. Considering it weighs about 50 lbs the shipping was a bloody bargain!

It was advertised with 64MB of RAM, which I was sure couldn't be correct, because the RAM must be installed in quads (yes, 4 sticks at a time) and I thought the minimum configuration was (32MB x 4). As it turns out, my box had 8 x 16MB. One of the sticks of RAM wasn't seated properly.

Currently it has Solaris 9 on it, but I'm about to change that with the arrival of my new RAM. I installed Gentoo on it once before (somewhat unsuccessfully because syslog-ng was broken when I finished). I'm going to give it another go next weekend when things settle down a bit.

The gig of RAM arrived with a $9.68US duty on it. I wasn't happy about spending another $10, and then I saw the size of the package -- a foot square, just for RAM! It was packed tight with bubble wrap, and stored in unsealed anti-static bags. I suppose it was well protected enough, but the jostling could have sent the RAM into the bubble-wrap. It didn't, so I suppose I shouldn't care.

I also have a fully functional Sun Sparcstation 5 which has sat in my closet since I bought the Sun Ultra. The Ultra has been a priority up until a few days ago when I added a SB Live Platinum (I know, it's old) kit to my main box: a Pentium III 733MHz with 768MB RAM. The studio is slowly coming together...

New file server

So I set up a completely new Samba server, and made sure there was a little redundancy. The root file system is stored on a 9.1GB UW SCSI drive. I set up a data on a 120GB IDE drive (which was suppose to be a 200GB hard drive, but it got snatched before I could get it). The plan is to mirror both drives. I haven't attached the mirrored OS drive yet.

How can we help?

Here's an interesting rumour for us to consider. First seen on the Yahoo! Financial SCOX forum.

[Microsoft(r) tech support] told me that "in the fall, having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if its not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn't installed, Windows will stop working, so you might as well install WGA now." -- Ed Bott's Blog

This could be a complete fabrication, a case of broken telephone, FUD, a trial balloon from Redmond or something else. But what if it is close to being true? Any way to confirm or refute this? Anybody know anybody at Microsoft(r) with the ability, the clout and the willingness to get a real answer on this? A written answer, with attribution? Of course, with enough public outcry, Microsoft(r) will simply change their mind on this (if it's a trial balloon) and claim that the speakers were "wrong, misinformed, spoke out of turn," and deny all complicity.

But what if it is true?

How will the Linux community help people effected by this unilateral termination of computer services? How about Installfests? Can we be prepared to host installfests for large numbers of disaffected Microsoft(r) users? How about an installfest every week?

Would you like a Super Computer with that?

Found on the Globe and Mail web site.

The students who use the computer lab at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., probably aren't aware that at night the lab transforms into the equivalent of a supercomputer.

All day long, St. Francis Xavier University students sit at the lab's rows of PCs to surf the Internet, write papers, arrange dates or listen to podcasts. During the day, the machines run Microsoft's Windows operating system. But at night that all changes. At 11 p.m, the students are gone, the doors are locked and the lights are out. It's time to close Windows until morning.

The workstations begin to automatically shut down. But about 400 of them are soon back up and running a GNU/Linux operating system as one big connected cluster of processing power -- a grid computer.

Read the article

KWLUG, now World famous!

The KWLUG (that's us!) was featured in the June 2006 issue (LXF80) of Linux Format (UK) as their Overseas LUG of the Month. See p.102-3 when you run right out and buy a copy.

LVM, Logical Volume Migraine

Migraine time. The past 3 days I've been waiting patiently for a system to finish a file system check on a couple of LVM partitions. The story is complicated by the fact that the hard drive in the system was incorrectly ghosted. The drive in question is a 120GB hard drive, but it was ghosted as if it was a 60GB hard drive.

I came into the picture about a year ago when I added the rest of the drive using LVM. Recently that drive started to fill so I added a second drive to the volume group. I got a call a few days ago saying that the drives on the server were no longer writable. I rebooted (mistake) and ever since the drive has been in a recovery shell (not a normal shell). Doing a fsck results in Illegal block #5020 (90367283) in inode 7 (example) and I have to press y to reallocate the blocks. Originally I just took a lead pipe and put it on the 'y' key before doing a fsck -h and seeing that all I had to do was fsck -y to get the same result (the lead pipe hack is cooler though).

The big problem is that fsck is only at block #25000 after 3 days. At this rate I'll never get the file system up to back it up. Everything is LVM. I'm wondering if it's possible to mount the LVM partitions from a Knoppix or Ubuntu CD? (Tried Knoppix 4.0.2, it didn't seem to have command line lvm tools).



This mail sent through

X-servers and improved shells for W*ndows.


Apparently this does not require Cygwin, but provides an X-server for FREE.


This is offtopic, but it is a cmd.exe replacement that supports a tabbed interface (look at version 2.0). Good if you miss "screen" when using Win32, I suppose. (Screen itself is available for Cygwin as an unofficial build, but I have not tried it.)

Available available available

The library is changed. The publication status is still not right, but the available books should be available and the "On Loan" ones loaned.

Next step: get books that are loaned out into the database.

Re: [kwlug disc.] PHP maintaining sessions

Wish it was that easy :). It's commented out and defaulted to 0, so
that's not it. I've run into this problem previously and if I recall it
is some php or apache setting...I just don't recal what it was.

John Van Ostrand wrote:

>Check for a line like the following in /etc/php.ini.
>session.use_only_cookies = 1
>My guess is that you would set this to 0. If you make changes, restart
>(not reload) apache.
>On Thu, 2006-04-13 at 20:59 -0400, Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:
>>I've just migrated to a new server and an upgraded version of php (now
>>on version 5). My server is maintaining sessions if the user has
>>cookies enabled, but if cookies are turned off by the user, the system
>>won't maintain a session. Real ugly ifyou're trying to log in :).
>>Anyway, it could be something ugly with upgrading from php4 to php5, but
>>I'd stake quite a bit that I've just got some dumb configuration
>>variable set wrong.
>>Any ideas on what would cause php to maintain sessions in cookies, but
>>not if cookies are turned off?
>>KWLUG-Disc mailing list
>KWLUG-Disc mailing list
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