Entries posted in March 2006

We're gonna get together one day

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

A free mod_security replacement?

Once upon a time I was interested in writing something to filter, sanitize, and otherwise protect incoming Apache requests.

Then I learnt that it already existed, and was called mod_security.

(Initially I was suprised it was written as an Apache module, rather than a proxy, but I think it makes sense to code it that way now).

Now I learn the license makes it non-Debian-friendly.

So I we? need a free replacement.

Writing the engine is almost trivial. The value comes from the rules (which should ideally be seperate a la snort – but freely redistributable), and to a lesser extent the simplicity of the rule-writing process / flexibility of the rule-engine.

My time is tight, but it is a genuinely interesting area to me.

Wanna play?

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My favourite dreams of you

Saturday, 25 March 2006

I think it is safe for me to mention this now.

I will soon be starting to work for the Debian-friendly hosting company Bytemark, working with their Xen + UML systems & etc.

Fun stuff.

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Caesar had an eye for clothes

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Is it possible to uniquely identify an audio CD-ROM? I’ve “stolen” the disc ID code from the various CDDB clients I’ve seen, but I wonder how unique those values are.

I’m looking at setting up a simple CDDB/FreeDB-esque server to store audio information which can be queried in a sane manner. The results will be XML data.

Using XML data I can have individual details for each track. Ideal for soundtrack albums. Plus I can require clients to ignore attributes they don’t understand to allow for future growth.

I could use the ID + sha1 hashes of the song lengths I guess …. or even a SHA1 hash of the track-data (but I’m worried that read-errors could cause problems with data summing, plus reading each track will be slowish).

I see comments like this a lot:

Conceptually very similar to the ISBN number used for books, the ISRC (acronym for International Standard Recording Code) is a 12-character code defined to uniquely identify a music track song). Unfortunately, over the years very few authors have adopted this standard and currently less than one percent audio CDs use the ISRC.

The UPC (Universal Product Code) is a 13-digit number that uses the UPC/EAN bar coding standard to uniquely identify the whole CD. The same ISRC considerations apply to the UPC code: very few audio CDs currently use the UPC.

In related news two tickets for Radiohead + Beck are mine :)

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Love can be beautiful

Sunday, 19 March 2006

Blog Power?

Over the past few months I’ve written entries here which have elicited some interesting replies. I ranted about poor support from SuSE and received personal emails from company representatives who wanted to help me out.

Last week I wrote about LinuxGazette disappearing (turned out to be DNS errors on my side) and received a comment from Heather suggesting I was mistaken.

Interesting that so many people see what I write, and also slightly intimidating given that my sense of humour has repeatedly been misintepretted in the past .. online and offline.

I don’t really have a good conclusion here, but I suspect I just got lucky. I tend to write fairly trivial things, and rarely take any of it very serious.

ObDebian: I’m in the middle of turning a spare bedroom into a real office. I now have three low-end machines in a line across two desks, and a decentish desktop machine too.

It looks likely that I’ll have a lot more time to contribute to Debian over the coming months (although this isn’t confirmed yet). Either way I’ll have a much nicer “working” environment at home.

ObSocial: The postcards I sent to Debian folks seemed to all arrive, except for the one I mailed to Amaya (despite having several rounds of back and forth to get the address right). That was returned to me yesterday. Try again tomorrow I guess.

Cross-Country postal-services suck. Although I know they handle a lot of letters/parcels I seem to always get the unlucky straw.

ObDebian-Admin: The Debian admin site now allows users to submit tags. Took a while to get right, but I’m happy with the Web 2.0 ajax code. How very ..

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Burn baby burn

Friday, 17 March 2006

It seems that ‘Linux Gazette’ has disappeared for good now? Both the .net/.com sites now point elsewhere.

I’ve come up with a solution to the comment spam problem I referred to previously; I’ll allow comments on new posts for the first couple of weeks then disable them automagically.

That seems like less effort than installing more plugins, filters, and complicated things that people suggested. (Thanks for all those who suggested things incidently. I think I replied to everybody individually already).

No other news I can share right now.

PS: Walking to the sandwich shop for lunch today I got to jump in puddles! This makes me happy.

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I've got so much love to give you ...

Friday, 10 March 2006





Yet ;)

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Each with their own secret care ...

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Short update today:

  • After getting annoyed I’ve disabled comments on this blog. Sucks, but what can you do to avoid spam?
  • I’m being head-hunted. Kinda. Neat.

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Another girl, another planet ...

Sunday, 5 March 2006

Are there any good GUI toolkits available for the console, other than ncurses/curses?

I’m thinking there must be, but some random google searches have failed to bring up useful leads.

(I want to write a simple console GUI for the argo xen monitor – nothing too complicated…)

C++ ideally, or C. Perl at a push.

Bonus points if it works under Win32.

I’ve made a proof-of-concept GUI using zenity + netcat, but now it is time to do it for real …

(libctk looked like a candidate, but not much documentation, other than a couple of sample programs. Which don’t compile.)

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