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Bruno, long time ago

Thu, 30 Jan 2003 Dalian trip: a cold and painful trip?

We go to Dalian tomorrow morning, for one week. We will have fresh air, as the temperature will be somewhere between -2 and -10°C.

The other funny part of this trip is that I will need to try my first Chinese dentist, as I broke a tooth a few minutes ago...
In fact, it is not really funny, as Chinese dentists are known (according to Li) to take no care at all about people's pain :-(

Update on evening: I was too afraid of the dentist, and I managed to find one in Tokyo this afternoon. He made a temporary quick & dirty fix on my broken tooth, which "should be ok for 1-2 weeks", he said. I am safe!!

[/diary] | permanent link | Google this

Wed, 29 Jan 2003 SQL Slammer... Even M$ got it!!

The IT news information site, News.com, wrote in this article today:
Microsoft's policy of relying on software patches to fix major security flaws was questioned Monday after a series of internal e-mails revealed that the software giant's own network wasn't immune from a worm that struck the Internet last weekend.

Eehh!!! So do you still believe the "users not installing patches are the main problem" statement? Does it look serious to you?

If even M$ does not [install patches], who should? Maybe there could be a deeper problem?

By the way, even if they will never announce it clearly, their internal network got infected.

It appears to me that this news.com article could say the truth:
"Seems like every time I install a system patch, something else goes wrong with my system," said Frank Beier, president of Web design firm Dynamic Webs. The designer said many system administrators won't patch for many months, because they don't trust Microsoft to fix the problem without breaking some other function of the software. "In most cases, I'm better off just playing Russian roulette with the hackers until our servers are broken into."

[/news/net] | permanent link | Google this

Tue, 28 Jan 2003 SQL Slammer

On Jan 23, 2003, Bill Gates promised better security:
"Microsoft has a responsibility to help its customers address these concerns, so they no longer have to choose between security and usability."

On Jan 25, 2003, two days later, a massive DDOS attack was launched on the Internet, using Microsoft SQL Server flaw, by the SQL Slammer worm.

Up to 20% of the internet traffic was lost in transit, South Korea whole internet services were off, Bank of America teller machines stopped working, etc...

My network received 1200 attacks so far.

Whose fault?

Of course, M$ is not responsible for damages coming from a flaw for which a patch exists for 6 months. Not directly at least. The mistake comes from lazy & ignorant people who manage these systems.
As said in another page of this site, putting a Windows CD into a PC does not make anybody an administrator. Nor getting these funny 5 days MSCE certifications ;-)
This is where M$ is wrong and has responsability, as they go on arguing that "Windows administration is easy, anybody could do it!"

Waooo... At least this was a funny week-end ;-)

[/news/net] | permanent link | Google this

Sat, 25 Jan 2003 Weekly meeting famous words...

François (Hong-Kong): Alors... ben... euh...

[/fun/office] | permanent link | Google this

Thu, 23 Jan 2003 Netcraft survey

Netcraft Survey gives monthly statistics on web servers in the world.
This January, the number of active sites running apache server has 66.42% market share, with a total of 11,178,715 sites (my server counts for one!!).
The second one, Microsoft IIS, has 4,172,101 sites (24.79%).

[/news/net] | permanent link | Google this

Thu, 23 Jan 2003 Holidays soon!

Li and me will go on holidays in Dalian (North China) from Jan 31st, for Chinese New Year (which is Feb 1st). Dalian is my wife's hometown.

One month and a half later (week of March 23rd), we also will have one week off and will sail for one week in Phuket (Thailand) with Philippe and Nam (a colleague and his Thai wife).

[/diary] | permanent link | Google this

Wed, 22 Jan 2003 Wikipedia reaches 100,000 articles!!

According to slashdot, the english edition of wikipedia, a community-built multilingual encyclopedia, has now more than 100,000 articles online, after just two years of work!

Wikipedia is a website where anyone can edit any article at any time, and where anyone could use the content as they wish, if they follow the GNU Free Documentation License. Generally speaking, to re-use the content, you only need to give the same rights to your own copy, and you must credit wikipedia as the original source. That's it!

[/news/net] | permanent link | Google this

Tue, 21 Jan 2003 Blosxom 0+6i-b2 setup

No change compared to 0+5i version. It ran Out Of the Box, after I made the same changes.

I added a small script, as I really want some files to keep the same date. This script looks for files (in blog directories) which names look like a date, then it changes the date of these files with the name itself.
It runs every hour, and could be used with other versions of blosxom as well.
Here is the source of this file:

#! /bin/sh

for i in `find ./blog -name '*.txt' -print`
    DATE=`expr match $i '.*\([0-9]\{12\}\).txt'`
    if [ -z ${DATE} ]
        DATE=`expr match $i '.*\([0-9]\{8\}\).txt'`
        [ ${DATE} ] && "DATE=${DATE}1200"
    [ ${DATE} ] && touch -t ${DATE} "$i"

This script accepts files like "*DATE.txt", where DATE can be in both YYYYMMDDhhmm.txt or YYYYMMDD.txt formats. In the latter case, a default of 12:00 is used for the time.

[/technical/website] | permanent link | Google this

Mon, 20 Jan 2003 Buy a Vespa, get a Draisienne!!

vespa A colleague bought a brand new Vespa scooter a few weeks ago... Funny, as we are in Japan, and the best scooters are probably made here.
He discussed a lot (one month?) to get the best one, he got it, he talked a lot about it, and eventually was able to ride 106 km.

The facts:

  1. When he got it, he had to replace one wheel, which was not straight (!!).
  2. When he rode, some bolts wanted to leave the scooter (!!).
  3. When he rode, the retrovisors prefered to change their positions randomly, probably in order to make riding in Tokyo a more challenging experience.
  4. After 106 km, the scooter would'nt start anymore, and the repairman came to his place to pick it up. Game over.

draisienne With a MDBF (Mean Distance Between Failures) of 26.5 km, this Vespa was surely a good bargain (maybe oil accounted for half of its price?).
Also, as my colleague lives 4 kilometers from the office, he could (reasonably) be able to use the scooter 3 days per week (24 kilometers), and use a taxi the 2 other days. The week-end would of course be needed to repair the "scooter".

As a matter of taxi cost-cutting, he could prefer to use the Vespa like a Celerifere or a Draisienne the 2 usual failure days. This will be possible when the engine is down, but only if the wheels are still fine (and of course if enough bolts are still in place!).

[/fun] | permanent link | Google this

Fri, 17 Jan 2003 Kobe earthquake anniversary

8 years ago, on Jan 17, 1995, at 5:46 am, a 20 seconds earthquake seriously damaged Kobe city, making 4,500 casualties and hundreds of thousands of homeless people.

As a side effect, Barings famous british bank collapsed after Nick Leeson's operations on the Singapore Futures Exchanges .

[/news/world] | permanent link | Google this

Fri, 17 Jan 2003 Weekly meeting famous words...

Bruno (Tokyo): C'est qui qui prend les notes aujourd'hui?
Tout le monde: C'est toi
Bruno (Tokyo): Who is the guy taking the minutes today?
All: It's you

[/fun/office] | permanent link | Google this

Wed, 15 Jan 2003 gmplayer is slow while mplayer is not

My version of gmplayer (0.90pre9-3.2) was sometimes very slow on playing mpeg movies (and only mpegs), while mplayer was running fine. The error message was:

         **** Your system is too SLOW to play this!  ****
!!! Possible reasons, problems, workarounds: 

The solution was to find the "cache = 4" line in ${HOME}/.mplayer/gui.conf, and change the value from 4 to 512. Everything is perfect now!
Maybe you could experiment with different values of cache, like 1024, or 2048.

[/technical/linux] | permanent link | Google this

Fri, 10 Jan 2003 Weekly meeting famous words...

Guillaume (Sydney): La doc est pas mal: On a au moins un numéro de téléphone
Guillaume (Sydney): Documentation is pretty good: We have a phone number at least

Bruno (Tokyo): N'écris pas ça
Bruno (Tokyo): Don't record this

[/fun/office] | permanent link | Google this

Mon, 06 Jan 2003 New changes!

Two new big changes, in the path to migrate this site to a fully XHTML/CSS web site: The "Webcam" page will disappear (being replaced by a more useful "GPG" page - already done in all new pages), and the "Palm" page has been rewritten in XHTML.

  1. Change the new links (Webcam vs GPG everywhere). Easy. Done on Jan 7.
  2. Rewrite the "Weather" page in XHTML. Easy. Done on Jan 11th. But it was not easy at all! I was not able to include a jsp in middle of a SSI file, so I run a hourly job to prepare an html file instead (with an ugly wget getting the data from the jsp). Any better idea on this?
  3. Do something about the "Forum" page. I will probably remove it (I don't like their licence sytem - after all, even if it was small help, I crontributed to this software!). Done on Jan 11. Just by removing links, and redirecting the forum page to the main page.
  4. Rewrite the "Linux" page. This will be longer: I have 2 ways here. I could just make it XHTML compliant, or make it more accurate. I will probably choose the first solution. Done on Jan 12th.
  5. Rewrite the "Gallery" page. Again, I will probably change the engine. Not easy, and I prefered to "patch" the old system to be compliant with XHTML standard. There are problems with images overriding he right column - I'm not going to solve them soon! Done on Feb 9th.

[/technical/website] | permanent link | Google this

Mon, 06 Jan 2003 Dictons Bretons!!

Horizon pas net, reste à la buvette.

Mouette en haut du mât fiente bientôt sur toi.

Quand les mouettes ont pied, il est temps de virer.

Pingouin dans les champs, hiver méchant.

Mauvaise météo, journée au bistrot.

Quand le capitaine est bourré, le bateau reste à quai.

Qui pisse contre le vent, se rince les dents.

Goéland bec en avant, marée de 110 dans pas longtemps.

Caca de mouette, tempête. Caca de goéland, ouragan!

Quand le goéland se gratte le gland, c'est qu'il va faire mauvais temps; Quand il se gratte le cul, c'est qu'il ne fera pas beau non-plus.

Quand un cachalot vient de tribord, il est prioritaire. Quand il vient de bâbord aussi. (Olivier de Kersauson)

[/fun] | permanent link | Google this

Sun, 05 Jan 2003 Weblog & other pages. Where to stop?

As I just rewrote my "Links" page in xhtml, I wondered if I should include it in the weblog or not.

More generally, my question is: Where should a Weblog stop? Should technical data (such as Blosxom installation) be there?
As I don't have an answer yet, I will leave the Links page as it is, as well as the Forum one (but I think that one will disappear as soon as Blosxom can handle postings :-)

[/technical/website] | permanent link | Google this

Sat, 04 Jan 2003 Blosxom 0+5i setup

I am using Blosxom (version 0+5i). As I needed a special setup (more than one weblog per page, SSI includes for header/footer, etc...), I could not use Blosxom as a "page generator", but only as an "article manager" inside an outside page.

I made the following to make it work:

  • First, in my html index file (server parsed), I included the following:
       <!-- I call blosxom.cgi with the parameters.
            If none, the default "/blog/diary" is used -->
       <!--#set var="BLOSXOM_CATEGORY" value="/blog/diary" -->
       <!--#if expr="$DOCUMENT_PATH_INFO" -->
         <!-- #set  var="BLOSXOM_CATEGORY" value="${DOCUMENT_PATH_INFO}" -->
       <!--#endif -->
       <!--#set var="PROGRAM" value="/cgi/blosxom.cgi${BLOSXOM_CATEGORY}" -->
       <!--#set var="RSS_PROGRAM" value="${PROGRAM}/?flav=rss" -->
    Then I use the PROGRAM and RSS_PROGRAM variables as following:
       <a href="<!-- #echo var="RSS_PROGRAM" -->">
          <img src="/images/xml.gif" alt="Syndicate this site!" />
       <!--#include virtual="$PROGRAM" -->
    The target is to generate the correct Blosxom path, and to have a default "/blog/diary" one if none is specified.
  • I also needed to create a .htaccess file in the directory where the index.html resides, to force an http redirection to the index.html if only the directory is specified in the URL. This is necessary, as only URL like http://www.raoult.com/diary/index.html/path/to/weblog will work (and not http://www.raoult.com/diary//path/to/weblog).
       DirectoryIndex redirect.html index.html index.shtml
       Redirect /diary/redirect.html http://www.raoult.com/diary/index.html
  • Then, I added the following line in blosxom.cgi, to handle possible "//" (slash slash) between the $url & $path macros:
       $url =~ s/^included:/http:/; # Fix for Server Side Includes (SSI)
       my @pi = split m{/}, path_info();
       shift @pi;
       ########## br, to skip initial // (SSI pb)
       $pi[0] eq '' and shift @pi;
       my $pi_bl = '';
       while ($pi[0] =~ /^[a-zA-Z]\w*$/) { $pi_bl .= '/' . shift @pi; }
  • As I don't want to use the <span> tag as a date separator, I commented out the corresponding lines:
       # $content_type eq 'text/html' && $curdate ne "$dw, $da $mo $yr" && 
       # print span({-class=>'blosxomDate'}, $curdate = "$dw, $da $mo $yr"); 
  • Finally, I run a hourly cronjob to generate the weblog index file:
       # find the directory tree and build a list...
       find blog -type d -print | awk '
       BEGIN {
            URL = "http://www.raoult.com/diary/index.html/"
            print "<div class=\"list\">";
            print "<div class=\"listtitle\">";
            print "Weblog tree...";
            print "</div>";
            print "<ul>";
            printf("<li><a href=\"%s%s\">%s</a></li>\n", URL, $0, $0);
       END {
            print "</ul>";
            print "</div>";
       }' > tree.dat
    This file is included in the index.html file as:
       <!--#include virtual="/blosxom/tree.dat" -->

That's all folks!!

[/technical/website] | permanent link | Google this

Thu, 02 Jan 2003 New Home Page!!

I lost my first place on Google (for a member of French Parliament), and being between this one (Eric Raoult) and a French Senator (Paul Raoult, #3 on Google) makes me somehow uncomfortable ;-)

But I worked a little, and I have got a new home page!
The changes are:

* XHTML 1.0 instead of HTML 4.01
* No more frames!! (using frames is Bad [tm]).
* Only CSS for presentation. Using HTML tables is Very Bad [tm]
* blosxom is the engine for this page (and for RSS syndication)
* blagg is the RSS aggregator (the right column with news)

What I need to do now is to make the change for all the site (this should not be very difficult).

[/technical/website] | permanent link | Google this