Spent a few hours today trying to make a “wiki farm” on Debian using MediaWiki. I already had six wikis using separate code directories on the one server, so when I needed to update them all it was a real pain. Having to create a seventh standalone wiki today pushed me to doing this. I documented it here. Not sure if my notes will be helpful to others but I hope so… Took a little longer as I wanted to be to lock down each wiki with htpasswd (I know you can lock down parts of MoinMoin, but MediaWiki isn’t so partitionable).
I was trying to print out some PDF files today that I had downloaded from a government website, and encountered the encrypted PDF phenomenon (I got a “This operation is not permitted” message or some such).
After much frustration, I found a site that said you can use the Ghostscript pdf2ps utility to convert the problematic PDF to a PostScript file, and then use ps2pdf to convert it back to a nice unencrypted PDF file for printing. Both pdf2ps and pdf2ps are available for GNU/Linux and Windows. GSView will also often open and print such PDFs just fine.
I was showing off my iPod nano (won at the Simile ISWC 2005 semantic bank competition) at the Cork geek bloggers’ dinner recently: just got iDoom working yesterday (thanks for the link to it Brendan!) and was watching videos on it today after installing the latest kernel from iPodLinux. The video functionality is pretty nifty (but requires large AVI files because it is uncompressed); was playing the Superman Returns teaser trailer and the latest episode of the Simpsons (very watchable).
However, I have my first iPod nano screen scratch; I popped the nano out of its protective Jelly Belly box and was less than happy to see a small mark right in the middle of the screen. Hopefully the shop will take it back (I managed to retrieve the receipt, thanks Brian!).
Wrote some vBJournal to WordPress MU conversion scripts yesterday and today. There is a security exploit in vBJournal, and no sign of it being resolved. We are now running Donncha‘s WordPress MU at blogs.boards.ie.
irishblogs.org | Irish Blogs. Organised.
Started another site for free Irish blogs, because I wanted this one to be different: I’d like to allow people to organise their posts by category (using taxonomies) or tag (using folksonomies).
I’ve started the taxonomy, which is a hybrid of Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory Project, but I’ll add the new folksonomy module for Drupal (backported from 4.7 to 4.6) later on. I hope to enrole some taxonomy editors from the irishblogs mailing list too.
BTW there’s a good article on Drupal in this month’s Linux Magazine, and I’m happy to see that the latest release of Drupal (4.6 from last month) has PHP5 support.
I like Thunderbird’s RSS functionality, especially the way you can forward interesting snippets from blogs to your friends via e-mail without copying from one news reader application to your mail client. I’ve only set up a few blogs and news sources in it so far but here’s a screenshot of Thunderbird’s RSS reader. There’s probably something similar in Outlook, but I haven’t used Outlook so can’t confirm…
To keep track of progress and to help others who may be doing the same, here are some useful resources if you are installing Debian on a Thinkpad R40:
- http://www.geocities.com/tivarsson/linux.html – I used this guide to partition my default Windows XP installation (with Partition Magic) into four partitions, one for XP, and one each for Linux /, swap and /home (you can also boot a Knoppix distro and use parted to do much the same). Since my HD was smaller, I proportioned the partitions using similar ratios (5.5/7/.5/12.5).
- http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ – I downloaded the netinst CD image from here; actually I downloaded the full seven CD 3.0 r5 set before this, but because it seemed to install under a 2.2 kernel the drivers for the onboard ethernet device (e100) was missing and I gave up on that…
- http://www.thomasmarquart.net/?q=node/17 – This is a very useful page written by someone doing the same, and copying his XF86Config-4 file into my /etc/X11 directory has given me the best configuration so far for X.
- http://ibm-acpi.sourceforge.net/ and http://debian.isg.ee.ethz.ch/public/ – The IBM ACPI driver and Debian packaged versions, useful for getting suspend functions to work.
- http://www.marlow.dk/site.php/tech/madwifi – I have a PCMCIA Netgear WAG511 card, so this guide on installing the madwifi module was clear and worked first time.
- http://p3scan.sourceforge.net/readme.html – I use Thunderbird for my e-mail, so I set up P3Scan as a POP3 proxy which interfaces with spamassassin / razor / pyzor / dcc-client (all packages installed with apt-get). But the key part is that if you are running it on your localhost, you need the iptables lines from the end of the readme:
# iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport pop3 -m owner --uid-owner <uid>
# -j ACCEPT
and the redirection:
# iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport pop3 -j REDIRECT --to 8110
change <uid> to the userid of the user p3scan runs.
I’ve switched from Windows XP to Debian Linux. So far so good; converted mail from Pegasus Mail to Thunderbird, and imported IE bookmarks to Firefox. Looking at the stuff I used to use on Windows, the main thing I’ll miss will be my trusty CorelDRAW, but I can either find the Linux version or give WINE a try… I’ve left a stub install of Windows anyway for those applications you just can’t get.