Christmas updates

Long time no updates again. I have put the reminder in my ical, so now updates should really be more often.
Meanwhile, I have been busy with few things and here we go:

  • OpenOffice.org office suite appeared to be VERY much like StarOffice – same code base, help and printing available, etc. Good alternative if you want to stay free and open.
  • Running different online game servers may be fun. In particular Quake III Arena servers with Rocket Arena and/or OSP mods. For those, seeking log analyzer’s for games.log – the only one I managed to force to work was Q3LA (Quake 3 Log Analyzer). My samples are http://games.thunderworx.net/q3osp/ (OSP) and http://games.thunderworx.net/q3ra/ (RA).
  • I spent some time with perl/tk programming. Tk appeared not bad at all for something more advanced than xmessage type of things. Clear, object-oriented, readable code, especially when done for Tk perl module (check out CPAN for more information).
  • Coming to surprises: it was a big one for me to find out that xsnow actually has a manual page and a handful of options. Thanks to certain someone I can now nostalgie about real winter with winter background and xsnow with -notrees and -nosanta options on.
  • It looks like finally one of my old dreams will come true and I will be working during the night time, being additionally a techical support guy during that time. Nice anyway.

That looks like all. Last thing I wanted to mention is that I will be out of the island for the first time in several years – Christmas holidays is a good time to visit my mom and bro in Malta (another small island in the same sea…hehe). I will be out from 24th of December until 3rd of January, so I guess there will be no updates during that period.

Linux, Quake III, and Nvidia

Long time no updates. That is because I wa busy with Quake III ;). Actually, making it run was much easier then I thought it will be. What I did was downloading of NVidia drivers from NVidia site and installing them. For those, running Red Hat-based distributions, drivers are available in rpm format. Everything works fine after changing driver from “nv” to “nvidia” in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 (video card: Riva TNT 64 for the record).

MP3 broadcasts

I have spent few hours today trying to implement another crazy idea of mine :) This time I want to have an mp3 broadcast continiously coming out of my home server. I was not sure where to start, so I have played with Icecast, Shoutcast, and Apache::MP3. The latest didn’t work yet because I forgot to add mod_perl to my web server, which I planning to do today/tomorrow. Apache::MP3 looks very nice on their example site, although I am not sure it is quiet what I need. If you are interested, you can find Apache::MP3 at CPAN. And Icecast I beleive is somewhere near NullSoft and WinAmp.
Some documentation on setting up things can be found at LDP and with the help of Google.

Microsoft LDAP

LDAP saga continues… Finally I have found something that Microsoft did actually good. I have found out that ldifde.exe -f myfile.ldf will export the whole Active Directory structure into myfile.ldf file in LDIF file format (human readable). That is extremely usefull when migrating I have also found Exchange-HOWTO an interesting read.

First LDAP encounter

I have started to learn LDAP today. Here is how I did it:

  • Install new Red Hat Linux 7.2 server.
  • During install
    • Specify to authenticate through LDAP which is located at 127.0.0.1
    • I forgot to permit SSH connection during firewall configuration
    • In boot manager configuration, I have specified to use GRUB with which I don’t have any experience yet.

When I did all this, I have found myself in situation where machine refused any connections via secure shell, refused any logins locally, Result:

  1. Unusable machine
  2. Frozen butt (a/c in the server room)
  3. Complete reinstall
  4. Linux LDAP Tutorial

Hardware upgrades

Small hardware updates: yesterday I have tested GeForce 2 MX 32. To say it short – it sucked against my Riva TNT2. I know that is not scientific, but I completely deslike playing Quake 3 Arena with it and needed some place to share the feeling :)
My new 40GByte hard disk is fine though. HDDs are getting cheaper and cheaper, especially those 5500 RPM ones. I gave my preference to 7200 RPMs though. :)

Migration from Windows to Linux

It looks like migrating a well-established business from Windows to Linux is an interesting project. Especially, if the business is not a stand alone coffee shop, but a corporation with 400+ users. Fortunately, prior experience with thin clients might suddenly get useful. Up to now I consider the following plan to be the easiest way (I am not a money guy, so, no focus on prices here):

  1. Investigate alternatives for each and every application needed.
  2. Configure small test environment with only few users (mainly from IT department) and run it for some time.
  3. Migrate workstations of regular users.
  4. Migrate servers.
  5. Migrate development (New projects are done on new platform.Old projects are transfered gradually.).
  6. Migrate workstations of “power” users.