Archive for February, 2008

Wireless Madness

FInally got the wireless working on what is to become the ‘always on’ box. This involved building the serialmonkey rt61 driver, blacklisting and otherwise disabling a number of other driver modules (including the drivers I had previously set up and built for the aborted attempt to install the usb wireless). Take-home points:

lsmod to list kernel modules currently loaded
/etc/modprobe.d is where all the module action seems to happen (although not where they are all kept).
The blacklist file in this directory is how you prevent a module from loading.
modprobe -r module_name to remove a module
depmod to to something important concerning module dependencies.

So I have moved on to getting a little more serious about the security of the box. Firestarter, changing the ssh port and disabling root ssh login. Snort might be a little overkill. Probably time the router firmware was updated, and I chose more than the bare minimum level of security. Although I never get close to my download cap, so what do I really care if some kid is surfing the web from time to time on my connection?

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Python strings

Found a neat discussion of the relative efficiencies of various methods of string concatenation in Python. Turns out the most concise method is also the most efficient. The trick is to build a list, and join the entire list together to make a string at the end, rather than have to allocate a new string every time you add to the end of it (strings in Python are immutable).http://www.skymind.com/~ocrow/python_string/

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xrandr laptops and screens

Thanks to the Thinkwiki xrandr tutorial I can now dual-monitor my laptop.

I had to rebuild xorg.conf, as the gnome screen resolution tool had messed it up. Then it was a simple matter of following the instructions.

One important gotcha – the default refresh rate was too much for my old LCD monitor to handle, so I had to turn it on using:


xrandr --output VGA --mode 1280x1024 --right-of LVDS --rate 60

Which seems to have worked nicely.

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Green and Armstrong are big daft c*cks

Spiked tell us that they have spoken to a “scientific forecasting expert” about climate change’s effect on polar bears Unfortuntely he is neither an expert in climate, bears or climate. In fact him and his buddy Green run a lame site where they claim to gather “all useful knowledge about scientific forecasting”. Ok, you can pick yourself up of the floor now. Just for laughs run a search on their site for differential equation, lotka, or lorenz. If you’re interested in what RealClimate has to say about these jokers then follow the link.

The zeroth law of disciplinary naming: if it calls itself “something science” then it isn’t.

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