Categories: Free Software, Jabber, Linux, My Gentoo, Ubuntu@AMD64, Workgroup Free Software


Corrupt filesystems = hell, sendmail sucks, SP.a sucks, VTK rocks!

It was quite hard to solve the problem I pointed at here. After a while we finally discovered the filesystem was quite corrupt, so configuration files were damaged. smb.conf was quite fast fixed, but the sendmail configuration was terrible. Thanks to Femi, it's solved. Let's hope we can soon migrate to our new server configuration, without sendmail.

Yesterday, I placed the prices of our Dell-computers online. Now all people can buy them by e-mail, but ikke and Bram are working at an e-shop to automate the whole thing. ikke told me the database structure (and implementation) is ready now, so I can insert the data. Already three computers (all Dell Latitude D800's, the notebook topmodel) are sold. Seems good B-)

This week we have Filmweek (movieweek) and Lentefuif (spring party) at VTK. Let's watch some movies and have a great party this week!

VTK Filmweek flyer

Also some bad news in politics. The European Council and Commission told they'll ignore the desicion of the Parliament to restart the whole software patents direction. It seems there will be a big conflict between those two European institutes. They'll try to vote the direction as an A-item (without discussion) on the next meeting. Some national parliaments already decided they can not accept such things, so let's see what happens. Let's hope they can counter such a boycot of democracy. More information about the desicion here.

Another bad thing coming towards us, is the pc-taxes for copyright. As I mentoined here, some political parties are trying to push a proposal that creates a tax of 40 euro on each computer sold. The money should go to music companies as compensation for the (illegal) copying of their music with computers. Normally, there wouldn't be a majority for that. One of the governing parties, SP.a announced in the media that they were a great opponent of those taxes. Now, they're breaking because of the pressure of another party, VLD to approve the proposal. Stupido's.

Hehe, my girlfried has red the previous post and the piece about her. Than she looks at me in a way she makes me completely crazy. Oh, I love her so much :-D

Sunday, I went to FOSDEM. It was good, some good talks. I visited the desktop tracks about KDE and XFCE, some developer rooms: Gentoo ("Gentoo Documentation Project", missed "Enterprise Java on Gentoo"), Mozilla and Debian ("Fully automatic Linux installations"). Because of some delay, they really messed up the lightning talks, so I missed VideoLAN, wich was very impressive at the booth. FAI was one of the most interesting talks. I think we'll use it for the Linux@UGent project because there's not so much swing in Fedora Stateless. They even don't talk about it for FC4.

And now: let's build a firewall!

Permalink . Peter . 13:31:19 . 462 Words . Life & Fun, VTK, Free Software, EU Software Patents, Politics . Email . No views


Busy week...

It was a very busy week, this one. Even that busy for not having enough time to post something on this blog. My girlfriend also found this blog (she was standing next to me when I was reading/posting). Firstly, I didn't tell her because I thought she wouldn't be interested. Now, she finds it very "nerdy" :-p Let's see if she reads this too B-)

I also created a new category "Politics" (and moved the software patents cat) where I'll post something about Flemish (and Belgian or regional) politics. I'm very interested in that and sometimes I'm also active. I don't know if all posts will be in English there, maybe sometimes I'll use Dutch. As first message, I can say I created two proposals for the city council of Ghent. One about safety in the student-partystreet and another about student mobility. I'll keep you on touch.

Monday, we had student council where my two proposals (see this post) were accepted (with a few extra lines). You can find them here and here. Both are pdf-files in Dutch. After the meeting, we had a drink, nice people, interesting talks, lots of alcohol so I stayed there too long ;-)

As ikke already mentoined, we sold our first two Dell notebooks at VTK. The third one is in progress and ikke has a friend who wants to buy another one. The website isn't ready, but ikke and Bram are developing it. The database structure is ready, now there creating the aplication to start coding soon. When that's ready, I hope the Dell-selling will be a great succes. If you're interested, don't hesitate ;-)

Just had a telephone call from VTK. Seems that there are problems: they can't log in on the clients anymore (domain VTK not available is the message) and e-mail isn't working anymore. I'm trying to solve it for two hours now, but it doens't work. For the mailtroubles, I see that every email for our domain is accepted, but sent back to our "smart relay", creating a loop. I checked configuration files, but they seem OK. and local-host-names are OK, just like the other files. For the smb-problem, I also don't know how to solve it. This is the message I recieve when trying to mount a samba-share on a windows computer:
# mount /mnt/clients/osama/d/
3424: session setup failed: ERRDOS - ERRnoaccess (Access denied.)
SMB connection failed

I've sent an email to ikke, Lennert and Femi. Let's hope they know what to try.

Wednesday, we had a company visit at Sidmar. First a presentation of the company, the job possibilities and conditions,... After that a visit at the factories, very nice. At the evening, a walking diner at the yacht "Jacob Van Artevelde" in the port of Ghent. Very nice B-)

Sunday, I'm going to FOSDEM, Brussels. Ikke will be there too, and normally also Real Nitro and Lennert. See you there?

Oh, BTW, please sign this petition against taxes on pc's. Some politicians want to create those taxes as compensation for music industries. It's like a punishment before you did anything wrong. Now we already pay for all blanc media (CD's and DVD's), so every linux-CD includes a fee for the music industry. Stupid IMHO.

Please sign the petition against pc-taxes

Permalink . Peter . 02:08:07 . 539 Words . Life & Fun, VTK, Free Software, Politics . Email . No views


Spirit wants discussion about Free Software with Gates, Belnet jabberserver, Exam and VTK troubles

Just had my exam HFC Accessnetworks, more difficult than I expected, but I think it'll be OK. Next one is those damn bloody statistics. Yeah, like RealNitro. I'll do it for the 5th time, RealNitro for the 3th. If I don't pass this one (now and in August ;-)), I'll have to redo all exams of my second year while I'm doing the 4th year now (in the 3th year I passed all exams succesfully).

Had some troubles at VTK today. When I finnished my exam, I put on my cellphone and Sygmoral had sent a message pointing me on the fact that the VTK servers were down. Now, at VTK, we have a mail/file-server, a webserver and a firewall. The firewall is an old machine (but does its job well) with a hard disk with a corrupted segment. We didn't know about that corrupted segment and found a blank partition when we first looked at it. (we = the sysadmins of this year) Yeah, we thought to prepare a new gentoo-installation and new firewall on that partition, but it wouldn't work. No problem, we should take care of it after the exams, the machine still runs fine under the current slackware. But when testing the new gentoo, we installed grub and for some reason we couldn't make grub boot into the old slack-installation. Re-installing the old lilo didn't work also. The problem with grub is nog fixed and was quite strange: we had to create a symlink to grub.conf, called menu.lst. |-| Didn't know that, never done that and always working. But thanks to Femi, the firewall can now be rebooted back in the working slack-environment without having manually to edit the bootline in the grubconfig while rebooting.

So back to this afternoon: seems Metsie has also notified the website could not be viewed and he didn't get mails anymore. So, he thought to be smart and rebooted the firewall. Bad idea: as I mentoined above, the firewall tries to boot in that corrupted harddisk segment. So I arrive, see kernel panic. With the help of Ikke, I could reboot the machine in a working kernel, but firewalling wasn't working as it used to be: from within VTK we could view webpages of the outer world, but from any other place, we couldn't see VTK's. Pinging was no problem. Seems that there were lots of old kernels on that machine and one of them is the right one to boot :crazy: A hint for everyone: just make sure you always have just one working kernel and delete the non-working ones! So you can't make mistakes ;-)

I also introduced the DeathRow at VTK today :>> At our fileserver, we have a temp-directory but that's evolved to a personal extra storage of the preasidium members. If they have work for school, they put it there. That's not what it's initially created for. If we want to periodically delete the contents of that directory, there are always questions like "please, don't delete this one, we still need it and it's too big for our personal directory" and now there are several files called "filename-please_dont_delete". Now, no more mercy for them! I've created a directory "deathrow" somewhere else on the server, executable and readable for everyone, but the contents itself are root-owned and not readable by others. From now on, every week the contents of the temp will be moved to the deathrow. If there are some files (only VTK-files, no personal files) that must be kept for still a few weeks, we can manually copy them back to temp, but we won't do it much. The old contents of DeathRow are deleted before moving the temp to it.

Some real other stuff now!
Tomorrow Bill Gates comes to Brussels. Normally he'll talk about Software Patents. For the moment, Software Patents are not possible in Europe, but the European Patent Office illegaly accepted more than 30.000 of them. Now, those companies payed a lot for this patents and they now want to make those patents legal. Many protests from free software organisations, consumer organisations, academics, scientists, economists, SME's and the European Parliament made enough amendements to the directive preventing non-trivial patents. Now the European Commission wants also to allow these ones by placing them on the meetings shedule of the European Agriculture Ministers (who don't know anything of this by default) as an A-item: an item that's being voted (normally yes) without discussion. In the meantime the European Parliament tries to restart the whole proces to reopen the whole discussion since many people have changed their mind (against SP's) and the EU now consist of 10 more countries than when the whole story started. And now Gates comes lobbying for those damn software patents... Let's hope they never introduce them here. More info about why software patents are bad can be found in Dutch here, in French here and here in English and many other languages.

No software patents!

Now that Gates is coming to Brussels, the Flemish political party Spirit wants to discuss with Gates about Free and Open Source Software, FOSS. Spirit is known from this I pointed about yesterday, but last year they did also reach the news with an IMHO stupid action "Gates, open your bill" asking for more FOSS in schools and public. OK, I also want more FOSS in schools and so on, but they didn't promote FOSS that way. They only shitted on MS (OK, I also do that sometimes ;-)), their webpage was called "windowssucks.html" and they promoted open standards using a Flash-website :crazy: They even made MS send a letter to the Belgian Government asking for apologies. Crazy people...

Geert Lambert
Geert Lambert, the chairman of Spirit

Some good news about Jabber: BELNET, the Belgian national research network for education, research and public services, has installed a Jabber server. It's a nice bi-processor SunFire V65x with 2GB RAM, connected to the Belnet backbone through a 1Gb ethernet connection running the jabber deamon and a few transports to MSN, ICQ/AOL and Yahoo. They also provide a nice online client called Greenthumb and a very simple one. The goal is to create an open IM-infrastructure, primarly for schools, but usable by everyone. More information can be found here. Let's hope it haves some succes. I already think about moving my JID to Belnet hoping for a better service (less downtime for example ;-)).

Jabber Software Foundation

Permalink . Peter . 00:47:17 . 1065 Words . Life & Fun, VTK, Studies, Free Software, Jabber, EU Software Patents . Email . No views


ZDnet Belgium pionts about a new project from the Belgian Government. Project E-coop will be funded by the belgian State Secretary Els Van Weert and the European Social Fund and will support deployment of Open Source solutions of 80 belgian SME's active in social economics. The initiative goes out from MeMO, wich stands for Mens- en Milieuvriendelijk Ondernemen (human and environment friendly in Dutch) and will start from UPCASE, wich now installs Postnuke, PHPBB2, Owl, SPIP, Sherpath, and PHPWIKI, but will be extended with installation, user support and employee training for groupware, knowledge management, e-learning, accounting, office, webbrowsers, e-mail, Linux,... Everything an SME needs to start.

Enjoyed badminton yesterday, very nice games and sometimes quite hard. Studied some statistics today, really boring, but I'm going to start studying HFC Access Networks: Case Study, wich is a course much more interesting. It handles about the modern cable (and DSL) networks, the whole structure, technologies and applications (internet, telephony, digital television,...) of it and is a case study of the network of the Flemish cable operator Telenet. I've three exams next week, not much time, let's hope it goes well.

Permalink . Peter . 21:13:42 . 187 Words . Studies, Free Software . Email . No views

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