Archive for the ‘open source software’ Category

OpenVPN on Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)


2009
09.15

Once and for all (as I keep forgetting):

  • modify the actual ovpn file by adding the following:

    route-method exe
    route-delay 2
  • Use openvpn-2.1_rc19
  • Make sure you install as Administrator

And that’s it – you’re done! :)

Wipe all mp3s and avis from the filesystem


2009
09.08

So you want to run a script that removes all mp3 and avi files off the filesystem. One way (in bash) as below. Comment, suggestions and feedback are welcome :) Using $EUID to check for root user, and $IFS to check for line breaks as the file names has spaces in them. IFS is saved to a temp variable, reset and then re-instated afterwards. C is the counter. Got two litte for loops in bash with backtick execution.

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New ClamAV / clamscan / freshclam on old Ubuntu (Feisty or the like)


2009
09.07

A typical situation – you get to audit a server setup which hasn’t seen a apt-get update / apt-get upgrade or even apt-get dist-upgrade since Netbooks were a pipedream.

“Please don’t change anything, we only want a virus scanner, but the update cache is busted,” they say. That you see a whole bunch of 404‘s in the apt (or aptitude) feedback is normal — there is no active repo for this flavour anymore! Long-gone!

So – what to do? As you would, you compile from source. Ha — one gotcha — zlib‘s probably not installed (compression library, as you know).

So – quick move to virus scanning happiness (on the latest version):

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phpDocumentor on Windows — but please, you knew that already


2009
09.02

So the below description will give you a step-by-step to run phpDocumentor (which replaces phpDoc):

Get it at www.phpdoc.org or install it via PEAR (much easier – 2MB download or so).

For Windows machines:

  • go-pear.bat (if you haven’t already — find it if you don’t know where it is) and pear install --alldeps phpdocumentor
  • Do a search for PEAR_ENV.reg on your machine.
  • Execute it.
  • Make sure you’ve got the Environment Variables set to point to include the PHP bin directory (
    set PATH=%PATH%;c:\path\to\php ) OR

    1. From the desktop, right-click My Computer and click properties.
    2. In the System Properties window, click on the Advanced tab.
    3. In the Advanced section, click the Environment Variables button.
    4. Finally, in the Environment Variables window, highlight the path variable in the Systems Variable section and click edit. Add or modify the path lines with the paths you wish the computer to access. Each different directory is separated with a semicolon as shown below.
    5. In Vista:
      • Open the the Control Panel, select the System and Maintenance link, and select the System link. Or, press the Windows key and the Pause / Break key at the same time.
      • Select the Advanced System settings link.
  • You can now call php and pear commands from the command line (you many need to restart for the changes to come into effect).
  • Verify by typing phpdoc -h
  • phpdoc -d "c:\projectDir" -o HTML:default:default -t "c:\projectDir\docs"
  • for PDF files, replace the output parameter (-o): -o PDF:default:default
  • Formatting in smarty (like PHP website etc): -o HTML:smarty:default
  • -t = target directory of generated documents
    -d = source directory of files to check
    -o output format as above.
    (more…)

And we’re up to 2.8.4


2009
08.12

Yesterday a vulnerability was discovered: a specially crafted URL could be requested that would allow an attacker to bypass a security check to verify a user requested a password reset. As a result, the first account without a key in the database (usually the admin account) would have its password reset and a new password would be emailed to the account owner. This doesn’t allow remote access, but it is very annoying.

We fixed this problem last night and have been testing the fixes and looking for other problems since then. Version 2.8.4 which fixes all known problems is now available for download and is highly recommended for all users of WordPress.

In the word of the WordPress site itself…

How many open source licenses do you need?


2009
08.05

After an impassioned plea from a developer ont he opensource mailing lists, looking for help through the myriad of 73 versions of open source licenses that are out there, a participant pointed out this link, an article by written back in February 2009 by Bruce Perens (“Bruce Perens is the creator of the Open Source Definition, the manifesto of Open Source and the criterion for Open Source software licensing. Perens represented Open Source at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, at the request of the United Nations Development Program.”)

In the article, Perens draws the conclusion that, when looked at it realistically, a business can do with a decision between no more than 4 licences, and then they’d only have to choose between 2, really…

Larry Rosen, of Rosenlaw and Einschlag (“a technology law firm”) commented on this just last night: “It’s bullshit and should be called out as such every time it is repeated”. He goes on to say that those who believe their software is of value and importance should spend the time on research rather than preferring simple answers. In that case, “help yourself to Bruce’s choices”.

The open source world, and patent and copyright legislation is not yet at a point that allows neat simplification of license selection into “three or four [...] buckets”.

There are no shortcuts in the license, copyright and patent decision-making process.

But you knew that already…

New version of WordPress released yesterday


2009
08.04

First ping of the month — PING! :)

So version 2.8.3 is out — upgrade now (if you haven’t already!)

Quick note – wordpress.com claims “207,826 bloggers, 156,343 new posts, 275,786 comments, and 40,936,549 words today” — I’m a man of far fewer words! <grin>

Mono in Debian (for C# projects)


2009
06.27

Richard Stallman has published an opinion on the matter of Debian including the Mono project in order to support some C# projects.

He warns that it “leads the community in a risky direction” citing Microsoft’s possible enforcement of patents as seen at http://swpat.org and http://progfree.org.

His point is the dependence on the C# for applications “means that writing them and using them is taking a gratuitous risk.” “We should discourage people from writing programs in C#,” he continues. It’s not the language, but the dependence that causes the problem.

Make it an option, don’t include it by default, simply for Tomboy (“Tomboy is a desktop note-taking application which is simple and easy to use. It lets you organise your notes intelligently by allowing you to easily link ideas together with Wiki style interconnects.”) etc.

I dare say he has a point.

The League of Programming Freedom’s website is at http://progfree.org and synch.cc, the Cape Town based open source consultancy on secure network communications is at http://synch.cc – but you knew that already :)