Noun

An insect that makes a chirping sound by rubbing its wing casings against combs on its hind legs.

Hidden Installer Bundles

It bothers me when software vendors that write for OS X distribute their standard OS X installer package wrapped in a bundle that launches their own custom installer before opening the installer package.  What is that little middleman executable really doing?

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Twitter

Twitter is tempting me.  I resist on principle, though.

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Respond, you bloody DNS!

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I find it amusing that I was able to find two DNS servers four to five hops outside Suddenlink‘s network that respond faster than Suddenlink’s own recommended DNS servers.  I consider this a far superior alternative to opting out of their “enhanced” DNS redirection “service.”

On a related note, is it ethical to use a third party’s DNS servers for recursive lookups without asking first?

Cricket Moods and 2.6

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About a month ago Alex King discovered an “undocumented feature”1 in WordPress 2.6 that affects plugins like Cricket Moods.  The bug causes post metadata to be duplicated due to the addition of post revisions.  Basically, with every new revision you’ll get a duplicate set of moods.

I have hopefully fixed the issue in the 3.x branch of Cricket Moods.  I haven’t tagged a new 3.7 release of Cricket Moods because, frankly, I don’t know if these changes break anything.  I tested the changes on one Blog running WordPress 2.6.  So, before I tag and zip up a release, it’d be great if some folk2 could test the new plugin.  Grab the file from the Subversion repository.

To fix any old duplicated moods, remove all moods from the affected post, save the post, add the moods again, and save the post.

  1. A bug. []
  2. guinea pigs []

Stalling and sputtering

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The development of PostBits has stalled.  I apologize to anyone still holding their breath in anticipation.  I recommend exhaling.

As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, the core functionality of the plugin is finished.  That’s all well and good if you like to hammer on your database by hand to get things done, but not so good for most people. Read the rest of this entry »

Awedeeoh Kwahlehtee

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Through extremely scientific double-blind testing1, I have determined that motherboard-integrated audio devices still can’t measure up to the quality of my ancient Sound Blaster Audigy2.

I recently purchased a new motherboard as part of a system upgrade. I figured I’d give the on-board HD audio chip a shot. I will admit that it has improved since I bought my last motherboard that still had an AC97 audio chip. If I were just listening to music through my speakers I’d probably have trouble telling the difference, but it’s easier to hear the quality difference when I use my headphones. When listening Float On by Modest Mouse through the Audigy, I can tell that the bass hits a little harder and the treble isn’t quite as shrill. When listening to some Penguin Cafe Orchestra through the motherboard, the strings sound hollow–they lack midrange.

In any case, I’m still not sure I’m comfortable having to use ALSA’s dmix software mixing plugin when playing audio from multiple applications. Hardware mixing FTW!

  1. Complete bullshit. []
  2. I’m talkin’ ’bout the first generation []

MTAs, MDAs, and MUAs… oh my!

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Oh good golly. Tonight, I’ve been trying to learn how to set up my own e-mail server without the aid of a prepackaged “control panel” like Plesk or Interworx. Frickin’ confusing, I must say.

There’s not one single package you can install called “mail-server.” You need both an MTA (to handle receiving mail from other hosts) and an MDA (to handle delivering mail via POP/IMAP to users). Lessee, for MTA I can choose from Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, and Qmail (which has at least three different forks). For the MDA, I can choose Cyrus, vpopmail, courier, some others I can’t think of, and Dovecot (the newest of the bunch which looks promising).

Setting up the MTA is the beyotch, I think. Whichever one I choose, it has to be set up to accept mail from multiple domains on a single host. The original idea behind the oldest MTAs, like Sendmail, Postfix and Qmail, is that every email address is a user with an actual shell account on that box. They basically assume that the box only has one domain attatched to it (which also happens to be that box’s hostname). It seems rather hackish to get virtual domains set up on those. I think Exim is a little newer and actually has honest-to-god support for vdomains. I just seem to have trouble understanding the documentation; it’s extremely technical.

This sever has Plesk installed, which uses Qmail and Courier. It’s hacked together like a 1988 Mexican car trying to cross the border, running on duct tape and wishes.

I think I’m mostly frustrated by my inability to find a source of easy to understand documentation explaining how to properly configure these applications for my needs. Hmmm… as if someone should have specifically written a HOWTO just for me.

Hummina, hummina, hummina!