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PostgreSQL back-end for Ruby on Rails confusion

I just need to add a quick summary of what postgres back-end tool our Ruby on Rails application uses, and how we've configured it, because it's quite confusing... Read More »

Using wget to download all files on a page

Just a quick one-liner I used to download a bunch of MIDI files from an on-line listing of Chopin MIDIs: Read More »

VIM modelines for per-file configuration

The MediaWiki developers use tabs instead of spaces for indentation. This can be annoying for someone like me who has configured VIM to work with spaces by default—annoying because I don't want to enter something like :set tabstop=4 noexpandtab shiftwidth=4 every time that I open a file. Adding different conditions for each project to my .vimrc is probably possible but not much fun. Read More »

Disabling SSH shell access for SVN users on a Linux/Unix system

A common problem is that Linux/Unix system administrators want to grant users access to SVN repositories, but prevent them from logging in on the shell. This can be accomplished quite easily. Read More »

Configuring a Debian satellite Exim server

A very common way to configure Exim on a Debian machine, is to make it a 'satellite'; a server which uses another SMTP server for sending and does not do local delivery, the latter being the difference with a 'smarthost'. It can be used by other computers in the network to send mail, but also by the machine itself, to send system notifications and such (one of my favorite apps, arpwatch, for example). Read More »

Crane camera shots with just a tripod

When shooting footage with a motion camera, one of the most important things to achieve to avoid it looking like a home-barbecue video, is stable motion, normally achieved with a crane. A simple way to achieve this, is by retracting one leg of your tripod, and then tilt it forwards and backwards. This video gives a good demonstration. The difference between the tripod shots, and the hand-held shots (the shots made to demonstrate the technique) is astounding. Read More »

Remote pair programming with GNU Screen

I like pair programming. So much, in fact, that I want to do it even if I can't look over the other person's shoulder due to some geographical offset. Since I'm a real command-line freak, I can get what I want easily by using GNU Screen. Read More »

Hardwood Investments Wiki

Before the company was forced by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) to seize most of its activities, Sicirec had always used it website to provide teak investors with a somewhat independent view of the hardwood investment market. It has to be said that Sicirec's critical view on the management of various teak plantation made the company a little unpopular with said managers (such as Ebe Huizinga of Flor y Fauna fame). Read More »

Using Caps Lock as an extra Control key

With me mostly posting about computer stuff on this weblog, it might surprise you that, until May this year, I hadn't owned a personal computer in years while the last one that I did own was a slow pig grown from some old parts of an even slower pig and some second-hand replacements. So, you can image my joy when I got a shiny, new Lenovo Thinkpad 61 this spring. Read More »

My CD-RW drive can read everything it writes

The HL-DT-ST CD-RW/DVD drive in my Lenovo T61 laptop, has a certain peculiarity. I was burning an ISO image, wich exceeded the supported size of a standard 80 minute CD by 7 MB. (The image was 707 MB.) Using cdrecord with the -overburn option seemed to work, until I tried to mount the CD-ROM. It would inevitably— Read More »