firewing1's blog

Conficker

I have to admit, I'm pretty curious about what the giant botnet of Conficker-infected computers is going to start doing tomorrow. A large-scale denial of service attack is my first guess, but my instinct tells me there's something bigger in store... Either way, my clock currently reads 11:53PM so we're about to find out!

Edit: Did some quick research and it looks like the media hype got me. The only thing that's changing is the method which one variant (and not even the most popular one) receives new instructions.

File Fragmentation

The 500GB SATA drive in an external enclosure that I use for backups (eSATA/USB 2.0 connectivity) is currently NTFS-formatted for compatibility reasons. I would much prefer to use ext3 or HFS+, but it's pretty hard to get those two working correctly on all operating systems. Thanks to NTFS-3G and (Mac)Fuse, I can reliably access NTFS partitions on Linux, OS X and Windows (of course) so it's become my FS of choice when it comes to compatibility.

Unfortunately, that means that the drive becomes horribly fragmented (and pretty quickly, too). I decided to do a defrag today and found that the NTFS partition was 38% fragmented with 78% file fragmentation... Yuck. I'm going to be really happy when there's a filesystem that I can use on all operating systems that doesn't fragment or choke all the time. Ext2/3 was looking like a pretty good for the "doesn't fragment" part, but the ext2fsx project for OS X seems to have died out and ext2fsd, the only driver I've found for Windows that supports ext3 filesystems with inode sizes > 128, tends to bluescreen a lot. Back to waiting, I guess...

Motherboard poll

I realized that I had my Drupal permissions set wrong and users who were not registered could not vote (I have also disabled user registration for now). I fixed the settings so if you cannot see the voting options, just refresh the page and they should appear on bottom left side of the page. Please let me know who your favorite motherboard manufacturer is!

Installing GIMP on OS X

GIMP is a great program, but I always found it was a bit annoying to use on OS X (Leopard). First of all, whenever X11 starts, a new xterm window along with it. Besides that, when switching windows you need two clicks before GIMP (or any other program, really) registers the click and actually does something - the first click just switches the active window. Seeing as GIMP has it's tool palette in a separate window, this quickly became extremely irritating.

After a quick google, I found many sources saying that to disable xterm, I needed to copy /private/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc to ~/.xinitrc and edit out the "xterm &" line inside. That's easy enough, but the only problem is that on Leopard with the latest X11 from XQuartz (2.3.2.1 at the time of writing) installed, /private/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc doesn't exist! Although /usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc does, editing out all references to xterm doesn't work anyways. Instead, the app_to_run preference needs to be modified:

defaults write org.x.X11 app_to_run /usr/bin/true

/usr/bin/true is a command that does nothing (literally), so this essentially tells X11 to autostart nothing. I moved onto my next problem and found that to solve the two-clicks problem, the solution was to enable the "focus follows mouse" option like this:

defaults write org.x.x11 FocusFollowsMouse -string YES

I've been using that for a few months and I find it's still pretty annoying, but it's still less annoying than having to click twice on everything. Fortunately, I recently discovered the "wm_click_through" preference which is exactly what I had been looking for all along:

defaults write org.x.x11 FocusFollowsMouse -string NO
defaults write org.x.X11 wm_click_through -bool true

Now X11's window focus is back to normal, and clicking on inactive windows works as expected; it switches the window and activates the widget you clicked on. Problems solved!

New blog online!

Apart from having to design a new theme, my blog version 2 is up & running! Hope you enjoy it.

I'll be porting over the content from my previous setup into this one, but in the mean time you can access the old setup here: www.firewing1.com/v1

Update: The old content has been migrated, so the Joomla install at www.firewing1.com/v1 is now offline.