01 May 2003

Article: XOSL

I've just posted a new article, "XOSL: A Test Project", a rather lengthy piece on the freeware bootloader XOSL. This is still a work in progress though: two sections still need to be added and it could do with a few more screenshots.

15 April 2003

Random Ramblings: Pioneer DVD Writer

The big news around the house here is that yours truly has finally entered the DVD age. I've avoided getting a DVD-ROM drive for so long, preferring to wait until DVD writers began to reach a more palatable price point, not mention some consensus on standards. But since I will be returning to Thailand for good soon and since DVD writers are still pretty expensive there, I finally splurged on a Pioneer DVR-A05, which incidentally is in the DVD- camp.

I've been waiting for a removeable 4GB+ drive for a LONG time, ever since my futile wait for Pinnacle's Apex magneto-optical drive (which finally came out years late and no longer relevant). Anyway, the Pioneer A05 is pretty nice. The speed is excellent and it works with my Windows-based Nero Burning ROM software just like with any other CD-R/CD-RW. With CD's, my preference is for CD-R's, but with the DVD drive, my tentative choice is for DVD-RW's given that there is little price difference between DVD-R's and DVD-RW's (at least with the name brand stuff). This may change though, once I get my hands on some cheap DVD-R's.

I'm also pleasantly surprised that the quality of movies is considerably better than with VCD's. Or maybe I shouldn't have, but I guess I was expecting the worse. Even with my lousy 15" no name monitor and with a slow Celeron 466 box, the picture is quite decent.

08 April 2003

Wobble: Move Completed

I've moved the tprthai.net domain name over to my new ISP already, although it may still take a bit more time to fully propagate.

A REALLY nice thing about my new ISP is that they provide an open source, server-side SPAM filter called "Spam Assassin" that does a good job of identifying spam. The filter operates by applying a set of default and/or custom rules and by checking published spam blacklists.

When it finds an email that it suspects is spam, it adds a few lines of warning to the body of the email. You then set up a rule or filter in your email client to search for Spam Assassin's warnings. When found, you normally have your email client delete the email or move it to some out-of-the-way folder. The latter is the preferred strategy since you will occasionlly need to inspect your suspected spam in case a legitimate email gets sent there by mistake.

In the past three days that I've had it running, Spam Assassin has only let through one bonafide spam mail, while catching more than a dozen. Sigh, my inbox is starting to become a lonely place again.

07 April 2003

Wobble: Moving This Week

A prior warning. Most likely, I will move the tprthai.net domain name to my new ISP sometime this coming week. This means that the site will probably not be available for a few days until the new DNS information is propagated to the far corners of the globe (i.e. Thailand).

06 April 2003

Wobble: Mozilla/Win Refresh Problem

Whoops, spoke too soon. The Mozilla/Win refresh problem wasn't due to the new ISP after all. It actually happens with every web page I load. Even after updating to the latest Mozilla 1.4b nightly binaries, the problem persists. Oh well.

05 April 2003

Wobble: Move Planned to A New ISP

I've just signed up with another ISP. My old one still has a few months to go, but I decided to make the move now due to a host of other reasons. I haven't moved the actual domain name yet (I'm just using a subdomain), but you will be automatically redirected to the new site if you go to the usual https://www.tprthai.net.

The good news is that the PNG rendering is now fixed - or rather, it's working as it always should have - both under the Windows and Linux versions of Mozilla. There's a slight bug with Mozilla/Win when you refresh the screen though. The "Transferring data ..." messsage at the bottom left of the screen gets stuck. But no problem - just move to a different page and move back. This doesn't occur with Mozilla/Linux though.

The bad news is that I haven't gotten my CGI stuff rejiggered yet. Thus, my counter is gone and I've disabled my search engine until I can get these working properly.

21 March 2003

Update: Windows Clients for Linux Servers

I've solved the problem with SSHDOS that I noted in my Windows Clients for Linux Servers piece and have added an Update Notes link re: what I did.

My plans now are to write a Part II to the piece, dealing with some additional clients, such SSHDOS, VNC, Cygwin ssh and XFree86 (if I can get them to work), and something about using WinaXe with XDMCP. As I finish each piece, I'll add them to the original article's Update Notes, and once EVERYTHING is finished, I'll split them off, brush up the writing a bit, and re-combine then as an official Part II.

20 March 2003

Article: Windows Clients for Linux Servers

I've just finished writing another lengthy article on Windows Clients for Linux Servers. Sigh, I need to learn to write short stuff for a change.

17 March 2003

Wobble: Mozilla PNG Display Problem

For more than a month now, I've been trying to solve a problem whereby Mozilla displays standalone PNG graphic files on Wobble as gibberish (click here to test). Both Internet Explorer v6 and Opera v6 work fine under Windows, but Mozilla under both Windows and Linux (even the latest v1.3 final), Opera v6 under Linux and KDE's Konqueror refuse to render the graphics properly.

I've tried numerous things to solve this problem, but to no avail. Last night on a hunch, I tried uploading a problem (sic) PNG file to another server and lo and behold, Mozilla was able to display it properly. Bottom line: the problem seems to be due to the server that my ISP is using. Unfortunately, this kind of problem falls outside their purview, so they can't/won't help me.

If you're using Mozilla and wish to display the graphics in the articles, you have two options: a) save the the graphics to your computer and view them there (even Mozilla works locally), or b) there's a link on the first page of my articles that says "All the Graphics" which displays all of the graphics of that article on a single page. This works because PNG files embedded into HTML files don't have the abovementioned rendering problem.

Not a very satisfactory solution I must admit - especially since I myself am using Mozilla more and more these days - but I'm going to file the problem away now. The problem should clear itself up if/when I change ISP's, but I have no immediate plans to do so yet.

10 March 2003

Wobble: DOS/Windows/Linux Cribsheets

FYI: There are two new links in the left purple band, being cribsheets for DOS/Windows and Linux. They're really for my personal use, but in case they're of any interest to anyone, be my guest. These days I've been updating them several times a week.

09 March 2003

Article: Knoppix

I've just written and posted a fairly lengthy piece on Knoppix, a CD-based Linux distribution that hails from Germany.

07 March 2003

Random Ramblings: DOS File Managers et Alia

While I'm in the neighbourhood of Mother Russia, for those of you who were brought up with Symantec's "Norton Commander" for DOS or who use "Midnight Commander" on Linux's command line, there's a program from a Ukranian programmer named Vsevolod Volkov called "Volkov Commander" that updates this DOS classic, adding stuff such as support for long filenames, FTP, archivers, etc. The program can be downloaded from: https://www.egner-online.de/vc/en/commander.shtml. For lack of a better word, it is "testware" and can be used for free until the real version 5 comes out (which it hasn't for a LONG time now).

For Windows buffs who want to run Norton Commander under Windows (and frankly, I'm not sure why you would), the person to see is a Swiss guy named Christian Ghisler. Originally, his program was called "Windows Commander" harking back to the Windows v3.1 days. The program is now called "Total Commander" and can be downloaded from Ghisler's website at: https://www.ghisler.com. TC is shareware and will cost $30 to own.

06 March 2003

Random Ramblings: Boot Disk, Max Format

Recently, I've been working on a DOS TCP/IP boot disk that I can use to install Windows "across the wire". Due to reasons that will be clearer in a future article, I was forced to use the DOS that comes with Windows 98 instead of MS-DOS 6.22 which is more compact. Because the former takes more space than the latter, I was scrambling for each K of disk space I could muster. This led me to wonder if there was software that could format higher capacity diskettes that were still be accessible by standard means.

A product called "MaxFormat" from a Russian company called Alkonost Software (https://www.alkonost.com) seems to fit the bill. It can create 1.68 MB DMF diskettes in a format similar to Windows distribution diskettes. These diskettes can even be made bootable. A trial version of the program is available for testing from their website.

04 March 2003

Wobble: Problem Viewing PNG's

There's a problem with Wobble when viewing individual PNG image files (i.e. those tagged with "figure" in the articles). This problem occurs with all browsers I've tested under Linux so far (Mozilla, Konqueror, Opera) but even Mozilla for Windows has the same problem. I'm still trying to run down the cause of the problem and to find a fix. Meanwhile, most articles have an "All the Graphics" link at the left side that displays all an article's images in one go, and this works OK.

24 February 2003

Updates: Linux and Foreign File Systems

Several loose ends in my article on Linux and Foreign File Systems have been tidied up. I can now read PC Zip disks under mtools and Mac Zip disks under xhfs, and the article has been edited to reflect this. The only thing left to do is to actually make Linux read OS/2 HPFS partitions, which frankly isn't a high priority for me at this time.

22 February 2003

Article: Linux and Foreign File Systems

Another Linux related piece that covers the ins and outs of accessing "foreign" file systems under Linux. Specifically covered are: DOS' FAT16/FAT32, Windows' NTFS, OS/2's HPFS, and the Macintosh's HFS. Needless to say, this is hardly an original article, content-wise. My real objectives were to make sure that I knew the stuff by making myself write about it, and to gather information from a lot of disparate sources and to put it in one, more easily referenced place.

21 February 2003

Updates: Opera

Some long delayed update notes to an article I wrote on the Opera web browser several years ago.

18 February 2003

Article: Netware and Linux

Another Linux-oriented article, this one dealing with NetWare and Linux. I cover the early attempts to implement a NetWare server over Linux and end up showing how to set up a NetWare client for Linux.

08 February 2003

Article: Booting Linux from a Windows Boot Manager

Sigh, it HAS been a while, hasn't it? I just wrote a piece for a Linux class, re: how to boot Linux from a Windows boot manager.