Solving the frikking BadPixmap Firefox/Thunderbird crash on Debian Woody

Okay, you’re running Debian Stable 3.0 (it’s also called woody, or Linux 1958). Because this distribution is older than yer grandpaw, you have the firefox and thunderbird backports from www.backports.org installed. However, you’re not happy, because these otherwise fine packages crash more often than you can open a window (in fact, that’s what makes them crash, for example thunderbird’s login window or the find window in firefox). In fact, you’re downright homicidal.

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Zyxel 650R-31 nat loopback

I run a CVS server on a little linux box at home. This box is behind a Zyxel 650R-31 hardware firewall/router thingy that passes ssh connections from the outside to the linux box. I have a static IP, so a CVS spec looks something like: :ext:me@my.box – this works from the big bad internet. However, on my home LAN, the linux box has an internal non-routable IP, so CVS sandboxes on my laptop can’t be updated, as they have the my.

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Multi-agent frameworks and Python

The 3 second status update: I had a truly wunnerful December holiday in South Africa, featuring an abundance of sun, sea, crayfish, beer, meat, fish, various tasty molluscs, a very exciting jaunt in a 4-seater Cessna plane (thanks Dave!), good friends and fun-loving family. After re-adjusting to Dutch weather and getting back into the work thing for a few days, we spent a weekend in Koeln (or Cologne; that’s in Germany for the geographically challenged), worked some more and spent this past weekend debauching terribly with a large group of friends in Bradford-on-Avon, a picturesque little town about an hour’s drive from Bristol (that’s in the UK, again for the geographically challenged readers).

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phpBugTracker

This weekend I decided that it was time to install web-based bug-tracking software to allow the users of DeVIDE (all 2 of them) to be able to report bugs and to allow me to be able to keep track of all the reports. Because of my experience with the phpBugTracker installation used by Kitware for VTK, ITK and a bunch of their other products, I decided to go with this software.

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Lush, OCaml and more

I took a long hard look at the OCaml functional (well, mostly) language this weekend. One of the many interesting aspects of OCaml, is that, in addition to offering an interpreted environment, it comes with a REALLY good compiler. So, you can sit there prototyping your latest numerical trick and when you’re happy, you can compile the code to a blazingly fast native binary. So, whilst reading up on all this, I remembered a question from the [Lush]2 FAQ: “How does Lush compare to Matlab/Octave for speed?

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Nexus NX-3500 “Real Silent Power Supply”

So, a few weeks ago I spring-cleaned inside my trusty little linux server machine before installing the replacement hard drive. I think I was rewarded with about a kilo of dust and other muck, but at least the machine is now clean. I then replaced the little CPU fan with a brand-new ball bearing fan (4cm). That was a huge improvement, but I was still not happy with the level of noise.

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First two days at IEEE Visualization 2004

Right, for those of you who don’t know yet, my group very kindly sent me to attend IEEE Visualization 2004 this week in Austin, Texas, USA, Earth. The flight here was of course less than pleasant, but this is par for the course when considering any kind of flight longer than 8 hours. One tip: pre-ordering vegetarian meals can make all the difference. Instead of eating one of a few hundred pre-prepared plastic-like food imitations, you get one of 5 or 10 lovingly prepared tree-hugger veggie meals.

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Ubuntu, Drupal and more odds and ends

The Seagate 120G drive in my firewall machine died at the very young age of 8 months. I sent it in to Seagate via the RMA procedure and got a new one back within about 3 days, which I did find quite impressive. In the mean time, I started using a cheap-assed hardware firewall/router/modem thingy, which means I have a machine to play with. Ubuntu went on there without a hitch and I must say I’m VERY impressed.

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Also moving to anhosting

Dear readers, cpbotha.net has now als moved to AN Hosting. I can REALLY recommend these guys; their service is top notch and the price/performance ratio is impressive. In anycase, the weblogs have already been migrated. That went okay, partly due to Movable Type’s brilliant documentation. It will take a bit longer for the rest of the website to be migrated… I’m evaluating Content Management Systems while we’re shifting things around.

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