Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology


Yet another method to grab download-disabled slideshows from SlideShare

Yes, I know. Horrible, horrible subject. The thought of stealing jpgs which are publicly viewable... Oh, well.

Standard disclaimer applies: Teaching someone how to steal a book does not make the teacher guilty of theft. If you get in trouble for following these directions, shame on you, not on me.


Why should CPAs care about the cloud? Let’s count the ways

Why should CPAs care about the cloud? Let's count the ways.

Egad... Drinking the Kool-Aid? Who are these people in this blog post, anyway, and what on Earth do they know of data security?


A sincere apology to users of my YUM repo mirror

You see, it all started in January, when I decided to do a good deed (I should have known better). I set up a YUM repository mirror for Netlabs.org, as OS/2 now uses RPM and YUM for (some) package management (I have a post in draft on that whole issue). It turns out, however, that for reasons which I shall explain, the xml (and related) files in my mirror weren't getting updated, so while I was doing a great job of adding content, I wasn't updating the repo information, so subscribers had no idea.

So, for all of you out there who have come to rely over the past couple of months on my US mirror of the Netlabs YUM repository, I most humbly apologize for the inconvenience. It's fixed now, though.


More cloud disasters

I can't stand it...

What is so hard for people to understand? Hosted services are a greater security and stability risk than applications and data maintained in-house.

There, I've said it. Please feel free to disagree and provide examples.


Running RConsoleJ on OS/2

This article of mine first appeared on the Novell Cool Solutions site in 2004. As Novell has migrated much of the original content to their newer wiki format, and has still left some behind, my own searching took me some time to find it. So, I am reprinting the article here, with a link to the original article (working as of today).

Consider this a .1 update to the original, with references to the excellent OpenJDK 1.6 port we now have available for OS/2.


Egad! Why do people do their own web development?

WordPress 3.3 is now GA. Knowing better than to blindly upgrade without at least having a look at what may be not quite ready for prime time (though WP is quite good about reasonable beta cycles and such), I happened over to the WP fora to see what reports had been made (yes, I should have gone to the bugtracker, but I like to get a view from "on the ground," so to speak).


Running remote X sessions against old Linux distros

I had occasion last evening to connect to a Red Hat 5.2 server. No, Not Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, but Red Hat 5.2, as in, before Fedora.

I built the server for a client when 5.2 was the current release of Red Hat, on a Compaq Proliant 1850R server with dual Pentium II's and 512MB(?) RAM in July of 1999. The only hardware replacements on that machine have been a cooling fan (recently) and one of the redundant power supplies (several months ago). Frankly, it was supposed to have been decommissioned quite a while back, but somehow, we just never got around to it, and as it keeps doing what it needs to do, and the need for the single app which it hosts has been dwindling, it just hasn't been bumped up the list.

At the client's location, we have been plagued recently with some rather nasty power outages, prompting us to increase UPS capacity. We currently have two APC 3000VA XL units in the rack, along with a 2200VA unit. The two 3000's have network management cards in them, and the NetWare cluster and W2K3 Citrix server are configured using APC's Network Shutdown software.

Unfortunately, there is nothing currently available from APC which will run on a 2.4 Linux kernel (please someone, correct me if I am wrong in this regard), and when I attempted to build apcupsd on it, I was thwarted by some outdated libraries (and updating libraries on an 11-year-old Linux distro is a very difficult process). As the machine already had APC's PowerChute 4.5.1 for Linux installed on it (2001), I figured I'd just tweak the settings and cable the server to the UPS via serial.

Naturally, I wanted to have a look-see at the xpowerchute GUI.