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HOWTO: Starting debsums

I needed to run debsums on everything on one of my boxes today. A hack from the net helped me get it going…


Cell phones and the US National 'Do Not Call' Registry

I received the following from a colleague a bit ago. I edited it some, and posted it here. [Update 2011/5/13: Edited to reflect reality. Thanks much to the anonymous commenter below.] Fob

Things I see in student code

I've created a new page in the new pages area describing "things I see in student code." Enjoy. Fob


HOWTO: Making Network Manager manage your wired network

This is a very short HOWTO that answers something that's been bugging me for months. Network Manager was finally working fine with my Debian laptop's wireless, but would not (as advertised) manage its wired connection. The solution was found in an obscure email list conversation. Go to /etc/network/interfaces and comment out the lines related to eth0. Then restart Network Manager or just reboot.


HOWTO: Replacing cryptoloop with dm-crypt in Debian

A while back, I wrote a little HOWTO on putting the cryptoloop module back in Debian. Yesterday, Josh Triplett pointed out to me that current dm-crypt can actually be used instead of the cryptoloop module to compatibly work with cryptoloop-formatted volumes. Huh.

It turns out to be as simple as

$ apt-get install cryptsetup
$ cryptsetup create -c mycipher -s mykeysize volume-label /dev/sdx7
$ mount /dev/mapper/volume-label /mount-point

Obviously you'll need to make some substitutions in the above. Use


The Seven Deadly Sins of free online poker players

I play a lot of free online poker, and honestly I think my record on the sites I've played shows I'm reasonably good at it. Free online poker is a strange kind of poker; because it is free, it seems to attract a bajillion idiots. Watching their wacky luserish antics reminded me that I've seen some of them, to a lesser degree, in live cash games. So, for your edification and amusement, I present the Seven Deadly Sins of free online poker players…


Netpbm ASCII Art

I've finally posted some of my older existing C code on BartForge. My Netpbm ASCII Art package provides the ability to create decent-looking ASCII art images from your pictures, and the ability to turn an existing piece of ASCII art back into a decent-looking picture.


The end of my Movember

Because our local ACM folks are participating, I decided I'd grow a moustache for "Movember" this month; apparently "the moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men."

Why cut-copy-paste is hard

[This note is primarily a response to a recent LWN thread. I'm posting it here because it got a bit long for a discussion forum.]

Several years ago, I joined the X.Org Foundation Board of Directors. One of my campaign pledges was to organize a project to finally "fix" X cut-copy-paste (CCP).

It has long been acknowledged by anyone paying attention that the user experience around CCP on the X desktop is horrible (although it has improved a bit in the last couple of years). I'm smart, I could fix it, right?

Uh, no. Here's some reasons why CCP is hard, especially on X…


HOWTO: Rotated Halftones in Inkscape

There are a few good tutorials on the web about how to get a (mediocre) halftone screen in Inkscape (1, 2). (The GIMP, by contrast, has a special halftoning plugin that does a nice job. I wish that Inkscape had one of those.)

One thing that none of these tutorials tell you is how to rotate the halftone screen. This turns out to be important, since unrotated screens of different colors do not overlay well.

In this tutorial, I summarize the basic technique for halftoning in Inkscape, and suggest a way to do rotation…



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