Thursday, May 22, 2008

MythTV and MAME description

If you are like me and run MythTV along with some emulators (in this case MAME), you'll notice that by default, the database will import the ROMs using the filename as the name that is shown in the menu. This can be a little annoying, since MAME games are only 8 characters long. In order to easily get around this, I wrote a script that will actually pull out the game information from the XML file generated by MAME and update the database accordingly. In addition to the game name, it will also attempt to extract the year, genre, and version which it was added.

The script has comments in the first section that explains the usage. You may need to change a few lines here and there to match your configuration, but it should be pretty self explanatory. However, you are required to have the Config::Tiny, DBI, and XML::Parser perl libraries installed. I won't go into detail on how to do that unless someone really needs it (Google is your friend).

The script is available for download here. I am releasing it under the GPL license.

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Mustache + Goatee = Goatache

Yes, you heard me right. I tried to get some people at work to start using this term back in 2006 to refer to a mustache with a goatee. It's catchy, it makes sense, and it's much more creative than circle beard. I mean, how long did it take someone to come up with that one?

A coworker even tried to post an update to Wikipedia with the new term way back when (the historical article is here). Unfortunately, within 6 minutes (seriously, does someone not have a life?), the change was reverted as nonsense. The goatache article he linked to was pretty nonsensical, which is probably the main reason for the retort. The page was deleted shortly afterwards, so I can't find the full text (the best I can find is here), but it only has a little of the text in the change comment.

At any rate, it's time things have changed. Down with circle beard! Bring on the goatache! Love it and live it!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Dell OpenManage Server Administrator

I decided to have a go at installing the Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) on some Dell PowerEdge servers with Debian. Since commercial organization feel that RedHat or SuSE are the only Linux distros that should be officially supported, I went out on the hunt for Debian packages.

In the past, I've tried a simple conversion of the RedHat RPMs using alien, but that fails due to the fact that the scripts are too RedHat specific (or should I say non-standard Linux specific). At any rate, I would shortly give up afterwards because I didn't feel like messing around with it in depth. This time I did a little searching and to my excitement, someone had done all the dirty work for the conversion from .RPM to .DEB!

After some additional work and searching, I was able to get everything installed and working, and here's how I did it.

Instead of telling a big elaborate story about how I installed everything, I'll try to keep things more concise to be more of a HOWTO guide.

I found some user created Debian packages for OMSA 5.1 on the Dell web site.

Download the three Debian packages: dellomsa_5.1.0-2_i386.deb, libopenipmi0_2.0.2-2_i386.deb, openipmi_2.0.2-2_i386.deb

Install the Debian pages using dpkg

dpkg -i dellomsa_5.1.0-2_i386.deb libopenipmi0_2.0.2-2_i386.deb openipmi_2.0.2-2_i386.deb

In order to avoid the error "Error! cannot load data accessor:", you must also have the libstdc++5 package installed, so...
apt-get install libstdc++5

After you install this package, make sure you restart the daemons.
/etc/init.d/dataeng restart
/etc/init.d/dsm_sa_ipmi restart

NOTE: When I try to run the dsm_sa_ipmi daemon, it gives a red asterisk (*) after the startup text. It doesn't appear that the daemon runs properly (for me anyway), but the OMSA queries still seem to work.

By default, the OMSA will not run its SNMP process, so if you want it to hook into an existing snmpd daemon, you need to enable it and restart the daemon.
/etc/init.d/dataeng enablesnmp
/etc/init.d/dataeng restart

This will allow you to query data through SNMP. In order to allow the OSMA and snmpd to "link up", I need to enable it as a smux peer. To do this, I had to modify two files (first to enable smux, then to allow the OSMA to pass the data):

Remove the -I -smux from the SNMPDOPTS line to enable smux. My final line looks like this:
SNMPDOPTS='-Lsd -Lf /dev/null -u snmp -p /var/run/'

Add the following line to allow the smux peer:
smuxpeer .

After you restart the snmpd daemon, you should be able to query it to retrieve the information from the OSMA (make sure you replace COMMUNITY and HOSTNAME appropriately).
snmpwalk -v 1 -c COMMUNITY HOSTNAME .

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The joys of Cygwin

So I was trying to install Cygwin on some servers (Windows 2000 and 2003) and it kept freezing up on the postinstall scripts. The program itself didn't lock up, it just seemed to stall out. I tried some Google searches to no avail (I did find a few others with the same problems, but no solutions were given).

At first I thought it was the version I was using, so I tried a slightly older version. That didn't help. I then took a look at the Task Manager while it was "frozen" and noticed that bash.exe was running. I tried killing the process, and the Cygwin setup moved on to the next postinstall script. Bingo!

I went ahead and did this for all of the scripts (killing off bash.exe every time it spawned) and it eventually finished. I then tried to run Cygwin and was greeted with a fatal error (I don't remember the exact verbiage). The suggested solution was to make sure I didn't have any other versions of the cygwin1.dll library laying around. Then it hit me. I had previously installed a stand alone version of rsyncd to use with BackupPC. After stopping the service and restarting the installer, it finally installed from start to finish without any trouble.

So if you are trying to install Cygwin, make sure you don't have ANY versions of the cygwin1.dll library laying around in a shared directory (like C:\WINDOWS\System32) OR any versions that are actively in use by a service (such as the stand alone version of rsyncd).

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The best laid plans...

So I spend the time to setup a quick blog site to try to keep status updates rolling out quicker and what happens? I don't update it for a month. Was I surprised? Not really, if I REALLY think about it. :) Even though it's much easier and I have ideas for many things I'd like to share, I just haven't gotten around to updates.

But with this post, it's proof that I'm trying (maybe...). So stick around and you may see something that interest you.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Wow. I AM alive!

Yea, so I decided the best way to actually get some content on the Lazor Software site was to just setup a quick blog. I occasionally have some little tidbits of information that I feel others may find useful, so now I can share those without spending a lot of time building or setting up my own thing on the main web site (, for those that are interested).

Some may wonder if this means I may start working on Taggin' MP3 again. Well, I can't make any promises there (i.e. I don't currently have any plans to do so). But you never know... Maybe I will get in the mood again some day.

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