Barn Quilt Canvas

A few times a year my wife asks me to build a canvas for her. This is usually a certain size of paneling cut down, or possibly some joined dimensional lumber. Then she paints whatever is on her mind on it. I usually don’t post these because they don’t have a lot to do with the end result, but recently she asked me for a fairly involved “canvas” to make a “barn quilt” on. She sent me a link to this page as a reference for what she had in mind. These aren’t really barn quilts in the traditional sense, but certainly the designs and materials are inspired by them.
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Cake Pan Ukulele

A couple of months ago Make Magazine‘s site posted a link to one of their projects – The Panjolele Cake Pan Ukulele. I had been considering buying a ukulele for a while and these steps didn’t seem too intimidating. After looking around I dug up a paper copy of the issue that had this project in it and got to work. This post is a build log to help me remember the project in general, and specific lessons I took away from the project.
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Pattern Recognition – Milkybar

Pattern Recognition – documenting two or more references in a short period of time to a common term or object which I had never before consciously observed.

Milkybar is a white chocolate confection that is produced by Nestlé and sold in Australia, New Zealand, India, Ireland, Kuwait, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It sold under the name Galak in Ecuador, Brazil, and the rest of Continental Europe. Nestlé have produced white chocolate since the 1930s, and started using the brand Galak in 1967. In many European countries a version with puffed rice is also available.
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Swaks Release 20130209.0 Available

A new version of swaks is currently available for download. This release contains a decent number of tweaks, bug fixes, and reworks. It features new support for the XCLIENT testing protocol (which originates in postfix-land but is in use elsewhere), and quite a few enhancements to the SSL/TLS subsystem.

In the pipeline for the next release of swaks are support for PRDR, a rework of the interactive IO system, and a reasonable header encoding system. If you have a feature you’ve wanted in Swaks, now would be a good time to ask!


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Invisible Characters In Solarwinds Node Custom Properties

I’ve had an open issue for the last few weeks regarding why “odd” characters were showing up in Custom Property fields in my company’s Solarwinds Orion/Network Performance Monitor install. I detected them when I put a business-rules-integrity-checker in place, but I didn’t know where they came from. I cleaned up all the existing cases and waited to see if it would happen again. It did, and now I know where they came from and, I think, why.

Even after I understood the problem I couldn’t Google up any references to this situation, so I’m documenting it. One caveat – we’re running a non-current version of NPM (10.1.3; yes, we’re working on upgrading) so the issue I’m going to describe may not exist in later versions.
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Deleting PTR Records Containing Upper-Case Characters In Microsoft DNS

This morning I noticed that some of our network elements are using IPs that have more than one PTR associated with them. This isn’t a huge problem, but it was exposed to us because the DNS record in our monitoring system would just randomly pick a PTR when the element was rediscovered. Because these other PTRs were often just out of date cruft, having the old names show up in monitoring was confusing. I took this as a quick project to run through the IPs and resolve the duplicates. The fact that I’m now writing a blog post about it is a pretty good spoiler that it wasn’t as simple as I thought it was going to be.
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Rhythmbox Python Bindings Documentation

I have an itch I want to scratch in Rhythmbox, and I’ve been looking at the Python bindings for writing plugins. It’s clear that you can do a lot of stuff, but there is no documentation specific to the Python bindings. There is the Plugin Writing Guide, which is conceptually useful, and there are the C-specific development docs, but there’s a piece missing.
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Patch: Allow id3v2(1) to Include Colons in Comment Fields

After a disagreement with Rhythmbox about how ID3 comments on my music collection should be handled, I went looking for a more fine-grained tool to manipulate them. A quick browse through aptitude later, I chose a tool named ‘id3v2’, a frustratingly un-googleable name. The official distribution is available from SourceForge, and I’m using the Debian package locally. The tool worked well, but it was unable to properly handle comment text which contained a colon (:).
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Prevent nxrancid “show env power” Line Oscillations

Just came into managing a rancid install for the first time in a couple of years. It immediately became apparent that the email notification feature was worthless and likely being ignored by everyone. There was one specific Nexus7000 C7010 (NX-OS 5) that was almost constantly reporting false positives in its “show environment power” output, resulting in a “boy who cried” wolf situation.
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Removing Comic Sans From Messages in Outlook Rules

I started a new job this week. In completely unrelated news, I was strongly motivated this evening to figure out how to remove Comic Sans from inbound email automatically. It turns out that it’s actually pretty simple. However, much like Picasso spending 50 years to learn to do a sketch in 30 seconds, it actually took me a bit of digging to understand how this “simple” solution is put into place.
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