Thursday, September 11, 2008

vnc, x11vnc, and krfb

so, i got tired of sitting at the table with my macbook, or on the couch, or in my chair ... instead i wanted to sit at my desk in my REALLY comfy chair and use a keyboard and mouse ... and possibly my 17" flat panel as a second monitor. the only problem: i wouldn't be able to use my gnu/linux desktop system any more. why, you ask?

it's the computer at my desk.

alright, so i began evaluating my options; i thought of vnc first, but decided to research other applications. i found krfb, a kde remote desktop access system. i wasn't too thrilled with the fact that it only worked based on invitations and that i had to set it up physically with my monitor connected and logged in.

[at this time i already connected my flat panel as a second monitor and began using my keyboard and mouse for my macbook. the only access i had was via ssh]

i then found x11vnc, i thought i could attach a vnc session to kdm so i could log in.


x11vnc kept looking for a "magic cookie" or authority file that didn't exist.

well, i guess it was time to try vnc. i hadn't had luck in the past (over a year and a half ago) when i tried it; nevertheless, i went full steam ahead.

i configured my .vncrc file, and stumbled upon an option i hadn't seen before:

$vncStartup = "/etc/X11/Xsession";

i then thought about it ... since i use kde, what if i put "/usr/bin/startkde" in there, would that work? i inserted the line and ran vncserver. i connected to the vnc session and ... BAM! yes! i had my desktop. mission accomplished. sweet.

gotta love gnu/linux.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FileEngine Videos

FileEngine Servers has three neat video's available on YouTube. I've included them here for your viewing pleasure.

Chris Reed, FileEngine Sales Rep. on The Buzz

Mike Beck with Maginot, Moore, and Beck; FileEngine Client

David Forsell with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.; FileEngine Client

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Help Bruce Perens Protect Open Source

Sign the petition showing your support at:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Entourage 2004 & MS Exchange 2003

For the longest time, Entourage would constantly synchronize and never finish updating it's folders. Entourage would then randomly fail during a synchronization and persistently ask for the users' password. After many trial and error's of deleting the profile on the Exchange server, researching synchronization issues (related to Chinese character sets or a missing update, or even a possible Exchange server setting), we discovered the issue was because Entourage would not display ALL of the Deleted Items. There were two 150MB-size e-mail's in the users' Deleted Items folder that would display in Outlook on a Windows machine, but not in Entourage or in Outlook Web Access. After emptying the users' Deleted Items folder from Outlook, we fired up Entourage and it (finally) completed synchronization without error. Whether it was an Exchange or Entourage issue, who knows. All I know is to never trust anything written by Microsoft, be it on a PC or a Mac.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


it's not that i can't remember flags to a command line application, but it just takes too long to type everything. thus, i have made an attempt to shorten the typing time taken to ssh into a box, whether or not it requires an ssh key. here, i will share with you my python ssh wrapper. how it works: basically, the only command line argument you give it is the location of your ssh key (if needed). it asks for username and hostname; anything else would take too much time. enjoy!

import os, sys

# process cli args
keyfile = sys.argv[1]
usekey = 0
print "no arguments given, assuming no key needed!"
usekey = 1

# request username and hostname
user=str(raw_input('user: '))
host=str(raw_input('host: '))
except EOFError:
print r" "
print r"caught eof"
except KeyboardInterrupt:
print r" "
print r"caught interrupt"

# combine arguments and flags
if usekey == 0:
sshargs=" -i "+keyfile+" -l "+user+" "+host

if usekey == 1:
sshargs=" -l "+user+" "+host

# in a shell, run ssh and fg /w ssh args

Monday, April 14, 2008

sony gets hacked, i get spammed

so i'm sitting at work and i receive three e-mail's from "" subjugated "Hello!!!". well, my first impression since they were received on an internally known address, are that it's spam. i opened them and they were all the same. they had a link labeled "More beautiful woman information" to some Asian website and, since Thunderbird picked up on it being spam, a blocked image. i was curious what this image was (it was quite large, in size) so i viewed the message source: spoofed address from gmail and relayed through yahoo, looks like standard spammer junk ... ah! i found an image html tag that goes to (note: i split these into two lines so you could see the whole link):

i copied the address into FireFox, and replaced my e-mail address with the address they spoofed. in my address bar, i entered:

i pressed enter. a blank image appeared on my screen. it instantly clicked in my head what they must be trying to do. they send you an e-mail, you open it and it connects and upon requesting this image it sends your e-mail address to them, confirming you are a real person. they are fishing for real people to spam.

i was curious if they were running apache or micro$oft's iis; i hacked off everything after the last whack:

damn! virtual directory listing denied. okay, let's request a document that probably doesn't exist.

yes! and it looks like we get the standard iis 404 page not found error. i was still curious who owned this box that had obviously been hacked. i attempted to browse to just the ip address, but nobody was home. i did a reverse dns check on the ip address, which turned up nothing. in my last attempt to find out who this address belonged to, i did a whois and got something:

% [ node-2]
% Whois data copyright terms

inetnum: -
netname: SONET-NET
country: TW
descr: Sony Network Taiwan Limited
descr: 2Fl., Building E, No. 19-13, San Chung Road
descr: Taipei Taiwan 115
admin-c: JC417-AP
tech-c: CC115-AP
changed: 20031125
source: APNIC

looks like our friends at Sony have been exploited, or are supporting it. well, i guess the moral of today's story is that a quitter never wins and never trust micro$oft.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

couple sues google

the invasion of privacy ... i can sorta see that; but devaluing their home, i'm not too comfortable with that.

Link: Article @ Yahoo

Friday, April 4, 2008

'service' for the rest of us

so my buddy scott likes the "service" command shipped with redhat. he has ubuntu installed on his computer, but was frustrated with not being able to list what existed in /etc/init.d, in a quick manner. i popped into his box and rewrote the "service" shell script to my own liking, and made it easy for him to use. for your enjoyment, i have posted that script here:

# updated by Matthew Stephen Hartmann (***@***.***)
# 04/04/2008


set -e

if [ $# -eq 0 ]
echo "Usage: `basename $0` [option] service-name [instruction]"
echo "Use '-h' or '--help', for help"

while [ $# -gt 0 ]; do
case "$1" in
ls /etc/init.d/
exit $E_GOOD_DAY
/etc/init.d/$1 $2 $3
exit $E_GOOD_DAY
echo "Usage: `basename $0` [option] service-name [instruction]"
echo ""
echo "-s | --service option executes the instruction"
echo "i.e.: service -s samba restart"
echo ""
echo "-l | --list option lists services available"
echo "i.e.: service -l"
echo ""
exit $E_GOOD_DAY
* )
echo "Usage: `basename $0` [option] service-name [instruction]"
echo "Use '-h' or '--help', for help"
echo "** invalid argument given **"

needless to say, it makes having to "ls /etc/init.d/" easier; simply type "service -l" and you're done. to run a service you type "service -s samba restart". cheers!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a fun trick for unwelcome visitors

this link was passed to me from a good friend of mine. it's a fun trick to play on people if you host an open wireless network.