Blog Drupal upgrade

I'm upgrading this blog to Drupal 7, this means there may be some issues in the coming days and we are on the default theme


Replacing Google reader, part 2

2 Weeks ago, I wrote about replacing Google reader on my blog and promised to get back to you with the results of the 2 alternatives I've been trying out: Owncloud news and Friendica's RSS functionality.

The outcome was decided pretty naturally and it also surprises me a little.  Though Friendica's RSS features is really nice, I ended up using both!

Replacing Google reader

Depending on 'cloud' services is always dangerous.  Case in point, Google is axing 2 services with a large userbase very soon: Jabber (XMPP) better known as GTalk and Google Reader.

And chances would have it these are the only 2 Google services I use.  As I don't have many jabber contacts, it only took 15 minutes to install ejabberd on my groupware server and invite all my contacts again.

A better way to monitor diskspace with Zabbix

Zabbix has a log of built-in support to monitor diskspace on servers.  But I'm not always interested in triggers that fire on a certain amount or percentage of free space defined in  a template.  For some filesystems, it may be perfectly normal to be at 90% usage and remain stable there.

What does interest me more is the amount by which disk usage increases in a short timespan, and Zabbix does have the functionality to cater for this.  For example:

Fighting DNS resolving in Ubuntu 12.04 (server)

I recently installed a DNS sever using Ubuntu 12.04.  The server should serve only my exernal domain, but should use an internal server for it's own name resolution.

Setting dns-nameservers to the correct ip in /etc/network/interfaces did not work on this host (but does on all my non-dns hosts).

After some digging, I found the cause: resolvconf always reverts to nameserver which in turn queries the hosts in dns-nameservers.  Because my host is already a nameserver, points to my bind instance instead of a caching daemon. database fails on Ubuntu 11.10

 I've been running on my webserver for a while.  With the move to new infrastructure, I created a db dump on my old server (Ubuntu 10.04, 64-bit) and tried to import it on the new one (Ubuntu 11.10, 64-bit) but if fails on:


ERROR 1071 (42000) at line 1194: Specified key was too long; max key length is 1000 bytes


Interesting enough, creating a completely new database with the webinstaller gives the same result and fails!

Any suggestions to get around this?


Upgrading to Drupal 7, not always easy

I have several sites running on Drupal (which is great).   Just after D7 came out, I started using it as the basis for all new sites I set up.  But recently, I upgraded 2 of my old D6 sites to D7 and both upgrades where a bumpy ride.

The first upgrade was on a site that started on D5, was upgraded to D6 (rather smoothly).  When I ran the upgrade to D7 several times, the site crashed horribly with even core modules like color throwing errors.  This wan not a big site, so I set up a clean D7 install and copied the node content over.

Mobistar helpdesk hell

 I've switched to Mobistar ADSL in january of this year.  Unlike their television offer, it has mostly worked OK.  Until a month ago, when my connection became so unstable that even watchin a Youtube video is impossible.  

Cnotify becomes AlertMe

 I renamed the Cnotify script I announced sunday to AlertMe.  The homepage remains at

Cnotify, get notifications for console events

I created this program because I do a lot of work on the terminal and wanted an easy way to get notifications when a task on a host completed with sufficient details to know which task finished.

Initially, I wanted to created a system with a client on the hosts that sent a json message to a server component running somewhere and a Gnome notifications daemon that read messages from that server. But that wouldn't have gotten me notifications on my Android phone (which I carry always). So I ended up using Jabber for notifications instead of my own server component.


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