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Pissed off at SSH

Ok, not re­al­ly, since SSH has made my life much sim­pler than it would be oth­er­wise, but re­al­ly, it has some us­abil­i­ty is­sues.

And I mean re­al us­abil­i­ty is­sues, not the usu­al crap.

  • It can't be in­­te­­grat­ed in­­­to kde­wal­let

While there is a mech­a­nism to have a GUI ask­ing the pass­word, this helper app (askpass) does­n't get any ses­sion in­fo, so it's mean­ing­less, un­les you are try­ing to di­rect­ly start a X app over ssh.

Which you prob­a­bly aren't.

  • Fin­ger­print man­age­­ment suck­­s.

Sup­pose you have a fire­wal­l. You keep port 22 as a way to log in­to it, and for­ward port 23 to a mail serv­er in the DMZ. Well, it will com­plain and print huge, scary warn­ings each time you lo­gin in­to one or the oth­er, de­pend­ing on which one you used first.

Or, it can sim­ply refuse to con­nec­t.

And that's just the easy two.

What can be done?

  • Take the drop­bear client (not openssh, drop­bear code seems sim­­pler), and put a put­­ty-­­like UI in­­­to it. Use the kon­­sole kpart for dis­­­play.

  • Take the GTK ver­­sion of Put­­ty and hack it in­­­to KDE shape, put kde­wal­let in it. I don't quite like the idea of hav­ing a sea­­parate, dif­fer­­ent ter­mi­­nal app for re­­mote ses­­sion­s.

I would prob­a­bly go the drop­bear route if:

  1. I had a work­ing PyKDE (maybe some­­day)

  2. The idea of delv­ing in­­­to some­one else's C code did­n't make me nau­seous. (prob­a­bly af­ter I sur­gi­­cal­­ly re­­move my sense of taste).

KDE at Software Libre2005

I will be speak­ing at the Soft­ware Li­bre 2005 even­t, June 7 at 2P­M, at the Sher­a­ton Re­tiro, Buenos Aires.

I'd in­vite ev­ery­one, but it costs some mon­ey, so I will just say that I prom­ise to buy a beer for ev­ery­one men­tion­ing this blog. (Lim­it 10 beer­s, on­ly na­tion­al ones al­lowed)

For more in­fo, click on "read more"


Voy a dar una char­la en Soft­ware Li­bre 2005, el 7 de Ju­nio a las 14 ho­ras, en el Sher­a­ton Re­tiro, Buenos Aires.

In­vi­taria a to­do el mundo, pero cues­ta dinero, asi que so­la­mente los in­vi­to con una cerveza si men­cio­nan es­ta pag­i­na. (Lim­ite 10 cerveza­s, so­lo na­cionales)

Para mas datos, click en "Read more"

Extreme code reuse

I am, as al­ways, play­ing with stuff. And I was faced with a prob­lem I must have solved a dozen times be­fore:

Giv­en a list of items with ob­vi­ous hi­er­ar­chi­cal names (say, a list of fold­er­s), turn it in­to a rea­son­able da­ta struc­ture.

Since there are not all that many names, there is no need to do it on-de­mand, or any­thing like that.

I must con­fess I suck at this kind of things be­cause I hve to ac­tu­al­ly think them through. I don't know how to do this kind of things.

Mind you, I have done it be­fore, but I said, hey, maybe google can help me...

And yeah! Python code from 1994 that does ex­act­ly what I need­ed. I had to touch a sin­gle line ( string.s­plit­field­s(a,'.') to a.s­plit('/') ) and it worked.

The In­ter­net nev­er for­get­s!

Life & Birthdays

Rosario had her birth­day par­ty on sat­ur­day. She turned 0x20 (so on­ly we geeks know the truth ;-)

Had some fun, al­though some of her friends are... well, let's just say they have a very lim­it­ed ar­ray of con­ver­sa­tion top­ic­s, and they are en­cy­clo­pe­dic about per­haps the least in­ter­est­ing one.

But hey, the whole fam­i­ly was there, lots of food (My cuña­di­tas Maria Fer­ay, Lau­ra and Agusti­na made dip­s, cake, re­al­ly nice stuff).

We even got an awe­some pic­ture of us that I in­tend to frame.

On oth­er news, life's pret­ty good, busi­ness too, fam­i­ly is fine, I fi­nal­ly closed my old apart­men­t's lease... if life were any bet­ter the gov­ern­ment would change my tax brack­et.

I am writ­ing an ar­ti­cle about a cool help sys­tem I'm think­ing. Should be at least as much fun as the one about cal­cu­la­tors :-)

Trying CentOS

Well, I got sick of the fe­do­ra up­grade tread­mil­l.

Al­though I have a num­ber of things help­ing me in the soft­ware man­age­ment fron­t, hav­ing to up­grade the OS in all my cus­tomers ev­ery 18 months or so is just bor­ing.

Since they don't need cut­ting edge soft­ware at al­l, it just was­n't worth it. Be­ing a cheap guy, switch­ing to Nov­ell or RHEL was not worth it, ei­ther.

So, I checked Cen­tOS 4. A nice bor­ing stodgy RHEL repack­ag­ing. I have been us­ing it in se­lect­ed en­vi­ron­ments (in­clud­ing my home box) for a co0u­ple of week­s.

It's re­al­ly not ter­ri­ble.

Ok, the de­fault ker­nel it ships is ter­ri­ble. Al­most no pe­riph­er­als work with it, and hot­plug is bro­ken like all hel­l, but I just got atrp­m's FC3 ker­nel and all is fine.

The oth­er main prob­lems are:

  • There are not enough pack­­age sources yet

  • I can't find a de­­cent APT for it. So I am us­ing YUM.

Well, YUM re­al­ly hurts it.

  • For some rea­­son, I can't re­­move soft­­ware when I am of­f­­line. It hangs.

  • It's sloooooooow. Damn slow. In­­­cred­i­bly slow. Makes APT look fast slow! Af­ter I added a few ex­­tra re­­pos, it takes about 3 min­utes for "yum search pyxm­l"

But hey, it's not all that bad if you have the time. And for the re­al work, my box­es use cus­tom-­pack­aged stuff any­way. I just need­ed some­thing that was­n't go­ing to bite me lat­er.

And since I am read­just­ing my life to spend more time at home, I do have the time.

On oth­er news, I had to re­in­stall PyD­S, of course. So, I de­cid­ed to treat my own box the same way I treat my clients' and for­bid my­self from in­stalling non-­pack­aged soft­ware.

So, I pack­aged it. Mind you, that's on an ar­gen­tini­an ca­ble­modem, so don't ex­pect any kind of speed. And it won't be there for long.

Any re­quired pack­ages not in that place are avail­able in the dis­tro, or in dag or in karan


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