Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doing the Oauth dance

If you're setting up Bitlbee and using the ircii client, you may have a bit of difficulty in figuring out how to authenticate to Twitter via Oauth. After authenticating to Bitlbee (via the "identify" command), adding the Twitter account is easy:

  account add twitter YOURNICK YOURPASSWD

Next, figure out the account ID by running:

  account list

Assuming that it's the first account (ID == 0), turn on the account via:

  account 0 on

This will spit up a message similar to:

  twitter - Logging in: Requesting OAuth request token
  *twitter_packetgeek* To finish OAuth authentication, please visit

  loyC70HKx9iOcYhoQ5MzpKeqH4 Ds1JrA8&oauth_token
  ao&oauth_callback_confirmed=true and respond with the resu
  lting PIN code.

Please note that everything after *twitter_packetgeek* in the above is all on one line.

You'll want to make note of the handle located between the *'s in the second line (in my case, twitter_packetgeek). Copy and paste the URL into your browser (you may need to log into Twitter) and click allow. This will give you a number to paste into the irc client.

Here's the undocumented part for the irc client: you need to MSG the twitter_packetgeek account with the token. Do this via:

  /msg twitter_packetgeek XXXXXXX

where "XXXXXXX" is the number generated by Twitter's Oauth.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finished transcoding the wiki

It's been about a years work, but I've just finished (hand) transcoding the old wiki into the new format. Because it was done by hand, there's probably a few new bugs in it. If you find one, yell out.

In any case, I hope to have it online this weekend. Same server, slightly different URL.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Experiments with FreeNAS

As part of the lab for class, we're installing FreeNAS in VMware Workstation and configuring it for various functions. This week's class involved installing the version 0.7.1 (the most recent stable version) and a Redhat VM. Again, getting it up and running was interesting/fun.

Jim, a classmate, learned that you could add drives to FreeNAS without shutting the VM down. We're still not sure if this is "good practice" (or even a feature) but it's interesting none-the-less. For some reason, his new drives show up as SCSI.

I'm still finding stuff in the menu to play with. SNMP, LDAP, and WEBDAV have piqued my interest. I'm wondering how well FreeNAS would work as back-end storage for Alfresco and/or KnowledgeTree. Nagios looks like it'd make a good monitoring tool.

Configuration notes are coming. The wiki migration is 99% done (I have a few dozen pages to transcode). I'll start adding new notes once the new wiki is stood up.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bloglines is closing and a new form of spam?

If you haven't noticed, Bloglines is closing its service on 1 October. Being the responsible person, I've spent the morning wading though the various feeds. For anyone following me via Bloglines, Delicious, or the various Google services, you may notice that:

  • my Bloglines subscriptions are dropping at a fast rate (down to about 170 now)
  • my Delicious bookmarks have jumped up
  • my Google Reader subscriptions have jumped up

While moving subscriptions for active feeds, I noticed a new follower in Google Reader (Tims Club). I can't describe (yet) why I don't have a good feeling about this. My initial impression is this is something akin to referrer spam. I'll probably have more to write about this later.

Update: I managed to discover the "select range" feature and the trash can. The last 170+ subscriptions went away in one swell foop. The feature is in the left-hand menu. Click on "Edit" and scroll to the bottom. Read the text with the yellow background.

Monday, September 6, 2010

FreeNAS on ESXi with open-vm-tools

I just finished successfully installing open-vm-tools in a FreeNAS 7.2 guest running on ESXi 4.1. I used the notes on as a reference. Those notes were more or less accurate but I did have to start over twice due to poor assumptions on my part (size of OS partition, etc.).

In any case, I can now start/stop the FreeNAS server via the ESXi console. Notes in the wiki shortly (I have a backlog, don't I?).

Update: I've received a couple requests for the packages (one from v1ncen7 below). The howto is here. The link for a tarball of the generated packages is at the bottom of that page and here.  The usual disclaimers apply (i.e., your mileage will vary).

Friday, September 3, 2010

power.shutdown vice

I was experimenting with the command line options available via the console on ESXi 4.1 this morning, learning how to start and stop VMs.  There's a whole slew of posts which talk about starting a VM (e.g., "vim-cmd vmsvc/power.on 32") but no one talks about stopping them.

Initially, logic led me to believe that "vm-cmd vmsvc/ 32" would be the obvious shutdown command. It did turn the VM off. Problem was that it was extremely fast. Too fast. A little research showed that "vm-cmd vmsvc/ 32" was the equivalent of holding the power button in on the machine (i.e., no shutdown sequence).

A bit more research shows that I should install vmware-tools and use "vm-cmd vmsvc/power.shutdown 32". It's still quick, but I've logged into the machine to watch what happens and it is going through its shutdown sequence.

So, I now have the background tools to be able to start/stop a number of development systems via a web interface. I only need to do a little coding to get it to work.

Note: "32" in the above examples is the vmid for one of my VMs. Yours will probably vary. You can list yours by running "vm-cmd vmsvc/getallvms".

Update: If you're running 64-bit Ubuntu VMs, you'll likely need to install open-vm-tools and open-vm-dkms before power.shutdown will work.  Apparently vmware-tools doesn't work for 64-bit systems.  Can anyone very that this is accurate?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ESXi - project for this weekend

Barring power outages / repairs needed due to hurricane Earl, I set a weekend project for myself to build a web-based interface to start/stop various VMs under ESXi.  Already installed are two VMs, one for services which don't require storage (Asterisk, Icecast, IRC, etc.) and one that does (PmWiki, Moodle, etc.).

I also want to experiment with other VMs (Astaro, Koha, Plutex, etc.) but know that there aren't enough resources to leave more than one of them running without affecting the other two.  End result is that I need a web interface to manage which ones are running.  It'll involve a bit of obfuscation, due to VMware's restriction on remote scripting for the free versions, but it shouldn't be that difficult.

I'll post my notes in the wiki when they're ready.