Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Mac and BIOS

It seems that there is a lot of nonsense on the Internet regarding this subject. At the end of the day it makes no odds whether the system or method that Apple use to determine the way that Mac computers boot is a System BIOS or a EFI.

It could be stated that the reason that Macs can be used with an operating system other than OSX is that Apple had moved to Intel microprocessors and an EFI but it can also be stated that pc manufacturers have also moved to an EFI framework for the BIOS used in non-Mac computers.

To this end it remains that this is largely semantics and it really makes no difference to the efforts of those that want to run an alternate operating system on ether of the two hardware platforms.
The quest to run OSX on non-Apple hardware continues and the endless thread of questions from those that are having problems in getting Boot Camp to run Windows on their Macs continues.

Whether Boot Camp Assistant is a just a partition tool and not much else, whether there are better tools and why some seem to continue to have problems in getting it to work are all continuing in 2011.
The installation of a Hackintosh or the booting of OSX on ANY hardware revolves around the requirement for a bootable media for the operating system used for the initial setup is the issue at hand NOT the settings of the hardware (EFI/BIOS) - setting the SATA Type to AHCI for example.
Even the Lifehacker instructions detail the preparation of a thumb drive to boot the hardware into OSX and then subsequently install OSX onto the computers hard drive. The converse of this is Boot Camp where a Windows (or other OS) partition is created on the Mac computer and then there is an option to install that alternate operating system. In the second case, Boot Camp, the process that installs Windows (for example) is the Windows installer NOT anything supplied by Boot Camp.

In both cases, the installation of a Hackintosh on Windows hardware and the installation of Windows on Apple hardware, there may be changes made to the EFI settings but these are largely hidden from the user.

The final analysis of all of this is that you are better off buying a Mac if you want to run OSX - but then I have a different assessment of the time value of money.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Go to the Cloud

What the ____ does that mean?

MS have no clue what "the Cloud" is - I am not sure that I do!

This was in reaction to an ad seen on Channel 4 for Microsoft - seems like they are using the term "cloud" just so they can and so that it is fixed in the minds of "dumb" consumers.

I can't really see the significance of "the cloud" when it comes to sorting and editing photographs to post on your Facebook page. Nothing has really changed, apart from the usage of the word "cloud". Your interaction with on-line services such as social networking sites has always been "cloud" based.

I guess Microsoft want their customer base to be familiar with the term "cloud" before they make even big a deal about it. Perhaps they are worried about loosing market share to the likes of Google. Hotmail and GMail have always been "cloud".

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Firesheep - a Firefox extension

Supposedly Firesheep can be used to monitor Wi-Fi traffic on public hotspots. There was November/December 2010 press coverage of this.

I have my suspicions that the coverage of Firesheep is a gigantic FUD campaign run by Ian and Eric to get people to use them as security consultants. They are participants in the Hackers Conferences (ShmooCon etc.).

ShopWiki still ignores robots.txt

I seem to remember that this was a problem before (Oct/Nov 2006) that went away after putting the appropriate entry in robots.txt - this is what the ShopWiki help for webmasters suggests.

However, they seem to be ignoring the robots file again!

I have placed a Rewrite condition and rule in my server config. Let's see if that works - I won't publish what I did until I confirm that it works - there is more than enough of this on the Internet as it is!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thank you BBC

Thank you BBC in changing the way that you handle the iPhone and related Apple products w.r.t. iPlayer you have uncovered a much better tool. A tool that is built using the same OSS technologies that iPlayer and Adobe AIR use to supply your content in a manner that you consider legitimate. As get_iplayer is built using the same core technologies as iPlayer it is not likely to get broken in the same way as Po-Ru's ipdl.

Po-Ru may well fix his excellent downloader but it seems that get_iplayer is a far more useful, but more complicated, tool. Once again the industry that is taking strides to protect its "intellectual Property" (please note the quotes) has shot itself in the foot.

While I can understand Phil Lewis' stance on continuing the development of get_iPlayer ( [there could be a potential of consultancy there], we should all support David Woodhouse and the crew at for taking over the fork.

Ian Hunter of the BBC is right to be concerned that non-iPlayer apps and devices that break their "rules - for example, by storing programmes beyond the 30 day limit, or playing them outside the UK."

Downloading 4OD

The use of the RTMPDump library for downloading media streams

I am currently working on this. If you have a solution or anything to add to this project please feel free to comment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Using NAS for Media Server

So far I have 4T of storage space on line (locally) and I am working on methods to populate the drives in a timely manner.

Using "drag and drop" from Windows Explorer or even ftp is just too slow to populate the drives. A test was made in an attempt in transferring around 400M of audio media. The transfer ran overnight but had to be terminated the next morning as only a little over 100M had transferred.

A bulk transfer was made using an external USB drive cradle attached to a Linux computer. The contents of my 1.5T Television drive were transferred to the NAS pre-formatted drive (ext2). On returning the drive to the D-Link NAS the file permissions needed to be configured so that the media can be accessed on the network.

There are no plans is making this media available for access via the Internet, but it is possible. This would create a DRM nightmare as ALL my media has had the DRM removed. Besides, the bandwidth required would be far more than I want to contemplate.

Using .htaccess for password control of Internet resources

Assigning passwords to protect directories on the servers used by

    .htaccess and .htpasswrd files in the protected directories

The directories as protected by making the appropriate entry in the .conf file for the VirtualSite in question.

Directory "/path_to_directory/restricted_directory"
     AllowOverride All
Note that the tag delimiters have been removed from the Directory Tag

The contents of .htaccess:

  AuthName "A Dark and Secret Place"
  AuthType basic

  AuthUserFile /path_to_directory/restricted_directory/.htpasswd
  require valid-user

The text specified in AuthName is what is displayed in the login dialog below:

Installing and using Apache on a home-based website

The easiest way to do this is to use Ubuntu - Apache 2 comes pre-installed it is only a matter of configuration.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Methods of mitigation of IPv4 address exhaustion

Is the appearance of log entries of the form: - - [08/Dec/2010:12:43:59 -0500] "GET /

an indication of mitigation effort for the address exhaustion of IPv4 or is this a general change for the migration to IPv6?

Previously crawls from Googlebot were of the form:

I still have entries in my logs that are of the IPv4 quads of 00-FF (000-255)

Update: May 2012

The server log entries when I last looked were pretty much spilt between IPv4 addresses and host names for the originating servers. It is my theory that the Host Server Name will be the identifier when IPv6 is fully inplemented. This is because the new breed of Router/Gateway is capable of addressing the host assocaited with the MAC address of the device connected to the Internet.

I addition the Residential Gateway and the Terado Tunneling adapter, if used by your ISP, can determine the local LAN address of the devices connected to that device. When IPv6 is fully implemented the individual device will be addressed - NOT the router or Gateway.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Panda Technologies

Where the fuck these these people come from?
"Cloud Solutions" indeed!

Seem  to capitalize on "cloud" buzz - seem to like to use terms such as:
  • Genetic Heuristic Engine
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Behavioral blocking and analysis
  • Proactive technologies and Antimalware.
Do people buy into the hype-crap? Sounds like their marketing department has swallowed the "cloud" dictionary and thesaurus!

get_iplayer for Windows

How to install and configure get_iplayer on a Windows computer.

How to compile and modify the Linux code for get_iplayer

The main problem with the maintenance of get_iplayer is that it is a Linux based project. The Windows support and maintenance is an after thought.

The consequence of which is that when get_iplayer fails due to to changes made by the BBC, January and July 2011, the fixes for Windows users are not published on the website. This along with comments about there being nobody willing to "step up to the plate" to maintain the Windows install.

While I am capable of doing this, in fact I could even maintain a Mac version if I put my mind to it.

I have a working Windows solution and do not see the need pursue the Windows option any further. I run multiple Linux computers but find that most of my work requires me to use Windows and the majority of those that would like to download BBC programming will also be Windows users. The Linux community is such that the dislike of Windows over-rides the desire to come up with timely Windows solutions. It is an "elitist" thing. (IMO)

It would appear that there are people of "the list" community that are capable of compiling new Windows executables but the administration  of the install process is up-in-the-air.  I installed a patched version of the RTMPDump program in my get_iplayer v2.79 Windows install and confirm that it works

I am presuming that there will be a v2.8 that will contain this new version of FLVStreamer. In the meantime I will work on my Linux implementation.

Generating a Windows executable for FLVStreamer

It seems that it would be more involved to generate a Windows version of the RTMPDump program. The souce was originally developed in a Linux environment and to completely rewrite it would be impractical if not impossible as the standard adopted by the BBC and others has probably become very "highly tuned".

The version of RTMPDump used by the main Windows distribution of get_iplayer is capable of CRYPTO support. As far as I can see the CRYPTO functions are not used by the BBC at the present time, although this could be the case in the future. To generate a Windows executable with CRYPTO support would require access to the CRYPTO libraries (I have found a license for such a library but the license starts at €2,750!)

get_iplayer Links:
  • Download a Windows Installer for get_iplayer
  • SWF & get_iplayer research links
  • RTMPDump 2.4  - an alternative to the FLVStreamer that I use
  • MinGW 0.3-alpha-2 - Minimalist GNU for Windows  - MinGW provides a complete Open Source programming tool set which is suitable for the development of native MS-Windows applications,  and which do not depend on any 3rd-party C-Runtime DLLs.
  • GCC 4.5.2 - the GNU Compiler Collection
  • PolarSSL 0.14.3 - PolarSSL library - Crypto and SSL made easy - this has an expensive license, it is not known whether you need this to rebuild the RTMPDump program
  • crypto(3) - The OpenSSL crypto library

The Daz Loader

Tips and findings using the Windows Activation Loader by Daz


AMD Accelerated Processor Unit - APU

What an APU is and how it compares to a CPU and an associated GPU

Why do Internet users want to Block Google Analytics

This page is a recap of the usage of Google Analytics, how it has helped in the development of my website and the apparent misunderstanding of those that seem to want to block its access?

When a visitors accesses this website a Javascript on the page records some details of the visit. These details are used to determine the desires of the visitor. Changes are made accordingly.

Some posters on forums seem to feel that this is an invasion of their privacy. This is mainly due to the lack of understanding about the information that is collected and made available to the website owner. What information Google retain and extract from this venture is another matter.

There seems to be a deep distrust of Google

Monday, December 6, 2010

RSHTML - Really Simple HTML

The majority of my pages on my website was to follow a coding schema that I call RSHTML or "Really Simple HTML". The reasons for this are many-fold.

  • It was quick to "cobble" a page together.
  • Search Engines will know where to find things.
  • There are many web developers out there that are much better at the fancy stuff than me!
  • For what I want to achieve I don't need to overcomplicate things.
Apart from a few bits of JavaScript, most notably the code to display the modification date of the page, the code comprises of only a few tags:
  • The obvious HTML HEADER TITLE and BODY tags
  • <  p > and  < /p > paragraph tags
  • <Hx> Heading tags
  • <a> and </a> Anchors (HyperLinks)
  • and line breaks <br>

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

IPv6 and Windows 7

Yes it is featured in Windows 7 (IPv6 that is) but it is not yet implemented as far as the "Outside World" is concerned. - or is it?

The effects of the existence of ipv6 on the operation of services such as BTGuard are irrelevant. (with respect to un-checking it or disabling IPv6 Connectivity)

For those of you who use BTGuard and have still been caught I suggest you check into that, as IPv6 can still attach or embed your true IP address in outgoing packets.

What???? Who says that anyone has been caught?

All I can say is that the monitoring of server logs in the days when IPv6 is the norm will be a lot of fun. Most "governing" and "surveilling" agencies have a tough enough time with IPv4.

And, who can make such dogmatic statements as the IPv6 is a reason for something working or not? It looks suspicious to me so the original post has been removed (from the TorrentFreak forum). I do not need to provide a platform for such nonsense - I can provide that myself! (and only I can remove/edit posts etc that do not tow the company line).