May 1

Amazon echo for home automation using x10 and

The way this works currently is you need to be able to access a remote url inside your home.  Usually this will require the use of a dynamic dos host provider that can provide you with a hostname that points to your dynamic home address that is updated automatically by your router.  This is not exactly ideal security wise but obscure enough that you’re not likely to have some hacker turning your lights on and off just to mess with you and about the worst case scenario is they turn all your lights on while you are way turning up your electric bill.

Mar 24

Updating Bind File on a Zone Setup for RFC 2845

Bind is horrible at telling you what is going on if you happen to have the setup and mess it up.

Feb 26

Apache and mod_mono on rasbian

Mod_mono is much easier to config at the moment than it has been int he past.  Assuming you can use apt-get and installed the packages the following is all you need.

May 28

Upgrading Bugzilla

Here are the steps to upgrading bugzilla so you don’t end up wanting to commit homicidal acts.

Download a new version of bugzilla and resist the patches.

Unpack this new version into a newdirectory. I use the /usr/local directory.

root@sourcecontrol:/usr/local# ls -l
total 40
drwxr-x--- 16 www-data www-data 4096 May 28 11:36 bugzilla-4.4.2
drwxr-x--- 16 www-data www-data 4096 May 28 11:46 bugzilla-4.4.4

Now I keep a symlink in /var/www that points to the current version so i delete and update the symlink here.

ln -s /usr/local/bugzilla-4.4.4 /var/www/bugzilla
ls -l /var/www
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   26 May 28 11:37 bugzilla -> /usr/local/bugzilla-4.4.4/

Next enter the new bugzilla directory and update the perl modules using the built in script.

./ --all

Once that is complete copy the localconfig form the previous installation into the new installation.

cp /usr/local/bugzilla-4.4.2/localconfig /usr/local/bugzilla-4.4.4/

Then run and you should be up and running.


May 20

Ubuntu Upgrade Apache Fail

Upgraded to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and discovered apache was not starting up.


The culprit was the following message.

AH00534: apache2: Configuration error: No MPM loaded.

After some digging around it appears the problem has to do with the module being enabled in apache so running the following as root or with sudo clears things up.


a2dismod mpm_itk

a2enmod mpm_itk

Jan 17

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon Hardy Heron update failed OEL upgrade

So today while trying to VM an old server at work I ran into a problem. It was running Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) and would not virtualize properly. I tied to upgrade it using the EOL Path at to 8.04 (Hardy Heron) but it just wouldn’t work I ended up with the following.

Checking for a new ubuntu release
Failed Upgrade tool signature
Failed Upgrade tool
Done downloading
extracting '/tmp/tmpGEx2kl/hardy.tar.gz'
Failed to extract
Extracting the upgrade failed. There may be a problem with the network or with the server.

This clearly isn’t good but after paring my /etc/apt/sources.list down to the following I was still getting the same error.

deb dapper main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-proposed main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse

With the modification from to I figure it was really just modifying the server it was retrieving the files from and even though the remote server could be using the host header I though I would try modifying my /etc/hosts file to point to the same ip for as was resolved for


It worked running do-release-upgrade now returns

Checking for a new ubuntu release
Done Upgrade tool signature
Done Upgrade tool
Done downloading
extracting '/tmp/tmpXpWtyk/hardy.tar.gz'
authenticate '/tmp/tmpXpWtyk/hardy.tar.gz' against '/tmp/tmpXpWtyk/hardy.tar.gz.

Reading cache

Checking package manager

Continue running under SSH?

This session appears to be running under ssh. It is not recommended
to perform a upgrade over ssh currently because in case of failure it
is harder to recover.

If you continue, a additional ssh daemon will be started at port
Do you want to continue?

So apparently really old versions of ubuntu have hard coded in the updater and this trick should get around it. Thank god they don’t use virtual hosts for their archives.

Jun 21

Mountain Lion broke X11

Want to run apps under linux and pipe the graphical display to your mac using mountain lion?  This is how you do it.

Jul 4

DDWRT Custom Nocat Splash

OK, the documentation on ddwrt no cat splash kind of works but mostly just leaves you wondering wtf.  It works with their little click me to login/accept page but how do you customize it.  First thing to realize is it may appear to be accepting your settings but it caches and doesn’t play a nice.  After a reboot you might be sitting there for a few minutes before boom it’s working and your left wondering what they hell did I do to make it work?

Jul 3

Raspberry Pi GPIO in .net

I setout to create a simple library for raspberry pi gpio using the slow but easy to work with file system gpio.  This is useful for low speed io such as controling relays and such.  If you can live with a couple hundred ms latency this is a useful class for that.  I am currently using it to control a set of lawn sprinklers and low voltage lighting.

Aug 5

iPone activation issue

This morning I awoke to the shinny new 2.0.1 update. Without a second though I installed it only to be left with a bricked iPhone. I could not complete the activation process and kept getting an error: “The iPhone cannot be used with iTunes because the information required for activation could not be obtained from the phone”.  Looked on Google and found a few unresolved issues then I decided to try the *#307* trick and was prompted to enable the radio. This was the fix for me as I post this from the word press app on a 2.0.1 iPhone. Hopefully this will help someone else when googling for help with the issue.

The steps would be make emergency call enter *#3078 call enabled the radio and done.  You might try just entering 0 and calling I did not get a chance to try other combinations to see if it would even try to enable the radio.