vsftpd 500 OOPS error

January 31st, 2009

If your ftp client reports

500 OOPS: bad bool value in config file for: config_name_here

then that might mean that you have a “YES ” or “NO ” with a trailing space in your config file. Easy enough to fix. I got lucky and found it quickly. Just in case somebody needs to google for this.


January 24th, 2009

Downtime happens. And it is not pretty. But science can help. And all science starts with data. That is why I monitor how sites like INTERDUBS are availabe to their users. A company that shall remain unnamed was down for four hours this morning, which made me wonder how everybody is doing. I also wanted to play with Google Charts a bit more.

Accumulated downtime since April 2008. Less is better:

Congratulations to Adbeast for being clearly better. I am happy about the second place in this case. It is hard to derive the user experience of outages just based on this one measure. It very well mayb be that the customers of Competitor A - C are also happy with how things are going for them.

In anyway I also feel good in light of thise data about offering 99.999% uptime guarantees with a full months money back.

Update March 2009:
It turned out that I probed a static page for Adbeast. So the praise that I would have loved to give is somewhat unjustified. At this point it is early to tell how the real content pages rank. So far they are much less stable INTERDUBS though. Which is almost a shame: Nobody beliefs a statistic that makes the author of the statistic the clear winner …

sysdeputil.c:162: error: expected declaration specifiers or ‘…’ before ‘capset’

January 23rd, 2009

I have no freaking clue what I am doing. So be careful just following this blindly.
When I initially googled for this issue I did not find this specific solution:

When tried to install vsftpd.2.0.7 from source on a centos 5.2 64 bit machine I get the error:

sysdeputil.c:162: error: expected declaration specifiers or '...' before 'capset'

Followed by allot of similar errors. I was able to address this by

yum install libcap-devel.x86_64

At which point the linker complained:

/lib/libcap.so.1: could not read symbols: File in wrong format

I had to actually commend out the line

locate_library /lib/libcap.so.1 && echo "/lib/libcap.so.1";

in vsf_findlibs.sh. After that it compiled and seemed work.


January 18th, 2009

Since I don’t watch TV just some DVDs I was quiet happy with the decent Sony Tube thing making the pictures. Yesterday I wandered over to the the going out of business sale public viewing of Circuit City. Which I can not recommend: 10% off all items that have not been marked down already. And the staff is as motivated as it was in the last year when it’s own purpose seemed to have been to avoid customers.

Standing in front of a panasonic 50″ with 720p and 1080p I was wondering if I should spend $1100 or $1500. I did do the right thing: Not getting either. Of course the store feeds the screens crappy std-def TV signals. But it made me curious. This week I also had another look on a specific 65″ 720p panasonic plasma from 2005. And subjectively a blue-ray DVD looked great.

I collected a couple of resolutions of devices and aligned with viewing distances. My conclusion is that a 50″ with 720p is more than enough: In order to be able to experience the higher resolution of the 1080p device I would need to sit ridiculously close to it. Even a 65″/1080p would have move me much closer than I usually watch in order to match resolutions that I am accustomed to and experience subjectively as a good picture. That -of course- will not stop vendors to make 1080p 42″ devices. And people will buy them as much as they bought cameras based on their megapixels years after more megapixels actually meant better images.

So I am roaming Craigslist now for 720p plasmas as big as possible. I will loose out on the improvements in plasma pixel technology (live, contrast ratio, coating). But I certainly don’t need to wast any money on a 1080p since they simply don’t make them big enough. Maybe I should get a projector after all …

i’ll wait for word then

January 14th, 2009

Just a few weeks ago I bought iWork08. It would cost me another $100 to get the recent iWork09. That ‘Numbers’ is pointless I already realized. I hear keynote is alright, have not used it. I just tried to use Pages. Again. Making something as fancy as a ‘table’. Oh, boy! Annoying and stupid. But then I wanted to enter “99.999%”. The INTERDUBS uptime. Leaving the input focus of that field “Pages” decided to change that it to “100%”. No, really. Kid you not. Had to do it thrice to believe it. I am sure there might be some preference somewhere. But Pages has wasted enough of my time already. Amazon is shipping Mac office any day now. I can wait for that. Waiting happily to use a Microsoft software. What has the world come too!!

how easy was that!

January 12th, 2009

While trailing the log files this messages showed up:

Jan 12 16:49:13 andreaswacker vsftpd(pam_unix)[20094]: authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty= ruser= rhost=

turns out some bot/script etc from was trying to find an ftp user with a stupid name. Would have had no luck, but I don’t like my log files to be cluttered. So it turned out that a simple

iptables -I INPUT -s -j DROP

blocks that IP address from now on. Nice. I think I will use that often now. There are lots of misconfigured systems out there. Like that Windows 98 computer in the philipines downloading the same file 5000 times yesterday. Thank you iptables.

I am sure Fios is awesome

January 11th, 2009

Just too bad that Verzion isn’t. So I think I could use FiOS. The Verizon website however has a problem with the address that I happen to have. A message then claims that I could call to find out if Fios is available. Calling that number I just go through 5 menus only to be disconnected when the system tries to hand me over to the next station. On the internet that’s called a broken link. I am sure Verizon has spent some money on marketing to make me aware of Fios. They also have spent money to put the actual thing in place. Too bad that they are unable to make a sale since their sales tools just happen to be broken. I guess they need a bail out too pretty soon …

os x: don’t crash and bother

January 5th, 2009

When a program crashes under OS X then it displays a dialog asking if the info should be sent to Apple. If you never do that then you can disable this dialog by typing:

defaults write com.apple.CrashReporter DialogType Server

in a terminal shell. So says the C’t.