WordPress 1.5

I’ve just upgraded my blog to WordPress 1.5. I know there might be some probs with older posts, but I will try to fix them as soon as you tell me or as soon as I spot them. I chose the imhotep theme which I kinda like..for now.

I hope I have more news on wordpress plugins/hacks soon.

Linux, Firefox and MathML fonts

After Angelos decided to install MathML in his blog, I decided to install the proper fonts in my Gentoo linux in order to read it.

After some googling I came up with this article from bugzilla:

I was able to follow it and install all necessary fonts apart from the Symbol font. I don’t know what this guy means…and yes, I’ve read previous posts before this and still can’t get it. The thing he says about the .font.conf here (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=128153#c42) doesn’t seem to work for me.
Anyway…my solution was to ask Angelos to give me his symbol.ttf font from his windows pc and install it where all my truetype fonts are. Then I simply followed this:

[1] ‘Symbol’ truetype font also works if you remove the comment for the
following lines in fontsEncoding.properties file (in $MOZILLA_HOME/res/fonts)
#encoding.symbol.ttf = Adobe-Symbol-Encoding
#encoding.symbol.ftcmap = mac_roman

Now my Firefox is ready for MathML.

Some more upgrades

I decided to go for kernel 2.6.11. It works just fine and I think there’s a slight improvement in memory usage and application response time (something regarding threading maybe ?). At least that’s what I have noticed so far.

If you have not used mouse cursors for X so far I recommend that you emerge x11-themes/silver-xcursors. They look just great. I especially like the shadows.

I’ve also emerged the Gaim AutoProfile plugin which has a powerfull away management system plus various funny stuff to add to your away messages such as fortune cookies and quote from text files or from http…Take a look at it if you like gaim and want something different.

Transparent MC in a transparent terminal

If you want your Midnight Commander to be transparent, just edit your .mc/ini and add this line in the end:


This is how mine looks like now:

Now I have to fix those ugly fonts. The borders of MC are not properly displayed. Anyway..one step at a time…

Solved some problems + usb floppy raid

1) The Gaim-encryption problem was solved for good. When both ends upgrade to newer version on both gaim and gaim-encryption everything works perfectly. (Gaim 1.2.0 with Gaim-encryption 2.35 works just fine)

2) I figured out the problem of my mrxvt transparency problem. Inside my fluxbox startup config I had this naughty line:

/usr/bin/bsetroot -solid black

I just commented it out and I now enjoy my beautiful pseudo-transparency even when I move my terminal around the screen. 🙂

Now here’s something that IS funny…or sick…or call it as you want.
One guy made a raid0 array out of usb floppy drives. Yes, yes, yes…you’ve read correctly…USB FLOPPY DRIVES.
Here’s the link to the weirdo: USB FLOPPY DISK STRIPED RAID UNDER OS X

just enjoy…

(how did he test the speed of it ? using a Devo mp3 song… What else could it be ?)

Recent Changes

I’ve been doing no great stuff lately, just some software upgrades to my desktop machine.
Following this guide I’ve installed Native POSIX Thread Library to my gentoo box. I can’t say whether there’s been any difference at all. I don’t think so, maybe because I might need to re-emerge some programs ? I don’t know…and I am not in the mood to find out right now. I just hope there will be a use for what I’ve done.
I’ve also upgraded my ati-drivers(8.10.19) and xorg(6.8.2). I am dying to find a solution to the Composite xorg extension with ati drivers. When I enable these in my xorg.conf:

#Section “Extensions”
# Option “Composite” “Enable”
# Option “RENDER” “Enable

I lose hardware opengl support and the desktop starts crawling. When I try to enable xcompmgr these problems get even worse. Xorg becomes unusable even with a simple xcompmgr -c. I know that such stuff is eye-candy only and there’s no real gain in having them…but hey..why should only people with nvidia cards have them ? I am jealous. ATI GET TO WORK!

Something else I can’t solve is how to have my rxvt (or mrxvt) keep being transparent even when I move it. Take a look at these 2 screenshots:


The first one is what I see when I open mrxvt. The second is what happens when I move the terminal.
I would like to be able to have mrxvt showing the “wallpaper” behind it even when I reposition it. Anyone has any idea about this ?

Oh and more problems ? Why can’t Gaim work with Gaim-Ecnryption from version 1.1.2 and above? I’ve tried all combinations…1.1.3 with encryption 2,32,2.34,2.35, 1.1.4 with 2.32, 2.34,2.35…and still the only version that works smoothly is 1.1.2 with 2.34. I’ve unmerged and re-emerged it a LOT of times without any luck. Is it only me having these problems ? I couln’t find anything relative on google nor on any lists/forums. I hope it will be fixed with version 1.2.0 that came out a couple of days ago…
Looks like it is a known issue with jabber and gaim-encryption:
I am currently using 1.2.0 with 2.35. I’ll edit again if it finally works.

And now that we’re talking about Gaim…wouldn’t a gnomemeeting plugin for gaim be a great idea ? to right click on a buddy…and ask them to accept your invitation (in fact you will ask them to show you their ip) to go voice-chatting ? Anyway … just an idea.

Encrypting the swap partition

Now that my system is considered (that’s what I think) a working desktop machine, it’s time for some security. First and easiest thing to do is to encrypt the swap partition.
What should I use though to achieve this goal ? cryptoloop ? Loop-AES ? cgd ? ppdd ? and so on and so on…The choices are too many to list. After reading Loop-AES author’s reply to this question:

[…] if Loop-AES works so much better, why hasn’t it been included in the kernel?[…]

here, and studying this great guide on computer security (How to defend your Privacy), I’ve decided to go for Loop-AES.

Quick SWAP encryption with Loop-AES HOWTO for gentoo linux:

1)Be SURE to remove any loop support from your kernel. Either as a module or builtin. We are going to build our own module so we don’t want the kernel’s module.

2) Supposing that your kernel does NOT have loop support we move on to installing the necessary packages.

echo "sys-fs/loop-aes ~x86" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords
emerge /usr/portage/sys-apps/util-linux/util-linux-2.12q.ebuild
emerge loop-aes

3) Time to change current swap configuration end enable the encryption support

swapoff -a

Now edit your /etc/fstab, find your swap lines and change them to something looking like this:

/dev/hda999 none swap sw,loop=/dev/loop9,encryption=AES128 0 0

4) We now clean the swap partition by filling it with 0s, recreate the swap partition and start using it

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda999 bs=64k conv=notrunc
mkswap /dev/hda999
swapon -a

You are ready, you swap is now encrypted on the fly.

More on linux desktop

I’ve recently upgraded my fluxbox to 0.9.12 which has antialiasing support 🙂 Fonts look a lot better now on the titles and menus.
After some world updates (where gtk+ was upgraded to version 2.6.2) vlc did not open up it’s neat gui. I had to re-emerge wxGTK and re-emerge vlc (version 0.8.1 works pretty smooth now).

I’ve also tried tuxracer version 1.1.1. It’s not as fun as ver 0.6 (it’s a lot slower and courses take more to finish and one can get easily bored), but I kept it cause it has head to head duels 😉

But there’s something that “bothers” me…Should I use:

ACCEPTED_KEYWORDS=”~x86″ emerge world

or just

emerge world


Anyone has any experience on this ?