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How to configure alternative soft-links under Ubuntu/Debian

Ubuntu (and Debian) come with many "alternatives".

The system offers many editors, browsers, compilers, shells, etc. Just have a look at the large selection under /etc/alternatives.

ls /etc/alternatives

Under Unix, one can create soft links to soft links to soft links to an actual file. The alternatives work in that way. The soft links defined in the /etc/alternatives folder are pointers that one can change to make his/her system more likeable.

To change one of these alternatives, Ubuntu offers the update-alternatives script. For example, if you don't like Nano, change your

Upgrade from Ubuntu 9.10 to 10.04

Today I did an upgrade of a server from 9.10 to 10.04. We were on a server version before upgrading to 9.10 but we could not directly upgrade to 10.04 (working upgrade paths are very specific; see a list here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes )

The most surprising part was the python script at the end.

  /usr/bin/python /tmp/unique-folder/lucid --mode=server --frontend=DistUpgradeViewText

The command line itself is not specifically strange. However, the behavior at the end of the script is a bit strange, mainly because I hadn't see it before. Last time the upgrade was

Attack by Bots

Since the ZmEu attack, I've been watching my logs a little closer. I also found a page that I could not read (but Google could and was kind enough to provide a cached version.) That page listed many bots that are not nice bots. So? I decided to block some of them, especially those that use very bad URLs or load many pages too quickly.

The result is that I'm getting more and IP addresses in my firewall. Although they get removed in a schedule that I will not state here, I can tell you that each time I block tenth when not hundredth of useless hits (worst than that at times those could be

Windows 2000 SP4, new logon policy forced to Roaming by default.

Not too long ago, I accepted the update from Microsoft to go to MS-Windows 2000 SP4. Neat. Except that when I rebooted (I think the 2nd time, but not totally sure, my wife used the computer in between, it seems...) it could not load my profile anymore.

MS-Access Report not printing

Reports, Print and Load() Event

I wrote many forms and in general everything works just fine.

In this case, I wanted to enter the data with a function so I could properly format several of the fields (especially the billing and shipping addresses.) That was done on the Load() event. That function working great when looking at the report from within MS-Access (on screen report). However, when directly sending the report to the printer, it was not working well at all.

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Hide sub-folders with Subversion

It is often that I want to hide a sub-folder so whenever I do an svn status I don't actually see that sub-folder in my list of files that are not available in the repository. It is otherwise quite annoying to see that folder again and again.

The command to do so uses a property on the parent folder as follow:

Inline lists

Lists are most of the time used to create menus. These menus can easily be shown vertically on one side or another of your website.

Now, most of the time, you will want to have one or two menus showing horizontally (like the top menu on this site, although that one is very specific to the Cute menu module.)

If you are reading this, you probably already know how to create such menus. The HTML code looks like this:

<ul>
  <li>Item 1</li>
  <li>Item 2</li>
  <li>Item 3</li>
</ul>

Note that sub-menu items are possible too, ...

Number of friends on Facebook is limited!

Playing around with facebook for a couple weeks now and I bumped into a new one!

Yep! There is a limit to the number of friends you can have on Facebook... It is 5,000±10.

This explains why I have found several people with multiple accounts. That's the way to circumvent the limit. With 3 accounts, you can get 15,000 people in your circle.

Twitter and emails

Today, I finally registered with Twitter. I'll be looking into a way to connect that to my blogs so each time I blog, I get a tweat eliminating the need for me to actually tweat for real.

Okay, that's fine, but guess what... they want me to verify my email address and it does not work.

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List Open Files

This is a quick note so I can find the command I need to use to list open files.

My search will work this time.

lsof stands exactly for "LiSt Open Files"

That gives you a list of all the files opened by your system, process by process. It can be useful to know if you are developing a program or if you are limited in the number of files opened at once.

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