Archive | Computers

Troubles doing factory reset on a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter

If you’re having problems doing a factory reset on a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter, and can’t ping the router on 192.168.1.1 or connect to the admin web interface, you may want to check that you are connecting your computer to the eth0 port on the router. It’s not immediately obvious that this is where the admin interface is residing at https://192.168.1.1. Oh, and don’t forget to hardwire your own computer to the 192.168.1.0-network. This is really a no-brainer, but still not entirely obvious.

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The Sigma USB Dock, a good idea for self-service firmware upgrades

In my opinion, Sigma has made somewhat of a comeback in the past few years when it comes to camera lenses, in particular when it comes to image quality. I can only speak from a Canon perspective, but from friends and associates, I hear this holds true for other camera brands as well.

Something that can be rather annoying with lenses is focus micro adjustment or AF focus micro adjustment, as well as firmware updates. Manufacturers of lenses (and cameras) all seem to have different solutions, of varying degree.

Sigma has an accessory called the Sigma USB Dock, which is a rather simple device that connects to your computer via an USB cable. After installing the software, you simply connect your Sigma lens to the USB Dock and the software will query the Sigma database for firmware upgrades. It will also allow you to perform micro adjustments.

The firmware upgrade process is simple enough, but be careful when doing AF micro adjustments, it may affect your photographic results 🙂 The Sigma USB Dock does not support all Sigma lenses. You can find out more information about the Sigma USB Dock here: www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/cas/product/accessories/usb-dock/

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FastStone Image Viewer is awesome

I’ve been doing digital photography for many years and have come across a number of applications that claim to be “photo managers” with functions for fast viewing, basic tasks like cropping and re-sizing, etc. I realize it quite often comes down to personal taste, so you are welcome to completely ignore this post 🙂

I mainly work with adjustments, cropping, and re-sizing when I work with photos. For most post-shoot processing, I use Lightroom. I was once a fond user of the ACDSee products, used as my “Swiss Army knife”. But ever since I ran into the FastStone Image Viewer, I have uninstalled most other similar utilities. Being a fan of Shareware, and similar, I have registered the product for commercial use, and it’s well worth the money!

If you’re looking for a very fast viewer, manager, and “Swiss Army knife” for your photo management, give FastStone Image Viewer a go. It’ll handle all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TGA, and camera raw files. Oh, and it’s not bloatware 🙂

Now, if I could only have the FastStone Image Viewer for Linux too ….

You’ll find FastStone Image Viewer here: faststone.org

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Slow SMTP sessions and SSH logins on your Zimbra server?

When upgrading a Zimbra server to a somewhat recent version (8.7.3 for example), it may attempt to install its own DNS Cache (zimbra-dnscache). It’s obvious that this may cause issues if you are running some other DNS caching service, or your own BIND, on the server. But these are rather obvious issues and not unique to Zimbra.

What is not, however, equally obvious is that you may think that zimbra-dnscache is actually running, and that it is actually doing what it is supposed to be doing.

My first hint that things weren’t as they appeared to be was extremely slow external SMTP sessions when clients like Thunderbird and other “client mailers”, as well as some web based Helpdesk applications were attempting to send e-mail via Zimbra.

The upgrade to Zimbra 8.7.3 had gone quite well, so it wasn’t an obvious place to start looking.

Until I noticed that SSH logins were also quite slow to this server. They had never been slow before. Checking the SSH configuration on the server did not reveal much other than the fact that it was indeed using reverse DNS lookups.

Checking /etc/resolv.conf made everything clear. Zimbra had, in attempt to use its own zimbra-dnscache, added “nameserver 127.0.0.1” to /etc/resolv.conf. In a perfect world, that may have been what I wanted …

After removing 127.0.0.1 from /etc/resolv.conf, inbound SMTP sessions from “client mailers” and web applications went from 7-10 seconds down to 0.5-0.1 seconds. Case closed.

I’m thinking Zimbra should add a post-installation sanity check. When all services are up and running, a DNS lookup to a known host (www.zimbra.com for example) should return within less than a second or two, anything else is an indication that the system may not function as intended.

#zimbra-dnscache

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PHP is_numeric () fails WordPress version string check

This is, perhaps, obvious to most PHP developers. But it came somewhat as a surprise to me.

Using is_numeric () for validating a WordPress version string, such as ‘4.7’, does not seem to work very well when WordPress introduces minor releases such as ‘4.7.1’.

Since I cannot be bothered to figure out why it behaves in this (erratic, IMHO) way, I have since replaced the call to is_numeric () with a small function using a simple regular expression (regexp):

    function wpVersionStringCheck ($vs)                                                                                                 
    {                                                                                                                                   
        return (preg_match ('/^(\d+\.)+\d+$/', $vs));                                                                                   
    }

I’m sure there is a hole in there somewhere, but on the following strings at least, it gives me the desired result:

1.0 is valid
1.0. is invalid
1.0.1 is valid
1.banana.0 is invalid

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ttf-mscorefonts-installer and Ubuntu 16

As has been confirmed in a number of posts on the Internet, there’s a problem with the ttf-mscorefonts-installer package on Ubuntu 16.

There are a number of solutions, and as odd as it might sound, solutions that work for some will fail for others.

I had to mix a number of suggested solutions to get it working on Ubuntu 16.04.LTS. This is what worked for me, your mileage may vary:

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/update-notifier/package-data-downloads/partial/*
sudo dpkg -P ttf-mscorefonts-installer

After which I went to this page to get an updated version of the ttf-mscorefonts-installer:

https://packages.debian.org/en/sid/all/ttf-mscorefonts-installer/download

And from the directory to where you downloaded the .deb file to:

sudo dpkg --install ttf-mscorefonts-installer_3.6_all.deb

Good luck!

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Bredband2 och avgifter (för att skicka faktura med e-post)

Det hÀr Àr helt underbart. Bredband2 har lyckats med konststycket att ta 19kr betalt för att skicka ut en faktura, som ett PDF-dokument via e-post. UrsÀkta sprÄket, men vad i helvete Àr det för fel pÄ er, Bredband2? Har ni sÄ dÄlig infrastruktur och administrativa system sÄ att ni mÄste ta betalt för att skicka ut e-post?

Är det sĂ„ hĂ€r man gör som operatör, nĂ€r man först tvingar över kunder till e-postfaktura genom att ta betalt för pappersfakturor och dĂ€refter börjar ta betalt för e-postfakturor nĂ€r man inser att ingen lĂ€ngre vill ha pappersfakturor?

Hur dÄliga rutiner har ni pÄ företaget Bredband2?

Bredband2 tar betalt för att skicka e-post

Bredband2 tar betalt för att skicka e-post

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Life free of digital footprints should be a human right

The feeling that somehow, somewhere, someone connected the dots between your recent live chat session with your online florist and your Facebook account, or Google, or some other service or site that makes billions of dollars on selling your personal Internet usage data. That feeling.

Using a browser plug-in that detects known so-called trackers makes for some rather disturbing revelations. It’s not just about “ad blockers”, or “pop-up blockers”, or disabling support for “third-party cookies”. Many sites stop working cold when you block stuff that has no business being there in the first place.

When your online florist decides to add live chat support to their website they are putting their own business and your integrity at risk. And in many cases they are not even aware of it, nor should they have to be.

So the supplier of the live chat support drops in 10-12 known trackers, including Google, Facebook, Now Interact, and many many more. The live chat function doesn’t work if you have third-party cookies disabled in your browser. In other words, they require you to enable the possibility for sites to indirectly add tracking data to your browser, and you don’t even have to visit those sites.

Your online florist is paying the live chat supplier. The live chat supplier gets money from your florist, from advertisers, and from “web analytics” companies for including a number of trackers in their services. The advertisers and “web analytics” companies then sell advertising slots, perhaps to your online florist (can you say catch-22 ..)

What your online florist may fail to understand is that you as their customer cannot use their live chat support if you block things. So for you, the customer, and your online florist, it’s a lose-lose situation. For the live chat supplier and the advertising and tracking companies, it’s win-win. And a few months down the road, your friends on Facebook will receive suggestions about buying flowers online because you happened to use a live. And the suggested place of purchase will not be your online florist.

The point here is not that it’s impossible to prevent tracking. The point is that many things on the Internet stop working for “common people” if you do attempt to prevent tracking.

(And why would you want to use a live chat function in the first place? Because many companies are so bad at responding to customer support e-mails that you will grow old and senile waiting for a response. By the time it arrives, you won’t remember why you asked the questions in the first place.)

And the biggest problem of all? Nobody seems to care until it’s way too late. And by that time, you will realize that you have been tracked for the past 15-20 years, your children have been tracked since they were born and given their first Gmail account, and so on … maybe your biggest fear should not be giving out your credit card details online or what the NSA knows about your sexual preferences 😉

You may now resume power saving mode … Zzz zzzZzzz 

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The DrayTek Vigor 3900 isn’t bad, just very confusing

3900-other-01The DrayTek Vigor 3900 has been around for some time now. Sadly, this isn’t exactly mirrored on the world wide web. The amount of documentation, samples, and FAQs is sparse; guides, and discussions are few. For a product in this class. And that’s not very good at all.

DrayTek has always gone their own way, and it’s usually a good way. The biggest problem, IMHO, is that you need to wrap your head around how the DrayTek engineers think. To add insult to injury, several of the “DrayTek websites” require you to have an account on their sites to download technical guides. I have no idea how this came to be, but it’s not good. And, it’s not like the good people at Clavister or ZyXEL is going to steal “ideas” from a DrayTek guide. #lol

I’ve toyed with quite a few firewalls. They all have their pros and cons. Well, almost all of them. Some only have cons, really. But I cannot for the life of me understand why DrayTek has such crap documentation, crap support information archives, and have to go their own way on every single administration user interface design. Because they really do make great products. Maybe they are a little bit too aware of that fact.

#draytek #network #security #firewall #vigor

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