Optimizing the Firefox (SQLite databases)

Most people that want to speed up Firefox know about the various settings in about:config but many forget that Firefox uses SQLite databases that can become cluttered.

In your home directory ($HOME on *nix/Mac and %APPDIR% on Windows), run sqlite3 with vacuum, reindex and analyze on eche of the *.sqlite databases. Don’t have sqlite3? No problem, get it from the SQLite Download page or your distribution’s package manager (e.g. apt-get install sqlite3)

#!/bin/bash

cd ${HOME}/.mozilla/firefox/

for profile in *.default; do
cd ${profile}

for db in *.sqlite; do 
echo Processing $db
sqlite3 "${db}" < 

That wasn’t hard was it? 🙂

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Proxmox VE 1.8 and KVM: Adding sound to your virtual machines!

This assumes that your host machine has a sound card! 🙂

Add the args line in your /etc/qemu-server/<vm id>.conf file should give you sound:

args: -soundhw

On my Proxmox VE 1.8, I have several virtual audio devices available.   I’ve had the best luck with ac97 with Windows XP/Vista and Win7.

red:/etc/qemu-server# kvm -soundhw ‘?’
Valid sound card names (comma separated):
pcspk       PC speaker
sb16        Creative Sound Blaster 16
ac97        Intel 82801AA AC97 Audio
es1370      ENSONIQ AudioPCI ES1370
hda         Intel HD Audio

-soundhw all will enable all of the above

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How to disable the “uninstall password” to uninstall Symantec Antivirus

I was trying to install Oracle 11g client on to a WinXP box but Symantec Antivirus wouldn’t let me because it thought it was infected with over 800 viruses.  Same file was marked clean on another box.  So, I picked several of the viruses it said was infected with and looked for any evidence of them on the WinXP box.  No dice.  This led me to believe that Symantec Antivirus itself was somehow mucked up.

When I tried to uninstall Symantec Antivirus, it asked for a password.  When I put in the correct password, it refused it.  So how to uninstall it with a messed up password?  Easy..

Open up regedit (as an administrator) and change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\INTEL\LANDesk\VirusProtect6\CurrentVersion\AdministratorOnly\Security\UseVPUninstallPassword to “0” (zero).

I was able to uninstall and reinstall Symantec Antivirus.

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Get it here! Perl DBD::Sybase 1.09.01 for Active State Perl 5.10 and 5.8 on Windows XP/Vista/7 32bit

Assuming that you installed Sybase OpenClient 15.5 from the 15.5 PC Client:

Install ActiveState Perl from http://www.activestate.com (free) and install DBI if it isn’t already installed.  It should be but you never know…

  1. Start -> ActiveState Perl -> Perl Package Manager
  2. install DBI
  3. exit

Now, the easy part.  Install the DBD::Sybase 1.09.01 PPM:

  1. download DBD::Sybase 1.09.01 PPM
  2. extract zip file to temporary directory (e.g. c:\test)
  3. Start -> Run -> cmd.exe (as Administrator if Vista or Windows 7)
  4. cd \test
  5. ppm install DBD-Sybase.ppd
  6. exit

That’s it 🙂

It should automatically install the DBD::Sybase for Perl 5.8 or 5.10 depending on which version of Active State Perl you have installed.

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Get it here! Perl DBD::Sybase 1.09 for Active State Perl 5.10 on Windows XP/Vista/7 32bit

Assuming that you installed Sybase OpenClient 15.5 from the 15.5 PC Client:

Install ActiveState Perl from http://www.activestate.com (free) and install DBI if it isn’t already installed.  It should be but you never know…

  1. Start -> ActiveState Perl -> Perl Package Manager
  2. install DBI
  3. exit

Now, the easy part.  Install the DBD::Sybase 1.09 PPM:

  1. download DBD::Sybase 1.09 PPM
  2. extract zip file to temporary directory (e.g. c:\test)
  3. Start -> Run -> cmd.exe (as Administrator if Vista or Windows 7)
  4. cd \test
  5. ppm install DBD-Sybase.ppd
  6. exit

That’s it :)

Sybase
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Started reading “Foundations of Qt Development”

When I purchased Foundations of Qt Development (Expert’s Voice in Open Source) by Johan Thelin a few months back, I hoped to get to it right away but work and life diverted my attention. Today at lunch I dived into it. Even though I’m still going through chapter 1, I think I can give a hint of it:

Foundations of Qt® Development (Expert’s Voice in Open Source) is well written. He assumes that you have a little bit of C++ knowledge, avoiding into the trap that so many other authors do. You wouldn’t believe how many technical books I have where the first half or more of the book is simply a rehash of the basics. Forget that!

What I really like is that when he shows you an example of code, he explains why you would want to write it this way and how it differs from the Standard Template Language (STL – see C++ Programming Language, The (3rd Edition)). Where there are performance gains or penalties of using Qt instead of STL, he demonstrates it.

I never realized just how easy it is to write C++ using the Qt framework! Just the Signals and Slots alone make it very very powerful and that’s just the beginning. I’m completely blown away 🙂

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Sybase Workspace 2.1: Do NOT update Data Tools Platform (DTP) from Eclipse’s website!

Sybase Workspace

Sybase
Sybase

is an Eclipse distribution that uses highly customized Data Tools Platform (DTP) plugins.  Updating the Sybase version of DTP with the standard DTP release from Eclipse will break Sybase’s Workspace.

Last night I updated Workspace’s DTP with the standard DTP release from Eclipse’s website.  Several oddities started showing up when accessing the DTP releases:

Configuring the db connection
Configuring the db connection

Testing the connection worked fine but when you open the database connection to a Sybase ASE database errors are reported:

Multiple errors have occurred
Multiple errors have occurred

and

Connection errors
Connection errors

If you run into this issue, you will need to uninstall Sybase’s Workspace (delete the %SYBASE%/Workspace directory after the uninstall is complete) to resolve it.

I’ve created feature request CR 565285 with Sybase:

Workspace’s DTP (data tools platform) should be updated with the DTP current release from Eclipse. This will allow developers that work in a mixed environment to use Workspace with non-Sybase DBMS’s (view stored procedures, triggers, etc).

If you believe that this feature request is desired, please let Sybase know.

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Adding a Virtual Disk Device to a VMware virtual machine (Windows 2003 Server host)

I thought it would be possible to add a virtual device file to a running virtual machine and have it show up in the virtual machine without restarting the virtual machine.  I was wrong.  The current VMware Server 1.0.6 is incapable of doing this.  What you can do is to set up the device file so all you have to do is to restart the virtual machine, minimizing downtime to a couple of minutes:

  • Create a new 20GB preallocated disk in the D:\Virtual Devices\DBA Dev 1\Disk4 directory:

D:\Virtual Machines\DBA Dev 1\Disk 4>vmware-vdiskmanager -c -a buslogic -s 20Gb -t 3 Disk4.vmdk
Using log file C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\vmware-DBH1admin\vdiskmanager.log
Creating a split preallocated disk ‘Disk4.vmdk’
Create: 100% done.
Virtual disk creation successful.

  • We need to determine which device slots are available.  Go to VM->Settings and look at the next free scsi device #
  • Associate the new virtual device file using the free scsi4 slot

D:\Virtual Machines\DBA Dev 1>vmware-cmd “D:\Virtual Machines\DBA Dev 1\Ubuntu.vmx” setconfig scsi4:1.fileName “Disk 4\Disk4.vmdk”
setconfig(scsi4:1.fileName Disk 4\Disk4.vmdk) = 1
D:\Virtual Machines\DBA Dev 1>vmware-cmd -v “D:\Virtual Machines\DBA Dev 1\Ubuntu.vmx” setconfig scsi4:1.present true
API Version: 1.01
setconfig(scsi4:1.present true) = 1

After you restart the virtual machine, the device will now show up when you run fdisk -l.

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Flourish 2008 Conference Roundup

This year’s Flourish Conference was held at the University of Illinois in downtown Chicago (UIC). The Flourish web site describes Flourish as: Flourish 2008 Conference

The goal of the Flourish Conference is to promote the use and adoption of Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) by demonstrating the practical applications of FLOSS in the business and academic world. While everyone is familiar with businesses that focus on creating non-free proprietary software, the same cannot be said for those who specialize in developing and supporting FLOSS software, and an Open Culture.

I missed a part of Bruce Perens’ Innovation Goes Public presentation due toBruce Perens Chicago’s closing several sidewalks that go over or under the tristate. I’m not quite sure I agree with him that the road a head for open source is all rosey. Perhaps I misunderstood him but it seemed to me that the idea of simply giving the source of an application to the public would allow the programmers to still be paid via the support/service agreements.  This may work for some applications, but for others there wouldn’t be a sufficient number of support contracts to financially support the programmers Personally, I prefer open source but I will also pay for commercial proprietary software. I use what works.

The company I work for, Sungard Investment Systems, uses open source for many internal projects. One such product uses VMware and Linux for a rPathportable monitoring system so I was highly interested in rBuilder Online from rPath. I attended the Appliance Development and Conary session presented by Stephanie Watson from rPath. I’m currently investigating on how well and easy it is to make a VMware appliance that would house a Sybase ASE server (DBMS) with no unnecessary os files. If the testing turns out well, I will ask my fellow Sybase ASE DBAs whether Sybase need certify it or whether we are ‘on our own’. The monitoring machine itself really doesn’t need Sybase ASE on it but since we have the license….

Dr. John Waclawsky, from Motorolla, gave a feel good presentation about the state of communication between wireless gadgets. The Revolution at the Edge of the Network Abstract. Short version: things are going to get very interesting in the next year 🙂

James Gray, from IBM, presented IBM’s Open Source Strategy – Turning Threat into Opportunity. WhileJames Gray, IBM essentially a case study of how IBM has interacted as a semi-liason between the business executives and the open source community. IBM, to me, has seemed to be stuck in a love/hate relationship with open source and a dislike/hate relationship with the Free Software Foundation. That being said, it is necessary to give IBM credit giving credence to the open source community with the business executives. The IT folks no longer had to quietly use open source in the business but were free to use it extensively in many places. Linux, in particular, is no longer the wild west in many CTOs’ eyes but a integral part of their business. Tony Wong of Chicago Perl Mongers

I met Tony Wong in the Chicago Perl Mongers ‘booth’. We discussed the upcoming Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC::NA 2008) that is being held in Chicago and the horrible documentation of the Catalyst MVC web framework. I informed him that the only way to learn Catalyst was the new book Catalyst by Jonathan Rockway (ISBN: 978-1-847190-95-6). I also warned him that the book should have gone through another round of proofreading prior to being published due to excessive example code errors, etc. I playfully suggested that Joshua McAdams be tormented because he wasn’t able to make it Friday morning.

The panel discussion on Friday afternoon was highly entertaining and a bit of a kangaroo court for Bobby Bobby Moore of MicrosoftMoore of Microsoft. I do not believe Mr. Moore was expecting Bruce Perens to repeatedly ask very pointed and informed questions. Moore did an excellent job of remaining cool and listening with an open mind to the criticism of Microsoft as a company. He explained that, yes, Microsoft did some not so nice things in the past but they are attempting to work with the open source community. Bruce Perens, Jon “Maddog” Hall, and James Bottomley brought up the pending MS Office OpenXML standard format issue where much of the format is proprietary and the published format won’t actually be used by Microsoft. Moore conceded that it was unlikely that Microsoft would use the published format as-is but the Office developers would likely base the actually used format off of the published format. Perens, Hall, Bottomley and James Gray all expressed their opinions that this was very typical of Microsoft. (side note: Microsoft has been accused of having the attitude of Embrace, Extend, Eliminate when it comes to industry standards.)

Perens, Hall and James Bottomley, as well as members of the audience, pummeled both James Gray of IBM and Bobby Moore of Microsoft for their companies’ approach and support of software patents.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the first day as my mother was in town from North Dakota to visit my three month old daughter (and the rest of us). If only I could have cloned myself… Don’t forget to check out the Flickr photo group for the Flourish 2008 Conference in Chicago!

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Receiving a ‘runtime error’ with the drivers for Dell’s All In One 962 Photo Printer? (AIO 962)

My mom’s new Dell Vostro 1500 laptop worked quite well until we hooked it up to her Dell All In One 962 Photo printer. When we installed the printer driver software, we received a MFC C++ 6.0 “runtime error” on the dlbxmon.exe program. Reinstalling the software made no difference. What did was a full uninstall of the software and a reinstall of the software.

How to:

  1. download and run the Vista 32 bit (yes, you need the Vista software) PC Upgrade software from Dell’s web page which will completely uninstall the XP driver
  2. download and run the Windows XP driver from Dell’s web page.

You may need to reboot the machine between steps 1 & 2.

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