Posts Tagged ‘python’

Baby boomers and Generation X, Y, Z – Generational Marketing and 4 Common personality stereotype traits of people born over the last 60 years

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

baby-bommers-and-x-y-z-generations

Those who are employed in the realm of Social or Internet Marketing definitely have to know the existence of at least 4 different conditional stereotypes, these are Baby Boomers and Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z (Millenials).

According to Socielogist Karl Mannheim (who is among the founding fathers of classical socielogy) – "All members of a generation share a similar collective experience" or in other words people are categorized in generations depending on when they were born.

As stereotypes they're generalization of people born in different periods of time and sharing same or similar traits.
Because of the age and the conditions they grew up and as they share those general spirit of time and age, they tend to be more or less behaving in a similar ways in how they think save / spend money or share some common approach to life choices and attitude towards life and worldview.

But before proceeding to the 4 main cohert provisional stereotypes, its worthy to mention how these four common trait generations came to existence with a little bit of pre-history.

The pre WW I and WW II world situation and the First and Second World War played a pivotal role in forming the social conditions necessery for the development of the baby boomers.

* The depression Era people

Born in period: 1912 – 1921 who came at full maturity around 1930-1939 right in the beginning of WW I (all of whom are already deceased) as of 2018 as a cause of the war uncertainty and the havoc and the war conditions were very conservative, compulsive savers, tried their best to maintain a low debt. They had the mindset (responsibility) to leave some kind of legacy to their children. They were very patriotic, oriented towards work before pleasure, had a great respect for authority and had a strong sense of moral obligation. For all this character traits of this people undoubtfully a key role played the strong belief in God mostly all people had at the time.

The next in line conditional stereotype of people that came to earth are the:

* The World War II Generation
 

Born in year period: 1922 to 1927 who came to a mature age exactly at the terrible years of Second World War.

People of that time were either fighters for or against the Axis Powers or the Central Powers with the common shared goal to fight against the enemy (of course there are multiple of people who were just trying to survive and not taking a side in this meaningless war).

The current amount of people living are estimated to few million of deathbed elders  worldwide.

As above conditional generations types mentioned are of importance for historical reasons and most of the people belonging to those depression pre WWI and WW II era are dead or just a few millions an overall in un less-consuming age (excluding the medicine consumption which is higher compared to youngsters).

I'll further proceed further with the Baby Boomers, GEN X, Y, Zs who are de-facto the still active members participating to society and economy more or less.

baby-boomers-generation-x-y-z-chart-table-by-year-of-birth

So what are these 4 Stereotypes of Generations that and why are so important for the modern marketers or business manager?

 

1. BABY BOOMERS also called for a short (Boomers)
 

we-are-who-are-baby-boomers

These are people who have been defined by a birth year range (period) from early to mid 1940s  until 1960 and 1964.

 In Europe and North America, boomers are widely identified with privilege, as many grew up in a time of widespread government subsidies in post-war housing and education, and increasing affluence.

As a group, baby boomers were considered the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. They were also the generation that received peak levels of income; they could therefore reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even "midlife crisis" products. The increased consumerism for this generation has been regularly criticized as excessive (and that's for a good reason).

One feature of the boomers was that they have tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from those that had come before or that has come afterward. In the 1960s, as the relatively large numbers of young people became teenagers and young adults, they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the changes they were bringing about. This rhetoric had an important impact in the self perceptions of the boomers, as well as their tendency to define the world in terms of generations, which was a relatively new phenomenon. The baby boom has been described variously as a "shockwave" and with a methapors such as as "the pig in the python".

 

2. Generation X / GEN X

generation-x-who-are-they-gen-x-explained-picture

Generation X is considered the people born in the following birth year period 1960 forward in time until 1980s. A specific feature in the 60s-80s period was the shifting societal values, perhaps the spring of this generation was also connected to the increasing role and spread of communism in the world.
Sometimes this generation was referred as the "latchkey generation".
The term generation X itself was popularized largely by Douglas Coupland in his novel 1991 novel Generation X Tales for an Accelerated Culture

A very common trait for Generation X was the reduced adult supervision over kids when compared to previous generations a result of increasing divorce rates and the increased role of one parent children upbringing (in most cases that was the mother) which had to be actively involved as a workforce and lacked physically the time to spend enough time with its children and the increased use of childcare options in one parent families.

They were dubbed the "MTV" (Music Television) generation – that was a hit and most popular music TV in the early 1990s.
The kids representing generation X were described as slackers, cynical and disaffected.

The cultural influences dominating the tastes and feelings of the teen masses of that generation was musical genres such as punk music, heavy metal music, grunge and hip-hop and indie films (independent films)  produced outside of the major film studio system.

According to many researches in midtime those generation are described as active, happy and achieving a work-life balance kind of lifestyle.

People belonging to Generation X are described as people with Enterpreneural tendencies.

Just to name a few of the celebrities and successful people who belong to this generation, that's Google's founder Sergey Brinn & Larry Page (born in 1973), Richard Stallman (founder of Free Software movement) as well movie and film producer celebrities such as Georgi Clooney, Lenny Kravitz, Quantin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, David Fincher etc.

According to United Kingdom survey study of 2500+ workers conducted by Workfront, GEN X are found to be among the hardest working employees in today's workforce. They are also ranked high by fellow workers for having a strong work ethics (about 59.5%), being helpful (55.4%) and very skilled (54.5%) of respondents as well marked as the best troubleshooters / problem solvers (41.6%) claimed so.
According to research conducted by Viacom, gen x they have a high desire for flexibility and fulfillment at work.

3. Generation Y (Millenials) – GEN Y
 

who-are-generation-y-millenials-explained

Following Generation X came on earth Genreation Y the birth period dated for this kids were years are stretchy year period that this generation is described are years 1980s – 1990s to yearly 2000s where birth period range of those ppl ends.
This kids are descendants of the GEN X and second wave Baby Boomers.
In the public this generation is referred as "echo boomers".

The Millenials characteristics are different based on the region of birth, they're famous for the increased familiarity with communication, media and digital technologies.

millenials-focus-on-technology-innovation-and-their-technological-preferences

There upbringing was marked by increase in liberal approach to politics.
The Great recession crisis of the 2000s played a major impact on this generation because it has caused historical high levels of un-employment among youngsters and led to a possible long term economic and social damage to this generation.

millennials-are-heavily-influenced-by-their-peers
Gen Y according are less brand loyal and the speed of the Internet has led the cohort to be similarly flexible and changing in its fashion, style consciousness and where
and how it is communicated with.

As I am born in 1983 me and my generation belongs to Generation Y and even though Bulgaria before 1991 was a Communist regime country, I should agree that I and many of my friends share a very similar behavior and way of thinking to the GEN Y stereotype described, but as I was born in a times of transition and Bulgaria as a Soviet Union Satellite at the time has been lacking behind in fashion and international culture due to the communist regime, me and my generation seem to be sharing a lot of common stereotype characteristics with Generation X such as the punk-rock, metal, hip-hop culture MTV culture and partly because of the GEN X like overall view on life.

Among most famous representative successful people of the Millenials generation are Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder), Prince William (the second in line to the British throne), Kim Jong Un (the leader dictator of North Korea) etc.
 

 

4. Generation Z ( GEN Z) / iGeneration / Generation Sensible (Post Millenials)
 

who-are-generation-y-millenials-explained

Following Millenials generation is GEN Z, demographers and researchers typically set as a starting birth date period of those generation 1990s and mid 2000s. As of time of writting there is still no clear consensus regarding ending birth years.

This is the so called Internet Generation because this generation used the internet and Smart Mobile Phone technology since a very young age, they are very confortable with technology (kinda of wired) and addicted to social media such as Facebook / Twitter / Instagram etc. Because of the level of digital communication, many people of this generation are more introvert oriented and often have problems expressing themselves freely in groups. Also they tend to lack the physical communication and more digitally community oriented, even though this depends much also on the specific personality and in some cases it is exactly the opposite.

 

 * Summary
 

As a Marketer, Human Resources hiring personal specialist, a CEO or some kind of project / business manager it is a good idea to be aware of these 4 common stereotypes. However as this are stereotypes (and a theory) as everything theoritized the data is slighly biased and untrue. The marketer practice shows that whoever conducts a marketing and bases his sales on this theoritizing should consider this to be just one aspect of the marketing campaign those who are trying to sell, stuff ideas or ideology to any of those generation should be careful not to count 100% on the common traits found among the above 4 major groups and consider the individuality of person everyone has and just experiment a little bit to see what works and what doesn't.

Also it should be mentioned these diversification of stereotypes are mostly valid for the US citizens and Westerners but doesn't fully fit to ex-communist countries or countries of the Soviet union, those countries have a slightly different personality traits of person born in any of the year periods defined, same is more or less true for the poor parts of Africa and India, Vietnam, China and mostly all of the coomunist countries ex and current. It should be said that countries who belonged to the Soviet Union many of which are current Russian Federation Republics have a personality traits that are often mixture of the 4 stereotypes and even have a lot of the traits that were typical for the WW I and WW II generations, which makes dealing with this people a very weird experience.

Nomatter the standard error that should always considered when basing a marketing research hypothesis on Generational Marketing (using generational segmentation in marketing best potential customer targets), having a general insight and taking in consideration those stereotypes could seriously help in both marketing as well as HR specific fields like Change Management.

generation-x-y-z-characteristics

If you're a marketer, I recommend you take a quick look also on following very educative article Generational Makarketing and how to target each of the GEN X, Y, Z and Baby Boomers and what works best for each of them.

Nomatter what just like all Theories, the theory of Boomers and the Generation segmantation is not completely true, but it gives a good soil for reasoning as well definitely helps for people involved in sociology and business.

Comments and feedback on the article are mostly welcome as the topic is very broad and there is much more to be said …

Hope the article was interesting to you ….

What was your Generation like?

Text Monitoring of connection server (traffic RX / TX) business in ASCII graphs with speedometer / Easy Monitor network traffic performance

Friday, May 4th, 2012

While reading some posts online related to MS-Windows TcpViewnetwork traffic analyzing tool. I've came across very nice tool for tracking connection speed for Linux (Speedometer). If I have to compare it, speedometer is somehow similar to nethogs and iftop bandwidth network measuring utilities .

What differentiates speedometer from iftop / nethogs / iptraf is it is more suitable for visualizing a network file or data transfers.
The graphs speedometer draws are way easier to understand, than iftop graphs.

Even complete newbies can understand it with no need for extraordinary knowledge in networking. This makes Speedometer, a top tool to visually see the amount of traffic flowing through server network interface (eth0) … (eth1) etc.

What speedometer shows is similar to the Midnight Commander's (mc) file transfer status bar, except the statistics are not only for a certain file transfer but can show overall statistics over server passing network traffic amount (though according to its manual it can be used to also track individual file transfers).

The simplicity for basic use makes speedometer nice tool to track for network congestion issues on Linux. Therefore it is a  must have outfit for every server admin. Below you see a screenshot of my terminal running speedometer on a remote server.

Speedometer ascii traffic track server network business screenshot in byobu screen like virtual terminal emulator

1. Installing speedometer on Debian / Ubuntu and Debian derivatives

For Debian and Ubuntu server administrators speedometer is already packaged as a deb so its installation is as simple as:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install speedometer
....

2. Installing speedometer from source for other Linux distributions CentOS, Fedora, SuSE etc.

Speedometer is written in python programming language, so in order to install and use on other OS Linux platforms, it is necessery to have installed (preferably) an up2date python programming language interpreter (python ver. 2.6 or higher)..
Besides that it is necessary to have installed the urwid -( console user interface library for Python) available for download via excess.org/urwid/

 

Hence to install speedometer on RedHat based Linux distributions one has to follow these steps:

a) Download & Install python urwid library

[root@centos ~]# cd /usr/local/src
[root@centos src]# wget -q http://excess.org/urwid/urwid-1.0.1.tar.gz
[root@centos src]# tar -zxvvf urwid-1.0.1.tar.gz
....
[root@centos src]# cd urwid-1.0.1
[root@centos urwid-1.0.1]# python setup.py install
running install
running build
running build_py
creating build
creating build/lib.linux-i686-2.4
creating build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/tests.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/command_map.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/graphics.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/vterm_test.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/curses_display.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/display_common.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
....

b) Download and install python-setuptools

python-setuptools is one other requirement of speedometer, happily on CentOS and Fedora the rpm package is already there and installable with yum:

[root@centos ~]# yum -y install python-setuptools
....

c) Download and install Speedometer

[root@centos urwid-1.0.1]# cd /usr/local/src/
[root@centos src]# wget -q http://excess.org/speedometer/speedometer-2.8.tar.gz
[root@centos src]# tar -zxvvf speedometer-2.8.tar.gz
.....
[root@centos src]# cd speedometer-2.8
[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# python setup.py install
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "setup.py", line 26, in ?
import speedometer
File "/usr/local/src/speedometer-2.8/speedometer.py", line 112
n = n * granularity + (granularity if r else 0)
^

While running the CentOS 5.6 installation of speedometer-2.8, I hit the
"n = n * granularity + (granularity if r else 0)
error.

After consultation with some people in #python (irc.freenode.net), I've figured out this error is caused due the outdated version of python interpreter installed by default on CentOS Linux 5.6. On CentOS 5.6 the python version is:

[root@centos ~]# python -V
Python 2.4.3

As I priorly said speedometer 2.8's minimum requirement for a python to be at v. 2.6. Happily there is quick way to update python 2.4 to python 2.6 on CentOS 5.6, as there is an RPM repository maintained by Chris Lea which contains RPM binary of python 2.6.

To update python 2.4 to python 2.6:

[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# rpm -Uvh http://yum.chrislea.com/centos/5/i386/chl-release-5-3.noarch.rpm[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-CHL[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# yum install python26

Now the newly installed python 2.6 is executable under the binary name python26, hence to install speedometer:

[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# python26 setup.py install
[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# chown root:root /usr/local/bin/speedometer
[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# chmod +x /usr/local/bin/speedometer

[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# python26 speedometer -i 1 -tx eth0

The -i will instruct speedometer to refresh the screen graphs once a second.

3. Using speedometer to keep an eye on send / received traffic network congestion

To observe, the amount of only sent traffic via a network interface eth0 with speedometer use:

debian:~# speedometer -tx eth0

To only keep an eye on received traffic through eth0 use:

debian:~# speedometer -rx eth0

To watch over both TX and RX (Transmitted and Received) network traffic:

debian:~# speedometer -tx eth0 -rx eth0

If you want to watch in separate windows TX and RX traffic while  running speedometer you can run in separate xterm windows speedometer -tx eth0 and speedometer -rx eth0, like in below screenshot:

Monitor Received and Transmitted server Network traffic in two separate xterm windows with speedometer ascii graphs

4. Using speedometer to test network maximum possible transfer speed between server (host A) and server (host B)

The speedometer manual suggests few examples one of which is:

How fast is this LAN?

host-a$ cat /dev/zero | nc -l -p 12345
host-b$ nc host-a 12345 > /dev/null
host-b$ speedometer -rx eth0

When I red this example in speedometer's manual, it wasn't completely clear to me what the author really meant, but a bit after when I thought over the example I got his point.

The idea behind this example is that a constant stream of zeros taken from /dev/zero will be streamed over via a pipe (|) to nc which will bind a port number 12345, anyone connecting from another host machine, lets say a server with host host-b to port 12345 on machine host-a will start receiving the /dev/zero streamed content.

Then to finally measure the streamed traffic between host-a and host-b machines a speedometer is started to visualize the received traffic on network interface eth0, thus measuring the amount of traffic flowing from host-a to host-b

I give a try to the exmpls, using for 2 test nodes my home Desktop PC, Linux running  arcane version of Ubuntu and my Debian Linux notebook.

First on the Ubuntu PC I issued
 

hipo@hip0-desktop:~$ cat /dev/zero | nc -l -p 12345
 

Note that I have previously had installed the netcat, as nc is not installed by default on Ubuntu and Debian. If you, don't have nc installed yet, install it with:

apt-get –yes install netcat

"cat /dev/zero | nc -l -p 12345" will not produce any output, but will display just a blank line.

Then on my notebook I ran the second command example, given in the speedometer manual:
 

hipo@noah:~$ nc 192.168.0.2 12345 > /dev/null

Here the 192.168.0.2 is actually the local network IP address of my Desktop PC. My Desktop PC is connected via a normal 100Mbit switch to my routing machine and receives its internet via  NAT. The second test machine (my laptop), gets its internet through a WI-FI connection received by a Wireless Router connected via a UTP cable to the same switch to which my Desktop PC is connected.

Finally to test / get my network maximum thoroughput I had to use:

hipo@noah:~$ speedometer -rx wlan0

Here, I  monitor my wlan0 interface, as this is my (laptop) wireless card interface over which I have connectivity to my local network and via which through the the WI-FI router I get connected to the internet.

Below is a snapshot captured showing approximately what is the max network thoroughput from:

Desktop PC -> to my Thinkpad R61 laptop

Using Speedometer to test network thorougput between two network server hosts screenshot Debian Squeeze Linux

As you can see in the shot approximately the maximum network thoroughput is in between:
2.55MB/s min and 2.59MB/S max, the speed is quite low for a 100 MBit local network, but this is normal as most laptop wireless adapters hardly transfer traffic in more than 10 to 20 MBits per sec.

If the same nework thoroughput test is conducted between two machines both connected to a same 100 M/bit switch, the traffic should be at least a 8 MB/sec.

There is something, else to take in consideration that probably makes the provided example network thoroughput measuring a bit inaccurate. The fact that the /dev/zero content is stremed over is slowing down the zeroes sent over network because of the  pipe ( | ) use slows down the stream.

5. Using speedometer to visualize maximum writting speed to a local hard drive on Linux

In the speedometer manual, I've noticed another interesting application of this nifty tool.

speedometer can be used to track and visualize the maximum writing speed a hard disk drive or hard drive partition can support on Linux OS:

A copy paster from the manual text is as follows:

How fast can I write data to my filesystem? (with at least 1GB free)
dd bs=1000000 count=1000 if=/dev/zero of=bigfile &
speedometer bigfile

However, when I tried copy/pasting the example in terminal, to test the maximum writing speed to an external USB hard drive, only dd command was started and speedometer failed to initialize and display graphs of the file creation speed.

I've found a little "hack" that makes the man example work by adding a 3 secs sleep like so:

debian:/media/Expansion Drive# dd bs=1000000 count=1000 if=/dev/zero of=bigfile & sleep 3; speedometer bigfile

Here is a screenshot of the bigfile created by dd and tracked "in real time" by speedometer:

How fast is writting data to local USB expandable hard disk Debian Linux speedometer screenshot

Actually the returned results from this external USB drive are, quite high, the possible reason for that is it is connected to my laptop over an USB protocol verion 3.

6. Using Speedometer to keep an eye on file download in progress

This application of speedometer is mostly useless especially on Linux where it is used as a Desktop.

However in some occasions if files are transferred over ssh or in non interactive FTP / Samba file transfers between Linux servers it can come handy.

To visualize the download and writing speed of lets say FTP transferred .AVI movie (during the actual file transfer) on the download host issue:

# speedometer Download-Folder/What-goes-around-comes-around.avi

7. Estimating approximate time for file transfer

There is another section in the speedometer manual pointing of the program use to calculate the time remaining for a file transfer.

The (man speedometer) provided example text is:

How long it will take for my 38MB transfer to finish?
speedometer favorite_episode.rm $((38*1024*1024))

At first glimpse it hard to understand (like the other manual example). A bit of reasoning and I comprehend what the man author meant by the obscure calculation:

$((38*1024*1024))

This is a formula used in which 38 has to be substituted with the exact file size amount of the transferred file. The author manual used a 38MB file so this is why he put $((38* … in the formula.

I give it a try – (just for the sake to see how it works) with a file with a size of 2500MB, in below two screenshot pictures I show my preparation to copy the file and the actual copying / "real time" transfer tracking with speedometer's status percentage completion bar.

xterm terminal copy file and estimate file copying operation speed on linux with speedometer preparation

Two xterm terminals one is copying a file the other one uses speedometer to estimate the time remaining to complete the file transfer from expansion USB hard drive to my laptop harddrive

 

How to install Samsung ML-2010 (ML-2010P) Mono Laser Printer on Xubuntu GNU/Linux

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

I had to make one old Samsung ML-2010P Laser Printer work on Xubuntu Linux . I've had some issues in installing it, I couldn't fine any step by step tutorial online, on how the printer can be made work fine on Linux. Therefore I took the time to experiment and see if I could make it work. Since the printer is old, not much people are interested any more in making the printer operational on Linux, hence I couldn't find too much relevant posts and sites on the net, anyways thanks God after a bit of pondering I finally succeeded to make the Samsung ML-2010P printer to print on Linux.This are the exact steps one has to follow to make this old bunch of hardware to play nice on Linux:

1. use lsusb to list the printer model

root@linux:~# lsusb |grep -i samsung
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 04e8:326c Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd ML-2010P Mono Laser Printer

You see the printer reports as Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd ML-2010P Mono Laser Printer

2. Install cups printing service required packages

root@linux:~# apt-get install cups cups-bsd cups-client cups-common
root@linux:~# apt-get install cups-driver-gutenprint ghostscript-cups
root@linux:~# apt-get install python-cups python-cupshelpers

3. Install foomatic packages

root@linux:~# apt-get install foomatic-db foomatic-db-engine foomatic-db-gutenprint
root@linux:~# apt-get install foomatic-filters python-foomatic

4. Install hpijs hplip printconfand other packages necesssery for proper printer operation

root@linux:~# apt-get install hpijs hplip hplip-data ijsgutenprint
root@linux:~# apt-get install min12xxw openprinting-pdds printconf foo2zjs

P.S. Some of the packages I list might already have been installed as a dependency to another package, as I'm writting this article few days after I've succeeded installing the printer, I don't remember the exact install order.

5. Install splix (SPL Driver for Unix)

Here is a quote taken from Spix's project website:

"SpliX is a set of CUPS printer drivers for SPL (Samsung Printer Language) printers.
If you have a such printer, you need to download and use SpliX. Moreover you will find documentation about this proprietary language.
"

root@linux:~# apt-get install splix

For more information on splix, check on Splix SPL driver for UNIX website http://splix.ap2c.org/

You can check on the projects website the Samsung ML 2010 Printer is marked as Working
Next step is to configure the Printer

6. Go to Cups interface on localhost in browser and Add the Samsung printer.

Use Firefox, SeaMonkey or any browser of choice to configure CUPS:

Type in the browser:

http://localhost:631

Next a password prompt will appear asking for a user/pass. The user/pass you have to use is the same as the password of the user account you're logged on with.

UNIX Linux Administration CUPS Printer adding Samsung ML 2010 ML-2010P Xubuntu

Click on the Add Printer button and choose to add the Samsung ML-2010.

Then restart the CUP Service (cupsd) to make it load the new settings:

root@linux:~# /etc/init.d/cups restart

Now give the printer a try in printing some page in SeaMonkey, Chrome or Firefox (the quickest way is through pressing CTRL + P )

Following this steps, I've managed to run the printer on Xubuntu Linux, though the same steps if followed should most probably make the Samsnung ML 2010 play nice with other Linux distributions with a little or no adjustments.
I'll be glad to hear if someone succeeded in making the printer work on other distributions, if so please drop me a comment.
That's all folks! Enjoy printing 😉

How to add repository manually from command line in Ubuntu Linux

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

I'm on a way trying to install Free Mega Games Pack and I'm facing troubles in following the instructions to add a the latest development wine version described on http://www.winehq.org/download/ubuntu
The guys from WineHQ has to update the wine install instructions, since the instructions are targetting older versions of Ubuntu which are not compatible with newer Ubuntus which comes natively with Unity
In order to complete the step in adding the WineHQ Ubuntu PPA development repository my only way was to add it using command line.
Here is how:

root@ubuntu:~# apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
You are about to add the following PPA to your system:
Latest official WineHQ releases
Welcome to the Wine Team PPA. Here you can get the latest available Wine betas for every supported version of Ubuntu. This PPA is managed by Scott Ritchie, and is a replacement for the WineHQ budgetdedicated.com repository used for Jaunty and earlier.
More info: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-wine/+archive/ppa
Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it
Executing: gpg --ignore-time-conflict --no-options --no-default-keyring --secret-keyring /tmp/tmp.bvo21sFWKG --trustdb-name /etc/apt/trustdb.gpg --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg --primary-keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80/ --recv 883E8688397576B6C509DF495A9A06AEF9CB8DB0
gpg: requesting key F9CB8DB0 from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com
gpg: key F9CB8DB0: public key "Launchpad PPA for Ubuntu Wine Team" imported
gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1)

Similarly adding a PPA repository on Debian is also possible by using a little shell script add-apt-repository.sh . add-apt-repository.sh simulates what ubuntu's apt-add-repositry python script does.

It is educative to mention PPA stands for (Personal package Archive) and the difference between normal repository and PPA is mainly in the fact that PPA repositories makes a package distributed by the repository like the native Ubuntu packages issued by Canonical.
Once for example a new version of a file is placed in PPA deb package repository, the newer package will be automatically installed to the system using it.

Graphical representation of Open Source history generated from SVN and GIT commits with Gource – Software version control visualization

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

A friend of mine has sent me a link to awesome videos produced with an open source tool called Gource

The tool is really awesome as its capable of producing amazing graphical visualizations from source tree repositories obtained from software SVN or GIT repositories

Someone used it to create a wonderful videos and relate the graphical visualization with wondeful music to show graphically the Software development for the main Free Software Projects. 😉

The points which move around in videos are graphical representation of the repository source, the nodes which buzzle around are users who commit source in the project repositories.
The whole graphical representation is being generated based on all the latest source hold inside the software repository, on top of the videos its visible the date of each of the source commits.
Below are few of the nice videos, the rest are available for checkout in Youtube, Enjoy! 😉

OpenOffice Development – Graphical representation

PHP Development – Graphical representation

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How to fix a broken QMAIL queue with queue-repair and qmhandle

Friday, May 27th, 2011

How qmail works, qmail queue picture :)

The aim of this small post is to give just a brief idea of how I fix my qmail server after breaking it or in case it is broken after mail bomb attacks, etc.

Most common cases when I break my qmail queue myself, are after I’m implementing some new patches and reinstall parts of the qmail server with a patched version of default qmail binaries.
On other occasions, I simply used the qmailctl to start or stop the server as a part of some routine tasks necessery for the administration of the qmail server.

Everybody who has already experience with qmail should have experienced, that qmail is very fragile and could break even with a simple changes, though if it works once it’s rock solid piece of mail servant.

Below I explain few ways I used through my days as a qmail sys admin to deal with broken or messed queues.

1. Fixing a broken qmail queue using automatic tools There are few handy tools which in most cases are able to solve issues with the queue, one very popular one isqueue-repair – check http://pyropus.ca/software/queue-repair/.
Installation of qmail-repair is dead easy, but it needs to be installed from source as no official debian package is available:

linux:/usr/local/src# wget http://pyropus.ca/software/queue-repair/queue-repair-0.9.0.tar.gz
linux:/usr/local/src# tar -xzvvf queue-repair-0.9.0.tar.gzdrwxr-xr-x charlesc/qcc 0 2003-10-22 16:54 queue-repair-0.9.0/
-rw-r--r-- charlesc/qcc 268 2003-10-22 16:54 queue-repair-0.9.0/TODO
-rw-r--r-- charlesc/qcc 1700 2003-10-22 16:54 queue-repair-0.9.0/CHANGELOG
-rw-r--r-- charlesc/qcc 18007 2003-10-22 16:54 queue-repair-0.9.0/COPYING
-rw-r--r-- charlesc/qcc 1098 2003-10-22 16:54 queue-repair-0.9.0/BLURB
-rwxr-xr-x charlesc/qcc 26286 2003-10-22 16:54 queue-repair-0.9.0/queue_repair.py

To check if there are issues fixable within the qmail queue it’s as easy as:

linux:/usr/local/src# cd queue-repair-0.9.0
linux:/usr/local/src/queue-repair-0.9.0# ./queue-repair -t
...
checking files...
checking queue/mess files...
checking split locations...

The tool will walk through the mail sub-directories containing mail queued files in /var/qmail/queue and will list any issues found.
It’s recommended that the qmail server is stopped before any queue modify operations are issued on the server:

linux:/usr/local/src# qmailctl stop
...

Further on in order to solve any found issues with the queue, there is the “-r”/repair option:

linux:/usr/local/src/queue-repair-0.9.0# ./queue-repair -r
...

Another tool which comes handy whether a repair of a messed qmail queue is needed is qmhandlehttp://sourceforge.net/projects/qmhandle/

The use of qmhandle is also pretty easy, all one has to do is to follow the usual classical steps of a download the source & compile:

linux:/usr/local/src# wget http://www.pc-freak.net/files/qmhandle-1.3.2.tar.gz
linux:/usr/local/src# tar -zxvvf qmhandle-1.3.2
...
linux:/usr/local/src# cd qmhandle-1.3.2

Once again it’s necessery that the qmail server is stopped via its init script before qmHandle tool is used, e.g.:

linux:~# qmailctl stop
...

There is a difference between qmail queue repair tool and qmail handle , while qmail queue-repair tool is used to fix improper permissions of queued files with the qmail queue, qmhandle ‘s application is to completely delete the stored mail contents of a broken queue.

Deleting all the qmail queue content is in some cases the only option to fix the queue.
Often such a drastic measure is required after a heavy mail server overload, let’s say a result of spammers or caused by virus infected mail users which send a massive amounts of spam mails.

Thus at many cases when queue-repair was unable to solve a queue mess, I use qmhandble and sacrifice all the queued emails by completely wiping them out like so:

linux:/usr/local/src/qmhandle-1.3.2# ./qmhandle -D
...

Above command would eradicate all queued emails. Hopefully after the qmail server gets launched again with qmailctl start all the mail server operations should be back to normal.

Note that the use of qmhandle’s queue delete capabilities is pretty dangerous, if you forgot to stop the qmail server before issuing the above command!

Note that in order to use both qmHandle and queue-repair tools you will need to install python interpreter as both of the tools are written in python.

To check what is currently in the queue in Qmail, there are also native tools available, as you should probably know if you have dealt with qmail, e.g.:

debian:~# qmail-qstat
debian:~# qmail-qstat
messages in queue: 2
messages in queue but not yet preprocessed: 0

Often when there are problems with Qmail and more specificly with qmail server queue the qmail-qstat command does show messages in queue, however when an attempt to check what kind of messages are in the queue with qmail-qread no messages are shown, for instance below you see an example of that, even though qmail-qstat claims 2 messages are in the queue, qmail-qread is unable to list the messages:

debian:~# qmail-qread
debian:~#

If all is fine with qmail queue above’s qmail-qread command should have returned something similar to:

debian:~# qmail-qread
26 May 2011 07:46:47 GMT #659982 3517 <hipo@pc-freak.net>
remote somemail@gmail.nl
26 May 2011 07:46:47 GMT #659983 3517 <hipo@pc-freak.net>

2. Fixing qmail queue manually This is very dangerous initiative, so before you try anything, make sure that you know what you’re doing, the possibility that you make the situation worst if you attempt to tamper manually the qmail queue is quite high 🙂

However if you’re still convinced to try fixing it manually, take a look at /var/qmail/queue it’s very likely that there are permission issues with some of the queued files, in order to fix the situation it’s necessery that the following directories:

/var/qmail/queue/mess/
/var/qmail/queue/remote/
/var/qmail/queue/bounce
/var/qmail/queue/info

gets explored with midnight commander / mc or some kind of convenient file explorer.

If there are queued files owned by users different from qmailq and user group qmail , for instance if owned by the root user, a simple chown qmailq:qmail to the wrong permissions file, should be able to resolve the issues.

Apart from all I explain above, there are many other ways suggested online on howto clean a qmail queue, one very popular one is using James’s qfixq shell script.

This script as of this very date is not working on Debian based systems, the script is dedicated initially to run on Fedora and Redhat based Linuces

Moreover myy experience with qfixq was never successful.

One very important note which is often a cause of many problems, is always make sure you stop and start the qmail server with an interval of at least of 10 seconds.

I’ve managed many servers which after an immediate (undelayed) qmailctl stop and qmailctl start was unable to run the whole engine of the qmail server (and either email sending or email receiving was not properly working) afterwards.

In that cases many weird behaviours are common, consider this seriously if you deal with the qmail-queue, it might happen that even if you have fixed your qmail queue, after a restart the qmail might breaks up.
I’ve experienced this kind of oddities numerous times, thus when I do changes to qmail I always make sure I restart the server a couple of times (at least 5 times 😉 ) always with a good delay between the HUPs.

And as always with qmail prayer is always needed, this server is complex, you never know what will happen next 🙂

Downloading your favourity flash video from Youtube with a simple command (youtube-dl)

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

downloading-flash-videos-from-youtube-on-linux-and-bsd-youtube-downloader-logo
Watching videos in youtube today and already for about 2 years is the de-facto hype.
There is almost none a day passed without almost each one of us has watched a dozen videos in Youtube.

Watching videos in youtube has become even more addictive for many than the early days of Internet Relay Chats (IRC)

As youtube is very accessible for people and it’s a comparativily easy way people share more and more with the day.
There is no question that the business idea of youtube is great and youtube generates millions of dollars for Google day by day, however I have a serious objection here! All is good the only pitfall is that you don’t own the youtube videos you watch!

Youtube’s story is not that different from the story of the cloud computing threat to internet users Freedom

The good thing here is that we’re not still completely dependant on youtube and there is still way to retrieve your favourite youtube video and store it for later watching or distribution.

Probably the most famous browser plugin that allows files retrieval from youtube, as most people know is DownloadHelper .

However using download helper is browser dependant, you need to use the browser to save the plugin and I don’t find it to be the best way to download a youtube video.

Since the old days I have started using Linux, I’ve been quite addicted to as many things on my linux as possible from the command line (terminal / console) (CLI) .

In that manner of thoughts it was a real delight for me to find out that a group of free software developer guys has come up with a command line tool that allows downloads of youtube videos straight from terminal, the great software is called youtube-dl and at the moment of this post writting it’s to be found on the URL address:

http://rg3.github.com/youtube-dl/

Youtube-dl is written in python so, it requires the Python interpreter, version 2.5 in order to properly run on Unix, Mac OS X or even on Windows!

The fact that it’s written in python has made the little shiny tool quite a multi-platform one.
To start using immediately the tool on a Debian or Ubuntu Linux you will have to install python (even though in most cases you must have it already installed):

1. To make sure you have python interpreter installed issue the cmd:

debian:~# apt-get install python
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
python is already the newest version.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

As you can see from above apt-get’s output I do have it installed so nothing gets installed.

2. As a next step I used links to download the youtube-dl python script, like so:

debian:~# links https://github.com/rg3/youtube-dl/raw/2011.03.29/youtube-dl >> youtube-dl
Use the links interface to save youtube-dl and use gzip to ungzip it
debian:~# gzip -d youtube-dl.gz
debian:~# chmod +x youtube-dl

Now to make it system wide accessible I have copied the youtube-dl to /usr/local/bin , whether I selected /usr/local/bin as a location as this location is predetermined to contain mostly files which does not belong to a regular deb package.

3. Move youtube-dl to /usr/local/bin

debian:~# mv youtube-dl /usr/local/bin

4. Test the newly installed youtube-dl command line youtube retrieval tool:

debian:~# ./youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7tvI6JCXD0
[youtube] Setting language
[youtube] g7tvI6JCXD0: Downloading video webpage
[youtube] g7tvI6JCXD0: Downloading video info webpage
[youtube] g7tvI6JCXD0: Extracting video information
[download] Destination: g7tvI6JCXD0.flv
[download] 53.3% of 22.62M at 33.23k/s ETA 05:25
[download] 100.0% of 22.62M at 31.91k/s ETA 00:00 [u

As you might have noticed from the above youtube-dl command output the newly retrieved youtube file will be saved under a name g7tvI6JCXD0.flv

The line I passed to youtube-dl is directly taken from my browser and pasted to console, the file downloading from youtube took me about 10 minutes but this is mostly because of some kind of youtube server speed restrictions …

In general at least I have this video for later, watching, so after a while I can watch it once again without loosing a lot of time trying to remember what was the video headline name

5. To use youtube-dl in a bit advanced way you can for instance invoke the command with options like:

debian:~# ./youtube-dl -l -w -c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7tvI6JCXD0
[youtube] Setting language
[youtube] g7tvI6JCXD0: Downloading video webpage
[youtube] g7tvI6JCXD0: Downloading video info webpage
[youtube] g7tvI6JCXD0: Extracting video information
[download] Destination: BSD is Dying, Jason Dixon, NYCBSDCon 2007-g7tvI6JCXD0.flv
[download] 4.4% of 22.62M at 1.43M/s ETA 00:15

As you can see now youtube-dl was even able to detect the downloaded video file name and store it on the computer with a correct name 😉

I would recommend you also to check out the youtube-dl help page, to do use command: youtube-dl –help
 

Configuring server running both OpenSSHD and Apache to be accessed via HTTPS

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I wanted to make this machine accessible for both me and others also with a simple browser,
I was thinking about configuring this on pc-freak since some time now.
It took me a while until I found a program that does this for me, anyhow luckily I found it.
It’s called webshell and is working pretty well. Check out the home page of WebShell for download and more info on it. I’ve succesfully installed it on FreeBSD 7.2.
All that is needed for the program to operate is python 2.3 or higher and python openssl (this is optional),
however most people would desire to have the service running over SSL thus this is mandatory.
On my FreeBSD box I had to install:
the port/package py26-openssl and subversion (this is a prerequirement in order to download the source via svn)
It also necessery to modify the webshell.py and change the shebang's location pointing to python
in freebsd that is:

#!/usr/local/bin/python and not #!/usr/bin/python

as in linux.
Then I copied the downloaded source to /usr/local/web-shell/webshell as well as add recordto rc.local

# echo "/usr/local/web-shell/webshell.py -d" >> /etc/rc.localThe last thing I did was manually start the daemon with:
# /usr/local/web-shell/webshell.py -d

Tadam, it's up and running accessing it is as simple as pointing the browser
to a domain name or ip on which the python service is running
Currently the running webshell for pc-freak can be accessed via

God’s Grace

Monday, March 5th, 2007

God was graceful to Habib and it looks like he hear our prayers. UK Visa was granted to Habib for the maximum period of 6 months. Praise be to God for this! Also ORDER’s tuition fee seems to stay the same as in the news in the universite website is said “By The Grace of God .. etc.” :]Also great thing it is there is peace in my home. Today I was on church and on the way for the church I met Bonchev, he was drunk and carrying accordion. He wanted to go to the Church in that state.But in the end I was able to convince him not to come to the Liturgy (It would be fun if he entered the church drunk hardly staying on his feets. I had some spiritual problems during the day mainly the Python Spirit is trying to attack me, that’s awful spirit in the name of Jesus Christ I command you to go in hell where your place is! Amen. I played today some MAME games, watched Cartoon Network,I was out on a coffee with Lily. Mitko and Habib come in the end from Sofia.