Twitter RSS url feed can’t be read… >>  FIX

Quick Note: This was working in early October 2012, but due to twitter stopping support for RSS feed, can’t guarantee it will work forever.Our twitter RSS feed was that it suddenly stopped working. So after searching around on the web… here is the solution we found.

If you have used:


You now need to use:


Ever wanted to know what is on your network graphically? There is a program that works on most platforms that support the java gui. Your best chance to document your home network. The program is jNetMap. The java version seems a lot more stable now. You can find it on  You can start up the the program very easily from the command line with (your system must have java installed):

$ java -jar jNetMap.jar


C:\> java -jar jNetMap.jar

The instructable:

has more information also.

Once you run the software on your network and scan for devices, you can get a roadmap of what is there. What is really neat about it is, you can see what devices are up or down on the network and it makes trouble shooting easier. You can also see rogue devices on the network also that need to be investigated.

You can use the mouse to move all the icons around to make the map more readable. You can even add notes to define where equipment is.  Green lines suggest a good connection. Red and yellow lines indicate problems. In the case of Test_server, it is not even connected to the network, but we include it the map so that we know we have the hardware.

Here is another snapshot after I shut down a few systems.  You almost look like you have a live picture of the network. You can impress your friends of how you do systems administration. Run the program (with permission) over at someone else’s place and see what you get.


Years ago before the internet, all communication was done over phone lines. You had to have a device that would allow your computing equipment to talk to each other. Say a finance company employee would dial up the credit bureau computer, wait for a modem tone and then place the headset into what was known as an acoustic coupler (early version of a dumb modem aka modulator/demodulator unit).  Once connected the employee could type characters on a teletype device that was connected to the phone line for a name and password. Then to eventually get information about potential customers (i.e pull a credit bureau).

The teletype machine had many fancy looking character keys on the keyboard. So that typing in the user name and password would seem very complicated. Computers only deal with ones and zeros. So the teletype machine had to translate when a key was pressed into a number that could be sent over the modem. At the time there was sort of a standard known as ASCII (American standard code for information interchange).  See: That means if you typed and upper case “A”,  the number 65 would be sent to the credit bureau.  Actually the number 01000001 or sixty-five in binary would be sent and then translated at the other end as an “A”.  The same sort of sequence would happen even when the funny characters were sent from the keyboard.

Sales of the special teletype and it’s keyboard were regulated. One would think that unless you had that keyboard with those funny characters  that no one could log into the credit bureau and pull information with or without permission. There seemed to be a false sense of security with that particular system. Normally, the teletype machines came with a manual that explained what numbers were being sent when a key was pressed. You could get the manuals through other means, Sometimes this was known as a ascii code table or list. The technology was so new it was thought that no one could repeat the process. The credit bureau computers did not care what characters (aka ones and zeroes) they received as long as they were the right ones for the logon to their system.

About the same time, home computers came along. They had keyboards too, but without the fancy keys. One would think that connecting to the credit bureau via modem from a home computer would not allow the credit bureau to be accessed. Actually you could program the computer to send the right ones and zeroes if you knew the ascii codes from the teletype manual and the actual login and passwords.  If your teletype machine went down you had a way for access without the need for the teletype machine. Back then, no one ever really changed passwords even if an employee left a business such as the finance company.  So an unscrupulous former employee could also access the credit bureau on their own with a home computer properly set up. Not good.

With today’s internet the same kind of situation can arise with change of employee leaving a company for whatever reason or even  someone monitoring a company’s communications for logins and passwords can get the information they need to do illegal acts.  Just because the technology is new does not mean it can not be duplicated in some way. You can do what is known as encryption to help keep logins and passwords secure. Also some companies use what is known as multiple authentication to aid communication security. The most important way is to change logins and passwords regularly to keep systems secure. Some companies require change of passwords on a regular basis.

Having done tech support for many years, I know that many employees do not want to bother with passwords much less logins at all. So having to change passwords at a regular interval is like a blasphemy to them. You have to instill the need for security with articles like this to raise their awareness of the issues to prevent problems. Cyberwars ( on both business and personal computer systems is a reality we can not ignore. Change the passwords……..


Learning how to de-solder and solder can be helpful. Why throw away a good motherboard if you can fix it without too much trouble.Hopefully that is what I can do with this motherboard.

A while back lots of brand name computers had bad capacitors.  People were getting the monitors and computers for scrap. Once the caps were replaced, the equipment was sold for full resale price.


Just wanted to show what some people do with their computers at home.


Home automation:



One of the most important terms in computing is redundancy, that is if something fails it is already covered by other equipment and or software so that we have fault tolerance. A good example is of a server connected to a network and only has one connection. If that connection becomes disrupted, then they server is not available or commonly known as “down”. Adding a second network connection so that it takes over the work of its connection and the one that was lost is a smart idea. This is known as bonding or teaming. You have two connections that work in concert and can be a fail over if one connection goes down. .

Between the server and the network, the network must also support this type of bonding. If you connecting servers, they should support bonding already. Some managed or intelligent switches  also support this feature. Something to consider when purchasing switches and routers. If you do use bonding, you may want each connection to take a different physical route so that if an accident  or other issue happens at one location, the other connection should not be affected.

In Ubuntu 10.04, bonding can actually be done very easily.with a few commands.. For hardware, you will need to have two extra network interface cards not in use or add the extra cards if need be.  For software, you will need to install ifenslave.

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install ifenslave

Now you just need to modify two files. Do suggest that you see what ethernet cards are installed on the system. You can do that by using:

$ dmesg | grep eth

Lets say we are going to use eth2 and eth3 as our bonded nics. First edit the bond file.

To set up the artificial nic, you would edit via nano or vim and then enter the following information.

$ sudo pico /etc/modprobe.d/bonding

alias bond0 bonding
options bonding mode=0 miimon=100

There are several bonding modes of which here are a few:

mode=0    (balance-rr)
Round-robin policy: Stripes traffic across multiple interfaces. This mode provides load balancing and fault tolerance. the striping generally results in peer systems receiving packets out of order, causing TCP/IP’s congestion control system to kick in, often by retransmitting segments.

mode=1 (active-backup)
Active-backup policy: Only one slave in the bond is active. A different slave becomes active if, and only if, the active slave fails. The bond’s MAC address is externally visible on only one port (network adapter) to avoid confusing the switch. This mode provides fault tolerance. The primary option affects the behavior of this mode.

mode=2    (balance-xor)
XOR policy: Transmit based on [(source MAC address XOR’d with destination MAC address) modulo slave count]. This selects the same slave for each destination MAC address. This mode provides load balancing and fault tolerance.

mode=3 (broadcast)
Broadcast policy: transmits everything on all slave interfaces. This mode provides fault tolerance.

The you will want to add the information about the interfaces to the interfaces file

$ sudo pico /etc/network/interfaces

auto bond0
iface bond0 inet static
bond-slaves none
bond-mode 1
bond-miimon 100

auto eth2
iface eth2 inet manual
bond-master bond0
bond-primary eth2 eth3

auto eth3
iface eth3 inet manual
bond-master bond0
bond-primary eth2 eth3

To get it all to work, you just need to restart the networking.

$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

It is just that easy to give your systems a little insurance. If you wanted to disable the bond, just comment
out the entries you added and restart networking. Some people suggest:

$ sudo ifenslave -d bond0 eth0

You can actually have multiple bonds such as bond0, bond1, and etc.

Last time I talked about using batch commands to emulate chords. So I put together a crude batch file to emulate an autoharp. You will want to modify the settings.

# Script to emulate an autoharp.
while :
echo "************************"
echo "* My autoharp          "*
echo "***********************"*
echo "* [1] C major          *"
echo "* [2] A minor          *"
echo "* [3] G major 7th      *"
echo "* [4] F major          *"
echo "* [5] D minor          *"
echo "* [6] E minor          *"
echo "*                      *"
echo "* [0] Exit/Stop        *"
echo "************************"
echo -n "Enter your menu choice [1-6, or 0]: "
read yourch
echo "\n"
case $yourch in
1) play -n synth pl C2 pl E2 pl G2 pl C3 pl E3 pl G3 delay 0 .05 .1 .15 .2 .25 remix - fade 0 1.5 .1 norm -1  ;;
2) play -n synth pl A2 pl C2 pl E2 pl A3 pl C3 pl E3 delay 0 .05 .1 .15 .2 .25 remix - fade 0 1.5 .1 norm -1  ;;
3) play -n synth pl G2 pl B2 pl D3 pl G3 pl D4 pl G4 delay 0 .05 .1 .15 .2 .25 remix - fade 0 1.5 .1 norm -1  ;;
4) play -n synth pl F2 pl A2 pl C2 pl F3 pl A3 pl C3 delay 0 .05 .1 .15 .2 .25 remix - fade 0 1.5 .1 norm -1  ;;
5) play -n synth pl D2 pl F2 pl A2 pl D3 pl A3 pl F4 delay 0 .05 .1 .15 .2 .25 remix - fade 0 1.5 .1 norm -1  ;;
6) play -n synth pl E2 pl G2 pl B2 pl E3 pl B3 pl G4 delay 0 .05 .1 .15 .2 .25 remix - fade 0 1.5 .1 norm -1  ;;
0) exit 0;;
*) echo "Oopps!!! Please select choice 1,2,3,4,5, or 6"
echo "Press Enter to continue. . ." ; read ;;

Got a drink?

Fun with baking soda:

Make a little wine:

Or maybe even some beer:

Good day.