Archive for the ‘Howto’ Category

Cisco PacketTracer install Linux

January 22nd, 2015 3 comments

Installing 32bit Cisco Packet Tracer 6 on 64bit ubuntu 14 causes headaches.
Here’s how to get it running -read more for the steps I went through to work this out and don’t just run commands blindly without understanding them.

# possibly magic quickfix

dpkg --add-architecture i386

apt-get update
apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libssl1.0.0:i386 libssl-dev:i386 libssl1.0.0 libssl-dev libx11-dev:i386 libxrender-dev:i386 libfreetype6-dev:i386 libfontconfig1-dev:i386 libglib2.0-dev:i386 libqtwebkit4:i386

At this point, if you try and launch /opt/pt/bin/PacketTracer6 directly you end up with missing ‘’ errors. Launch `/usr/local/bin/packettracer` and it works (as the script sources the libraries it ships with).

On the flipside, linux mint (matte) runs it first time with no faffing about :)

Continue reading for why and how we got to this point.

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Regex golf with calibre

December 20th, 2014 No comments

I noticed one of my ebooks is a bit odd. It’s potentially a DRM issue as I’m converting it through formats to read on an old (and so far moderately indestructible) nook. Seems that speech marks and apostrophes have been converted to question marks, so you end up with:

?Have you seen the screwdriver?? ?Didn?t I already give you it? Sure it?s not with you?? ?It?s all right, I?m an idiot, it?s right here!?

Gets annoying pretty quickly, even with better dialogue, so regex to the rescue.

First the apostrophes. Now we need to just match question marks in the _middle_ of words, not at the end, so that’s nice and easy;

# Search:
# Replace:

So, \w we find a letter (or number, or hyphen, but not a space) followed by a question mark (escaped with the backslash because it has special meaning in regex world), followed by another letter (number…. not a space). We remember the letters in two separate match groups by sticking them in brackets.
We then replace the three characters with the original first letter we found (\1), overwrite the question mark with an apostrophe and then put the second letter back (\2). Boom -straight away I?s, I?m and what?s go back to being readable.

The next bit is more complicated, but thanks to me using calibre to convert it in the first place, it’s littered with calibre’s mad class formatting separating every paragraph or newline. It’s also badly documented as it’s 4am and I really should have gone to bed. Also, I realise this fails in a lot of cases, so part 2 to follow.

<span class="calibre6">?How long is it??</span>
Find: ()\?(.+?)\?() Replace:
Categories: Howto Tags: ,

Stepping up the game

August 13th, 2013 No comments

Wiresharking lo with a gui on a remote headless server:
(because when your ssl wrapped (stunnel) smtp auth fails, logs aren’t as good as bytes.)

ssh [email protected]
yum install xorg-x11-xauth dejavu-lgc-sans-fonts wireshark-gnome
ssh -X [email protected]

win -assuming you use linux on your desktop ūüėČ

after the break, for windows:

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Categories: Howto, Linux Tags: , , , , new email stuffs

July 17th, 2013 No comments

Just tried setting up sky on a friends android and run into the new Yahoo! mess trying to find IMAP details. -They seem somewhat reticent to publish them, and people are having problems with the published SMTP. So…

It’s pretty easy to find the server addresses, resolves (and redirects) nicely but SMTP doesn’t. I’ll save the gory details; is where we’re poking. I’m also using for when the original cname fails.

[email protected] ~ $ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=55 time=26.5 ms

As there’s no published IMAP config options, it’s up to us to work them out; nmap is our friend:

[email protected] ~ $ nmap

Starting Nmap 6.25 ( ) at 2013-07-17 21:28 BST
Nmap scan report for (
Host is up (0.046s latency).
Other addresses for (not scanned):
rDNS record for
Not shown: 997 filtered ports
80/tcp  open  http
143/tcp open  imap
993/tcp open  imaps

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 12.68 seconds

-so, we see options for both secure and insecure IMAP; nice. Lets do SMTP whilst we’re here:

[code][email protected] ~ $ nmap

Starting Nmap 6.25 ( ) at 2013-07-17 21:30 BST
Nmap scan report for (
Host is up (0.031s latency).
rDNS record for
Not shown: 991 filtered ports
25/tcp  open   smtp
80/tcp  closed http
110/tcp closed pop3
143/tcp closed imap
443/tcp closed https
465/tcp open   smtps
587/tcp open   submission
993/tcp closed imaps
995/tcp closed pop3s

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 5.98 seconds[code]

Cool, that’s a bit more going on. Massive respect to them for actually respecting the standard and having 587 open. 465 looks promising.

So, here’s what you need to know

username: [email protected]

IMAP: 993
Security : SSL

Port: 465
Security: SSL

pro-tip: lots of mail clients don’t use the [email protected] when they try and probe. Also, Thunderbird’s account setup menu makes it looks like it auto-prefixes the imap/pop part of the hostname; it doesn’t.

Also, Yahoo! deserves some credit at the moment…

Categories: Howto Tags: , , , , ,

C&C First Decade: Windows 7

December 20th, 2010 16 comments

Command and Conquer First DecadeWell, Christmas time is nearly here, and as much as I hate all the adverts on telly, its a great time of year to get snowed in, crack out the old computer games and put your feet up on the computer for warmth. With this in mind, I’ve written a little guide for getting C&C The first Decade working on a modern Windows 7 system.

Command and Conquer; Tiberian Dawn came out in 1995 and was followed shortly after in 1996 with Red Alert. Hidden in the lounge at my friend Ian’s house with his mum upstairs asleep, his¬†chronically¬†underpowered 233mhz pentium computer¬†wurring away I was absolutely amazed by the entire C&C experience. The installer was immensive and fell modern and damned cool, the video’s looked beautiful and like nothing else I’d experienced and the music track was fantastic. Many hours were lost.

So now, 15 years after the first game was released lets have a go at getting it all running in time for Christmas. After a couple of days of failure (and the need to multiplay with my brother) I gave up getting it running in WINE under Linux and cracked on with a Windows 7 install.

In 2006 Westwood packaged the first 8 years of gaming into one 8gb installer. Some of the games still work “out of the ¬†box”, others (like Generals; ironically the latest games) are a bit of a pig to get going; but they all will work!

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CiBOX Monitor -Hidden Factory Menu

January 24th, 2009 No comments

CiBOX Factory Menu
A couple of years ago, I got paid for some programming with a¬† CiBOX C1905 19″ Monitor.

When  I first got it, I thought it was the dogs-danglies, however after using it for a little while, two inconsolable problems came to light.

Personally I dislike wide-screen monitors. I spend a lot of time typing and whether it be paragraphs of text or lines of code / config files; all of which (especially if you hope it to be printable) have a habit of being in portrait; eg: Scrolling Down!

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Pro/Desktop 8 and Wine

January 15th, 2009 2 comments

I’ve recently come across PTCs Pro Desktop 3D CAD software when reinstalling a laptop for a friend.
As I understand it, Pro/Desktop is the younger brother to Pro/ENGINEER, “a parametric, integrated 3D CAD1/CAM2/CAE3 solution” produced and distributed by PTC4.

And after playing with it, to try and make a vivarium, I decided I needed it to run on linux.

Read more…


  1. Computer Aided Design
  2. Computer Aided Manufacturing
  3. Computer Aided Engineering (& Analasys)
  4. Parametric Technology Corporation


Categories: Howto, Technology, WINE Tags: , , ,

Stop Auto-Signin to Messenger on Xbox360

December 31st, 2008 No comments

So I got asked a couple of days ago how to stop the xbox auto signing in to MSN Messenger.
Whilst its a handy feature (-I talk to a couple of people over MSN who don’t have a computer, just Live,) it’s also a great PITA1 to constantly get signed off from the computer and to have people trying to chat when you’re busy killing Horde or trying to complete a Rally.

So, very simpily: Read more…


  1. Pain In The Ass


vmware workstation (on linux)

December 5th, 2008 1 comment

Vmware’s Workstation (version is proving impossible to get running on my Gentoo-AMD64 box.

It seems to get installed without any bother, the kernel modules load fine, but then when I run workstation or player, it tells me it “Cannot initiate the installer DB” when trying to run it.

Currently going round in circles trying to get somewhere. -and I thought updating would be a good idea. 6.0 was really sweet.



Turns out, its actually quite simple. And it seems other gentoo users have been having problems((see gentoo bug ID 248813 and maybe this gentoo forums post))

The trick to getting it working, is very simple. Even if it did take me about a week of going round in circles to get anywhere. Delete (or atleast move) /etc/vmware. Then reinstall and you’re done.

However -Rather than downloading an illigal copy of vmware-workstation, or even worse paying for it, why not try VirtualBox as a direct replacement to workstation?

Its free, open source, and frankly, is preferable to vmware. Try it for a week, once you get past the fact its different, it becomes really quite sweet ūüėÄ

Categories: Howto, Linux Tags: ,

GoogleMail on Sony Ericsson K750i

August 7th, 2008 9 comments

I use Google A Tools to manage email for some of the domains I’m hosting. After spending a couple of years messing about with exim, courier-imap and squirrelmail (and then roundcube, which is rather nice, if bad) I decided that when I moved the server, I couldn’t be bothered setting it all up again and google was the easy way out.

One stoned evening, after not being near a net connection for a couple of days, I started suffering withdrawal, and ended up installing Opera Mini (which is surprisingly good), set up the account to allow IMAP and then tried to configure the phone. All I got was an error stating:

Encryption error, TLS/SSL unknown certificate authority

I spent a lot of time googling and got nowhere fast, in the end it turns out to be really simple; all you need to do is have the Thwate Premium Server CA Certificate installed. Easy :)

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