BenV's notes


Opera has cancer

by on May.08, 2013, under Morons, Software

If Opera continues living the way it does right now it’ll die within a few years. At least, that’s what I expect. Every new release there are more and more little nuisances. New features? Yeah, they have plenty of new garbage slowing the browser down.
Soon they’ll dump their rendering engine for Webkit. Who knows, it might even improve the browser, but then again… soon I might jump to Chrome or another piece of garbage.
I wonder why browser vendors have determined they all have to inject cancer into them. Must be contageous or something.

Anyhow, my Opera issue for today: Webfonts.
Ever seen a page rendered like this?

Opera with weird webfont

Opera with weird webfont

(continue reading…)

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Magento issues

by on Jan.29, 2013, under Morons, Software

The challenge of today: Installing the latest Magento version on some virtual host owned by a generic webhoster on the other side of the planet for some friends. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? Well, it isn’t really, but I ran into two annoying things that took me longer to work around than I would like.
So if you found this article through google, maybe this saves you the time :-p

First annoyance: Where do we get the source for the latest Magento release?
“Stupid BenV. Obviously you get that from the Magento homepage from their downloads section”.
Yeah, that’s what you’d think. So you go there, hit ‘download’ (or go to /download in your url bar, surprisingly it works) and now you have to “Select your format“. So much for getting a wget-able url here, but we’ll copy paste that from our browser, right?

Well, after selecting your format (“Your disk.” Ha. Ha.) and clicking on the Download buttong, you are faced with?
Oh of course.

Magento Download website

Magento Download website

The URL shown when hovering the download button already gave it away – ““. A fucking login form. FOR A FREE OPEN SOURCE PRODUCT. *RAGE*.
Login, it’s Easy!“, they say.
Join the community now and take advantage of the following: *bullshit*“, they say.
(if you do take the time to fill out their login form, make sure to enter as your email address and enable all the checkboxes)

Until they change it again you can use this wget command to work around this bullshit:

benv@vhost:~$ wget --referer

Next up, the issue I ran into. After creating a database, untarring the tarball and pointing the webserver to the right place it was time for the web based installer. Just click next a few times, enter the database info, next …. what’s that?
PHP Extension “pdo_mysql” must be loaded..
Errh… ok. So I check what this webhoster’s PHP configuration flags are … phew, they included PDO. As a shared module. Oh well, guess we’ll need to enable this in php.ini then. Long story short: it’s not enough to just include
If you include only, PHP will not complain, at least not in any log file I could find on that webhost, but PDO is still not loaded.

Make sure php.ini contains:

(that mcryp one should not be necessary there, but they say without it you could run into other issues, like mcrypt not being loaded either).

PHP. What’s worse than having to work with PHP? Working with PHP that you didn’t compile yourself :-p

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Google helping NVIDIA

by on Oct.28, 2012, under Morons

Yesterday I wrote a post on NVIDIA and how they (mis)handle RGB channels over HDMI on windows by default (and also how to fix it of course). Here’s the post on NVIDIA’s HDMI handling.
Today I figured Let’s check out if I can find my post if I Google for BenV NVIDIA.

Check out the results…. yes, I wrote about NVIDIA earlier, January 29th. However, normally the day after (often even faster, say an hour after) writing writing a post I can find it with Google using the keywords BenV and another word in the title. For example BenV Steam is on the 4th place, posted on the same day. But the post on NVIDIA from that same day IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.
I wonder how much Google are being paid to not show the links that connect NVIDIA to negative things.

Funny how Google can spend resources to conveniently downrank my post (and obviously also other negative ones), but if Mr Smith sues Google because whenever someone types “Smith” Google suggests “pedophile” as second keyword then Google claims it’s all out of their control and that’s just the algorithm.
I hope you get sued again Google, you deserve it.

Google Boom

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NVidia’s incompetence on HDMI

by on Oct.27, 2012, under Morons, Software

Before today I was still working behind an old 20″ 2006 Acer (al2016W) as primary screen and an even older 17″ secondary screen.
They started to bug me a bit, and after looking around a bit for new screens I ordered 4 new instances of the BenQ GW2450HM.
After reading a very positive review at TFTCentral on the BenQ GW2450HM and
also a forum that was a lot more negative (people who died because of ghosting issues etc) I decided to buy them anyway because they couldn’t possibly
be worse than my current screen.

Today they arrived, so after unpacking them and figuring out how the heck I was going to make space for them on my desk I finally connected them to my PC.
I had windows up and running, which immediately noticed the BenQ that was connected through HDMI. The BenQ happily told me “No Cable Connected” however, but that
was solved by hitting the enter button twice to make it use the HDMI as source instead of the ancient DSUB. They should really stop supplying those connectors.

After unpacking and installing the second screen and connecting it to DVI I noticed a difference.
Both had the same background, but the DVI screen had deeper blacks than the HDMI one!
Nope, it’s not caused by the brightness or any of those knobs, they were identical (factory default) on both screens.

The reason for this is simply: NVIDIA sucks. Hm, that’s a nice trademark that they should register 😉
Yeah, those incompetent assholes again. NVIDIA (sucks) doesn’t care if your left screen looks a bit brighter than your right screen. They only care about getting your money, which is strange because actions like these make it less likely that they’ll receive my money in the future.

Some background on the issue:
When you connect a HDMI device to a NVIDIA (sucks) graphics card, the NVIDIA (sucks) assumes that the device is crippled and can only handle RGB values between 16-235.
Obviously PC monitors can handle the full range of 0-255, which is the default on VGA and DVI. (this is the reason my DVI screen was darker).
This mismatch in communication will fuck up the black colors for starters, but for a real impression check out this forum:
Mind you that the control panel settings that they discuss in that thread didn’t work for me.

Fortunately there’s a solution that does work for me.
This guy over here at wrote a tiny tool to fix your registry and tell the driver to use the full range.
After a reboot everything looks great on BOTH screens 🙂

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Cisco webmaster skills

by on Feb.15, 2012, under Fun, Morons

Here’s a funny for today:
For some reason I needed an original firmware for a Pislink E2000, so I went to as a first guess.
After (automagically) being redirected about 2398472389347 times (first to as if there’s a linksysbymicrosoft as well, then to with a bunch of geolocation cookies, THEN because they’re really retarded a redirect to … seriously) I finally got a xhtml document. Well, they claim it’s xhtml, because the W3C Validator sure as hell doesn’t think so. (continue reading…)

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Piratebay blocked by XS4All and Ziggo

by on Feb.01, 2012, under Morons

So those assholes from BREIN finally managed to get a somewhat real block through the legal system in the Netherlands.
My home ISP XS4All simply has to block them because of a court order, and not just the DNS entries as usual, but actual IP addresses this time. A traceroute to simply dies at the second hop.
Obviously this is about as effective as putting up a roadblock on only half the road, you can simply drive your browser to a ton of alternatives to still get the piratebay content. (continue reading…)

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by on Jul.22, 2011, under Fun, Morons

This just made my day.

First I read on slashdot that their insurer sues them, and personally I hope they win because of Sony’s incompetence regarding their ‘security’. Not that I like insurance companies much, so they can burn as well… which makes this almost perfect. In a lawsuit only the lawyers win, so once those lawyers die in a fire this will be perfect. (continue reading…)

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PostgreSQL 9.0 on Slackware

by on Jun.14, 2011, under Morons, Software

Another reason to avoid MySQL

Today MySQL has managed to piss me off enough to get rid of it for something I was working on.
The case:
I just created a brand new database. In that database I want to store items, and those items should be linked to users.
So as a first stab I had this CREATE TABLE statement:

CREATE TABLE user (user_id SERIAL, username varchar(255) UNIQUE NOT NULL, password char(32) NOT NULL, PRIMARY KEY (user_id));
CREATE TABLE item (item_id SERIAL, name varchar(255) NOT NULL UNIQUE, user_id bigint unsigned REFERENCES user(user_id),PRIMARY KEY (item_id)) ENGINE = InnoDB;

Guess what MySQL said? Of course, it said “Sure thing dude!”. And to make sure you believe me, here’s the verbatim:

mysql> CREATE TABLE user (user_id SERIAL, username varchar(255) UNIQUE NOT NULL, password char(32) NOT NULL, PRIMARY KEY (user_id));
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.36 sec)
mysql> show warnings;
Empty set (0.00 sec)
mysql> CREATE TABLE item (item_id SERIAL, name varchar(255) NOT NULL UNIQUE, user_id bigint unsigned REFERENCES user(user_id),PRIMARY KEY (item_id)) ENGINE = InnoDB;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.32 sec)
mysql> show warnings;
Empty set (0.00 sec)

Well guess what….
Those references to the user table? What references? (continue reading…)

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Sony and their PSN

by on Jun.08, 2011, under Fun, Morons

I don’t like Sony much … in fact, I pretty much hate them and have to laugh every time I read a new post about them being hacked in whatever form.
No, you can’t feel sorry for corporations. Let alone corporations that fuck you over every chance they get.
That said, I do have a PS3 (running Dosbox and ScummVM among things), and I once had this PS3 connected to the PlayStation Network.

So they just sent me an email:

Sony: Playstation Store is back!

Sony: Playstation Store is back!

It says (in UTF-8 viewed through iso-8859-1):

Dear Playstation Network-user,

We are very happy that we can tell you that the access to the PlayStation-Store through PlayStation-3, PSP (PlayStation Portable) and Media Go on your PC has been completely restored.

And then they go on about what you receive as compensation (free game, free month of PlayStation Plus), but because they allegedly improved the security you have to change your password.
Then there’s a gibberish link to that I followed, hoping to be able to change my password.
This is what my browser showed:

Sony PlayStation stuff still down

Sony PlayStation stuff still down

Funny bastards 😉

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World IPv6 Day!

by on Jun.08, 2011, under Morons

Today is proclaimed World IPv6 Day, in order to motivate everyone to just fucking get it done already. And test if people have issues today of course 🙂
They’ve had years and years and still major ISPs haven’t even heard of IPv6 or simply can’t be arsed because there’s little demand for it. (Boohoo, “it costs money to upgrade our ancient equipment“)
So attention everyone: if you don’t have IPv6 right now, mail your ISP, bug their contact for(u)ms, and spam their phones. You want it! 🙂
If you’re hosting content and don’t have it: bug your provider about it as well. It’s saddening to see how few hosting providers today still don’t offer IPv6, even though it’s been out there for over a decade!

One of the reasons my home connection is with XS4All is that they deliver native IPv6 to the doorstep.
All machines at home automagically receive an IPv6 address from my modem and it just works ™. No hassles with tunnels or anything, simply turn it on and it works.

As for the “Why would I care?“. Because it’s fun to play with. Because it’s neat to have so many public addresses.
No more NAT and port forwarding to get your webserver reachable on the internet, but simply open up port 80 in your firewall and you’re done!
You’ll have so many addresses (assuming your ISP are not major dickheads that only hand out single IPs, but they won’t) that you can put an IPv6 address
on every device you have, for every program you have, for every pixel on your screen and still you’ll have tons to spare.

If you’re not sure if you have it, there’s this test to check, but I sure hope you know about the state of your connection without such tests 😉

In case your stupid provider is being the usual dumbdumbhead and won’t be bothered (and obviously you can’t switch because they have the local monopoly) you can get IPv6 connectivity for free through a tunneling broker by at least two parties that I know of. One of them is Hurricane Electric, the other Sixxs (although they can be dicks, so I’ll be a dick by not linking them ;))
It will give you the ability to tinker with IPv6, so give it a shot if you’re new to it. Did I mention it’s free? 🙂

But how do I configure IPv6 on my Slackware machine?
Well, if you do it properly and get it through your ISP natively your modem will take care of it. It’ll announce your prefix to your network and if you have your kernel set to autoconfigure it (which is default, as long as you’ve loaded the ipv6 module) it’ll get an address based on your mac address.
Adding addresses manually is just as easy as with ipv4:

# Example out of thin air
root@somewhere# modprobe ipv6 # if you hadn't done this yet ;)
root@somewhere# ip -6 addr add 2001:1234:3214:abcd::80/64 dev eth0
root@somewhere# ip -6 route add default via 2001:1234:3214::1 dev eth0

So go and check it out, it can be fun 🙂

Oh yeah, obviously my notes are available on IPv6. And it seems to be a lot faster than google at the moment 😉

ipv6 ready

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