BenV's notes

Blog posts

Steam coming to linux

by on Oct.27, 2012, under Software

More and more rumors were popping up about Steam coming to linux.
With the appearance of Windows 8 and their marketplace it’s not strange to see Steam trying to cover their asses.
If Microsoft is successful in convincing users to buy their garbage through the new M$ Marketplace Steam might lose a lot of customers.
Then again, people like me who already have a ton of stuff on steam will likely stick.
Also it’s quite likely that Steam will stay leaps ahead of the marketplace in features (cloud saves, achievements, ease of use, auto patching, etc).
Another possibly reason for Steam to go to linux is that they might be working on their own game console. If that thing works on linux that would be very interesting 🙂

Today Valve opened their Steam for Linux Beta Survey, you can find it here:
Seems like they’re trying to gather a batch of experienced linux users to try out their limited beta. In their blog post they mention 1000 users for the limited beta, so fill out the survey and cross your fingers 🙂
And if you ask me, nothing says experienced linux user like ‘Slackware linux!’ 🙂
Or if you’re on Pokemon OS you can simply wait until they open up the stuff for everyone, it can’t be long now 🙂

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Borderlands 2 / Torchlight 2 through a VPN

by on Sep.18, 2012, under Software

So today Borderlands 2 was released on steam for the USA.
Since “FUCK YOU ASSHOLES” — I’m not going to wait another 3 days for it to unlock over here, I’ll leech the torrent instead.
(at least for now). The Skidrow torrent works great btw 😉

Anyway, since my brother is on his own home LAN we have a nice and simple OpenVPN setup.
The OpenVPN setup uses tun mode, aka routing mode. This means that all VPN users get a local IP address from the OpenVPN server
in the 10.X.x.x range and not from DHCP. All great. After I made sure I could be connected to on the OpenVPN IP, we started Borderlands 2.

Locally the 2 PCs could find eachother just fine after killing the windows firewall. However, the connection through over the OpenVPN IP addresses
failed miserably. No time to find out why, but the trick from Borderlands 1 still works: start the game with your friend’s server IP behind it like this:

"C:\Games\Borderlands 2\Binaries\Win32\Borderlands2.exe"

Have fun playing! 🙂

After playing for a while I decided to go figure out what the problem was.
It was already annoying enough, but also Torchlight II had exactly the same issue: LAN games could not see each other through the VPN.

After running tcpdump / Wireshark for a while both locally and on the tunnel I noticed:
* These games use UDP broadcasts to detect if there are games running on the LAN
* Windows is fucking retarded
* The broadcasts only get broadcasted on a single Ethernet interface. Guess which interface DOES NOT get these broadcasts? Exactly, your VPN.

Fortunately I also have a solution:
The INTERFACE metric (note: this has nothing to do with ROUTING metrics!) determines which interface windows uses for these broadcasts. Normally this metric would be on “automatic metric“, and this probably means that your real Ethernet adapter gets the broadcasts.

To change this, open your LAN adapter’s properties (these days in windows 7 found in the Network and Sharing center, change adapter settings, right click your LAN adapter, properties), open the properties of the “Internet Protocol Version 4 TCP (TCP/IPv4)“, go to Advanced, make sure the box at the bottom that says “Automatic metric” is DISABLED.
Now you’ll have to enter a number there.
The big trick: Make sure you enter a number here that’s HIGHER than the number you’re going to enter on your VPN TAP Adapter (for example: 10).
Next do the same thing for your VPN adapter, but enter a LOWER number. For example: 1.

Windows 7 Interface Metric

Changing your LAN adapter’s Interface Metric in Windows 7

Problem solved.

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Magic Lantern

by on Aug.17, 2012, under Hardware

Those of you who don’t have a DLSR camera: this post is not for you. Unless you’re about to buy one perhaps 😉
About half a year ago I became the owner of a Canon 600D, the first not super cheap camera and also not compact camera in my possession. Not that those cheap/compact camera’s won’t make nice pictures, but this was definitely an upgrade. After buying the 600D and playing with it for about a month I figured “Hej, maybe someone wrote a custom firmware for this thing!“. Welcome to Magic Lantern. (continue reading…)

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MPD v0.17

by on Aug.01, 2012, under Software

Yay, a new version of MPD!
For those of you who are stupid and dumb, MPD stands for Music Player Daemon. At home I run it on my server to provide music to my house. (continue reading…)

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Slackware64-current and udev 1.82

by on Jul.24, 2012, under Software

Some days after tinkering for a little bit you come to the realization that it might be better to stop doing anything with devices and just wait for the day to pass, because everything you touch breaks in the most spectacular ways. Of course this never stopped me from breaking even more, but I’m stupid like that.
Today is a day like that it seems. First our ADSL line at home received an upgrade to FTTH (aka a fiber connection), boosting our internet speed from a lousy 8Mbit down to 50Mbit down, and from less than 1Mbit upstream to 50Mbit upstream. (continue reading…)

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FFmpeg versions and VLC 2

by on Jul.16, 2012, under Software

Another round of updates came along on Slackware64-current and since I was playing around with ffmpeg I figured I might as well update that. Since ffmpeg is one of those products that has a bunch of really active developers it gets updated about every 5 seconds.
This means that whenever they release a new version it’s instantly obsolete. However, that also means that when you’re trying to run the latest version from git, you’ll often run into software that uses the older functions/symbols/garbage and therefore won’t compile. (continue reading…)

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Slackware 14 getting closer

by on Jul.01, 2012, under Software

So I still run Slackware Linux on pretty much all of my machines, which I often smile upon when I see another Ubuntu/Debian/Pokemon update break stuff (that I then get to fix, details). However, running bleeding edge Slackware-current also draws some blood every now and then. (continue reading…)

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Why I hate windows

by on Jun.14, 2012, under Software

Today at work our windows 2008 server is trying to be funny.
First it had updates so it required a reboot. After that reboot it didn’t come back, so my not so computer literate colleague rebooted the windows machine, but unfortunately he also rebooted the (linux) fileserver.
Oh well.

Now for some reason WSUS doesn’t work anymore.
When trying to start the WSUS management console it simply crashes with no explanation whatsoever:

WSUS Management Console crashes

WSUS Management Console crashes when started. Great.

So, I figured, let’s check the logs. Ahaha. So, after browsing through the eventviewer for about half an hour and reading tons of fascinating (but useless) descriptions of successful security things, application notices and other garbage I finally ran into the corresponding event.
Here goes:

De WSUS-beheerconsole heeft een onverwachte fout aangetroffen. Deze fout kan van tijdelijke aard zijn; probeer de fout te verhelpen door de beheerconsole opnieuw te starten. If Als het probleem blijft bestaan:

Probeer de ingestelde voorkeuren voor console te verwijderen door het bestand wsus onder %appdata%\Microsoft\MMC\ te verwijderen.

Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.WsusInvalidServerException — Er is een uitzondering opgetreden van het type Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.WsusInvalidServerException.


Stack Trace:
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.AdminProxy.GetUpdateServer()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.AdminApiAccess.AdminApiTools.GetUpdateServer()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.get_AdminApiTools()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.get_ServerState()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.SetNavigationItemEnabledStates()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.OOBEWizardInitialize()

Suggestions 1 (restarting the console) and 2 (removing some file) obviously didn’t do shit.
Yeah, they reproduced the image above 😉
Suggestion 3 … oh wait, there is no suggestion 3. Fsck.

Just for the heck of it I clicked “Help Online”. What follows is a dailyWTF if you ask me, here’s the screenshot (click it to be able to read the details):

Windows "Help Online"

“Help Online”

Apparently when you click ‘Online Help’ they write a Visual Basic Script file to start a shell which launches a url FROM A FILE … and it fails (color me surprised).
Wonder who came up with this shit.
Oh yeah, the error message the script comes with basically says “Unspecified error”, or literally “Not further described error”.

Anyhow, I still have the WSUS issue. After trying to figure out how the heck IIS is supposed to function with WSUS (I thought the logs might give some insight, silly me) I gave up on that and decided to go with the solid “If it doesn’t work, just reinstall!” approach that normally fixes about every windows problem.

Here goes the uninstaller:

WSUS uninstaller

WSUS uninstaller

For those who don’t speak dutch, it says “Setup is not complete. Microsoft WSUS SP2 has not been removed because an error has occurred. Click Finish if you want to close the wizard.

Mind you, this problem didn’t exist last week. WSUS worked fine, computers received updates, everything was fine. My guess is that this morning’s updates included some .NET update that broke it.
However, due to the lack of useful error messages this is impossible to debug for now.
Thanks Micro~2, another swell piece of garbage you have there.

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Check_MK diskstats on Xen virtual hosts

by on Jun.14, 2012, under Software

Hej look! A new WordPress release…. 3.4…. and it automagically updates, nice going guys 🙂
What’s new? A bunch of stuff I don’t care about, a few more rounded corners … meh.
And apparently they’re green. Oh well. I can be green too, see? 😉

Back to stuff I do care about: Check MK released a new major version a few days ago – it’s now on version 1.2p1.
Among the new stuff some shiny interface updates (you know, rounded corners and the like), a ton of fixes and new agents/checks (postgresql is among them), a Logwatch Pattern Analyzer and tons more.
(continue reading…)

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Libgphoto retarded limits

by on Mar.11, 2012, under Software

Today Digikam didn’t quite want to do what I wanted. Yesterday I made a bunch of new photos and all I wanted was to transfer the new photos to my disk. (continue reading…)

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