Author Archives: geekscrap

McItaly: gone there, eaten that

I’m not a fan of McDonalds. I don’t really like Ronald, CJ and all the family, but when Ipazia pointed me to new McItaly burger and Guardian’s controversial article on Italian government being involved in the agreement between McDonalds and Italian food companies, I decided to forget stereotypes for a day and try the product. […]

Posted in Rants, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LUKS mermaids of remote unlock

Recently, I’ve browsed several how-to’s regarding the possibility of unlocking a LUKS root volume remotely using an SSH connection. For reference, the first of its kind is the one for Debian, published at Some of these how-to’s were posted to forums and mailing-lists and received many thankful comments from sysadmins wondering how to make […]

Posted in Rants, Sysadmin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Using screen as your login shell

GNU screen is a nice utility that allows running multiple interactive shells from the same terminal session and allows you to detach from your terminal while keeping those shells alive. Later on, you can re-attach to your background screen to get back to your shells. It has a lot more features like automatic session logging and […]

Posted in Sysadmin, Tips | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Integrate Tornado in Django

Tornado is a nice python WSGI-compliant web server developed by guys at FriendFeed. It’s primarily thought as application server for python web frameworks and according to FriendFeed benchmarks, it’s blazing fast thanks to its non-blocking connections. UPDATE: For more performance info, James Abley pointed me to a very complete benchmark of available Python asynchronous webservers. […]

Posted in Coding, How-tos | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Church vs Hi-Tech head-to-head

If you’re fond of Amiga-vs-PC and Android-vs-iPhone religion wars, you may enjoy this useful recap of what’s going on in the mass mind control department: Church business is about showing off symbols. Technology has its own symbols too. Jesus wants you to keep vegetables vegetatives alive. Technology has found a way to talk to them […]

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Pre-processing Audio and Video capture to Flash in Mac OS X

Web streaming services like and Livestream (previously known as Mogulus) use a Flash applet to capture audio and video signals on source computer. Media stream is encoded by Flash and sent over to broadcasting server. Currently this approach has two shortcomings: Flash applet audio capture is very limited: only one device a time, only one […]

Posted in Audio, How-tos, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Microsoft hotfix tale

A few people on Earth still have a Windows 2000 machine laying around in their lab, mostly schools with severe budget cuts. Some time ago, one of these retro labs had a problem with roaming profiles: apparently Windows 2000 desktop machines refused to sync their profile on logoff. A collegue of mine asked my help […]

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8 web design add-ons for Django

In the last year, I’ve defined a quite stable fundation for my django projects. In this post I’m enumerating template design components that saved my day by reducing development time while keeping code readable, concise and standard-compliant. 1. Blueprint CSS framework While not a django-specific add-on, Blueprint CSS framework is a perfect companion for django […]

Posted in Coding, Tips | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Linux RAID disk wipeout

A common problem with Linux software RAID (aka md) happens when you try to use a disk that was previously part of some other disk array. Symptoms include: wrong volume size, unable to add device to raid, volume UUID mismatch. To fix the problem you need to use mdadm utility on the disk to cleanup: # […]

Posted in Sysadmin, Tips | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Yo momma uses Ubuntu

Recently I replaced my mother’s PC, and I thought I could switch her to Linux. She was previously using Windows XP with several Open Source applications (Open Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc), so I decided to install Ubuntu 9.10, since it seems that it’s most devoted to non-expert users (she’s over-sixty and not inclined to change […]

Posted in Rants, Sysadmin | Tagged , , | 4 Comments