Marco's Blog

All content personal opinions or work.
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Creating Blog Spam Alerts

2013-08-27 2 min read Utilities marco
Many of the various sites I maintain have comment sections. Some have Forum software (typically Kunena), some allow comments on articles, some on images. All of these site have in common that if the configuration is not perfectly right, you end up with tons of spam. And by “tons,” I mean several gigabytes of uploads a month. I am slowly getting the configuration down, but every software update, every new installation is another potential trap. Continue reading

SVNFS: a Versioned File System

2012-10-12 2 min read Utilities marco
Working with version control systems can be a pain in the butt. I notice that most frequently when I do a find in an SVN directory and find all the administrative files that go with it. It’s factors more files in there than in the actual directory. At the same time, there are times when you would want every access to a file recorded, so as to be able to undo things. Continue reading

Clocky - a Tiny Title Bar Clock in Linux

2012-09-23 4 min read Utilities marco
I am a compulsive screen maximizer. Start menu bars are set to auto-vanish on my screen, and the app rules the day. If you think I ever see my desktop, I have to disappoint you. Plasma widgets are useless on my computer, and frankly I don’t understand how anyone ends up having enough screen real estate to see the background picture they chose, unless there is a sudden crash of an application. Continue reading

Fillable PDF Forms For Free

2012-09-12 7 min read Utilities marco
You know when you get a form to fill out, but you need to print it and fill out by hand (or worse, try to fill it with your printer). Wouldn’t you rather be able to generate a PDF form out of it and then fill it out on your computer? Even better, have the form filled out automatically (as far as possible) with your usual data? Well, I decided that’s something I wanted to do. Continue reading

Blocked IP Addresses

2011-07-21 1 min read Utilities marco
This is an ongoing post, in which I record the IP addresses I had to ban on this server because of serious abuse/spam. I am posting this mostly so that I have a backup in case I reboot the server – but I sense that more people will find this list useful. The following is the output of iptables -L -n on this server. Updates as required. Each IP address in this list has submitted more than 1000 requests for comments in RSGallery within a single day. Continue reading

Linux and the Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor (2)

2008-09-05 3 min read Utilities marco
In the first post in the matter, I introduced you to a quick way of getting your Polar data into a Linux computer. I found that the transfer of data using sound is a nifty way of doing things, and the utilities written work pretty well. There is one thing, though, that totally annoyed me about the process of transferring data: once you get the FRD files out of the watch, you have to manually add each exercise into SportsTracker – which is a tedious task at best, especially because it’s obvious SportsTracker is meant to track distances more than anything else. Continue reading


2006-09-19 1 min read Utilities marco
It’s been a while I stopped using hugin, an open source panorama stitching tool, because it crashed all the time on me and it was unclear how to work with it. I just downloaded the latest release (an ominous 0.6.1), and they somehow got it to work just fine! I am impressed! Download it from here Use is a bit of a problem on first try. You install the application, start it, then add a bunch of pictures that can be stitched together. Continue reading

Making a GIF/PNG Transparent In the Gimp

2005-11-17 1 min read Utilities marco
I have to search on the Internet for the solution to this problem every time I need to make the background of a GIF disappear, since it’s quite a strange process. So here is the short recipe: After the image is loaded, you need to add an Alpha channel. Go to Right Mouse -> Layer -> Transparency -> Add Alpha Channel. Nothing wil seem to have happened Perform any kind of selection on the image Hit Ctrl-K, or Right Mouse -> Edit -> Clear Continue until the checkered background fills the area you want transparent. Continue reading

Migrating a Mail Archive from Mbox to IMAP

2005-06-20 5 min read Utilities marco
It’s been several years that I store all my email in Kmail. It used to be Outlook back in 2000, but I soon got fed up and converted to a Linux box where the .pst format was quite useless. I used a nifty utility to do the conversion on a Windows box, and everything worked just fine. Now it’s time to move again. This server has a new IMAP implementation that polls my POP3 provider every minute, performs filtering, then allows me to connect from anywhere. Continue reading

Configuring Fetchmail -> Postfix -> Cyrus -> IMAP

2005-06-18 4 min read Utilities marco
A nightmare over several days. I had set my mind that a local store was no good, because I needed to be able to access my email from outside the apartment, and decided that IMAP would be the way to go. Technically, what I needed to do was to take the mail I got from my outside provider and download it to my server (this one). Then I needed to pass that email to an IMAP server, finally to get to it from the outside world. Continue reading
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