jason thurber's weblog

globally-scoped ramblings

Archive for March, 2004

Resting on the backs of others – PHP5 & OSX

with 21 comments

A few months ago I tried to start working with PHP5 on OSX. Followed the directions I was able find on Google (which were none too assuring as most of them ended with “so that didn’t work, anyone have any advice”) and gave up after several hours of mucking around.

Approximately an hour ago I downloaded the php5 source code, built it and installed it. Well, I shouldn’t take any credit, basically I followed the directions here exactly (I helped that I’d recently done a complete upgrade of Fink, so I had libxml2).

I cleaned up my httpd.conf file so that it wasn’t trying to run both PHP4 and PHP5 (’cause it can’t… at least not without some horrible hackery), and ran phpinfo(). It worked, I was running PHP5. PHPMyAdmin still worked, but Tasks doesn’t yet support PHP5. It’s a measure of how much I’ve been using Tasks recently that I then spent 20 minutes figuring out (googling actually) how to run PHP4 and PHP5 simultaneously. Again, it’s a simple as following the directions at How to run PHP4 and PHP5 prallel (sic).

Now I’ve got two running instances of Apache, one listening to port 80 and one to 8080. I really like it when things just work!

Edited on 8:48pm – Corrected the two mistakes relating to Tasks, namely the link was wrong and I meant PHP5, not PHP4 (which didn’t make much sense in context). One of the rare times when I got distracted mid-post and failed to re-read.

Written by jthurber

March 23rd, 2004 at 5:44 pm

Posted in programming

Delkin Cardbus32 + OSX = Kernel Panic

without comments

I ordered a Delkin Cardbus 32 CF adapter last week. This was intended to solve the “what is the smallest device I can use, that doesn’t have any cables hanging off it, that’s still really fast, to copy CF (I/II) cards to my laptop” problem… you know the one I mean. It’s a bit pricey (about 3x the cost of an external USB 2.0 reader), but it’s supposed to be as fast as Firewire or USB 2.0, and the form factor is great.

Yesterday (in anticipation of delivery) I went to download the OSX drivers from Delkin. Bad news, the OSX beta drivers require that you “Shut down the computer and insert the CardBus adapter (with CF Card).” This is a major deal killer. I waited until I got the card this morning and tested. Sure enough, carefully eject the disk, power off the card from the menu, eject it, re-insert it and… voila, kernel-panic and a reboot (which does simplify the “shut down the computer” step, but not in a good way). Here’s what I’ve done to attempt to rectify the problem:

1) Called Delkin support and asked “When will there be a production OSX driver?” He didn’t know, but assured me that they were working on it and he’d email me when it becomes available. I considered returning it, but it’s just one of those cases where I’d end up buying it again when the drivers came out, so why waste shipping…

2) Learned a fair amount about Kernel Extensions in OSX. This is really cool stuff, and I’ve gotten to the point that I understand the problem… and know that I can’t fix it… which is basically a bad but interesting place to be. When you insert the Cardbus 32 card it loads an extension named CF32A.kext (and a “personality” named NinjaSCSI or something, I can’t remember and don’t want to reboot my machine again). If you manually load this extension using kextload it can be unloaded and subsequent reloading/unloading can be performed with no problem. But as soon as you actually insert the card it becomes impossible to unload the extension (using kextunload).

C’mon Delkin… just a little more work and this will be a really cool accessory!

Written by jthurber

March 17th, 2004 at 9:47 am

Posted in review-lite

Favorite identity theft email, ever!

with 22 comments

Today I got an email that forced me out of my blogging hiatus. Here’s the message (italics are mine):

From: staff@jthurber.com
Subject: Important notify about your e-mail account.

Dear user of e-mail server “Jthurber.com”,

Your e-mail account will be disabled because of improper using in next
three days, if you are still wishing to use it, please, resign your
account information.

Pay attention on attached file.

The Jthurber.com team

Then there’s some sort of attachment that I won’t open (even though I’m on a Mac and am relatively safe from email viruses).

Things to note about this email that are funny:

1) No attempt is made to explain “improper using”. There are many “improper usings” of an email account that would be cause for concern and an email of this sort, and any real Administrator would include a list of complaints.

2) I own the jthurber.com domain and the mail server is administered by a couple of my friends both of whom is literate. ;)

3) This is exactly the sort of prank that said friends would play on me, the primary difference being that the prank email would appear to be from a) the FBI b) the Justice Department or c) someone who had supposedly seen a personals ad on some horribly deviant personals board! (Damn, now I can’t play any of these pranks on them…). Oh yeah, and this theoretical email would be cleverly crafted to actually manipulate my behavior.

4) The italicized sections are tells (just like in Poker). Note to identity thieves everywhere, the recent PayPal Identity Theft scams worked because the emails were believable, well-crafted and technically sophisticated. Even when you followed the “Enter your info” link it still looked like you were at the PayPal site. You actually needed to understand a bit about the internet to be suspicious. I’m actually appreciative that this one is so badly done that it’s funny instead of worrying!

Anyway, I’m glad that my posting to newsgroups with my real email address is starting pay dividends!

Written by jthurber

March 15th, 2004 at 12:59 pm

Posted in General