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25.01.2006 15:58


Today I finished the porting of the virtual online museum netz-kunst-werk-statt. This project was once one of my first bigger web projects and as I didn't care about it the last few years, its technology was _VERY_ outdated, so I rewrote the whole application using PHP and MySQL.

The design also got a face-lifting and currently I'm rewriting the guestbook and try to make the frameset stuff go away (currently not really XHTML 1.1 valid).

BTW: I'm looking for a new room for this museum, so if you know anyone who would make me one in VRML format (using 3D Studio Max or anything else), don't hesitate to contact me.


17.01.2006 14:11

Who said Internet Explorer is cool?

Today I tried to do a simple thing like building a web form with transparent input elements. Internet Explorer of course again made troubles and rendered all input elements transparent. Did I say all? I meant all but _ONE_. Combo Boxes are not being rendered correctly.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but what's wrong with this code?

<input type="text" value="foo" style="color: white; background-color: transparent;"/>
<input type="button" value="bar" style="color: white; background-color: transparent;"/>
<select style="color: white; background-color: transparent;">
<option value="0">foobar rabfoo</option>
And here's how it looks like, for Firefox users everything should be transparent (if not, it's your fault).

Life could be so easy if someone finally would make this damn stupid browser go away. _FOREVER_.

12.01.2006 13:58

Automating Windows Backups for Workstations

Today I wrote a small Windows command line script for automating Windows backups on ordinary workstations (My Documents folder, Outlook PST files and several application directories).

The script runs fully automatic and is therefore very user-friendly because the technical barrier for making backups on workstations must be as low as possible, otherwise no backups are made (this is my experience). The script is also capable of copying files from remote computers to back them up on a local CD burning device.

So here we go.

I assume that the destination folder for the temporary backup files and the directory where all the tools needed reside is "C:\Backup".
I also assume that you run Windows XP (because of the "rd" command (older versions of Windows don't have this command, but you can use deltree instead).

Installation of the tools:
First of all you need some parts of the UnxUtils package. For this script we only need "tar.exe". If you want to compress the generated tar file you will also need either gzip or bzip or some other compression utility.
The reason why I create a tar file to be saved on disc is because of the long filenames that may occure on Windows systems (more than the ISO9660 standard would allow).

The next thing we need is the cdrtools package for Windows. From this package we need "cdrecord" and "mkisofs".

Discover the CD burning device
To discover the CD burning device for cdrecord, use the following command:
cdrecord -scanbus
Which produces an output like:
        0,0,0     0) 'SEAGATE ' 'ST318453LW      ' '0003' Disk
        0,1,0     1) *
        0,2,0     2) 'TEAC    ' 'CD-ROM CD-532S  ' '1.0A' Removable CD-ROM
        0,3,0     3) *
        0,4,0     4) *
        0,5,0     5) *
        0,6,0     6) *
        0,7,0     7) *
In this case, your CD burning device would be "0,2,0".

The directory structure:
If you did everything right, you should have a directory structure like this one listed here:
Directory C:\BACKUP

12.01.2006  11:57    <DIR>          .
12.01.2006  11:57    <DIR>          ..
12.01.2006  10:43             1.655 awbfw.cmd
17.05.2005  15:16           314.368 cdrecord.exe
03.07.2005  02:30         1.295.582 cygwin1.dll
17.05.2005  15:16           421.376 mkisofs.exe
11.11.2001  00:00           114.688 tar.exe
The script:
Please keep in mind that the synthetic linebreaks (\ at the end of a line, etc.) are not functional in Windows command line scripts. I just put them in here so that the Code-Block doesn't get to wide.
@echo off

rem Automatic Windows Backup Script for Workstations
rem This script tars the files to be backup'ed together into one archive,
rem creates an ISO-image of the tar-archive and burns it onto a CD with the
rem help of cdrecord
rem (c) 2006 by Alexander Griesser <work@tuxx-home.at>

rem Get the current date
set TODAY=%DATE:~0%

rem ============================ CONFIGURATION ========================
rem Specify an Identifier for this Backup
set ITEM=Tagname

rem The Backup-Root directory (the necessary tools also have to reside here)
set BACKUP_ROOT=C:\Backup

rem Path to the logfile

rem cdrecords burning device identifier (use cdrecord -scanbus to get
rem that info)
set CDDEVICE=2,0,0

rem Activate this setting if you need to copy files from another
rem computer in your network to this computer
rem ===================================================================

echo Automatic Windows Backup for Workstations
echo Please ensure that the CD burner is connected to your PC and
echo that a CD is inserted and press Enter when ready.

rem Activate this command to copy files from another computer to this
rem machine for backup (you will need the robocopy utility from the
rem Microsoft Windows Ressource Kit for this - or any other utility
rem that does the trick)
rem echo Copying files from remote computer(s)...
rem %BACKUP_ROOT%\robocopy.exe \\otherpc\C$\application \
  %BACKUP_DIR%\application /E /R:5 /W:5 /LOG:%LOGFILE%

rem Creation of the backup archive by either using local folders (for backing
rem up this computer) or by using %BACKUP_DIR% as source (when copying files
rem from remote computers)
echo Creating Backup Archive...
%BACKUP_ROOT%\tar.exe -cf %BACKUP_ROOT%\%ITEM%-%TODAY%.tar \
  C:\\application1 C:\\application2 "%USERPROFILE%\\Eigene Dateien" \
  "%USERPROFILE%\\Lokale Einstellungen\\Anwendungsdaten\\Microsoft\\Outlook" \

rem echo Creating Backup Archive for remote computer(s)...
rem %BACKUP_ROOT%\tar.exe -cf %BACKUP_ROOT%\%ITEM%-%TODAY%.tar %BACKUP_DIR% \

echo Creating CD-Image...
%BACKUP_ROOT%\mkisofs.exe -J -v -o %BACKUP_ROOT%\%ITEM%-%TODAY%.iso \

echo Deleting temporary files...

echo Burning CD
echo This make take some time, please be patient. A progress meter is being
echo displayed during the burning process and after the backup has
echo completed successfully, the CD will be ejected.
%BACKUP_ROOT%\cdrecord dev=%CDDEVICE% gracetime=0 -tao -verbose -eject \
  -data %BACKUP_ROOT%\%ITEM%-%TODAY%.iso
echo Deleting temporary files
del /F /Q %BACKUP_ROOT%\%ITEM%-%TODAY%.iso
echo Backup completed successfully
echo Please check if the CD is readable and that it contains a file
echo named %ITEM%-%TODAY%.tar


09.01.2006 16:20

DriveReady SeekComplete Error

As you may have noticed, this server was down on the weekend. The reason for this seems to be IDE-related, because the only error I found in the logfiles and according to my inode contact person is this ugly IDE-error:
kernel: hdc: dma_intr: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }

The good news about this is, that the messages started to fill my logfile after my server has moved to another DPC and since my inode contact person has fiddled a bit around with the cables, the message disappeared (at least until now, I have to monitor this).

Anyhow, I'm currently updating my local backup-pool, so if you experience any performance troubles with sites hosted on this server, I'm the one to blame.

05.01.2006 11:03

Update to the Matrox Parhelia Driver 1.4.3 to work with Linux kernel 2.6.15

Today I installed the Sliding Snow Leopard (better known as Linux kernel 2.6.15) on my workstation and recognized, that the current Matrox driver does not build flawlessly anymore - surprise, surprise.

This time, the patching wasn't that difficult, because there has just been one symbol removed from pci_ids.h because it was unreferenced inside the kernel tree, sigh.

I just finished an email I wrote to the - in my opinion - responsible person for this and so I hope that he will put the symbol in again for the next kernel release.

To all you folks with Parhelia Cards outside, here is the updated driver:
 * Added the definition of PCI_DEVICE_ID_AL_M1531 to mtx_drv.h if the kernel
   under which it is compiled is >= 2.6.15
 * Replaced docs/readme-1_4_3.txt with the new version from the website
 * Added docs/readme-1_4_3-advanced.txt for further installation and
   configuration notes (also from the website)


02.01.2006 15:05


Today is my first day after two weeks of vacation and I don't feel good.

All my software seems to be hopelessly outdated and so I _HAD_ to update it (yes, it's notorious).

Now running:
I also upgraded my car (a BMW E34 520i touring) with new headlights (generously sponsored by the "Christkindl" - which is the austrian counterpart of Santa Claus).

Here are some "before-after" pictures:

Old New
Old headlights New headlights

During the hours of screwing around with the bad instructions and old oxidated screws I took some pictures, just amuse yourself:

During the assembly During the assembly
During the assembly During the assembly

But it was worth it and to get you an impression, now let there be light:

Light On! Light On!

Yes, I know, I definetly need new blinkers ;)

Many thanks to Robert Jevschenak who helped me out during the whole assembly.

02.01.2006 13:31

Nanoblogger Upgrade

Today I updated my nanoblogger installation to the newest CVS version, seems to work quite fine right now...
Also seems to be much faster...

This post is just for testing purposes, so don't expect any useful content.