ULF receiver and magnetic field measurement notes

Random notes for a project I may or may not do for an aurora detector system (the ULF part isn’t an obvious need, but the basic B field measurement is too ‘simple’ for what I need). Lot of stuff out there from whack-jobs, hopefully I avoid linking to any of those…

Fluxgate magnetometers info:
http://www.fatquarterssoftware.com/index.html sensors

Other magnetic measurement info:
http://www.gellerlabs.com/PMAG/Articles/PART%20I%20_%20BACKYARD%20GEOMAGNETIC%20OBSERVATORY.pdf (first in a series of articles on FDM proton magnetometers
NOAA site for local field values

ULF receiver info:
http://www.vlf.it/immagine/minimal_E.html (receiver)
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ulfelf/ (yahoo group)
http://www.iaspacegrant.org/sites/default/files/pdf_files/Kruger-SEED.pdf (Kruger’s paper referred to in a lot of places)
http://naturalradiolab.com (mix of stuff, unknown if useful)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Windows 7 explorer really slow to open “Searching for items”

and the green bar of death, taking maybe 10 or 15 seconds before you can use the folder.

Another ‘feature’ of Windows 7 apparently:

(in case the link goes bad: select the folder -> properties ->customize -> and set type to general (or something other than whatever it is)

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 Frustration, Windows 7 system No Comments

WTF…wordpress lost all my catagories!

No, not really. But if /tmp fills up that’s one of the symptoms.

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Useful Plesk info links


Thursday, October 13th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

gmail and TLS problem with qmail or postfix on Plesk systems

I fixed this once in June but never wrote it down. It seems to have broken again.  Here’s the original notes I had below.

(and an additional reminder: most ISPs are going to block port 25 so you need to telnet from some place with a real internet connection)

Bit of self followup to the original post below.

Testing via telent:
ehlo foo.com
454 4.3.3 TLS not available

In looking for answers one common theme was that /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem must be “bad” but as noted below changing it didn’t make a difference. I’ve now also noted that *removing* it doesn’t make a difference either, and qmail doesn’t seem to create any error messages.

My system is totally stock. So it seems like the default Plesk install of qmail has a broken TLS implementation? Seems unlikely. I have no idea where problem might be.

About 3 weeks ago I started noticing that email from gmail users was not making it through the server. I think it’s some sort of TLS problem but I’m not clear as to what changed and/or how to fix it.

Plesk 10.2.0 with psa-qmail 1.03-cos5.build1011110330.18

My server reports:

but if I trace the the google/qmail exchange I see this:
30811] select mask – CLT-RCV CLT-SND SRV-RCV
30811] >Client: 454 4.3.3 TLS not available

after some searching I found this:

and following the same steps as in that post it would appear /var/qmail/control/servercert.pem has a problem as when I try
openssl verify servercert.pem
I get
error 20 at 0 depth lookup:unable to get local issuer certificate

Following the references to here to create a new one:

but when I test SSL on port 25 it I still get the same error message:
8982:error:140770FCSL routinesSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:unknown protocol:s23_clnt.c:475:

And how did I fix it? GFQ, as the only notes I made was:

I switched from qmail to postfix as the MTA. However the same TLS problem was showing up. However, unlike qmail, with postfix I could actually figure out how to shut off TLS.

So now I seem to need to fix it again, and this time I’ll make a note about what postfix file you edit to disable TLS. I suspect an upgrade of Plesk changed some settings, that seems to happen sometimes…and I forgot to backup /etc before starting this last time around.

Just for the record, same problem as before:

ehlo foo.com
250-SIZE 10240000
250 DSN
454 4.3.3 TLS not available

Some links on the topic:

so in main.cf find/edit this section:

smtpd_tls_security_level = none # was may
smtpd_use_tls = yes
smtp_tls_security_level = may
smtp_use_tls = no

Monday, October 10th, 2011 Linux, Servers & Internet No Comments

Workaround to Framemaker bugs with transparent images

Transparent images by making them .eps in framemaker. (Framemaker has always had a serious design flaw in its ability to handle images, I guess the designers expected a white background on everything, the official excuse about text runaround makes no sense at all)



Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 Computers, Uncategorized, Windows software No Comments

Force delete of files in Windows 7

Easy to end up with files that Windows 7 won’t let you delete even as admin. Properties -> whatever is useless.

Found this on some random response on microsoft forum, but wasn’t quite right, so here’s what worked (where h:\del is the dir with stuff to delete in it)

takeown /f h:\del /r   (or maybe it needs ” ” around the path? Something not right…)

icacls “h:\del\*”  /grant %USERNAME%:F /T /C

rd /S h:\del

This still doesn’t get rid of all files but out of 20,000 that I couldn’t delete only 2 were left. Note I had to repeat this a couple of times, not sure why, but each time more got deleted.


Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 Frustration, Windows 7 system No Comments

Nutone S-155 Fire Alarm

Removed this when painting the hallway, probably was installed mid 70’s.  I’m sure there’s something clever I can do with he MALFUNCTION light.

Saturday, June 11th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

Retrospect Express HD is not to be trusted

About 9 months ago picked up an Iomega eSata drive to use as backup.  It came with a cut down version of Retrospect, which I remember from long ago (for the Mac). So I figured I would use it for backup as all I wanted was daily incrementals of the entire PC (i.e. so if the HD died I could just restore to a new HD and not be more than a day off).

I tried pulling a few files after first installing & running, and it seemed to be working. Today however it popped up a “disk full, backup failed” error message, which is odd since it’s supposed to croak off old ones to free up space, etc.  The program showed  zero restore points…the support forum said to delete the .rbc file and it would rebuild it and all would be fine. Nope (and it took it 4 hours to come up empty…). So I figured maybe trying a backup…after another 4 hours or so it was now showing 26 restore points and then started the backup, which then died with the same disk full error.

So this now goes into the crapware category, as WTF good is backup software that you can’t recover a backup from?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 Frustration, Windows software No Comments

CFL lifetime is short

Nov 2011 –
nvision (14 watt) Aug 09

Nov 2010 – original entry
Going to start tracking how often I replace CFLs as I”m starting to accumulate them. I write the install date on them as a way to make sure I’m not imagining that they don’t last very long. These are all typical household uses, nothing extreme. These are all the normal spiral CFLs (I also have the reflector type in some recessed fixtures – they are awful in that they take minutes to warm up to full brightness – some I replaced with normal incandescent because a hall light that takes minutes to be useful is pointless). There’s about 15 CFLs in use right now.

Looking in the recycle box (they shouldn’t go  in the trash, and they won’t take them back as hazardous waste…) I have 10 dead bulbs. Some of these have been in there for a year, the one I just added today was dated Feb 07.  The install dates:

  • Nov 07 (nvision)
  • Dec 06 (nvision)
  • Dec 07 (Sylvania)
  • Mar 10 (Sylvania)
  • May 08 (unmarked)
  • Feb 07 (commercial electric)

undated: 4 bulbs, but look to be of the same vintage as the dated ones.

So this is around a 50% failure rate in 4 years.  Now I haven’t kept track of incandescent bulbs, but I don’t think they fail more than this and there are bulbs in some (newer) fixtures where I know I have replaced 1 of 6 and it’s going on 8 years. Not really good enough sample sizes to draw solid conclusions, but it seems to be consistent with other anecdotal reports that CFLs don’t last anywhere near as long as the package says, and therefor the cost savings are going to be small to negative (and I would guess it takes more energy to make a CFL than incandescent? Are these things carbon neutral when they only last for half their rated life?)

Saturday, November 20th, 2010 CFL lifetime No Comments