Archive for ‘December, 2007’

Kensington Market Festival of Lights 2007

datePosted on 11:49, December 23rd, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

This year again — like the past 19 — Red Pepper Spectacle Arts put on a great show. I’m talking about the Kensington Market Festival of Lights. If you’re ever in Toronto during the holidays you should check this event out (go earlier and check out Kensington Market area on foot as well). This was my second year attending, so I was well prepared to shoot the celebrations (or so I thought). Check out this link for the gallery of this event. I got to Bellevue Square/Park around 16:45 and ended up standing in one place until about 19:00 when the procession reached the park. And let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how warm it seems outside (I think it was 2 degrees C that night), if you’re standing still for a while, you’ll get cold :-). Anyways, the reason for this madness was that I actually shot the processsion last year and got to the park at the same time as they did and couldn’t get any decent pictures of the finale, so I think you’ll agree that a bit of cold was well worth it. And don’t forget to check out the rest of my photo gallery.

Computer History Museum on YouTube

datePosted on 12:19, December 17th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

If you like to see some of the most prolific Engineers and Scientists of our time talk about how we got to where we are in computers, head over to the Computer History Museum Channel on You Tube. Oh, and if you’re ever in Northern California somewhere, take a side trip to Mountain View and visit the Museum in person, I did.

Changing DNS hostname on OSX Server

datePosted on 13:17, December 15th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
If you ever need to check the DNS hostname under OSX server here is the command:

$ sudo changeip -checkhostname
If you need to change it (ie: after a DNS table change) use the following command (for OD sites):
changeip /LDAPv3/127.0.0.1/ 192.0.0.12 192.0.0.12 old.example.com new.example.com
changeip also has a lot of other uses (ie: if you change the ip address of your machine you can use changeip to change the setting in the directory as well). Have a look at the man pages for more info.

If you’re having trouble kerberizing your Open Directory under OSX server then you are also most likely having hostname problems. Run the first command to check the hostname information and make sure “Current Hostname” and “DNS Hostname” in it’s output match. If they don’t use the second command to change (fix) it (assuming your DNS is working properly). Then you can go to Server Admin and under Open Directory/Settings press the Kerberize button that Pops up on the lower left.

Mac OSX DHCP debuging

datePosted on 13:08, December 15th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Once in a while you might want to dig deep into OSX’s dhcp client and find out what dhcp packet the server sent it. A quick command to spit out this info:
# ipconfig getpacket en0
This produces the following output:

op = BOOTREPLY
htype = 1
dp_flags = 0
hlen = 6
hops = 0
xid = 1956115059
secs = 0
ciaddr = 0.0.0.0
yiaddr = 192.168.4.10
siaddr = 192.168.4.1
giaddr = 0.0.0.0
chaddr = 0:3:93:7a:d7:5c
sname = dhcp.mycompany.net
file =
options:
Options count is 10
dhcp_message_type (uint8): ACK 0x5
server_identifier (ip): 192.168.4.1
lease_time (uint32): 0x164a
subnet_mask (ip): 255.255.255.0
router (ip_mult): {192.168.4.1}
domain_name_server (ip_mult): {192.168.4.1}
domain_name (string): mycompany.net
end (none):

USB-to-Serial console for Mac (OSX)

datePosted on 12:28, December 15th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Here are some notes for those of us working with Macs, who also have to deal with networking gear that usually have a serial console for local control. I recently purchased a IOGEAR USB 1.1 to Serial Converter Cable that uses the PL2303 chipset (pretty much any brand of these usb to serial converters use this chip). I was hoping that this dongle would allow me to access our network switches serial interface (which you kinda need when the switch has gone berserk). So after looking around the net I found that there is a opensource driver out there for it and that it performs better than the driver provided by Prolific (the company that manufactures the chip). So once everything was installed I hooked up the serial cable and realized that I needed a serial console program.

This turned out to be quite a pain since almost all of these programs for the mac are old and/or not free. Well, that was until I found out that our good friend screen can do this just fine:

screen /dev/tty.PL2303-0000101D 9600
where /dev/tty.PL2303-0000101D is the device for the dongle (easy to find….just do a ls -l /dev/tty.* and pick the one with PL2303 in the name). The baudrate is 9600 in case you haven’t guessed it already.

This will open up a new screen session in your xterm/terminal and from there you can control your serial device. Once you’re done you need to issue the command Ctrl-a Ctrl-\ to get out of screen and back to your shell prompt.

CineForm Direct-to-Disk Recorder

datePosted on 12:10, December 10th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou


I have to admit CineForm is one of my favourite companies out there. I’ve visited them once and they are the nicest bunch of engineers you’ll find on that side of the rockies :-). Aside from their famed CineForm Codec (which btw is awesome), they have just released the specs and conceptual drawings for what will probably be the coolest gadget at next years NAB ;-).

They anticipate developing multiple members in the recorder product family – each targeting different recording needs. This first device targets HDV camcorder users and offers the ability to bypass the highly-compressed MPEG format. The features specification is below. They also imagine a sister device that would support single-link and dual-link HD-SDI recording.