Imagemagick / MagickWand under alphine linux / python-alpine

The python implemention of MagickWand, aptly named Wand, requires ImageMagick and MagickWand installed. While building docker images using the python:alpine base images, these dependencies can be installed through:

ENV MAGICK_HOME=/usr
RUN apk add --no-cache imagemagick && \
apk add --no-cache imagemagick-dev

The first one is required for Wand to find the installed MagickWand libraries, while the second installs the imagickmagick development dependencies (and thus, the magickwand shared library).

cmd.exe – program has stopped working – but it works in Windows Explorer?

After digging through this issue for _at least_ four hours today, I’ve revisited an issue that crept up 1,5 years ago. This time I found out that it actually happened to most 32-bit programs launched under cmd. Since the Android SDK’s utilities are compiled in 32-bit mode by default, this time I had to actually find out what was causing the issue.

Turns out it was ansicon.exe. After starting the 32-bit cmd.exe from windows\SysWOW64 and stuff worked – I discovered I got an error about ansicon.exe not being able to load. Removing ansicon.exe completely solved the problem. I’m .. stunned.

bkool pro trainer fails firmware update

After trying to get my bkool pro smart trainer to update to the most recent version for almost two weeks, I finally solved the issue tonight. The official FAQ just states that you should stop anything related to bluetooth and that the ANT+ dongle should be right at the base of the trainer. I had done both things – even stopping any Garmin related products installed, but nothing helped. The firmware update would start, but after a couple of minutes (or a many as ten), bkool indoor would error out.

The solution: A new USB controller card. Apparently the USB ports on the motherboard introduced too much noise on the connection, and since ANT+ (or bkool, not sure) doesn’t have any proper error correction to detect errors on a smaller level and resend USB packages, it seems there was an error introduced somewhere in the firmware update, and the end checksum failed.

A new VIA-based USB PCI-card from Ebay solved the issue, and now my firmware is upgraded! Yay! (the trainer worked just fine except for that, so it was still usable – but I had a bug appear that the firmware should fix (or maybe that was caused by noise on the USB bus as well? We’ll see. Zwifting away in a couple of days)!

Facebook Graph API: (#324) Missing or invalid image file

If you keep getting errors when trying to set a custom page tab icon when adding an app to a page – make sure that the application is actually published. You can add it – and the icon will change, but will still generate an error – if the application isn’t published yet. No idea why it’d give an error like that, but hey.

There’s quite a few other reasons for the error as well, but Google have probably already told you about those.

Old Ubuntu-releases in APT / etc.

We have an old VM (Ubuntu 14.10) that we just have running – it does a very specific job, isn’t connected to anything important and just shugs along. But because of a dependency issue with external software, we needed to install a new library to it – and because of dependencies when we first set up the VM, Ubuntu was the distro selected.

Sadly all the old URLs for apt-get in sources.list had stopped working, as the mirrors no longer had that specific Ubuntu (utopic) version available.

Luckily – after a bit of using our old friend Google – I found old-releases.ubuntu.com. This is also available as an archive for content through APT, so if you prefix your old addresses with old-releases.ubuntu.com instead of whatever mirror you’re used to fetching images from, you can get last version of the packages made available when you first set up your distro.

Saved the day!

“python.exe has stopped working” suddenly appeared under Windows 10

When attempting to start python tonight, Windows 10 suddenly produced the “python.exe has stopped working” error. Examining the event in the Event Viewer didn’t provide any more useful information, but surprisingly everything worked if I launched python.exe directly from Explorer – or through bash (cygwin), but not if I launched it through the regular command line (cmd.exe).

What solved it? Removing the old directory again (even after trying a fresh install) and then explicitly finding the 64-bit version from the python download page (it gives you the 32-bit version by default, it seems). Reinstalling with the new archive fixed everything, and now it works again (and I checked “pre-compile the standard library, but that shouldn’t change anything)! Woho! Now to just reinstall quite a few virtualenvs..

Android: Changing the Title of an Activity – setTitle works – android:label does not?

To change the title of an activity (to show a more custom title for a certain activity than the application title), you can set the new title either through calling setTitle("foo") on the activity or by setting android:label="@string/price_after_rebate" in your activity style.

The problem was that the latter didn’t work, while the first one did. I try to keep any static definitions related to the activities outside of the code itself, but that’s hard when it doesn’t work as expected.

Turns out that if there’s a title set in the AndroidManifest.xml file (located under app/manifests/ in the standard layout / Android Studio), it’ll override any title set elsewhere in the definitions. You can change the specific titles by setting android:label="@string/price_after_rebate" on the activity definitions in the manifest instead of the activity xml file:

<activity
    android:name=".xyz.Foo"
    android:parentActivityName=".MainActivity"
    android:label="@string/xyz_foo_activity_title"
>
    <meta-data
        android:name="android.support.PARENT_ACTIVITY"
        android:value="xyz.MainActivity" />
</activity>

Enabling OpenVPN configuration / autostart on Ubuntu

This assumes that you’ve already made sure that your configuration is valid and is able to connect (you can do this by calling openvpn --config /etc/openvpn/FILENAME.conf directly. It won’t be daemonized, but it will give you any errors on the console directly).

There’s a few details you’ll have to get right before the openvpn daemon starts your configuration automagically under Ubuntu:

  1. Your configuration has to be under /etc/openvpn/FILENAME.conf. The .conf part is important. If it ends with .ovpn or anything else, it won't be loaded.
  2. Ubuntu isn't set to start all configurations by default. You can change this by editing /etc/default/openvpn. Change the AUTOSTART variable to the configurations you want to start when the daemon starts. The example in the file says "all", which means that all defined configurations will start. This is OK if you want to keep openvpn up at all times.
  3. You have to tell systemd that you've changed the default file. If you don't do this, nothing will have appeared to change for openvpn - unless you restart the OS. And you don't want to restart your server just to make a setting visible. Do systemctl daemon-reload to make systemd reload the settings (this is also in the comments in the file, but hey, you don't have time to read those, so now you're searching Google instead).
  4. Restart openvpn: service openvpn restart
  5. Confirm that everything went OK by looking in /var/log/syslog

Installing Intel RST – Error Message “This platform is not supported”

While trying to find out why my Intel RAID had disappeared after upgrading to Windows 10 (but I still had the disks visible), I was trying to install Intel RST to be able to configure my RAID and see if there was any configuration left. The Intel RST installer did however refuse to install, and just gave the cryptic message “This platform is not supported”. It didn’t say .. which platform or what a platform was or .. anything usable (and the log file didn’t tell me much more).

The reason? My motherboard had the SATA mode set to ACHI and not to “RAID”. Went into the bios, changed AHCI to RAID in the advanced / SATA configuration, and rebooted. Intel RST installed as it should! And I had to recreate my RAID1 – but Intel RST allows you to say “this is the disk you should keep, so mirror this to the other disk” when creating (be sure to check the LUN/BUS/etc. IDs in the properties for each disk so you can provide the correct disk as the master copy if they’re out of sync).

So: BIOS -> Advanced -> SATA -> SATA MODE -> RAID.

Mounting / Serving a Pyramid Application From Several Paths / URLs

One of the requirements for an application we’re developing is that the same application should be served from different endpoints. The application currently lives at / at one of our servers, but should also be available at /foo/bar – which is served through a 3rd party varnish with our server as the backend, pulling the application into a different domain name space.

mod_wsgi in Apache supports this, but for those of us who are not using the Apache version, you can also handle it directly in the Pyramid configuration by using the urlmap handler, available in the Paste library.

Our old configuration:

[app:main]
use = egg:applicationname

First, we’ll have to require paste in setup.py, so add:

'paste',

to the requires = [ ... ] list in your setup.py (and rerun setup.py develop).

Second, use urlmap as your main application in your configuration (development.ini, production.ini). urlmap will then route the request internally to the required application (which also means that the endpoints may point to different applications, but we’re not using that yet):

[composite:main]
use = egg:Paste#urlmap
/ = applicationname
/foo/bar = applicationname
/spam/ham = applicationname

[app:applicationname]
use = egg:applicationame

The composite app is now the main entry point for the WSGI application, which then hands the request off to the actual application, applicationname.