This tutorial will show you how to set up a serial console on a Linux system, and connect to it via a null modem cable. This is quite useful if your Linux server is in a headless configuration (no keyboard or monitor), as it allows you to easily get a console on the system if there are any problems with it (especially network problems, when SSH is not available). In the end, the GRUB menu will appear over the serial link, as will the bootup messages (output when booting the system). I'm using Debian Etch on the server and Ubuntu Edgy on my client, although this should work on any Linux distribution.

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The other day, I was looking for an easy way to restore a MySQL dump (or backup, whatever you like to call it) in PHP. I've previously used a segment of the code from PHP MySQL Backup V 2.2 for this, but it didn't seem to support FULLTEXT indicies that well. So, I searched around, but couldn't find anything. I even asked on the PHP IRC channel, and they suggested to use shell_exec to call mysql (unfortunately, I've disabled shell_exec for security reasons). Looking closer, I noticed that this was actually quite easy to do.

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In this tutorial, I'll show you how to install Linux-Vserver on Debian Testing (Etch), the easy way. This was the first tutorial I posted to, so please tell me if you like it or not. You may find it a bit verbose, as I try to explain things in enough detail so that everyone understands what I mean 😃

What is Linux-Vserver, you ask? It's simple. Basically, Linux-Vserver is an open-source system used to separate a single physical server into multiple virtual servers. From the Linux-Vserver website:

"Linux-VServer allows you to create virtual private servers and security contexts which operate like a normal Linux server, but allow many independent servers to be run simultaneously in one box at full speed. All services, such as ssh, mail, Web, and databases, can be started on such a VPS, without modification, just like on any real server. Each virtual server has its own user account database and root password and doesn't interfere with other virtual servers."

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Sure, there's been some stupid eBay auctions in the past, but this has got to be the stupidest eBay auction ever! Someone was trying to sell contact information of a person who has a PlayStation 3... Here's the description that was posted:

You are bidding on the contact information for my friend who acquired a PS3 by waiting in line outside Best Buy for two days in advance. I was there with him the entire time, but already sold mine. He has in his posession a PS3, extra controller, extra charger, three games (Resistance, Madden, and Ridge Racer), and a 2 year product replacement plan. Keep in mind that you are not bidding on an actual system, but only the information where you might obtain one. You will be able to contact him and he is very willing to sell if the price is right. The unit is in the Atlanta, GA area and he would be willing to deliver in person if close by. PayPal is the only payment form accepted.

As soon as I saw this, I couldn't believe that someone would be trying to sell contact information on eBay, and certainly didn't think that anyone would bid on it...

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Well, I was looking at last month's statistics for, and I happened to notice something interesting in the list of browsers people are using:

Browsers used to visit site - October 2006

It appears that more of my site's visitors are now using Firefox rather than Internet Explorer... Also, 11% of visitors are Opera users (if only there were more 😛)

What was even more interesting was the list of operating systems people are using:

Operating Systems used to visit site - October 2006

Can you see it? Look towards the end of that list... 10 hits from a person using AmigaOS! I didn't even know that AmigaOS was still used 😛

I had an Amiga 2000... A long, long time ago, before I knew how to use a computer properly. I always used this painting program (but I can no longer remember what it was called).

Update: OK, I remember now, it was called DPaint 😛

Well, it's that time of year again: Exam time. Because of this, I won't have much time to work on my websites.

Anyways, the exams I'm having are:

Wednesday 8th November

  • 9:00am - 11:15am: English
  • 1:40pm - 2:45pm: Maths Methods (non-calculator)

Thursday 9th November

  • 11:05am - 12:40pm: Information Systems

Friday 10th November

  • 11:05am - 1:10pm: Specialist Maths (calculator)

Monday 13th November

  • 9:00am - 10:35am: Physics
  • 1:40pm - 2:45pm: Specialist Maths (non-calculator)

Tueaday 14th November

  • 9:00am - 10:35am: Chemistry
  • 11:05am - 1:10pm: Maths Methods (calculator)

The best thing is that once all the exams are over, I don't have any more school 😃

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