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More movie theft.Wednesday 23rd July 2008
I went to see a film the other week, at the start there is the usual masse of advertising. Although this time, there was a Wall-E clip; which was odd, as I had already seen the trailer (repeating trailers, that can't be good).

Ahhh no, it was a way of educating the masses on how piracy is wrong. A cute kids TV character. Something along the lines of "Even Wall-E knows a rip off DVD when he sees one".

The advert, sorry educational video, then proceeded to tell us how copied DVD's are poor quality.

Mmm... thanks for making me feel like a theft after I coughed up (actually, somebody else paid), money to see the film. Not to mention the fact that DVD is DIGITAL. Mean there is NO loss of quality when you rip one. It's a bit for bit copy. Computers generally have no trouble in working out if a bit is a 1 or a 0, and the accurately representing that elsewhere.

Sure, there is the fact that printed DVD's are dual layer, and dual layer writeable disks are expensive - but films, especially from Disney or like, generally fit happily on a single layer disk if you remove all the educational videos telling you not to steal (not that I've tried).


Where to find my e-mailTuesday 8th July 2008
I currently read my e-mail on my phone and my laptop via IMAP to mail hosting; and then by POP3 with my PC, so I download all my mail to my local machine. This used to be fine as 99% of the time I used my PC. But now I have unlimited data on my mobile phone and spend vastly more time sat on the sofa with my laptop - I want to be able to access all my mail from wherever. I'm also a hoarder, so I want to keep all my mail (except junk).

Solution? Host my own mail. I've got for a half-way step, and not setup my domain's MX record to my PC (as my server is hardly resilient).

I'm running my server on Linux, which means all this sort of stuff is really easy to do without having to install funny, and expensive, things such as Exchange.

My setup is this:
* Fetchmail to poll my hosted mailbox. This downloads mail every 5 minutes and sends it to:
* Postfix SMTP server. This sends mail into my local Maildir setup (this is stored on a mirrored array for resilience).
* I can then read my mail from Dovecot IMAPs server. Which provides SSL encrypted communication with my client (phone, laptop, pc).

I've been meaning to do this for sometime, but haven't got round to it. I was very pleased to find out how easy it is to setup. Most of it was already setup, apart from Postfix by default uses the "mbox" mail format, which isn't so good with lots of mail. This was easy to change with a tweak to /etc/postfix/main.cf (home_mailbox = Maildir/). Naturally, also configure Dovecot to use Maildir (as per the quick setup instructions on their web-site).

My next task is to install SpamAssassin to filter out spam before it gets to my Inbox; meaning I do not have to maintain several spam filtering rules on various devices (not easy on a mobile phone).


Hacking PidginTuesday 1st July 2008
Today when I logon to Pidgin (my Instant Messaging client) I was unable to connect to ICQ.

The error I received was:
"Your client version is too old, please update at http://pidgin.im"

So naturally, I went off to the Pidgin site to download the latest version. Ah, by the looks of things so is everybody else, as the site was dead when I tried to look. Luckily I'm not that dumb so I just downloaded the latest release (2.4.2) from SourceForge where the project is hosted.

Alas, this did not fix the problem. But a bit of searching turned up the wonders of a HEX editor. Very useful things if you know how to use them. I used UltraEdit as that's what I've currently got installed and has HEX support.

Thanks to Adrian on the Pidgin forum for this trick:

# Close Pidgin
# Load "liboscar.dll" from the Pidgin install directory into a HEX editor
# Navigate to offset 0x19b67
# Change the value 0x0a (displayed as 0A) to 0x0b (or 0B).
# Save
# Start Pidgin

Bish bash bosh - as they say.


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