Montevideo Uruguay

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Montevideo Uruguay for work. To be honest before working at my current employer I had never really heard of the country other than knowing it was in Latin America. After my most recent trip in February to Montevideo I must say if you have never been you should make a point to visit - Read more

Mac OS Yosemite and ZFS raid not mounting

I recently updated my mac pro from Mavericks to Yosemite.  Afterwords my ZFS raid 5 stopped working (was not seen by the system). Please read this entire guide and the warnings before trying to fix your issue! Also please backup your data before trying to fix your zfs raid. To fix this I did the following: Next i upgraded my zpool Read more

Meet Parker

Just a quick post - but meet Parker, a new member of my family! He is a great little kitten who is playful and really enjoys hanging out with me. When I got this kitten he was .7 lbs, now he's almost 3 lbs he's growing fast! Hes a handful but a blast to have Read more

Installing WebKeePass

I wanted to install WebKeePass, an easy to use password manager which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way via a web interface. Its also totally free and very robust which were major bonus in my oppinion. There are many quides out there but I did not find a single complete, end-to-end, guide that walks you though the Read more

Blogging

Mac OS Yosemite and ZFS raid not mounting

I recently updated my mac pro from Mavericks to Yosemite.  Afterwords my ZFS raid 5 stopped working (was not seen by the system). Please read this entire guide and the warnings before trying to fix your issue! Also please backup your data before trying to fix your zfs raid.

To fix this I did the following:

Downloaded ZFS 1.2.7 from HERE
Reboot your mac

Next i upgraded my zpool from Terminal

zpool upgrade data (NOTE: data is the name of my zpool change this to your zpool’s name.)

After all this i noticed the mount point for my zpool was not set so i set the mount point.

zfs set mountpoint=/Volumes/data data

To verify the above command worked i displayed the mount points

zfs get mountpoint data

After this i saw that it was not mounted so to mount the pool you do

zfs mount data

After this I was able to use my raid 5 drive.

***Please note*** the content of this article has only been tested on one system – if you chose to try it do so at your own risk and backup any data before starting! This is meant as a high leave guide that may not work on your system and may not contain all the steps!

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Installing WebKeePass

I wanted to install WebKeePass, an easy to use password manager which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way via a web interface. Its also totally free and very robust which were major bonus in my oppinion. There are many quides out there but I did not find a single complete, end-to-end, guide that walks you though the install as well as enabling the app to start and stop on server boot and shutdown.

Below are the steps I took. As always follow these at your own risk and its very helpful if you have linux experience to tailor these steps to your system, as I did.

To give you a bit of background on my environment, my server runs Ubuntu 14.04 server 64 bit and all steps are based on that.

INSTALL BEGIN HERE

PHASE 1 (installing the app)

1) SSH to the Ubuntu box install Java on the box:
– For Oracle Java 7:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo appt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

2) Set the JAVA_HOME environment variable

cd /etc
nano environment
  –> insert the line: “JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle” at the bottom of the file.

This is what mine looks like:

PATH=”/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/$
JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle

3) Reboot the machine

sudo shutdown –r now

4) Using SCP/Filezilla on your machine, copy the latest build of Web KeePass to your server. You can download it here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/webkeepass/files/

5) Unzip the file:

unzip WebKeePass-3.xxxxx.zip

6) change to the WebKeyPass directory we just

cd WebKeePass3-xxxxx

7) make the installer execuatable

chmod a+x Install.sh

8) run the installer

./install.sh
 (i ran this as root because I will run the app as root)

9) The installer will prompt you for several questions

Specify the installation directory (e.g. /WebKeePass I created this directory before i started the install and set the permissions and ownership) and the Java directory (e.g. JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle)

10) Specify the admin and normal user accounts and password

11) Specify the encryption that should be used (e.g. DES, AES, BlowFish (I recommend AES but do your research))

12) Once everything is installed change to the /WebKeePass directory

cd /WebKeePass

12) Set the startup file to executable

chmod a+x ./startup.sh

13) Set all filed in the tomcat bin directory to executable.

chmod a+x jakarta-tomcat-5.5.7/bin/*

14) Start the app

./startup.sh

if all goes well, you will be able to see the following lines:

root@webkeepass:/WebKeePass# ./startup.sh
Using CATALINA_BASE: /WebKeePass/jakarta-tomcat-5.5.7
Using CATALINA_HOME: /WebKeePass/jakarta-tomcat-5.5.7
Using CATALINA_TMPDIR: /WebKeePass/jakarta-tomcat-5.5.7/temp
Using JAVA_HOME: /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle

and you will be able to access WebKeePass at:

https://<your server’s ip>:8443

PHASE 2 (if wanted to automate the startup and shutdown of the app)

At this point life is good and you can use the app as is, however I wanted to be able to have the app start and stop on boot. So in the /WebKeePass folder I modified the startup script and created a shutdown scrip. You can copy these or make your own:

1) Create a startup script

nano /WebKeePass/startup.sh

2) Enter these lines in the startup script

export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle
cd /WebKeePass/jakarta-tomcat-5.5.7/bin/
./startup.sh

3) Create a shutdown script

nano /WebKeePass/shutdown.sh

4) Enter these lines in the shutdown script

root@hosting:/WebKeePass# cat /WebKeePass/shutdown.sh
cd /WebKeePass/jakarta-tomcat-5.5.7/bin/
./shutdown.sh

5) Next I created a script for my inet.d folder to use to start/stop and restart the app as a service. For now I did this in the /WebKeePass folder to test it but once working I moved it to /etc/init.d

nano  /WebKeePass/webkeypass

6) If your setup is exactly like mine enter these lines into the script (other wise please modify it to fit your installation)

#! /bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: WebKeePass
# Required-Start: $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop: $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: WebKeePass
# Description: This file starts and stops WebKeyPass server
#
### END INIT INFO

case “$1” in
start)
/WebKeePass/startup.sh
;;

stop)
/WebKeePass/shutdown.sh
sleep 10
;;

restart)
/WebKeePass/shutdown.sh
sleep 20
/WebKeePass/startup.sh
;;
*)
echo “Usage: WebKeePass {start|stop|restart}” >&2
exit 3
;;
esac

7) Now lets  make the script executable and test the script

sudo chmod a+x

./webkeepass start (should start the app)
./webkeepass stop (should stop the app)
./webkeepass restart (should restart the app)

8) if this worked lets copy the script to /etc/init.d

mv /WebKeePass/webkeepass /etc/init.d

9) register the script

sudo update-rc.d webkeepass defaults

10) Reboot your server, if everything worked your app will start on its own now.

Enjoy!

 

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Internal Server Error 500 when uploading files via WordPress

Well as the title says I had been getting an internal-server-error-500/ error when uploading files via WordPress. I also had these error in my other non-wordpress sites like my MediaWiki. I use ISPconfig to host everything so I went down a rabbit hole to fix this. I saw several guide / suggestions on the issue and no single guide worked for me so below is a list of the steps I took to fix the issue.

Its worth noting this was a combination of ISPconfig and PHP that was causing the error and thats why most of the single guides to fix it did not work for me.

As normal follow this at your own risk and it helps if you have linux experience to tailor these to fit your system.

1) First under ISPconfig I added the following settings in the custom PHP setting section of each website having issuesdisplay_errors = On

post_max_size = 50M
upload_max_filesize = 50M

2) ssh to your server and edit the php.ini file located in: /etc/php5/cgi

cd /etc/php5/cgi
nano php.ini

change the upload_max_filesize = 2M from 2M to 50M
also change post_max_size = 2M to 50M

exit and save file

3) Last edit fcgid config file

cd /etc/apache2/mods-available/
nano fcgid.conf

add the line MaxRequestLen 52428800

Save and exit

I added this line under FcgidConnectTimeout 20 this is what mine looks like

<IfModule mod_fcgid.c>
FcgidConnectTimeout 20
MaxRequestLen 52428800
<IfModule mod_mime.c>
AddHandler fcgid-script .fcgi
</IfModule>
</IfModule>

4) restart server and wallah you can now upload any image that is 50mb or less!

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Xerox DocuMate 3125 v/ Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500

For some time now I have been faced with the daunting task of scanning several thousand family photos. I finally decided to embark on a quest to find a good, reliable photo scanner. I will share my journey of this quest with you below. (these are only my personal experiences and yours may vary)

The requirements for the project were that the scanner have an ADF (auto document feeder), One touch scan button, scan at a minimum of 600 DPI and last and most important it must scan duplex.

You ask yourself, why do you need a duplex scanner for photos… The answer is simple, having several thousand family photos to scan I don’t have the time to name the files and did not want to lose all the details on the back. My family was very attentive to detail with photos, the backs of many of the photos listed times, dates, locations names etc. To me this information is just as important as the image itself.

I spent a day or so researching my options and came up with two choices, the Xerox DocuMate 3125 and the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500.

        

At first glance they appeared very similar, however the ScanSnap offered a few more features including wireless scanning, which I did not need, and was $100 more expensive.

In my opinion Xerox is the big name in the copy industry, after all when you go to make a copy at work you are going to the xerox machine… Even if its a cannon 🙂 Needless to say I chose the Xerox.

Initially the scanner worked flawlessly. It was fast and did just what I needed. However, after only a few hundred photos scanned the images appeared to have vertical lines in the photos (obviously these did not exist in my source images).

I know that these scanners need to be cleaned from time to time, so i cleaned the feed wheels and glass. Sadly the issue did not improve, in fact over the next few scans it became progressively worse. I will also note that several times the scanner would miss-feed and I would have to rescan a group of photos.

I tried to find a solution for the Xerox scanner issues, but could not. While the Xerox had very good reviews online, I did not have a good experience with it. My specific unit may have been defective and another may have worked fine; I however, was not willing to chance it and waste more time. I had already wasted two days trying to find a solution to the lines appearing in the scanned images.

I ended up having to return the Xerox and purchased the ScanSnap. I have made several thousand scans on the ScanSnap and have not had a single issue. Not one time has the ScanSnap had a misfeed. I have had to clean the scanner a few times but its been no big deal and works as good as new, after.

Originally the default configuration for the ScanSnap was clunky and popped up after every scan (using the one touch scan button). I was able to disable the popup in the software and have my images directly saved to a location of my choice on the local drive. This resolved the clunky interface issues and made the one touch scanning a breeze.

In my opinion the ScanSnap is the clear winner! At $100 more expensive its definitely not the bargain scanner, however, some of the extra features I originally thought I would not need have come in handy. Additionally its extremely reliable build construction has proven to stand the test of thousands of photos with out a single issue.

I wholeheartedly recommend the ScanSnap IX500 from my experiences with it. I welcome feedback from others and to hear what your experiences are with the Xerox 3125 or the ScanSnap IX500.

Happy Scanning,

Shane

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Changing the WordPress domain name

In addition to the ShaneKarl.com website, I maintain the WY9U.com website. Until earlier tonight WY9U.com was WY9U.net. I am not going to get into WY9U and what that is. If you follow my post, you already know.

When I went to change the domain name of the WY9U.net to WY9U.com I had a fairly good idea of what to do, so I thought… I started by reading the how-to’s on the wordpress site, found here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Changing_The_Site_URL.

To keep from rehashing the entire post the gist was that all i need to do was log on to my admin console and go under Settings – General and change the field named “WordPress address (URL)” and “Site address (URL)” to my new domain name. The article goes on to say these are important settings, since they control where WordPress thinks your site is located. They control the display of the URL in the admin section of your page as well as the front end, and are used throughout the WordPress code.

Okay easy enough, so I thought. This was going great. After making the changes I open another browser and low and behold WY9U.com and it pops right up and my admin console is responsive to the new URL. Everything is great until I click one of the lines to another page on my site. As soon as i do that, POW, BANG, BOOM, e-r-r-o-r!!! It turns out the database did not update the reference to the new url for every page that was previously created.

I played with this for sometime and after a bit I found a very simple solution. In the admin console under Settings – Permalink’s, I change the link style from the current style to another (any other it did not matter which). This forced the database to update all of my URL’s and then I went back and change the Permalink selection back to my decided setting. Overall this was a small problem but something one of you may run into one day.

Its also worth noting if you have custom written or modified your theme, you may also need to change any hard coded links in the theme (but we all know better than to ever do that, right?)

🙂

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