Sunday, June 19, 2011

The End

You can go here to try it out <- If you want to download it.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Get minimal.w2p from web2py-teaching-mode or here
Copy it to /home/user/web2py, rename or delete welcome.w2p and rename minimal.w2p to welcome.w2p.

Friday, June 10, 2011


The package maintainer got back and said that the package was missing a critical file. I tested the new package and it works.

On web development I'm adapting the shopping scripts to use sqlite. It appears to add to the database. Now I need to adapt it to produce a decent looking output.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Used Kevin's tweaker to make a shopping list program. For improvement I plan on making it total the quantity and price, restrict input in the quantity and price field to numbers only and by default make it one item per "item". I might trying adding a delete function but after I learn some more (SQL?).

I got the latest unstable debian package which is also the latest web2py. I have verified that it does NOT work with math quiz. Still import errors.

I e-mailed Nico about it after his suggestion in IRC and will see his response tomorrow.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Change default web2py template

To change the default web2py template from the Welcome app to Nico's Minimal app. Copy the minimal.w2p to the root of the web2py directory, delete or backup welcome.w2p and rename minimal.w2p to welcome.w2p.

Courtesy of Nico.

Instructions for the web2py package coming soon...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Testing 6/1/11

Running an imported package
You cannot just copy an application from one web2py installation to teaching-mode-web2py. You must package it an import it.
Only the admin can see the app even if another user imported it and even then only the admin can run it, not edit.

I've encountered a problem which I am going to try to see if I can reproduce where trying to access the admin interface I encounter a redirect loop. This occurs in both Firefox and Chrome but is remedied by clearing the cookies.

I also lost all of my test users from yesterday. The teacher was fine though. I have no idea on how it happened.

As a suggestion the teacher should at least be able to uninstall a student's apps if not given full control.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Testing 5/31/11

I'll figure out better titles for these posts later but for now...

I created three users. Me and two test users. I was the first user to register. So what I have learned so far...

The first user can see any apps that the test users create, the test users can only see their own apps and the teacher cannot edit the student apps (whether they should be able to I need to find out).

Jeff gave me some apps to test. I copied them to the applications directory and they appear in the admin interface but when I try to run them it gives me an error.

When a student creates an app and then uninstalls it. The app is removed from the applications directory but left in the applist.

First day of Senior Experience


Well it's time to get serious about Web2py (not to say I haven't been already...). I'll be spending 30 hours a week for 3 weeks at the Arlington Career Center where I will be working with Nico and fellow students on web2py (teaching mode). That's the basic goal. I'm sure some other problems will arrive on the way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I dislike stupid configs

So Nico's custom web2py is up. I followed the web2py book (see previous blog post) on installing web2py except I did it to /opt/ per Matt's recommendation. Everything was smooth sailing but until I tried restarting apache. Told me to look at the error logs and but I missed it the first go around. I checked it again and realized that the custom error logs (why the hell the config has custom error logs is beyond me) did not exist (duh). I removed the line from the config and now everything works. Finally.

I have not touched web2py though. I'm going to send Nico an e-mail tonight.

I also disabled cando. Hope Matt didn't need it :) (I asked him and we'll see what he says)

(Also Monday I found out that you can switch to Ubuntu Classic before you log-in, not worthy of a seperate post but still awesome)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Replacing current Web2py

I'm currently replacing Matt's web2py install from scratch. Jeff mentioned we used WSGI this time with web2py and Matt/Nico both pointed me towards web2py docs on configuring web2py with apache and wsgi.

I did get started on that and I finished configuring apache and tomorrow will get started on configuring wsgi.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

IRC chat with Nico

We (Me, Jeff and Matt) had our IRC chat with Nico where we talked about making me a teacher on the server but we no longer have the admin password so that didn't really work out. Today was more about getting acquainted and going over what the plan was. I had to leave during the chat but I will try and find the logs.

Monday, May 9, 2011


There was no problem. You just have to read the entire pop-up message where at the very end mentions you should make a copy of the tutorial for yourself. I guess the files are in a read only location to prevent editing. The creators definitely could have put that message at the top instead of at the bottom of the long error because who is running Greenfoot off a CD or something? (Read the error and you'll understand). That is all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Friday...

We decided to forgo zentyal-desktop and just work with LDAP. zentyal-desktop is unstable and nobody seems to be maintaining it at the moment. I've also been taken off Zentyal for the moment to fix a problem with Greenfoot. Looks like permissions problems as Jeff said but the question is why in the first place but I'll probably just fix it and leave the questions for later.

As a side project (for myself) I'm going to set up a central XBMC server. If you don't know XBMC formerly known as Xbox Media Center is the name suggests a media center. Some cool person made a minimal ubuntu image with xbmc to be loaded over the network like the LTSP set up we used to have. Although another person came up with a solution involving a MySQL database syncing content between the clients. I'm leaning towards the LTSP setup since it requires me to only manage one machine out of five. I would like to try the MySQL set up just because it would be something new but I'm thinking of the practicality here. I was also thinking of symlinking everything...

Thursday, May 5, 2011


After installing zentyal-desktop I immediately broke it. I'm actually not sure if it was my fault. In the instructions for installing zentyal-desktop it states to ignore anything about LDAP. It's kinda of hard to ignore when it's giving me prompts saying Yes/No and asking for certain input. I'm sure that I set up the server side correctly though. So right now the netbook cannot log onto the test account. While looking at that I'm setting up a virtual machine also so that I can have something I can roll back when it breaks.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Zentyal Finished (Installing)

The Zentyal installation finished without breaking. I also set one of the little netbooks on installing ubuntu so come Thursday I can use it for zentyal testing.

I also took my AP Comp Sci test. Not as hard as I expected but that's probably because the UMD contest was impossible. I'm sure Henry will have already told you about the Calculus exam tomorrow which will probably last longer than the Comp Sci exam.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Was not here Thursday....

Since I could not use the XOs I helped Henry again with Zentyal. The install worked fine but there was a networking problem. It was a fairly simple issue with internet traffic coming through the PCI NIC vs the onboard one which we assumed would be the default interface.

It's been an unfufilling week considering I've been absent two days and one day I can't work. I'll try to do more work next week and be less absent.


Was not at school on Monday.

Tuesday and Wednesday I worked with (prodded) Matt on jabber. We were going to test Tuesday but apparently the ejabberd install broke.

Wednesday Matt fixed it and we were able to communicate via pidgin. According to Matt XO chat works. I also helped Henry a bit with his Zentyal install which seems to keep breaking one due to automatic shut offs due to overheating and a badly burned disc (not the painful kind of burn).

Also you marked me absent Wednesday. I was there and even stayed after school!

Also also I used your html learning website for a website for my brother :P I butchered the html so it doesn't validate anymore. I think I'll remove the button to hide my shame.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Thank you autosave for not saving my work.

Rewriting what used to be in this post I worked with tcpdump at Matt's recommendation and wireshark. I was trying to monitor packets going XO->ejabberd->XO. That didn't work though since they didn't communicate through it. I used wireshark to find that part out... I also found there is a CLI version of wireshark called tshark incase you want more than tcpdump but have no GUI.

On the flip side I tested Luke's patch for gasp in Lucid and it works fine.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Installing and Setting up Saros

To install Saros go the the help menu in Eclipse and then choose "Install New Software"

In the "Work With" field copy/paste into it and hit enter. Eventually a few packages will appear. Choose the latest one and install it. Straightforward.

Then you must do the same thing except with You only have one package to choose from. Install that and you will be done.

Problem seems to be that the original install script for Saros tried referring to a link that no longer exists. If you install the dependency beforehand though from the first link everything works just fine.

Now to set up Saros you go to Saros and then start the configuration. Input your gmail and password AND NOW expand the window downward and press the server button. Put in there. Then configure it as you wish. (I would set it to auto connect).

Friday, April 8, 2011

XO Test

I began updating the XOs yesterday via USB which wipes, flashes and updates the XO. One of them finished but the other did not. So I left it up to Jeff to finish it up! I'm currently reading some docs and trying to figure out why the Saros plugin refuses to work with Google's XMPP servers. We may just have to use our Jabber server or some other publicly available one.

Saros is now working. I guess it just decided to work when I started it up...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eclipse Saros

Ejabberd works fine out of the box. I tried installing Saros to see how it would work with ejabberd since it uses XMPP and Jeff told me too. Unfortunately it doesn't install from the built in plug-in manager in eclipse as it seems it can find a dependency so I'm going to try to manually install it tomorrow.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fourth Quarter Project Proposal

Title: School Server XS
Date: 4/4/11
Description: Create a recipe with Matt for building a working School Server XS that includes Matt's ejabberd patches and work alongside with OLE Nepal.


1. Work with Matt and Nepa
2. Create a working recipe for building a School Server that supports Matt's patches


1. OLPC Community
2. Matt
3. OLE Nepal


1. Get it done by May
2. ???

Working docs!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ejabberd docs

Yesterday I installed ejabberd and began looking at documentation. Today I found this and used it to get it running with an admin and test account.

The user is test, pass is test and the admin is the usual password. To access the admin interface it's

I attempted testing it with Pidgin but I could only log in with the admin account. I hope to get it working tomorrow and figure out how to actually use pidgin...

Friday, March 25, 2011

XMPP and Test Suite

I found these three docs the other day the are relevant to what I will be doing. Seems like some of the community has set up a test suite for making sure an XS server is working with one guy having done some load testing. Unfortunately it seems the test suite and the tests done on ejabberd were done in 2008 so they might not be relevant.

I've also taken a look at XMPP. Basically (so I don't run out of time) it is a open-source server-client architecture without a main authentication server so you don't log into Google or the likes.

I checked up on ejabberd and it is in active development with the latest release last december.

More next week...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stalking AKS

This is the e-mail Douglas found

and this one is the one I found on Gitorious

I would think the second one is his personal e-mail so choose whichever you like.

And IRC logs here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sugar VirtualBox

Go here.

Go to "Sugar on a Stick v4 Mango Lassi"

Download the first two files. Third is unnecessary.

In VirtualBox create a new machine as a Fedora machine with 256mb of memory. Instead of creating a new hard drive load the one you downloaded.

Once that is done you can boot up and use "sugaruser" as the password to login in and "sugarrroot" as the root password.

You CAN update it using "yum groupinstall sugar-desktop" in the sugar terminal but in the VM I'm using it doesn't seem to work.

Friday, March 18, 2011

GRUB and stuff

Yesterday and today I talked to Jeff about the purpose of the machine, which I would still like to follow up on. Also wired the LEDs! Thankfully the disc did contain a manual.

Jeff installed CentOS and Fedora yesterday but kinda broke GRUB. Now I managed to fix it with my usually tendency of fixing things right before the end of class and leaving without blogging. But here we go.

CentOS is on sda1, swap on sda2 and Fedora on sda3. I will tell you my solution to the problem but mind you this won't always fix GRUB. I mounted sda1 and chrooted into it so I could access the /boot/grub. I opened menu.lst and copied the entries for CentOS. I then opened the same file on the Fedora partition and copied the entries to the menu.lst there and commented out hiddenmenu.

I believe what happened is GRUB was installed on CentOS and then Fedora as Jeff said. Now GRUB was configured to boot just into Fedora silently since it believed there was no other OS. By copying the entry from menu.lst in CentOS to the one in Fedora it told it GRUB where to find CentOS. Commenting the hiddenmenu option out also meant that when you boot you got to see the GRUB menu again. The End.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


You can read Henry's blog post about yesterday. Fun.

Today I replaced the motherboard on a machine since it apparently was on the fritz. From what I understand it is going to be used as a showcase for Schooltool and Jabber. Jeff wants me to able to compile a set of instructions on how to set up a machine like it so anyone can make on.

I will wire the LEDs tomorrow. Don't worry!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rooting NeXTStation

So I'm putting off the printing for now and in the mean time I've tried rooting the other NeXT machine. The it worked just fine but I've run into a problem where whenever I boot it always takes me to the, select your keyboard prompt and drops me into single user mode. Logging out just takes me back to the same prompt. The computer is also running 3.3 so it might be best just to install Openstep 4.2 if I can get a hold of the OS.

If you have another project to work on that (which you can mention in the comments or e-mail!) would be nice otherwise I'll continue to working on networking the printer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Network Printing Woes

My progress with the NeXTCube has stopped at network printing. I've come across a thread about networking printing nobody answered, some strange unformatted document from usenet and a website that does not appear on the wayback machine. I will e-mail John and continue to search for an answer. I can say I did learn some new tricks on googling which helped me reach those dead ends!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Today I tested if networking worked after what I did to the nextcube last Friday. Best way to test it is to see if it can browse the internet no? Unfortunately like almost every damn program on the machine the browser is proprietary and it had a license for it that expired in 1999. I googled for a bit to see if I could find a new key but then realized that there aren't going to be new keys. I wasn't expecting it to work but I set the clock back to 1998 and lo and behold the web browser works. So that is that. Time to get network printing working.

Also here is that comprehensive pdf I thought was from Apple but isn't. Still works fine though!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

NeXT Networking Again

I believe I have set up NeXT networking for reals this time. I found a more comprehensive guide from Apple and followed to the letter so I hope it works. I did not have time to test it since I finished right before class had ended as usual. Once this is all done I will write about a doc about the NeXT machine itself (like credentials) and how to set up networking.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

NeXT Networking and Printing

So the printer seems to work just fine. Stupid on my part was I was trying to find the right cable for the printer (none of them would fit in the cube!). As I was googling I looked up at the computer for a sec and noticed a cable just sitting on the desk that was exactly right for the printer. I traced it back and it was already plugged in the cube, it just needed a printer -.- So that works.

Networking should work. I did not have enough time to test if my config will work. For some reason the "SimpleNetworkManager" app (oxymoron) would not let me alter the IP but I could change everything else. I did that manually in a configuration file but then had to leave so we'll see tomorrow if it works. I also have to manually add the DNS servers to another config file but I'll do that once I know networking works.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How to root NeXTStep/Openstep

Gotta thank Matt for this one and his google-fu. I just booted into single user mode. Here are the steps.

  • Start up the machine
  • Hold the two command keys and ~
  • Execute the command bsd -s
  • Execute /bin/sh /etc/rc
  • Execute passwd root to change the root password
After that you can login via the GUI as root and make new accounts. The standard linux user creation commands don't work here. I will be making a doc with the credentials and network information.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NeXT Workstation

What I did this entire week.

Helped Henry move paper!

Then I began working on NeXT...

I started playing with it and when I wanted to stick in a floppy it wouldn't go in correctly. The plastic flap was broken but Devin fixed it. Thanks Devin. After that...

I figured out how to open a terminal... From there I did su root and I never got a password prompt but neither an error either. I didn't have time to test it out and see if it would do anything. I also tried getting the NeXTCube working because the man who brought them in left a lot documentation and from what I could infer he was referring to the NeXTCube. In the docs it says the standard user account name and password and the root password. Unfortunately it does not work on the NeXTCube so I have abandoned that path for now although that would have made everything very easy. (It's even running OpenStep 4.2 if I remember correctly!)

What I plan on doing is installing OpenStep for Mach 4.2 on the first NeXT box Jeff had me working on. Apparently OpenStep is an operating system Sun and NeXT made stripped down version together so it could run on Solaris (???) Anyways although it is called OpenStep, OpenStep for Mach is basically just an newer version of NeXTStep for NeXT hardware. I also found GNUStep which is actually still being maintained but I don't know if it is meant to run on NeXT hardware.

I actually want to stay after school and do some work on this because I'm wasting a lot of time looking for docs online (very little docs) and working with the machines. It's basically like playing with a new operating system and you got to work it out yourself.

So when can I come in?

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I looked into some VNC options and I found one called TurboVNC. According to Wikipedia it is capable of displaying 1280x1024 images at over 20 frames per second on a 100megabit network. That would suit our needs perfectly if it works. I also found another VNC program that allows you to view everyone's computer screens if you're into that big brother stuff. I'll be trying it out on Monday to see how it works. Also from what I can see it's under the GPL.

he be watching you

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I have e-mailed you the dhcpd.conf. It belongs in the /etc/ltsp directory.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Yesterday I installed the SMART Slate. The bluetooth dongle worked out of the box (how far linux has come) and connecting the slate was simple. Two problems, one of which may be a feature. At the moment when you turn off the slate and turn it back on it does not reconnect to the computer. It's probably an Ubuntu problem since the connecting light blinks until it gets tired of connecting to nothing. The other problem is the slate acts as a mouse. This means you must move the stylus across the board to get to where you want to write unlike a smart board where it is where you click. The SMART website seems to say it should work like a SMART board so once we get the bluetooth working we'll work on that.

Monday, February 14, 2011

MAC based IP addressing

For some reason blogger was eating any text between <> so I used "".


host "hostname" {
hardware "ethernet mac address";
fixed-address "ip address";

This belongs in the dhcp config under /etc/ltsp.

Friday, February 11, 2011

CentOS Netinstall

Me and Henry have been working on getting the netinstall for CentOS to work. To be honest this has been a big unproductive failure but onto what's happened... What happens is we go through the basic network configuration and then it asks to enter a mirror and directory. So far every time we've tried this we end up with an error saying "unable to retrieve...stage2img" Suprisingly an error like this is experience by quite a few people but it seems undocumented on forums and bug trackers (guess we're just supposed to figure it out). We disabled IPv6 because someone said it solved their problem. We don't need it (right now...) but it didn't work. The mirror we were using is I curiously went to it with /centos/ and found it didn't work even though the documentation uses it... Now we are using a VT mirror.

Our stupid mistake...

So during the whole thing we made two mistakes. One. We were using a mirror that did not contain CentOS 5.5, just some older one. Two... Before we left I tried using a different interface and it worked. I blame myself and (of course Henry!) for not catching it. We got caught up believing that the error was the symptom of incorrect syntax but we were wrong... We probably would have wasted a lot less time if it didn't take CentOS 5 minutes to tell us if it worked or not.

Pulpit rock

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Java, LPIC and stuff

So for my fans that didn't know. I'm going to partake in the Java competition at the University of Maryland. Once I've actually taken the LPIC exam I'll try and read ahead more into Java. I'm probably not going to me of much use coding wise but I hope to get a better understanding of the concepts so I can help with the problem solving (and how one might go about doing it in java). Maybe we'll beat TJ this year.

I took an LPIC practice exam. I got around 60% but that was a while ago. I'm going to take another crack at it (I've studied more since then) and see what I get. The questions that really throw me off are the ones that require you to enter a command usually chaining them together. Those seem to be my biggest problem now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Go to and click Books & More long link (You can thank the almighty Henry for this slightly better link :)

Sign in with your NOVA ID

Search for lpic and off you go.

Me and Henry are using LPIC-1 In Depth.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Text Processing 1

Let's just get down to it.


> Redirects a command's output to a file

>> Does the same as above but appends it to the end of the file instead of overwriting

The book mentions there are multiple ways to do things such as

sort <>

The | I just used is a pipe. It allows you to chain two or more program's output.

tee performs like > but it sends the output to a file while also passing it to console so you can monitor what is occuring.

sort is a command that can sort a file's contents.

nl is a command that can number lines in a file which can make it easier to troubleshoot source code (if for some reason you're coding in vim...)

Apparently there is a witty command by the name of tac that can display a file backwards...

sed. For some reason the book refuses to give a good explanation so here are examples of what it can do.

sed s/cat/tac/ file will replace the first instance of cat with tac. Add "g" after /tact/ and it will replace every instance of cat with tac. Me and Henry actually used this when editing the /etc/hosts hostsname files since it contained the hostname more than once.

grep in most simple terms can find a string or phrase and return it to you.

Next is chapter 9 the Software Installation chapter and then I'm done LPIC part one...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recap of File Systems and Text Processing

The File System chapter was very long so I'm not going to cover everything there but here are the relevant bits (ha bits, because later I will talk about those).

locate can locate files. By default if you use locate myfile it will return myfile if it exists and any other file/directory that containts myfile. The locate command depends on a database so if you are looking for a new file locate may not be able to find it. To update manually use updatedb or slocate -u.

find is a command like locate but with many features. It can perform a search based on...

group - Group ownership

newer - Comparison of the dates to one file

user - User ownership

mtime - Modify time

atime - Access time

You can also run the -exec parameter so if find returns something it will be returned in place of the directory.

find /home -iname -exec -f {} /some/place the returned directory goes into the brackets.

Symlinks are like shortcuts which means you can access a file that is not actually stored on a system but is on another file system.

Bits (yay). File permissions are denoted by a trio of 3 bits. 4 is read (r), 2 is write (w) and 1 is execute (x). So if you were to use chmod which changes a file's permissions so that user could rwx, group could rw and "other" just r you would do chmod 764.

There is more to the file systems but these bits (ha) are the most pertinent and I still have to write about the next chapter. Also I don't know why blogger keeps double spacing for me.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Finish the last chapters. I finished reading File Systems and I read a bit into the next chapter which is text processing. According to Henry we can skip Xfree86 since it is no longer covered by the LPIC. After I'm done with the book I plan on doing some review on the commands since I have the concepts down but for the test you have to write out commands and they have to be exactly right so I have to get them down real good.