Using cqlsh on Debian


I have been setting up a cassandra cluster for logging. One of the things that annoyed me was that the Debian packages do not include the cqlsh tool for interacting with the servers. So here is the way I installed it for cassandra-1.0.10. Note that the cqlsh in cassandra-1.1.0 works out of the box, but does not connect to 1.0 servers.

We're going to install the required python libraries using easy_install so first we need to python-dev packages for building and setuptools which includes easy_install. Then just install cql.

apt-get install python-dev python-setuptools

Nginx packages for SLES 11.1


I searched (without luck) for recent nginx packages for SLES 11.1. However, in the end the process for getting them was easy. First go to and download the source rpm for opensuse. Then build the package:

rpmbuild --rebuild nginx-1.2.0-1opensuse12.1.ngx.src.rpm

You will then get a shiny new nginx rpm in /usr/src/packages/RPMS/x86_64/.

Running Dell Update Package for Red Hat Linux on Debian


I have a Debian system connected up to a Dell MD1000 via a PERC 5/E. While trying to update the firmware for the PERC, I downloaded the Update Package for Redhat and ran it on Debian:

root@test03:~# ./RAID_FRMW_LX_R204810.BIN
[: 46: Linux: unexpected operator
./RAID_FRMW_LX_R204810.BIN: 52: typeset: not found
./RAID_FRMW_LX_R204810.BIN: 53: typeset: not found
./RAID_FRMW_LX_R204810.BIN: 56: typeset: not found
./RAID_FRMW_LX_R204810.BIN: 57: typeset: not found
./RAID_FRMW_LX_R204810.BIN: 58: typeset: not found
./RAID_FRMW_LX_R204810.BIN: 59: typeset: not found

Updating Dell firmware on SLES 11 SP 1 for R810


I ran an update on SLES:

zypper ref
zypper update

Which updated a lot of the Dell firmware packages, which in turn recommended running update_firmware. However, running update firmware failed at:

| Installing dell_dup_componentid_20137 - 1.80*** buffer overflow detected ***: ./bmcfwul terminated
======= Backtrace: =========

Zenoss Debian squeeze (6.0)


The Zenoss package for Debian does not support the new insserv dependency specification. When installed alongside muni-node, as on our systems, this resulted in the following:

insserv: warning: script 'zenoss-stack' missing LSB tags and overrides
insserv: There is a loop between service munin-node and zenoss-stack if stopped
insserv: loop involving service zenoss-stack at depth 2
insserv: loop involving service munin-node at depth 1
insserv: Stopping zenoss-stack depends on munin-node and therefore on system facility `$all' which can not be true!

Converting queries to AREL


A little bit of ConnectWise SQL converted to AREL, Took me a while to work out how to do the left joins, be we got there. To me it would be nice to have a 'outer_join' or 'join_outer' method which does 'join(x, Arel::Nodes::OuterJoin)'.

A little bit of ConnectWise SQL converted to AREL, Took me a while to work out how to do the left joins, be we got there. To me it would be nice to have a 'outer_join' or 'join_outer' method which does 'join(x, Arel::Nodes::OuterJoin)'.

select *
from config c
 join cs_survey s ON s.cs_survey_recid = c.cs_survey_recid
 join company ON c.company_recid = company.company_recid
 left join agr_config on agr_config.config_recid = c.config_recid    

Facebook Astroturfing


It funny how the world works sometimes. Yesterday, I listened to a Radio National segment on the program Background Briefing talking about the practice of Astroturfing - creating a fake "grass roots" movement. Nowdays this is being done via fake twitter and forum accounts. Worth a listen:

Then today, I see my first example of such thing. One of my friends re-tweeted:

Converting a Rails 3.0 app to jQuery

I had a rails 3.0 app where I wanted to do some jQuery. So first step, convert from prototype/scriptaculous to jquery. So head over to and follow the instructions there, essentially add to your Gemfile:

gem "jquery-rails"

Run bundler to install the gem, then run the generator to update the app to use jquery:

bundle install
rails generate jquery:install

How LDAP Auth works for Joomla


There is really pretty bad docs around for for the Joomla LDAP auth and what the various fields do, so here is the information for version 1.6.3, straight from the source.

So firstly, an LDAP connection is made using the host, port, protocol version, TLS and referrals settings. Next comes the two authentication methods, Search and Bind Directly as User (bind) (I don't know why they are called Authorisation Methods in the Plugin Parameters as they are used for authentication).

gVim + Janus on Windows


At work, I'm developing on Windows. At home, I love my MacVim and Janus, so I decided, "Why can't I have that love at work as well?"

To start, just download VIM from and download GIT from and install. You will also need a ruby install with the rake gem installed.

Now, the first thing to note is that the directory names and a little different on Windows. Your .vimrc will be in $HOME\_vimrc and your .vim directory will be in $HOME\vimfiles.

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