johnk's blog

TPCalc for Android

A while back, I made a little program called TPCalc to do one of my favorite mundane activities, which is to determine the best price for toilet paper at

LastPass and Yubikey

LastPass is a password management add-on for web browsers and mobile phones.

Good Passwords and Site Trust

Enforcing strong passwords is a good policy, because it increases users trust in your site. I think the same applies to 2-factor authentication.

NTFS File Permissions Rabitthole

I've avoided NTFS file permissions for the better part of two decades. First off, I'm not an enterprise admin, and secondly, it seemed like every network I came across had virtually no permissions. Unix, which has a primitive permission system, was usually more "locked down" in most cases.

Lately, though, there have been some mean malware in the wild, including one that encrypts your data, and then charges a ransom to decrypt it. Imagine that getting into your file servers. Yikes.

One corrective is to use those file permissions to protect your files from changes.


I got the ezmlm migration working, which is cool. Mailman and mail migration will be easier. So I took a day off. (Web migration will be a headache.)

Rewriting Code

There is no great writing, only great rewriting. - Justice Brandeis

I'm not much of a Python coder, but I'm learning to be a pretty good Python re-coder.

A Long Explanation of Character Encodings and UTF-8 and the IMC Software

This was posted as a correction to a note I made about some character encoding errors that appeared on the LA Indymedia website. It's poorly written. If you need me to edit and clarify, send an email to johnk@riceball.com.

It's ISO 8859, not 8890.

Note on Migrating from Qmail to Postfix

I got this done (i think):
- scanning old email addresses, forwards, and lists, and reconstructing the email and forwards and aliases for lists on a postfix instance

Migrating with Data...

It's one thing to upgrade software. It's an entirely different thing to migrate to new software. If you have a whole system of software, integrated in to a mega-app, it's even more difficult.

Script to Compile Videos from JPGs Uploaded from Low-End IP Camera DLINK DCS-932L

This script uses ImageMagick and AVConc (ffmpeg) to convert images uploaded by a low-end DLINK internet camera to an FTP server.

D-Link Switch Power Adapter Barrel Size

I had a couple of these, and lost the power adapters. (OK, someone else lost them, but whatever.) As always, the voltage and current matter, and these guys use 5V 1.2A or 2A.

Discover the IP Address of a Cisco Aironet 1200 Series on Linux without IPSU

I got an Aironet 1200 and didn't have the serial cable, so I tried to use IPSU to find the IP address. I ran it in a VM, bridged the ethernet interface, and it failed.

Lament about IT and Communication of Knowledge

Like a lot of people who work with computers, I have some communication problems. Sometimes, I'm too blunt; other times, too reticent.

Postfix Install Stuff

(argh, forgot to back up my postfix work. i have to start fresh, so this is an opportunity to document work.)

# first get a superuser shell with sudo
sudo -s

apt-get install mailutils
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