OpenSuse 11.1, kdm_greet, slow ssh login

I was suffering from slow ssh logins — it’d take 20 seconds to get a login prompt. I noticed this process, kdm_greet, running. Google found a posting message that said the problem is kdm_greet is having to examine a bunch of fonts:
kdm_greet takes a long time to run due to out-of-date font-cache
It didn’t seem reasonable but I went ahead and ran:

fc-cache -f

Login was so fast I thought at first nothing happened.
Well, it started to get slow again. I monitored what was happening and it looks like sshd was taking a long time (30 seconds). That made me think of reverse DNS lookups. I checked

/etc/resolve.conf

and it had an out-of-date nameserver entry. Removed it and things are fast again.

Gmail, Apple Mail, and IMAP

I’d noticed my Apple Mail wasn’t always getting new messages in a timely manner. My iPhone would frequently get it before Mail!

  • Setup gmail, apple mail account as per google’s suggestions
  • These imap settings from google combine how gmail works with Apple’s mail. Read the extra details and the settings make sense.
  • It took 25 minutes to download all the email

While I was at it, I went ahead and setup syncing with google calendar. Recently, Google and Apple improved it so it could be two way:

Finally, it turns out that contact info between Apple’s Address book and gmail (and Yahoo!, for that matter) are doable:

Address Book002.png

WordPress, libxml2 bug

I just upgraded to OpenSuse 11.1 and it’s giving WordPres grief. MarsEdit looses the left angle bracket characters when the article is transmitted via xmlrpc. I don’t have a solution but here’s what’s going on:

I downloaded libxml2-2.7.2 and installed. It didn’t help.

WordPress migration

I switched from blogger, which is the google hosted blogs to my own self hosted blog running WordPress. To be precise, I’m running WPMU or WordPress multi-user.
I did it mostly because my home-brewed website wasn’t being fully utilized. WordPress gave me the basics of what I wanted: provide some static contact, make it easy to link to anything I have under development, and provide the dynamic content (aka blog entries).
Wordpress offers a decent number of themes and lots of ways to customize. I also wanted to be able to upload photos and videos more directly instead of going through Picasa or Fickr.
The migration is easy — you can import directly into WordPress from Blogger. While in WordPress:
I’m not sure what went wrong for me but I lost all the formatting the articles had.
There were some problems with funky characters that caused MarsEdit issues but some editting took care of that.

Mac OS X (Leopard) and ssh-agent

I had SshKeychain installed before and am trying to get back 10.5’s ssh agent to work. I found this article which pointed me to the solution and this fascinating file
~/.MacOSX/environment.plist
From How to get Leopard ssh agent to work:

The solution is to use terminal, go to your home directory, cd to .MacOSX and look and see if there’s an environment.plist file. In there will be some XML to set this persistent string for SSH_AUTH_SOCK. You need to take that out. If there’s other stuff in the file, like a CVSHOME entry, hand-edit the XML to take out the SSH_AUTH_SOCK entry. (How to do that is beyond the scope of this post.) If the only thing is that entry, just delete the environment.plist file.”

And this is an even better article that describes the the past situation, how it works now, and the integration with launchd

Does the corruption ever end?

I usually expect the occasional questionable or just plain corrupt contracting out of any government. The billions that have been wasted by
iraq, lost
or mis-managed for Katrina just leave me numb and not wanting to think about how poorly the federal government is managed.
But then along comes a report of some small (relatively, compared to $billions) graft and it leaves me thinking: “Does the corruption ever end under the Bush Administration”?
From Exclusive: Pentagon Pro-Troop Group Misspent Millions, Report Says | Danger Room from Wired.com

From fiscal years 2004 to 2007, the Inspector General’s report notes, Barber funneled $8.8 million in contracts to the public relations firm Susan Davis International — to set up the myriad events, and to promote the ASY “brand.” The work was incredibly lucrative; Davis’ executives made as much as $312,821 to $662,691 per year. “Paying a public relations contractor annual salaries approaching three-quarters of a million dollars does not appear to be a cost-effective means to support the ASY program and the war fighter,” the report observes.
But what made it even harder to stomach was that Davis was a friend of Barber’s, and a well-known Republican operative, according to former Defense Department lawyer Diane Beaver. Another half-million went to media consultant Mitch Semel, for web work.