Archive for Base

error: no dbpath has been set

I’ve recently been having trouble with a OpenVZ VPS upgraded from CentOS4 to CentOS5, here’s what I’m seeing when trying to rum a yum install of mod_python:
[root@coffee ~]# yum install mod_python
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
error: no dbpath has been set
error: cannot open Packages database in /%{_dbpath}
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “/usr/bin/yum”, line 29, in ?
yummain.user_main(sys.argv[1:], exit_code=True)
File “/usr/share/yum-cli/”, line 309, in user_main
errcode = main(args)
File “/usr/share/yum-cli/”, line 157, in main
File “/usr/share/yum-cli/”, line 187, in getOptionsConfig
File “/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/yum/”, line 664, in <lambda>
conf = property(fget=lambda self: self._getConfig(),
File “/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/yum/”, line 239, in _getConfig
self._conf = config.readMainConfig(startupconf)
File “/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/yum/”, line 804, in readMainConfig
yumvars['releasever'] = _getsysver(startupconf.installroot, startupconf.distroverpkg)
File “/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/yum/”, line 877, in _getsysver
idx = ts.dbMatch(‘provides’, distroverpkg)
TypeError: rpmdb open failed
Here’s how to fix it:
[root@coffee ~]# rm /dev/urandom
rm: remove regular file `/dev/urandom’? y
[root@coffee ~]# mknod -m 644 /dev/urandom c 1 9

Nothing else seems to work, but this does indeed seem to solve the problem.

Perhaps I’ll finally get Trac installed…


UK Business License

We recently had an issue with a US based company who asked us for the following:

Copy of your business license via PDF/JPG scanned (preferred) and emailed or faxed

We went on to explain that we don’t have a business license, they clearly didn’t understand and they proclaimed: Read the rest of this entry »


Gmail needs an API

Yesterday I spent some time investigating Google Wave. A very interesting new product from Google. Not only that but an interesting protocol.

If you think about it, Google has mostly only used other protocols for communication in the past, now it’s creating it’s own. They clearly want to create a completely new protocol that will effectively be the future of these old primitive protocols.

For this to catch on, it will either have to run directly along side smtp and xmmp or layer on top of them.

We’re going to need a way to pass requests over http to smtp or pop3/imap, and what better way to do it than with gmail?

Sure, but there’s no API…

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Comments (3) stole my code

I wrote a little script for an article on entitled “Remove OGA Notifier“.

Today I discovered that had clearly taken details from my batch file code and used it without giving me or any credit at all.

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PHPizabi – creating a dating site

During the summer of 2007 I decided to purchase a new domain name with a dating theme.

The idea was to start a dating website. Although a fairly saturated market place, I figured it’d be another one to add to my profile.

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Don’t forget to run make test!

During my install of PHP5 on FreeBSD…

Build complete.
Don’t forget to run ‘make test’.

amber# make test
make: don’t know how to make test. Stop

It made me laugh anyway.

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What’s wrong with low version numbers?

In a presentation entitled “Why I hate Django”, Cal Henderson (head of engineering for Flickr) said, that low version numbers makes him suspicious.

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What is a hacker?

Not so long ago I was asked to answer some questions for a friend of a friend who was writing a dissertation about the “hacking and warez scene” (which I have not been heavily involved in since I turned 18).

As I had known him for a long time, I felt obliged to help out, plus I was now interested in the questions that would be asked.

Based on what had been said I knew they were going to be questions on defining what a hacker is and what a hacker does, something i’ve been interested in defining for quite some time.

Here’s what I said…

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Geek in the Park 2008

It’s about this time that geeks start to think about things to do over the summer.

Geek in the Park is a day-long event for geeks (mainly web developers) to have a get together.

The event is going to be held in Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

The Picnic during the day, followed by The Discussion in the evening. The event starts on Saturday at noon and everything should wrap up by around 11pm.

…and yes, I will be attending.

So, come see me at Geek in the Park on Saturday 9th August 2008. Put it in your diary!

I aim to get there around mid-day, but have been known to be fashionably late.

You’ll find me listed on both the Upcoming and Facebook event pages.

Don’t forget to visit the Geek in the Park website and add your email address to the announcements.

For those of you on IRC, you can visit #webdev @ EFnet to discuss it further.

See you there!


BT Web Clicks

Today I received a phone call from one of my clients who said that they had a BT engineer with them. OK. I thought, what’s going on here…

They then proceeded to ask me “what do we rank for on google?”, my response was “your company name, unless you request otherwise”.

They then went on to mentioned that “the man from BT” can get us listed “at the top” of the search engine for “our keywords”.

Naturally I reply to this with a sigh, but how they can they go around making such statements? It’s so unethical to make these kind of claims.

After reading their marketing bumph, I found out what they meant by “at the top”. What they are offering is the ability to list as the “sponsored links” in search engines, which appear “at the top”.

They requested my email address to send me “further details” through, below is the marketing email I was sent. I couldn’t wait to pull it apart.

This isn’t at all a review of the BT Web Clicks service, in fact i’ve not used it, it’s simply an analysis of their marketing blurb.

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