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Archive for the ‘Tech Problems’

Excessive SCSI logging under Ubuntu

March 18, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Tech Problems, Ubuntu

For some natty reason, my 64bit Ubuntu 8.04 server sometimes insists that a SCSI logging level of infinite detail is good for my health. Which means my messages, syslog and kern.log files get 50-100 lines like this per second:

Mar 18 23:52:25 home kernel: [ 8661.700076] scsi_add_timer: scmd: ffff81004da8a700, time: 7500, (ffffffff88123ed0)
Mar 18 23:52:25 home kernel: [ 8661.700117] scsi_delete_timer: scmd: ffff81004da8a000, rtn: 1

If you too are suffering from this then do the following:

1. First, stop it right now by starting a shell and typing:

sudo sysctl -w dev.scsi.logging_level=0

2. To make sure it doesn’t start up again after a reboot then edit the file /etc/sysctl.conf and add this line anywhere in the file:

dev.scsi.logging_level = 0

And you should be all set.

Ubuntu Hardy upgrade woes

February 20, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Tech Problems, Technology

This week, two showstoppers appeared in the Ubuntu Hardy upgrade system. First one was a botched upgrade of a language package under OpenOffice and the other was a problem related to Python/APT/dpkg.

First one looked like this:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
You might want to run `apt-get -f install' to correct these.
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
  language-support-writing-en: Depends: openoffice.org-hyphenation-en-us but it is not installed
E: Unmet dependencies. Try using -f.

The easy fix out of this one is to start up System->Administration->Synaptics Package Manager and uninstall “openoffice.org-hyphenation”. This will trigger a removal of about 85 packages including OpenOffice itself. When that is done, use the same Package Manager to install OpenOffice again and in goes the 85 packages again.

The second one looked like this:

Setting up python-apt (0.7.4ubuntu5) ...
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 1593, in 
  File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 1587, in main
    rv = action.run(global_options)
  File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 982, in run
    self.pkg.byte_compile(bc_option, self.options.exclude)
  File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 624, in byte_compile
    rt.byte_compile(files, bc_option, exclude_regex)
AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'byte_compile'
dpkg: error processing python-apt (--configure):
 subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1

This has now been fixed, and a new python-central should be available at the repositories. I hacked my python-apt to bypass this before the official fix was out, but all you should have to do is update/upgrade as normal and everything will be fine.

Dolphin from BoonEx failing after update

February 20, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Tech Problems, Technology

After upgrading to Dolphin 6.0004, Ray 3.1 and Orca there are multiple problems you can experience.

First one is that whenever you enter the forums, you get a popup box saying:

main div is not defined
please name main content container

This is due to bad caching in the application, and you have to remove a few cache files from the server to fix it. From your web server document root, these files are in orca/cachejs/ and groups/orca/cachejs/. Delete all the files that have a file name that looks like junk, i.e. something like e3d43deace3edbc…

Second problem is that they messed up the Ray part of the upgrade so that all widget licenses are invalidated and can’t be reinstated. To fix this you have to download and apply a hotfix. Download the hotfix here. You get a zip file, unzip in document root and it will overwrite a handful of files. After this you have to input all your Ray widget licenses again, but this time it should work.

There are undoubtedly more, but those were the ones I experienced. Note that this is not an endorsement of this product at all, rather the opposite. It’s a complete mess with a non-existing support organisation and a web presence that boggles the mind. It’s spread across half a dozen web sites and I can’t find a single thing there.

Mobile GMail problems

February 20, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Tech Problems, Technology

If you’re hit by the dreaded


after downloading and running the latest GMail mobile application, then try downloading it again and this time answering No to the question about whether to keep old data or not. Fixed the problem for me on my (t)rusty old SE K750i, may do for you as well. The newer v1.1.1 is significantly better than the old v1.0.0 so it’s well worth trying to get it to work.

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