Harddisk Foo

I had my fair share of harddisk failures in the past and last night I got hit again. If anybody had problems accessing my site, then please accept my apologies. One of the hard drives in my server failed, which in itself is covered by the software RAID. But for an unknown reason the MySQL server had some issues coming back to life. The InnoDB structures were destroyed and I had to recover all databases from backup.

All is back up and running now, except of course for the failed drive. And I am working on moving everything to a different machine as soon as possible.

I’ll keep you posted.

Windows Keyboard Typing Consecutive Numbers Foo

This Windows Foo showed it’s ugly head today for the first time and I was simply flabbergasted. Whatever I typed, only the first letter appeared correctly and from there on the system was showing consecutive numbers. Something like this for good ol’ hello world:


It happened first in a Java application so, I suspected a problem with Java and a virus scanner, etc. But nothing could be found. After some testing, I saw that it happened even in native Windows applications like the Powershell or AutoCAD.

Some further testing revealed that the tilde (~) and the back tick (`) seem to work fine and that pressing SHIFT plus any key gives the appropriate symbol for pressing SHIFT and the number that would appear. To make it even more fun the same happened using a remote session.

The whole behavior made me cringe and I thought already I have a key logger or some other kind of malware installed. But the virus scanner showed no problem and in general the system seemed to be fine.

After some more digging and asking repeatedly the great wise oracle with the googly eyes, I found the culprit: GuardedID. According to some other posts a tool from Comcast called Constant Guard causes the same trouble. After de-installing GuardedID, all was fine again. I did my good deed for this Monday.

And now my question to the GuardedID makers: WTF?! This tool supposedly should prevent keylogging. The least I can expect is good programming and not a TheDailyWTF moment. And even worse. After looking at your web site I nearly had to puke. Are you really marketing yourself as a serious product with “as seen on TV” and some actor’s quote?! How about investing your money into a good product rather in cheap marketing campaigns!

R.I.P. Medibuntu

While trying to update my desktop box, which is still running Quantal, I saw these nice error messages:

W: Failed to fetch http://packages.medibuntu.org/dists/quantal/free/binary-amd64/Packages  404  Not Found

W: Failed to fetch http://packages.medibuntu.org/dists/quantal/non-free/binary-amd64/Packages  404  Not Found

W: Failed to fetch http://packages.medibuntu.org/dists/quantal/free/binary-i386/Packages  404  Not Found

W: Failed to fetch http://packages.medibuntu.org/dists/quantal/non-free/binary-i386/Packages  404  Not Found

E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

If course I first suspected my flaky TWC internet connection to be the issue here. But after trying to access the URL’s in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ I saw… nothing.

Long story, short, medibuntu reached it’s end of life and after all, it is not needed anymore. All but good ol’ libdvdcss is part of the standard Ubuntu repository now. Here is the official blog post from Medibuntu’s maintainer Gauvain Pocentek: The end of Medibuntu.

Please refer to Jonathan Ridell’s blog post Medibuntu to Disappear, libdvdcss now direct from VideoLan on how to get libdvdcss to work on Ubuntu from now on.