Spamcop lists gmail SMTP servers as spam servers

A while ago I ranted about automated spam filtering.

Here is yet another example of utter idiocy of some people.

Spamcop report for, aka currently states: listed in (

If there are no reports of ongoing objectionable email from this system it will be delisted automatically in approximately 2 hours.

Same thing for,,,,,, (all resolve to, and all are addresses in used to send email as listed by Ironport). I am sure rest of gmail is also reported as source of spam by SpamCop, I just can’t be arsed to keep on checking.

*sigh* Anyone needs any more convinient arguments for not using SpamCop? I am really really tempted to write a log parser that would automatically submit IP addresses of folks who use SpamCop back to SpamCop.

Oh, and at this point, when I talk about “utter idiocy of some people”, I am not even sure who I am refering to – SpamCop folks for listening to anyone reporting gmail (or hotmail, or yahoo mail, or any other “free” mail server) as source of spam instead of just whitelisting them, idiots who get a spam through a free gmail account, and report it to SpamCop as spam, or idiots who configure spamcop checks as default reject reason in their MTA.


Just some JTAG related randomness, considering that I’ve touched on it in previous post.

Linksys WRT54Gx

Linksys WRT54G and WRT54GS have JTAG headers on motherboard. It is possible to solder on the pins into the header on the motherboard, and build a Wiggler style cable to re-flash the bootloader, if you ended up hoseing it.

Personally I’ve done it on two WRT54GSes, and one of the main changes I’ve done was to set the boot_wait variable to on by default in the boot loader.

As Wiggler hooks up over parallel port, and thus is slow as sin, reflashing anything but the bootloader (ie flashing in actual firmware over JTAG) would take days.


CS6400 had an Sbus based JTAG interface for hardware tests. CS6400 was a Cray Research Superservers Inc.’s Cray Superserver 6400. If I remember correctly, it had up to 8 XDBuses, and up to 64 either 75 or 85Mhz SuperSPARC II mBus based CPUs (same ones that could be used in Sun SPARCstations 10s and SparcStation 20s).
These were rather elusive beasts, and while I used to own a SPARCserver 1000 (12.5 amp/hr space heater, that sounded like a jet taking off), and there was SPARCserver 2000 (rackfull of 3-phase joy) that I played with, I’ve never touched a CS6400.

In fact, I suspect that few people at Sun even knew what one was – there were some parts schematics and option lists printed in the paper versions of Sun Field Engineer Handbooks, but as CS6400 was a product that Sun inherited when Sun bought Cray Research Superservers/Floating Point Systems from SGI. Sun used the Cray technology to build shiny things like Enterprise xx00 (Campfire) and Enterprise 10000 (Starfire) product lines.

JTAG was the primary way of hardware diagnostics on E10K, and was connected to System Service Processor (SSP, commonly an Ultra 5)

P.S. Sun, why did you block off wast majority of useful FEH content to subscribers only? On, and Sun, will you sue me if I dig out an older version of FEH that you guys used to ship on a CD, and make it available on the interweb?

I distinctly remember using JTAG to recover something else in the past, however my memory fails me. Might have been Nokia cell phone, might have been some sort of uPCI x86 system.


In my previous post I’ve waxed lyrical about IEEE 1275 standard, also known as Open Firmware.

Comrades in the field pointed me towards OpenBIOS project, a GPL licensed implentation of Open Firmware. Currently, it seems like it is almost useful by mere mortals, as long as mere mortals have supported motherboard, and want to boot up Linux 2.2 or newer on it.

Sadly, average consumer doesn’t look for a “JTAG header” on a feature list, while shopping for a new motherboard, nor is he particularly interested in a socketed BIOS flash chip (which also would allow one to re-flash BIOS). Average users (those mythical beasts) also probably don’t have the experise on hand on how to use JTAG if they flashed in a broken OpenBIOS image, and ended up up the creek without the paddle.

I’ll take Open Firmware (and Open BIOS) over EFI any time of the day, because EFI is essentially a black box controlled by Intel, and without vendor consent end user doesn’t really control his PC (for a close to home example see recent efforts to get Windows XP running on x86 based Macintosh systems, that ended up with Apple releasing EFI extention implementing PC BIOS compatibility as part of Boot Camp package). My fear is that hardware is essentially just another black box, and without vendor consent, implementing free BIOS replacement is nearly impossible. That is, supporting hardware ends up being a process of reverse engineering hardware, which is not simple, and which few people want to do for free.

I hate to sound like Richard Stallman, but with EFI locking one’s PC functionality away at the BIOS level, and with recent trend of OS kernels running only signed kernel modules (Microsoft claims that admin will still be able to load unsigned drivers in Vista, but anyone willing to bet that this functionality will get depreciated, and eventually removed?), are you really in control of your computer?

Things that piss me off (part I)

I am editing video footage that was digitized from a VHS tape. Footage itself is of Wendy Whited Sensei, from 1997 or 1998. I’ve never met Whited Sensei myself, but based on the video, I like her. And I like her style. And she is very very very good. But this is not about my likes.

This is about things that piss me off. Imagine a standard martial arts seminar (I were told that this is a fairely standard martial arts seminar). Instructor, generally a high ranked instructor, was brought in, at big expense and effort to teach.

A part of the idea is to make the money back by the hosting organization (paying for flight, hotel, meals, plus honorarium all add up, and God forbid you need to add rent of the location costs to it too). So hosts invites a bunch of local dojos that kind of do the same thing to send their members over, and hopefully to learn new things.

Usual practice is structured so that Sensei demonstrates something while everyone else is formally sitted, and then folks break into pairs or groups, and try to duplicate what Sensei shows to the best of their ability.

In the meanwhile, Sensei is walking around, and is watching everyone practice, and tries to spot and correct mistakes, explain concept behind the action, and hopefully nudge the practitioner to a higher level of understanding and practice.

Generally, protocol is that on the mat senior instructor is the king and dictator – lives of everyone on the mat are his or her responsibility (this is, after all martial arts, and one can end up breaking wrist, hand, neck, you name it), and when senior instructor demonstrates something, everyone around should stop what they are doing, sit down where they are, and watch. Last bit actually makes sense – if some people are practicing, and there are flying bodies in the air, and some people are sitting, chances are that blending will occure between flying and sitting person, not flying person and a mat.

Also, chances are that everyone is making the same mistake, and instructor is trying to correct it not for just a single person (if that were the case, instructor generally would tell everyone to keep practicing).

So here I am, trying to edit a video tape into somewhat coherent thing, and what do I see?

Two people, from the same dojo (I can tell as they have identical crests on their uniforms) always practice together. Logically, in a seminar setting you would try to pick as a partner someone else each time, if only to get a chance to practice with some higher ranked people, and maybe learn something from how they do their technique, right? Well, maybe these two folks are both higher ranked then the instructor, and know better then her what they are doing? No, they are not second highest ranked people on the mat after senior instructor – far from it. In fact they are not even black belts. Mudansha.

Whenver instructor would try to correct the mistakes of someone in the dojo, these two fellows are the last ones to sit down (if at all) and watch.

When instructor spotted something they were doing that was far from correct (I am not an expert, yet even I could see that what they do was different from what they were shown), and walked over to correct one of them, he started argueing back with her. Mudansha talking back to a 6th degree black belt who practiced longer then this fellow was alive. *blink*

I mean, these two fellows came to the seminar, paid money, got on the mat, only to do what? Practice same way as they practice “at home”, with the same partners? Insult the guest instructor? Not learn anything?

Some minds are forever shut, and one can’t open them even with a crowbar. Upside the head.

Oh, and what do I care? Well, these two fellows parked themselves right in front of the camera during their practice. Every technique. So most of the time, when I were trying to edit the video out, and just keep the bits where Sensei is demonstrating, they kept on obstructing the screen, or shaking the camera. *sigh*

Coming soon: Part II – things that piss me off in filming without script and without clear idea, on filming with cheap hardware that can’t focus properly, on filming without tripod, on zooming in waaaay in, and then panning 180 degrees, and all the other joys of filming, taking pictures, and trying to edit a video together.

Checking for mail and DNS problems

Dave’s recent arcicle about problems with reminded me that sometimes mail (and DNS) problems occure on the sending end, and some time on the receiving.

So I’ld like to take this opportunity to plug DNS Report, which is a really handy tool for rooting out problems with DNS and mail configs (or at least checking if DNS and mail are configured properly).

Here are a couple of examples:

DNS and mail config for
DNS and mail config for

I am not linking to my own domain, as it shows so much red, that I am embarrassed.

P.S. Dave, you might want to at least fix mail to postmaster. Thankfully stoopid folks from picked up their toys and left the sandbox. I hope so did the sheeple that used RBL.

Ok, rant time…

RBLs are a great idea in theory, folks. Sure, I know Dave, we have similar ideas about what e-mail is useless, so if he doesn’t like e-mail from Sonya Abacha, most likely I’d not want to read it either. However, what happened to every bloody RBL out there is that the moment it got sufficiently big, folks who created it (and they tend to be loudmouthed, obnoxious and highly opinionated folks, kind of like me) decide that they need to force their opinions on to others.

They tell the rest of the world that no, they are not forcing their opinion onto others, and that people are free not to use their RBL system. Vaild opinion. But how many e-mail systems come with RBLs enabled by default, and how many people heard that “Gee, RBLs are great, they stop spam cold!”, an d enabled it, only to start losing valid mail?

In particular I had an axe to grind with I had a /27 sub-allocated and routed to me from At one point Achilles had a problem with spam to postmaster (that by RFC must exist and must be read by humans), that Andrew Hutton started replying to all postmaster mails with auto-reply with a phone number and e-mail address that was read.

Some dumbass reported to rfcignorant because this was “against the internet rules”.

Another dumbass at RFCignorant promptly added entire Achilless netblock to their RBL.

And for the next 2 years chaos ensued – Andrew Hutton instead of giving out an e-mail addy that was actually read promptly started to /dev/null all spam coming to postmaster, generating illusion of postmaster being a valid e-mail address, I had problems with my own e-mail (that I hosted on DSL link from achilless, under a different domain name, and which was technically a totally separate organization just buying inet access from achilless) because entire Achilless IP space was blacklisted, attempts to get de-listed from the RBL proved to be futile, because dumbass at rfcignorant would add, but never remove entries, etc.

I learned about it when some of my e-mails replying to a mailing list question (“I am not subscribed, so please CC me on any replies”) got bounced with apropriate reply.

People that really got screwed on the deal were the rest of the interweb, I feel, as those who used rfcignorant RBL missed out on my insightful, witty e-mail commentary. Or something like that.

Oh well. That’s all water over the bridge now….

On the other hand, I have no moral qualms about bouncing all mail from Korea, or all mail from… Talk about double standards….

iLife 06 and G3 processor and rant about

After cobbling together an iBook (long story, but iBook in question is 600Mhz G3 with 100Mhz bus (as opposed to 600Mhz with 66Mhz bus that would make it much closer to molasses) 40 gig HD and combo drive), and throwing a clean install of 10.4.5 onto it today, I proceeded to turn it into a master disk image.

Every once in a blue moon I create an up to date install of OS with all the apps, system configured how I like it, accounts set up as I like them, and then use asr to back them onto an external hard drive. Then, in event I need to quickly roll out a system or recover from disaster I’d just need to asr the image back.

Two words about asr. Personally, I love asr. It can act as a poor man’s backup tool to create an identical bootable disk on a different drive (especially useful if you have some sort of bootable CD/DVD from which you can boot, as then asr would use fast block copy to copy data from disk to disk). Coincidentially, vast majority of macs (Let’s not talk about x86 ones. I am not yet sure I like them) supports firewire disk target mode. asr is also useful in creating and restoring from disk images.

Sadly for things like recovery disk I tend to use junky drives, as it’s not really a priority, just convinience, and coincidentially there is no funding for it. A disk with my last image died, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity, as I were setting up a new system from scratch, with no baggage of software archeologies.

When I put in iLife 06 DVD into iBook and attempted to install it, I were told that iLife 06 only works with G4 and up processors.

So not being deferred, I’ve used Pacifist (See rant about Pacifist at the bottom) to extract iMovie package into a folder, to see what it is that Apple is trying to do on me.

I’ve talked about Fat files and lipo earlier, in case you feel like a review.

So a quick check with lipo confirmed what Apple is saying…. the compiled the binary for G4 and x86 processors only, obsoleting G3s. *sigh* First the cut off was presence of Firewire, then with iWork 05 (which was like 650 megs, yet shipped on DVD) it was presence of DVD, but now it’s G4 and up. I got to give a credit to the marketing/built in obsolescence people at Apple – they are good!

stany@Ghostwheel:~/Desktop/Root/Applications/iMovie[03:46 AM]$ lipo -detailed_info iMovie HD 
Fat header in: iMovie HD
fat_magic 0xcafebabe
nfat_arch 2
architecture i386
    cputype CPU_TYPE_I386
    cpusubtype CPU_SUBTYPE_I386_ALL
    offset 4096
    size 3217924
    align 2^12 (4096)
architecture ppc7400
    cputype CPU_TYPE_POWERPC
    cpusubtype CPU_SUBTYPE_POWERPC_7400
    offset 3223552
    size 3327624
    align 2^12 (4096)
stany@Ghostwheel:~/Desktop/Root/Applications/iMovie[03:46 AM]$ 

7400 is, of course, G4.

Attempts to run it generate ldynamic linker errors:

stany@Ghostwheel:~/Desktop/Root/Applications/iMovie[03:46 AM]$ ./iMovie HD 
dyld: incompatible cpu-subtype
Trace/BPT trap
stany@Ghostwheel:~/Desktop/Root/Applications/iMovie[03:54 AM]$

Now a quick rant about Pacifist.

Dear Charles Srstka.

I like Pacifist. I’ve not registered it using a pirated serial, and see 15 second time out each time I start it. One of these days I’ll even send you some money to support your effort (which seem to have been stalled since 2004). But, can you give me an answer to one question: Why the heck does Pacifist ask for administrator password each time one attempts to extract a file out of a package? Shouldn’t it only do that if one doesn’t have write permissions to the folder one is extracting files into? If I have read/write rights to files in package and to Desktop onto which I want to extract package’s contents, why does Pacifist want my password? Isn’t that getting users used to Pavlovian response of typing in admin password every time there is a prompt on screen, regardless of the need?
Please, think of the users, esp in view of the recent series of Mac OS worms that also ask for admin passwords.

Damn, if you fix it to actually check (and tell user why) if it needs admin password, and e-mail me about it, I’ll buy a license for Pacifist.

Little Annoyances:

1) Next unread message.

I prefer to use a plain list view for a mailbox, and have to open a message to view it.

Remember Eudora? I used to use Eudora, and sometimes think I still should. It has this nice feature where you hit the spacebar, causing the current message to page down web-page style. When you reach the end hit that spacebar again and you jump to the next unread message in that mailbox. Nice, eh?

That does not work in Mail.

So, how about a key command to do that? Nope, not available either.

2) Invalid Email addresses.

What is so hard about telling me you can not send the email because I was too stupid to enter in a proper email address? Mail will happily harass you about opening too many windows at once.. so why not invalid email addresses?

Yeah, I caught myself BCC’ing several people, and some of them were not actual email addresses, just the domain name. Took me way too long to figure out too!

Looking for Disk Image Automator Actions!

Does anyone know of an Automator action, or Big Cat script, that when you right click on a mounted Disk Image, will unmount it and *delete* the original image.

Why? Well.. My download folder is huge.. and I need a faster way to look into a mounted disk image, test out whatever is in there and then delete it. If I like the application, or whatever it is, I will copy it to a more permanent location, and still need to delete the original!!!

If no such thing exists I’ll cobble one together, which should not be too hard seeing as I can start with Laine Lee’s work: Show Disk Image File of Selected Volume


Anyhone has any clue why vast majority of the dynamic linkers out there (Solaris, Linux, BSD etc) all use LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable to specify where to load dynamic libraries from, yet Darwin/MacOS X uses DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH?


Compiling Alladin GhostScript 8.51 from source. It’s not hard, just quirky. Oh, and jpgsrc-6 and zlib-1.2.2 both need a config.sub from a recent package for configure to recognize Darwin/MacOS X.

Motorbike vs. Car

dAVE is complaining that all I write are boring technical articles, without any human touch. So the folowing is an experiment in blogging about “human” issues. Wish me luck…

Sunday night I were coming home, and noticed that the corner of Bronson and Gladstone was blocked off – in some directions a block away. Being curious, I wandered out there, and saw half the intersection closed off by “Do Not Cross” tape, lots of police, a car stopped half way through, and a motorcycle laying on it’s side.

From chatting with the bystanders, I learned the following:
A woman driver, going from west to east on Gladstone run a red light, and was hit by a motorbike going south to north on Bronson.
Bike rider was supposedly alive when he was taken to the hospital by an ambulance, but his right knee was totalled by a bike falling onto it.

In Soviet Russia bikes had roll cages. Even motorollers had leg protection. Statistics are against bikers – biker will fall at some point. However in North America bikes are considered to be a macho thing – people ride basically in shorts and tshirts, often without helmets.

I am as pro auto-darwination, as the next guy, however think of the police and ambulance workers that will have to scrape you off ashphalt – at least wear leather coat and pants, to keep the pieces together. Have roll cages – have you thought of the nurses? Do you know how bloody hard it is to bandage someone who has a smashed knee cup? Why make someone remember you with a curse, as you are moving on in the world?


As an aside, again, in Soviet Russia some bikers tended to wear really narrow thin knee high riding boots. They were a sort of indicator – during death body would relax, so quite often boots would fall off, no matter how tight fitting they were. In fact rescue/ambulance workers used that as an indicator to see if they should attempt to hospitalize a victim, or if they das alles tod.

(Above photos are licensed under licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike License v.2.5. If they make someone think before running a red light, I’ll be happy).