Trac Authenticating Through Active Directory

A minor post – mostly for my own notes..

I was setting up an instance of Trac and I wanted Active Directory authentication going. I’ve had this before, but I recently learned of Centrify which provides a VERY easy means to setup system authentication with AD. This meant I needed to find a Centrify-specific way to get AD authentication going in Trac.

I was close to an obvious simple solution for a fair while, but I kept running in to error messages like:

[error] [client jay] GROUP: mrjay not in required group(s)., referer: http://trac/

Here’s the steps I followed that not only get this far, but got past through to working just fine…
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Geekery Datacentre Project Completed

When it was but a closet
When it was but a closet
The Initial Setup
The Initial Setup
And Finally
And Finally…

Shortly after moving in to my house, I opted to use a room for my Geekery (formerly known as “Nerdery”).. I dedicated circuit for power installed to make this closet remotely suitable to set up my hacky server “rack” (AKA Ikea Shelf) in.

 

Update (Apr 26)

This hack has been posted on Hackaday, Howtogeek and geeknmod (I suppose some others too). Coolness.

 

Snap

After several months I couldn’t stand the sub-organization of it all. I wanted to be able to close the closet door (which had cables coming out of it) and I felt I needed some substantial air-flow through the space. Thus the “Datacentre Project” was born.

 

n-birds

Like any good geek, I opted to also use the project to explore some other things. You know, n-birds with 1 stone. So by incarnating the Datacentre, I indirectly explored Google Sites, Picasa and Elementary Woodworking.

 

Time

It took me of the order of about 40 hours to complete the whole thing from start to finish. Much time was spent planning, measuring and driving back to the hardware store for some small thing(s) I needed more of.

 

Journal

As I said, I used the project to also explore Google Sites. Thus, I made a kind of journal with detailed notes & photos here.

 

On the Layout

The layout I ultimately built out was done so to enable me ideally easy access to the innards of all machines in the space. I can (tightly) negotiate my body between the machines and switch things up without having to move anything (that’s epic). I have a pair of cables I can attach to any of the machines (poor-man’s KVM) so I can get at their consoles if I’m having remote problems. I’m considering making a narrow set of drawers that can be rolled in and out of the center cavity. I’d put cables and things in those. The only other thing the space could probably use, is more cowbell!

 

Looking Back

In hind sight the whole project took me far longer than I expected. Like in many other areas so much time went to in planning (which ended up being a highly iterative process as I’d think of new things as I’d be about to implement a previous idea). I must add, I don’t really like the LEDs, except they ended up being functional. Ideally they’d be white or a whitish-yellow. But that wasn’t an option.

Kobo – Unboxed & Linux Friendly

I’ve recently acquired myself a Kobo eReader. Read on to learn of my initial experiences, thoughts and reactions..

For those who remain unaware of what an ereader is…

They are little device designed to replace physical books. The key to success of the major ereaders (of which the ipad is NOT included) is the use of a completely distinct display technology called E-Ink. The important detail about that is that things displayed on E-Ink look just as though they were printed on paper. Compare this to viewing a typical LCD screen (like that of your phone) in the bright sun. The LCD has to overcome the ambient light, which is really tough in the day. The sharp contrast in brightness is similarly tiring for eyes in good lighting. E-Ink is free of that burden.

Deciding against the Kindle and Nook

In the moments since I got my Kobo the eReader world has changed. When I ordered it, it was about $100 less than the Nook or the Kindle. However, as the battle heats up, both of those competitors have been re-priced and thus I likely would have ordered a Nook if I could go back. HOWEVER.. I’m finding the insanely minimal approach of the Kobo to actually appear to be it’s winning feature. It’s damned thin and very light. The Sony ereader is the only other that sort of rivals it in this regard – I looked at that one in a store and noticed its screen was quite reflective and I kind of don’t enjoy burning my eyes out via glare.

So I suspect even with the new pricing, the Kobo is still worthy of MAJOR consideration. This is for those people who are interested in getting a device that does one thing especially well. The Kindle comes pretty close in this regard though, but it has more parts and complexity. Still, if you’re completely afraid of operating a computer to a basic level, you should probably just go with one of the others. I, like many of my generation, don’t even consider operation of a computer effort.. So whatever to that point for me.

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Ubuntu 9.10 remote mounts via sshfs

Hey just a fast post here.. I’ve been using sshfs on Ubuntu (meh, linux in general) for awhile as a means of securely remotely accessing my files. I’ve taken some steps to add a line to my /etc/fstab file to make this run smoothly…

Though today I ran in to a really weird situation. I found that despite having a uid=xxxx line, the appropriate user wasn’t getting ownership of the mount. In fact, when that user would look at the permissions for the mount, it returned something like “d???? ? ? ?”. Whisky Tango Foxtrot.

Well, turned out the problem was a result of how I had my fstab arranged.

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Dawning.ca Spruced Up

Previous Dawning.ca Layout
Previous Dawning.ca Layout

I’ve just spent a few hours re-designing the layout of Dawning.ca. The old one served me very well and I really liked it. I had heavily modified the previous theme to work for me and work it did. I may tap it some time in the future as a backup… As you can see to the right, the new style is fairly different compared to the image. Although I kept the workflow as I think it was already pretty good.

Objectives

Basically, I was trying to get the site to be:

  • Simple to use
  • Uncluttered
  • Attractive
  • Professional & Casual
  • Technically Interesting
  • Simple to use
  • Did I mention, simple to use?

I feel I accomplished these goals. Though I felt I had to sacrifice some technically interesting features in order to reduce the clutter. I had made some cool logos awhile ago that looked good on the more cartoony past version of the site, but they looked horrible here. I ultimately decided to just get rid of the top banner all together, I don’t think people need to keep being reminded of what site they’re on. Anyway, comment below eh!?

Technical Blah

I’m using a few css tricks I’ve learned in the last while to round corners, shade and pretty things up. Mainly, for rounded corners I use tricks such as those found here.

In terms of the shading, if you carefully look at my setup, the black gradient on the red background is made from a 1 x 200 px png image file overlayed on a red background. CSS for that trick is that like this:

background-image: url('/media/bkgd.png');
background-repeat: repeat-x;

Most shaded regions are made using 10 x 10 px images repeated that are very transparent png images. I use css nearly identical to that above for this too, only difference is the repeat statement has no -x to it.

I built up the new theme using the very famous and helpful Atahualpa theme. I’ve used this theme for various WordPress websites of mine including those for:

Also, my buddy Devin who I recently helped get his first Apache/MySQL/PHP/WordPress server install going is using the Atahualpa Theme for his website, it truly is a great WordPress theme for both advanced and beginners alike.

Your Turn

What do you all think of my redesign? Any suggestions? What WordPress theme do you use?