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   03-09-2011 - HTML to PDF revision
My last entry I talked about HTML to PDF. I need to admit I was wrong. wkhtmltopdf rocks!!! It hasn't been around very long, so my server either needed to be upgraded to use the recent compilied package on ubuntu, or I needed to compile my own. After trying a couple things, I stumbled onto static-build.sh. I had to modify it just a little. It seemed that the line:

get http://download.qtsoftware.com/qt/source/${QT}.tar.bz2 $QT.tar.bz2 || exit 1

... was barking at me. download.qtsoftware.com was an invalud URL. Looks like it got bought out or something. I used my friendly neighborhood search engine and found another source. So I change the line to:

get http://ie.archive.ubuntu.com/trolltech/pub/qt/source/${QT}.tar.bz2 $QT.tar.bz2 || exit 1

. It compiled perfect. I ran a test and loved the pdf conversion. The fonts looked really nice. I almost thought about presenting the option of prince to speed my job up, but at $1900 for an academic server license... I thought I'd explore my options. Looks like wkhtmltopdf is here to stay. Oh, and as for my silly work around with html2ps and convert with imagemagick? I seems that html2ps has problems with tables spanning over multiple pages. So it worked nice for 1 page documents, but more then that it got all squishy.

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03-04-2011 - HTML to PDF on your Linux Server
Lately, I've been working on a project that requires the conversion of HTML to a PDF file. I remember looking at this years ago. There was no simple single step process, but I was able to find a fairly easy 2 step process. You will need to install the following packages:

apt-get install html2ps imagemagick gs

The first step is to convert html to a postscript file:

html2ps sample.html > sample.ps

Then use imagemagick to convert postscript to a pdf file:

convert sample.ps sample.pdf

I'm amazed at what a simple solution it ended up being. Especially since there are other solutions, but they have problems. wkhtmltopdf was on I found that said it was direct, but it could not be found using to code below, but there was a way to install the package by hand:

apt-cache search wkhtmltopdf

. Another one I remember years ago was a package called prince, but they wanted you to pay for it.

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02-28-2011 - How to get PoE over Cat2 Wire (6 wires or 3 pair)
Recently we have been wanting to try to reuse the wiring of the old phone system at my work for network. I really never paid much attention to what type of wire was being used. I assumed it was Cat5. When I discovered I was wrong and it was only Cat2 I was shocked. I wanted to reuse the wiring from the old PBX that we replace with VOIP many years ago. I knew there had to be a work around to make it work. I have run into problems in the past with crappy wiring in old buildings, so I know I'm not the only one. After reading and reading about PoE (Power over Ethernet) I finally found an easy solution that ended up working. The hint came from a website that talked about troubleshooting PoE. We tied wires 4 and 5 together (DC +). We also tied wirse 7 and 8 together (DC -). From what I could tell PoE has a couple different implementations. One of them sending the DC power over the data lines. You might be asking "What about data transfer rates on the crappy lines? You might be lucky to even get 10mb.". Typically uncompressed voice only needs 88k/sec. So bandwidth isn't much of a factor in this situation. This fix may not work from all PoE equipment, but it did work for the Linksys/Cisco SPA942. Hopefully that helps someone in the remote corner of the world.

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12-10-2010 - 25 Reasons to leave a website in 10 seconds
It's been forver since I've posted. I have soo mush to write, but very little time. I came across this helpful list of do not. I felt it was important enough to make note of it.

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05-13-2010 - Nick VujicIc
You've probably never heard of the guy. I've seen something like it back on 60 minutes years ago. I'm not sure if it's the same guy, but you must watch the video on him. I've also made note of the website where he sells his DVD. Just when you think your life is really bad and you have many overwhemling problems, then revert back to the video. It will put your life in perspective.

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04-28-2010 - Samba and Windows 7
It appears that Windows 7 and Samba 3.0 have some incompatabilities. I have been told Samba version 3.4 should resolve this. After search for a while I found a really good tutorial. I'm still doing some testing with it, but it looks promising. The tutorial is on compling sources. Too bad it wasn't just s simple apt-get.

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04-22-2010 - 101.9 The End... has ended
It appears as of this morning 101.9 the end has changed formats. It's now a jockeyless GenX 90's music station. Part of me wants to say ever since the Mr. West incident I didn't like Chunga, but really there was his stand up routine at the Gangrene festival that was his downfall for me. I personally miss the music format it used to be 15 years ago.

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01-28-2010 - USB Drive Data Recovery
For a handful of years now we have had problems with people losing their data on their USB sticks. USB memory sticks are nice and small, but seem to lose their ability to store stuff after 2-4 years. We've used R-Undelete for years before USB sticks got big. The problems is that R-Undelete only helps with deleted files on hard drives. For the past year we've been recommending DataDoctors since it was the only option I knew of. In some cases, they can be really expensive. Yesterday, Mark decided to try to find another program that would work specificly with USB Drives. BadCopy Pro was program that stood out ahead of the pack. He used it yesterday with some really good success. Usually, windows would detect it as empty and just ask if you want to reformat. With BadCopy Pro it seemed to get past that error and actually let you recover the files. I still have some testingof my own to do with it, but it was definitely worth mention on my blog to remember in the future.

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12-21-2009 - Setting up courier-pop3-ssl
For a while now I've had users asking if they could have POP3/IMAP4. I've been dragging my feet cause it adds more of my time to support their login configuration. Funny questions like "What's my username?" and "What's mypassword?" and "What are my inbound andoutbound servers?". Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, just do it anyways. Well, I found a great tutorial that answered my questions in a clear conside way. Towards the end when it mentions that if you want to force SSL for the POP3 connection then just stop the courier-pop-ssl service... I felt stupid. The whole time I thought courier-pop-ssl rode on top of courier-pop. It even had a quick way to remove it from startup.

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12-16-2009 - MakerBot Cupcake CNC
I've had a way ton of things going on in my life to has slowed me down on posting on my blog. A couple days back my friend Chris told me about it. I kept on meaning to look at it, but kept on forgetting. Finally, I looked at it today. The MakerBot Cupcake CNC is awsome. 3D printers can run $50,000. This one you assemble yourself for under $1,000. It's been a while since I've been impressed with something like this. Basically, it allows you to print plastic parts based on a 3D frame image you create on a computer. It looks like they are having a hard time meeting demand since mid January is the next date for new shippments to go out. Even though I have a big family to support, I am going to save all my pennies to buy one.

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