Category Archives: software

owncloud with external SMB through fritzbox

A USB disk can be connected to Fritzbox as a network attached storage (NAS). In case one wants to connect this to ownCloud through the External Storage App of ownCloud, then this is the configuration that at least worked for me:

Host: the IP of the Fritzbox, e.g.
User: FRITZ.BOX/fritzbox_username
Password: the password for the fritzbox_username
Remote Subfolder: /some/folder/on_the_NAS

The brown square on the SMB configuration page of owncloud should then become a green circle.

arecord duration bug and workaround

It seems, that "arecord" from "alsa-utils 1.0.28-1" has a bug if setting the duration in the command (-d). After the given duration, the recorded files disappears and multiple files are created every second.

I did not want to downgrade, so I used the command "timeout" in order to substitute the buggy -d flag; e.g. for recording 10 seconds:

timeout 10s arecord [flags except duration flag] [filename]

Get hash from an SSL certificate

A convenient way to get the hash value from a website, is to open the site with firefox, login (if needed) through the firefox pop-up window, click on the lock icon in the URL address field and click on "More Information" > "View Certificate" > "Details". In window "Ceritifcate Fields" click on the first line, then "Export" and save this on your disk, e.g. under CERTIFICATE.

The command

openssl x509 -noout -in CERTIFICATE -hash

should then output the hast value of the certificate.

joomla migration, part 2

I tried the J2XML plugin, it exported beautifully, then installed joomla 2.5 in a test directory, everything fine, installed the J2XML importer, ok, tried to import structure, users and articles and... "No XSL extension". Import impossible.

I tried to register in order to get the free jUpgrade plugin. But then I had to give a huge number of private data. They wanted name, address, tel. number etc etc.... No way...

So, plan B: Joomla -> WordPress migration... I searched for a plugin, but solutions that import articles with the comments (from jComments) cost. I think, I will search for something to migrate the articles, and then migrate the comments manually. The articles are only 54 and the comments just 22. Actually, I could do the whole migration manually... Not a bad idea. And give a different structure. I'll think about it...

Migration of the site from Joomla 1.5.26 to 2.5

I am very dissapointed about the options offered for the Joomla migration. Official Joomla Documentation links here for upgrading extensions (for semi-automatic solutions), where I see the following 6 options: J2XML Importer, jUpgrade, SP Upgrade, Migrate Me, jUpgradePRO, Ji Migrator. All exept the first 2 are commercial. jUpgrade is non-Commercial but requires registration. So the only one that complies for me with the open-source concept and use is J2XML, which is what I am going to use (or at least, give a try).

Of cource a migration is not an update, which was also done easily in Joomla. But leaving version 1.5 unsupported and the migration problem up to the users, is a bit frustrating. If the J2XML Importer solution does not work, my plan B shows to the direction of WordPress...

Firefox: share weblinks and send mails with Mutt

Firefox and Mutt are my favourite applications for web browsing and checking mails respectively. But until last week I could not make them communicate, e.g. for sharing link/title of a website, or writing mails to mailto: URLs.

In order to solve this once and forever, I have written the following two scripts: and, and I installed the Email This! add-on, pointing the mailer to the first script from above (

The 2nd script takes into account, that the addresses that mutt is using are all in a file named .mutt/addresses.rc. The script sends a blind copy of the mail to the the address alias "ich" for archiving.

And that was it! The mailing through mutt accepts all aliases defined in mutt! That's speed!

mplayer streaming: no gap between files

Trying to play some files with mplayer from a remote location, I noticed that there was a gap between the files in the playlist because of buffering of the individual files. I do not know if this is an overkill, but after playing around I ended to the following solution. It does not have the flexibility of playing individual files in a row (you cannot move), but it solves the gap problem. In the example the remote location is mounted on a local directory.

curl $(ls -d /mnt/filedir/* | sed 's|^|file://|' | tr "\n" " ") | mplayer -cache 8192 -

absorbing states in the software I use

Absorbing states in Markov chains are states, that cannot be left once entered. As in physics of black holes, a "point of no return".

There are many such states in my life with respect to software. After working on this and that, I found a programme that attracted me for ever (at least until now). For example:

Mail User Agent: I went through Outlook Express, Netscape, kmail until I got to know mutt.

Editor: notepad → kwrite → emacs → vim/gvim.

Internet Browser: internet explorer → netscape → seamonkey → opera → mozilla firefox.

OS I have worked on: DOS → NeXT → SG → Windows 98 → Mac → Windows XP → Linux.

Now I feel that something similar happens with the Linux Distribution I got to know. After wandering with SuSE → Debian → SuSE → Gentoo → SuSE, I landed on Arch. And I think that I will never leave.

The reason for these states being absorbing is not only that they enhanced my existing tools, but that they revealed and keep revealing to me possibilities, that I couldn't even think of.