Sunday, February 04, 2007

This Weekend & iTunes Update

Chloe's 1st Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated Chloe's 1st birthday by having a big party with nearly 30 friends and relatives showing up at Mission Bay Park. It was a huge success thanks to Wendy's great planning and organization, I think everyone had a great time despite there being a bit of wind chill on an otherwise beautiful San Diego day. We definitely needed a kite or 2 to take advantage of the wind!

Here's a pic of Chloe getting her first birthday cake and what happens when you let her eat it. We'll be uploading more pictures to our gallery soon!

iTunes Sucks Update

I got a few comments from people about my iTunes Sucks post wondering how iTunes customer service addressed the issue as well as commenting that either some people either had never had any problems with iTunes themselves or also had heard of others having problems with iTunes, too.

Here's what they had to say (they replied in about 6 hours to Wendy):

I understand that after downloading your purchase, your songs are not appearing in your iTunes library. I'm sorry to hear that your iTunes Store purchases are missing from your iTunes Library. Fortunately, those items may still be on your hard disk. To look for them, follow the steps in this

Instructions for finding missing music and video downloads

The instructions tell you to search your computer for all .m4v, .m4p and .ipg files on your PC, which was what I had done myself. They did nothing to resolve the issue that the iTunes application completely lost reference to a download and that all the downloads were now named download.m4p so had to be renamed manually as well as manually have all the song details (artist, album, etc) manually entered. Luckily it was only 5 songs.

The problems with the songs brings up an interesting issue, which is that when you buy a song off iTunes, that only entitles you to download the song once. If you lose it or if the download fails and you aren't able to find the file on your PC, you may be completely stuck.

Apple's remedy to lost songs is to make sure you back up your downloads. In my opinion, for $1/song, they should allow you to download a song more than once. 3 times seems like a reasonable number to me.

Now to figure out why downloads get stuck on this computer... since I can't seem to find any cases where downloads get stuck exactly the same way.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

iTunes Sucks

Welcome back! Yeah, it's been a long time since I've posted and people have been nagging for me to post something people can relate to. Apparently "fail2ban, dovecot and brute force attacks" just wasn't something that most of my readers could relate to. Rant mode on!

I must be an idiot, but for something that is supposed to be easy to use, iTunes just sucks. The iPod itself is OK, but that damn twirly thing either doesn't spin at all for me, or spins around the world, so yeah, that's annoying, too.

Wen calls me up today and says: I bought some songs on iTunes and they're not showing up! They ripped me off! So I'm thinking well, OK, billions of people use iTunes every day and I've never heard anyone complain about their iPod, so it must be a simple problem of not clicking in the right spot.

So I get on the PC and start clicking. Yep, iTunes Purchase History says that 5 songs have been purchased, but no songs are showing up in the Purchased area or the Music Library. A quick Google search reveals horror stories of people losing their Music libraries when upgrading to iTunes 7, but nothing that seems quite relevant to this situation.

A quick peek in the "My Music" folder and I find some suspicious .tmp directories named after the songs that were purchased, and inside 2 files, download.m4p and Info.plist.

I can play those download.m4p files with iTunes and they appear to contain the entire song, but now I don't have any of the song info. Aaargh! I want my freakin' music that I paid for and I just want it to work, damn it!

From what I can tell, iTunes downloads everything OK, but then when it comes time to move the download from the temporary directory to wherever it's supposed to move and do whatever with it, it gets stuck. Yuck!

Not to mention that browsing the iTunes store is an exercise in futility! The servers appear to be slower than a dead cat and rarely respond if at all, and never respond in a timely manner. Ugh!

Finally, I gave up on getting iTunes to recognize those downloaded m4p files and renamed them manually and assigned them the proper attributes. It only took me 3 hours!

Rant mode off.

Thanks, I feel a bit better now.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

fail2ban, dovecot and brute force attacks

I needed a way to help stop/slow down brute force password attacks on a dovecot pop3 server running on Fedora Core 5. I heard about fail2ban on the dovecot list, it can scan any log file and any time it matches a regex in the log, you can have it block a host using iptables.

When setting fail2ban 0.6.1 up, I also took the tips from The Art of Web ~ System: fail2ban and iptables which adds syslog logging of dropped connection attempts and cleans up the iptables rules a bit.

This regex matches dovecot authentication failures in /var/log/secure:
dovecot.*(?:authentication failure).*rhost=::ffff:(?P<host>\S*)

I also tweaked the SSH failregex to make sure it only matches sshd failures.

You can download my entire configuration file here: fail2ban.conf

Friday, March 03, 2006

Junk in the Trunk

Meg's blog had a link to this store for babies online, and I ran across this onesie, it's awesome!

I can't believe it's March!

Wendy and I are starting to feel a bit settled with Chloe. The toughest thing to adjustment is the drastic change in our sleeping schedules.

We are lucky if Chloe sleeps 4 hours in between feedings during the night, more often she will go about 2-3 hours in between feedings, so that's a lot of waking up. It's toughest for Wendy since she has to do the actual feeding, I will typically get up and make sure they get whatever they need (diaper change, a glass of water, words of encouragement or a kiss) and stumble back to bed.

Aside from that things are going well, Chloe is getting bigger every day, and seems to becoming more aware of her surroundings as well as making a wider variety of noises and funnier faces.

Next Tuesday she'll be a month old!

Here's a funny picture of her sleeping from the other day. Yes, she was really sleeping with her hands sticking straight up in the air! There's more of her in the gallery.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pictures are Online

I've finally gotten all of Chloe's pictures up, you can view them in our Chloe's photo gallery.

Here is one of my favorites:

Saturday, February 11, 2006

T-shirt Folding

I was helping around the house today and doing some laundry, and remembered this awesome T-shirt folding technique from this Japanese video. It's very quick and gives you professional looking folded shirts!