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shockme (2685)

  reversethis-{gro.dnuowtixe} {ta} {kcohs}
AOL IM: stephenhargrove (Add Buddy, Send Message)

If you really must have more information about me, see my home node [] at PerlMonks [] or my journal [] at

Journal of shockme (2685)

Thursday November 20, 2003
01:12 PM

I Are Smart

Well ... this is embarrassing. But I've ranted and raged about it so loudly and often ... and so many of you have willingly given your time and effort ... the least I can do is suck it up.

That whole Apache thing ... I have this firewall blocking my private traffic from the world. The server which houses Apache has only private addressing. And the firewall passes traffic destined for a certain IP to that server. For example, any traffic destined for is routed to the server's private IP address.

In my httpd.conf, I had the following:

ServerAlias *

ServerAlias *

Obviously, I have Apache configured to serveral virtual hosts with only one IP. The purpose of the dual entries was to serve requests from the Internet and also for requests originating from the private network.

What I overlooked was the firewall/router issue. The firewall receives the request for the external and translates it/routes it to the internal. The Apache server doesn't know anything about the external IP address.

All of the changes I have been making over the past several days have been only to the externally-addressed VirtualHost entry. Yeah. The entry that will never be used.

Thanks again to everyone who pitched in.

Man ... what a dumbass ...

Posted from, comment here.

Wednesday November 19, 2003
10:11 PM

More Pain Than The Law Allows

After hours of beating my head against the wall, I decided to take a break from the Apache fiasco and play with Spine. I installed it last night, and with Beatnik's assistance, got the front page up and running this afternoon.

So, I go to login and ... and guess what? YEP, YOU GUESSED IT.

I'm now at an impasse. Until I get this friggin' Apache thing fixed, I'm stuck.

#apache on was dead silent. I asked, but I guess everyone is too focused on ApacheCon right now.

I've googled the living shit out of this thing. Unbelievably, I've actually arrived at the point where no matter what search phrases I enter, I've already visited almost every link that's returned.

I'm 100% convinced that it's a configuration snafu on my end. I dug through all of the bugs for apache and apache-common on Debian's bug site, and no one has reported this type of situation. If it was a bug, someone would've found it by now (before me, anyway).

For those kind souls who have been pitching in with me, I've placed my httpd.conf online. Most of the pertinent stuff will be in the VirtualHost sections.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. I'm gonna go have a drink and try to relax. Getting a little pent up over here ...

Posted from, comment here.

07:24 PM

Perplexed Ad Naseum

I'm dying over here. God, this is so frustrating.

Yes, I'm still trying to figure out what I've hosed on my Apache config. works, but fails horribly.

I've followed the Apache documentation to the letter, and still NO JOY FOR ME.

Here's the pertinent parts from my httpd.conf:

AddHandler cgi-script .pl .cgi
ScriptAlias /music/ /var/www/htdocs/exitwound/music/
&ltDirectory /var/www/htdocs/exitwound/music&gt
AllowOverride All
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.htm index.shtml index.cgi
Options Indexes Includes FollowSymLinks MultiViews +ExecCGI
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

I've had conflicting advise regarding the ending '/' on the ScriptAlias line. The Apache docs say it's supposed to be there, but the result is always the same whether it's there or not.

The log file says: attempt to invoke directory as script: /var/www/htdocs/exitwound/music

Dear God ... this should not be this difficult. I'm astounded ... it's never happened like this before ...

Posted from, comment here.

10:40 AM


Debian just keeps rocking. In this week's Debian Weekly News, there was a short blurb about apt-cacher. It allows one machine to serve a local cache of "needed" updates/upgrades, and all of the client machines can pull from it. If a package is requested that the cache machine doesn't have, then the new file is transfered to both the cache and the client.

The entire set-up process, from apt-get install apt-cacher on the cache machine to apt-get upgrade on the client machines, took me approximately 5 minutes.


Posted from, comment here.

Tuesday November 18, 2003
07:05 PM

Mandrake 1, Trend Micro 0

Somewhere along the line, I made the "strategic" decision (although at the time, it didn't feel strategic) to install Mandrake rather than RedHat on 4 of our servers. No big deal, right? I mean, when you strip away all of the bells and whistles, Mandrake is pretty much RedHat is pretty much Mandrake.

4 servers. DNS servers. 2 internal, 2 external. Mandrake.

Fastforward about 6 months, and suddenly one of the external DNS servers is now also our failover Sendmail server. I had a few weenie-type issues getting the commercial version of Sendmail to run on it. Sendmail's technical support, while making sure that I understood that they didn't support Mandrake, were more than helpful, and in a very short period of time, it was working.

As part of the Sendmail installation, I also installed Trend Micro's Interscan VirusWall. It's got all sorts of scanning shit, but all we use is the SMTP stuff. I spend more time disabling what we don't use than getting the rest of the set-up configured.

And merrily we rocked along.

After a while, the Security Team contacts me. Interscan is supposed to automatically download and update the virus files on a nightly basis. It's working perfectly on the primary MTA, but on the secondary (Mandrake, external DNS), it's not. And they can't figure out the error message. I tell them that I'm well aware that it's not automatically updating, because I've been manually updating it for the past 6 months or so. I tell them to contact Trend Micro and get it resolved because I'm tired of manually updating the thing.

Once Trend Micro heard "Mandrake", that was the end of the discussion. They only support RedHat, and absolutely refused to discuss the matter any further.

Now, I understand the asshole concept better than most. Hell, I wrote a few chapters myself. And I also understand the magnitude of providing technical support across several different platforms. But refusing to even discuss the matter with us? Refusing to even walk through a configuration file or two and to at least let us know that we had set up the machine properly? That's inexcusable.

Trend Micro lost themselves a customer today. We were evaluating alternatives within an hour of their refusal.

And I'm 50% finished with a Perl script that'll autmatically download the updates from their site and apply them.

Interscan may not be willing to discuss the matter, but I'll be damned if I can't fix what they won't.

And they can have my Perl script, too. Right after they smooch my lilly-white ass.

Posted from, comment here.

07:26 AM

Early Morning CSS

Promptly at 4:00AM, I am wide awake. After fighting it for about 45 minutes, I resign myself to the obvious: I am awake.

So, figuring my body knows better than I do about how much rest I need, I roll out of bed, start the coffee, go through my email, and perform all of my morning tasks that normally require the bulk of the morning.

Now it's 5:30AM. Wow. It's amazing how much you can get done when there are no interruptions.

So, I read up on CSS style sheets -- something I've been nagging myself to do for quite some time. I have a very general knowledge of them, but I know that I should know more. For example, table-less webpages. I know it's possible, but I've really been wanting to learn how, but it's always getting bumped in priority.

Google quickly led me to CSS Layout Techniques at, which is exactly what I was needing.

It's amazing how quickly everything falls together -- once you have the proper foundation.

Posted from, comment here.

Monday November 17, 2003
09:17 PM

CMS, Wikis and Perl

At the office, we use PostNuke for our Systems Group's documentation portal and announcements. We also use PHP Wiki for various purposes, but mainly for daily journals and general "how to" documents.

Many moons ago, we used PHPNuke. At that time, I wrote a small module that was basically a checklist. However, I didn't port it when we migrated to PostNuke, and haven't really thought that much about it. Especially since no one had bitched about its absence.

Until today. Now it's a must have.

PHP Wiki plugs into PostNuke very nicely. But getting it operational under PHPNuke isn't that easy. And it's not well documented either. I had it working where I could access it directly (http://document_root/modules/phpWiki/index.php), but accessing as a module wasn't happening. All I ever got was a blank page.

I was going through PostNuke's documentation on creating modules ... good lord, man. It quickly became apparent that I didn't have time to "do it the right way".

So, I hacked up a Perl script that will access the PostNuke cookies to determine permissions, etc., and present the checklist. It's a hack, no doubt. But it's working quite well. Once I have a little more time, I'll revisit the PostNuke documentation and do it correctly.

Justin barfed at school today. No fever. No weirdness. Just puke. Lori picked him up at lunch and took her back to work with her. He's all kinds of pissed that he couldn't go out and play tonight ...

Posted from, comment here.

Friday November 14, 2003
03:58 PM

Snatched From The Hands of Victory


My script works fine as a standard CGI script. Running under mod_perl, it's sporadic and unpredictable. Sometimes it works, sometimes it craps with an error (but hitting Reload will lead to the proper results), sometimes it will only display the left column. Searching is out of the question. I've yet to get that to work. Hell, the log files don't even show the search request hitting the system.

I've stopped and started Apache so many times that my history file has been rendered useless.

Different browsers give the exact same result, so I know it's not a browser issue.

Other than installing mod_perl and changing httpd.conf, I've changed nothing.

You can compare and contrast as follows:


Note the continued necessity of on the CGI version. God this is fun ...

Posted from, comment here.

Thursday November 13, 2003
10:18 PM

Apache, The Wall, and My Head

It's driving me insane ... INSANE I TELL YOU ...

Notice: works. does not work.

The 403 Forbidden error is reflected in the logs as attempt to invoke directory as script: /correct/path/to/script/dir

DirectoryIndex is specified correctly: DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.htm index.shtml index.cgi

The handler is there: AddHandler cgi-script .pl

I have a ScriptAlias of: ScriptAlias /music/ /correct/path/to/script/dir/ AllowOverride None Options ExecCGI Order allow,deny Allow from all

(Note: the funky spacing the Directory tags is intentional - for some reason my PRE tags didn't prevent them from getting eaten. The spacing is correct in httpd.conf.)

No joy. Sore head.

Posted from, comment here.

06:47 PM

The Tired and The Tedious

Once again, I find myself home with the sicklies.

Fortunately, Justin is much better. Too much. He's a ball of energy and has all but torn the walls down today.

LJ is better too, although she lost her voice. She's been squeeking and hooting all day.

They'll both be back at school tomorrow, and I can finally get back to the office.

Staying at home -- working from home -- is not a lifestyle I think I could handle over a prolonged period of time. I'm ready to get the hell out of here.

Not that the weather would cooperate. It's been overcast and rainy all day. I figure it'll ice over during the night, so I should have some real excitement driving to work tomorrow.

On the Perlish-side, my music database conversion is progressing quite nicely. I've gotten all of the basic functionality in place. Now it's time to brush up on CSS and make it purty.

Posted from, comment here.