make an external luks encrypted disk

/dev/sdb is used as the disk in this example — MAKE SURE TO ADJUST FOR YOUR SYSTEM

a good way to do this is:
ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/

to clean / randomize the drive:
dd if=/dev/urandom bs=100M conv=notrunc of=/dev/sdb

fdisk /dev/sdb — create partition 1
cryptsetup –verbose –verify-passphrase –cipher aes-cbc-essiv:sha256 luksformat /dev/sdb1
cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdb1 name
mke2fs -j -L “Label” -m 1 /dev/mapper/name
mkdir /mnt/name
mount /dev/mapper/name /mnt/name


Proximity Based Screensaver

Many times I am working with 2 or 3 different computers at the same time. I get really tired of having the screensaver start when I am not on that computer for a few minutes (even if I am looking at information on that screen). So it would be nice to have something that would trigger the screensaver when I leave the area: either using custom RF or possibly bluetooth.

Some sites that I would like to look into:

Smart / Federated Searches


Google Search Appliance
— has alerts
— PKI enabled

Google Mini
— no alerts

DeepWeb — This one might be a fit – it has an alerts feature

Carrot2 is a Results Clustering Engine — it groups searches into topical groups
— this is not a solution, but if we build something, it might be a part
— written in Java, but easily accessible from other languages

Microsoft FAST ES (was FAST Unity)

dbWiz — this is opensource, did not see alerts / repeatable searches
          — targeted at Libraries

WebFeat — seems very targeted to libraries

Linux Package Changelog

To find the change log for a package on RPM (Redhat, Fedora Core, CentOS, SUSE) based systems:

rpm -q --changelog package | more

To find it on Debian / Ubuntu systems:
less /usr/share/doc/<packagename>/changelog.Debian.gz

  • files above a certain size are automatically compressed
  • there may be other changelogs in there as well (for the upstream package)

RPMs typically have /usr/share/doc/<packagename><version> /ChangeLog.gz but it may be the upstream source that does not include any after-the-fact patches.

Product Reinstall Keys

Recently I had an error trying to update Adobe Acrobat and it failed. So I ended up needing to reinstall, then ran into the issue that they don’t tell you the whole product key. (I had the CD but not the case). The whole key is encoded in the registry, but not they don’t show the last 4 digits. After searching for a while I found 2 things that actually gave me the key:
Belarc Advisor (free for personal use)

and a little utility from Dave Hope:

Belarc is a lot to find a simple key. Dave’s utility worked great for what it does.

Adobe OSX Case Sensitive Filesystems Don’t Mix

I’m blogging this since there was only 1 hit on google and that web site was not available when I tried to hit it.

I tried to install Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 on my MacBook Pro and got an error: This software cannot be installed because the file system of the OS volume is not supported.

This is apparently a bigger problem the PSE. But that stinks! Glad it was a download / trial. I would really be ticked if I had bought it. — Really bad since the included readme does not say anything about a using a case insensitive volume.

I also had a case sensitivity problem with
Symantec Antivirus — had to do an ln -s * UPPERCASE(*) — no this is not a function I think I used a quick awk script or something like that.

Reposted since original source was unavailable:

This is Google’s cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Jan 28, 2009 07:06:07 GMT.

Adobe doesn’t like case-sensitive file systems
Written by Scott
Sunday, 17 February 2008 10:53

I downloaded a trial of Fireworks for my little MacBook, after reading the documents about CS3 (the current version of Adobe’s ‘Creative Suite’) and Leopard (Mac’s current OS) and was all ready to install. Opened up my, got the usual, application was downloaded from the internet are you sure you want to install, warning, continued to see…

“The software cannot be installed because the file system of the OS volume is not supported.”

I was like….. WHAT? At first I had to read it again because I actually didn’t understand what it said, I mean one of the Mac’s greatest advantages is that it’s made by one company so there should never really be incompatibilities and the likes. So what was the problem? A Google search later and the top hit was in fact Adobe. Apparently case-sensitive file systems are not supported.

Where was that warning before I downloaded 400 MB of data? I use case sensitive because I find it good practice since I use linux at University, and anyway the Mac is UNIX compliant so it makes sense.

But wait there is a solution… Format your hard drive to a non-case sensitive file system. That’s not a solution?! If someone could get their new sofa through the door you wouldn’t say well you could knock your house down and rebuild it from scratch if you like?

Somehow this would have been easier on Windows, even though the Mac is for its creative use.

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