Eric D. Schabell: April 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Windy ride along the Maas

Took a nice ride along the Maas today with my buddy Marcel. We left home and went through Heusden with nothing but wind in our backs at strength 5. We knew this would be a problem once we crossed the river there and headed back into the wind, but man was that hard work!

I guess that is what they mean by biking the ‘Dutch Mountains’, meaning you bike on a flat surface but always have the strong winds in your face making it that much harder! Anyway, we motored up the river and past where we lived as Marcel needed to head off and visit with some friends. We parted ways and I headed back downstream (wind at my back, yeah!) for about 10km’s and finished up a 46km ride.

Next weekend I have a ride in the Veluwe in the planning! ;-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mac ports failing with configure.cppflags error

I was trying to install some software on the macbook I have using the macports but kept getting this error:
$ sudo port install [any-package]
Error: Unable to execute port: invalid command name "configure.cppflags"

I did some searching around and found the Portfile was setting the CPPFLAGS incorrectly. The fix was to edit this file (split the long file name):
/opt/local/var/db/dports/sources/     \
rsync.rsync.darwinports.org_dpupdate_dports/  \

# find this line.

# and replace it with this line.
configure.env CPPFLAGS="-no-cpp-precomp"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ubuntu upgrade Dapper to Feisty x86_64 (with screenshots)

Today I wanted to update my x86_64 box to the newest available Ubuntu version, 7.01 or better know as Feisty! I thought it mighe be nice to include the steps and some screenshots of the process:

First step was to run the update-manager:
# looking for the latest version.
$ sudo update-manager -c

This gives you the gui update manager and shows that the new version has been found:

By selecting the upgrade button you will get the release notes popup:

When you are done reading this you will next see the downloading of the upgrade tool:

The upgrade tool will start by telling you that it is preping the upgrade:

I encountered an error here as I have some external third party repo's in my /etc/apt/sources.list file:

To fix that, just comment them out of the file and restart your update-manager, it proceeds through the above steps again and gets on with it here again by stating that some other repo's have been commented out (why not the above ones too?):

Next, the channels are updated:

Then you are given the chance to view the details of the update (click on the 'details' to see them) before you proceed:

The downloads start:

And the install of packages proceeds, you can view the process by clicking on the terminal for a drop down view:

A few pop-ups are shown if a configuration question answer is needed or if a config file differs from one already installed, just answer as fits your installation:

I hit another error on the python-ldap package which led to the update-manager failing out of the update:

I then used dpkg to fix the problem as follows:
# remove the python-ldap package.
$sudo dpkg -r python-ldap

# rescue the crashed upgrade.
$ sudo dpkg --configure -a

# finally ensure that I got all the updates with one of the following
# commands.
$ sudo aptitude dist-upgrade
$ apt-get dist-upgrade
Reboot and enjoy your new x84_64 Ubuntu Feisty machine! ;-)

Watch what cycling in Portland can be like - Incredibly Steep

I am from Portland and tend to follow the local news a bit and came across this rather cool news item in The Oregonian. It features a cycling event through 42 miles of nasty hills in NE Portland, check out the documentary video:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CNN embedded video working in Firefox 2.x on Ubuntu

I have been irritated for some time about not being able to play any of the video offered by many of the news items on CNN's website. To fix this I found I only needed to do this:

# install the vlc video player and plugin.
$ sudo aptitude install vlc mozilla-plugin-vlc

# check your firefox plugins page for the vlc plugin 
# being registerd by typing "about:plugins".

United States Marine Corps Hymn

I often in the course of a conversation here in Europe get asked about the USMC song, so I thought I would just put it down here as it was taught to me during my time. Once and for all I can just say, look it up:

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.
First we’ll fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.

Our Flag’s unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job, the United States Marines.

Here’s health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we’ve fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

OohRah to all the Devil Dogs out there and Semper Fi where ever you may be! ;-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Porland, Oregon - a tour through my town

I could not resist posting a link to this New York Time article that takes you on a 36 hour tour of where I am from. It might even make you want to take a sabbatical year to go live there while you write that book you always wanted to do!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Nijmegen run today!

I decided that a ride to work coinciding with the first day of above 20 degree Celsius weather that it would be a good way to close out the week.

So this morning I was off, with all my long pants, long sleeves and warm foot gear on as it was only 10 degrees at departure. I had a wind out of the East in my face the whole way which made it 55 km’s of hard work. It took me just over 2 hours and 15 minutes to get there. I was broken!

The trip home was a breeze, wind in the back now! Took only 1 hour and 15 minutes with speeds ranging around 36-40 km/hr most of the way. It was sunny and I had on my shorts and short-sleeved gear. Felt like summer!

Total ride was 110 km over 4 hours and I will sleep like a baby! ;-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ubuntu subversion upgrade to 1.4.3 HowTo for x86_64

This was really irritating me to no end! I work in Eclipse with a subversion plugin that took my project checkouts into the subversion 1.4.3. When I tried to command line any of the 'svn' commands I would get the lovely message that I had a client that was too old (Ubuntu Edgy gives me subversion 1.3.2). Fixing that by upgrading my subversion installation (condensed from Ubuntu Forums) was as follows:

# get subversion tarballs and unpack.
$ wget
$ wget
$ tar xvzf subversion-1.4.3.tar.gz
$ tar xvzf subversion-deps-1.4.3.tar.gz

# setup tools and deps.
$ aptitude install build-essential
$ aptitude install libapr1 libapr1-dev libaprutil1 libaprutil1-dev
$ aptitude install libneon25 libneon25-dev
$ aptitude install libdb4.3 libdb4.3-dev   \
db4.3-util libdb4.3++c2 libdb4.3++-dev
$ aptitude install checkinstall auto-apt

# apply an x86_64 fix to the neon makefile. 
# Change line with 'CFLAGS' to read:
#  CFLAGS= -g -O2 -fPIC
# do this AFTER the ./configure run!
$ vim neon/src/Makefile

# build and install!
$ auto-apt run ./configure --with-ssl   \
--with-apr=/usr/bin/apr-config        \
$ make
$ checkinstall

Flash Player 9 in Firefox 2.x on Edgy x86_64 with nspluginwrapper!

I am posting this here to keep it close at hand for my private usage on the diverse x86_64 boxes I use, but to be fair it is well documented on the Ubuntu Forums.

First you will need to download these files:
# setup your linux32 libraries.
$ sudo aptitude install ia32-libs ia32-libs-gtk linux32 lib32asound2

# Debianize rpm's with alien.
$ sudo aptitude install alien

# convert the downloaded packages.
$ cd [path-to-downloaded-rpms]
$ sudo alien nspluginwrapper-
$ sudo alien nspluginwrapper-i386-

# install the packages.
$ sudo dpkg -i nspluginwrapper_0.9.91.2-2_amd64.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i nspluginwrapper-i386_0.9.91.2-2_amd64.deb

# WARNING: now close all browsers!!!

# unpack your downloaded flash player tarball.
$ cd [download-location]
$ tar xzvf install_flash_player_9_linux.tar.gz
$ cd install_flash_player_9_linux
$ mv /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
$ mv flashplayer.xpt /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

# finally need to setup the nspluginwrapper stuff, after running
# command below you should see the results in
# /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
# and
# /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
$ nspluginwrapper -i /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

# link these to firefox plugins.
$ cd /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins
$ ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
$ ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

# finished, go try a flash site like with Firefox 2.x!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I got the Daddy Prize again today!

Today I drove my daughter and son to Oma’s as she was to babysit for us today. Once we got there I was busy unloading first my daughter, then my son in his Maxi-Cozy, then the bags of stuff needed for a day at Oma’s, the buggy, and finally moving the child seat for my daughter over to Oma’s car for the trip home this evening.

While wrestling the child’s seat into the Ford K (no easy feat to get this thing into the back seat with me being 191cm) I hear my daughter calling my name. I finish installing the seat and head inside to say goodbye before driving on to work. My daughter is standing there holding something up for me to take. She had run inside and gotten her new gift from Easter, a small basket with four little fuzzy baby chicks in it and was holding it out to me… my heart jumps, I am getting the Daddy Prize again.

I solemnly take it from her as she says I need to take this to work with me, “It’s for you Daddy.” I promise to return it to her that evening and she nods her head real serious like. I give her a kiss goodbye and she runs off to the front of the house to wave goodbye out the window with a big smile on her face.

The chicks are here on my desk next to me and I am smiling. :-)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Applying for Dutch citizenship today!

Today I start on the path to obtaining a second passport (dual citizenship). I have done some research and consulted some immigration law specialists (thanks Tessa!) and it is now possible for me due to being married to a Dutch citizen.

I have always kind of seen this as not really being necessary but lately a few things have been nagging at me to get me to make the move:

* I will not lose my US citizenship
* My children have been born here (have both American and Dutch citizenship), so I would like to have the same rights as they do
* I can not vote here until I obtain Dutch citizenship
* Much easier to move about in the EU

I will keep posing to this item via the comments as I proceed down the road to citizenship. I am sure there will be enough interesting events in this process to post about. Wish me luck! :-)

Monday, April 2, 2007

The Baby Game packaged and released for general usage!

I have finally packaged and posted my web-based game for guessing the birthdate of a coming baby, it is known as The Baby Game. More details are available on my Software page.
This game has been running for two different births and was such a success that it is being released GPL on popular demand.

Windy ride yesterday!

As we were to visit some friends in a new housing development here in Den Bosch, I decided to cycle over there and then continue onwards from there after the visit.

It was very windy and gusting pretty bad, I had to fight the whole way there over 12 km’s with speeds not getting very much past 30 km/hr at most. But when I left our friends house I had the wind at my back and was chasing behind our car (wife driving home) at 50 km/hr over a distance a bit longer than 1 km! Was a rush to be cruising at such speeds, as these are not normal for me unless I am going downhill. ;-)

Ended up riding around Den Bosch and enjoying the sunny day, total ride was 36 km’s.

Austin Mini vs Chevy Tahoe

My neighbor picked up a 1999 Chevy Tahoe, the same my sister has so we thought it might be fun to take some pictures with my 1987 Austin Mini next to it for some comparison:

Austin Mini vs Chevy Tahoe

My neighbor picked up a 1999 Chevy Tahoe, the same my sister has so we thought it might be fun to take some pictures with my 1987 Austin Mini next to it for some comparison: