Script day – different default browser per KDE activity

July 30th, 2018

This is a bit of a weird script day – the script is pretty simple but the integration is interesting. I’m scratching my own itch here and also demonstrating how to:

  • Use dbus-monitor to listen to D-Bus events
  • Use SystemD user services to run a session service
  • Update KDE configuration safely from scripts

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Migrating Google Groups Archives Between Accounts

May 16th, 2018

Recently I had to move a lot of data between an old GSuite Business account and a new GSuite Business account. Google support for such a migration is… well… can stand to be improved. The main pain points are email(1), Drive(2), Team Drives(3), Calendar(4), and for everything else – there is no migration. Google+ posts, password storage, Sites, Forms have to be recreated manually, and my pet peeve: Google Groups Archives.

If you’re not familiar with this awesome GSuite feature, which is based on the Google Groups usenet-like service, Google Groups for Business is a mailing list manager that in addition to distributing emails to recipients, also stores each email in an accessible archive – so new users can have access to old communications (this is great for accounting and support) and on top of that you can get forum like features with posting replies to topics and such. Unfortunately Google Groups has no export feature and because the archive is all about past communications, you can’t actually reproduce that data manually when you move to a new GSuite account.

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  1. The built-in data migration tool in the admin console – which is the only data migration tool available – only moves emails, and is not 100% reliable with that, and doesn’t move rules or other settings []
  2. There are external tools available, I’m using Multcloud, but sharing is a problem – the best you can get is to get a copy of each shared file and Google Docs without any sharing information attached, so that breaks the sharing. Other tools may convert all your Google Docs to Microsoft formats []
  3. Which surprisingly works very well – you just share the team drive to a user on the new domain and they can move all the files to a new team drive they create on the new account. Sharing information is lost and you have to reshare, but documents retain comments by the old users and there is no duplications []
  4. You can manually export all calendars to ical format and then manually import them one by one. Also not 100% []

Best April Fools Joke

April 1st, 2018

That I’ve seen in a while anyway. If you go to Stack Overflow today, you’d find a helpful rubber duck in the corner that will help you solve all of your (code) problems:

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Java’s CompletableFuture and typed exception handling

March 26th, 2018

With version 8, Java finally jumped on the asynchronous programming bandwagon with its own Promise-Oriented programming model, implemented by the CompletableFuture class and a set of interfaces and implementations it uses. The model is generally useful and not as horribly complicated as we sometimes get in the Java foundation class library(1), and it lends itself to fluent programming much better than the comparable model from fluent API proponent Vert.x project.

The Problem

One thing that most asynchronous computing models suffer from – and Java’s CompletableFuture is no exception – is the loss of typed exception handling. While CompletableFuture.exceptionally() is a good model that does not introduce a lot of boilerplate(2), you do lose the ability of the try..catch..finally syntax to effortlessly ignore exceptions you are not ready to handle and just letting them propagate up the stack. Read the rest of this entry »

  1. especially for things that claim to be “enterprise versions”, aughh []
  2. again, compare to Vert.x AsyncResult handlers. Other APIs, such as RX also do a good job in reducing boilerplate around error handling []

Hosting Polymer applications on Amazon S3 with proper URLs

September 14th, 2017

In case you’re looking to host a Polymer application, S3 is a great and cheap option. The main problem is with no rewrite rules, you must use hash tag routing.

But with a simple configuration hack and a Cloudfront distribution you can use proper URLs for your S3 hosted polymer application – as detailed by Keita Kobayashi in his blog.

Newest demo in Microsoft’s stupid reverse WINE, says: “we need Linux on Windows to grep”

September 3rd, 2017

Microsoft recently demoed a Windows Subsystem for Linux(1) feature where they can run commands on a Linux shell under WSL from the Windows CMD shell – which, according to the demo that pipes the output of ipconfig to Linux grep, they need becuase the CMD shell is a 30 year old joke shell that can’t even do grep properly.

  1. stupid reverse WINE : its a Linux system call translator for Windows, like WINE does for Linux, but doesn’t handle X or OpenGL and does a piss-poor job of file IO []

Woes of moving to a more secure world

June 11th, 2017

If you haven’t noticed, my blog is now secure from the NSA peeking at your comments by the magic of TLS and Lets Encrypt !

But doing this, I forgot to update WordPress’s notion of what URL this blog lives on, and as a result comments posting didn’t actually work.

Sorry about that, and now it should work fine,

Script Day: “secure” password generated one liner

June 11th, 2017

Ever needed to create a “secure” password to register to a web site(1) and you couldn’t be bothered to invent a secure password? Just paste this command line to your terminal:

ruby -e 'puts [*"a".."z",*"A".."Z",*"0".."9",
  ].shuffle[0..(ARGV.shift.to_i)].join' 16

The last argument is the number of characters to put into the password.

  1. that probably annoyingly require “at least 1 upper case letter, 1 lower case letter, 1 number and 1 special character” []

Script Day: AWS CLI with multiple accounts with ease

May 29th, 2017

Maybe you are a consultant and juggle multiple clients with Amazon Web Services deployments, maybe you just have accounts for all the start-ups you ever worked for, or maybe you just like to use 17 different AWS accounts for the free-tier usage, but eventually your ~/.aws/credentials file looks like an MS-Windows INI file.

At this point, running the AWS CLI is kind of annoying – you need to remember the correct --profile flag to set for each scenario, and bash will not complete these for you…

Bash aliases to the rescue!

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SSH-over-HTTPS for fame & profit

April 18th, 2017

In the past, I’ve discussed using SSH to circumvent restricted networks with censoring transparent proxies, but that relied on the restricted network allowing free SSH access on port 22 (what we call in the industry – the single network requirement for getting work done).

Unfortunately, there are restricted networks that don’t even allow that – all you get is the transparent censoring HTTP proxy (which has recently became the case with the free Wi-Fi on the Israeil Railways trains).

But fortunately for us, there is still one protocol which they can’t block, they can’t proxy and they can’t man-in-the-middle  – or else they’d break the internet even for people who only read news, search google and watch YouTube – that is HTTPS.

In this article I’ll cover running SSH-over-HTTPS using ProxyTunnel and Apache. The main consideration is that the target web server is also running some other websites that we can’t interrupt. The main content is based on this article by Mark S. Kolich, but since it only covers using plain HTTP and in addition to some simple changes in the example configurations I also wanted to cover getting an SSL certificate, here’s my version of the tutorial:

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