Category Archives: Uncategorized

Zimbra 8 – Adjust max attachment size for email

This sets the maximum attachment size to 50 megabytes. Log into the shell account and type the following:

su zimbra
zmprov mcf zimbraMtaMaxMessageSize 50000000
zmprov mcf zimbraFileUploadMaxSize 50000000
zmprov mcf zimbraMailContentMaxSize 104857600
zmprov modifyConfig zimbraMtaMaxMessageSize 5048000
postfix reload

Then restart zimbra

zmcontrol restart

Move VirtualBox Virtual Machines to another Hard Drive

Source

  1. Use clonehd to create a clone. Open a Terminal window and enter vboxmanage clonehd [original] [clone], replacing [original] with the full paths to the .vdi file you want to clone and [clone] with the location where you want the clone, i.e. vboxmanage clonehd /VM/ubuntu10.10.vdi /Volumes/ExternalDisk/VM/ubuntu10.10.vdi.
    vboxmanage clonehd "C:\Users\Admin\.VirtualBox\HardDisks\Ubuntu 9.1 Karmic Koala.vdi" "E:\VMs\Ubuntu_9.1_Karmic_Koala.vdi"
  2. Open VirtualBox and go to Settings – Storage for the machine.
  3. Remove the disk in the Storage Tree.
  4. Add the cloned disk instead.

TXF Converter for 2010 ThinkOrSwim and Ameritrade Excel to CSV Files

After attempting to import my equity trades into Intuit’s TurboTax 2010 Home and Business edition, I discovered that  support for importing CSV files has been removed. So, I decided to roll my own program.

You can download the source here or download the Windows executable here. Please note, the .NET 4.0 framework is required. After executing the program, you need to enter in the full file path [directory and file name] in the file text box and the full path for the directory where you want the file to be created. A ‘TXF’ file should be created afterwards in the specified location.

You can import the TXF file in TurboTax 2010 by opening your current tax return and selecting File -> Import -> From Accounting Software. Check the details before finishing the import to make sure everything looks right.

If you want more details about the TXF file format or the CSV reader I used in the program. Please check out the following links.

TXF Format
LumenWorks CSV Reader

 I’ve only tested the TXF files from this program on Turbo Tax 2010 Business and Home edition. This software is provided without warranty or support.

Review: Shreveport, LA – Eldorado Casino and Horseshoe Bossier City (Shreveport), LA

I decided to take a day trip to Shreveport, LA with some friends – partly because I haven’t been to Shreveport and partly because I was curious what my friends meant by ‘gambling on the cheap’. Ever since I visited Las Vegas, seeing the two words ‘gambling’ and ‘cheap’ was kind of like seeing ‘girls’ and ‘LAN party’ used in the same sentence. Before I go on, I think its important that readers know this review is done by a person who is not into gambling and hates the thought of loosing money. Although I have no qualms about gambling, I think there are better ways to spend your money.

After a 3.5 hour drive from Dallas on I-20, we arrived at the casino Horseshoe. One of the odd rules about Louisiana and gambling is that gambling cannot take place on land. In response, casinos are built on ‘riverboats’. The riverboats can be seen all along the Red River and look like barges permanently attached to hotels. At the Horseshoe, the gambling facility has three floors with slot machines on all floors along with black jack tables, craps, and a poker room. First we checked out the craps table and shortly after we decided to look at the poker room. With a minimum buy-in of $100, the poker room hosted 1,22 dollar no limit and 5,10 dollar no limit tables with seating capacity of 10 per table. All games being played were Texas Hold’em. After observing a couple of hands at the 1,2, I noted that a person needs to bring a minimum of $400 in order to play. Even though the tables are 1,2 dollar, there is no limit to the amount a person can bet at a time – which negates the whole point of a ‘1,2’ dollar poker table. It wasn’t uncommon to see players raising $50 to $100 on the river or turn.

The next casino we visited was the Eldorado. In comparison with the Horseshoe, I found the Eldorado much nicer. The ceilings were higher in the casino, which made it less smokey, and the gambling area looked bigger than the Horseshoe. Overall, the place looked a little more modern and cleaner. Upon entering the casino, we decided to check out the poker room again. However, I found out that all tables were playing ‘Omaha’ style poker, which I am not familiar with. Next, we all visited the black jack tables. I believe these are the cheapest black jack tables I have ever visited. When I was in Vegas, the cheapest black jack table I could find was a $25 minimum. All the tables here were $5 minimum with a max of $1000.  The shoes at the black jack table housed about 7 or 8 decks and each shoe was reshuffled at the table after about 8 hands. Drinks were served by waitresses about once per shoe. Overall, I found the black jack tables to be fairly well run. After a short stint at the black jack tables, we hit the craps tables for a few hours. I don’t know how to play craps, so I just watched.

Overall, I think a visit to Shreveport is worth a day trip if you need to get a fix, but it just doesn’t compare to Las Vegas. I saw a variety of people in the casinos. Most of the clientele at the Horseshoe and the Eldorado looked like either regulars or members of the AARP. I saw the most visitors at the Eldorado, probably because its one of the nicer casinos in the area. As for buffet prices, lunch averaged about $12 while dinner is about $20.

The following is a summary of the ups and downs for the day.

Player Gain/Loss Games Played
Me (Alex) +$15  Blackjack
Bob Even  Blackjack, Craps, Video Poker, Slots
Joe -$120  Blackjack, Craps, Slots, Craps
Dave -$640  Poker, Craps

References

Getting Around Linux: PostgreSQL’s ‘COPY FROM’ and Permissions in the Home Directory

After slinging some code into the dead of night, I ran into a few problems regarding read permissions. One of the tasks I needed to accomplish involved dumping a ‘.csv’ file into a table in a PostgreSQL database. That part was easy, all you have to do is use the ‘COPY FROM’ command in the psql interpreter and voila’, file imported right?

It turns out that the ‘COPY FROM’ command uses a different program that doesn’t have read access to your home directory. This resulted in the following error:

 ERROR:  could not open file "/home/alex/data/widgets.dat" for reading: Permission denied

I tried running chmod 777 on all the files in the ‘/home/alex/data’ directory, but that didn’t work. After some searching, I ran into a forum post that solved my problem. It turns out that you need to give read permissions to directories below the subdirectory you are reading from. You can accomplish this by typing the following:


chmod o+rx /home/alex

Beta Testing Joost

Joost is like YouTube except with complete programming instead of one to three minute clips of random shows and amateur videos, requires a Windows client, smaller selection of content categories, no top ten lists, and with commercials that are spliced randomly throughout shows. The sound and video quality is better than most clips posted on YouTube. Programming isn’t viewed on a schedule like on traditional television, instead, a user searches for programming, just like the search box used on YouTube or Google Video.

Since its almost 3 am over here, I thought to myself that their must be something better to watch on Joost  than on satellite TV. As most people don’t know, I love documentaries. When I’m watching TV, the first channels I surf are the History Channel, Game Play HD, and the Discovery Channel.

I did a few random searches for documentaries, cartoons, and music videos. In terms of pickings, the documentaries list is pretty sparse. All I found were a bunch of amateur videos of ‘famous’ parties around the world and some guy with a show called ‘Death Dealer’ – strangely most of these shows appeared to be from Europe.

Next I searched for cartoons. A few shows popped up, not much variety though. A few included Adult Swim, which I suspect is just reruns of Aqua Team Hunger Force running 24/7, and something called ‘Harveytoons Compilation’. I also saw some  ‘Ren and Stimpy’ and some other random stuff that I never heard of.

My search for music videos also returned some very general search results. Tip for anyone trying to find something to watch, search for specifics. Searching for the term ‘music videos’ won’t return a large search results list. I suspect this is because popularity or views hasn’t been integrated into the search results yet.

So what’s the verdict? Well their’s definitely a huge variety of content, a bunch of random words searched came up with lots of programming. For example, searching for the word ‘jump’ yielded 40 episodes of the Guinness World Records Show. After watching an episode, I still haven’t figured out the relevancy between the show and the word ‘jump’. When compared to YouTube or Google Video, this service definitely could serve as a welcomed channel of distribution for video. But what about Bit Torrent or torrent trackers?

As sad as I care to admit this, torrent trackers still do a better job of offering users content that they’re looking for. Even though Joost is still in beta and legal, the fact that a free semi-legal website serving illegal content does a better job then a multi-million dollar backed service says a lot about how far commercialization needs to go before it will be seen as successful and equivalent to its illegal counter-part. This doesn’t mean I don’t see potential in Joost. The biggest thing Joost offers over YouTube, torrent trackers, or any illegal download service, is better audio/video quality, better search integration, and most of all – instantaneous access. If Joost successfully gets these three elements executed, I think they will be able to make a niche for themselves in the expanding online video market (IPTV, streaming video, whatever you want to call it).

Review: Petrus Lounge

Petreus Entrance
Petreus Patio
Petreus Lounge
Petreus Patio

Petrus Lounge

1217 Main St.
Dallas, TX 75202

Dress Upscale. ‘Schwanky’. Men were wearing nice shirts and pants with dress shoes. Ladies were dressed in skirts, cocktail dresses, nice top / jeans.
Atmosphere More of a place to go out with friends and relax. First floor has a bar and couches. Rooftop has a well lit patio and a view of the downtown skyline.
Crowd Very trendy and fairly mixed. I didn’t see any ghetto thugging that night. The average age was early-20s to early 30s. Sex ratio was about 60% guys, 40% girls.
Parking Valet at the front. Parking lot about half a block down the street is five dollars.
Prices $8-10 per drink. No cover charge.

Petrus Lounge is located in downtown off of Main St., about 3 blocks from Nieman Marcus or right by that gigantic high rise with green neon lights running down the sides. The lounge takes up the 4th floor and 5th floors (roof). If you have been to Fusion before, this club will remind you of some similarities – with the exception that it feels more crowded due to the smaller space. As I was walking in, I was greeted by some gorgeous women. This seemed to be the reoccurring theme the entire night.  After meeting some friends, we decided to move from the VIP booths in the lounge area to a table on the patio. Overall, the table on the patio level is a lot nicer than the booth. When you walk out, a view of the downtown skyline and a nicely lit atmosphere greets you. Compared to the lower level, it feels a lot more open.

The Good

Aside from the superb atmosphere and view, the service was fairly good for a Saturday night. Drinks weren’t watered down and the bar tenders were pretty quick for a crowded night.

The Bad

I know clubs and bars can get crowded quickly on Saturday nights. Petrus Lounge was no exception. At around midnight, the patio area was packed. Strangely though, the lounge area was pretty much half-empty. Turns out everyone just got drinks in the lounge area and then went upstairs. Aside from the crowded conditions, the music could use some improvement and the dance area, while cool because it sits on top of a fountain area, could use more space.

Overall

If you’re looking for a place to spend time with friends for a relaxing night and maybe meet new ones, I highly recommend it. However, if you’re looking for a dance club, a place to blow off some steam, or go on a bender, I recommend you go somewhere else. At least the night I went, the crowd was low key.

Getting around Linux

For the past few months, I have been making a gradual migration over to the Linux platform. This has been mainly due to the maturity and ease of configuration of the Ubuntu distribution. In comparison to Debian, the setup for Ubuntu Server is almost identical with the exception of providing a slightly more refined setup wizard. I put up a short ‘article’ with some details on creating a new user in Linux.

I’ve also been experimenting with Ubuntu Desktop as a development environment for Python. My basic setup is Eclipse with pyDev, Subversion, pgAdmin III, python, and the Bash shell. Pretty bland huh? On another note, the vast majority of my execution commands are still in the Bash shell. I’m not a huge fan of running scripts from Eclipse because of the lack of arguments you can pass to the scripts. Although, I’m sure their is a way to do it – just don’t know how yet.

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