Mysql client can't resolve host

ERROR 2005 (HY000): Unknown MySQL server host '' (-1)

If your mysql client software --everything including gui and cli tools-- dies with the previous error after asking for a password, then you either have a DNS problem (most likely) or you may have a freak issue where a line in your /etc/hosts file has gotten too long.

Thank god for mdavidn over on the ubuntu forums who figured this one out.

I got into the issue because networkmanager kept splicing my workstation hostname into my hosts file until that line got like 3000 characters long.

It was totally a crazy problem to troubleshoot, because wireshark confirmed that my local mysql-client was not even sending out any requests over the network, and reinstalling and wiping out local mysql client configuration didn't help at all.

Setting a non detected resolution on modern xrandr system

This script distills the knowledge needed to get my old samsung syncmaster 213T to work at native res from my macbook air running gnome 3.


# if you are adapting this script get the modeline information by running cvt
# then to the below to add this named mode with its config details to the xrandr system
xrandr --newmode "Syncmaster1600" 161.00 1600 1712 1880 2160 1200 1203 1207 1245 -hsync +vsync

# make the new mode setable on this monitor
xrandr --addmode VGA1 Syncmaster1600

# now the new mode should be in the display control panel, but we will go ahead and set it here.
# sets the vga out to use the modes from above
xrandr --output VGA1 --mode Syncmaster1600

How to use deb-src repos

first add them to your source.list file, run apt-get update and.....

"apt-get source foo" to fetch source. "apt-get -b source foo" to fetch and build source "apt-get buld-dep foo" to install the packages necessary to build foo.

(thanks to stew in #debian)

Thoughts on life choices around software freedom

ThistleWeb has a really nice soul searching blog post on the abundance of self limiting purity in the free software community.

I've made a bit of a different choice than he has with regard to facebook (setting up a dummy account and responding to friend requests by letting them know where else to find me). However, I have recently started pushing my notices from through to twitter so that I can communicate with the large group of friends already well established there. Open source is not the only issue I am promoting in my life, and while I use only free software on the desktop, and on servers I own and I use open network services preferentially, I'm not going to stop reaching out to people who I love just because they are entrapped in a proprietary platform.

I don't think lecturing or judging friends helps anyone. Cutting yourself off cold turkey is also not effective. However, I do think letting them know why you've made different choices upfront is important.

On some strategic choices, one should take a stand, in others, one is allowed to calculate the risks and benefits:

* At the tipping point, one should err on the side of what is right. (Webm vs h264 is hot right now, I'm gonna only produce content in Webm, cause open formats have a chance of winning and opening up a new era of freedom in content production).

* With well entrenched proprietary communications methods with which you can reach a lot of people, but where your participation or non participation has a negligible impact on the marketplace, I would say that one should take it on a case by case basis, and merely put safeguards in place against a slippery slope. Twitter falls into this category for me. It's more important for me to reach people and be reached by them than to hope against hope for to become the norm. I post to twitter only through and hope that I can keep enriching both ecosystems. The quality of relationships are deeper and more friendly on, but the breadth of information and the potential to reach people is greater on twitter.

* When it goes to participation in an ecosystem controlled by an openly evil empire, I would just say no, regardless of the effectiveness of your individual resistance on the marketplace as a whole. Facebook and Microsoft Skype fall into this category to me. In the former, I have an easier decision, since I have no personal network created there. I will create alternate methods of reaching those folks in that ecosystem, and expend energy to get the message to them. What I will not do is enrich that ecosystem. In the case of Skype, it's gonna be hard to replace. I'm gonna have to ween myself and hopefully some of my network off towards freer alternatives such as Jitsi. It's gonna take a while, but with the news that MS is cancelling skype integration with Asterisk as its first act since the merger, a downward trend is clear.

Canonical I think is a bit of a different issue, it's one of people falling out of love with what was percieved as a savior or leader rather than any sort of software purity test. Pretty much 5 years ago Canonical totally embraced the linux community and was embraced back. Since then, they have progressively made clear that they see themselves as the decisionmakers and us as the consumers of the Ubuntu product. OK then, if it's us and them on opposite sides of a line, then let all the consequences of that decision work themselves out. I think that's what we are seeing there, rather than any software purity debates.

running ybin (from yaboot) inside a chroot fails with HFS working directory error

If you are fixing the boot system of a linux powerpc machine, you may have occasion to need to run ybin or mkofboot to rebuild the boot setup.

However, if you are running from a live cd, you may get the following error:

Failed to initialize HFS working directories: No such file or directory
mkofboot: HFS filesystem creation failed!

I was able to overcome this by running mkofboot from outside my chroot (which was probably not enough of an independent environment to run such a low level tool)

so instead of

root@chrooted:/# mkofboot -v


root@notchrooted:/# /path/to/chroot/usr/sbin/mkofboot -C /path/to/chroot/etc/yaboot.conf -v

(-C tells it to look for it's yaboot config in a place you specify -- here inside the chroot)

worked for me.

Libertarian Paul has one good idea

This period is going to be remembered as a period of national disgrace and the privacy dark ages. The backscatter X-ray scandal, the reading of our email, secret watch lists and the slow burying of the Constitution under the filthy debris of the National Security State.

Freed from post Watergate constraints by Bush, and let roam free by Obama, this intimidation and stripping of our rights is a knife held to the neck of the open character of our society. The terrorists are inches away from having transformed us successfully.

I am a liberal progressive who considers Rand Paul an absolute corporatist idiot (witness his dimwitted ideas about economics being simply everyone working for the rich). However, I wholeheartedly applaud his aggressive action against backscatter x-rays, seizure of private computer equipment, and watchlists with no oversight.

People are gonna love someone shouting "stop the insanity!" Democrats should start leading this movement, or they will be trampled by it. Democrats' whole problem in the last 40 years is they have failed time and time again to recognize a movement when they see it. Or more likely, they have been repeatedly bought off and bought out when things get moving.

We're gonna have to do it for them. Demand that your Congresscritter support efforts to restore our out privacy protections in the Constitution!