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Skype Tips and Tricks

By Jimmy Bonney | July 24, 2012

In the past two weeks, I have been sharing the same Skype tip a couple of time. I thought it might be interesting to have it in written somewhere so that maybe additional people get to learn it.

One of the great thing that Skype chat allows is editing messages that you have written. It is quite convenient when one makes an error while typing and wants to correct it. It can also be used to completely delete the message (if you wrote to the wrong person for instance).


Backup a Website on Shared Hosting

By Jimmy Bonney | July 14, 2012

Backup Strategy

And here we are: another article about backups. After some setup to back up gmail on a Synology drive, here is another article to continue on our backup strategy.

In this article, we will backup the files and database(s) on a web server that is on a shared hosting plan (in this specific case, hosted on Hostgator). There are usually two different possible approaches to backup files:

  1. Archive the file (zip, tar, gzip, …) and download the archive,
  2. Mirror the folder containing the files

Considering that there are some files I am not interesting in backing up on my webserver, I will go for the first solution so that I can white list what I am interested in and create an archive containing only the files that I want to back up. It should be possible to do that with the mirror strategy as well, but I didn’t have much time to investigate the matter.


Add Printer in Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome 3.4

By Jimmy Bonney | July 13, 2012

Following an update of Ubuntu during which I simply formatted the system partition, I lost all the printers that were previously configured on my computer.

Based on what I read on different blog posts and forums, adding a printer from Unity is quite straightforward. Unfortunately for me, I am getting used to Gnome and have decided to have it as my main window manager and it seems that some of the tools working in Unity do not function properly under Gnome.

When one goes to System Settings > Printers and click on the + button to add a new network printer, the following (not so explicit) message is displayed:

FirewallD is not running. Network printer detection needs services mdns, ipp, ipp-client and samba-client enabled on firewall.

A sudo apt-get install ... does not solve the problem so it seems that there is an issue deeper than that.


Load SSH Keys to Memory with SSH Agent

By Jimmy Bonney | June 27, 2012

As I explained in my previous article, we have migrated our code base to Git. In the process of automating the deployment process on our production server, I wanted to use one of the latest feature of BitBucket: deployment keys.

Bitbucket has a very well documented process describing the overall procedure, but the whole step about starting the ssh-agent and loading keys is something that is a bit cumbersome to reproduce every time one logs in to the production server to pull an update.

To simplify this a little bit, I have automated some of the steps so that:

  1. The ssh-agent is started every time the user logs in through SSH
  2. a simple script responsible of loading the key(s) can be executed when one want to load them


Migrate SVN Repository to Git on BitBucket

By Jimmy Bonney | June 26, 2012

We have just migrated the version control system of our web application from SVN to GIT. While there are a lot of sources available online to perform this, not all of them consider the special case when one need to migrate branches that might not have been re-integrated to the trunk yet.

I have mixed a few different sources in order to get this right for us. I will not re-write what has been written so many times by others (often in a better and clearer way that what I could do) but will simply list the steps that I followed and links to the different sources.


Filter Unique Email Addresses And Verify Validity

By Jimmy Bonney | June 24, 2012

When gathering contact lists, it is quite common to end up with quite a few duplicate email addresses. In order to do some cleanup in those lists, I have created a simple ruby script that accepts a CSV file as input and analyzes the list to extract only unique entries.

The reason to create the script in the first place was that some entries were containing multiple email addresses for the same contact. When comparing lists it was therefore not easy to see if the email address was present in one list and not in the other. The first step was therefore to create one line per email address which then allowed for an easier cleanup of duplicate entries.

Since some of the email addresses in my list were quite old, I have added a simple verification on whether the domain of each address contains some valid MX server.

More detailed information is available on the project page.


Install GMVault on a Synology NAS

By Jimmy Bonney | June 17, 2012

Everybody is aware of how important it is to perform backup. This is especially true when you do not own the architecture on which your files are hosted.

Many of you probably remember the outage that GMail faced a bit more than a year ago when accounts have been accidentally deleted. Most of them (all?) have eventually been restored but this incident was probably a wake-up call for many. Once again, unless you have a local backup of your data, you are actually not owning anything when working with cloud services.

Quite a few websites have been spreading the word about GMVault lately. This is a great initiative that allows to easily backup data from your GMail account and easily restore them in case you need to. In order to automate the process, and ensure that backups are taken on a regular basis, I have configured a NAS (Synology DS111) to perform this operation.


Commit Comments and Changed Files in Subversion

By Jimmy Bonney | June 16, 2012

There are quite a few SVN commands that I do not use so often but that I need every once in a while. One of them is related to getting log information from previous commits.

While it might be trivial to get those data from a SVN GUI client, getting the list of commited files and comments from previous version from the command line can be tricky.

Without further due, here is the command to run to get the list of files that have change in a specific revision as well as the comment that goes with it:

svn log -v -r N [|.]


Pattern Backgrounds

By Jimmy Bonney | June 16, 2012

Since the background of this website was a bit simplistic (not to say particularly dull), I have been looking for something to replace it. And well, if you are reading this from the website itself and not the RSS feed, you migh have notice the new pattern in the background.

I ended up using some pattern from the Subtle Patterns website and while I am not a designer, I think it looks much better now.

Reintegrate Branch to Trunk with Subversion

By Jimmy Bonney | June 16, 2012

There are quite a few SVN commands that I do not use so often but that I need every once in a while. One of them is related to reintegrating a branch into the trunk.

Assuming that one is working with the trunk as a working copy and want to reintegrate the branch called feature, the reintegrate command is simply:

svn merge --reintegrate url://path/to/branches/feature .