Wrong OS version in pkg

If FreeBSD’s pkg refuses to update because of a wrong OS version, for example because you are in a FreeNAS jail and version mismatch are bound to happen, then you can always try to force the OS version in pkg. Either put OSVERSION={{version}} in /usr/local/etc/pkg.conf or start it with pkg -o OSVERSION={{version}} where {{version}} is the target version, for example 1101001.

Today’s movie: Une part d’ombre

We had the occasion to assist to the premiere of Une part d’Ombre a Belgian film by Samuel Tilman with Fabrizio Rongione, Natacha Régnier, Baptiste Lalieu, among others. Going there without knowing what to expect, this ended up being a unique and pleasant surprise.

It’s a movie about trust, the social contract that we build upon it which transcends all our relationships and the subjective value that people are willing to give to them. How things left unsaid rot the most obvious friendship and love and the fact that we cannot (most of the time) do a single thing about it. We just got to let it trough, even though the rambling mistrust breaks everything into its wrath and we know for sure than nothing will ever be the same.

It was amazing how after discussing the movie we could all reflect on this. We all had those stories of break up, circle of friends or family exploding because some could not live up to what was that we define as us. But it’s part of the human chore. Apparently many of us suck at relationships. We’ve just got to deal with it and try for ourselves to be among those we’d call human.

Still it may be a bit of our fault. Because there are many of those things that we don’t say either. Because we think wrongly that it would be better to keep our share of shade for the the sake of our beloved ones and the sacred things that lay between us. Maybe many of these situations would be a heck of a lot simpler if we could just at times lay our cards on the table and for others to accept our pledge of honesty.

And that’s the really important message from this movie. That at times, we’ve got to look into others eyes, and say “trust me”, and reciprocally for ourselves to say to them, I accept and trust you, it’s up to you to trust me in that. Because surely without that everything fall, sooner or later, into a bunch of ashes.

Sshguard, PF and FreeBSD

We recently had a problem with sshguard. Some IP that were blocked were still able to send packets through because the associated states were not killed properly with pfctl -k $ip. We used an older version until then, so I just did an upgrade to the latest port.

From this point however sshguard did not block anything anymore. In fact it didn’t recognize the correct backend to use to block those IP. Not sure if we always have to specify it manually in the configuration or if there is some kind of broken-autodetect. But you can force the backend inside the configuration file in /usr/local/etc/sshguard.conf (see /usr/local/etc/sshguard.conf.sample):




underlying hypernova

Nothing fits the angriness, rage, and sadness.
Everything just explodes with no before nor after.
All the walls break, little perks in the wind.
A never ending unfolding sound of broken glass,
everlasting high pitched pink pain.
Sure there can’t be more out of hundred millions electron-volts,
sempiternal ill witched red rain.

Is there a prime number whose…

Is there a prime number whose binary representation looks like a giraffe?


like another prime number?


like a prime number of giraffes?


like Squidward Tentacles?

Heck Yeah!

You’ve probably understood the mechanism by now. Converting a binary image into a number, its nearest upper prime generally only differ in the lesser significant bits, hence most of the image pattern stays the same. So finding a prime number whose binary representation looks like a specific image is relatively easy. I say relatively, because in a computer sens it is quite really complex.

I just wrote a program to do just that. It is written in C and uses GMP. It is around 1k SLOC. It could probably have been much shorter, and even less so in another language. But I wanted something that went a little further than just of simple proof of concept.

I must admit, it’s pretty useless. But still there it is. And there is still much room for improvement. So patches are welcome on GitHub.

Disable XF86Back/Forward

Real ThinkPad keyboards (not this monstruous ignominy) have directly accessible keys for XF86Back and XF86Forward. That is really problematic with web browsers such as Firefox or Chromium since pressing those keys transparently go back or forward into your history, discarding anything you were typing in the process, including that 3 hours long bug report you were just about to submit. That’s rather annoying, to say the least.

Some other blog post suggest to simply disable them with xmodmap. That is in ~/.xmodmaprc (or whatever it is you use):

keycode 166 = NoSymbol
keycode 167 = NoSymbol

I personally prefer to remap them to Next/Prior keys. Having these near the navigation keys might come up handy:

keycode 166 = Next
keycode 167 = Prior

That’s on Linux though, on FreeBSD the keycodes are 233 and 234:

keycode 233 = Next
keycode 234 = Prior

Anyway use the xev command and xmodmap -pke to find the keycodes and remap them to any other interesting key symbol.