Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Firefox 3: places.sql to bookmarks.html conversion

Sometimes, just sometimes you jump the gun and upgrade too soon. Well as it turns out I did that when I first started my new job. Our home grown web app renders perfectly in Firefox 2 but looks odd in Firefox 3. Also one of the plugins we need to run is very unstable in Firefox 3 so I had to revert back.

If I had known this a month ago and not started accumulating bookmarks all over the place I would have been fine, but that was not the case. The main problem is that Firefox 3 uses a new places.sqlite SQL database to keep track of bookmarks instead of the tried and true bookmarks.html. I went online looking for some sort of conversion program, thought about making my own (which I still might do just as a proof of concept / fun project.)

So anyway, here is how to have Firefox 3 save a bookmarks.html file in addition to the places.sqlite. Open a new tab and go to about:config. Click "Ok" when it asks if you will be careful. Now browse down to "browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML" and change this from the default of "false" to "true". Restart Firefox and you will have your bookmarks.html file updated as you add new bookmarks.

If I ever do create a conversion program I will post the link on this site.

yum install imagemagick

Today's blog is going to be quick.

For those linux users out there that don't have imagemagick already installed the correct syntax is:
yum install ImageMagick
NOT yum install imagemagick

To find out if you already have imagemagick just type convert -version from the command line.

As it turns out I was trying to install something I already had thanks to CentOS.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I have seen Symantec Ghost used in the past. I have always wanted a scenario where using something like Ghost would make sense and today I have found it!

We have a great many machines here that are identical. They do the same function, have the same hardware, and need the same software. That being said I have finally found a reason to really need a solution like Symantec Ghost. Now being on a very tight budget I was looking for a different solution and thanks to the generous folks over on the Spiceworks fourms I found Clonezilla.

Now there is a server based version that I could use to Clonecast (I don't know if that is a real word or even something they use but I like it) images out to machines, but for now I am booting off of my 2GB USB key and saving / reading images from a seperate 160GB USB drive.

It takes about 15 to 20 minutes do drop an image from the USB-Hard drive to the client machine (for around 1GB of info). It takes just around as long do put the image on the USB-HDD which is very quick if you ask me. Most of the time is getting the computer to boot off of the USB key and configure the options you want.

One of my projects that I hope to do later is to install the NTFS 3g drivers for Linux so I can modify the file system once the image is installed. This will enable me to do things like rename the PC based on it's MAC address. Also I may get a Clonezilla server up and running. If I do you can be sure I will post something about it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Job

Well I haven't posted in a while for many reasons.
For one I recently took a new position with a new company. It was sort of a lateral move, but sort of a downgrade. I went from being THE Systems Administrator to being more of a help desk tech. It was a move up the pay scale, which is nice and with less responcibility it's an added bonus, but I do miss some of the Sys Admin tasks I used to preform.

Also the new company uses Linux primarly and uses hosted managed servers, so there really isn't that much for me to do on the Sys admin side of things. All of this information is helpful because it means I won't have as much to write about, except on the desktop side of things.

That being said I hope to have something to share here shortly.