Business in Syria continues despite civil war

Domain registrar enom says:

When a domain is under a “Freeze” status, the domain will continue to resolve, however there can be no updates made to the domain after Sept. 27th including the ability to renew the domain name.

This process can not be postponed due to the fact this order was issued by the Department of Treasury and as such is a government issued law that we must adhere to.

While we can understand the hardships that your Syrian customers are experiencing, we have no say in this process and apologize for any inconvenience that this is causing.

At the same time, a customer wrote:

I’m writing on behalf of Mr XYZ. His city is under siege with no internet access. He asked me to write to you to renew 2 of his accounts: *****.com and *****.com. He’ll contact you regarding the fees once the internet is back on.

Welcome to 21 century?

parted command line rant

Long time pet peeve of mine:

1. parted help states, that mkpart command syntax is:

# parted /dev/sdb help mkpart
mkpart PART-TYPE [FS-TYPE] START END make a partition

But, PART-TYPE is actually only supported for msdos and dvh partition tables. For gpt, it’s silently changed to:


There are so many examples around the internet, where people keep typing:

mkpart primary ext4 1024kb 2tb

and they just end up with partition named “primary” usually without even noticing.

2. I cannot find a way to omit partition name from command line. From parted interactive mode one can just hit Enter when prompted for partition name:

(parted) mkpart
Partition name? []?
File system type? [ext2]?

but apparently I can’t find a way to skip it in script mode:

# parted /dev/sdb mkpart "" 0% 300G
End? ^C

Rant done :-)

workrave tuning

I’m using workrave to remind me to take breaks from the computer. It is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks etc., which in my case is a bit too frequent. I do not deal with RSI — I just want to avoid prolonged sitting sessions, which might be detrimental to one’s health.

There’s no way to configure idle detection parameters in the workrave UI, but they can be tuned by directly manipulating gsettings (or gconf for older versions). There are 3 parameters of interest (in milliseconds):

  1. activity — how much time between key presses, to register activity (see bellow).
  2. idle — how long before activity time expires and workrave goes back into idle mode.
  3. noise — how long before activity timer is reset.

By default, single key press isn’t enough to take workrave out of idle mode — you must press at least two keys (or key + mouse) during the activity  window to count. With default settings if you press single key every 10 seconds, you are still detected as idle. For example reading a web page, and pressing PgDn every 20 seconds, won’t register as activity at all. There’s “Reading” mode for this in workrave, but you must remember to turn it on/off when you suddenly go away (long phone call?) from the computer.I’ve set my workrave to activity = 0, idle = 30. This is: every key press is activity and then I’m in active mode for the following 30 seconds. Here’s how to do it:

$ gsettings set org.workrave.monitor activity 0
$ gsettings set org.workrave.monitor idle 30000

$ gsettings list-recursively org.workrave.monitor
org.workrave.monitor activity 0
org.workrave.monitor idle 30000
org.workrave.monitor noise 9000

You must restart workrave for settings to take effect. Use gconf-editor for workrave versions < 1.10. If you are using Ubuntu, there’s 1.10 ppa: