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Fri, Jun 22, 2018 10:51 pm

Regular expression to find words/strings not ending with a character

If you wish to find strings at the end of a line that don't end with a particular character, you can use a bracket expresion with a caret character after the left square bracket in a regular expression.

Metacharacter Description
[^ ] Matches a single character that is not contained within the brackets. For example, [^abc] matches any character other than "a", "b", or "c". [^a-z] matches any single character that is not a lowercase letter from "a" to "z". Likewise, literal characters and ranges can be mixed.

[ More Info ]

[/os/unix/commands] permanent link

Sun, Jun 17, 2018 10:14 pm

Firefox reporting "Your connection is not secure" for sites

I upgraded Firefox on a Linux system running CentOS 7 to version 52.8.0-1 with yum upgrade firefox. When I opened Firefox afterwards and put in the address bar, I saw the message below:

Your connection is not secure

The website tried to negotiate an inadequate level of security.

uses security technology that is outdated and vulnerable to attack. An attacker could easily reveal information which you thought to be safe. The website administrator will need to fix the server first before you can visit the site.


When I went to another site,, using HTTPS, I saw the same message. I checked to ensure that the web browser wasn't configured to use a proxy by clicking on the icon with the three horizontal bars at the top, right-hand side of the browser window and selecting Preferences, then Advanced, then Network, then Settings. The setting was "No proxy." I then right-clicked on the "Your connection is not secure" page and chose View Page Info. When I clicked on the Security tab, I saw the "Owner" value listed as "This website does not supply ownership information." In the Technical Details section, I saw "Connection Not Encrypted" and "The website does not support encryption for the page you are viewing," even though the URL listed was

[ More Info ]

[/network/web/browser/firefox] permanent link

Sat, Jun 16, 2018 2:59 pm

Scam call from 1-800-222-2222

I received a call to my cellphone at noon Eastern time in the U.S. on Saturday June 16, 2018 with the calling number showing as (800) 222-2222. When I answered the call I heard a message stating the call was an automated call that would provide a chance to earn a $50 credit on your next bill. I was then prompted to hit "1" to continue. I did and heard the messaage "Please enter your Verizon billing password" at which point I ended the call. After I ended the call, I called the number back and heard the message "Welcome to America's hottest talk line. Guys, ladies are waiting to talk to you." I have Verizon as my provider for cellphone service. If a Verizon user goes to the Verizon Wireless webste, he or she can log into his or her account by providing either a mobile number or User ID with the password for his or her account. So anyone falling for the fraudulent call will, by providing the password, since the scammer will know the called number, provide the credentials the fraduster will need to use the person's Verizon account. When I looked up the number online, I found others reporting fraudulent activity from the calling number. E.g., 800-222-2222 | Suspected Scam Call | Whitepages. At that page, someone posted on June 14, 2018 3:10:48 PM that he or she received a "Verizon Wireless scam" call from that number. I logged into my account from a computer and opened a chat session with a Verizon representative to report the fraudster. She told me she was going to report it. I also submitted the number at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Stop Unwanted Calls and Texts webpage through the "file a complaint with the FCC" link on that page.

[/security/scams] permanent link

Wed, Jun 13, 2018 11:21 pm

Screen goes black with only mouse pointer visible on MacBook Pro laptop

I've been experiencing an intermittent issue on my MacBook Pro laptop, which is running OS X El Capitan, where I find a black screen with only the mouse pointer visible after I return to it from being away from it for some time. I can move the pointer by moving my finger about on the touchpad, but I get no visible response to hitting any keys. I've tried hitting lots of different key combinations to try to get the desktop to reappear or at least get a login prompt, but none have worked. If I had music playing through the headphones from iTunes , I can hear it still playing if I put the headphones back on, but when I hit any key or keys I simply hear a "bonk" sound and see no response from the system. Initially, when I encountered the problem the only way I could gain access to the system again was to reboot, which might lead to a loss of unsaved work. I have found, though, that if I simply close the lid of the laptop as I might if I wanted to put it to sleep, wait about a minute, then reopen the lid and hit a key that most of the times I've tried that, instead of rebooting, when the problem has occurred, that I could get a login prompt allowing me to log back into the system with everything apparently running as it was before I encountered the problem.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Mon, Jun 11, 2018 10:43 pm

Finding text within lines in a file with PHP

For a weekly status report, I need to determine the number of work requests that are approved and awaiting implementation. The list of requests in that state is contained in a webpage that contains other information, including requests that are in various other states, such as those awaiting approval. I normally download the webpage containing the information to run scripts against it to extract other information from the page, so I decided to create a PHP script that would display just the list of requests awaiting implementation and produce a count of those requests in that state. On the source webpage the line on the page that marks the start of the section of the page containing the requests that are approved and awaiting implementation contains the text "Requests Waiting Implementation". The HTML code on the page that marks the end of that section contains and ending div tag. So I created the two PHP variables below to hold the two strings I need to search for within the file.

$startString = "Requests Waiting Implementation";
$endString = "</div>";

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[/languages/php] permanent link

Sat, Jun 09, 2018 10:40 pm

Blinking caps lock LED on HP envy 6t-1100

A coworker replaced the keyboard on an HP envy 6t-1100 laptop because some keys on the keyboard were no longer working. When he powered on the laptop after replacing the keyboard, the laptop would no longer boot. Instead of booting, the CAPS LOCK LED would blink three times slowly followed by a pause and then the sequence would repeat. The F5 key LED was also lit along with the WiFi LED, which was red. I found some posters on HP's website associating that behavior with issues with a memory module. E.g., Blinking caps lock 3 times, screen black, f12 wifi light on Hp Pavilion dv7-6c64nr entertainment pc and Caps Lock and Num Lock blinking 3 times / Memory module issue. He was able to resolve that problem and get the latpop to boot again by blowing out the sockets with compressed air and cleaning the contacts on the memory modules with rubbing alcohol.

[/pc/hardware/hp] permanent link

Wed, Jun 06, 2018 11:13 pm

UDP traffic with source and destination ports of 54915

While troubleshooting a network problem on my MacBook Pro laptop, I noticed, while examining a packet capture file in Wireshark, that a system was sending a lot of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic to the subnet broadcast address, i.e. to all systems on the subnet, using port 54915 as both the source and destination ports. The below screenshot shows what I saw when I applied a Wireshark filter of udp.port == 54915.

Wireshark UDP port 54915 traffic

[ More Info ]

[/network/udp] permanent link

Fri, Jun 01, 2018 10:11 pm

Modifying the "from" domain of a message with sendmail

A user sends a monthly email newsletter to a distribution list on an email server I maintain that uses sendmail. He sends the message to an email alias on the system where sendmail converts the alias to all of the email addresses in the mailing list and the sends it out through a smart host to be delivered to all of the recipients of the newsletter. The sender sends the message from his address and I needed to convert the "from" address from a email address to a local email address on the server running sendmail. To do so, I placed the following lines at the end of /etc/mail/ For the example below, I use the domain as the local domain name for the server.


Note: the "dnl" at the end of each line has the letter "l", not the number "1" at the end of the line. And a backtick, i.e., `, is used before "" while a single quote is used after it.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/sendmail] permanent link

Sun, May 27, 2018 9:13 pm

Centering divs with flex-container

With HTML 4, centering the contents within a div is simple. You just use <div align="center">. E.g., if I wanted to center the image and text below on a webpage, I could use the following code:

<div align="center">
<img src="186px-Antinous_Mandragone_profil.jpg" alt="Antinous Mangragone 
<a href="">
Antinous Mandragone</a>

The image would then be displayed in browsers as seen below:

Antinous Mangragone profile
Antinous Mandragone

[ More Info ]

[/network/web/html/css] permanent link

Thu, May 24, 2018 11:10 pm

Using sox to record audio on OS X

I wanted to record a talk this week so I took my MacBook Pro laptop with me to the auditorium where the talk was being held. I normally use the QuickTime Player to record audio in such cases. But this time when I attempted to use the QuickTime Player, it wouldn't actually start recording. The presenters had started talking when I attempted to begin recording their presentation, so I opted to install Sound eXchange (SoX), which provides a command-line interface (CLI) for recording and editing audio on a variety of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and OS X. Since I had previously installed Homebrew on OS X on the system, I opened a Terminal window and used it to install SoX.

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[/os/os-x/audio] permanent link

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