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Thu, Nov 30, 2006 9:10 am

Rdesktop for x86/Solaris 10

Rdesktop for Solaris 10 on the Intel platform is available from at Freeware for Solaris.

rdesktop-1.5.0-sol10-x86-local.gz Rdesktop is a client for Windows terminal servers - installs in /usr/local. You will also need to install libiconv, openssl-0.9.8d, and to obtain /usr/local/lib/ you will need to have installed libgcc-3.4.6 or gcc-3.4.6 or higher.

rdesktop-1.5.0.tar.gz Source Code. [Details]

When I checked for libiconv on my Solaris 10 system, I did not find evidence of its presence.

# find / -name libiconv\*

When I checked which version of OpenSSL I had on the system, I found I had an older version than the one recommended.

# /usr/sfw/bin/openssl version
OpenSSL 0.9.7d 17 Mar 2004

I also found an older version of libgcc than the one recommended.

# find / -name libgcc\* -print

I found gcc in /usr/sfw/bin, but it was version 3.4.3, not version 3.4.6 as recommended.

# pkgchk -l -p /usr/sfw/bin/gcc
Pathname: /usr/sfw/bin/gcc
Type: linked file
Source of link: ../../../usr/sfw/bin/i386-pc-solaris2.10-gcc-3.4.3
Referenced by the following packages:
Current status: installed

Since libgcc-3.4.6 or gcc-3.4.6 was recommended for libiconv, I installed gcc version 3.4.6 first.


  1. Freeware for Solaris (x86/Solaris 10)

[/os/unix/solaris] permanent link

Thu, Nov 30, 2006 12:30 am

Printing Problem for Excel Workbooks with Multiple Worksheets Using Acrobat

If you are experiencing problems printing all of the worksheets in a Microsoft Excel workbook to one PDF file using Adobe Acrobat, the problem is likely caused by a variation in the "print quality" setting for the worksheets in the Excel workbook.

You can verify this is the source of the problem by clicking "File", then selecting "Page Setup" in Excel. With the "Page" tab selected, you will see the "Print Quality" setting for the currently selected worksheet. Let's say it is "300 dpi". But if you select the second worksheet titled "Page 2", when you take the same steps to view the print quality setting and don't see the print quality specified or it is different, then the variation in print quality settings is the source of the problem.

When the print quality settings vary between worksheets in the workbook, Adobe Acrobat will attempt to create multiple PDF files, one for each worksheet in the workbook, which is why it will prompt you multiple times for a file name. If you enter different filenames at each prompt, it will put each worksheet in a separate file.

To rectify the problem, make the print quality settings the same for each worksheet. In the case above, you could specify a print quality setting of 300 dpi for the "Page 2" worksheet as well.

You can change the print quality settings one by one for each worksheet in the workbook or you can select all of the worksheets at once by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the Excel window for the other worksheets one by one to select all of them, if you are working on a Windows system (you would use the Shift key on an Apple system). When all the worksheets are selected, you can release the Ctrl key then click on "File" and "Page Setup" to specify the print quality settings for all of the worksheets at once.

The minimum dpi for a laser printer is normally 300 dpi and is probably adquate for most spreadsheets you will print. Adobe uses 600 dpi as the default setting for Adobe Acrobat and Distiller and recommends that setting, but you can make the setting whatever you like. The output you will get when printing will depend on whether the printer selected can actually support the dpi value you've selected, though.

Once, you have set the print quality settings to be the same for all worksheets, take the following steps to print the workbook.

  1. Click on "File".
  2. Select "Print".
  3. Select "Adobe PDF" as the printer.
  4. In the "Print what" section, select "Entire workbook".

You should now have one PDF file containing all of the worksheets.


  1. More than one PDF file is created from an Excel workbook (Acrobat 5.0-6.x on Windows or Mac OS)
    Adobe Systems Incorporated

[/os/windows/software/pdf] permanent link

Wed, Nov 29, 2006 9:01 pm

remsh and rsh

The remsh and rsh commands, which are shorhand for "remote shell", can be used to login to a remote system or execute a command on a remote system. The syntax for the commands is as follows:

     rsh [-n] [-l username] hostname command

     rsh hostname [-n] [-l username] command

     remsh [-n] [-l username] hostname command

     remsh hostname [-n] [-l username] command

     hostname [-n] [-l username] command

On Solaris systems, rsh and remsh can be used equivalently. If you are using a Linux system, the rsh command may be available, but not the remsh command. The Remote Shell service is even available for Windows systems from Microsoft's Resource Kit (see Adding R* to Windows NT by Robert Flannigan). Or commercial versions are available for Windows 95 and later from Denicomp Systems (you can download a time-limited evaluation version).

The following options are supported for rsh and remsh:

     -l username
           Uses username as the remote username instead  of  your
           local  username.  In  the  absence of this option, the
           remote username is the same as your local username.

     -n    Redirects the input of rsh to /dev/null. You sometimes
           need  this  option  to  avoid unfortunate interactions
           between rsh and the shell which invokes it.  For exam-
           ple,  if  you  are running rsh and invoke a rsh in the
           background without redirecting its input away from the
           terminal, it will block even if no reads are posted by
           the remote command.  The -n option will prevent this.

The remsh and rsh commands connect to the specified hostname and execute the specified command. If no command is entered, i.e. you use rsh hostname or remsh hostname, you will be logged into the remote system. The type of remote shell (bash, sh, rsh, or other) is determined by the user's entry in the file /etc/passwd on the remote system.

If you have an account on the remote system with the same userid as the account you are currently using on the local system, you will be prompted for the password for the remote system and, when the correct password is supplied, will receive a shell prompt on the remote system where you can enter commands on the remote system.

bash-2.03$ remsh
Last login: Tue Oct 10 17:07:07 on console
Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.10      Generic January 2005
You have new mail.

If you include a command to be executed, then you must have permission to remotely execute commands. Otherwise you will get a "permission denied" response from the remote system.

bash-2.03$ remsh uname -a
permission denied

To grant permission for the remote command execution, you can create a .rhosts file in the home directory of the user account on the remote system that specifies the hostnames of the systems from which remote commands can be submitted. For instance, you could put a line with the hostname in the .rhosts file, if you wanted to allow commands to be remotely submitted from the system If you want to allow connections from multiple systems, put them on separate lines.

-bash-3.00$ cat .rhosts

With the above .rhosts file on the remote system, you will be able to login to the remote system from either or or submit commands remotely with rsh remotesys or remsh remotesys given that the remote system you want to log into is named remotesys and you have the same userid on both systems. You won't need to enter a password, even if the password on the local system differs from the password for the remote system.

You can also execute commands on the remote system and see the output on the local system.


bash-2.03$ remsh uname -a
SunOS hofud 5.10 Generic i86pc i386 i86p

Be sure to use the command chmod 600 .rhosts after you create the .rhosts file so that others can not view its contents.

Shell metacharacters that are not quoted are interpreted on the local host; quoted metacharacters are interpreted on the remote host.


remsh remotehost cat remotefile >> localfile will append the remote file remotefile to the local file localfile, while the command line remsh remotehost cat remotefile ">>" otherremotefile appends remotefile to the remote file otherremotefile.

If you wish to login using a different userid, e.g. jsmith on the remote system, then you can use the -l option to specify a userid other than the one you are logged in under on the local system. You will be prompted for the password for that account.

# remsh -l jsmith

You won't be able to remotely execute commands, however, if you are using an account that doesn't match the userid on the remote system even with the -l option, if that account is not listed in the .rhosts file. You will get a "permission denied" error.

# remsh -l jsmith uname -a
permission denied

You can fix that problem by adding the account to the rhosts file. For instance, suppose I am logged into the root account on the local system, but I want to execute a command on the remote system as the user jsmith. I can edit the .rhosts file on the remote system to contain the following 2 lines.

-bash-3.00$ cat .rhosts root

Now, supposing I have a userid jsmith on both systems that is my regular user account, I can execute commands while logged into the local system as jsmith or root. The first line in the .rhosts file doesn't have any username specified, so it will cover instances where the userid matches on both systems. The second line will allow me to specify commands to be run under the jsmith account on the remote system while I am logged into the local root account as shown below.

# remsh -l jsmith pwd

As an alternative to using an .rhosts file in the home directory of an individual account on the remote system, you can create a hosts.equiv account in the /etc directory of the remote system, if you have root access on that system. Again, you should change the protection on the file after you have created it with chmod 600 /etc/hosts.equiv, so that not everyone on the system can read its contents.

You would use the same type of entries in that file as in the .rhosts file. E.g., to allow user jsmith to connect from, you would would have the following /etc/hosts.equiv file.

# cat /etc/hosts.equiv jsmith

When you use rsh or remsh to remotely login to a system, you will be connected to TCP port 513. E.g., if you issued the command remsh from the system with IP address, you would see the following connection established.

-bash-3.00$ netstat -an | grep 51[34] | grep ESTABLISHED      8760      0 49640      0 ESTABLISHED

The source system is and it has a connection to port 513 on The source port on is 1023.

If you are specifying a command with the rsh or remsh commands, then a TCP connection is established to port 514 on the remote system. You can confirm that connection by using the sleep command.

# remsh -l jsmith sleep 180

The above command will execute the sleep command on the remote system using the jsmith account to execute the command. The argument of 180 tells the sleep command to suspend execution for 180 seconds. I.e. it justs pauses for 3 minutes.

If you were logged into the remote system in another window, you could then check network connections. This time, instead of a connection to port 513, there is one to TCP port 514. Again the source system from which the sleep command was submitted is and the remote system is

bash-3.00$ netstat -an | grep 51[34] | grep ESTABLISHED      8760      0 49640      0 ESTABLISHED

Keep in mind that rsh and remsh don't encrypt any of the data flows. Though you may not be entering passwords when you have access permitted through an .rhosts or /etc/hosts.equiv file, the input and output is in clear text, i.e. can possibly be viewed by others on the network. The SSH and scp commands are secure alternatives, since they encrypt userids, passwords, and all data between the remote and local systems.


  1. rsh or remsh Command
  2. Unix Manual Page for remsh
  3. Configuring .rhosts
  4. hosts.equiv, rhosts
  5. remsh(1)
  6. hosts.equiv(4)
  7. remsh and the port number ?
  8. UNIX Shell Metacharacters
  9. Adding R* to Windows NT
    By Robert Flanagan

[/os/unix/commands] permanent link

Tue, Nov 28, 2006 10:08 pm

Creating a Socks Proxy Server with SSH

If you would like to browse the web without revealing your actual IP address to the websites you visit, you can use SSH to set up a SOCKS proxy server.

Many web browsers, e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla, etc., can be configured to use a SOCKS proxy server. Other network applications which support the SOCKS protocol can also be configured to route their communications through a SOCKS proxy server.

By tunneling the SOCKS connections through an SSH connection, though, you can encrypt network traffic between the applications using SOCKS on your client system and the SOCKS proxy server so that others on the same network as your client system can not observe the traffic.

To set up a SOCKS server tunnel with SSH, issue the command ssh -ND n user@server where "n" is the port number you wish to use and "user@server" is a userid for your account on "server", which is an SSH server. For instance, ssh -ND 1080 would establish a SOCKS proxy server on TCP port 1080 on the SSH server where you are logging in with the account jsmith. When you issue the command, you will be prompted for the password for the jsmith account. After you enter the password, you won't get a shell prompt from, but you should then be able to configure your web browser to use the SOCKS proxy server running on on port 1080. Port 1080 is the default port for the SOCKS protocol, but you can use any port (it will have to be a port above 1024, if you are not the root user). For instance ssh -ND 5555 would work just as well. You simply have to specify the selected port when configuring the applications that will use the SOCKS connection, such as your web browser. When the SOCKS proxy server is set up on, only you will be able to use it through your tunneled SSH connection.

Configuring Browsers to Use SSH SOCKS Proxy Server

Internet Explorer 6.0
Firefox 2.0
Mozilla 1.7

If you want to verify that your web browser is now routing its communications through the SOCKS proxy server you can go to a website that will show the IP address websites are seeing for your system. For instance, will show your IP address. It should now show the IP address of

When you want to stop routing your browsers communications through the SOCKS proxy server, you can simply revert to the previous browser configuration.

Note: though your browser will now be receiving content from websites you visit through the SOCKS proxy server running on and transmitting any input you provide to those websites through the SOCKS proxy server also, your client system, i.e. the system on which you ran the ssh -ND 1080 will still be looking up IP addresses for the websites you visit through the DNS servers specified on the client system when the SOCKS version 4 protocol is used. E.g., if you run the ssh command from, if you visit, any content on the website will be encrypted between the client system, and the SOCKS server,, so no one else at will be able to observe the traffic using a sniffer. All that any network administrator will know is that you have a connection to However, mypc needs to translate the name to its IP address. So mypc will need to query a local name server, e.g. name servers, to perform that translation. So someone sniffing traffic from/to mypc would see it perform a lookup of the IP address for

I've found this procedure works when the SSH server is running OpenSSH, even OpenSSH for Windows. It also worked when I tried connecting to a Sun Solaris 2.7 system running Sun_SSH_1.1.


  1. SOCKS
  2. Tunnel Everything through SSH
    By Julius Plenz
    March 2, 2006

[/network/proxy] permanent link

Tue, Nov 28, 2006 7:13 pm

Determine Microsoft Office Version Via Script

I needed to determine which version of Microsoft Office is present on multiple computers in order to determine whether the systems have Microsoft Access installed on them. Access is present in the "Professional" and "Premium" versions of Microsoft Office, but not the "Small Business Edition".

I used a VBScript, office_versions.vbs to query the systems to determine which version of Office is installed on them. A limitation of the script is that it can only be expected to work on Windows XP systems.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/office] permanent link

Tue, Nov 21, 2006 3:18 pm

HP Color LaserJet 3500 Doesn't Support Postscript

I wanted to be able to print from my Solaris system to an HP Color LaserJet 3500 printer. HP's website states that the HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500, and 3550 series printers are "host based" printers and don't support HP's PCL nor the postscript language. What this means is that HP has simplified the design of the printers to reduce their cost by not incorporating support for those common printer languages in those printers. Instead, the host is expected to rasterize the output of applications so that those printers essentially receive an image, i.e. a bitmapped or raster image, of what is to be printed. Thus most of the processing needed to print information is expected to be done in the host, i.e. the system sending the print job to the printer, rather than in the printer itself.

HP states the following in regards to host-based printing:

Host-based printing requires a software print engine in the host operating system, and unlike a PDL (Printer Description Language) printer, cannot accept ASCII text direct from a computer. This means that the Host based printer will only work in the Windows and Macintosh environments that are specifically supported with the print engine written for that environment. Users of unsupported Windows and Macintosh environments, as well as users of Linux, Unix, OS/2 should consider a PDL printer like the HP Color LaserJet 2550 or CLJ3700.

The HP Color LaserJet 3500 printer I wanted to use belongs to someone else. When I looked at it, it appeared to be a hefty printer; I didn't realize it was a low-end printer until I checked on whether it supported postscript. On its HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500 and 3550 Series Printers - Host-based Printing Strategy webpage, HP states in the "Limitations of Host-Based Printing" section that "Host-based printers are excellent small workgroup printers suitable for Windows and limited Mac printing to include internet and typical office printing but NOT EPS file printing."

  1. HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500, and 3550 Series Printers - PCL and Postscript Printer Language Support on Host Based Printers
  2. HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500 and 3550 Series Printers - Host-based Printing Strategy

[/os/unix/solaris] permanent link

Thu, Nov 16, 2006 5:52 pm

Resetting the Root Password on a Solaris System

If you have forgotten the password for the root account on a Solaris system, as I did, you can hit the Stop and A keys to get to the Open Boot Prompt (OBP) and then use boot cdrom -s to boot from a Solaris boot CD. You can then mount the root partition of the boot disk and edit the /etc/shadow file to temporarily remove the password from the account.

[ More Info ]

[/os/unix/solaris] permanent link

Sat, Nov 11, 2006 2:35 pm

Backup Failure Because of 4 GB File Size Limitation

I found this morning that a backup I had run to backup the Exchange Information Store on a Windows server had failed because I was backing up the data to an external USB drive that was formatted with the FAT32 filesystem rather than the NTFS filesystem. The Exchange Information Store .edb file was about 18 GB in size, but FAT32 volumes don't support files sizes greater than 4 GB.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ntbackup] permanent link

Tue, Nov 07, 2006 10:56 am

Palm Won't HotSync

I periodically have problems HotSyncing my Palm PDA with my Windows Small Business (SBS) 2003 server via a USB connection. I plug the USB charging/synchronizing device into a USB port on the system and plug the Palm into the other end of the cable. The green light on the Palm lights and it charges, but it won't synchronize. It is as if the Palm wasn't really connected when I try to synchronize it.

I've found I can get synchronization to work again by going into the Device Manager and then disabling the Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller and then re-enabling it. You can do so by the following procedure:

  1. Click on Start.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter.
  3. Within the Device Manager, scroll down to the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and click on the "+" sign to the left of that section to expand it.
  4. Right-click on Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller and choose Disable.
  5. Disable USB controller

  6. You will see a warning that "Disasbling the device will cause it to stop functioning." Click on Yes to disable it.
  7. After the entry shows a red "X" through it indicating it is disabled, right-click on it again and select, Enable.

I've found that once I've disabled and re-enabled the USB controller, I can then successfully HotSync from the Palm.

[/pda/palm] permanent link

Sun, Nov 05, 2006 10:55 pm

Displaying the Modification Time for a Webpage with PHP

You can display the last time a webpage was modified by including the following PHP code on a webpage:


$thisfile = pathinfo($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']);

echo "Last modified: ".date("l jS F Y g:ia",


Note: your webpage must have a .php extension rather than .htm or .html and your webserver must provide PHP support in order for the code to work.

The above code would display the date and time the webpage was modified in the format below:

Last modified: Sunday 5th November 2006 8:57pm

The options to the PHP date function above are encluded in parentheses. Within the parentheses the first argument is the date format to be used, which is followed by a comma and then the time value to be formatted. In this case the time value to be formatted is the file modification time, filemtime of the webpage.

The lowercase "L" will display the day of the week, e.g. "Sunday". The lowercase "j" displays the day of the month without leading zeros, e.g. "5". Putting the "S" immediately after it displays two characters for the English ordinal suffix for the day of the month. In the case above it causes the "th" to be put after the "5". The "F" displays the full month name, e.g. "November" and the "Y" displays the year as 4 digits, e.g. "2006". The "g" displays the hour in 12 hour format without leading zeros, e.g. "8" in the above case. It is followed by a colon and then the "i" displays the minutes with leading zeros, e.g. "07" or in this case "57". The "a" displays a lowercase "am" or "pm" as the case may be.

The characters you can use to control the display of the date are as follows:

a 'am' or 'pm'
A 'AM' or 'PM'
B Swatch Internet time
d day of the month, 2 digits with leading zeros; i.e. '01' to '31'
D day of the week, textual, 3 letters; i.e. 'Fri'
F month, textual, long; i.e. 'January'
g hour, 12-hour format without leading zeros; i.e. '1' to '12'
G hour, 24-hour format without leading zeros; i.e. '0' to '23'
h hour, 12-hour format; i.e. '01' to '12'
H hour, 24-hour format; i.e. '00' to '23'
i minutes; i.e. '00' to '59'
I (capital i) '1' if Daylight Savings Time, '0' otherwise.
j day of the month without leading zeros; i.e. '1' to '31'
l (lowercase 'L') day of the week, textual, long; i.e. 'Friday'
L boolean for whether it is a leap year; i.e. '0' or '1'
m month; i.e. '01' to '12'
M month, textual, 3 letters; i.e. 'Jan'
n month without leading zeros; i.e. '1' to '12'
r RFC 822 formatted date; i.e. 'Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:01:07 +0200' (added in PHP 4.0.4)
s seconds; i.e. '00' to '59'
S English ordinal suffix, textual, 2 characters; i.e. 'th', 'nd'
t number of days in the given month; i.e. '28' to '31'
T Timezone setting of this machine; i.e. 'MDT'
U seconds since the epoch
w day of the week, numeric, i.e. '0' (Sunday) to '6' (Saturday)
Y year, 4 digits; i.e. '1999'
y year, 2 digits; i.e. '99'
z day of the year; i.e. '0' to '365'
Z timezone offset in seconds (i.e. '-43200' to '43200'). The offset for timezones west of UTC is always negative, and for those east of UTC is always positive.

For another example, using the following code woulld display the same date as above as Sunday November 5, 2006 8:57 PM instead.


$thisfile = pathinfo($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']);

echo "Last modified: ".date("l F j, Y g:i A",


You can put the code in a PHP file that can be included in every webpage, so that if you decide to change the format of the displayed date, you don't have to modify every web page that you have on your website. For instance, I include a "footer.php" file in webpages using incfile.


  1. php displaying last modification time
    thescripts developer community
    July 17, 2005
  2. PHP:date - Manual
    The PHP Group
    September 28, 2006
  3. PHP Date()
  4. Date Format php for month day year and time formatting
  5. Including Files in a Web Page with PHP
    MoonPoint Support
    February 8, 2006

[/languages/php] permanent link

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