Archive for February 25th, 2003

Guess That Movie: XXX: Cast Away

February 25th, 2003

[Guess That Movie 30]Ah – the big “three-oh”: I never thought when I started running Guess That Movie that it would prove to be so popular – especially with Kymberlie now taking the high score lead with 625 points (she correctly recognised “Lady And The Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure” [Order from] as the previous Guess That Movie image).

Whilst I’m still awaiting a response from ph33r_m3 as to which Amazon store he wants his winning gift certificate sent (he was the first one to pass the 500 point barrier and his prize currently stands at a voucher worth £5.90 as he has 590 points: Kymberlie has already got a £6.25 voucher and she’s got a few more rounds to wait for her prize…)

Ok – let’s move it on a bit to the image for the round. I’m going to be very surprised if it can be guessed correctly straight away – but you are more than welcome to try and prove me wrong!

“He fallen in da water”
A: Cast Away [Order from] . Correctly guessed by Kymberlie R. McGuire

Joke: Madness, they call it gladness

February 25th, 2003

[High Cat](ok – the picture has very little to do with the joke – but look at that pussy!)

A man who had been in a mental institution for some years finally improved to the point where it was thought he might be released. The psychiatrist that ran the institution decided it was better to proceed with caution, and chose to interview him first.

“Tell me,” said the doctor, “if we release you, as we are considering, what do you plan to do with your life?”

The inmate said, “It would be wonderful to get back to real life, and if I do, I will certainly refrain from making my former mistake. I was a nuclear physicist, you see, and it was the stress of my work in weapons research that helped to put me here. If I am released, I shall limit myself to work in pure theory, where I believe the situation will be less difficult and stressful.”

“Wonderful,” said the psychiatrist.

“Or else,” continued the patient, “I might teach. There is something to be said for dedicating your life to expanding the knowledge of young people.”

“Definitely,” said the psychiatrist.

“Then again, I might write. There is always a need for books on science, or I may even write a novel based on my experiences in the psychiatric institution.”

“Another interesting possibility,” agreed the doctor.

» Read more: Joke: Madness, they call it gladness

Techy: Automated Nominet Registration

February 25th, 2003

[A strange Nominet logo]I’ve recently got my own Nominettag” so that I can register my very own .uk domain names with the registry body. Ok, my employer has their own Nominet tag as well – but since they are now a member of Nominet they can register domain names at a cost of around £5 instead of £80 I’ve got to fork out if I want to register one (yep, you get a £75 discount PER DOMAIN if you are a member of Nominet – tag holders get no discount).

Anyway, I’ve got to put in place a mechanism so that the registration of domain names via Nominet is quick, simple and automated. Sounds easy – after all, Nominet do have a nice Automaton that you can interface with via email. Ok – it’s not perfect (as it isvia email instead of one of the many many other protocols such as SOAP with XML that could be used for ‘instantaneous’ results) but at least it’s automated…

Alas – there’s a catch. To confirm the authenticity of each request, every email to the Nominet Automaton has to be PGP signed. And can I get a nice automated PGP signing system running? Nope. There’s nothing on the internet I can find to do the entire DNS management system for us (you’d think that of all the hundreds of companies that use Nominet at least one of them would have released some sort of code!) – nor can I get our servers to play nicely. I just want to use either Perl or PHP (I’m not fussy which!) to generate a nice templated email that has the appropriate PGP signature (either generated using Perl or PHP modules or even forking off and using GPG to sign it) and emailing it off to Nominet. Not too hard is it? Why am I having so much trouble though? PHP manages to save the pre-signed file to the temp storage area alright, but then GnuPG (GPG) refuses to either encrypt it or store the output – but it works all right from the command line. Perl – practically like wise. I’ve tried using Benjamin Trott’s OpenPGP module (yep, Ben Trott of MovableType fame) – it’s installed nicely on the server and I can run it as root. Go back to “standard user permissions” and Perl (and the Linux filing system) denies all knowledge that the module even exists!

Does ANY ONE have either a Nominet aware (or other registry – I can adapt it) domain name registration system that I/we can use that’s capable of sending the appropriate emails to Nominet? Or has someone got a bit more experience with using PGP/GPG (GPG being the Gnu PGP variant without certain patent-involving code) on a RedHat Linux (ideally in a “shared server” environment) system that can offer some advice?

I’m going to try and see if I can reverse-engineer Ben’s Stamp application at some point over the next few days to see if I can get any ideas – but third party contributions are more than welcome! I would have thought Nominet themselves would have at least provided a “basic toolkit” to their members – but alas, nope 🙁 And s–ds law dictates just as I finish writing a system from scratch, Nominet will implement the domain registration system using SSL HTTP SOAP…

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