Open Read-Only in Excel

Please don't hate me! I only use Excel because they make me and I substitute Calc for Excel whenever I can. Ok, with that off my chest I'll tell you the tale of my latest battle with Excel. Seriously, people use this thing and like it?

We use a number of spreadsheets at work for keeping track of IP addresses and the like. By default Excel locks an open spreadsheet so that others who open it can only do so read-only. Well, most of the time I'm looking up information and not changing it, so it would be better the other way around. With a little googling I figured out the commands for adding a shell option to open a spreadsheet read-only.


Ruby on Rails

Over the weekend I decided to investigate Ruby and see what all the fuss is about. After reading a few language tutorials I realized that the only way to really get a feel for Ruby would be to write a program. I couldn't think of anything I really needed to write, so I rewrote my Christmas Wishlist program using Ruby on Rails.


Declude is De-stupid

I got this bounce message caused by a virus, which I'm guessing I didn't cause. It came back because my domain was used as the sender. Full headers weren't included so I can't be sure where it actually originated. That's part of my problem. But read the email and hopefully you'll see why I now hate Declude. That's right. They're officially on my not-invited-to-parties list.


Manual route override in Exim 3

Ever heard of Yeah, me neither. Apparently one of our customers has as he attempted to send an email to them last week. Unfortunately, it got stuck in the queue because of a combination between a weird configuration in's DNS and Exim 3.

Hotmail *does* care

The other day I received a spam message from a Hotmail account. What was surprising was that this was from the actual hotmail account, not forged. Not really being interested in 240kg worth of CASH, I instead forwarded the message to Hotmail abuse. I got a response today that they had shut down the offending account. For some reason that just made me feel like there still is good in the world, even at Microsoft.


Sausage Cheese Bread

I was watching Emeril last week (yeah, I know. I promise it's not a normal occurance) and saw a great recipe for a sausage and cheese stuffed bread. Actually, the recipe was pretty poor. I had to make it up as I went along but that was fun too. Of course, that means that you'll have to do the same since I didn't take time to measure everything either.


Windows application defaults

I've got an account on a Windows 2000 Terminal Services machine at work. For some reason it won't allow me to change the file associations. I need to change the program that opens EML files, which are Outlook Express mail files. Since generally I'm looking at this mail because it's spam or viruses, there's no way I'm letting Outlook Express come within 10 feet of it. That would just be an invitation for disaster.

So here's how to change the file assocation via the registry instead.


Add a new String Value with name "Application". For the data, put the name of the program you'd prefer to use, such as "gvim.exe".

That's all it takes. Pretty cryptic, huh?


make_server_info_info3: pdb_init_sam failed!

I converted a few Samba 3.0 servers from doing local authentication to using our primary domain controller. I'm not quite sure why, but I thought it would be fun. It seemed to work but every time I would try to connect I would get this error:

[2005/05/16 14:11:15, 0] auth/auth_util.c:make_server_info_info3(1134)
make_server_info_info3: pdb_init_sam failed!

Took me a while to find the right answer on google, so I figured I'd preserve it here for posterity's sake. This post had the correct answer. It was because I was using a username map to map my name on the domain controller to the local *nix user name, which happened to be different. Apparently that's the message that means "unknown local user".

Gun Totin' Granny

I heard an interesting news story on the radio today about an 87 year-old woman in New Jersey who was arrested for bringing a concealed handgun to the courthouse. She had forgotten to move it to her trunk which she normally does.

Now the whole thing could have been completely avoided if she had never purchased the handgun in the first place. She really has no business carrying around a weapon like that, but not for the reason you might be thinking. I fully support gun ownership and self defense, but this lady is more dangerous, both to herself and others. The gun was in its original box and she admits that she's never used it. Well, how do you expect to hit even the broad side of a barn, let alone a would-be assailant?


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