OVF - Open Virtualization Format

If you're into computer virtualization, you should probably be familiar with OVF.

The "Open Virtualization Format" is a supposed standard for interchanging VMs between vendors (VMware, Microsoft, VirtualBox etc.) Here's a good overview of the format :


Most of my experience with virtualization has been with VMware, Xen, Virtual PC and recently with VirtualBox on the desktop.

I wanted to see how OVF might work, so I found this minimal OVF version of Solaris :


Git difftool and vimdiff

For the most part, I use TkDiff as the Git difftool when working under X Windows. TortoiseGit also has a nice GUI diff tool for when I do occassional work on Windows.

However, when working in a Linux "terminal" environment, your Git difftool choices seem to be limited to vimdiff. This is OK, but most of the color schemes under vimdiff are terrible.

I recommend using a vimdiff friendly color scheme like "greens" which is described here :

Here's how to set yourself up to use vimdiff as Git's difftool.


Phase 4 of D-Link DNS-323 hacking - Running Optware

I'm using the DNS-323 primarily for automated backups, and making Git backups is part of this. The fonz fun plug (ffp) has a lot of stuff on it (rsync, lighttpd), but I didn't see Git. So I was looking to add Git via Optware.

I was able to add Optware, but the Git version couldn't clone across ssh nor rsync. Cloning across the git protocol did, however work. But I'll likely just use the rsync client to get my Git repositories. Git seems to work fine if the repo came via a plain rsync client.

root:/mnt/HD_a2/tmp# git clone ssh://root@


Phase 3 of D-Link DNS-323 hacking - Placing ffp on USB stick

I wanted to run ffp (fonz fun plug) running from a USB stick to minimize drive spin up. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to work. It seems like there are many ways to do this, and they vary with the version of ffp (even two methods for the same version of ffp 0.5

It's pretty easy to mount and format the USB, so I can use that if needed. Anyway, I won't be spinning the disks too much, and I need to move on. But here are some rough notes on this.



Phase 2 of D-Link DNS-323 hacking - Root user and sshd setup

Here's a follow-on to my first post on hacking the D-Link DNS-323 hacking.

This is what you should do after you've downloaded and installed Fonz' fun_plug (ffp) and made the initial telnet into the system.

Here's a useful guide for this :

# pwconv
# passwd
# usermod -s /ffp/bin/sh root

# login (test root/newpw)

# store-passwd.sh
Copying files to mtd1...
Copying files to mtd2...

# cd /ffp/start
# sh sshd.sh start (test ssh login)

# cd /ffp/start

Phase 1 of D-Link DNS-323 hacking - Running fun_plug on DNS-323

Here is probably one of the best short explanations of how this works :

On Windows client, mount the DNS-323 as a drive (L: in this case).

Grab the latest version of the fun_plug script provided by fonz :

L:\>wget http://www.inreto.de/dns323/fun-plug/0.5/fun_plug

L:\>wget http://www.inreto.de/dns323/fun-plug/0.5/fun_plug.tgz


Git push - How To

As I've mentioned before, Git push takes some getting used to. Issuing the simple command "git push" may not give you what you expect.

I've kind of gotten used to using git fetch to pull into FETCH_HEAD, and then seeing if I want to merge FETCH_HEAD into master. Here's the analog when pushing.

First, let's assume we're pushing into a Linux repository from a Windows client. Our Linux repo has just two files initially:


@linux:/tmp/gitTest (master#) $ git commit -a -m "Initial commit"

How to fix a dishwasher that won't drain - look up!

We recently had a problem with our dishwasher -- it wouldn't drain. Merely scraping stuff off the bottom of the washer didn't help. I pulled the rotor out, and took off a housing above the motor, but this didn't reveal lots of gunk either.

I tried running with white vinegar and baking soda. I think it cleaned things up, but still water at the bottom.

Next I took the baseboard off and unconnected the drain tubing. This allowed water to drain freely, so it looked like things were draining from the washer fine.


Git versus Mercurial for tracking large file systems

I'm looking to find a way to retain, access, and analyze files which come in over time. One part of a solution to this may be using a free, efficient file version control system (VCS) like Mercurial or Git.

One way to track file updates is to save multiple copies of a file for a limited time. However, itt should be more more space-efficient to have a VCS merely save diffs in the files. A VCS would also aid in tracking exactly when a certain change was made.



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