Top ten spam subject tag lines that have actually caused me to pause and consider penis enlargement

Who says spam can’t be fun?

10. think over your agregate size

9. Enormous device is your treasure

8. Improbable effect on your phallus!

7. Your measurement of success is by the INCH.

6. I carry a bazooka in my pants, walking around.

5. Your little soldier will grow up to a big love general!

4. inches in your pants will make you the world’s 8th wonder to women.

3. Why be a tiny cocktail sausage, when you can be a mighty wiener.

2. Behind every great man lies a huge secret in his pants.

And the number one spam subject tag line that has actually caused me to pause and seriously consider penis enlargement…

1. Be the master of the universe, with a huge broadsword in your pants?

You know, I’ve thought over my agregate size and.. sure, why not? By the Power of Greyskull!

Desperate Spam Countermeasure

The spam hitting one of our mail servers is getting completely out of control. Since this particular server is more of a mailing list broker, exclusively for Japan, rather than try to fight the influx of global spam — which lately even traditional filters and blocklists seem to be ineffective against — we’ve decided to simply not accept email from anywhere except Japan itself.

Andreas Plesner Jacobse maintains an excellent set of geo blocklists, the DNSBL. Turned this on against some of the more naughty spam countries last week. In Postfix for example:


Bye bye China.

Anyway, so far so good. Spam has gone from hundreds (maybe thousands) of messages slipping through our traditional filters each day to a small trickle of Japan-originated spam.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to maintain a large enterprise email farm. Maybe like trying to grow corn on a plantation overrun by an ever surging plague of locusts!

Hoppy, the Japanese Beer Alternative

hoppy.jpgI can’t believe I lived in Japan for ten years and am just now discovering Hoppy.

I had seen Hoppy around over the years and had always just assumed it was another low-end beer, kind of like Sapporo’s Drafty. Recently while exploring local ramen shops in Gotanda, however, the master asked if I wanted to exchange my beer ticket for a beer or Hoppy. “Or”? I figured I better try the Hoppy.

It turns out Hoppy is a low-alcohol carbonated beer-flavored concoction for mixing with shochu. I’m told that Hoppy was the working man’s alternative to beer some fifty years ago, back when beer was still too expensive for the average Japanese. Why pay for beer when you can have beer-flavored shochu?

Surprisingly, Hoppy is not too bad. It tastes somewhat like a weak beer, though thanks to the liberal amounts of shochu it is most often mixed with, is a deceptively strong drink. That said, since shochu doesn’t give me a hangover like beer, and adds only 10 calories per 100 millimeters, Hoppy may a new standby for the prerequisite beer pounding during trips back to Tokyo.

Manually fetching files in Gentoo

Here’s something I’d never had to do before. Be careful as this kind of tip will only popup for you once on the first emerge.

Manually pushing the archive into distfiles and running emerge worked fine. For a moment I was concerned that I might actually have to build something from source. Whew!

How to segfault Apache 2+ with mod_security

Build mod_security against the wrong set of headers, and Apache 2 will mysteriously begin to segfault in a persistent manner. Check which version you’re running with dpkg --get-selections | grep apache2.

Seems my shiny new Debian distro running the prefork version of Apache had the threaded (worker) headers installed against it. Duh. apt-get install apache2-prefork-dev reinstalled the correct prefork headers and Apache is happy again.

Mathiew Dessus has a great article about installing mod_securty on Debian for those interested.

A quick and ditry alternative to Cacti

While I love the reports that Cacti produces, I really hate setting them up. And most of the time I just need something “quick and dirty” to get a better window into what’s going on with a small web/db server combo.

webminstats is a nice little plug-and-play Webmin module that does just that.


It will automatically try to setup a dozen or so round robin scripts to collect data against a variety of common services (web server, database, memory, processes, etc.) It can take hours to get the same kind of reporting working in Cacti.

The output isn’t as “pretty” as that of Cacti’s.. but then again pretty doesn’t fix servers.

Windows log file rotation

Yet another de facto Linux command that is oddly missing in Windows.

Some simple log files from a custom app were getting out of control. Google revealed that while basic rotation is possible for the standard Windows event logs, there’s no command in particular for log rotation, aside from some odd looking bat scripts that required typing output to temp directories and the like.

Tried rotatelogs.exe from the Windows distribution of Apache 2.2, but that didn’t seem to work at all.

Today, however, I stumbled across CHOMP. Works a peach, and surprisingly quick. Recommended.

(BTW, looks like the author has his own implementation of tail as well. Maybe this is the replacement for Cygwin tail that I was looking for last August..  Update:  It don’t work so well.)