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Showing posts from May, 2014

Strange problem on KVM VPS

This one for the X-Files.

I have been helping a client migrate his web server from one VPS to another because he needed more disk space. His previous VPS is based on Xen, and the migration is to a KVM-based VPS.

Everything was smooth-going at first. I installed Debian 7 x64, all the usual packages: nginx, php, mariadb etc. Easy. Configured and tested the setup. Easy.

Then I migrated his database and web server over and asked him to do some business-side testing. That was when we hit an unusual snag. His PayPal IPN wouldn't work.

At first, I traced the logs, thinking it was some kind of PHP code incompatibility. Nothing. The code will break at this point:

$fp = fsockopen('ssl://www.paypal.com', 443, $eno, $estr, 30);

and never return.

I was stumped. So I wrote a simple test program that retrieves the HTTP and the HTTPS version of google.com. Lo and behold, the HTTPS fetch breaks right at that point with:

    Illegal instruction

I looked up what that means and found that it is…

Bluetooth headsets: Samsung HM1700 vs Plantonics M25

I had been using a Samsung HM1700 headset for over a year now. Recently, the Plantonics M25 was on sale. It looks a lot smaller, lighter and sleeker than the Samsung HM1700, it supports A2DP, it has long battery life, so I bought one to have a try.

The thing about Bluetooth headset is that you can never tell how well it works for you from the specs. You have to live with it for a week or two before you can tell if the two of you are compatible, sorta like a roommate or girlfriend. So I lived with the M25 for a week.

Samsung HM1700

Pros:
Long battery lifeGreat reception Cons:
Bigger and heavierEar loop is not as comfortablePlantonics M25

Pros:
Long battery lifeSleeker, smaller and lighter Ear loop is fitting and comfortable Cons:
Too many A2DP dropouts for my liking. By that, I mean the A2DP stream will drop out for a second or two being picking up again. This happens when I turn or bend my body, pick up a tool etc. It happens with the HM1700 too, but much less frequently. So it seems lik…