Welcome to my site. This area is pretty much used as a test bed for me to practice my web programming/design skills, but it also contains information, scripts and other tit-bits that I post in the belief that they might be useful to some people. Most of the 'articles' (as I like to call them) deal with things I had to do, but for which finding information was difficult. As such many of these pages I wrote for my own reference in order to make doing certain things easier in future, and I ended up posting them here to make life easier for others.

This site covers topics such as linux and wireless networking, while also dealing with projects that I am doing (such as the flac conversion script) and other random information I deem useful.

Either way I hope you find something of interest here :-)


Date: December 05 2015

It has been a while since the last update, and it is almost 2016 o.0. Lots has happened, and unfortunately real life takes over, so the site has been on the back burner, and with it a lot of projects were packed away, or quite frankly abandoned. I don't even know what is on the site, so going forward I will be pruning incomplete articles which are unlikely to be completed, and go from there.

I also fixed the user counter at the bottom. More bug fixes and improvements to the CMS are being worked on.

Date: March 17 2012

New Hosting

Well here were are again! With a new host! This one is much faster, both in resources and network bandwidth. Hopefully the site should be more usable now :)

Also, once again had to fix the counter. This time it was not registering new users, resulting in it stop at 386262. No idea how many people visited since the bug, but now it is working now :) (again, lol)

Date: February 12 2012

Success! After the initial site import I noticed a lot of missing articles (including the one about BeBox WPA Hacking) so had to dig deep into my backups before I managed to pull the last full version of the database.

All the articles should be here now, let me know if anything is missing :)

Apart from that just did a few more things, little bug-fixes and changes to the site. Hopefully nothing is broken...

Also fixed the hit counter. It kept registering new visitors, but the frontend stopped at ~130,000. No idea why, and could not be bothered digging through the code, so ended up rewriting it. It is also faster now, in addition to being cleaner.

And wow, almost 400,000 unique visits. :)

Date: January 30 2012

We're back! :D

Hey Everyone, sorry about the downtime for the last few weeks. The hosting behind the site was pulled without prior warning. This time however, it was not dreamhosts fault. Somebody else who had access to the account (we shared the hosting to reduce costs) took full control of it and pulled my site. This also had the effect of locking me out of the databases, so I could no longer get at all the content.

After a lot of scrabbling about I managed to recover most of the site from backups. Unfortunately some bugs I had fixed had re-appeared (Due to me fixing them before the next backup had ran) so had to redo them. This must be the 4th time I had to fix the "Delete article" bug (-.-). Also did some other tweaks around the site.

The content DB was recovered as well, but some of the newer articles are probably gone, as are the timestamps that told us when the articles are first written. The data may hopefully still be there, just need to write the code to display it again.

The hosting now is back to being a slow connection (with the temporary dns name ziva-vatra.hopto.org) with a slow machine as the server. Unsurprisingly, the web site will probably be much slower now. Sorry, but that's all I can do for the moment.

Unfortunately the one who locked me out of dreamhost did so in such a way that dreamhost could not open a new account in my name, so I am effectivley barred from using them. As such I am on a lookout to find another cheap webhost. Till then try to tolerate the general sluggishness of the site.

Also had a go at correcting some bugs in the news page (this page), that resulted in links being HTML escaped. After the fix things like images and links on this page should work, so it will look a bit different.

Also, as it has been almost 6 years since I last took the nerd test (noticed it as I was fixing the front page), I figured why not give it another go, to see how things have changed. The results?

My computer geek score is greater than 100% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Dear god I've gotten worse :/ On the flip side it can't get any worse (I've hit 100, which is the maximum of the scale).

Date: February 21 2010

Well dreamhost did it again. For reasons I'm not quite sure, every once in a while they will revert my site back to an older version, rendering all I did pointless.

It seems to have happened again, so I am now trying to re-update things. As such old articles which I deleted are back (along with the bug where I can't delete them, so I'll have to fix that before I can get rid of the articles).

If something has broken, let me know. I've already found out that a faulty version of the "Flactoall" script was put instead of the latest version (This has been fixed now), thanks to those of you who emailed me to let me know (usually the fastest way for me to find out something has gone wrong again with the hosting).

Update: Seems to have been caused by a failure of the Raid controller, so they reverted to the back up (which is out of date by a few weeks). Apprently once the restoration is complete the new parts may be back. until they are done restoring I won't know, so for now I'll just leave the site as is.

Date: January 27 2010

Well, would you believe it. I finally rebuilt the news system. It was a leftover from the old site, and I never had time to rewrite it into the new cms. it has been a while.... Much has happened in the last few years and as such this site has been somewhat on the backburner as I've concentrated on sorting my mess of a personal life out. Two weeks ago I finished my final exams, and I lost my job (yay recession!) so I had some spare time. As such I've fixed some long standing bugs, and added some new features.

Fixes: CSS issues, the bug with deleting articles (they would not be deleted), code cleanup and refactoring, finally fixed the news section on the home page!
New Features: caching support for images, so they don't have to be constantly regenerated. Results in lower system load and faster image loading.

Well, one of the major changes is that rather than hosting the site on my personal machine, it's now hosted by a third party. This has been the case for about a year now, and it's had it's pitfalls and benefits as I switched providers until I found one which is reliable enough for me. As time progresses I'll sort out the content as well, but this is all that's been done for now. I've got some new stuff I did I'll put up when I have a spare moment.

Date: July 07 2006

Website is going down!

Notice: As I am moving from my current residence to a new one, this server (and all websites and other services) will be down for an as yet undertermined time. the time offline will depend on how long it takes us to pack, move, unpack and get a broadband connection to the house. Once that is done, the sites will be up again (Sorry for the inconvenience)

P.S. And what a shame this is, as my Server had just hit an uptime of 100 days. I really wanted to see how far it could go....

Date: June 21 2006

Alas, my fixes did break quite a few pages, so I had to do a few rewrites (about a line's worth of modifications per page, so not too bad). Also added some new articles, and fixed some mistakes. The main render script has also been modified to accept page-defined titles, so if a page has a title "This is a title" , the rendered page will display "Ziva-Vatra: This is a title" . Of course if there is no title, the page will be rendered as before. In one of those twists, I have now come back to using the original mozilla as my browser, along with Opera. Firefox has been relegated to third place for the time being (seeing as even the original mozilla browser loads faster). I have also been going from page to page, fixing those which are not complient to the XHTML spec. Quite a few have been found and fixed, but checking will continue (in case I forgot some). This site is getting quite big (bigger then I expected anyway). Ognen.

Date: June 08 2006

Tested the site in IE today (under Win2k) and the verdict: The site is missing the header o.0 (how the f#&k can IE 'lose' the header). The image with "Ziva-Vatra" on it is the site header. Apart from that the rest of the site is visible and the layout is ok. Overall it is usable, but NOT recommended. Really, get a real browser. I am also beginning to really like opera. its clean, its fast (loads quickly too), and renders pages nicely. Compared to firefox, where there is a delay between clicking on the menubar and a menu coming up (with me at least), its a refreshing experience (but IME, Opera is just a big a memory Hog as FF). I am finding myself using opera more and more...

Date: June 04 2006

New Developments: Had to do an urgent fix to the rendering script, due to my recent modifications, a hell of a security hole was introduced (if curious, replace ?display=./file with ?display=/etc/passwd). While apache does not have rights to /etc/shadow (phew) it did have rights to /etc/passwd (a issue in itself, which I have now corrected). But the script being able to print out the list of registered users was bad enough for me. UPDATE: seems like the fix was not complete. Replacing ?display=/etc/shadow with ?display=../../../etc/shadow has ended up giving me exactly the same problems. Script has been modified to prevent this angle of attack as well, but it might have broken some parts of the site. if you find any errors, feel free to report them :)

Date: June 02 2006

Back again! (And my exams are done! YES. Holiday till september! *grins*). Anyway, new site developments include a rewrite of the page rendering script. It seems that it was incorrectly rendering the "HEAD" and "META" tags resulting in search engines incorrectly indexing the site (not to mention that the issues violated the XHTML specs, making this site non-standard). Unfortunately this has brought to my attention the fact that the site as a whole does not follow the standards claimed. While the *design* does follow CSS and XHTML specs, the act of generating the information (and the way the information is stored) is breaking this. So my efforts for the time being will be towards making the site more compliant (or if I don\'t manage, removing the button(s) currently residing on the RHS. The news page has also been modified to correct the problem from before (with the news appearing all in one paragraph, so now there should be proper spacing again). Another problem was found with the shoutcast playlists on the site. it seems that trying to download them resulted in a "forbidden" error. To keep this site secure I work on a whitelist policy. Everything is forbidden unless explicitly told otherwise. As such if you come across areas of the site you cannot access, do drop me a line, so I can fix it. I also have to do something regarding the ads. There is only one Box at the right of each page. I am prevented from putting more boxes because the page widths change. So I will need to think of a better way of doing this (and no, I am not planning on plastering adverts everywhere). Being a student, It costs quite a bit to keep this site (and server) up and running, so the ads will hopefully contribute to that. Today tested the site on Opera (Linux), and the font size in Opera is huge. Are the default fonts in opera designed for sight-impaired people or what? Saying that it does load pages fast (faster than firefox), which I find impressive (especially as I have to keep refreshing a page while I am working on it to see how it is looking). For the time being. It seems firefox renders this page best, and as such I recommend you stick with it. All in all, I did a lot of work on this site today. Far more than usual (as you can tell by the number of items in this entry).

Date: April 20 2006

Well, first version of BIQUAD article is up, a few language corrections/cleanups and the Image rendering script has had a bug fixed (the one which caused black backgrounds to appear on images). Otherwise nothing much new. Other plans for the BIQUAD article include a little info on usage (e.g. polarization).On a completely unrelated note, when I was a tad bored, I did a quiz to see how computer savvy (i.e. geeky) I am and now I decided to post it here (my site did not exist then). My score:
My computer geek score is greater than 96% of people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!
They told me:"Step aside Bill Gates, Linux Torvalds, and Steve Jobs... You are by far the SUPREME COMPUTER GOD!!!"; Apparently my computer geek score is greater than 96% of the world, putting me in the "Computer God" set. I don't know whether I should be proud or worried that I am not getting out enough ;) Either way, Thats all for now.

Date: April 18 2006

Well, My Thinkpad died recently, and thanks to the the thinkpads.com forums, I was able to successfully repair it (yay!). To mark this special occasion I have posted my experiences with the fix on the hardware category of this site, where I hope somebody else will find use for it. Also I have added more features to the rendering script, It now has better handling of URL's (so that some of the missing picture issues should now have gone away) and it is capable of using forced-resampling (before only enlargement of images used resampling, due to its higher resource requirements) allowing for higher quality size reduction when required (like the flac2 script command screenshots).Site has also been tested on Opera (on Windows 2K). So far every browser tested has correctly rendered the site. Only thing to note is that the font size is a bit bigger under Windows.

Date: April 09 2006

New Developments. The welcome page (this one) has had a bug with the news text fixed. It seemed that the text would not wrap aroundits layer, causing chunks of text to continue through to the left of the page. Unfortunately the fix also seems to remove the line break's (hence why everything is in one paragraph), so I will have to think of a more permanent fix later.Also the image-rendering script has gained png and gif support (used to have just jpg support), with autodetection, so that it will render all input I give it.I have completed the first draft of the BIQUAD article, but it is not fully up yet (as you can tell if you visit, none of the images work). Hopefully that will be up soon as well.Been very busy lately, exams are coming!I also added some data from an old website of mine. That site was originally made in 1998/9 when I was learning webdesign, and it looked ok when I made it. Unfortnately geocities made a pig out of it with all the ads that messed up the frames. Well, for the time being it has been added to the top navi bar. One day when I have more time I will make a proper site for it, but for now it will reside there.Thats all for today!

Date: March 31 2006

Welcome to the new Site! For those of you that do not know, we had a bit of a mess up with the server, resulting in the loss of the entire website + articles. To make matters worse, only a week before that my laptop + external hard disk (where I kept my backups) was stolen. As such, I did not have any backups of the site or the articles. But that is over now. We have a new site, new graphics, and all coded in XHTML 1.1 and CSS. While the backend has been done in PHP/MySQL (the whole LAMP concept).This is my first attempt at XHTML and CSS, and the design is completely tableless now. It has been tested under Firefox (mozilla engine), konqueror (KHTML engine, which, if I am not mistaken, is used in Safari on OSX). Internet Explorer has not been tested yet, as I have not come across a PC with windows to test it on, and Opera has not been tested either, but will do soon.As soon as I hit upon a windows PC, I will test it, and see what happens.And no, my spelling has not improved ;-) But I am working on it, notice any mistakes, you can contact me.The site navigation also has been changed. Now there are two sets of menu\'s. The main one (the top one) deals with the categories, while the right hand side bar deals with the pages in each category.