VLC crashes when trying to play stuff over the network from Kodi.

This took me a while to figure out, so here's a fix for an annoying problem:

Let's say that you have a media box running Kodi on your local area network.  You have uPNP turned on so you can stream videos from your media box across your LAN.  You want to use VLC to watch stuff across your LAN.

Problem: When you select your Kodi box in VLC and double-click on the server to open the directory of media to watch, VLC crashes with no error message (even in debug mode).

Explanation: VLC is configured to exit when the current …

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Virtualbox virtual machines keep aborting.

If you've been experimenting with different operating systems for a while, or you have some need to run more than one OS on a particular desktop machine, chances are you've been playing around with Oracle Virtualbox due to its ease of use, popular set of features, flexibility, and cost. You've also probably run into the following syndrome (usually while trying to build a new virtual machine):


  • You configure a new virtual machine.
  • You associate a bootable optical disk image with the new VM (for the sake of argument, let's say you're experimenting with the 50 megabyte(!) distro Damn Small Linux …

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I figured out the glitch in Windbringer.

Ever since version 2.6.29 of the Linux kernel was released I’d been having problems with Windbringer crashing on shutdown. After triggering the system shutdown applet in Gnome X would terminate, sometimes I’d see a debug message from NetworkManager as it tried to shut down the network interfaces (and sometimes the ALSA sound drivers, oddly enough), sometimes I wouldn’t see anything. The end result, however, was that Windbringer would have to be manually powered off, thus forcing a (lengthy) file system check the next time I booted up.


The answer arrived from this thread at the …

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Linux, UDEV, HAL, and removable drives.

Now that I've metabolized the caffeine from the two-and-an-unknown-fraction pots of coffee I've drunk today (don't ask), I have it together enough to write about an unusually annoying glitch that plagues Linux users from time to time: Automatic mounting of USB storage devices stops working after you tinker with the systemware, usually after recompiling something or upgrading a package. I ran into this a few days ago but didn't think much of it because I've mostly been using Windows XP for work (yes, yes, you may now all laugh) but I decided to sit down and figure out what happened …

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The origin of and solution to Google Calendar spam... for now, anyway.

Early last month I wrote a short article about having recieved spam to my Gmail account that automatically added itself to my personal calendar. As I'd expected, I wasn't the only one who'd recieved one of these, and that it would be a matter of time before Someone Out There had the time to really look into it. As it turns out, anyone can send an invitation to a Gmail account and have it automatically added to an associated calendar because such invitations are automatically added by default (regardless of poor sentence structure). I would guess that this is so …

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