Gentoo as VMWare guest

I’ve been running Gentoo as a VMWare guest for some time.  building the vmware tools has always bombed for the same reason with an error about not being able to find the kernel header files in the proper location even though they are there.

To fix the problem, copy /usr/src/linux/include/linux/version.h to /usr/src/linux/include.  Then issue the command “uname -r” to get your running kernel version.  Then add the line #define UTS_RELEASE “2.6.34-gentoo-r6” (use the output of “uname -r” in place of the “2.6.34-gentoo-r6”).

copy that file /usr/src/inux/include/linux.  also copy /usr/src/linux/include/generated/autoconf.h /usr/src/linux/include/linux

Then the kernel modules will build

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Unhelpful Microsoft Reporting Services Error

Recently when trying to deploy a complex Microsoft Reporting Services definition to a server, I received the following error:

Exception of type Microsoft.ReportingServices.ReportProcessing.ReportProcessingException was thrown.

That error is pretty unhelpful.  It turns out that there was user defined function that I was calling that had not been pushed to the server.  After putting a required dll into the public assemblies library on the server, things worked properly.

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Mailman, Postfix and Gentoo

I just spent the morning dealing with all sorts of odd problems relating to configuring Mailman, a mailing listserver, with Gentoo Linux and Postfix. Most of the process went very smoothly up until the actual testing which yielded errors.

The first problem is the way that the Gentoo software installation system (portage) installs Mailman vs. the way Mailman recommends the installation of Mailman. Mailman default installation from source places all the scripts, mailing lists and queues in /var/mailman. Gentoo puts the mailing lists and configurations in /var/lib/mailman and the binaries and scripts into /usr/lib/mailman.

The configuration of postfix went fine as I pointed to the script where I put it (/usr/lib/mailman/bin). You have to get the script separately from

The script has two variables at the top: MailmanHome and MailmanOwner. I set the MailmanHome to /var/lib/mailman which was right. However, the script looks for the “mailman” script to be in /var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman. That turned out to be incorrect for gentoo because the scripts are in /usr/lib/mailman. to that end, I added a variable called MailmanBinHome on the line after MailmanHome and set it to /usr/lib/mailman.

I changed MailmanHome on lines 107 and 108 to MailmanBinHome and voila, everything started working.

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Above and Beyond, LLC Doesn’t Go Above and Beyond

My partner and I recently had some work on the house performed by Above and Beyond, LLC of Lewiston. We signed two contracts for work. The first part of the job was to repair a leaking roof. To their credit, they did that job well and on time. They treated it as a primary job and they had a man at our place for 2.5 days to tear up the old parts of the roof, re-flash drain vents and chimneys, repair roof vents, re-flash skylights, roof joints and replace a protective “box” that keeps snow out of a hard to clear area of the roof. They did a wonderful job with that.

The second part of the job was to repair our “sun porch” that had problems in a corner where it joined with the house and had become rotten and a source for ant infestation. They were to remove two rows of windows and replace one row of windows with a solid wall and re-do the siding on the exterior wall they were removing the windows from. We had them remove the lower row of windows keeping the upper row (we paid for and kept two large windows).

This part of the job went well. When it came to the interior work, they dragged their feet treating it as a side job. They tended to show up on Friday afternoons, the dry wall contractor showed up on a Saturday (ruining our weekend.) and they even showed up on July 5 (a holiday even after we told them not to because they had “free time.”)

Inside the porch we had them build a small coat closet and this is where the problem is. For the closet they told us to go choose a door (they were expecting a bi-fold louvered door. We purchased a solid 4 panel door 24″ wide. They build a door frame, but did not build the door frame wide enough to accomodate the door casing with enough space to ensure that the door casing would be square as one cannot rely on framing 2X4’s to be straight. They attached the door casing directly to the frame which was too narrow at the bottom (not square) and the door would not close properly. They then had the dry wall installed without correcting their mistake. They rushed us for payment for the job before we really had time to check things out thoroughly. Their website claims that they are licensed and insured and that they guaranty their work. So we took them up on their guaranty, they faltered. It took many days and many phone calls to get in contact with them. It took them two weeks and many phone calls to get them over there. They showed up on a Friday afternoon. They came to fix the door and their repair was to shave the door rather than fix the door frame and rehang the door properly. When my partner disagreed with that, The owner (Greg) told her that they would refund $400.00. There was a gentlemans agreement. After two weeks we still hadn’t seen a check. I started calling to get the check. Still no check after a week of phone calls to the salesman. I then called Greg directly and after many unreturned messages I finally got a hold of him. He claimed that the check was in the mail. It was and when it arrived it was for $300.00. I spent a few days of leaving messages again and when I finally got through late yesterday, he claimed the agreement was for between $300 and $400. and that after reviewing the contract ($6900 in all) he felt $300.00 was sufficient. Well $300 is not between $300 and $400. Still it was not the agreement according to my partner and I believe my partner. She may be many things, but one of them is not dishonest.

So Above and Beyond, LLC doesn’t seem to be able to do interior finish work properly and they don’t honor their agreements.

I would not recommend them to anyone who reads this and I won’t hire them ever again.

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GMail IMAP and POP troubles

Just went through lots of trouble dealing with google apps and imap/pop3 access for a client.   The problem turned out to be that the account was locked.  The fix turned out to be their unlock captcha tool.  There is one for straight gmail located at and the other for google apps at[domain.tld]/UnlockCaptcha

I hope this is helpful to someone.

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Windows 7 can’t connect to Windows Server 2003 printer share

It turns out that the problem was that the Window 7 machine was Windows 7 x64.  While not necessarily a problem, it was  problem connecting the printer driver in the usual way.  After a Google search I found that you should do the following.

  1. Make sure that you have the driver for the printer in question downloaded and unpacked in a place that’s accessible to you.
  2. On the Windows server machine, make sure your printer is shared and take note of the share name.
  3. On the Windows 7-x64 machine, go to the windows menu and choose “Devices and Printers.”
  4. Choose to add a printer.
  5. Choose local
  6. Choose to create a new port
  7. The port name is \\servername\sharename
  8. If your printer is not listed in the ensuing dialogue, click on “Have Disk.”
  9. Browse to the location of your printer drivers and the .INF file.
  10. Click on the .INF file.  Its typically named OEMSETUP.INF, but your mileage may vary.
  11. Click “OK”
  12. you can click on the “test print” button to test.
  13. Click finish.
  14. You’re done.

Sorry for the typos.

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This is the first post to  This will be a place for my rantings as well as little technical tidbits that I find.  Sometimes I get political.  I haven’t decided on allowing comment, yet.  I may or may not.

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