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  • Accessing A Subversion Repository Via an SSH Tunnel from Windows XP with Interactive Password Login
    11/12/2008 2:32PM
    I've got a Subversion repository on my machine at my office, and it became clear that it would be really nice if I could access it from anywhere on the net.  It was also clear that it needed to be with an interactive password, and not using ssh keys as I did not want leave ssh keys on untrusted machines.

    Click on Read More for the full explanation of how I put it together. First off, I didn't want to simply forward port 22 on my firewall to my local machine as I didn't want to completely expose it to the net.  I have a number of hardened Internet servers that are completely exposed (for ssh connections, that is) and sufficiently locked down that I felt comfortable configuring my network to only allow ssh connections from a specific server.  What I did there was specify firewall rules to only allow connections on port 22 from a specific machine and then forward those connections to my machine behind the firewall.  I'll leave the details of that as an exercise for the reader (or a future article).

    Once that was set up, I could now set up an SSH tunnel on the trusted Internet server to my machine behind my firewall.  To do that, login to your server and enter the following command:

    ssh -N -L234.234.234.234:8888: username@

    • ip address of the local machine
    • 8888 is the port on the local machine that is accepting the ssh connection that you are tunneling
    • is the ip address of the firewall (destination ip for the other end of the tunnel)
    • username@ is a valid user name on the local box that is accepting and forwarding the connection
    Run the command, you will now be forwarding ssh connections on port 8888 on your Internet server to your local machines firewall.  I added that command to a shell script that I could run.  When I was through with it, just CTRL-C and it kills the tunnel.

    Now the Subversion part on the Windows client:

    I had initially set up Subversion to use password-less ssh keys but decided that I wanted to use the interactive password instead.  I had installed TortoiseSVN, so that included Tortoiseplink.  In this case, I simply added a tunnels entry into the conf as such:

    customssh = Tortoiseplink -P 8888

    With that entered, my tunnel set up, I could now connect with the following:

    svn+customssh:/username@ local_dir_for_files

    This'll enable you to access your repository from anywhere with your password.

  • Chaging the Default Browser under Windows XP for IE and Firefox
    10/24/2008 11:12AM
    There are times when you might want to change your default browser; especially if you are a developer and want to make sure that something works as it should with both IE and Firefox.

    To change your default browser:
    • Go to: Start/Control Panels/Add or Remove Programs
    • Click on "Set Program Access and Defaults", the last button in the left-hand nav
    • Click on the "Custom" set of options
    • You will see an expanded list of items, Web Browser, E-mail Program, etc.
    • Under the "Choose a default Web browser", select the radio button next to browser you would like to set as default.
    • Click "OK"
  • getURL() in a Projector Firefox Bug and Solution
    10/24/2008 11:06AM
    If you have ever tried to do a simple getURL() command in Flash from an .exe projector you'll notice that it fails when Firefox is your default browser.

    Following is the solution to the problem in both AS 2.0 and AS 3.0
    Here's the code for the fix in AS 2.0:

    // code on a keyframe on the main timeline

    var swfUrl:String = _root._url;
    var lastSlashIndex:Number = swfUrl.lastIndexOf("/");
    var pipeIndex:Number = swfUrl.indexOf("|");
    var baseUrl:String;
    if (pipeIndex >= 0)
    baseUrl = swfUrl.substring(0, pipeIndex);
    baseUrl += ":";
    baseUrl = "";
    baseUrl += swfUrl.substring(pipeIndex + 1, lastSlashIndex + 1);

    myButton.onRelease = function()
    var targetUrl:String = baseUrl + "test.html";
    getURL(targetUrl, "_blank");

    Here's the code for the fix in AS 3.0:

    // code on a keyframe on the main timeline

    import flash.events.MouseEvent;
    import flash.net.*;

    output_txt.text = this.loaderInfo.url;

    var swfUrl:String = this.root.loaderInfo.url;
    var lastSlashIndex:Number = swfUrl.lastIndexOf("/");
    var pipeIndex:Number = swfUrl.indexOf("|");
    var baseUrl:String;
    if (pipeIndex >= 0)
    baseUrl = swfUrl.substring(0, pipeIndex);
    baseUrl += ":";
    baseUrl = "";
    baseUrl += swfUrl.substring(pipeIndex + 1, lastSlashIndex + 1);

    function gotoTestHtml(event:MouseEvent):void
    var targetUrl:URLRequest = new URLRequest(baseUrl + "test.html");
    navigateToURL(targetUrl, "_blank");

    myButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, gotoTestHtml);

    Here is a link to the original article where I found this with the full explanation and fix.
  • How to Run Firefox 2 and 3 at the Same Time
    10/15/2008 1:33PM
    Here's a quick how to on running Firefox 2 and 3 at the same time under Windows
    1. Right click the shortcut of the Firefox 2, click "Properties". Add "-profilemanager" at the end of the shortcut path. Click OK. Then run this shortcut to launch Firefox Profile Manager.
    2. Create a new profile, name it "firefox3". And uncheck the "Don't ask at startup"
    3. Go to Properties of the Firefox 2 shortcut again, remove the "-profilemanager" and add "-p default" at the end of the path. This forces Firefox 2 to open the original profile.
    4. Install Firefox 3. Choose "Custom" when you are asked.
    5. Change the installation folder to "Mozilla Firefox 3"
    6. Same in Start Menu Folder name.
    7. When is complete, uncheck the "Launch Firefox now". You still have something to do before you can run it.
    8. Go to the Properties of the Firefox 3 shortcut. Append "-no-remote -p firefox3" to the Target. The "-no-remote" will let Firefox run a separate instance. The "-p firefox3" will force your Firefox 3 to run the newly clean profile.
    9. Run the Firefox 3, and you will be prompted that your Firefox is not the default browser. DON'T click Yes. Firefox 3 is not stable and you won't like to use it as your default browser. Simple uncheck the "Always perform this check when starting Firefox" and click No.
    10. Now you can run Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 at the same time.
  • VB6, Centering a Form on the Screen
    10/08/2008 2:56PM
    Here is a code snippet used to center a form on the screen.

    Private Sub Form_Load()
        ' Centering the form on the screen
        Me.Move (Screen.Width - Me.Width) \ 2, (Screen.Height - Me.Height) \ 2
    End Sub

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