Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MyIpTrack: keep track of the IP addresses you use

I've just released a new program, which is actually a php script to install on a web site.

MyIpTrack is a php script that allows you to store the IP addresses with which you connect to the Internet. It stores such information on a text file. The information stored are: the IP address, date and time and some notes.

This is pretty useful if you connect to the Internet with many different providers (wireless networks, Internet cafe, etc.) and you want to keep track of all the IPs you've used (and date and time). You can also fill some notes for each such record.

MyIpTrack only needs a web server with PHP; it does not use any database: it stores the information in a text file. The archive consists of a record per line (thus records are separated by newline characters), and fields are separated by a tab character:

IP TAB date TAB address TAB notes

How it works

The idea is that when you connect to the Internet, you visit the page where you put MyIpTrack; at this point you'll be presented a web form already filled with the IP, the date (and time) and the address corresponding to the IP you are currently using. Then you'll be able to add some notes (e.g., that help you remember for what you used that IP).

If you're using an IP that you've used before, MyIpTrack will show a table with all the dates you used that specific IP.

It also shows a table with all the IP addresses used in the past. See the screenshot below.


MyIpTrack is Open Source, under the GPL license.


After you downloaded the .zip file and extracted its contents, all you need to do is copy the contents of the directory html into a directory of your web server. Make sure to give full write access to the text file where the information will be stored: archive.txt.

MyIpTrack is not thought to be part of a public web site: its web page is considered to be used only by the user who installed it, so it should be put in a private web directory. However, MyIpTrack provides also a basic authentication mechanism based on a user name and a password, specified in the file config.php. Just leave the user name empty if you're not interested in the authentication. If you want to use authentication, change the user name and password.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

PhpBibliography 0.5: RSS & DBLP import

It is with great pleasure that I announce this new release of PhpBibliography!

First of all, I really need to thank Ezio Bartocci, a PhD candidate of University of Camerino, Complex System Research Group, who did a wonderful job in implementing the two new main features of this release: RSS and DBLP import.


Basically, every query page now also generates an RSS link that can be used to subscribe to that specific result as an RSS feed. Of course, that feed is dynamic, so each time your RSS reader will look for updates, the system will actually run the query again. This is pretty useful to generate an RSS feed for a specific author's papers.

For instance, this is the output of my papers, and you can see the RSS link on the right that can be used to subscribe to my papers feed. As soon as a new paper of mine is added to the system, the RSS reader will catch that. And this is the direct RSS feed.

DBLP paper import

The other cool feature that Ezio implemented is the possibility of importing papers directly from DBLP, the Computer Science Bibliography, using the bibtexs of this site.

This feature is still experimental and we will have to twickle it a little bit, but it seems to work for most of the cases.

You'll be asked to insert your name and surname. After you inserted the author's name and surname,

the DBLP site will be queried and all the author's found papers will be presented to the user; the system will already check which papers are similar
to those already present in the database; if a similar paper is found in the database that entry will not be automatically selected for the import (and will be highlighted in red); the other papers will be automatically selected for import.

The user will then be able to further select all the papers to import, and
press the import button (it is also possible to select all the papers or all the papers of a specific year). Note that the procedure might require some time. Finally, you'll be able to edit each single paper imported through this procedure.

Note that the bib items of DBLP might not produce such nice paper records in phpbibliography, especially when they cross reference other bib items (also shown as a result, but not inserted in the data base); you'll probably need to modify such imported papers using the additional information in the cross referenced bib item. We are working on how to solve this little issue.

Again, let me thank Ezio once again! Not only he did a great job, but it was also very funny to work with him through instant messaging :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Accessing Ipod with Linux: GtkPod

The first attempt to access my ipod with Linux didn't go very well: I was able to access it with amarok and to upload some files and playlists, only to find out that then the ipod did not see any songs and I had to restore it with itunes under windows.

Then, after upgrading my ubuntu distributions, since I heard that this problem was due to an old version of the libgpod library, I decided to try again, but this time with gtkpod.

The Ipod was soon found upon connection, and I had to set the right model:

Then I was able to access the songs, upload new songs, and delete other songs

Don't forget to save the changes before disconnecting the ipod, otherwise its internal database won't be saved.

Then all the songs were still in the ipod and I could play them.

However, there still seem to be some problems: after this operation, the cover gallery which automatically shows under the menu does not show anymore (you can see only the number of the songs). Thus, I assume that the database is not updated correctly... after a restore with itunes the gallery showed up again.

So, for the moment, I still can't access and modify songs on my ipod in satisfactory way under linux :-(

Monday, August 11, 2008

Konqueror does not connect to hosts

I usually use the computer with a permanent connection to the Internet, so I hadn't noticed this problem. But lately, since I'm using also my laptop off line I started to struggle with this problem: when I use konqueror to connect to a local site, I get this error:

An error occurred while loading http://localhost:
Could not connect to host http://localhost.
The problem occurs also when I'm connected through a 56k modem: I cannot simply connect to web hosts with konqueror.

Luckily, I found this post,, whose solution seems to work fine: just disable the cache (i.e., uncheck "Use cache"):

But this looks like a serious bug :-(

Monday, August 04, 2008

Accessing NTFS from Linux in write mode

As I said in my previous post, I switched to NTFS partition on my external USB driver, since I can now access NTFS partitions also in write mode thanks to NTFS-3G:

The cool thing is that I didn't have to modify any configuration file, thanks to ntfs-config,, a very cool GUI application that does all the job and changes your fstab file.

Try it, really cool! :-)