Friday, December 29, 2006

LiveJournal to Blogger conversion/import tool - lj2blogger

Sept 29, 2007 update - An updated tool (renamed to Blog2Blog)is available see this post for download. Regardless, We will keep this post and the download around for posterities sake. My advice would be to try the current blog2blog tool which has better error handling and updated functionality but the choice is yours.

As unknown surprise to the Blogger staff that picked my blog for the blog of note, I've been working on a tool to import LiveJournal blogs into Blogger. I may as well post this today for all of you incoming viewers. I wish I had something witty and amusing to say in addition, but words fail. I am certain I'll think of something in a couple of days, my mind just works that way -- slow and steady?

Like many good ideas, this one came from my wife who wanted to migrate from LiveJournal to Blogger. I looked around and didn't find a conversion tool after several attempts to Google it. Thus, as a good software developer I spent the time to learn several things and build a tool.

Note, I would say this is a Beta at this point. It works well for the scenarios I've run it through. Please feel free to comment/suggest improvements through the blog comments.

Download lj2blogger (1.5.0 updated Feb 12, 2007)

The above is a .zip with a Windows installer. To install unzip and double click on setup.exe.

After installing there is a small manual:
"LiveJournal2Blogger Manual.rtf" at C:\Program Files\Cooley Computing Inc\lj2blogger\doc (default location).

To save you the time of opening this file it is below.

LiveJournal2Blogger (lj2blogger)


This tool migrates a blog from LiveJournal to Blogger. It uses the public API of LiveJournal and the public API of Blogger to extract data from Livejournal and create equivalent entries in a Blogger account with the appropriate date/time of the orignal entry.

- Download Journal Entries from LiveJournal
- A simple read-only viewer of downloaded entries
- Publish Journal Entries to Blogger
* upload private entries (it will make them public)
* parse entries and wrap http:// entries with HTML to make them active links
- Delete ALL entries for a Blogger journal
- Save/Load journal entries to/from file.


The designed usage pattern is below. For issues please feel free to contact me at pcooley.newsgroups at

Download from LiveJournal
1. Enter username (e.g. user1).
2. Enter password (e.g. pass1).
3. Enter lj-url (the URL of the livejournal you wish to download):
4. (optional) if necessary modify the api-url of your journal. This is autopopulated with a typical value.
5. Press Fetch from LiveJournal Button.

View Entries (optional)
6. Press View Entries Button.
7. Use the Entry Number Dialog to change the entry being viewed.
8. When complete Press the upper right close window (the X).

Save Entries (optional)
1. Press Save Entries
2. Choose the filename, it is an XML file with the extension (*.J2B)
Note: once saved you can load these Entries without downloading from LiveJournal (use the Load Entries button)

Publish to Blogger

9. Enter username (e.g. user1).
10. Enter password (e.g. pass1).
11. Enter lj-url (the URL of the livejournal you wish to download):
12. (optional) if necessary modify the api-url of your journal. This is autopopulated with a typical value. (if you have a non-upgraded blog take note; for non-upgraded blogs you will need to update the api-url! To find the URL you will have to look at the page source of your journal. See below for more information)
13. (optional) select options you please; publish private entries and/or wrap http:// with <a href=”…”>.
14. Press Publish to Blogger Button.
15. Select the Entries you will to publish (defaults to all entries).

Further instructions (non-upgraded blogs):
For non-upgraded blogs you will need to find your feed URI.
-- To do this you will have to use your favorite browser and type in the URL of you blog (e.g.
-- Using your browser you will need to 'View Source'. This differs slightly between browsers.
-- In the source look for link rel="" type="application/atom+xml" title="User1 (Atom 1.0)"
-- The api-url is the http:// location in the href

Additionally it is not possible to post to an old journal with a new 'google' integrated account (for those of you that have only partially upgraded all your journals). Addtionally the publish dates of your livejournal won't be regarded. This is part of the API limitation.

Known issues

• The Application is not multithreaded – The UI refreshes slowly while connected to LiveJournal/Blogger.
• Does not import/export comment
• found 01/02/2007 - defaults for api-url only work with upgraded blogs.
• There are connection problems with the XMLRPC interface to livejournal, but immediately retrying Fetch from Livejournal seems to connect sucessfully. Just try a couple of times. No harm should be done.

It appears today I made the blogs of note on Blogs of Note. Incoming hits galore!

Happy Blogging

Keywords: Blog migration tool, LiveJournal to Blogger migration, LiveJournal to Blogger conversion, transfer blog to Blogger, Import blogs from LiveJournal into Blogger, lj2blogger, livejournal2blogger, migrate livejournal blogger.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Energy Usage of My Computers (Kill-A-Watt)

Getting a fine gift, A Kill-A-Watt device, from my Sister and Brother in-law last year meant I could measure the energy usage of my computer systems. Not necessarily a HOWTO article, but informative for those of us that obsess over numbers and metrics.

The Server Closet contains:
(1) Server (512MB/AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1600+)
(2) D-Link DI-724GU Router
(3) Comcast Cable modem (Motorola SB5120)
(4) Vonage Phone Adapter (Motorola VT1005V)
(5) Oregon Scientific WMR-968 Weather Station
- Note No Monitor

Power Usage:
1.34 Amp
125 Watts
2.95 KWH per day

My Primary System consists of:
(1) User System (1GB/Pentium 4 - 3.00GHz)
(2) Monitor 1 - Dell 2001FP 20" LCD
(3) Monitor 2 - Sony GDM-500PS CRT
(4) Sound - Yamaha Receiver RXV420, KLH Speakers and Subwoofer Model HTA-4906.

Power Usage:
3.06 A
300 - 400 Watts (depending on whether it is rendering in game or relaxing writing a document)
4.30 KWH per day

Our computer room is on a 15 Amp fuse and it now makes sense when my wife's computer system is on and she turns on an electric space heater my resulting trip to the fuse panel. Given the above, I now expect that fuse is probably even being lenient on us, given her system probably uses 3.0 Amps (identical system).

Keywords: computer, power usage, watts, how much power does my computer consume

HOWTO set up NUT on Gentoo Linux for Tripp Lite OMNI1000LCD USB UPS

The below documents my configuration of a Tripp Lite OMNI1000LCD USB UPS to communicate with Gentoo Linux (2.6.17-gentoo-r8 kernel) in my home network using NUT (Network UPS Tools). Note this is much easier in Dec 2007 - see new howto here

Plugged into the UPS :
(1) Linux Server (Older machine with AMD XP processor)
(2) D-Link DI-724GU Router
(3) Comcast Cable modem (Motorola SB5120)
(4) Vontage Phone Adapter (Motorola VT1005V)
(5) Oregon Scientific WMR-968 Weather Station

The average draw of those components is around 125 Watts (you have a Kill-A-Watt device don't you? Kill-A-Watt link). During my two simulated power outages it appeared that this UPS would power those components for ~30 minutes.

This UPS was purchased at Costco, so with that ease of distribution I suspect there might be more of you out there that may want to do this, so I'll write down my steps of configuration for Linux/Gentoo. Truth be told, maybe the key feature of the UPS verses others? The pretty Blue LCD display panel; even my wife attests to it aesthetic value.

Configuration took the better part of a day because, I didn't realize/admit the 2.0.4 version of NUT didn't support my Tripp Lite USB UPS. Once I use the development tree of NUT it was much easier. I hope to save you that time.

1. Ensure your kernel has hid support compiled into it

- in 'make menuconfig' select the '/dev/hiddev raw HID device support'

Device Drivers --->
USB support --->
<*> Support for Host-side USB
[*] HID input layer support
[ ] Force feedback support (EXPERIMENTAL)
[*] /dev/hiddev raw HID device support

2. emerge 'sys-power/nut'

Guess what? This, as of January 1, 2007, does not have the support in it for the Tripp Lite USB models (nut 2.0.4-r1 in portage). Following this, you will have to fetch the development trunk from the fine people on the NUT development team and create a Portage overlay. From this trunk, it runs great. I spent significant time starting the newhidups driver with the response No matching USB/HID UPS found and it appears 20 googles. It just doesn't work ;)

Note: Everything I know about Portage overlays I learned while watching a 'Cold Case' episode, so it isn't too hard. Kudos to portage.

3. Get the development trunk from Subversion. Don't have subversion in Gentoo? Me neither, but a simple 'emerge subversion', got me a running version.

mkdir ~/src/nut
cd ~/src/nut
svn co svn://

This will get the latest source for nut in a directory called trunk in your home directory ~/src/nut

4. Create a Portage Overlay for the development trunk source.

We will want to do this so that portage knows what we are up-to. Admittedly you can go straight for the compilation of the nut source and figure out all the configuration necessary to get it to run in Gentoo, but it was already all figured out for sys-power/nut-2.0.4.r1 so lets use that.

HOWTO Create an Updated Ebuild
HOWTO Install 3rd Party Ebuilds (slightly less relevant in our case.)

a. Package the source:
in dir ~/src/nut
cp -r trunk nut-2.1.0
note: we are making up a nut version that follows the portage convention.
tar -cf nut-2.1.0.tar nut-2.1.0
gzip nut-2.1.0.tar

b. copy the source into the portage distribution tree
cp nut-2.1.0.tar.gz /usr/portage/distfiles/

c. Create an overlay directory and add it to your make.conf (I am presuming you have root like powers aren't I? Keep this in mind)
mkdir -p /usr/local/portage && echo 'PORTDIR_OVERLAY="/usr/local/portage"' >> /etc/make.conf

d. copy the existing ebuild for nut into your new Portage Overlay directory

make the dir: mkdir -p /usr/local/portage/sys-power/nut
copy it: cp -r /usr/portage/sys-power/nut /usr/local/portage/sys-power/nut

e. create the new ebuild file (copying from the latest ebuild).
cd /usr/local/portage/sys-power/nut
cp nut-2.0.4-r1.ebuild nut-2.1.0.ebuild
note: remember to name this the same as tar file above.

f. remove the ebuilds you don't need (I like clean)
for me it was: rm nut-2.0*

g. edit the ebuild. I removed a patch that probably isn't necessary in the development trunk.
nano -w /usr/local/portage/sys-power/nut/nut-2.1.0.ebuild

I removed line 46 that started with 'epatch'

5. Manually step thru the emerge steps with ebuild (slow and cautious). Ebuild is a lower level tool that emerge uses.
Note: I am only going to compile the driver I need, it isn't a default driver so I need to use the NUT_DRIVERS directive to ebuild system. Additionally when I didn't do this, one of the drivers in the development tree had a compile time error.

a. The digest:
NUT_DRIVERS="newhidups" ebuild /usr/local/portage/sys-power/nut/nut-2.1.0.ebuild digest

b. The unpacking (the unzips the tar file you created earlier):
NUT_DRIVERS="newhidups" ebuild /usr/local/portage/category/program/program-version.ebuild unpack

c. The compile
NUT_DRIVERS="newhidups" ebuild /usr/local/portage/category/program/program-version.ebuild compile

d. The installation
NUT_DRIVERS="newhidups" ebuild /usr/local/portage/category/program/program-version.ebuild install

Without the NUT_DRIVERS declaration I got:
/bin/sh ../libtool --tag=CC --mode=link i686-pc-linux-gnu-gcc -I../include -O2 -march=athlon-xp -pipe -Wall -Wsign-compare -o blazer blazer.o ../common/libcommon.a ../common/upsconf.o
../common/state.o main.o dstate.o serial.o
i686-pc-linux-gnu-gcc -I../include -O2 -march=athlon-xp -pipe -Wall -Wsign-compare -o blazer blazer.o ../common/upsconf.o ../common/parseconf.o
../common/state.o main.o dstate.o serial.o ../common/libcommon.a
if i686-pc-linux-gnu-gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I../include -I../include -O2 -march=athlon-xp -pipe -Wall -Wsign-compare -MT cpsups.o -MD -MP -MF ".deps/cpsups.Tpo" -c -o cpsups.o cpsups.c; \
then mv -f ".deps/cpsups.Tpo" ".deps/cpsups.Po"; else rm -f ".deps/cpsups.Tpo"; exit 1; fi
cpsups.c: In function 'clr_cps_serial':
cpsups.c:110: error: 'TIOCM_DTR' undeclared (first use in this function)
cpsups.c:110: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
cpsups.c :110: error: for each function it appears in.)
cpsups.c:112: warning: implicit declaration of function 'ioctl'
cpsups.c:112: error: 'TIOCMBIC' undeclared (first use in this function)
cpsups.c: In function 'set_cps_serial':
cpsups.c:117: error: 'TIOCM_DTR' undeclared (first use in this function)
cpsups.c:119: error: 'TIOCMBIS' undeclared (first use in this function)

6. Configure NUT

Now that we've made this build, you can follow the steps at the wiki:
Gentoo HOWTO NUT (Network UPS Tools)

You'll get to start after the Install Software section. Yes, you'll need the newhidups driver. I am pasting in the article with a couple of mods for my UPS posterity/consistency.

I added the bit about adding a MONITOR line to uspmon.conf. This is necessary for upsmon to work


Go to /etc/nut . Open ups.conf. Add to this file every UPS you want to monitor. Mine looks like this:

# [powerware]
# driver = bcmxcp
# port = /dev/ttyS0
# desc = "Server, adsl, 3com"

Change the values to something that fit's your configuration better and save. If you have a USB connection to your UPS, your entry might look like

driver = newhidups
port = auto
desc = "Tripp Lite OMNI1000LCD USB"

Open upsd.conf. This file contains access-policy to the UPS's you have.

To only allow the same computer to connect to them, the file should look like this:

ACL all
ACL localhost

ACCEPT localhost

The ACL-lines are used to add hosts. The syntax is ACL name IP. If the name is placed after ACCEPT connections from there are accepted, if it's placed under REJECT, connections are rejected. This sort of reminds me of a hosts.allow file?

Next open upsd.users. This file contains accounts for users who can make modifications. The following line grants access to the user server to everything. This isn't integrated with particular logins from my observation. So you can make-up a new user/pass and run with that. The only place one needs to remember this if you are setting properties through NUT on the UPS.

password = changeme
allowfrom = localhost
actions = SET
instcmds = ALL
upsmon master

Next take a look at upsmon.conf. This is the UPS Monitor configuration. A scan through this file is going to answer more questions than me writing about it. It is pretty simple, but the below three changes are all I needed to make.

  1. in Gentoo we compiled the nut package using the 'nut' user, so ensure this is in there.
    RUN_AS_USER nut
  2. The UPS to monitor
    MONITOR OMNI1000@localhost 1 server changeme master
  3. for those of us with a measly single UPS for our home network you'll need this line:

Next if you want look at upssched.conf too, it may be interesting if you want to schedule events. This will be useful if you want to automate something like "30 seconds after the power is out, send an email via SMTP." I currently am not interested in this


Now, start the upsd and upsmon service:

/etc/init.d/upsd start
/etc/init.d/upsmon start

This should identify if there is some still wrong.
If nothing is wrong add them to the default runlevel

rc-update add upsd default
rc-update add upsmon default

If you didn't get any error when you started the services you seemed to configure it right. Else, have a look at the error output and think what might be wrong. One error I got was the permissions of the serialport, which is easy fixed with adding nut to the tty-group.


You'll be using tools upsc and upscmd

Test upsc and see if your UPS replies:

upsc yourupsname@yourupshost ups.status
specifically: upsc OMNI1000@localhost ups.status

If you get "OL" (On Line) everything is working good (if it is on the line and not battery).

To see every command your UPS supports, type

upscmd -l OMNI1000@localhost

A full status looks like the below.

#upsc OMNI1000@localhost
battery.charge: 100
battery.type: PbAc
battery.voltage: 13.4
battery.voltage.nominal: 12.0 newhidups
driver.parameter.port: auto
driver.version: 2.1.0 TrippLite HID 0.1 (experimental)
driver.version.internal: 0.30
input.frequency: 59.8
input.voltage: 117.5
input.voltage.nominal: 120
output.frequency.nominal: 60
output.voltage.nominal: 120
ups.beeper.status: enabled
ups.delay.reboot: 65535
ups.delay.shutdown: 65535
ups.mfr: Tripp Lite
ups.model: TRIPP LITE UPS
ups.power.nominal: 1000
ups.serial: 692195 B
ups.status: OL CHRG

7. Customization of and understanding UPSMON.

It is upsmon that will be responsible for a system shutdown when the battery level reaches a critical level. It is here that if you want to do magic like emails/etc, you'll want to look.

There you have it in 7 easy (or not so easy?) steps, it should be configured.

UPS/NUT References that will help.
Network UPS Tools Home
Nut-upsuser Mailing List Note: from my lurking on this mailing list, it is filled with people very helpful and with an abundance of experience with NUT.

Keywords: Tripp Lite, USB UPS, Tripp Lite Gentoo, Tripp Lite OMNI1000LCD, USB HID UPS Linux, Gentoo HID UPS, gentoo NUT portage overlay, Gentoo UPS NUT, Tripp Lite Linux, Tripp Lite OMNI1000LCD Gentoo, Tripp Lite OMNI1000LCD Linux, Tripp Lite OMNI1000LCD UPS.

Monday, December 11, 2006

HOWTO remove blocked packages in portage on gentoo

On my routine of weekly updates to my gentoo installation I often encounter blocked packages in response to the command 'emerge --update --deep --ask world'

[blocks B ] mail-mta/ssmtp (is blocking mail-mta/postfix-2.2.2-r1)

This, until I became familiar with it, seemed confusing. My analysis, the order of this response is what tripped me up in combination with the temptation of speed reading. My interpretation was 'blocks mail-mta/ssmtp. Is blocking mail-mta/postfix-2.2.2-r1?' The parenthesis caused me to consider this as a separate thought. It is not and is my fault for confusing myself; And aside, I'd love for the parenthesis to be removed. That interpretive linguistics analysis aside on to the point.

Looking at the statement mail-mta/ssmtp is blocking mail-mta/postfix. The simple thing to do is to say, I don't need ssmtp let me remove it. The portage command:

emerge --unmerge 'mail-mta/smtp'

In summary it is the first item listed that is the 'blocking' package, that is what you want to remove.

Then try again with 'emerge --update --deep --ask world'

Of course the removal of something needed is a bad idea, so be careful.

An introduction to Portage: link
A simple portage Wiki page: Portage and Ebuilds
The man page: Portage Man page
The "best-known practices" for working with Portage: HOWTO_Use_Portage_Correctly
keywords: gentoo remove blocked package, portage remove blocked package, gentoo blocks, portage blocks.