The fastest way to extend disk image files on Linux

So the VM is using too much space, and the disk image needs to grow. Previously I used dd with a bunch of options to do this. However, the truncate tool makes the whole ordeal a lot easier.

A simple command, such as the following, will grow the file disk.img by 10 gigabytes:

truncate -s +10G disk.img

Read the manual for truncate for more options.

Happy resizing.

Aeon Cobra 50cc (GOES 50s) service manuals and parts lists

Something completely unrelated to this blog thing, but I feel I have to put it somewhere. I recently did some mechanical work on an Aeon Cobra 50cc (AT70 in the registration) and spent a few evenings looking up information about it.

The Aeon Cobra 50cc is sold in several Nordic countries as the GOES 50s.

I no longer have access to said vehicle, but in case anyone else needs it, here are my findings.

Parts lists, relevant to stores like LandQuad in France, who do worldwide shipping at a reasonable price:

Service manuals for the AT70 and related vehicles:

Have fun getting your hands dirty :)

Using MERGE to insert/update in SQL Server

After finding various useless references on how to use the MERGE statement in SQL Server 2008, I found this one that I could use, so I copied it here for personal reference:

MERGE tablename AS target
USING (VALUES ('new value', 'different value'))
    AS source (field1, field2)
    ON target.idfield = 7
    field1 = source.field1,
    field2 = source.field2,
    INSERT ( idfield, field1, field2, ... )
    VALUES ( 7,  source.field1, source.field2, ... )

How to use a gateway outside of the local subnet on Linux

An interesting situation occurs when you have a very limited range of public IP addresses and want to pass all traffic through a common gateway without “wasting” a public IP on that – you may find yourself wanting to use a gateway with a private IP even through your network uses public ones.

So, in my case I was dealing with a /29 subnet, providing space for only 6 hosts, all of which were needed to host various services. The gateway, as a result of this, could not occupy one of the precious IP’s. The solution was to put the gateway on a static, but local, IP address, and create a route to it in /etc/network/interfaces.

iface eth0 inet static
    up   route add -host dev eth0
    up   route add -net netmask gw dev eth0
    down route del -net netmask gw dev eth0
    down route del -host dev eth0

While has obviously been replaced for privacy reasons, this is pretty much the setup. The gateway is at, a private IP. Each time the interface is brought up or down, a default route to the gateway is automatically added and removed as appropriate.

MSSQL Mass Delete

To avoid holding up everything else when deleting massive amounts of data from an SQL Server table, you can use the TOP() function to delete the data in chunks.

DELETE TOP(1000) FROM [dbo].[mytable]
WHERE timestampUtc < '2015-05-29'

The “SELECT 1” primes the @@ROWCOUNT variable, so the while loop will run. Yes, there are indeed prettier ways of doing this, but it doesn’t really matter.

dovecot: master: Error: systemd listens on port 143, but it’s not configured in Dovecot. Closing.

Upgrading a mail server from Debian Wheezy (7) to Debian Jessie (8), the following errors were observed in the mail.error log:

dovecot: master: Error: systemd listens on port 143, but it’s not configured in Dovecot. Closing.
dovecot: master: Error: systemd listens on port 993, but it’s not configured in Dovecot. Closing

Looking for solutions, I found two pages talking about it: (local archive) (local archive)

Seeing as this install of dovecot wasn’t supposed to be started by socket connections, but rather run all the time, and that it wasn’t actually listening to POP3 and IMAP, but rather their SSL equivalents, we simply disabled the dovecot.socket config, as suggested by the first of the two links:

# systemctl disable dovecot.socket
Removed symlink to /etc/systemd/system/

Installing Windows Live Essentials on Windows XP – Error: OnCatalogResult: 0x80190194

Support for Windows XP from Microsoft has long since ended, and although Windows Update still kind of works (you have to run the “Express” option a few times, and install Microsoft Update, before “Custom” works), attempts to install Windows Live Essentials fail miserably with the cryptic error message “OnCatalogResult: 0x80190194”.


Downloading the installer manually was suggested on a few sites, however, downloading and running wlsetup-web.exe from Microsoft gave me the same error message on install. Cue the offline installer. However, the previous links to download the offline installer, such as, are now dead. The Internet Archive came to the rescue, and I was able to download it from there.

I’ve archived my copy of it here, for future reference. Feel free to grab it, or use the archive.

Taking a screenshot of an entire page with Firefox, saved as a .png

I was recently asked for a way to do this, and since I figured more people might like to know, here’s how:
Go to Tools => Web Developer => Developer Toolbar (check it), or simply press Shift+F2, then at the command line that appears in the bottom of the browser window, type “screenshot –fullpage” followed by an optional filename ending in .png.

A screenshot of the entire page will end up in your default downloads directory.

Here’s an example shot of the OmniOS installation guide:
Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 21.18.16