All posts by Trond Endrestøl

I stopped counting my age years ago. Personal interests besides computers and computer networks include, but not limited to, astronomy, comics, music, and science (fiction).

MathType 6.9b, Word 2016, and McAfee products

If you can’t edit formulas with MathType and you receive a cryptic error message:

Word cannot open the document: user does not have access privileges

In Norwegian this becomes:

Word kan ikke åpne dokumentet. Brukeren har ikke tilgangsrettigheter.

Check to see if any McAfee products are installed. Remove them, reboot the computer, and see if the problem has gone away.

Boot menu changes in base/head r325694

Update 2017-11-13
r325743 corrected the mistakes. The below no longer applies. Remove /boot/loader.rc.local if you created it.

/boot/loader.rc used to be copied from base/head/sys/boot/i386/loader/loader.rc on FreeBSD/amd64. With r325694 this changed to base/head/sys/boot/forth/loader.rc. Nothing was added to base/head/UPDATING, explaining this change.

As instructed in /boot/loader.rc, to regain our beloved boot menu, we must create and edit /boot/loader.rc.local, essentially redoing what was handled by the previous /boot/loader.rc.

include /boot/beastie.4th

Moteløver med redusert kunnskap

Markedsavdelinger er kjekke saker. En samling [av] moteløver med redusert kunnskap [som] skal belære de uvitende om tingenes fortreffelighet. Da blir det gjerne mye glatt sveis og påtatt glising i samband med hurtigsnakk og utstrakt bruk av “buzz words”. Det er jo gjerne denna[sic] sausen av presentasjonselite som har ansvaret for produktnavn.


perfSONAR 4.0.1 on CentOS 7

I have been playing with perfSONAR 4.0.1 on CentOS 7, using the FullInstall iso image.

I should point out my intention of running perfSONAR with IPv6 only.

The first impressions aren’t that great. The web UI allows me to select Norway as my country of residence, but it doesn’t save the selected country. If I move to Northern Mariana Islands or to Oman, that’s fine. The main dashboard proudly proclaims: “Error loading test listing: Internal Server Error”. I have done nothing but follow the instructions to the letter. Maybe I should try the previous version and see how well that goes.

I won’t claim I know CentOS or any other Linux distros very well, I have stayed with FreeBSD for the past 18-19 years. I am amazed at the number of hoops we need to jump through to get networking ready in CentOS. In FreeBSD everything is usually placed in /etc/rc.conf, that’s one file. OK, some other stuff goes in their respective files. In CentOS you have one or more files for each network interface, and several lines of variables in each file. What forced the Linux community to make such poor choices?

Update 2017-10-05

Running perfSONAR as a XenServer guest forced me to specify inst.text as a bootoption. Consequently, I had to visit the package set submenu where I selected “Minimal install”. Selecting “Basic Web Server” made no difference. Selecting “Server with GUI” or “GNOME desktop” was a no-go.

In the name of science, I tried the previous version, perfSONAR 4.0. This one is worse than 4.0.1. The web UI isn’t UTF-8 aware and the pscheduler service isn’t running at all. Selecting Norway didn’t work either. I also noticed the selected communities are not saved permanently.

Update 2017-10-06

firewalld is mostly to blame for preventing access to the Cassandra NoSQL database. Run these commands to stop and disable firewalld:

systemctl stop    firewalld
systemctl disable firewalld
shutdown -r now Preventive reboot after disabling firewalld.;sleep 1;logout

perfSONAR and its components are remarkably wedded to IPv4. Users running IPv4 only, or dual-stack, will not notice any difference until they turn off IPv4 in favour of IPv6.

One crude workaround is to add a dummy IPv4 address to the NIC, say 192.0.2.x/24 from TEST-NET-1. Don’t bother adding a default gateway for IPv4.


Ensure the hostname resolves to the host’s IPv6 and IPv4 addresses, in that order, via /etc/hosts.

2001:db8::x yourhost.fqdn yourhost
192.0.2.x   yourhost.fqdn yourhost

Better yet, run dual-stack until the matter is resolved.

Windows 10 wedges itself

One or more of the recent updates for Windows 10 rendered my laptop incapable of communicating with the outside world. The Windows Firewall failed to run due to Base Filtering Engine not being able to run either. It’s the dreaded “Error 5: Access denied” error message all over again. Windows 10 also thought it was not activated, which is plain wrong. And no, I haven’t changed any hardware, save upgrading the wireless NIC in May last year. Running sfc /scannow with elevated privileges found nothing wrong. Restoring the system to the state prior to the latest updates made the network and firewall subsystems running again. All is well. What a mess.

Voyager 1 on 2027-12-26T23:59:36,9+0000

I downloaded a new version of NASA’s Eyes from The old version was unable to upgrade itself for some reason.

I ran a simulation on Voyager 1 towards the end of its life. At 2027-12-26T23:59:36,9+0000, the spacecraft changed its attitude, pointing the high gain antenna towards outer space. I checked the Wikipedia article, but found no description. Maybe the change in attitude is an artifact of NASA’s Eyes.

Does anyone know what the final act of Voyager 1 will be, save running out of electrical energy?

Office 365 and error 30125-28 (404)

The Office 365 instance installed on a student’s laptop showed signs of not being activated and in need of an update. Clicking on any of the small buttons below the ribbon made no difference. Running Office updates manually from “File → Account → Update” gave us an error message: 30125-28 (404).

Running sfc /scannow with elevated rights managed to repair enough of the corruption to allow Office 365 to continue working.

Why are modern “cloud” software so fragile? Why are Dropbox and Google Drive far superior to the equivalent of Microsoft? Why is OneDrive for Business more on the order of OneDrive from Hell?