Monday, March 28, 2011

Dansguardian and Youtube on Ubuntu 10.10

If you want content filtering for your kids on Ubuntu 10.10, Dansguardian does the trick, but be prepared to do some tweaking.

Installation is not difficult. Follow this recipe:

My kids love youtube but the default configuration renders it useless. Locate the configuration files in /etc/dansguardian. You'll primarily be interested in the content under the "lists" directory.

I added the following file extensions to exceptionextensionlist:


From bannedregexpurllist, I removed the keyword "naked", which seemed a bit over the top to me.

For video playback, add this line to exceptionurllist:

In exceptionsitelist, add the following. What the heck is Well apparently it serves the main static css off youtube. I don't know if this changes and if it does how often, but I do know that the addition of this line alone had the most positive change on the overall youtube experience under Dansguardian.

Similar steps may need to be repeated for other sites that fail to render properly. Watch the log at /var/log/dansguardian/access.log to see what's getting blocked, as that will provide the clues as to what you need to make exception for.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Color highlight columns in Vim

Vim 7.3 has a new, useful feature that allows you to highlight (set the background color) of one or more columns of the document you are working on. This comes in handy if you are working with a file that uses a fixed width format. For example, if you want to quickly see the 44th column for every row as you scan through a file, this might assist in the task.

Vim 7.3 is not yet in the Ubuntu repositories officially, but a PPM is available here:

Once installed, use vim help to get details about colorcolumn.

:help colorcolumn

This will show you:

'colorcolumn' 'cc' string (default "")
local to window
{not in Vi}
{not available when compiled without the |+syntax|
'colorcolumn' is a comma separated list of screen columns that are
highlighted with ColorColumn |hl-ColorColumn|. Useful to align
text. Will make screen redrawing slower.
The screen column can be an absolute number, or a number preceded with
'+' or '-', which is added to or subtracted from 'textwidth'.

:set cc=+1 " highlight column after 'textwidth'
:set cc=+1,+2,+3 " highlight three columns after 'textwidth'
:hi ColorColumn ctermbg=lightgrey guibg=lightgrey

When 'textwidth' is zero then the items with '-' and '+' are not used.
A maximum of 256 columns are highlighted.

In practice you only need to :set cc=n, as there are default colors.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

History in Python shell

I never could get used to ipython, but still wish for command history in my shell. You too? I'm reposting this solution here that not only saves your command history between sessions but also gives you auto-completion.

Here's what you do. Store the following file in ~/.pystartup

Don't forget to export PYTHONSTARTUP as noted in the comments.

# Add auto-completion and a stored history file of commands to your Python
# interactive interpreter. Requires Python 2.0+, readline. Autocomplete is
# bound to the Esc key by default (you can change it - see readline docs).
# Store the file in ~/.pystartup, and set an environment variable to point
# to it: "export PYTHONSTARTUP=/home/user/.pystartup" in bash.
# Note that PYTHONSTARTUP does *not* expand "~", so you have to put in the
# full path to your home directory.

import atexit
import os
import readline
import rlcompleter

readline.parse_and_bind('tab: complete')
historyPath = os.path.expanduser("~/.pyhistory")

def save_history(historyPath=historyPath):
import readline

if os.path.exists(historyPath):

del os, atexit, readline, rlcompleter, save_history, historyPath

Please note that this will only work on *nix systems. As readline is only available in Unix platform.