19 July 2017

641. Rant: Why is it so hard to comment on blogspot?

I'd like to respond to people who leave comments on my posts, but for some reason it's become so difficult that I normally never get around to it.

Although firefox and chrome hasn't worked for commenting for a long time (in spite of turning off adblockers, cookie blockers etc.) Epiphany ('Web' in Gnome 3) used to do the trick. Not even that works properly anymore -- I was forced to post as anonymous in the end, rather than using my google account.

The steady march of progress...

PS Thanks to everyone who posts feedback. I do read everything and appreciate that you take the time to leave comments. I just might not be able to respond...

29 June 2017

640. nordvpn with network-manager-openvpn-gnome (on debian 8), and speeds

So you've signed up for nordvpn, e.g. because you can't live without ABC for Kids and you're exiled to Europe. Unfortunately, while you can connect to a server using

sudo openvpn au35.nordvpn.com.udp1194.ovpn
you're having little luck using network-manager-openvpn-gnome, and the nordvpn official step-by-step guide isn't bleeding working.

Well, here's how to do it:
1. Go to network settings and add a new connection. Click on VPN:
The select import from file.
Select the file:

This will import some, but not all, of the settings.

You'll need to select the .crt file:
And then click on advanced. Got to the TLS Authentication tab:

You need to select 'Use additional TLS authentication' and select the tls.key. The key direction should be 1 (it's in the ovpn file)

Either way, the connection using the gnome network manager seems a lot less stable than what you get using openvpn in the terminal.

So, will it work for streaming? Not really, from what I can see. I do admittedly have a really crappy connection even w/o vpn, and I'm doing this over wifi. Here are results using google speed test:

No VPN: 6.36/9.75 Mbps Up/Down
uk32 (udp): 1.79/7.89
au10 (udp): 3.94/2.85 -- first try
au32 (tcp): 0.86(!)/0.96
us621 (udp): 0.47(!)/3.22
au10 (udp): 1.13/1.45 -- second try
No VPN: 7.53/2.96 -- second try

These are just random servers. There may be higher speed ones out there. Also, note how living in an area with a high concentration of students can cause large variations in your speeds in general.
Update: I ran a couple of tests from work where I have a /fast/ ethernet connection. I did it using Okla:
No VPN: 94.09/94.08 -- first try
No VPN: 94.10/94.02 -- second try
ch7 (udp): 87.95/87.87
au10(udp): 0.53/0.75 -- even just running the test took ages

Another fun little trick when using openvpn in the terminal is -- if you're not concerned about protecting your username/password -- to follow this post: https://my.hostvpn.com/knowledgebase/22/Save-Password-in-OpenVPN-for-Automatic-Login.html

After creating your auth.txt file, in the folder with your .ovpn files, do
sed -i 's/auth-user-pass/auth-user-pass auth.txt/' *.ovpn

Now you can switch vpns quickly and happily.

28 June 2017

639. ECCE is under active development again!

The Extensible Computational Chemistry Environment package (ECCE) by EMSL/PNNL has been forked and placed on github.

It is now under active development. Several bug fixes have been made, binary packages are being provided, and new features are being added.

All rejoice!

You can find the github repo here: https://github.com/FriendsofECCE/ECCE

There are three main branches, in increasing order of excitement:
* master
This branch has minimal changes from the PNNL code. It's basically in maintenance mode. Nothing exciting to see here.
* stable
Stable, like master, incorporates bug fixes, but also includes a few new features, such as SLURM support. A tiny bit of excitement to be had.
* develop
No holds barred, anything goes, everything's added. Might not suit everyone, but has got tons of fixes and features added, such as explicit g09 support and added selection options in the GUI.