31/03/2005 @05:38:48 ^09:14:42

sshd is so reassuring

Mar 22 15:38:16 caco sshd[21183]: scanned from with SSH-1.0-SSH_Version_Mapper. Don't panic.

Fonts, again

You may recall last year when I ranted about things I didn't like about Debian Sarge when I installed it. One of them was fonts. But I got used to the font, it's called Bitstream Vera, that Firefox seemed to use everywhere.

Yesterday or the day before yesterday a package called fontconfig was upgraded. This morning I restart firefox to find half the sites on the web are now defaulting not to Vera but to something called Nimbus, which looks a bit like Helvetica only with fucked up kerning and other reasons that make it almost unreadable at the font sizes web sites typically use.

I don't know what changed or how to put it back. It's extremely annoying. I can put up with a lot of the visual niggles I see from time to time using this system, but when nearly every site I'm going to has become unreadable, then I cannot really put up with it.

Eventually I installed a package called msttcorefonts which downloaded all the stupid fonts that come with Windows. Most sites' style sheets default specifically to using one of those fonts. I can live with them, I guess. It's just annoying when things change and you have no idea how to fix them.

cf. the compose key, etc.

curl's progress meter

I have sought for a way to force curl display its progress bar. It's something I've looked up in its extremely large man page every so often. However a cursory glance at its source seems to suggest the only way to force the meter's display is to redirect stdout away from a terminal:

curl <URL> >/dev/null

I wanted this because I've discovered curl can upload files to FTP servers as well as download them, and I wanted to make it display its progress bar (when you're uploading, there's no obvious output to terminal, so you don't redirect stdout, so you get nothing) This mailing list post seems to confirm you need to use a redirect.

Note you can suppress the progress bar by adding -s as a command-line option. This is usually a good idea when you're using curl to pipe a download into another command, unless the target command produces no intermediate output of its own.

(curl itself is a data transfer client which, from the "standard" utilities is probably most similar to wget. However wget is purely for downloading; curl is a data transfer client for multiple protocols more useful for testing, scripting, and so forth. I guess it's somewhere between wget and writing your own command line client with libwww-perl. I found it a number of years ago while looking for something with which I could easily do HTTP HEAD requests from the command line and since then I've become so used to it that if it's not just "there" I get irritated and have to build it)