Song Of The Week: March 30, 2007

This week we return to that late-80′s Washington, DC sound. In the early 90′s, I was so into the DC music scene that I could tell you the member of just about every band going back to 1980, and I could count on one hand the number of Dischord Records releases I did not own, and had not spun at least a dozen times.

When I was playing with Substance in 1987, we had the pleasure of opening for this DC band I’d never heard of called Soulside, an insanely intense band driven by the things that made “that DC sound”: emotion, politics, and passion about playing music that meant something. The show was outside of Louisville on the back of a flatbed trailer by a barn on a farm in southern Indiana. It was hot, it was loud, and it was fun.

I had another chance to open for Soulside at Tewligan’s Tavern in Louisville, when I was in Cerebellum, which to this day remains one of my favorite shows of all time.

This tune comes from Soulside’s second record, Trigger, which is in my all-time top 10 list of favorite albums. Enjoy.

Soulside – Trigger.mp3 – from the Trigger LP.
Click arrow to play, or right-click and “Save As” to download

Song Of The Week: March 23, 2007

In 1991 I was playing drums with Crain, having just recorded our Speed LP, and heading out on a month-long, coast-to-coast, book-your-own tour in a big-ass 70′s Dodge Ram extension van.

Our first stop on the tour was in Washington, DC, where we had some studio time at Inner Ear Studio, and where we were to meet up with the band we would be touring with, Circus Lupus.

I had seen this band about a year earlier when they came through Louisville, and I knew the singer, Chris Thompson, from the band Ignition and other DC-based punk acts.

Anyway, this song, Pop Man, comes from the then-unreleased LP they had just recorded, Solid Brass, which happened to be produced by none other than Joan Jett. This became my favorite song by Circus Lupus, and I always ended up singing along from beside the stage each night when they played it. It’s catchy, it’s edgy and raw, and of course, it rocks.

Pop Man by Circus Lupus, from the album Solid Brass.
Blue arrow to play, right-click and Save As to download.

If any of you ex-Circus Lupus folks stumble across this, drop me a line!

Song Of The Week: March 16, 2007

I’m gonna start something ambitious here, and feature a Song Of The Week. The songs I’m picking will likely be from way off the beaten path, but are songs that I think need to be heard for one reason or another.

The first song I am going to feature is by a band called The Didjits (more at Wikipedia), who were a Chicago-based trio from the late 80′s to the early 90′s. I was way into their first two albums, Fizzjob and Hey Judester. My first exposure to The Didjits was when the band I was playing in at the time, Cerebellum, opened up for them and Squirrel Bait on new years eve, 1988.

This tune pretty much summarizes their almost rock-a-billy, but still punk-ish, and a wee bit surf-ish, style of insanity. Whatever the case, they were all about rocking. I had the pleasure of seeing them two more times, once in Louisville when I was asked to come up and sing a song on stage with them, and once in Lexington, Ky. Wish these guys were still around.

King Carp – from the album “Hey, Judester” (1988)
Right-click and “Save As” to download, or press blue arrow to stream it.

Lyrics:

Pull my line, pull my line
I dive the deepest, I’m King Carp
And you know I really dig your sexy legs

Yeah I’m the fish with the bad drug problem
I’m the fish with the brand new car
It’s a 1964 ‘Cuda, I think

I am the king of the fish King Carp, King Carp
I am the baddest dude, King Carp
And you know what my fins can do
I’m driving just for you

On my way back to land and I have to reach out my hand
To cushion my fall as I hit the fine, warm sand
(something something) baboon
And a fish joins in on basoon
And he sports a stylish hairdo, like Vidal Sasoon

I am the king of the fish King Carp, King Carp
I am the baddest dude, King Carp
And you know what my fins can do
I’m driving just for you

Big bad fish goin down to the bottom
(repeat first verse, chorus)

The Biggest Shot In The Foot Ever?

For the last few weeks, the techie blogs have been circulating stories about how Microsoft Windows Vista can be installed and used for free for 120 days. You see, Microsoft gives you 30 days to try it out for nothing, but then they will disarm it and require you to purchase a license to continue using it.

Someone found out that Microsoft had built in a way to extend that 30 trial to 120 days through a little registry tweak.

Well, now someone has figured out how to extend it indefinitely, not by hacking or cracking the operating system, but by using the built-in tools that Microsoft included in the operating system.

From DailyCupOfTech.com:

“It appears that crackers need not break Windows Vista activation because Microsoft has done it for them! Brian Livingston of Window Secrets writes in Microsoft allows bypass of Vista activation about how to allow you to keep your Vista box running indefinitely without activating it.”

It is likely that MS will try and fix this through some future patch, but what will they break in doing so? They obviously had a need to provide this functionality for some reason.

Now that I’ve abandoned Winders on the home desktop completely for RedHat Fedora linux, this makes me chuckle. However, maybe I’ll give it a shot and see what happens!

Part II: Setting up Apache, Tomcat, and mod_jk on RHEL4

After managing to get Tomcat5.5 working with Apache2 using mod_jk, my next venture was to enable SSL using a self-signed certificate in Tomcat. This proved to be quite a task.

The system I’m setting up is running RedHat Enterprise Linux 4.4. I installed all the official RedHat RPM’s to get Tomcat and Apache talking together with mod_jk (see Part I of this tutorial).

After 4 days of banging my head on my keyboard, I noticed that when I would run:


#java -version

It spit out this:

Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build pxi32dev-20061002a (SR3) )
IBM J9 VM (build 2.3, J2RE 1.5.0 IBM J9 2.3 Linux x86-32 j9vmxi3223-20061001 (JIT enabled)
J9VM - 20060915_08260_lHdSMR
JIT  - 20060908_1811_r8
GC   - 20060906_AA)
JCL  - 20061002

This let me know that I am supposed to be using IBM’s version of java, which apparently is the default on my RedHat system, not Sun’s version. I think somewhere along the way I downloaded Sun’s jvm, and I assumed that I was supposed to be using it’s keytool to generate an SLL certificate for Tomcat, but such is not the case. This caused me much confusion, but here’s how I ended up fixing it:

1. Generate Keystore file
(NOTE: all of this assumes you already have Apache configured with SSL. I used OpenSSL, which I don’t go into here, but there are loads of resources online for you, and it’s relatively easy to do).

Assuming you have the default RedHat java rpm already installed, run this:


#  /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.5.0-ibm-1.5.0.3/jre/bin/keytool -genkey -alias tomcat -keyalg RSA

NOTE: I used Tomcat’s default password of ‘changeit’ when prompted.

The keystore file gets dropped in the home directory of whatever user you are logged in as. I was root, so I then moved the keystore file to the tomcat home directory:


# mv /root/.keystore /etc/tomcat5/
# chown tomcat.tomcat /etc/tomcat5/.keystore

2. Next you have to edit Tomcat’s server.xml file


# nano /etc/tomcat5/server.xml

Uncomment the SSL connector and set it up like so:


<!-- Define a SSL HTTP/1.1 Connector on port 8443 -->
    <connector port="8443" maxHttpHeaderSize="8192"
               maxThreads="150" minSpareThreads="25" maxSpareThreads="75"  
               enableLookups="false" disableUploadTimeout="true"
               acceptCount="100" scheme="https" secure="true"
               clientAuth="false" algorithm="IbmX509" sslProtocol="SSL"  
keystoreFile="/etc/tomcat5/.keystore"
keystorePass="changeit" />

Note that I added algorithm=”IbmX509″ and I changed sslProtocol=”TLS” to sslProtocol=”SSL”. This is necessary to get things working with IBM’s jvm.

3. Restart everything


# service tomcat5 stop
# service tomcat5 start
# apachectl restart

If you were following along from my last article, then browse to:


https://yoursite.com:8443/hello.jsp

If all went well, you should see the hello.jsp page showing you the system time!