An update to my Thunderbird TNEF script for opening winmail.dat

Back in July I blogged about Opening winmail.dat (TNEF) files in Thunderbird (on Ubuntu). Well a colleague at work has 'refined' my script so that rather than it create a folder on your desktop it simply opens Nautilus to display the contents of the attachment.

This is the new version of the script:

#!/bin/bash

LOCATION=/tmp/winmail_$$.dat

mkdir $LOCATION
/usr/bin/tnef -C $LOCATION --save-body -f $1

nautilus $LOCATION
The interesting part of this script for me is the $$ - this special script variable is the process ID (PID) of the currently running script, so it makes a temporary file called winmail_<current process id>.dat. Other than that it's pretty similar to my original script apart from opening Nautilus at the end.

Now it's even easier to open and extract files from winmail.dat files!

I found out the reason for the $$ from here.

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Poor performance after upgrading Ubuntu to 7.10 'Gutsy Gibbon'

I recently upgraded my desktop to Gutsy Gibbon using aptitude rather than the graphical Update Manager and noticed that the performance of the machine had dropped significantly.

Running htop highlighted the problem, evms and udevd were fighting for disk I/O, bringing the system to it's knees. After a quick search I found that most users can safely remove EVMS as it's normally used for RAID and other complex drive setups:

The Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS) is a project that attempts to provide a single, unified system for managing storage and filesystems. Rather than managing individual disks, partitions and filesystems; LVM Physical Volumes, Volume Groups and Logical Volumes; RAID arrays (both software and hardware) etc. yourself, using EVMS you can address them in one consistent way.
The support for the EVMS package has been dropped by the Ubuntu team but if you didn't use the Update Manager to do the migration to Gutsy it won't have been removed.

To remove EVMS manually (please make sure you aren't currently using it as it could be dangerous to your data if you are and then you remove it) simply run:
sudo aptitude remove evms
This will remove the EVMS package and then rebuilt the kernel image so please be patient

You are then only a reboot away from a faster running system!

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One suggestion re: Forbidden access via Apache Proxies

If you are getting the following error when configuring Apache 2.2's proxy support (mod_proxy):

HTTP error code 403 Forbidden
then you might want to take a look inside the error.log for your site. If you see an error message like this:
[warn] proxy: No protocol handler was valid for the URL /SomeUrl.
If you are using a DSO version of mod_proxy, make sure the proxy submodules are included in the configuration using LoadModule.
Then you might want to check that you have more than just mod_proxy enabled. Mod_proxy is more of a virtual module relying on other modules to perform the proxying work depending on the type required. A common mistake is to have enabled mod_proxy but not enabled mod_proxy_http.

With Ubuntu or Debian you can enable them with the following two commands:
a2enmod proxy
a2enmod proxy_http
Otherwise you will have to make manual symbolic links to them yourself.

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A hidden gotcha regarding bash linked to sh (shell) in Ubuntu (Linux)

I was having some problems recently regarding settings inside a user's .bashrc file. When the user logged in their settings were not being picked up. I checked in /etc/passwd and saw that the user's shell was sh which was a symbolic link for bash. I assumed that because the shell was linked to bash it would have bash's behaviour - picking up .bash_profile, .bashrc, etc.

A search of bash's man page proved me wrong:

If bash is invoked with the name sh, it tries to mimic the startup behavior of historical versions of sh as closely as possible.
I.e. if it's called sh it works like sh!

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