Win32 Timer Changer

Based on the work off some random person off the Internet, a while back I created a simple win32 application to change the timer resolution that Windows uses. This uses the Windows Media function call timeBeginPeriod().

This sort of thing is mostly used by game server administrators to eke out extra performance out of their game servers. This is an alternative to running Windows Media (which does the same thing) or opening IE and running a Flash item (which also does the same thing).

This version allows you to dynamically change the resolution so you can (for example) see what effect different resolutions has on a running Counter-Strike: Source server in terms of server-side frame rate.

Download it here.

Firefox Ctrl-K Doesn't Use Search Box?

I’ve had a problem for a while where pressing CTRL-K in Firefox would open a small dialog instead of just setting the cursor onto the search box. I finally upgraded to Firefox v2.0 and this behaviour changed so that instead of giving me even the search dialog it would take me to the Google Firefox Start page, which was obviously annoying.

I couldn’t find a fix for this so had to tool around until I figured it out – to cut a long boring story of trial and error short, I had to:

1) Right click on the search dialog

2) Click ‘customize’

3) Drag the Search Bar off the toolbar (removing it entirely)

4) Drag it back

WackGet v1.2.3

b2 whipped up a modified version of WackGet, upgrading the included version of wget (to version 1.10.2) and including support for SSL. The main reason for the upgrade was to provide Large File Support, which means you can now use WackGet to download things like America’s Army more easily.

We’re currently testing it before doing a more public release, so if you’re interested in helping out with testing please download it here. Leave comments!

UPDATED 2011-08-04: We have a new version of WackGet that now works on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Check it out here.

2hash – Simultaneous md5 and sha1 Hashing

Discovered 2hash yesterday – a simple GPL’ed tool to calculate the md5 and sha1 hashes of a file in a single read. If you’re regularly checking/calculating hashes of large files this’ll save you a lot of disk IO.

Update: The source site is down, so I have mirrored it here.

Update 2007/10/26: 2hash, by default, doesn’t support large files. If you compile it with the CFLAGS updated with ‘-D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64’ (as recommended by this page), it will work.

HTTPS/SSL With wget

If you’re getting the following error when trying to download files over https with wget:

C:\Documents and Settings\davidharrison\Desktop>wget


=> `photo_family.jpg’


Connecting to||:443… connected.

ERROR: Certificate verification error for unable to get local issuer certificate

To connect to insecurely, use `–no-check-certificate’.

Unable to establish SSL connection.

… you might want to check out curl’s CA Extract. This allows you to extract a wget-compatible CA bundle file from those incuded with Mozilla software, which will allow verification of server certificates. They also make versions available that you can download directly, so you can simply download (for example) cacert.pem and then invoke wget thusly:

wget –ca-certificate=cacert.pem [https url]

Modified syslogd

If anyone cares, I hacked in a few changes into a version of syslogd that we were using on some of our Linux boxes which enables you to send a signal to the daemon to toggle fsync()ing after every call to syslog(). Basically, if you’re using Linux and have something that does a lot of writing to the disk via syslog, and you don’t want to have to kill it and aren’t scared of losing some data if the system crashes, then you can just kill -USR2 pid and it will toggle the fsyncing. Grab it here.