Occasionally Relevant Insights from a Software Builder


Installing webmin with yum

I tried installing webmin on Fedora 12, but it required a root user to complete the installation. The problem is that you can’t login through KDE as root, so you login as a regular user and then when try doing something that requires a higher access, you’re prompted for a password for the admin task.

When installing webmin, I would get asked a password for webmin to completely install, but the software would fail after entering the password. An alternate way to install webmin is by using yum in the shell which is documented at

Setting Up webmin for yum

  1. Create the webmin.repo file in the /etc/yum.repos.d/folder and add the following text:

    name=Webmin Distribution Neutral

  2. Install a GPG key at the command line:

    rpm –import

  3. You can then run yum and install webmin:

    yum install webmin

Running webmin

You can login to webmin with your browser at If that doesn’t work, try localhost or your machine name instead of


Calculating the Date from Exported PostgreSQL Table

When exporting a PostgreSQL database to another database server, such as MySQL or MS SQL Server, the date field will appear as a number if it is saved as an Excel sheet. After spending some time trying to determine what the number means, I found that it seems to represent the number of days from January 1, 1900.

The problem is that when I test the date with the C# code below, the actual date in the database is off by 2 days. This may be the result of the original PHP application not calculating the date correctly from the Postges database. I doubt that Postgres would have the first entry of the date field starting on January 3, 1900.

int iDays = 39970;          // number of days since January 1, 1900

DateTime StartTime = new DateTime (1900, 1, 1);
DateTime EndTime = StartTime.AddDays (iDays);

Console.WriteLine (EndTime.ToString ());


Extracting Files from an ACE Archive

ACE is yet another file format for compressing files. There are a few companies that use it exclusively and it seems popular in French speaking areas.

There aren’t very many applications for uncompressing ACE files. WinAce has several products that work with Windows, Linux, OS X, and DOS command line. The only free products is the DOS version which works very well, if you don’t mind running it from the command prompt and its inability to extract from folders nested deeply in other folders. In my case, I moved an ACE file to the root folder of my drive and extracted there.

Commandline ACE

You can download the command line ACE program here.