Author Archives: Ross

Fixing POPFILE email classifier

I have long used an email classifier called popfile to assist me with managing email spam.

Recently it stopped working. It turns out that it has a conflict with the popular and fantastically useful remote desktop viewing and support program called ANYDESK. The default configuration of both anydesk and popfile use port 7070. This article is about resolving this conflict by changing the popfile configuration.

My Linux system uses Ubuntu-Mate 18.04 LTS, this solution has also been applied to 20.04 LTS.

In investigating why popfile was not working, I went to the logs located at /var/log/popfile I found in the newest logfile:
html: 76: Couldn’t start the html interface because POPFile could not bind to the listen port 7070
So the problem is with port 7070, looking at what it is being used for:
sudo lsof -i :7070
Which told me that ANYDESK is using that port and it also gave me the PID of that process. So I used this PID to stop anydesk for this session:
sudo kill “prosess ID from above”
Then test that there is no program on this port any more:
sudo lsof -i :7070
(no result, hence port not in use)
I could then start popfile and change its configuration:
cd /etc/init.d/
sudo sh popfile start
Result is: Starting popfile: popfile.
Checking with: sudo lsof -i :7070
Shows that popfile is connected.
Then in my web browser I opened popfile at the old conflicted port:
and for the fist time in a while I can access the popfile controls.
Then selected the “Configuration” tab, in section “User interface web port:” changed the number from 7070 to 7080 and click apply.
Then to change the configuration:
cd /etc/popfile
sudo ed defaults
change the UIPORT from 7070 to 7080 and write the changes
Then either stop and start popfile to pickup the new confifguration, OR just reboot the computer.
cd /etc/init.d
sudo sh popfile stop
sudo sh popfile start
This has restored popfile’s functionality.

Now the web browser opens popfile at the new port:
Be sure to bookmark it.

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Lunar Eclipse – 28th July 2018

From Sydney this longest lunar eclipse of the century progress from very early morning till after moonset.  Weather forecasts were not very encouraging, nor was the initial experience with the moon already half eclipsed at 04:55 and this variable cloud cover:

scattered cloud at 04:55 AEST

Miraculously the cloud cleared and remained clear for the next hour with these images:

at 04:58
at 05:13
at 05:27
finally at 05:58

At which time a thick bank of cloud, low on the western horizon prevented further sightings.

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Lunar Eclipse 8-Oct-2014

The evening of Wednesday 8th October 2014 promised a Lunar Eclipse, accordingly the monthly meeting of “Sydney City Sky Watchers” was delayed by two days and plans were made for a combined meeting and observing session. The meeting was at the usual venue: Sydney Observatory.

The equipment I prepared was my compact Celestron 4GT telescope, Canon 5Dmkii camera and a whopping 56cm (22″) video monitor. This is the second public astronomy event where I have used this setup, the plan is to show on screen the event of interest, many people can watch the same event and being able to point at the monitor is very helpful in talking about the event.

If that was the plan, then the reality was that once again we were competing with clouds to get the odd peek of the eclipse, this time the cloud was on multiple levels, all travelling in different directions. Still the viewing was a modest success, many people did get to see various stages of the eclipse. Having a live feed from Los Angeles (Griffith Observatory) was also helpful. Here are some photos from the event, also some more pics taken after the event from home of the partial end stages of the eclipse, please realise that photographing the moon presents an impossible range of contrast, some of the moon is in full sunlight, other parts are in diffuse shadow.

This photo represents the best views we had of the early stages of the eclipse:


Occasionally the clouds parted and we saw this:



While these are a series of photos of the latter stages of the eclipse, taken at various exposures:




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Preparations for Transit of Venus

Despite a dismal weather forecast for Tuesday, I took this photo of my setup for the transit tomorrow.
While testing the setup I snapped this photo of the Sun, hope for clear skies tomorrow.

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Partial Lunar Eclipse

At Sydney Observatory on the evening of Monday 4th June 2012. Partial Lunar eclipse.

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Extreme Moonrise

A stunning Moonrise on 6th May 2012, occurred when the moon was very close to Perigee (closest to Earth) and hence was a little larger than usual. This photo from McMahons Point grazes the Harbour Bridge approach (note the railway wiring) and includes the ridge line at Dover Heights. Note the distortion caused by refraction of the Moon’s shape and the left ascension also a degree of vignetting (edge darkening).

Photographed at 17:10AEST with a Canon 5d mk2 on a Celestron 4GT (1325mm) 1/50 sec ISO 200

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South Pacific Star Party, quick photos

Just back from the South Pacific Star Party (SPSP) run by the ASNSW 19-22 April 2012. Here are some quick photos, the others will take a while to process.

Photo by James Butcher.

Someone looking through a big dob with the milky way in the background.
Foreground enhanced in photoshop to show the figure on the ladder, resized.

While walking from the camp to the observing field I took this quick snap of the southern cross and pointers through a opening in the trees, Canon 5dMkii 50mm 15s f1.8 ISO h2, resized in photoshop.

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Sun Dog seen in Sydney

On 16th April 2012 at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, I saw this unusual phenomena in the western sky. It is a Sun Dog, they occur when sunlight is refracted by ice crystals, they are always 22 degrees from the sun. Despite the dark appearance of the photo, the sky was really quite bright, the Sun and sun dog are much brighter than the sky, the extremely short exposure indicates this. Camera was a Canon 5d mk ii, ISO 200, f20 1/2700 sec, taken 16-Apr-2012 16:21AEST.

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Helicopter eclipses the Moon

On Thursday (5-Apr-12) I was both prepared and lucky to get this photo of a helicopter passing in front of the full moon. Uploaded to on 6 April 2012, 9 minutes after sunset, a helicopter passes infront of the full moon.LunarPhotoOfTheDay and

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Rescue of Holiday Photos

A traveller (name withheld for his own protection) unwisely set the language in his digital camera to English even though his native language was French. As a result instead of deleting some photos he formatted the whole memory card!

This distressed him immensely, but not knowing that recovery was possible continued to take photos for what was left of his holiday. Upon his return I was told this tale of woe, and offered to intervene on the basis that there was nothing to lose.

Back in my office I did a whole media read of the camera card, identified the start of each image and recovered the following data into a files, most of these files displayed as photos, and only a few were scrambled.

The end result was that I was able to recover over 100 of his ‘lost’ holiday pictures.

An amusing postscript is that when the partner of one of his friends heard about how I had recovered his erased photos he said “Keep him away from ours”. Makes one wonder.

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