Building a DICOM (Modality) Worklist SCP – a HOWTO

August 30th, 2008

This is my take at building a DICOM Worklist SCP (or Q/R SCP, really much the same thing, just that worklist doesn’t include pictures).

There are several DICOM frameworks available, I’m using Java and is developing open source which narrows it down to a handful. I’m not too concerned with licenses so as long as it’s available online I’m happy.

There are several frameworks available:

This is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s just three that I spent enough time looking at that I actually bothered to bookmark them (and therefore if able to regurgitate them to you readers).

Of these two, PixelMed and dicom4j is the two I actually have used. As a general note, most of the DICOM development in the opensource world seems to be concerning displaying DICOM files rather than focusing on the network elements of the DICOM-standard.

However the network services in the DICOM standard isn’t too hard to get your head around when you actually try. I won’t go into a description of the DICOM standard and the build up of the services, that is better left up to the pretty shoddy article at Wikipedia and some careful reading of the actual standard (it’s pretty readable when you try).

PixelMed has a “thriving” community in their Yahoo group, where the main developer (David Clunie) participates and answers questions.

In this “HOWTO” I’m going to go through step for step how to get a SCP up and running. In my project I was going for a worklist SCP to prove a concept, and not being able to find one readily usable online I resorted to making my own.

This HOWTO is basically the first steps I did.
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Captchas gone wild!

August 29th, 2008

Using a horribly spam infested domain has made me appreachiate why others employ captchas (and other methods) to reduce the abilities of bots filling in the form fields…

How ever I was caught out by a captcha myself the other day. Browsing for some brouchures from Agfa IMPAX (a supplier of digital imaging solutions for the health domain) I stumbled over this little nugget:

captcha-gone-wrong

The developers behind this must have seriously misunderstood the captcha concept. The problem with computers are the fact that they cannot pass “the turing test”, in simpler or more complicated instances. This captcha however is an instance of the task a computer is most proficient in, namely doing mathematics.

The real what-the-fuck? here is that I actually failed it. I answered “nine”, which wasn’t accepted. So I refreshed, filled in the whole form again, and answered “9” (well technically it was a new captcha, but I still managed to compute, feel the irony and contempt in the choice of words here, the answer). It still failed.

At this stage I started to second guess my primary school education. Did they actually lie to me? Isn’t four and five, nine?

I then tried in Internet Explorer and there it actually worked, well not when I typed “nine”, but 9.

In the end, I actually managed to get a hold of the pdfs, but I still didn’t figure out what I did wrong…

From the perspective of Agfa, I actually had to spend almost 15 minutes of fighting this captcha to get hold of their pdf-brochures to sell me their products…

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We’re back – and changed – current woes

August 29th, 2008

So, we’re back. After being held by domain squatters after a little standoff with Network Solutions (which we lost, btw.), we have recaptured noXtension.com (and in the process noXtension.org).

This year marked the 10th anniversary for registering noXtension.com, being double digits in the digital world also means that one or two bots, spammers and other malignants have noticed that we can be used for their mischievous behaviour (notice our expanded vocabulary :-).

When we lost out to NetSol we pretty much surrendered our old email-adresses. After using them for several years on Usenet, e-mail lists and later on, blogs the domain had become listed on quite a few spam lists and lately one particular address (which we never used) has become rather popular in the spam dispatching crowd. Our friend acosta@noxtension.com has probably sent you some e-mails over the years, by the look of it.

The name Acosta seems to point to several things, our current choice is Oscar Zeta Acosta, the “real” Mr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

We recently moved our MX and the graphs below shows the welcome it got:

week_reject

Over the ~3 days it’s been online, it has rejected over one million (!) e-mails. This is pretty good for a domain that isn’t active, and hasn’t been for the last few years.

The picture below is from the old mailserver, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess at what time we changed the MX record…

tigris-day

This is with postfix and policy daemon running, so we are actually limiting the reattempts of some of these “servers” in iptables with the current rule:

Chain mail (1 references)
target     prot opt source               destination
RETURN     all  --  0.0.0.0/0            0.0.0.0/0           limit: avg 5/sec burst 10

This is just to ease the load of postfix somewhat, as not all mail “servers” take too lightly at receiving deferrals and rejections…

week_accept

Just to make sure our rules weren’t crazy, we subscribed one address to the linux kernel mailinglist, just so that we could check that it didn’t just throw away everything, but that it lets legitimate mail through.

Over the next few weeks and months we’ll do some attempts at trying to win back our domain, however we haven’t really planned any strategy yet, ideas are welcome in the comments below :-).

Just as a side note, the domain was previously hosted on a mailserver with a lot of domains on it, still you can clearly pick out in which period we were hosted there…

tigris-year

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August 21st, 2008
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 Since 1997 (:

Hello world!

August 21st, 2008

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!
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