Wednesday 29 December 2004

She's dead, Jim

I lose, you win. F*&$%ing mobo! That thing is dead. Time to move on. I'm going to boost my system a bit and shave my pocket a little to go to an AMD 64b CPU. I was looking at maybe doing an Intel P4 w/ Hyper Threading but that would be a couple hundred bucks more. If I'm going to put up a real budget for real hardware, I should skip up to dualies. If I pony-up for dualies, I should really go ahead and step up my secondary storage (to a nice little SATA RAID). Once my hard drives are up, I should really just make the extra investment and getting higher quality RAM. Not to mention finally adding proper speakers and a second LCD...

So a few hundred bones to go up to a 64b AMD and a new mobo. This one I'm looking at has dual-channel RAM and that will be good. New CPU, mainboard, and CPU fan. That's it. But it will be nice, oh yes, it will be very nice.

Saturday 18 December 2004

New DVD Writer and Bad Mainboard

Well, I tried ordering a DVD writer online. Tried using the online bill payment thing from my bank only payment takes freaking forever. It's been four full business days and still it's not up. Sucks.

And as if new hardware problems aren't bad enough, my mainboard has been flaking out since Friday. I would press "on" and POST would give me four beeps. This is not good. After some coaxing, it booted. I ran memtest for a while just to be sure it wasn't just a memory problem but nope, looks like a mainboard issue. I think it's that stupid vantec fan that's just been sitting there vibrating the mainboard day and night since I installed it. Bad stuff. Hopefully my box will run until the new year because replacing stuff right now will really suck. A lot.


Sunday 5 December 2004

School Work Work School

Eh haven't been up to anything interesting in the last while. Stupid school and stupid work. Sucks. Next week is my birthday, I finaly turn 13. I can't wait to be a teenager. Like, OMG!

So a couple movies I watched:

Ripley's Game

Tom Ripley played by John Malkovich is a cold killer. After been insulted by another character, he sets up that character to become a murderer. One guy is sad about killing, the other is not. The two characters were fairly good but too static to carry the whole movie. I'd rate this one as rent it if you have some specific reason for watching it, but not really worth the bother.

Dawn of the Dead

Zombies, explosions, boobs. What more can you ask for? Definately rent it if you are into splosions 'n' stuff.

Can I go back to bed now?

Friday 12 November 2004

One Year Uptime

Nikita is now up 366 days 0 minutes! Woo! Yeah, my earlier post was wrong, but she's up 1 year now. Werd.

So, yeah. Only other interesting stuff that's going on is that I'm on fluxbox for my WM on Friday now. Works awful nice. I can't get it compile on my machine at work so I'm still using IceWM there. Flux is definately cool though. Light, easy, a bunch of things are laid out better by default then IceWM, some things are just different and will take getting used to. Next up? Setting up a test-bed for Kerberos, RealVNC, and OpenVPN for a variety of secure connection facilities.

Sunday 31 October 2004


I just renamed a couple machines to fit a naming scheme. My machines were always supposed to be named after female fictional characters... I was just drunk as fuck when I named dulcea and michael is named for his previous incarnation which was a match to nikita. However since michael and nikita have been living in different homes for a while and different cities for at least a year, it's time to move on.

So dulcea is now siona from Herbert's God Emperor of Dune. She gets down with Idaho and kills the old worm. Fun stuff. And michael is now friday after Heinleins renowned character. A clone, a killer, and a lover. Friday is mostly about the lovin. Especially in large groups. Go Heinlein!

Siona will still answer to dulcea though. I know a couple peeps use that name for mail. Otherwise, there's not much else to it. Most of the stuff online refers to rather then her actual host name. I guess we'll see if anything breaks.

Sunday 24 October 2004

Here Comes Sarge!

Upgrading Dulcea has been interesting. Trying to do a Debian install from Knoppix was a really bumpy ride it turns out. After several aborted attempts, I grabbed and burned the net-install image. It's about 100MB on that image and it gives you the very very base system and all the hardware detection you could expect.

The Sarge installer, once I finally got it going, is really great. It's curses so there's no images to distract you from the important task of installing debian. I went with the default install method which is "duh, just do it all for me". I had to pick partitions, and the manual partitioning tool is fabulous, and select locale and that was about it. For "packages" I just chose no packages at that time so that was it.

When I booted to my new debian install, it had a little first-time configurator thing which I just sort of hit "enter" till it was happy. I didn't really check drive space until well after I had been installing packages but I was at 330MB the first time I checked. Nice and small. Now that the system is almost finished, it's still under 800MB including compilers and libraries and everything else.

Some parts of the system config were easy, restoring users, configuring sshd, network, bind .... But there were a couple odd hiccups. Mostly dhcpd was the biggest problem. I wish now I knew what version of dhcpd I was running before because I had to comment out a whole mess of options to get it working in debian (dhcpd 2.0pl5-19).

At any rate, the one last thing I need is to get samba working. Mail, DNS, everything else is flying. I did take the opportunity to upgrade PHP and Apache installations (naturally) and that was good too. So far, I'm likin what I see.

archangel@dulcea:~$ uname -a
Linux 2.4.27-1-386 #1 Fri Sep 3 06:24:46 UTC 2004 i686 GNU/Linux
archangel@dulcea:~$ uptime
09:23:48 up 18:28, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

Wednesday 20 October 2004

1 Year Uptime

Nikita is coming up on her first full year of uptime. She's a cute little AMD K6 266 that czak had put a base debian install on and dante and I hardened (somewhat) and loaded. She is the primary DNS server for the domain. She's got a few services installed for mail and some web based stuff. As a side-note, her power supply fan failed a long time ago :P

Her last boot date was November 5th, 2003 so we're all very excited and proud of our little box.

Sunday 17 October 2004

Out with the Old, In with More of the Same

Well though this little Linksys router is still falling over every couple days at least, I'm not too keen to replace it. I bought it from Future Shop and they'll give me a replacement over the counter. The catch is that when I bought the router, it came bundled with a wireless pcmcia card. So I have to trade both in together but there's no bundle for the newer model wireless gear yet. Ergo, I'll get fucked around a little. I'm not confident either that the newer router is the solution anyhow. I'll have to figure out which way I want to go. I'm sure it will all just be flaky and lame anyhow.

And in more adrenline-pumping news, I'm going to try to upgrade dulcea. The basic battle plan is backup the entire root fs too the data drive and then go to debian for the base system. Fine except there's so much tweaked shit it's going to be nuts. I currenlty only have a couple packages that are compiled from source (apache and php5), but if I do SVN it may have to be from source as well. That and the doped-up Samba, NIS, NFS, DNS, mail, and all the user accounts... It'll be fine, right? Right? Oh dear God!

And finaly, it's movie review time. Mostly good stuff too.

THX 1138 (Director's Cut)

This is the first time that I saw THX 1138, believe it or not. What a fabulous Sci Fi movie. I'll rate this as master-time-and-space-so-you-can-watch-it-more... Or something of the likes ;) Okay, maybe it's not worth forming a cult over but it's a classic sci fi telling of a future people conquered by impersonal entities (corporations or robots, whatever). THX 1138 is a man who is suffering stress for reasons he can't articulate and is eventually arrested for deviance. And then he gets attacked by monkeys. I shit you not. In this re-release, George Lucas attacks Robert Duvall (THX 1138) with a pack of CG monkeys. Really. It makes no sense. None. But otherwise, the remastering and the CG touch-ups are all good. (Monkeys?)


Val Kilmer as a Secret Service agent that goes off to save the daughter of some important political figure. Good characters, good story, good work with little surprises. Definately worth tracking down if you like action/spy type movies in the least.

Uh, Some Other Movie

I'm sure I saw another movie and it was good too. Yeah, I'm going to submit this blog/.plan/news crap and step away now...

"Do the 421. Okay, move on to the 631..." - robot cops in THX

Saturday 2 October 2004

New Feature in Linux 2.6: Working!

Michael's been a little wonky the last while. Actually, he's had quirks for a long while with the Alsa sound drivers. Today I upgraded my linux kernel to 2.6 from 2.4 (to 2.6.8-gentoo-r3, actually) and that cleared up the sound problems right away. I've got my fingers crossed, but I think that may have been what was hanging. Maybe not. Either way, it should make for more reliable X and everything else what with being the actively maintained kernel tree.

The other good fun stuff is that I hooked my second monitor back up to Michael. Life is good :D I just poked the xorg.conf I had from Lewk and not it is teh 4w350m3! The sucky thing with my upgrade to 2.6 is that the usual framebuffer stuff ain't workin so great. I'm not sure what I'm missing but the new kernel doesn't react well to a vga parameter in either decimal or hex. *sigh* No 1280x1024 console until I figure that one out.

Dulcea, on the other hand, is going to need a kick to the seat of the pants. I've installed Subversion but I can't create a new repository. I keep getting Berkley DB errors. I can't upgrade the Berkley DB installation since that's something that lives deep in rpm-hell. As Kevin Smith says: "Fuck DVD." Upgrading distros or pretty much anything else I want to do isn't going to work out so well since I've going a bunch of packages compiled from source (see apache and php5). Waa! Waa!

At any rate, I need to buckle-down and get back to studying the school books now. You kids are always screwing around.

Friday 24 September 2004

This is Huge!

Woo! This week I got a new (to me) monitor. It's a 21" CRT... It apparently weighs 70 lbs. Madness. 17" monitors definately seem miniscule compared to this behemoth. I think I'll name it... I'll call it Hidalgo (props to Sam Logan :D)

And in other news... Stupid stuff is pissing me off. Dulcea won't let me setup a subversion repository. Lame! I'll have to hack around with it for a bit before it will work, I guess. Anyhow, all in all I got nothing interesting going on. Weak.

Tuesday 7 September 2004

I'm Blind!

I got to see my optometrist today. That's a first in five years apparently. Oh well. My eyes suck but not really worse then in 1999 so to my eyes the new millenium looks about the same as the last. Yep.

In UnRoots Online news we're still working on the design. The juicy bits from the last discussion I had with czak have been posted up in the forums and I think we're going to move ahead to the low-level design and start building some of the classes as soon as possible.

I read through the PHP5 docs for the OOP stuff a couple days ago and I must admit that Ziv and Andi aren't total jerks. If PHP weren't so forking flaky, I'd be about inclined to say that PHP is OMG WTF TEH BESTAST THING EVAR XD. But PHP is flaky and so it's pretty much just some more shit to fill the realm of computing. But it's at least shit that's free and pretty neat.

Wednesday 25 August 2004

Proud to be Canadian, Eh!

I just got back from a wee trip to Seattle and I am once again glad to live in a place where I can get high speed Internet access - 5Mbps x 1Mbps is what I get at home versus the ~500 Kbps x 30 Kbps that many Seattlites get for the same cost. That and not having to go off and bomb foreign countries to make myself feel better (which is more true of the US administration that much of the population, but still...)

But the Sci Fi museum was cool. Anyone who is any sort of Sci Fi fan should check it out. They have tons of stuff there like set props from Star Trek and portions of manuscripts by Heinlein. It was neeto!

Tuesday 17 August 2004

Software Engineering Crayons

Ah back on the UnRoots Online path. Czak and I have started doing the dev and Wendigo has been in there too. Right now we are using advanced software engineering tools to design the next version of the game. We are using Software Engineering Crayons and Software Engineering Paper. Really high-tech stuff here so let's not get in to the details. Let's just say that the process also involves a lot of Software Engineering Beer as well.

As for my Gentoo explorations, I have been finding portage easy to manage software with and the end results are fairly pleasing. One thing I would be interested to see would be user-space package management. With emerge, I can specify an alternate root directory however it still neeps and nops that it must be run as root for the package installation. An application like Gaim really does not need to be installed as root. Ah well. That's just being picky since none of the package systems I know of allow a user to install software.

By the way, this is the call I make to xterm to get me a purdy xterm with proper PS1 and everything else:

xterm -g 120x50+80+80 -bg black -fg gray -ls

The -ls is the important part. The rest is colours and screen position.

Tuesday 10 August 2004

Operating Systems and Games

Werd! My Gentoo install is all done. I have IceWM tweaked enough to do all my favorite things (open a shell, browser, xchat, stuff like that) and UT is working. What else is there? Anyhow, it's running fairly well at this point. It takes about 8 seconds to startx... IceWM is definately lightweight.

And, despite all expectations there's a URO round running again. We're running on 5 minute rounds just to be sure that all the version 1 (beta 1?) survived the transistion to PHP5 (and so far it has). I think we're going to schedule a reset and start a new round Friday night.

What's it do? What's it do? Not a crap of a lot. But czak and I are going to hit the drawrin board this weekend and see what needs to be done. Czak said we need to dump the existing version (beta?) 2 code. That sounds like some serious fun...

Anyhow, go see if you're not already there. It's funny as hell.

Thursday 5 August 2004

X this!

Yeah, see about that. Apparently I need to emerge both nvidia-kernel and nvidia-glx. Everything works great now. I just emerged firefox (woo!) so updating my plan in icewm under gentoo. So far, I like it. Definately is going to take me a while to install all the software I want... But I'll get there. Probably just queue up a whole mess of packages and let them run while I sleep.

Anyhow, preliminary reports indicate that this setup is not totaly lame.

Speaking of lame (or "not lame" to be more accurate), I watched the Butterly Fly Effect recently. I had the good fortune to watch the director's cut. The ending for the theatrical release is powerfully weak quite like what happened to Blade Runner.

Anyhow, the protagonist is a bit of a clutz but I thought everyone did an interesting and entertaining job with characters and their interactions.

Monday 2 August 2004

More Fun with Software

Eh stuff isn't going so smooth. I still haven't been able to get X (either Xfree86 or Xorg) working in Gentoo on Michael. Totaly lame. I can't get my display working using framebuffer or the nvidia drivers. WEAK! I didn't think it would make much of a difference (since the display works fine in knoppix), but the only thing I haven't done is try the normal video plug instead of the DVI. What the what!

That and I'm going ahead and installing Linux on an old box to stand-in as the gateway since that Linksys still fails off and on. It will be fine as a bridge no matter what so I'm going to keep that... Anyhow, I had started with Porcelina. I tried booting from knoppix and it was odd. BIOS would give me the loader but then knoppix would fail to detect the cd drive during init. WTF? So I open the case and realize that the CD drive is actually the primary slave. That's lame so I hook it up as secondary master, cram the second NIC in there while the case is open, press "on" and ... and what? Here's a million dollars? No. Nothing. The PSU fan and mainboard LEDs all come on but CMOS doesn't even beep. CD drive won't open. I push stuff around but that PSU just died... Or something.

Out come the guts and in to Cayce. She boots like the charmer she is. Yay! Up with knoppix, a little fdisk, a little format, and now to load debian. It's a fairly straightforward process, but I keep getting odd DMA errors and stuff. I tried the install several times with slight variations but no love there. I think I just have to sync the drive more often to coax this puppy in to working... Or replace the drive. I hope it's not the controller cause that would be lame.

The one bit of good news is that the upgrade to the full release of PHP5 went well. Compiled without complaint. Reloaded apache and it hasn't crashed since. No complaints about memory unavailable. So far so good. Everyone is to keep an eye on it, spam the uro forums, etc. and let me know if they see errors, but I'm optimistic so far.

Woo! I love sticking forks in my eyes!

Sunday 18 July 2004

Gentoo and Linksys

Being the proud seven week owner of a Linksys wireless router (BEFW11S4, Firmware Version: 1.50.14, t obe precise) I, unfortunately, can't say I'm the happiest person in the world because of it. It has been failing fairly often. One week it was daily, since upgrading the firmware version again a week ago it's failed once for sure that I know of. Just need the power disconnected for a few seconds and then it's fine again, but that's powerfully lame. Anyhow, I've been sketching out what I want to do about it. The two points are a) wired or wireless and b) out-of-the-box solution (another home-connect router deely) or a linux (e.g. dulcea) solution. As always, the trade off is between time up front versus maintenanace time. I can't say I'm keen on either so I'm closing my eyes and pretending that we live in Theory. The magical land where everything always works... In theory.

And for my other fun proiject, I'm installing Gentoo on Michael. I have a system. It boots. It compiles software like a fat man eats cheese burgers (e.g. a lot faster then is good for anyone and in surprising volume). Anyhow, the one thing that's missing is a working X config. Sadly, that's probably the hard part of the whole operation.


Wednesday 7 July 2004

A Contract With God

"The Hacker Ethic" has been facsinating but mostly humorless right up until Himanen starts poking fun and Dr. Lightfoot who in the 18th century "proved" that God created the world Friday October 23rd, 4004 BC at 9am. Amongst Himanen's fun is a contract with God that I found absolutely hillarious:


The creator of the world (henceforth "God") and the parties granted use rights to the world (henceforth "human beings") have agreed this day 27 February 2347 B.C., after the flood, the following:


1. The human beings promise to repent their sins and live more righteously from now on. Repentance and penitence are to be completed by the agreed-upon deadline: the span of each human's lifetime.
2. God grants the human beings grace, consisting of the following two elements:
- refrainging from further floods
- eternal life

God will grant this grace in two installents. The first installment, i.e., the restraint from further floods, will be granted on signature of contract. The second installment, i.e., eternal life, will be granted when human beings' performance has been approved at the end of the world.


3. The distribution and use rights of the grants mentioned in point 2, above, i.e., forgiveness and eternal life, will remain entirely with God. All rights to the product names World and Eternal Life are likewise the sole property of God.
4. Protection of competitive adantage: human beings will not enter into any agreements concerning objectives similar to those expressed in this contact with any parties in competition with God.


5. Should hum beings prove unable to fulfill the duties defined in this contact, God reseves the right to torture them as much as he wants in all the ways he may invent throughout eternity. No rights involving sanctions are vested in the human beings.


6. Any conflicts arising out of this contract will be resovled in Helsinki Circuit Court. (Note: Himanen is Finnish)

27.2.2347 B.C.


For the human beings

Witnessed by:


Tuesday 6 July 2004

Now I Just Need a Tinfoil Hat

I think I finally have a fair grasp on this whole encryption thing. The last days I've been reading "The Hacker Ethic" by Pekka Himanen and it certinaly is an interesting follow-up to having just finished Cryptonomicon (which was fabulously entertaining to the end, by the way). I can't help but think of the Secret Admirers dressed in trench coats armed with assult rifles. The right to bear arms and the right to strong encryption seem like two ingredients of the same dish: Individuals protecting themselves against the corruption of governments... or any large organization.

I think the most striking part of Cryptonomicon was Randy Waterhouse's time in the Philipino prison on a trumped up drug charge doing everything beyond imagination to befuddle the Van Eck Phreaking. (It is a shame that a keylogger is much easier for an attacker to manage.) I thought that level of paranoia really illustrated what I thought to be the difference between psychoses and perseptiveness.

Anyhow, that's enough here. I'm going to spam my thinkin 'n' stuff on the Nibble's lug (

Tuesday 29 June 2004

My Samsung is Very Big

After a, well, little spot of Envy, I got a nice new and big LCD. It's a Samsung 193P which, if you check online, is a 19" LCD. And it's beautiful. And big. Did I mention it's fucking sexy? Aw yeah!!! As an added bonus, I just set the display in "portrait" orientation and turned the display so it now reads like a page. It's just fabulous. Complete content on a single 19" screen that is 1280 pixels high and still 1024 wide. That and it's got DV-frickin-I.

It's very nice.

Tuesday 22 June 2004

You May as Well Have the PIN for My Bank Account

Between the "hacking" course I'm doing school and reading Cryptonomicon (for the first time, believe it or not), I've really started to notice how little I know about information security. Cryptography in any of its modern incarnations and applications. Today I found a copy of the O'Reilly book on SSH (the one with the snail on it) and man, I really only have a tiny inkling of what's going on.

We fuck it all. There's certificates to track down, some to share and some to hide, passwords and passphrases, clients and servers, confidentiality and integrity and authentication, and hashing and semmetric and asymetric encryption...

But I'll give it a stab. I think I have a fair idea of the most general ideas and a lot of places where I see security should be used and improved throughout all the systems I've been poking around on. So over the next little while, I'm probably going to be confused as shit. That should be fun. Go along well with the circus at work, the nuts at school (though the semester is wrapping up, thank kittens).

AAAAArrrrrrghg!!! I'm going to get a drink now.

Saturday 12 June 2004

Werd! We're Online!

Stuff is all a pain in the ass. In other news, I did get a nice little pine desk for my room so I finaly have a place to sit and hack away at my computer. Definately an improvement. I still have lots of stuff floating around. Mainly books. After pushing stuff in my room around, I have some space against one wall for a book shelf. I won't be able to get one quite yet since that's where the test-bed computers are going to live until the haxxor course is done, but once that course is done, then I'll be able to get a book shelf and finally put away all the last of my stuff. Wooo!!

I'm gonna go eat my "Broadway Deluxe Fried Rice" now...

Wednesday 2 June 2004

And Moved

A little bumpy, but certainly not the worst moving day(s) evar. Anyhow, now I have to hack my network back together. Dropping the Linksys router back in place didn't just work. Hella-weak. Czak did the old mfr reset on that puppy and could get online at least.

Now I just have to restore the network setup. So far it hasn't been bad. Getting the router online was definately the important first step. I hacked away at that config last night and got a bunch of it up.

  • Got the router renumbered,
  • Verified that chevette could still get online,
  • Booted dulcea, she couldn't get online,
  • Disabled dhcp on the router (dulcea was numbered statically),
  • Now dulcea gets online,
  • Verified chevette could dhcp from dulcea and get online still,
  • Re-opened the essential services (smtp, dns),
  • Updated zone info on Nikita and transfered it to dulcea,
  • Haven't verified SMTP works, but I know DNS at my work hasn't updated yet so it won't work from here,
  • Opened more services (ssh, pop, spop, etc) and checked a few of them.

    So far so good. Dulcea is a bit noisy for me to sleep with, but I think that's just the PSU. I'm going to try to replace the PSU tonight with one of the other ones I have handy and if that works, great, and if not, I'll leave dulcea off again overnight and buy a "silent" PSU tomorrow.

    Now for the fun part. I'm supposed to be on this "eXtreme" service from Shaw which is 5Mbps down and lord knows what up. I tested off and scored over 2Mbps down by just under 1Mbps up. Not bad. I wouldn't complain about that 'cept I have other grievances.

    I only get one real ip address. This is no good for my war-games course. This is flat-out bad. Wendawg thinks we're supposed to get two. I know on our old modem that I pulled as many as I could connect to the modem at a time (5). Either way, I have to reset the modem when swapping devices. I really only get one IP address. This I will have to sort out with Shaw even if they make me pay for a second IP for two months until the war-games course is over.

    And I'm a little tired and cranky so screw it all straight to hell.
  • Monday 31 May 2004

    We're All Packed Up

    Tomorrow is the big moving day. Pretty much everything here is all packed up. The computer room is a great pile of boxes, the kitchen is a mess of packing tape and paper, and there's nothing anywhere else.

    Hopefully *our* stuff goes smoothly tomorrow. The problem today is going to be that one of the new tenants is going to be moving her stuff in. This is going to be super fun. She says she doesn't have much and I hope she's right cause we have SFA for space especially once we start trying to move stuff *out* of the house.

    Yeah, pretty much the problem showed up without warning yesterday. Basically our land-lord just said "yeah yeah, it's fine" to the new tenant disregarding what the Wendawg and I had told him. That and on the other side, the building manager at our new place keeps saying that "I haven't been able to get in touch with all the current tenants". And hence we don't get to actually move our stuff at all till the first unless they have magically vacated today.

    Moving is fun.

    There are a couple benefits to moving though. We get to a) discover that there's actually a lot of flat-out garbage in this place (and thus throw it out) and b) we get to live like minimalists for a day or two. We're living with nothing but some spare clothes, booze, and a bunch of computers. Totaly minimalists we are.

    Saturday 22 May 2004

    /me += failed hardware

    Nothing like mixing C-syntax with IRC commands to really geek out a topic...

    So much fun. Got Michael working for stuff. That was fine. Blah-blah-blah.

    So then I tried to get Gentoo going today. The Gentoo LiveCD I have doesn't work fully *but* I did have a working Gnoppix LiveCD *and* the Gentoo docs have section specifically for installing Gentoo from a Knoppix (or Knoppix-based) LiveCD. How cool is that?

    After some confusion, I did get to the point where I was to compile the kernel. So this involved sorting what stage I needed and formatting partitions (reiserfs for my root partition, thank you very much :P). The kernel failed to compile.

    I thwacked at it and the genkernel utility but still couldn't get it to float after several tries. It's dying somewhere in the networking section. Suxx.

    Round about then, my project member for school calls and he's on his way over. "Fuckit", I say, and I install Fedora Core 2. That went super snarky-fast. It was done it's part of the install by the time he got here.

    That was cool. What wasn't was that when trying to restore the testbed lan, stuff started failing. I had forgotten about the bum NIC. So that was wrong.

    Not only that, but it would seem that the crossover port on my hub has failed. That *really* sucks cause I normally don't believe in crossover cables. The hub was working fine through yesterday even... Maybe it's a combination of things that made it seem like a bad hub.

    No matter what, it was basically a lot more difficult then it should have been. It'll be fine though. I just have to rip out this bad NIC from michael and stomp it. Fedora Core 2 installs the gig NIC fine anyhow.

    Sunday 16 May 2004

    Hacking Hacking Everywhere!

    Woo! Hacking is fun! We've been playing with the dsniff tools today in our little testbed and got most of that stuff working great. The setup here is Cayce and Porcelina NATed through Michael.

    First we had my little dlink switch hooked up. Unfortunately, it doesn't "fail open" and turn in to a hub. That didn't really matter too much because arpspoof worked great. We had Porcelina attack Cacyce to make Cayce think Porcelina was Michael (the gateway) so any traffic Cayce put out went through Porcelina anyhow :P Then, using dsniff, we could easily pull plain-text passwords from ftp and http logins. We just didn't have the software setup on the client side for popping mail, but I'm sure that would have worked as well.

    We also tried mail/file-spoof to trap email messages and NFS file transfers, but didn't have any luck there. Stuck a hub in instead of the switch, but still no luck. Feh.

    Then we moved up to the Man In The Middle (MITM a.k.a. "Monkey In The Middle") attack. We had Porcelina successfully hijack Cayce's SSH login. It was awesome. The username and password showed up in plain-text all like "oh, here's how to get in to this weak system" and then ex (who was running the setup) had a user login right there. He could just wander around and do whatever his persimmons allowed. It was great.

    But we'll be back and more attacks will ensue.

    Wednesday 12 May 2004

    Ne-zet-werking, Yo

    Dag! Talk about fun! Last night I went crazy after being let off my reading and riting class and opened up all of dulcea's services on the router and put that in place.

    Fun tip number 1: The little web page doodad on the linksys router provides *exactly* enough entries for port forwarding for me to specify all the services dulcea offers only if all adjacent services are specified in ranges. Or in pseudo-english: the new linksys box I have barely lets me run everything at once that normally runs on dulcea.

    Fun tip number 2: This little router is cool. I have its DHCP server disabled and its LAN interface numbered at (because I was too lazy to renumber dulcea). Dulcea does the DHCP and now in all fancy-pants-ness specifies the .16 as everyone's gateway *ooo* *aaa*.

    Fun fact number 3: When machines get renumbered, their numbering changes. Sounds obvious, but I had to kill everyone who was connected to IRC before I realized that.

    Fun fact number 4: Testing your new setup locally *does not ensure it works remotely*. So at work today, I get in and said "let's see if this works from here". Well, it doesn't. Despite remembering to update all the workstations's default gateways, I managed to forget to change Dulcea's default gateway.

    Fun fact number ... uh, "a many": Changing your default gateway remotely is scary. Trust me. I was very scared when I did that. (Yes, I did have to go in to dulcea through a "super secret back door" called "leaving both the old and new interfaces online".)

    So there we have it. IRC, SSH and WWW all work now on dulcea's new interface from behind the router. Woo! I just finished disabling the old interface and since I'm obviously updating my Blog/.plan remotely, I know it's all good now, yeah baby.

    Saturday 8 May 2004

    The Machines Are Everywhere

    A quick summary for those who aren't up to date: For school, I'm hosting a small network of machines to be hacked for fun and learning.

    "It's fun to use learning for evil"
    - Lil' Sis

    So anyhow, machines have been trickling in. I'm definately going to have some issues, like where the fuck do I put the two extra machines I have already, or the two (or possibly three) more that I have yet to bring home?

    And where am I going to plug them all in? I've been fairly blase about our current setup which has three computers plus peripherals and networking devices hooked up to three power strips chained from a single outlet (or is it four power strips?). Building up a full network does make me a little antsy...

    All in all, this place is going to get fucking noisy while the machines are on and if ever you look to Mount Pleasant and see smoke, just direct the fire department to my house, if you would be so kind.

    Sunday 2 May 2004

    You've Got Viruses!

    So this morning, I had a little fun. Excessory had said that there's no way Shaw (my ISP) would hand out multiple ip addresses though I know I've been able to get at least two, possibly three, last time I tried.

    Today, I said "Let's see" and hubbed everyone to the cable modem. So dulcea of course kept her ip address, then there was michael, pyhrrus, my sister's unamed iBook, and chevette. They all happily pulled ip addresses from my provider. And I know they all had connectivity because within a couple minutes of coming out from behind the NAT, chevette got hit by W32.Blaster.

    Booya! Now there's a poorly maintained machine. She doesn't even have the June 2003 patch that corrects the fault that Blaster uses. That was pretty fun.

    Back behind the NAT she went, patch, reboot, patch, reboot, scan for viruses (no luck, didn't actually get infected), back out from NAT, reboot, all done. Fuck, windows is great.

    So yeah, its fun. Now I get to do a lot of reading, and hopefully get around to a bunch of reconnaisance.

    Saturday 24 April 2004

    Dear, What's Your Disability?

    "How should I know? I'm retarded. Guh-ee!"

    South Park season 8 is slowly trickling on to Dante's machine... Man those are some fucked up kids. Like really messeg up. No just like your friends, but really just insane coke junkies. And on that note, a few more movie reviews.


    I borrowed the DVD from a friend. The Animatrix is a collection of 9 short animations (6 - 16 minutes each) put together as part of The Matrix project. Several were written and directed by the Wachowski brother and the rest were sponsored (if that's the right word) by them.

    Some of the films are easily identifiable as being part of The Matrix and very much about setting human characters against machines.

    Being short films, it is a bit difficult to place them with the huge epic setting of The Matrix. Each instead extends a specific aspect. In a couple, we see characters who are unable to become freed from the matrix, in one, we see a modern haunted house...

    With the DVD, we have the advantage of letting the directors explain themselves in cases like Matriculation which makes absolutely *no* sense when you watch it. Though not as of the same 'general' appeal, watching through the animations and the directors comments, I greatly enjoyed all nine of the animations.

    For overall rating, I'd rate it as worth putting aside an evening, renting the DVD, and watching through everything, including revisiting the more, ah, challenging pieces.


    The Wendawg rented this one as well as Requiem for a Dream (below). It was a good movie, at least for those who like movies about drug lords. Blow is about a drug deeler, George (Johnny Depp), who goes from being a nobody to possibly the largest cocaine distributor in the US and then back down through a series of busts.

    Good movie, I'd say rent it some time. Some people like this genre of movies about pushers and junkies more then others so mileage may vary.

    Requiem for a Dream

    Now here's a very rough movie. There are four characters we meet. We see them as they aproach the cusp of hope and loss in their lives. We vividly see their dreams, what they cling on to.

    "It's a reason to get up in the morning."

    When each character hits the brink between the safety of their existing resources and the pit of their vices, they tumble, clinging desperately to hope that was never strong to start with.

    Really not a movie for the squeemish. The description on the back of the box is a little deceiving. When they say 'gut wrenching', they mean that you're about to watch heroine, cocaine, and speed addicts hit bottom.

    Rating? Oh, um. Get a shrink. You'll be just fine.

    Friday 16 April 2004

    Out to the Movies - Hellboy and Kill Bill vol 2

    Ah, the movies... Couple of high profile flicks for all y'all.


    Another comic book film this time about a creature pulled in from an alternate plane to this one be evil forces (Nazis). Rescued by "good" Americans and raised to fight super natural evil in the US.

    Okay, that's the first five minutes of the movie. The rest of the movie goes: Hellboy has been on earth 60 years, has the physique of someone who is 25, and the emotional maturity of a 14 year old.

    Hellboy has one main power: he's invincible to everything. Woo.

    And one major flaw: he's stupid.

    Rating? Well, if you still have a lingering distaste for comic book movies, this one will put the nail in the coffin. This is a good investment, either seeing it in theaters or at home, if you want to save money in the long run by not ever watching another fucking Marvel movie again.

    Kill Bill vol 2

    Ah, the latter and longer portion of the Kill Bill ensemble. A very entertaining second-half (second two-thirds?). I found the comic aspects hilarious, the action sequences gritty, and the characters engaging.

    If you can stand, or even enjoy, the violence and gore, this is a fabulous flick to catch. I rate it as: see it in the theaters probably once, twice if you get it cheap, and then get the DVD or have someone who is willing to lend it to you buy it.

    Tuesday 13 April 2004

    Ooo! Its Purdy

    Well maybe not, but I did figure out what the fudge was wrong with my shortcuts. I cranked up the debugging and stuff and had the stderr/stdout piped out somewhere I could read it to find that the two programs were trying to use a temp folder that wasn't there. *phew* Just mkdir'd that and now they work.

    Other then that, this install has been good in Linux, but a little wonky in Windows. I just installed KDE (I know, but it will be okay) and aside from the odd problem with the Firefox/Thunderbird problems, its been all good. I don't seem to be missing as many useful apps out of the box this time which is good.

    Windows has basically been fucky. I had tried to backup my application data (e.g. settings) for the aforementioned Firefox and Thunderbird. That just didn't work. My username or something apparently wasn't the same, or I didn't have ownership, or maybe they just sucked, but whatever the reason, I had to set everything up again.

    At least the GPG stuff was easy. I exported my public key ring and my private keys from linux, imported them in windows, wiped the plain-text versions of everything, and I'm signing messages like its nobody's business.

    The other odd problem with Windows is that Dungeon Seige (yes, I'm a very bad man) keeps crashing. Its not the hardware because I was using the same hardware before. The only significant thing I've done is change from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. I know other people have played DS in XP fine, so its not so fundamentally 'a Windows XP' problem as that, so I'm thinking its some magical driver oddness. Which sucks. It doesn't crash too often, however the few times the Wendawg and I tried doing a LAN game, it has just been sucking down the lag problems.

    Eh, that's about it. Nothing too interesting going on. I'm going to finaly try and analyse the tcpdump data I collected over a week of usage. Should be fun to see what happened. It will take a while. That's a gig of log files.

    Sunday 4 April 2004

    By the Power of fdisk

    Ah, its been a fun weekend. First order of business was my damned cpu fan. That thing was really pissing me off. By most accounts, this fan is not the quietest fan when everyone is running off 12V, however dropping the voltage and therefore the rpm drops the noise significantly.

    So I poked around in BIOS, couldn't quite figure out if I could change the voltage on that plug from there. Went online and eventually came accross that a rheostat is a handy little doodad for changing voltages. But before going too far into adding hardware, I actually found some useful ASUS docs (heaven forbid).

    Once I found the Q-Fan option in BIOS, I had to enable it, reboot, and then listen as the fan whirred down to just about being innaudible. Its a wonderful thing. Now when Michael powers up, there a loud whirring of the fan powering up to the full 5,600 RPM and then as BIOS kicks in, it whirrs again but down to ~3,700 RPM. At that level, it is certainly the quietest machine in the room. After running at that level a little while, it seemed to just disappear. I can't even pick it out anymore. It's awesome.

    So with confidence bolstered, I whipped out my operating system discs and gave Michael's partitions The Evil Eye. Primarily, I just wanted to steal some disc space from Windows and give it to Mandrake so I played around with Partition Magic 7 a little bit. It didn't seem to want to resize my partitions so then I had a little fun.

    First, pop in the old faithful Win 98 boot disk and gave Michael a wee spot of the ole 'fdisk /mbr'. Sure boots up windows directly nice and fine, but still no resizing.

    Next grab the Western Digital disk diagnostic/EZ BIOS floppy. Boot from that, disable EZ BIOS on the drive (still on there from when I tried to cram that drive in Nikita so many years ago). Reboot. Uninstall EZ BIOS. Reboot. Still no dice on the resizing.

    Okay, copy everything from Michael to Dulcea for backup and fdisk the whole mofo.

    Jammed Windows XP back on there. Patch, reboot, add driver, reboot, Direct X, reboot, reboot, patch, reboot, install anti virus, reboot, update anti virus, reboot, more stuff, reboot, reboot, reboot.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!! Goddamned Windows!

    Install Mandrake. Hack at ypbind until the little bastard works on boot and I'm still not sure how I'm expected to set the domainname on boot so I eventually edited the functions network script to add that in there.

    And now for some reason Mandrake won't laumch Firefox or Thunderbird from the shortcuts I have on my taskbar thing. I can launch them from a konsole (I feel shame), but even recreating the shortcuts doesn't help.

    Whale oil beef hooked.

    But its working. The usual couple of things to add in later, but I've got all my package sources sorted out so its all good.

    Thursday 25 March 2004


    How bitchin is this: I'm on Dulcea in Windows XP and I'm running xmms which is a client running from Chevette and talking to the X11 server on Dulcea. If that ain't cross-platform, then you tell me what is.

    I'm using Cygwin/X which was super easy. I just installed it including the networking bundle (stripped down a bit cause I can) and the Xfree86 bundle. I also got to spam the cygwin/x project lead on IRC too. It was cool.

    So now if I can get wine and winex going as easily, it won't really matter what operating system I boot.

    Friday 19 March 2004

    Lost a Week There

    Don't know where it went, but its gone ... Insert some lame angsty bitching about work, school, and other crap that a person should keep to themself if you want to hear about my week. It boils down to 'it was party on Saturday ... and now its Friday'.

    Today ... or was it last night? I compiled PHP 5 rc 1. Fuck, that actually stopped the seggies. Jeepers. Whodda thunk that stable releases would add stability? Probably still need a major review/rewrite of the DBO class, but unless I learn how to cast the mage spell 'superior maximize free time', I've got shit going. Sucks.

    I've been fighting with OSs this week too. Kinda fun, mostly suck. So last week I had the pleasure of seeing Michael thrash until X died. This week, I don't know what I did to Dick (my machine at work ... named for Philip K. Dick, okay?), but Gnome ASAD. So I fdisked and installed Fedora Core 1 off the LAN... And it was good.

    The Gnome under my personal login at home died. WTF? Gnome worked as other users (and root) so I just x-fowarded my apps on the localhost from my work login for a while and then poked around with my personal login's settings ... And then it started working again. Fucking Kangaroos.

    *And* then this morning X wouldn't start on Dick. WTF ?!? Je suis le tired. There it didn't work under any user (root or otherwise). I was about to fdisk again when I said to myself: "Self, are you a smokin-idiot?"

    Sure enough, the answer was "yes". What's the one thing you *must* be mindful of when firewalling? Hmmm? Did you say "the localloop?" You did? Good. Cause that's exactly what I omitted after fdisking on Thursday. I was already logged in when I brought that firewall up and hence Gnome worked fine all day. Of course X wouldn't start this morning though.

    So all that was fun and good. Mandrake is a bit fucked up. I really enjoy their package and system config tools, however they omit odd programs. Like xdm. That's part-and-parcel with a normal X11 implementation according to the man page... But xdm I can live without. There's other things though, like lsof and whois. Easy to install, sure, but off all the things, why weren't those there? Just odd.

    All-in-all, I rate Mandrake as 'Yay! It's a Linux OS. Woo.' All I have to do now is hop on the Linux 2.6 bandwagon. Everyone on 2.6 that I've spoken to have had good things to say. I'm sure running 2.6 is much better then getting kicked square in the tomatoes.

    Anyhow, I'm going back to my school work. I just wanted to rant a little while. Do a little dance!

    Sunday 14 March 2004

    Thrashing is Somewhat Sucky

    The last little while I've been making Michael earn his keep. Primarily by ripping CDs to the network drive for music fun goodness. I've got all my CDs done and a mess of the Wendawg's as well. Definitely got Grip setup properly now. I have the ripping and encoding re-niced such that, well they're both below 0 so my normal use of the computer isn't affected, but also such that ripping only stays slightly ahead of the encoding thus minimizing disk usage by the ripped .wav files.

    And speaking of disk space, I finally got Snort (and Snarf) installed properly on Michael in Mandrake (9.2 for what its worth). Great. So I started cranking open the snort alert logs I've got for school (which I'll get back to in a minute). The thing I failed to notice was that snort is enabled on boot by default after installation on Mandrake. Now I do almost *everything* over the lan with NFS and SMB both of which are (correctly) logged by snort as they are both dangerous to system and network security. After a *very* short amount of time, my computer started having hissy fits. 'What is this?' I say. 'X won't start? Oh my. Why is that?'

    Well, good old df -h / to the rescue. Sure enough, my root partition was full. 'That fucking sucks', says I, 'what ate my disc?' Now I didn't clue in that it might be snort since I have a tendency of filling the drive if left to my own devices (ha ha) so a little bit of the old du -sh /* to figure out where the space went led me right to the snort logs.

    Okay snort, you can suckit. I shut off snort, disabled it from running on boot and gave its alert logs a we spot of the rm -Rf. Sure enough, the 1.6GB of free space I had thought I had showed back up. Bloody marvelous. Now everything works like a charm.

    Now that problem cropped only after some uptime. The *other* fun problem I had was in processing the snort alert log with snarf. The first file I tried to run it on was 352,584 lines long (1 line per alert). So I started up snarf and looked at my memory usage off and on as it went to 200 megs, 300, 500, 700 and seemed to hold steady at 700 for a while... And I do mean a while. After an hour or so I said fuckit and went to bed.

    The next morning, my shell politely informs me that snarf was terminated by -9 signal (a.k.a. -KILL). Well that sucks, says I. So I nice it up and leave snarf running. An hour and a half later, X stops responds. Fucking marvelous. I then notice that gkrellm is showing that the CPU is basically *only* handling IO requests. Hmm I wonder what could have happened. Maybe snarf ate through my gig of ram and token 128M of swap and then started thrashing? I think so. The kernel happily killed that process however poor X didn't survive the incident. All Michael's peripherals were seized so I couldn't even get to a virtual terminal. So I shelled in and was able to gracefully reboot the system thus restoring us to the happy land where keyboards and mice aren't just objets d'art.

    In summary: thrashing sounds cool but it's more cool in the 'lets watch that on tv' and not in the 'I want to do this at home' kind of way.

    Thursday 11 March 2004

    Ooo! Is it a virus?

    Today I got a virus in my email. It was great. I got an email that read 'open the attached document'. So I opened the attached 'your_document.pif'. *shrug* Don't know what the heck that was about. No program associated with .pif in Gnome so I just cat'd it. Wasn't terribly exciting I'm afraid.

    Speaking of catching viruses, I've ranted about this one a couple times, hopefully not too loud, but there's another email virus out this week again. W32/Netsky and variants.

    This virus starts on an infected computer by scanning it for email addresses.

    For each email address, it takes the domain portion (e.g. for ' it takes '') and then crafts a letter from an official administrative-looking source. So the letter reads something like:

    "From Hotmail Staff: We are going to be shutting down our mail servers blah blah blah to blah blah the mail servers blah blah. Thanks from"

    Now the *brilliant*, it's genius, part is that it says there is an attached file with a password '34523'. The attached file is a password-protected zip file. The password protection conveniently prevents many anti virus programs from scanning it.

    In this zip file is the payload. The first instance I ran into, it was a text file with a url and as far as I know, the url is for a page where the user fills out her email address and password. The current variant of the virus just has an infecting program in the zip file instead and assumedly harvests passwords on its own.

    So that sounds fun. Lets review:

    1. User receives good official-looking email (yes, it is fairly slick),
    2. User then has to read a password from the email,
    3. User then has to open the attachment,
    4. *Then* has to use password to unlock attachment,
    5. And in the later cases she is infected, however:
    6. In the former cases she has to copy a url from a text document,
    7. Paste it in a browser,
    8. *Then* gets to a form that asks for her password information (presumably on some foreign domain as well).

    Needless to say, this virus is spreading like wildfire.

    Monday 1 March 2004

    Sweet Dreams and Heroin

    Here's a point-in-case about how lame my dreams are. Last night, I dreamt that my sister was in town so we were going to go out for drinks. Before heading out, I discovered that I had the on-call phone and it wasn't my turn, so we were going to have to go to New West to drop it off first.

    Yippee! Dangerous! Exciting! Never before seen on TV!

    Now one of my co-workers dreamt last night that I suggested we shoot smack and go mountain biking. So up we went, all smacked up and on the hill. Then we were hanging out with a bunch of people, one of which was an undercover cop. Everyone knew he was an undercover cop except me. People were asking him 'are you an undercover cop?' and he'd say 'no, no.'. When he was walking away, I was so confident that I sparked up a jag. So he noticed the smell and came back apparently as I had a needle out. So, clever as I am, I stuck the needle behind my leg only to stick myself. At this point I handed the skag to my co-worker just in time for the undercover cop to catch him with the shit and arrest his sorry ass.

    See *that* is a dream. Not the stupid "oh, this is what's going to happen in a few weeks" crap that I always get.

    Wednesday 25 February 2004

    Brains! He's Got the Brains!

    Today is an important day: I learned BIND and DNS. That's right. Today's the day I finished the O'Reilly book about BIND and DNS. Read it cover to cover with skimming only over certain sections. Fairly dry stuff but good reading while in transit to and from work. There certainly were lots of interesting parts (like about dynamic updates and tsig) and some amusing comments including many pot-shots at wins and netbeui.

    All in all, we're fucking lucky the Internet works. Holy crap is there ever a a lot of room for error that is really pushed to the limit. I think DNS has got to be the most mangled (popular) open protocol out there. DHCP at least is structured. BIND being maintained as three seperate programs is just brutal as to what will and will not work. There's compatibility notes like "use bind 8.2+ or 9.1+ but bind 9 is also broken". Wow. Thank you, guys.

    Its been fun and has helped me tighten up a few things with the nibble's dns. There are a few other things that may be added, like actual dynamic updates for machines like ex's which toggles ip addresses on reboot (yay!).

    Saturday 21 February 2004

    100 Days, Yeah! Woo!

    [archangel@nikita archangel]$ uptime
    12:17:01 up 100 days, 23:35, 1 user, load average: 0.10, 0.06, 0.02

    Wooo! Yeah! Woohoo! Yipee!

    Very good for a computer who's PSU fan has failed (ouch). Not sure when it failed, but I'm fairly sure it wasn't recently. I just happened to be in the machine room the other day and noticed it. That's a bummer. She doesn't run all that hot and the CPU fan is fine for that, but that's kinda scary. She's got an old PSU too so I can't just jam a new one in there.

    Anyhow, she does have an uptime of 100 days ;)

    Wednesday 18 February 2004

    J00 Gotz Network

    *phew* That firewall was fun. Its all done and the demo is next week, but its done. So I'm back "down" to a single network. Heck, looks like I might get a chance this week to do some of the fixing up that's been on my TODO for months.

    So most importantly there's getting the new php5 beta compiled and working. I am still not sure why it has been failing for phpBB, maybe its time to upgrade the forums anyhow... Nevertheless, important to get at least the new beta compiled.

    Also, as always, there is pending DNS stuff to be slicked up... DNS is always, ah, interesting.

    Lets see, oh yes and the ongoing lan thing that 'would be nice'. Shuffling my Samba config, maybe getting a streaming music server going again, stuff like that.

    Oh, burning Dulcea's backup. Lemme do that right now. Okay, burning, good.

    Lets see, what else. Well, I dunno. Its all in the todo list. See all y'all later.

    Wednesday 11 February 2004

    You've Been Forwarded

    I now have *two* networks at home. Its so cool. I can traceroute from one network to the other, and its all so very exciting. I'm just waiting for someone's dns record to expire *cough* chevette *cough* you wench *cough* *cough* and then its all cool. Check this out:

    [archangel@dulcea archangel]$ /usr/sbin/traceroute c
    traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 38 byte packets
    1 michael ( 0.433 ms 0.319 ms 0.200 ms
    2 chevette ( 0.777 ms 0.557 ms 0.431 ms
    [archangel@dulcea archangel]$

    Oooo Aaaaa! That's just the bitchin'est thing since, erm, something less bitchin'.

    So as you can *clearly* see from the traceroute, Michael is the router with one interface on and another on With all my network stuff loaded (iptables and routed) and ip forwarding enable, he now passes packets merrily between the two networks.

    Sadly, there's only one host on each network. Still, that's just super sweet. Once ex and I finish our assignment for network admin & security this week, then Michael will be all like "where you goin'? nowhere!" And dulcea's going to be like "when were you going to drop my packets?!" and michael will be all like "Now!" and the Governator of the Great State of California will come in through the window and he'll say "those packets are going *flex* over there *flex* *flex*"



    Oh, yeah. That was really nice...

    Saturday 7 February 2004

    Its Too Early for Madness, I'm going to have a burrito.

    Ergh, blergh, ugh, blech. Too much crazy and much to do. Stupid school, you are craptacular. So apparently Apache is misbehaving ... this is odd. Works fine here. Must remember to test from somewhere else. Um, right.

    Have been fucking around on the LAN for network admin #2: firewalls, yo. Haven't finished the assignment yet, but it looks like I'll end up with a pretty good personal firewall for my Linux workstations out of the deal. That'll cool.

    Anyhow, my burrito is done. I'm going now. Bye.

    Monday 2 February 2004

    PHP 5 is Up

    Woo! I'm on the bleeding edge of technology! Woo wee! After much screwing around, I have PHP 5 running. Sadly, my Apache config is all fucked up so it doesn't seem to be asking for passwords where it should. Likely apache is going to be more off then on until I can get that resolved.

    I'm hungry. I'm going to eat now. Bye.

    Aha. Got it. So the home directories can now use .htaccess files. All is well and right in the world.

    Friday 30 January 2004

    Alright, Lord. That's it. I'm calling you out.

    Do you hear me, you dirty cheater! You may have the "drive drunk into power pole" hack, but you're still a giant loser. Common. Play a legit server. I'll take you down for real. I don't need to "magically" cause power failures at your house at 5 in the morning to take you down. I'll kick your ass. I'll kick your ass even if you get a 4 frag lead, you cock-bite.

    So yeah. Power went out this morning around 5am PST. This is bullshit. I'm getting a UPS so I don't have to worry about Dulcea's file system getting trashed every few months. It would be nice to have a battery-backup, but I'm guessing I don't have the bones for that.

    On a related note. Dulcea came up fine this time except for IRC. I'll try getting that working but its Dante's server so we'll have to see about that. Maybe I'll have a little luck. Actually, I got it. Only thing that was fudged up was that I didn't start stunnel properly. Its all good now, baby.

    Thursday 29 January 2004

    Holy MEPIS!

    So I installed MEPIS on Michael. Well, "install" may not be the right word. I can't get gnome to run, everything in KDE is either in this illegible cursive script or in Spanish or both, I'm pretty sure I have about 200 packages too many installed and my gig nic doesn't work (expected) and neither does my sound.

    Linux rules :D I think I'm going to reinstall mepis when I get up tonight and this time get more with the working and less with the raping. Heck, I had better not go back to some skanky rpm-based distro after this ordeal (though I may end up on Mandrake again).


    Saturday 24 January 2004

    Goddamn Mongorians

    Dante and I were trying to get into nikita to change the root password and update roxy's A record but the goddamn mongorians were breaking down my shitty wall! Telus's bloody border on the OC3 connection is pinging 4,300ms. What a load of bullcrap and lies! This is a huge pipe and you just leave some crap-asstic piece of no good stupidness? What is up with that? I am so full of hate.

    Thursday 22 January 2004

    Excuse Me, Sir. You Can't Park that Zone Here

    So been reading up on my DNS. So far I've just slicked up my SOAs for all my zones and such. I've been noting down things TODO in my Digital Organizer (I know, its not even a TLA, but its a piece of crap so what can you do?) and there's a nice long list goin' on now ... And I've just hit the part of the book about DDNS. That should give me some food for thought.

    In other news, I booted Knoppix and tried to boot MEPIS. That was fairly sexy to be able to boot a fully-featured and Debian-based distribution from a CD. Knoppix created a 800MB ramdisk, detected all my hardware, and started KDE. It had XChat 2 installed, and, uh, lots of Stuff. Plus I could just apt-get anything I was missing. So neet.

    MEPIS failed to boot. Supposedly the main man over there is a nut and wants to hear about my problems so I'll email him. If its half as cool as Knoppix, then I'm so totaly down.

    Props to the crews on both those distros for sure.

    I started reading TCP/IP for Administrators (or whatever its called) in my "free time" this morning. Ah, there's nothing like overlapping, changing, or conflicting terminology to really get you going in the morning. Between "host", "multi-homed host", "gateway", and "router", the only clear thing is that Dulcea is at least a "multi-homed host" and not a "host". Depending on what year and who's being asked though she might be a gateway since she forwards packets, she might just be a multi-homed host, or she might be a router since she doesn't bridge different network topologies.

    Ahh, that will be another fun book. Heh, and Ken said "you know, Dominic, there's only so many books you can read at once."

    Friday 16 January 2004

    Welcome to Mandrake, Mr. Anderson

    Yep, that's right. I've installed Mandrake Linux on Michael. Its, well, fine. Just another full GUI Linux distribution. The installation was fine. I had to click some buttons to be sure networking was going to happen by default. I don't know that I needed to.

    The one different thing in the install is that Mandrake has a 'Use free space on windows partition' option for allocating drive space. I looked at it and I guess it would have worked. It didn't say that it was going to cry for FAT or anything. It just advised funning chkdsk c: from windows before using that option. Didn't try it but since Mandrake is one of the few distributions that has read/write support for NTFS compiled in, I'd imagine it would be fine.

    Other then that, Mandrake uses a little foot instead of a hat for the main menu icon. I haven't really done anything yet other then downloading Firebird so we'll see. I assume it will be fine.

    Now back to the important things in life: hacking DNS and getting my NIS back up.

    Thursday 15 January 2004

    That's My Name and Don't Wear it Out

    I've just finished the "configuring bind less like a suck-ass" chapter and am into the "clients need lovin too" chapter. There's a *lot* of cool stuff that can be done with dns.

    First of all, I really need to just sort out what I'm going to do with the zone. Single NS is fine but I think dulcea should resolve to both her routable and her non-routable ip addresses inside and outside the network.

    The matching deelio to that is that I need to start setting my search domains and search lists correctly. This is tricky since though I know it can be done, that information needs to be distributed automatically to clients and I don't know how to do that yet (eg via dhcp). Not to mention my NIS server is still down for lack of troubleshooting...

    Also there was the "Mail is Doom!" chapter. Lots of good stuff in there too. I think I may want to get dulcea to join roxy as a mail exchanger.

    Hmm where was I? Yeah, DHCP and DNS. Fun stuff. I think I'm gonna go kill things for a little bit and go to sleep.

    Wednesday 14 January 2004

    DNS: 141 Archangel: A Handful of Half-Points

    In today's fun of fun fun DNS fun stuff, I tried to see if I could delegate my child zone from Nikita to Dulcea.

    I don't know why. All the ip addresses are non-routable so they won't resolve outside that network anyhow, but I even tried to have Dulcea do a zone transfer back to Nikita.

    I think I'm huffing gas. I'm definately going to sleep now. BYE!

    Monday 12 January 2004

    Holy Uptime!

    up 6 days, 14:39
    up 61 days, 15:56

    Now Nikita has an uptime. And she's basically doing no traffic too. 750 MB out since last time the firewall was zeroed which may well be the 61 days ago. Actually, it would be whenever we shutdown port 80 which is going to still be around 45 days ago. Nice and light.

    The weak part is that she shouldn't be put under much more load then the handful of apache, mysql, and bind processes. Anything external is being encrypted and getting Nikita to load a webmail page is fairly unresponsive and spikes almost the entire CPU for about ten seconds... Ouch.

    Ah well. One of these days I may end up cleaning up Dulcea and then switching the two. Depending how how much traffic I'll use and how much is I'm allowed, of course. But having most of the work done by Dulcea on the OC3 leaving only routing, cacheing dns, and samba for the lan which Nikita would be fine for. IO heavy processes good!

    And in related news, Roxy, my uptime nemesis (or something) is now down. Dante is moving back to the island so Dulcea has a unique opportunity to gain a lead on her. Bwahaha!

    Ergo the IRC server has been moved again. Its going under the more permanent name "" though is going to move around a bunch yet. Should make connecting to whatever the active server is a bit more transparent though. Once everyone gets to using that name, I rekon they won't have to sweat it no matter what since I'm probably going to cast my vote for renewing the domain and I think we can easily get the nibble to unanimously for for renew (which comes up a ways away anyhow, but I'm just saying).

    Screw you guys! I'm turning the ramble right around. So help me, God...

    Tuesday 6 January 2004

    Smoted Again!

    Must post more ... posting muscles so weak...

    Yet again, God, that bastard, smote my power out. He cast a furious snow storm and then slammed some stupid fucking idiot into the power pole outside (or something) leaving me without power from somewhere in 8am to 10am right up till almost 2pm.

    What a bastard.

    While booting stuff up, most everything was fine except Dulcea's turbo power supply wasn't all that keen on starting. I'd press the power and she'd chug and whir like a helicopter going down and then she'd switch off. Figuring it was that she didn't take well to the cold, I tried several times and each time the sound was a little different. Eventually she did come up and now she's her usual stealth-fighter engine sound level.

    The nice part was that despite getting dumped, there were almost no filesystem errors. She recovered the journal in a few places, dropped some dirty inodes here and there and that was it. I was very proud.

    Today's Word Origin is:
    Bash: Boxing is responsible for this term. It dates the the 1800s, when pugilists were sometimes called "bashers", referring to the action of the fists.

    You just gotta love the way these words are written up on this calendar. Must be Americans.

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