Older blog entries for RoUS (starting at number 36)

almost ante-meridian, EST

rpm nirvana
Right, so I managed to put together OpenSSH RPMs for RH 6.2 and 5.2, and upgrade almost all of my servers appropriately -- including the Tru64 ones. Now, when I get my RH Alpha-Linux CDs I can see about making RPMs for it too. Not a lot else accomplished this week-end.

post meridian, EST

rpm hell
Aside from various things with book reviewing, book writing, and conference planning, I have been hacking at building RH Linux RPMs for OpenSSH. There are doubtless already some out there already, but count this as a learning exercise in the black art of RPM construction.

Lots of stuff currently on the back burner; updates due when progress is made. In the meantime, everyone should register for ApacheCon 2001. :-)

post meridian, EST

wandering wonderings
You know, I think the MindStorms would gain coolness points if it could be radio-controlled.. There probably already is a sensor-pack for that, and I just have not yet found it.

Well, ApacheCon 2001 registration is now open; see the Web site linked above. Perople were getting spammed from the announcement list even though they unsubscribed -- because they were getting re-subscribed due to their records in the ApacheCon database. A little Perl, a little PHP, a little MySQL, and ezmlm's '-QQ' option, and now the database and the mailing list are kept in synch. Wahoo.

O'Reilly Open-Source Convention (OSCON 2001)
I am putting the submissions for the Apache track through the final process to-day. Some seriously good stuff here.

Anyone want to present on Apache software?
I just set up a mailing list for people who want to be kept informed about opportunities to present about Apache software. Now whenever anyone wants to invite speakers or issue a CFP, they can include the mailing list in their post -- or someone on the list seeing such can forward it to the list. Strictly opt-in; send a message containing 'subscribe' to <speaking-ops-request@Apache-Server.Com>.

random scribblings
Lots and lots of articles, chapters, and software to write..

early morning, EST

Heh. Despite my convictions and concerns about the GPL, I find that I have made changes to a GPLed package. I did not realise it was GPLed when I modified it for my own purposes, but discovered the fact when I wanted to contribute the changes back and outward. I double-checked before sending the mail, and it is cool with my employer (under certain non-onerous conditions, like not doing it on company time), but I still feel weird about it. Thought required..

We made the session selections for ApacheCon 2001 last week; we chose 74 sessions from the 165 proposals submitted. The schedule will be posted later this week, and registration will open as well.

other obOpen
I have been doing some work in my spare time enhancing one of my Perl text processors. It started out as a lightweight way to maintain a single file with some variable content, but I have been adding features lately as the ideas occurred to me. A little more work and I will post it on Freshmeat.

Tired, but so what else is new? Insurance sucks; we have been getting yanked around and overcharged for months for some lab work and office visits; I have no intention of paying for things covered by the insurance. I had an appointment with my dentist yesterday, but he called Monday to say he had to cancel because my insurance company did not renew its contract with him. Bugger; having him in the plan was one of the reasons we stayed with that plan when the selection had to be made last October. Now it is January, when the choice goes into effect, and they have kicked him out. Grrr.

I have been exchanging some email with artist/author Donna Barr, whose work I really like. Quite cool. My correspondence with Alexei Panshin seems to have petered out; looking at his Web site, it appears he is more obsessed with Heinlein than I thought. Get a grip, Alexei; in its own way, your stuff is better than his.

morning, EST

Added the ability to ignore messages according to subject patterns to autoresponder. Replaced --no-reply-to (still present but deprecated) with --ignore-from. Makes it easier to ignore bounces and spam.

Fly to Massachusetts on Wednesday for FreeNIX planning, then California for ApacheCon planning. Did I already say that? One thing that sucks about not living near an airline hub: miles end up being spread across a dozen airlines instead of only a couple. Still got thousands of miles on TWA from when I lived in St Louis; who knows what'll happen to 'em if AA buys TWA. Bah.

early afternoon, EST

deekayen says:

RoUS: I appreciate the fact that you certified me. In fact, I think I had certified you at one point. ... However, just because you certified me doesn't mean I'm going to certify you. ... I don't know you, you're a master already, so you will have to excuse me if I don't ever certify you... not even for apprentice. I should hope that the others listed don't certify you just because you finger pointed either.

Um, I wasn't pointing any fingers, and I too hope none of the people I named certify me simply because I named them. Certainly it's not a uniformly symmetrical arrangement, and I don't expect people to certify me 'just because' I certified them. I suspect you're overlooking one of the derivative effects, too: I'm sure I'm not the only one who checks out the distance+n relationships. That is, if I know Heather, and Heather certifies me, if I notice that Heather has also certified Chris I'll have some little inclination to check out Chris' contributions (possibly resulting in a certification of Chris) because I respect Heather's judgement.

Am I monumentally insane to feel a compulsion to find out more about people in an n-way trust network who have expressed trust in me?

For example, I don't expect Alan to ever certify me; he doesn't know me nor my work from Chthulu. However, it seems to me that there should be some degree of reciprocity in closer relationships (like co-developers). A symmetrical network won't grow, but a collection of solely one-way paths can't be trusted.

11 Jan 2001 (updated 11 Jan 2001 at 23:38 UTC) »

evening, EST

People who have certified me about whom I need to find out more so I can evaluate returning the compliment:
(It's a moral imperative.)
Cardinal, davidw, dneighbors, jLoki, lerdsuwa, mjs, sh, steveh, superant, suso, voltron.

People whom I have certified who have not returned the compliment:
(Not all of them know me, so some of these are entirely reasonable. Others.. well, in a voluntary system it's hard to say it's 'unreasonable,' but it rather seems that way in some cases.)
alan, andi, ben, bhyde, cananian, daniel, deekayen, dirkx, fanf, fc, grisha, jg, jkh, jmbarry, kfogel, lpd, manoj, mjcox, rasmus, rbb, rse, shaneowenby, shields, ssb, stefano, stoddard, thies, twleung.

10 Jan 2001 (updated 10 Jan 2001 at 23:08 UTC) »

late afternoon/early evening EST

Conference thingies
Next week I go to New England for USENIX/FREENIX planning. There's an Apache board concall scheduled for the time I expect to be travelling to the airport/waiting at the gate. Coming back Saturday night, I leave Sunday morning for ApacheCon planning in California. Cathy's going with me to New England so she can see friends and relatives while I'm busy with the planning. She's not coming to California. All in all, I'll be gone a bit more than a week, with a few-hour bounce off the home base.


Who is we, anyways?
Heh. I finally converted the GDBM database of free-source participation survey responses into a MySQL database, using mod_php instead of a Perl CGI to display & manage it. You can view the results at

The main Sourcery page hasn't been changed to point to this document yet because it's still not finished; for instance, there's currently no way for someone new to take the survey, nor for someone who did to change their responses.

One new thing, though, is the availability of the anonymised responses in CSV format. Several people wanted to use the information in their research, so I created a dump, and will update it semi-regularly.

early afternoon, EST

Well, we've got a couple of superstar speakers for keynotes in Santa Clara: maddog and David Brin (s-f author of Earth and Uplift fame). Woo-hoo!

Other Open stuff
Got more Perl-to-PHP and GDBM-to-MySQL conversion work done on my top-secret-crap project at the week-end. When it's fully converted I'll list it here.

There are now n people who have certified me about whom I need to find out more so I can conditionally return the favour.. And there are m whom I have certified who have not returned it unto me.

4 Jan 2001 (updated 4 Jan 2001 at 19:26 UTC) »

early post meridian, EST

The Big Feather finally arrived from the UK, after sitting in US Customs because no-one could figure out how to supply an invoice for it. Customs was threatening to destroy it soon, so I faked one up with MS Word. {sigh} Bureau-rats.. It got broken on the way to the UK, but the return trip didn't make it any worse. A little white glue, some bamboo skewers, black marker.. It's about 2-3kg; excellently crafted firmfoam.

Some interesting news may soon be forthcoming on the ApacheCon front; it'll be announced on the announcement list if all works out.

Perl and DBI and..
I finally got off my arse long enough to finish scripting something to convert data in a GDBM file into MySQL. All praise DBI! Now the Web access stuff needs to be converted, Perl -> PHP. Then I'll give more details here for the insanely lifeless. :-)

{sigh} I need to find some time to go through the Advogato user list and do some people-research and possibly some certs. More publishers and editors after me to write stuff; there are certainly enough projects being offered me to make writing a full-time job. Now, if only the benefits and pay were as nice as those IBM is currently providing me..

I've pretty much determined to take the plunge and migrate one of my systems to qmail. Now, should I do it to my laptop, or one of my desktops? If I do it to the laptop, it'll force me to use it -- but it may also torque me off if a lack of understanding on my part gets in the way of some important mail activity..

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