Older blog entries for chexum (starting at number 18)

fun
Finally the machine is ready. I dug out an old CD-ROM, it's called GoldStar GCD-R520B. It didn't work. At least until I fixed the loose IDE cable. No problems since then. The drive has been manufacterd in June, 1995, and the vendor is now better known an LG, and they still have a web page about it. The drive is fine, that's what I call standards :) It can't read CDDA, but it's only a double speed drive anyway. Good for recovery boot, if I replace that stinky cable. Really surprising to have something this old, and mechanical still working nicely.

memories
Maybe not at all, if I think about it. I also have an A3000UX which was in a previous life called cbmvie.commodore.co.at, until my friend bought it from the sell-out from Commodore. Unfortunately, most data from its hard disk is long gone, including traces of the Commodore System V Unix itself. I didn't know better. But at least it has a Commodore ethernet card, which is still a rarity.

fun
Mostly installed the new machine. It took a while, because I didn't have a floppy for ages, I always install machines via hard disk copy, including lilo-ing them in the old machine. Most of the time this worked out ok, but now it didn't. First, the kernel failed to boot (reset after decompression). I tried to get rid of K7 optimizations, no go. Finally it occured to me that the APIC shouldn't be enabled with a K6. Then, at the early boot sequence, the new machine still crapped out with what looked like a corrupted filesystem, and lo, putting it back to the working one, indeed, it got corrupted. It took another while still I discovered that during boot, it set the IDE to UDMA/66 on a VIA controller which is capable only to UDMA/33... Majorly "restructuring" the boot filesystem in the progress.

But it's ok, by 01:35 (AM for you USians) I was ready, just forgot the BIOS/ATA settings in the most conservative state, and going to sleep early. Now, what day would be better for our remote sites to have urgent problems at 06:00 than this same day?

fun
Thrown together a nice little spare machine (with bigger plans :) It's a K6-III (the cache everywhere thing). Now I just have to decide which hard disk I "spare" for it, and tomorrow I'll be getting a 100mb switch too to test my improved home network. Geeky. Gigabit would be better, have I mentioned it? :)

I've read a lot through ethernet docs these days, gigabit is very funny, it's full duplex on 4 wire pairs using all of them simultaneously in both directions. I'm not an EE, so it's magic to me :). You can't anymore confuse me with AUI, MAC, MII, GMII, PHY, PMD, PCS, MDI-X, MDI-II, ethernet flow control, link aggregation, vlan, NWay, LIT, NLP, FLP and such trivial things :)

Starting to envy the people who can toy with gigabit ethernet, I mean those who afford switches and anything else to connect it to. :)

Today is almost over, including a short session of a hopeful network redesign plans... It's a bit bizarre that this makes me happy :) 2.4.18-rc1 is out, 2.2 starts to look ages old on those servers..

life
The doc said yesterday I had sinusitis, but healing quite ok. Good to know. Inhalation with chamomile helped the most. So much for medications :)

work
Trying to find some inter-isp misconfiguration, when probably someone just limited a hosts bandwidth in our direction... It's fun indeed.

fun
On Friday, a well known spammer had forged some mails with a return address of a small school machine I still run. It has almost stock qmail, so there's no way to refuse addresses to invalid local users. Also I can't shut it down, since other MX hosts run the same qmail, for the whole school. Fortunately this qmail has a single patch which allows to refuse any specific addresses. After a few scripts to collect all the invalid addresses, and make them into a refuse list, it started to get more manageable. It was 251 invalid local addresses, and more than 5MB of spewage later when it occurred to me that almost all the spam returns are coming from open relay hosts, so I'm back to using rblsmtpd with outputs.orbz.org. About 250 open relays. Without these, SPAM would not be so prevalent. I hate incompetent operators. Including local ISPs who think relay block lists are an inconvenience item to force them changing addresses daily.

genromfs (and romfs) is more than five years old now, registered on SF more than two years ago, and has the first update in years less than a month ago :) SF download services are *slow* for a week or so...

work
I'm still not too well, but people won't leave me alone at home... at least let them pay me... That also mean even less fun today.

cactus: that's politics, and I don't like that, I'm not like my grandfather yet :)

books
welisc: opposite part of Europe yes, Hungary. In 1999 a 300 page fantasy paperpack would cost 3 euro, now a 200 page local sci-fi is about 3.6. Tolkien LotR illustrated hard-cover, ~1200 pages, about 24 euro (a bit cheaper than a current DVD); this C++ book should be about 40 euro (and paperback if I saw correctly). Books were expensive when they were half this yes. But anyway prices are hard to compare between countries, it does not sound cheap to me. Maybe it's still a nice country to live in :) Still might be a good investment for C++ addicts, indeed. But the language is prohibitive for people wanting a good buy, possibly. I rather buy 6-10 pulp sci-fi nowadays :)
life
Still almost boring. Remember the occasional cracker-hunt, coming back on backdoors, and you play wack-a-mole with him. Weird to do that with the former boss, who hired me almost exactly three years ago..

fun
Interesting times (as in the "Chinese" saying..). Linus just started to use BitKeeper, slashdot posted an article about arch.. Now I can see that the discussions on slashdot have very little value, even if you are bored all day... arch is a bit weird, it looks as a patchy maze of shell scripts (all different), but otherwise more likable...

welisc: funny, I've just seen that C++ book in my native language, and let me tell you, books are here getting *expensive*. The last time their price got so high was a few years ago, but this Christmas seems to have made all the publishers (not just of technical books) a lot greedier.

mirwin: Aha, another one got sucked into Wikipedia :)

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