Older blog entries for matt (starting at number 2)

Good morning, world. Yesterday I threatened to cannibalize all my systems, and I spent last evening doing it. Now I'm on an actually fairly snappy P166 with 80MB and running my hard drive in DMA mode. Life is good (or as good as it can get without a new computer budget) :-) Of course, running OpenBSD instead of a bloated Windows install or an even more bloated Red Hat install helps immensely.

Strangest thing happened during the hardware switchover, though. I booted megaweapon with a P100 (swapped the processor with the newly-christened gamera), came up to my production OpenBSD install, and the modem wasn't working. My modem's a Zoom internal hard-jumpered to the serial port I use. It was discovered OK by the kernel, but seemed to be ignoring ppp's commands. So I powered it down, reseated the thing, and then the computer wouldn't boot. Hmm. Powered it down again, went to reseat it again, and got a mild (~24V) shock. About this time I started to break down and cry, and my wife tried to pacify me by saying she'd let me buy a new modem. :-) Well, I pulled the modem out, and booted fine, then put it back in, and it miraculously started working again. Probably overheard us talking about replacing it, and didn't want to sleep in a box next to my Gravis UltraSound. I don't know why, the UltraSound was the coolest sound card in existence, before support for it all but dried up.

What else have I accomplished? Not much, though now I feel like I have the infrastructure to do more. I'm pulling OpenBSD current sources from one of the anoncvs servers (last night's pull got aborted in the middle of the night, sigh) and am hoping to start it a-building before I go with my wife to visit her family for the weekend. Migrated a bunch of files off megaweapon to gamera. Still more to go there.

Oh! Got my first success report for the nessus port. Needless to say, everything looks a little brighter now. I think I'll stick with easier ports in the future. :-)

EPILOGUE: When editing diaries, extra <p> tags get inserted. Hmm. We should use WikiWikiMarkupLanguage; then I don't have to bother with entities either. :-) Anyway, I'm at the in-laws now, with an ssh session open in the other window (over there <==) and compiling a few ports while I wait for the source tree to finish being CVS'd on down. One thing I miss about FreeBSD was using CVSup to pull down sources -- it was much faster than anoncvs. We do have CVSup servers, but last time I tried to use them I ran into some trouble... I believe it had something to do with being written in Modula-3 and OpenBSD not having a Modula-3 system, so we had to run the binary in emulation. Don't recall exactly. Maybe, in the interests of speeding everything up a bit, I'll try again. Someday.

A-ha! Figured out the problem with the nessus port. Amongst the four packages, there are three different header files, all named "includes.h". All three are different and one gets installed. What the problem boiled down to was that the script that tried to glue the non-installed packages together was telling the packages to use the wrong includes.h. It's better now, and once I get positive reviews from my ever-growing testing group, I'll commit it. Joy!

Spent last evening (after I fixed the port) in extensive hardware swapping. Got an old P100 from work that I swapped with the P166 that was megaweapon, so I can use the P166 to track OpenBSD's current sources rather than trying to do new things against production code. I needed to put in a 3C509 card because the PRO/10 card that came with it was PnP, and I didn't feel like recompiling the kernel just to add its PnP ID. Now I notice in the dmesg that the P100 has a pretty damned good controller on it (the disks feel a heck of a lot snappier than on the P166, that's for sure). I'm trying to weigh the ability to use more RAM (the P166 has 6 SIMM slots v. the P100's 4) against the disk access. It wouldn't be such a big deal except that all my SIMMs except two are 8 MB SIMMs. 32 MB does not a good development box make nowadays. I suppose I could gut my Windoze box, bring it back down to 32 MB for now (it currently has 2 32 MB SIMMs in it, making a total of 64 MB). Choices, I tell ya.

This probably isn't diary material, but I thought I'd share with any readers who might be dropping by. lynx is a great tool for editing diary entries, wikis, anything where you have big blocks of text to author -- simply because you can take your textarea and shift it into vi (or emacs, if you're that kind of person, but then again, I suppose there's some elisp mumbojumbo that doesn't even require you to go into lynx) :-) The only problem is it seems to be invoked differently, or not work at all, depending on your platform and/or terminal. From my soon-to-be-reformatted Red Hat box, it's Ctrl-X e, but when telnetted from that box to my OpenBSD box, it's Ctrl-V e and doesn't work. :-/ I seem to recall it working at one point on the OpenBSD console but haven't been able to reproduce it since. Well, if you can get it to work, it's mind-numbingly cool. vi forever! :-)

Well, here it is. My first diary entry. Maybe this will suffice for that web column I keep meaning to write. :-)

Thoughts on Advogato being Salonned: I don't generally care much for Salon, frankly; although some of their free software coverage has been good, their politics leave a very bad taste in my mouth. However, the article intrigued me. I'd created my account a few days prior but didn't know quite what to do with it at the time. Now I'm growing to like Advogato, almost to the exclusion of wading through the flames and hot grits on Slashdot.

I want to create a new wiki system, which may seem odd because the very reason I'm slowly coming to hate Slashdot is because it permits any yahoo to post any drivel they so desire. Perhaps I'm just caught up in how much fun wiki can be, or maybe I'm mistaking the technology for the culture; thinking any wiki is the ultimate collaboration medium just because WikiWikiWeb is. I do want to provide a modern wiki that doesn't suffer from bloat like all the WikiWikiClones I've seen so far.

I've been sweating over the OpenBSD Nessus port for some time now, largely because we have opted to make the four silly little packages that it's distributed as into one large logical package, and that takes some serious fooling of the gtk-config-style scripts that it uses. Right now I'm trying to sort out a problem where it will pull includes out of older installed versions and break horribly. I changed the order of the cflags, solving one problem, but introducing another. Either gcc has some very strange problems with rearranging its arguments or nessus's includes are seriously ill-thought-out (and I'm leaning towards the latter).

Oh, and thanks, Stab, for the cert. It's not easy being green, but it beats the heck outta being gray...

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