"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
December 5, 2004

Finding motivation to do the things I know I need to do is proving difficult.

So instead I sit around watching Lost and ReGenesis (Canadian show, actually very good; yeah, I know, right?) and wasting time.

Here I am, still skating.

5:19 PM | Life
December 6, 2004

Finally got around to "installing" dovecot.

I say "installing" because it was just a make install, then editing the config file to change the available daemons from the default (imap,imaps) to imaps only.

That was very possibly the most painless piece of server software I have ever installed.

5:23 AM | Systems Administration
December 8, 2004

Why the hell can't I sleep for more than four hour stretches?

I'm sure I've complained about this before, and it's not a really common thing. But when it happens, it goes on for weeks at a time, until I can't even see straight.

I sat down yesterday and made a list of things to do at work. It was an entire page long, and didn't cover things like "updating documentation" where there is documentation, or creating some where there isn't. Most of it's about a year old, though little has actually changed in terms of architecture or operation.

No progress on system so far this week.

No motion on anything at all.

7:42 AM | Life
December 10, 2004

Still in the grip of timed insomnia, my body slamming me into consciouness like fucking clockwork, just before I manage to actually get any rest.

No direction, and so no progress.

I think I got into a fight with Michelle last night, but it's hard to say. Guess I'll find out when she doesn't talk to me again.

Funny how familiar those words are...


It's just a matter of gaining some semblence of control. And not even taking it back because it has become clear to me that it was never mine to begin with.

(Apparently I managed to scrawl a few paragraphs of something before I passed out last night. Looks to be typical hackerfic crap. Blah.)

December 11, 2004

<kitten> Just the "hookup" thing is crap.
<kitten> These things should, ideally, happen organically.
<bda> That's how it's always happened for me.
<bda> Add one part Bryan and one part Girl to a room for a few hours, and hey, some sort of mold thing happens.
<bda> Only cute mold.
<kitten> Sounds like a great recipe.
<bda> It's worked so far. Getting to that stage is somewhat difficult.
<kitten> The hard part is getting the "girl" and "alone" and "hours" part.
<bda> Quite.
<bda> What I need to so is:
<bda> 1) Get a real ID.
<bda> 2) Go to the bar literally one block south of here.
<bda> 3) Write and get drunk.
<bda> 4) When a girl asks what I'm writing, I tell her "some stupid crap. I'm Bryan, but you can call me shit-faced."
<kitten> Yes, get a real fucking ID.
<bda> 6) We end up in my room.
<kitten> What was step 5.
<bda> I have no fucking clue.

The nice thing about the bar down the street is that it's down the street, you see. So it's a short victory walk. Or a short pathetic loser walk.

Either way, really.

(Please note that this is mostly said in jest.)

7:06 PM | Life
December 12, 2004

People you know try to tell you things
Bad things that you don't want to know about
Tell you tomorrow what you did today
Just remember, it's a small town
It's a real small town
She gets tired of all the stupid boys
She can't wait until they're done
She wants a man who can take his time
She wants someone who can make her come
Yeah, can you make me come
You always say you want a simple life
You and me both know that you are a liar
You always say you want a simple life
Hearing you talk just makes me tired
Swim in the heavy water
Buried in the sand
Happy hearts fall from my shaky hands
I can't hide my sexual life
He always says he wants to find a special one
But you watch his head go spinning around
He really wants anyone who'll give it up
He seems to forget he's in a small town
You always say you never fuck around
You say this town is just plain full of liars
Yeah you always say you never fuck around
Hey, hearing you talk just makes me tired
Swimming in the heavy water
Buried in the sand
Happy hearts fall from my stupid hands
I can't hide my sexual life
My sexual life


2:34 AM | Lyric Spam

It's funny how you can read something a dozen times and still manage to come across some new association.

The black kid with the dreads had earned his fifty. They'd found him crouching there like a gargoyle on the curb, his face somehow already as old as it would ever need to be, smoking Russian cigarettes from a red-and-white pack he kept tucked into the rolled-up sleeve of an old army shirt, three sizes too big. The van still had its wheels on and the tires were intact.

-- Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties

Boomzilla is likely smoking Kamel Reds. The light version of which being my choice of cigarette, a disgusting habit you can thank kitten for.

8:10 AM | Writing | Comments (2)

Adam O.: I can tell I'm hydrated again because I have to pee every ten minutes.
bda: Or you're pregnant.
A: With your baby.
bda: Er. Have you been scraping off my sheets and artificially inseminating yourself again?

4:58 PM | Life
December 13, 2004

02:18 -!- yuckf00 [yuckf00@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Read error: Connection reset by peer]
02:18 -!- pthread [pthread@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Read error: Connection reset by peer]
02:18 -!- devi0us [devi0us@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Read error: Connection reset by peer]
02:18 -!- asm_ [asm@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Write error: Connection reset by peer]
02:18 -!- javaman [javaman@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Write error: Connection reset by peer]
02:18 -!- |8^D [enkrypted@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Write error: Connection reset by peer]
02:18 -!- sonic [sonic@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Read error: Connection reset by peer]
02:18 -!- binary [binary@west.philly.ghetto.org] has quit [Write error: Broken pipe]
02:18 <@bda> whups.

It's funny when you enable pf, because it has no state table.

1:24 PM | Systems Administration
December 15, 2004

Friend of mine asked me to pull his data off a busted Windows install, so I said sure.

Finally get around to actually plugging the drive into my workstation (which is a Mac) and then go looking for Linux PPC LiveCDs that don't suck. Well. They all had problems. The Knoppix images I tried didn't even boot all the way. The Gentoo image would boot, then start throwing "vt: argh data_driver is NULL !" errors. Booting with noapic fixed it half the time, at least. But then, of course, NTFS wasn't supported by the kernel and I had just about no interest in recompiling their kernel and re-burning the image for it.

So I do a quick google run for third-party NTFS apps for Mac OS X and hit the Mac OS X Filesystems list, which seems very comprehensive.

And of course OS X has NTFS read-only support. So I boot and start pulling data off to a network drive. It's really not the fastest thing in the world, but it appears to be mostly working (there are some I/O errors getting thrown around; I dunno if that's physical or driver, though).

Anyway, it's saved me a trip to Factory or work in 23 degree weather, so I'm okay with it taking all damn day if it wants to.

9:35 AM | Systems Administration

Spent most of the day downstairs, which is a rarity seeing as how it's twenty some degrees out, and not much warmer in the living room. Cooked up some burgers that have been in the freezer for uhm, four or five months, in the George Forman grill. Dowsed them in A1 sauce and it was all good. Just goes to show, I suppose, that you put enough steak sauce on anything that it'll be fine. An Alien hasn't burst out of my chest and started singing and dancing yet, at any rate.

The Avril "Sessions at AOL" thing was on Fuse for the umpteenth time, and I noticed she was wearing a "BUTCH SUCKS" shirt, which was vaguely disturbing. Michelle's birthday took place at the Butch show up at the Northstar last week.

That was not a very happy night, unfortunately. cough.

Watched a lot of Law and Order, the season finale of South Park (which was fucking insane). Read a bunch of shell scripting docs (which I haven't done in years, as all the scripts I write, I write in Perl, but I'm bored), and did a little work.

Tickets have been acquired for flying home for the holidays (the 31st to the 6th, not exactly traditional, but...), and the plan as it currently stands is for me to fly into Phoenix, get picked up by my sister, apparently there's going to be a hotel involved, then drive to Albuquerque the next day.

Why we aren't just driving straight to ABQ I have no idea. It's only seven hours.

And of course to get back home I'll be driving the seven hours back to Phoenix, and then the sitting around in the airport, and then the flying for gods knows how many hours...

Why am I getting thos awful sense of deja vu -- oh, because I just did this last month. Hopefully I won't get punched in the head this trip.

What a fucking charlie foxtrot my life is.


Finally got around to playing with NetNewsWire after everyone and their mother wouldn't shut up about it. RSS is one of those things that I ignored because "open all in tabs" was Good Enough. Now that I've spent a day using an aggregator, I'm annoyed that half the sites I read don't syndicate...

The backup situation at work is slowly beginning to stabilize.

The mail situation at work is slowly beginning to stabilize.

It sort of drives me nuts that system is not even remotely written but I already have an idea for the sequel in mind...


I'm going to bed now.

December 18, 2004

Stayed at work late last night with the intention of rebuilding the LAN firewall, and replacing the router with an OpenBSD box.

Unfortunately I had to move the mx to get at the firewall... and the mx has a really twitchy root drive, which finally decided to kill itself. Manged to pull the passwd file and some of the postfix configs off.

The upshot of this is that I spent about five hours building machines and migrating users and data.

  • Wrote a really lame Linux (Sixth Edition) password file to BSD master.passwd converter. I had been up since 0630 could barely see by this point, which was kind of fun. The awk line was ripped off from this.
  • Documented my default actions during an OpenBSD install.

Got everything up and running (and users shouldn't notice any changes, except being asked to save a new cert if they're using pop3s) around 0330.

Walked to the train station and saw more creepy people in Camden last night than I think I have in four years of late nights. Got home around 0445 and slept for six hours before my next door neighbor decided it was a good time to start shooting aliens and woke me up.

(Good news is today is Sophy and Adam's potluck.)

Let me know what you think about the obsd install doc (though it's more script than doc). I'm not sure about the harden_obsd.pl script any more, but.

1:59 PM | Systems Administration

An addendum... I forgot to make a seperate /var/mail partition for mailspools as I've gotten used to delivering to Maildir in the user home directories. But I've gotten in the habit, lately, of having spillover drive space mounted to /vol/scratch for just such occurrances.

# umount /vol/scratch
# postfix stop
# mv /var/mail /var/mail.foo
# mkdir /var/mail
# disklabel -E /dev/wd0c

Kill the scratch partition, add /var/mail, re-add /vol/scratch...

# newfs /dev/wd0{$x}
# newfs /dev/wd0{$y}
# mount /vol/scratch
# mount /var/mail
# mv /var/mail.foo/* /var/mail
# rm -r /var/mail.foo
# vi /etc/fstab


2:14 PM | Systems Administration
December 19, 2004

Yesterday Adam and Sophy hosted a potluck at their apartment. About a dozen people showed up, stellar humans all, and a good time was had, with much feasting, drinking, and conversation.

I showed up a couple hours early, procured salad fixings, and made a Big Salad which I was not happy with, but eh, whaddaygonnado.

Sophy cooked a turkey, which was totally awesome, and Eric Cronin made some of the best chili I've had in years.

Saw Bryce and Steph for the first time in more than half a year, I think. Steph, as always, way more fashionable than the rest of us slobs. I unfortunately didn't try any of Bryce's curry, as by that point I was totally full and busy rolling around on the floor in my excess.

I thought Adam was joking about this, but my bottom lip actually did get stained by wine. I looked like a fucking Mentat. Awesome.

Gallo didn't smoke enough of my cigarettes and Russel was as understated yet cool as usual. I yelled at him to take off his damn tie, but he refused. Gallo: "Don't worry, I'll take it off him later."

Liz, Matt and I walked back to our part of town around 0200, I think, just in time for all the drunk people to be getting out of bars and amuse us.

Heard while walking down Pine, near 5th St, presumably some drunken frat guy: "Hey! Look at my penis!"

A truly excellent night.

And shortly, I think I will head back over and help them clear out some of those leftovers. :)

4:38 PM | Life
December 20, 2004

So earlier today I noticed that a 'pop3' process on our (newly installed, thanks to the old one's root drive burning itself out) user mailserver eating CPU and thrashing.

After a few minutes investigation (and a suggestion from ejp), it seems that the mbox index cache that dovecot builds got corrupted, and spun out of control. Blowing the cache away fixed the problem.

I also upgraded the user's MUA from Thunderbird 0.9 to 1.0, though I figure it's sort of unlikely that was the cause.

Worries me that dovecot will do that in the first place, though, and I suspect this may be one of the things Harry was talking about when he said that dovecot doesn't scale...

(Note: You can turn caching off.)

2:33 PM | Systems Administration | Comments (1)
  • Some jackass turned off the machine that serves the estimating software.
  • Had to troubleshoot that fun dovecot bug.
  • Co-workers machine got owned and was hammering random machines on the Interweb with ssh brute force attacks. Common forensics software doesn't see shit (linux), but I'm not surprised.
  • Had to set up the firewall rules for reflection, as I forgot to do it on Friday.
  • Discovered that rsync_hfs apparently does not work with netatalk2, in that it does not keep resource forks. Which is its entire purpose for being. psync, ditto, CpMac, etc, all work as expected. Rewrote wrapper scripts to use psync. Last two weeks of data have no resforks. Will be very entertaining when someone asks for a restore. Note to self: Test all software more thoroughly after upgrades instead of just assuming because it doesn't cause OS X to reboot itself doesn't mean it's more gooder.
  • It was so windy and cold this morning that the side of my neck which took the brunt of the wind is still red, seven hours later.
  • Haven't got to work on my graphing project at all, which is annoying but fair.
  • Need to set up OpenVPN on the company firewall.
  • Need to set up OpenVPN on PWF's firewall and set up tunnels to CCCP and the Hasty Pastry. Need to read up on routing protocols (or just leave it up to porkchop who seems way more interested in it than I do).


5:52 PM | Systems Administration
December 25, 2004

<bda> Er. I hear popping noises coming from downstairs.
<bda> And from downstairs it's coming from the ceiling. Fucking loud to be mice.
<bda> I'd like to know what this noise is.
<bda> It's tweakin' me out.
<Danelope> It's fucking SANTA CLAUS.
<Danelope> Scuttling through your crawlspace.
<Danelope> Waiting for an opportune moment to descend from the air ducts and punch a hole through your skull with his secondary set of mandibles.
<Danelope> And feast on the meaty goodness inside.
<Danelope> HO HO HO.

Either it's Santa or the squibs...

7:18 AM | irk
December 26, 2004

It isn't winter until I slip on ice in the street and fall in front of half a dozen people.

I am the awesome.

Time to look into re-treading my boots.

11:38 PM | Life
December 29, 2004

< mdxi> anyone care to pin down avril what'sherface's musical style more specifically than "post-punk lamer"?
<@bda> "pop emo punk I wanna put my dick in it"
< mdxi> two thumbs up

December 31, 2004

It's so awesome that I have to be on a plane in about ten hours, and instead of packing and then sleeping, I'm doing stupid sysadmin crap.

And as soon as I hit Sky Harbor, apparently there is going to be partytime. Mm. No sleep, alochol, and probably lots of people I haven't met before...

I am the rockstar.

7:07 AM | Life