"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
May 1, 2006

<@robf> My xserver is fucked ;)
<@bda> Shock.
<@bda> Get a Mac.
<@bda> :)
<@robf> What's the worst part of running a Mac?
<@robf> Telling all your friends you're gay.
<@bda> What's the worst part of running Linux? Being fat and smelly and not getting any anyway.
<@bda> ;P
<@robf> ha
<@robf> Better than running a Mac and getting all the metrosexual d00ds. HA HA! So owned!!!
<@bda> Wanna see something funny?
<@robf> haha as long as it's not graphical
<@robf> I'm in CLI mode.
<@bda> [bda@selene-wlan]:[~]$ uname -a
<@bda> Darwin selene-wlan.int.mirrorshades.net 8.6.0 Darwin Kernel Version 8.6.0: Tue Mar 7 16:58:48 PST 2006; root:xnu-792.6.70.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc
<@bda> [bda@selene-wlan]:[~]$ which vim
<@bda> /usr/bin/vim
<@bda> [bda@selene-wlan]:[~]$ which emacs
<@bda> /usr/bin/emacs
<@bda> [bda@selene-wlan]:[~]$ which nmap
<@bda> /sw/bin/nmap
<@bda> [bda@selene-wlan]:[~]$ which tcpdump
<@bda> /usr/sbin/tcpdump
<@bda> :D
<@robf> Those are hacker tools.
<@robf> r u a hacker
<@bda> Of course. Haven't you seen the movie "Hackers"? They all used Macs.

<bda> Can't sleep.
<kitten> Can't?
<kitten> Or won't?
<kitten> Hm?
<kitten> Think about it.
<bda> I have these... nightmares. About Bea Arthur.
<bda> You tell me, Andy. Can't, or won't?

3:08 AM | irk
May 2, 2006

DCU Networking Society System Administrator Test 2003

A pretty decent test, I think. I didn't do too badly at it, though most of the Solaris stuff went right by me. The security questions were pretty amusing.

[via enkrypted]

12:55 AM | Linkwhore
May 4, 2006

After spending literally twelve hours with my head stuck in code, I gave in and finished off Westerfeld's Uglies trilogy. The last book, Specials, came in earlier this week, but I've been too busy to do any real reading. Also, I accidentally spoiled a bit of it and was afraid he was going to make me really angry.

It's a pretty kick-ass piece of young adult fiction, I gotta say. I was very happy with it, all around. Got through it in around three hours, so I'm sure I'm going to have to go back and read the whole series again at some point. I wasn't too sure if the tunnel-vision about the rest of the world (you only interact with the rebels and one other city) in the series was intentional because that's how the characters saw things (which seems likely), or simply because most cities were like New Pretty Town, only somewhat less... extreme. I suppose both. I wouldn't have minded a bit more exposition there, though.

The nicest thing about Westerfeld's YA books -- and this might be odd for me to say -- is that he doesn't talk down to his audience. Sometimes he goes a little overboard with the Youth Culture stuff (although in Uglies it was a major plot point), but he is really all about writing good fiction with good messages, and not spoon-feeding it to his readers. Other books aimed at teenagers aren't quite so awesome about that aspect of story-telling. You can also tell, reading his blog, that he really enjoys catering to this particular audience. Dig around, he explains why. It's certainly reasoning that's hard to ague against.

While I definitely enjoyed the series, I can't help but wonder what he could have done with it if he'd written it as adult fiction... something along the lines of Evolution's Darling or the Succession series. I suspect it would have been damned icy.

Regardless, though, highly recommended if you're into teenage girls going on crazy adventures, enduring extreme relationship issues, having their brains screwed with, and generally saving the world.

Kinda stuff that makes me miss Buffy. Mmf.

<@bda> "Chicken Finger Hoagie"
<@bda> I love this city.
<@maarken> sounds healthy.
<@bda> Yeah. Lg pepperoni calzone, garden salad, cheese sticks.
* bda scratches beard, rubs belly.
<@bda> Let's just say I have a lot of books about UNIX.

<Danelope> calz0wned.
<bda> "Large" to me means "about the size of a dinner plate, so I'll have enough for lunch tomorrow".
<bda> I forgot that Lazaros is where we went to get pizza and had to tilt the box to make it fit through doors.
<Danelope> Lazaros: We Donna' Fuck Around

9:27 PM | irk
May 11, 2006

Stopping Spotlight Indexing

While I don't really have a problem with metadata indexing in theory, I really dislike having mds kick up to 50% CPU on my laptop, which engages the Fan Whose Pitch Is Just Right to Set My Teeth On Edge (Of Doom County). While I'm not sure if I'll actually disable indexing, the Spotlight overview there was pretty informative.

Unlike, say, this, which is just full of retardedness.

12:04 PM | Systems Administration
May 14, 2006

AppleCared: My Life Inside Apple and AppleCare by Adam Knight

Server administration is a whole other animal, to me. It's face-to-face support with people you'll see again and again, and you can't become the bad guy to to many of them or your job is on the line. Technically, it sounds like a good deal. Practically, it's politics-laden, and I try my best to avoid jobs where there are politics involved in any significant amount because, frankly, I'm an egomaniacal perfectionist asshole and I don't work well with liberal arts school graduate wussies. I tend to make them cry. It's not intentional, it's just that they're idiots.

Genius!

2:31 AM | Linkwhore

Open Source Radio talks about NSA wiretaps.

Including some choice comments from William Gibson.

3:06 AM | Linkwhore
May 18, 2006
May 28, 2006

Quantum Leap: A Bold Leap Forward

Twenty years after the original series left Dr. Sam Beckett "leaping" into the great unknown, Sam is finally reunited with Al, his old mentor and "partner in time." But when circumstances beyond their control send Sam away once more, Al must recruit his lost friend's daughter to pick up where her father left off and hopefully help find Sam again in the process.

I don't think anything needs to be said about this.

Oh, except maybe this.

5:28 AM | Movies
May 29, 2006
May 30, 2006

Friday I installed OBSD 3.9 on two Dell 1850s and configured CARP and pfsync. It was amazingly trivial. If you need failover systems of pretty much any sort, this is the way to go.

To quote the OpenBSD FAQ page:

CARP is the Common Address Redundancy Protocol. Its primary purpose is to allow multiple hosts on the same network segment to share an IP address. CARP is a secure, free alternative to the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol and the Hot Standby Router Protocol.

It takes about five minutes to set up, and about fifteen minutes playing "plug/unplug the systems and watch the ifconfig state change, tee-hee!". Kind of like that episode of the Simpsons where Homer keeps pulling on the pig's tail.

"Curly! Straight! Curly! Straight!"

Only CARP just does what it does instead of biting your face off like a certain piggy.

pfsync is, simply, a way to sync your firewall state tables to a group of hosts on a trusted network of some sort. So when your primary firewall/proxy/whatever dies, and a backup kicks in, your users don't notice anything -- they don't lose their sessions. Quite awesome.

Firewall Failover with pfsync and CARP

PF: Firewall Redundancy with CARP and pfsync

The PF page there is pretty much all you need. Getting it working is maddenly easy and it Just Works.

9:37 PM | Systems Administration