Month: November 2007

Sound support updates


Hasso Tepper has committed all the recent changes to sound infrastructure in FreeBSD-6 to DragonFly; this improves sound support on a number of different laptops.

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New Bluetooth stack to try


Dmitry Komissaroff has created a new version of the Bluetooth stack, with a version ready to test.   Among other changes, it’s now possible to use a cellphone via Bluetooth to establish a PPP connection.  There are other caveats.

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AsiaBSDCon 2008: Paper deadline


AsiaBSDCon 2008 is scheduled for March 27-30 in Tokyo.  The deadline for paper proposals has been pushed to December 11th, and there is a mailing list for further announcements – check the official website for more information.

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At last, a conclusive correlation


According to Google image search, this very Digest has something to do with boobs. If this trend continues, I predict a significant increase in traffic. And disappointed visitors. (via Joerg Sonnenberger, who is apparently the common thread)

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HAMMER: one chunk works


Matthew Dillon has posted another of his (apparently regular?) HAMMER updates.

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The inevitable path


It starts with trying to install BSD, and goes downhill from there.  (Check the image properties for more of the joke.)

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Make money by driving away customers


This AP news story seen in several places describes how the BSA has been vigorously obtaining money in and out of court for pirated software, and it appears to be procuring more money than the actual value of the pirated software.  … Another good reason to use open source, which the article touches on, by the end.

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Do you have an ExpressCard slot?


If you have a laptop with bleeding-edge DragonFly and an ExpressCard slot, please test it out, as Sepherosa Ziehau has made them supportable.

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Small computers and what to run on them


I like super-small computers as much as anyone, and I’ve been watching for the new Asus Eee PC.  It uses Linux, though there’s been issues with it conforming with the GPL license.   You know, if the device only ran a BSD, there wouldn’t be these licensing problems…  (BSD link via hubertf)

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PMCTools support for testing


Aggelos Economopoulos has submitted a series of patches to bring pmctools into DragonFly; PMC stands for “Performance Measurement Counters”.  Give them a whirl, as positive or negative feedback will get him to continue work.

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OSBR November issue: Support


The Open Source Business Resource’s latest issue is up in both PDF and HTML formats, with this issue focusing on support available for open source software. (Via)

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IP number randomizer updated


Matthew Dillon has changed the random IP sequence number generation in DragonFly to use the system generator.  This issue comes from a review of the old randomizer algorithm by Amit Klein, who has worked on some similar issues.  No idea how this affects other BSDs…

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Write for a BSD magazine


Dru Lavigne brings news of a BSD-focused print magazine to be published by next summer.   She includes writing guidelines – this is a good chance to get published!  (Via, Via)

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HAMMER work continues


Matthew Dillon is continuing his HAMMER work, with this and many other subsequent commits in the past while. Check the archive for more discussion.

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dummynet separation finished


Sepherosa Ziehau has committed the rest of his work separating dummynet from ipfw and making it run on a per-CPU basis.  This means that, with some additional work, dummynet could be used with pf, for instance.

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Dummynet halfway done


Sepherosa Ziehau has committed the first half of his work making dummynet(4) work per-CPU; his latest commit has a handy description and bonus ASCII art.

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HAMMER status, and scheduling


Matthew Dillon described the state of his distributed filesystem, saying a simple version should be up and runnable by next week, with actual clusters (meaning multiple disk blocks, not separate systems) supported some time after.

Also, the next regular 6-month release (2.0!) will probably be pushed out a little to mid-January 2008, so the release isn’t happening at the same time as everyone’s holiday plans.

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Netgraph change testing


Nuno Antunes has posted his latest version of a netgraph upgrade; he’s looking for feedback and ideas.  Interestingly, he included a virtual kernel config so his changes can be tested without interfering with normal system operation.

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Preview slipped forward


Simonm ‘corecode’ Schubert has slipped the Preview tag; those of you running 1.11-preview can update and get all recent changes.

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Kernel module development on wiki


Alexander Orlov has written a wiki page on kernel module development.  Please contribute if you’ve been through the same process.

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An audio device I’d like to see hear


Hubert Feyrer notes the addition of a pad(4) device to NetBSD, allowing arbitrary redirection of audio.  This would be great to see in DragonFly; a similar feature for audio and video streams in BeOS was very powerful.

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BSDTalk: Joerg Sonnenberger


After a short hiatus, BSDTalk is back with an interview of Joerg Sonnenberger, a developer for DragonFly and pkgsrc, etc., etc. (Add to that list if you’re reading, Joerg).

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Older than UNIX


The source code to MULTICS, the ‘predecessor’ on which the UNIX named is based, has been released.   (From here via hubertf)  If you are unfamiliar with the term, a short history is available.

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Bulk build stats


Results from the bulk builds of pkgsrc are now available at http://pkgbox.dragonflybsd.org/package-reports/. There’s several reports in there already, for anyone who wants to see what isn’t working. (hint: net-snmp.)

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Pkgsrc reports on the web


Ulrich Habel put together a script to digest emailed pkgsrc bulk build reports.  You can see the output at his site.

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CAM as a module


Peter Avalos has managed to add some changes originally from FreeBSD that makes CAM now loadable as a module.  This means, as his commit message mentions, a USB floppy can be hooked up without a kernel recompilation.

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Undeadly: Stupid SSH Tricks


Undeadly.org has a writeup on something I’ve needed but never done: accessing your console’s X desktop remotely, using x11vnc. There’s an earlier ‘Stupid SSH Trick’ for using ProxyCommand.

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Computer design evolution in pictures


(Warning: another visual timewaster)  Seen at SrslyCool: Apple computer design parts one and two, Nintendo devices through the years, iPod evolution, various computer case mods, and of course knockoffs.

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Cluster Challenge with DragonFly, someday?


The SuperComputing 2007 (SC07) Cluster Challenge has undergrads creating computer clusters using commodity equipment, with the limit being amperage used.  I link to it because that’s the problem space where DragonFly is headed.

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Major dummynet changes


Sepherosa Ziehau has posted initial patches for a rather large project: separating ipfw and dummynet, and making dummynet run cpu-local.

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CCC 24: DragonFly users and developers


The 24th Chaos Computer Congress is at the end of this year in Berlin, and Simon ‘corecode’ Schubert is going to be there, along with other DragonFly folks like Sascha Wildner and Nuno Antunes.  Here’s a chance to mix with other DragonFly users (and a lot of other people…)

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Binary updates are better


I’d love to see a binary update system for DragonFly, similar to this alpha version of ‘haze’ for NetBSD.  (Via)

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The concept of Good Enough, and yay piracy


Here’s two articles for your persual: First, this Guardian Unlimited article attacks one of those ‘well-known facts’ that Betamax failed despite being better than VHS. The title says it explicitly: Why VHS was better than Betamax. The author even manages to mention the Windows vs. Unix idea that is an offshoot of this.

Second, a New Yorker article for those who care about patents and copyright: The “Piracy Paradox” describes how a lack of copyright in fashion design had led to better business – perhaps this could apply to software design too?

Both links via things magazine. So, do you all (the readers) like when I go off the beaten path for related material like this?

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386 processors gone FOR REALS


The 386 processor is no longer officially supported for DragonFly. I say “officially” because it probably didn’t work anyway, as I doubt anyone was crazy enough to try it in the last few years.

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Now appearing in a /dev near you


Hasso Tepper has added some USB to serial drivers: uticom(4) for TI TUSB3410, moscom(4)  for the MosChip Semiconductor MCS7703, and uchcom(4), for WinChipHead CH341/CH340.  Dmitry Komissaroff contributed to the uticom(4) driver.


			
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Programming languages, then and now


Some entertainment: This article at American Scientist talks about programming language choice and the arguments that have come up over the years. The bibliography at the end of this 5-page essay is worth special attention, because of the links to early documents describing these battles over languages and choices nobody thinks of these days, like PL/I or Cobol.

Some specific links to articles cited:

All the citations are worth investigating – take some time to read them.

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More ipfw changes


Sepherosa Ziehau has made more changes to ipfw, which means a more complete rebuild is required for bleeding edge users when upgrading.  This is in addition to the earlier ipfw/dummynet changes.

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Everybody blogs, even ICANN


Hasso Tepper updated the root servers list to accomodate an IP change.  The interesting part of this is Hasso linking to something I didn’t know existed: the ICANN blog.

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Sendmail updated to 8.14.2


Gregory Neil Shapiro has updated Sendmail to version 8.14.2.

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libarchive upgrade


Peter Avalos has upgraded libarchive to version 2.4.0, which apparently eats much less CPU than earlier, inspired by benchmarks comparing it to other tar implementations.

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No more ipfw1


Sepherosa Ziehau has removed IPFW1; IPFW2, which is already in the system, is generally compatible from a configuration point of view.  Check the ipfw man page to find out what’s different.

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No realquick buildworld for you


If you are running bleeding edge code, Sepherosa Ziehau has made changes to ipfw and dummynet that require a more complete rebuild of code on the next update.

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Struct vattr changes coming up


Matthew Dillon warns of struct vattr changes being done to support his new filesystem, HAMMER.  This may cause problems in userland, though of course this can only affect you if you are running the bleeding edge of code.

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Many eyes make for positive pressure


This Associated Press story about a teacher assigning Wikipedia article writing as a project for students notes that “Knowing their work was headed for the Web …  helped students reach higher”.  I’d draw a parallel to open source, since knowing your code (or perhaps your news blog…) will be viewed by multiple people encourages harder work.  (Via)

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Cross-pollination continues


This recent “Puffy’s Marathon” article covering the OpenBSD 4.2 release, on OnLAMP.com, mentions that the new OpenBSD support for Broadcom AirForce/AirPort Extreme devices (bwi(4)) came from Sepherosa Ziehau’s work in DragonFly.

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HAMMER news


Matthew Dillon posted a note about HAMMER, his distributed file system.  This post notes he’s accomplished the most difficult part, and a working system is on track for the end of the year.  He’s made a pile of commits to match, too.

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