There’s a lot to read this week… I’m not sure how that happened.
- Schwa, two decades later. I had this, then.
- Famous Women of Computer Science. At least some of the names should be familiar to you. (via)
- Anil Dash on the shifting meaning of “public”. An outgrowth of the jerktech problem.(via)
- The History of Autocorrect. (via a newsletter)
- -2000 lines of code. An early Macintosh story. (via)
- Bill Atkinson’s name in the previous link made me think of Burger Bill (Rebecca, now) Heineman, which led to this: Mentions of Wolf3D for the Apple ][gs. It's findable, even.
- And that Sheppyware link reminds me of Sweet16, a really nice ][gs emulator for the Mac. Excuse me as I wander down the halls of memory…
- Cool-old-term. Requires qt5 and I don’t know if it works on BSD… but it’s neat looking. (via)
- Sculpting text with regex, grep, sed, awk, emacs and vim. There’s some more good resources in the source for this link.
- At the same site: SSH Hacks.
- hicat, cat with syntax highlighting. (via)
- I’ve mentioned ISO 3103 before, or at least I thought I did, but there are apparently 25 more tea-related standards.
- That led me to find George Orwell, Christopher Hitchens, and Douglas Adams all had Opinions on Tea. I must have linked to one of them before, but I can’t find it. Douglas Adams is correct, though: most people in the U.S. have never had a decent cup of tea. (via)
- Origins of common UI symbols. (via)
- Movie Film, at Death’s Door, Gets a Reprieve. This interests me because it’s in the town where I live, but there’s something else. The vast, vast quantities of film out there was filmed in the last 100 years or so. Most of that film is still readable, though the older nitrate films are fragile. If all that video was digital, how would we access it? I don’t have a single digital storage item in my house older than 10 years, except maybe a Zip disk or two, and there’s no way I can read them. (via)
- How recursion got into programming: a comedy of errors. I expected the article to quote itself in the middle or something similar; Internet jokes are warping my expectations. (via)
- Software, it’s a thing. Talking about how software exists when it is used, not just as a saved file but rather as a multitude of activities – and how that relates to preserving that history. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Mmmm… diagrams. That describes me. The subject and artist, Scott McCloud, has a book called Understanding Comics that is an excellent discussion of perception and communication. His exploration of visual “closure” is good for anyone who has to think about interfaces.
I was thinking this was going to be a short week, but nope.
As you can probably guess somewhat from the title, BSDNow 048 has an interview about LibreSSL, with Brent Cook. There’s also the normal news roundup, and other recent events.
A frequent question people ask when trying Hammer is “How can I do software RAID to cover a disk failure?” Hammer provides for streaming one volume to another, so you can duplicate drives, but there isn’t an automatic failover mechanism as there is with a RAID setup. The first answer is usually “get hardware RAID“; my preferred solution. The remaining software solutions are vinum, ccd, and lvm for DragonFly.
The July issue of BSD Magazine is out, and it contains several articles about pkg, for use on FreeBSD, PC-BSD, and DragonFly. The article on DragonFly and pkg was written by Siju George.
Rust has been ported to DragonFly by Michael Neumann. His blog has implementation details, and you can pull from his repo to get a buildable version. This may be useful, as he notes, for anyone wanting to build Rust on other BSDs.
I missed this last week because I was on the road: BSDNow 047 is up, titled DES Challenge IV, has some followup on recent topics like pf in FreeBSD and the recent OpenBSD hackathon, plus an interview of Dag-Erling Smørgrav.
It’s all multimedia day here, as BSDTalk 243 is also out with 16 minutes of conversation with Ingo Schwarze about mandoc. Mandoc is the man replacement in OpenBSD and built-but-not-yet-used in DragonFly. ‘man replacement’ is probably an oversimplification.
I was low on time but I still brought the links!
Your unrelated link of the week: Summer cakes. The second recipe is from Nicola Humble. I just read her surprisingly interesting history of the cookbook in the UK, hence the link. Plus, I’m hungry.
Part of this was done while traveling, but still a decent week for links.
Thanks to Zachary Crownover, rcreload is available in DragonFly. (It’s always good to see a new contributor name.)
Nuno Antunes brought in a significant number of fixes for libradius. He’s been doing other work recently on netgraph7 support, so I’m linking to this as a ‘signpost’ commit.
If you were looking for something to do, finishing Francois Tigeot’s sound update would help a lot of people. He’s currently tied up with i915 support work. The patches need device cloning to work with devfs, and midi removal.
As mentioned before, the mrsas(4) driver works best for ‘Thunderbolt’ RAID controllers. Now, the switch has happened.
Tethering now works via the urndis(4) device, from a patch contributed by Sascha Wildner/tested by Yellow Rabbit.
(Updated for correct attribution)
I spent this week watching an older Cisco ASA slowly lose its ability to see parts of the Internet. How did I fix it? pfSense.
Your unrelated link of the week: Avery Monsen’s Vines. Vines are an excellent way to make a very short comedy sketch. Infinite Waffles and Break the Silence are my favorites so far. (via)
More than the usual source commit messages this week.
While Matthew Dillon was testing the new up-to-256-processor support for DragonFly, he added a few sysctls, one of which helps qemu performance when emulating a lot of processors. I note it here in case it’s helpful to someone else.
There’s an open source meetup at a hackerspace near me, happening tomorrow. Well, today by the time most people read this. Anyway, it’s at Interlock, starting at noon. I don’t think I’ll make it, but I’m always happy to see this stuff happen in my own town.
BSDNow 046 interviews Brian Drewery, talks about tunneling through DNS ports (an useful trick to get around network paywalls, if it’s what I think it is), and of course more general discussion of BSD topics.
HOPE X starts tomorrow in New York City and runs through the weekend. There will be some BSD people there. (see first line of link.)
DRM (Direct Rendering, not Digital Rights) on DragonFly will normally eat all the memory it thinks it needs. However, vm.dma_reserved can now be set to a fixed limit in /boot/loader.conf. By default, vm.dma_reserved on DragonFly is set to 16M, and can be set higher. I think this is necessary when running higher-resolution screens… Don’t quote me on that, though.
Thanks to Nicolas Thery, there’s a POSIX semaphore test suite on DragonFly, ported from FreeBSD. Anyone want to integrate it into dfregress?
There’s a recently talked about bug in SYSRET that apparently affects a lot of operating systems, including Linux and several BSDs. It looks like DragonFly is not affected, but Matthew Dillon has put in changes just in case.
Francois Tigeot has been working on making i915 video support work better; with his latest update, it’s worth trying the Intel-specific driver instead of vesa if you have both the 915 chipset and are running X.
Matthew Dillon changed powerd on DragonFly so that the system is set to max performance if powerd is killed. Now you’ll know why your fans turned on!
Alex Hornung has added a ChaCha algorithms and Fortuna-based CSPRNG to DragonFly’s random device. You can pick what runs with the sysctl kern.rand_mode, and some other changes.
It’s a manageable list this week.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Formicapunk. Boulet’s version of analog technology.
Finally, a much more eventful week. I already noted LibreSSL’s release.
The portable (meaning ready to be brought into other operating systems) version of LibreSSL is out.
BSDNow episode 45 is up. This one is an interview with Josh Paetzel of iXSystems. No tutorial this week because Allan Jude is at the devsummit in the UK, an event I totally did not know existed.
Some dports packages can’t be installed in combination with others. The easy way to find the conflict without doing the install? Look for CONFLICTS= in the Makefile. If you don’t have the dports tree on disk, you can always look online.
If you’re looking to use LDAP on DragonFly, follow this thread (read the first, keep going) as people talk about implementing it, what they installed, etc. I haven’t tried it myself, yet.
The mfi(4) driver has had some data corruption problems on “Thunderbird” series RAID controllers. There’s a newer driver, mrsas(4), that replaces mfi(4) for these controllers and does not have these issues, but switching may mean new drive locations and therefore some work to get booting correctly again. Sascha Wildner has an extensive writeup about what this entails, and how to switch now if you have that hardware (recommended).
ACPICA has been updated by Sascha Wildner to version 20140627, which as you can guess from the version, is the most recent. See the included changelog for what’s different.
DragonFly now supports running on up to 256 CPUs. 256 is the initial limit on the basic interrupt controller, and it can be extended further. It’s been tested on 255 CPUs so far, since that’s the highest number of CPUs you can bring up in qemu.
I was out sick for a few days this week (Norwalk virus ain’t fun), and so there’s a whole lot of links to follow.
- The History of the Pocket Knife. I link to it because the pictures are pretty, and because a multitool is one of the more useful physical tools you can have. (via)
- Ooh, a new James Mickens video! This is a sort of antidote to the overoptimistic Scott Hanselman video. Computers are a Sadness, I am the Cure. (via)
- Book review: The Art of Unix Programming.
- Computing Across America.
- Again, not DragonFlyBSD.
- Some interesting thoughts and actions on copyright. I bought the bumper sticker the author’s talking about, directly from him.
- Uh oh.
- Multi-process architectures suck. Yet that’s everything we work on these days. (via)
- The March Towards Go. I keep meaning to sit down and actually try a project in Go. (via)
- UNIX Tricks. Some Linuxisms in there, but oh well. (via)
- Vim as Language. Not a bad description. Related by association: I get tired of seeing the little-avatar-plus-name-plus-job-title that gets stuck on so many blog posts. (via)
- An interview with Damien Conway. He’s a very smart and direct person, so the interview is worthwhile. (via)
- Patching the Newton. Some interesting early history. I remember holding a Newton and saying “This should work like a phone.”
- BOOTSTRA.386 – A Bootstrap theme that will entertain you, or maybe give you painful flashbacks. (via multiple places)
Your unrelated link of the week: The 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship. Imagine there was no Internet access other than what you can telnet to, and nothing on TV other than this. That’s 1987.
Another ‘quiet’ week – lots of commit activity in the other BSDs, but not a lot to point at directly.
The 44th BSDNow episode is out, with an interview of Craig Rodrigues, a tutorial on creating pre-patched OpenBSD ISOs, and the usual discussion of news items, including DragonFly’s recent pf changes.
(I don’t get the pun in the title this time, darnit.)
Matthew Dillon changed the default keep-policy in DragonFly to:
set keep-policy keep state (pickups, sloppy)
This is to match other BSDs (which? I don’t know) and reduce overhead, according to the commit.
A note for everyone: use Hammer default on a very busy filesystem, and you will eat a lot of disk space since all file changes are recorded. (I’ve done this to myself a few times.) Francois Tigeot has a list of tips on how to keep that from happening.
I am pasting the announcement verbatim because NYCBUG is having some hardware issues with their mailing list archive. It’s interesting for both subject matter and because you get to see the inside of about.com. RSVP soon so you can get in!
2014-07-02 – Introduction to Timekeeping, Steven Kreuzer
6:45, about.com (1500 Broadway enter on 43rd Street, 6th Floor)
Notice: RSVP to rsvp at nycbug.org and bring photo ID. RSVPs must be
received by 2 PM, day-of.
Time is a funny thing. You can spend it, save it, waste it and kill it,
but you can’t change it and there is never any more or less of it.
Everyone knows what it is and uses it every day but no one can seem to
In this talk I will provide a brief introduction to time, timekeeping,
and the uses of time information, especially in scientific and technical
The max number of CPUs on DragonFly just went from 63 to 64. This is really just a side effect of preparation to move up that limit, but I am entertained by the single-digit bump.
Are you running a Hammer filesystem on a low-memory system? You may get some warnings. It’s possible to tweak some settings to accommodate it, or just deal.
I bring the audio and the visual today.
- The History of Mana. (via)
- Where “Von Neumann architecture” comes from. (via)
- Futuristic User Interface 16. (video)
- Floppy table. The storage space is clever.
- As I’ve said before, every software project grows until it has its own package manager for installing other software. This time, it’s Rust. (via)
- Also, sooner or later someone says, “Hey, I could build an operating system in $myfavoritelanguage!” It’s like building a house because you’ve got a favorite hammer rather than a need to live somewhere. (via)
- Best of Vim Tips. (via) Some interesting tips in the source link comments, too.
- vimawesome.com. Pretty! (via)
- The Internet of Newsletters. A reaction (and a good one) to social media. (via)
- Charlie Stross’s keynote YAPC speech.
- “I no longer see the matrix anymore, all I see is dwarf, sad dwarf, crazy dwarf“
- Awww, it’s cute.
- Raising Lazarus – The 20 Year Old Bug that Went to Mars. And a counter-argument. (both via)
- Modern tech in 1977 Atari style. (via) Did I link this before? I feel like I did, but maybe that’s because of the subject matter.
- Sorta related: Betamaxx. (via)
- “Undefined behavior can result in time travel“.
- Lisp implementation in sed. (via)
- Unix: having fun with diff.
- Visualizing Algorithms. Presented with explanation and methodology, as it should be, as opposed to a random gallery of pseudo-mathy crap. (via)
You unrelated comics link of the week: The Imitation Game, the story of Alan Turing, written by Jim Ottaviani and illustrated by Leland Purvis. I have other work by both authors – they are excellent – and Alan Turning should be a name already familiar to you.
This week seems relatively quiet; possibly because school is out and the weather in the northern hemisphere is nice?
Predrag Punosevac noticed that turning on pf was slowing his machine down. Rearranging the rules fixed a lot of it for him. However, Matthew Dillon decided it was time to make pf work concurrently instead of in a single thread, and 24 hours later, it does. Quick, someone benchmark this!
BSDNow 043 talks with Marc Espie of OpenBSD about packaging, goes through updating your BSD system (all of them? I haven’t watched yet), and discusses a number of other links.
If you are upgrading a DragonFly 3.6 system to 3.8, make sure you have the absolute latest version of 3.6 first. A few people have had a crash during install of the new initrd, which leaves the system in an unbootable state.
There’s a fix now in 3.6 from Joris Giovannangeli, so updating 3.6 and then moving to 3.8 will ensure this doesn’t happen. He posted a heads-up notice too.
(Why, yes, that is why shiningsilence.com was down for some hours today… With Matthew Dillon and Sascha Wildner’s help, I was able to copy bits of /boot and /usr from a live CD back on disk and get online again.)
Did you try to install DragonFly relatively recently and it never made it past the bootloader? Apparently there’s a bug in some BIOS when using a smaller USB drive to install. The loader checks multiple places for information, and if it checks somewhere that’s ‘farther’ than the end of the disk (i.e. 6G on a 4G USB key), the machine locks up.
Matthew Dillon and Kyle Davis spent a good number of hours figuring this out today, and Matt committed a fix. So, if you were bit by this problem, try a -LATEST image about 24 hours from now and see if it works.
O’Reilly is running a 50% off special on a variety of books on electronics, with coupon code WKECTRC. I’m posting it now because it only lasts for this week.
Update: another offer just popped up in my email – 50% off various “web performance and operations” books with the code CFVLTY4.
BSDDay 2014 is happening August 9th in Argentina, and the call for talks is out – there’s been DragonFly speakers and visitors there before.
Again, a backlog from last week means this week is fat.
- Non-classical processor behavior: How doing something can be faster than not doing it. Confusing but interesting.
- Rudd Canaday’s blog. One of the people behind UNIX, though not as well known. His stories have some very interesting glimpses into early computing. (via)
- Ergonomics of the Symbolics Lisp Machine. Lisp machines get talked about as if they were the last remnants of a superior, extinct precursor race. Maybe they are? I’ve never touched one. (via)
- Mapping the decentralization movement. I can get behind this idea. (via)
- KnightOS, an operating system for z80 calculators. (via)
- The SSD Endurance Experiment. (via)
- The first Photoshopped image. (via)
- Does your capacitive load purr?
- The very worst subject lines.
- Facebook has built its own switch – and it looks a lot like a server. Not a surprise to anyone familiar with the Open Compute idea, but the source article for the link has some useful references to equipment that you can actually get, unlike the Facebook doodad.
- UNIX: $42,000. (this and other links via this thread.) (update: that link was to a FTP server at Bell Labs, which appears to be down… darnit.)
- The end of Freshmeat, and a surprise link to the origins. (via)
- Aggregate hardware and software use patterns from The Setup. A sort of crowdsourced ‘effective tools’ report. Not necessarily perfect – Aeron chairs are popular, for instance, but I’d pick something else.. In an odd coincidence, a former teacher/coworker of mine is #3 on The Setup right now. (via)
- Happy World Productivity Day.
- A three-sided die, which I didn’t think was possible.
- 8088 Domination, part 1 and part 2. Full-motion video on a 4.77 Mhz 8088 chip from 1981.
- The Early History of Smalltalk. It’s a long read, but a good one. (via)
Your unrelated links of the week: My side hobby I never mention here is baking. I looked up a word I didn’t know, found out about an ice cream type I’ve never seen, started reading about odd things to do with eggs and pressure cookers, and now I’m confused by the possibilities. No narrative point here; I just need to get in the kitchen.
I have a backlog from stuff I missed last week while traveling, so we all benefit!
Sepherosa Ziehau implemented a UDP echo response tool, which not surprisingly meant he also had some UDP performance improvements. As he points out in the commit, it makes lockless firewall state tables possible.
BSDNow’s 42nd video is up, with an interview of Bryce Chidester and a tutorial on chaining SSH connections.
The dports binary packages built for DragonFly 3.4 are removed. If you have a 3.4 system, you can build from source, or preferably just upgrade. Note that the 3.4 release images are still out there if needed.
I tagged DragonFly 3.6.3, at Sascha Wildner’s suggestion. Why do that when there’s a 3.8.1 out? This way there’s a version of 3.6 that has all the fixes included, including the recent OpenSSL updates. This ‘final versioning’ should probably be done for every release. I’ll work on final images.
The 3.8.1 tag was planned for tonight; I’m waiting to find out if there needs to be a new set of binary ports for 3.8.1 before I tag.
I tagged DragonFly 3.8.1; you can see a list of the changes in the tag message. New images are built. If you are already running 3.8.0, a normal
make src-update and rebuild will get you everything.
Sascha Wildner has added the mrsas(4) driver, which works on a variety of LSI Thunderbolt devices – a variety of RAID cards, names for which are listed in the commit message. Note that as of right now, these devices by default get taken by the mfi(4) driver, so you need to take extra steps to get mrsas(4) used.
The obvious joke should be “how can you tell?” Anyway, the csprng in DragonFly has been updated and IBAA is being used more often, and there’s more updates on the way.
I’ve been short on this week (worked 19 hour day Tues/Wed, ug), so the list is short.
Your unrelated link of the week: Another Cyriak music video, this time for Bonobo. (via)
Matthew Dillon posted a note about the next point release of DragonFly, coming within a few days. Chunks of it like the recent OpenSSL and Sendmail fixes are already on the 3.8 branch.
I assume I’ll be the one rolling it, and I plan to put together a 3.6.3 tag too, just so there’s a final version of 3.6 that has all changes rolled up.
BSDNow 041 is out with an interview of Benedict Reuschling, along with a lot of news discussion and some interesting NAS notes. Hey, I’m mentioned!
If you’re building ports, it will treat OpenSSL as a dependency and bring in whatever version is available. If perhaps you want to use the version of OpenSSL installed as part of your base system, Robin Hahling has the answer for how. (This probably works on FreeBSD too.)
Sascha Wildner has removed some drivers in the x86_64 config. This will only really affect you if you use a custom kernel and still have entries for those drivers in the config file.
Thanks to Markus Pfeiffer, there is now a locking(9) man page for use the next time you say, “Which is the right lock to use?” Something I see almost monthly.
There were more problems found in OpenSSL… right after release of DragonFly 3.8. OpenSSL 1.0.1h has been committed, thanks to Robin Hahling and Sascha Wildner. I’ll be rolling a 3.8.1 release soon.
If you are saying “Hey, what about LibreSSL? And do I write it LibReSSL?”, it’s not set up as a portable release yet. Also, I don’t know the correct capitalization, either. There is some debate about the lack of notification from OpenSSL to LibreSSL, though other vendors were notified days before.
Less links than last week, but still lots. Alliteration!
Your unrelated link of the week: Carpets for Airports. Requires Flash, unfortunately.
BSDNow 040 has an interview with Karl Lehenbauer at FlightAware, a tutorial on OpenBSD’s packaging system, and more from BSDCan 2014.
BSDTalk 242 has 17 minutes of conversation with Chris Buechler (of pfSense fame), recorded at BSDCan 2014.
The 3.8 release of DragonFly is out! See the release page for a changelog and check your local mirror for download first.
Binary dports packages for 3.8 have been built; they are available for download. (link goes to release versions of the packages. Future updates will be in ../LATEST)
For upgrades from 3.6: You can pull the 3.8 source normally with git:
git fetch origin
git branch DragonFly_RELEASE_3_8 origin/DragonFly_RELEASE_3_8
git checkout DragonFly_RELEASE_3_8
Assuming you are using an unmodified kernel, here’s the steps I usually do for an upgrade:
# make buildworld && make buildkernel && make installkernel && make installworld && make upgrade
After upgrading from 3.6, pkg (as designed) will download the appropriate 3.8 packages with
NYCBUG is having a meeting tomorrow night with the theme “Cloud and Colocation“. However! Suspenders, the usual restaurant location, has closed. (Aw, I liked it) This meeting is happening at the About.com offices, which means you can’t just show up – send email if you plan to attend.
I have possibly two weeks worth of Lazy Reading built up here, so sit down and get with the clicking:
- The Internet with a Human Face. Maciej Ceglowski’s recent talk. This is the you-should-read-it link of the week. (via)
- I Broke My Phone’s Screen, and It Was Awesome. Bunnie Huang finds the best place in the world to smash your cell phone.
- The Art of UNIX Programming. Prompted by this.
- Alert Design. The design of network monitor warnings, not designing alertly. (via)
- UNIX History Repository. On GitHub. So much is on GitHub these days… (via)
- A Trip Down UNIX Memory Lane. A lot of UNIX links this week; I don’t know why.
- “Are you a native full-stack visiongineer who lives to marketech platishforms?” Funny but sorta realistic.
- Presenting Data and Information, taught by Edward Tufte. Might be both interesting and local to some reader. (via)
- Python 3 is killing Python. This sort of thing has happened before, called “Perl 6″. (via)
- The Design of SQLite 4. The more I use SQLite, the more I like it. (via)
- Relics of Technology. How many of these things have you actually used? (via)
- tetris-bsd: the most basic version of tetris I’ve ever seen. (via saved Google search)
- That previous link led me to taipan, which is a game I loved on my Apple ][. Wait, I can still play it now?
- Apple phone and tablet models from the 80s. I remember shaping and painting models out of that sort of foam, years ago, before CAD ate it all.
- Notepad: more dangerous than you thought.
- Not necessarily the wrong way to look at tech blogs.
- 2000 or so Unicode characters. What common fonts actually implement everything in Unicode? Cause that would be a heck of a lot of designs. (via a Kickstarter newsletter)
- Beyond the stack. This way of setting up systems has taken over computing firms that are producing software for the Internet… but I don’t think people realize that isn’t all companies.
- The current Humble Book Bundle includes some Top Shelf comics publications, including semi-fictional-early-hacking-history Wizzywig which I’ve mentioned before, and the colossal not-related-to-computers work From Hell. Hopefully will still be up when you read this…
- If I can run an arbitrary program, I can do arbitrary things.
- Sun stories. Remember, it used to be BSD, back when Sun did was growing. One thing everyone seems to agree on: the workstations were great. (via)
- What’s going on with TrueCrypt. Since DragonFly has a truecrypt-compatible implementation, I’d certainly like to see it continue. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: The End of Garfield. I don’t know if this is the original source for the image.
I put together a second release candidate for DragonFly 3.8, and it’s uploading now. The reason is that I goofed up the pkg build – Sascha Wildner has hopefully made that harder for me to screw up now.
Release is still planned for the 4th.
Some meaty links this week.
BSDNow episode 039 is up, with an interview of Jon Anderson about capsicum and casperd, a tutorial about encrypting DNS traffic, and a slew of other links including ones to the recent BSDCan event presentations.
If you have DragonFly on a laptop, and a docking station for that laptop, it may be better supported now. (no, I don’t know exactly what acpi_dock does.)