Category: Someday you will need this
Peter Hansteen has an extensive writeup of how he has managed the bsdly.net spam blacklists. Normally I’d stick this article in the Lazy Reading links, but the article is good enough to call out separately. It’s excellent not just for the mechanical aspects of how the blacklists were maintained, but for his strict description on how the process is simple, verifiable, and transparent. That last item, transparency, is how many anti-spam groups fall down.
For anyone who is a student considering Google Summer of Code this year: this timeframe we’re in right now is listed by Google as time for “students discuss project ideas with mentoring organizations”. This is the perfect time to find out what the people in an organization are like, and get early feedback on your project ideas.
Chances are, if you’re submitting a proposal for an idea from an org’s project list, you’re one of a number of students all trying for the same thing. The best way to get accepted instead of any other applicant is to be the person they already know.
I hope you like reading; there’s some very meaty links this week. Go get a cup of tea and settle in. You drink tea, don’t you? You ought to.
- Reading about KDE’s repository near-meltdown makes me think we need more checks for DragonFly. We have the advantage of Hammer, of course, which would help in the same way that the linked article names ZFS as a ‘fix’. (via multiple places)
- We know that Apple will reject apps it disagrees with. Google also will do so. Has there ever been a program rejected from pkgsrc or (FreeBSD/OpenBSD) ports on content grounds? Not that I know of – anyone remember differently? I’d argue that’s a favorable point for the BSD packaging systems, though it may just be that no application has tested those boundaries yet.
- Portscanning all IPv4 addresses on the planet. Possibly the largest distributed effort ever? The detail in the maps and returned services is especially interesting. (via)
- Scale Fail, a Youtube video of a 2011 talk about screwing up your services. Mostly about the humor, but the underlying points are valid. (via #dragonflybsd IRC)
- There’s still improvement possible to fsck, apparently based on this. That’s UFS2 fsck.
- What is your most productive shortcut with Vim? A very thorough explanation of verbs, marks, and registers. Holy cow, I wish I had known about ‘: … v’ before. It’s long, but worth it. (via)
- Matthew Garret’s description of Secure Boot vs. Restricted Boot with UEFI, (via a coworker who went to Libreplanet 2013). I’m still not sure what DragonFly will need to do about this.
- I missed mentioning this earlier: 20 years of NetBSD. We’re coming up on 10 soon.
- Dragonfly drones. Unrelated except for name.
- That guy who starts to froth madly every time BSD is mentioned on Phoronix is still there (see comments).
- Mainframe computer supercut. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter asked people for their lists of webcomics that could go in a ‘Hall of Fame’. The resulting list is a lot of really, really good material. Go use up a few hours reading.
OpenGrok is a source browser that I have not used extensively, but many people say is a great tool. The same people say it’s difficult to run. Zafer Aydogan just posted that DragonFly’s source is available now from his perfectly-functional OpenGrok installation.
(I’ll put it in the links sidebar here, too.)
It’s still snowing in my area, which is unusual. And great!
- An IBM Selectric being gutted, in stop motion.
- Apple is Losing the War – Of Words. I’m not interested in it for Apple, but rather the casual reference to the huge quantity of astroturfing going on, all the time, from major tech companies.
- Following up on my earlier tweetspam post: World’s Best Spam. Remember, recommendations from others is the most effective persuasion method to get people to buy, so there’s a big economic incentive to create positive recommendations. (via)
- Related: The Economics of Spam. (via)
- se, a modernized, screen-oriented ed. (via)
- Where the symbols “+” and “-” came from. (via)
- A Partial History of Headphones.
- Geometric shapes in Latex. I’m sure someone will find this useful. (via)
- “The Kung Fu Killing Machine DragonFly” See the second cover. I have this actual series in paper form; it’s great. (via)
- That Afrodisiac comic from the previous link is available from the publisher; there’s a PDF preview.
- Continuing – the best blaxplotation homage ever is Black Dynamite.
- I never promised I’d stay on topic here.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: French cartoonist Boulet knocks it out of the park again.
I managed to come up with a lot of links this week, somehow, despite the start of the class I’m teaching in addition to normal work. And Summer of Code’s coming up! And we’re due for a release relatively soon! I may appear somewhat… stretched over the next few weeks.
- Hey, other people are noticing that odd linkspam email I’ve been getting. (via)
- The followup: Don’t share that infographic spam. I’m pretty sure I’m the ‘one reader’ mentioned by the author, since I mailed him about the previous story.
- I always enjoy stories about troubleshooting strange performance problems.
- We need something like this Red Book idea for pkgsrc/DPorts.
- Ode to the Semicolon. I love semicolons; I use them more than an em dash. (via)
- The Maker Map. You may find this useful for building resources. I’m gaining one near me soon. (via)
- The Book-writing Machine. Possibly the first book written with a word processor. (via)
- Vim Git Gutter. A brilliant idea: show the git diff as you work in Vim. (via)
- Add everything to Vim! Add nothing to Vim! (via a long twisty path of links)
- An HTML5 roguelike, THE ROYAL WEDDING; nicely done. (via)
- Hey, the Digest is on Google Plus, or at least the RSS feed is.
- Smallest analog computer ever made. This is what computers should look like. (via)
- List of inventors killed by their own inventions. No good reason to link this other than it’s a longer list than I thought it would be. (via)
- This PHP/MySQL assessment made me laugh. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: I’m the Computer Man. I always thought the mid-1990s were sort of a Internet/computer teenager phase. Everything had potential but everything was also awkward. (via I forget, sorry!)
I am all over the place with links this week – some of them pretty far off the path. There’s a lot, too, so enjoy!
- Puctuation obscurantism, punctuation humor; I like it all. (via)
- Exporting your git repository. Found while looking for something else.
- I want CTRL-D at a terminal to make something like this to happen.
- Visual Representation of Regular Expression Character Classes. I like visual ways of classifying complex data.
- Speaking of which: Anatomy of Data. Not sure how I found it.
- Digital Files and 3D Printing – In the Renaissance? The title sounds a bit linkbaity, but the story of the 14th century map designed to be recreated with a graphing tool is pretty neat.
- Postgres: The Bits You Haven’t Found. Advanced/odd Postgres usage. (via)
- Breaking your arrow keys is the latest idea in improving Vim usage.
- PC-BSD is moving to a ‘rolling release’ format, and also using the new pkg tools that are also in DPorts. Historic details on this new setup are available.
- Fred, taking off.
- Ten hours with the most inscrutable game of all time. I like the idea of Dwarf Fortress more than I actually like playing it. I’m somewhat afraid of it. It looks like this sounds.
- That last comparison wasn’t necessarily fair, but it was fun.
- If I’m going to talk about music like that, I should link Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music.
- The Wizard of Pinball. I just want my own standup pinball or arcade cabinet game. Yes, yes, I know, MAME cabinet.
- Appropriately this week, “Ball Saved”, page 1 and page 2 of a 2-page comic about pinball.
- UnReal World, an Iron-Age roguelike. Apparently pretty brutal, and two decades in development. Runs on several platforms, but not BSD. (via)
- You Are Boring. Some of the ‘boring’ items made me laugh. (via)
- The first review of Michael W. Lucas’s Absolute OpenBSD, Second Edition is available.
Your unrelated link of the week: I’ve already been offbeat enough in this Lazy Reading; I don’t have anything else.
This week I will both post this on the correct day AND get the date in the title correct.
- An oldie but goodie. ENHANCE. This will make anyone who has done photo/video editing twitch. Check the author’s Tumblr for more supercuts. (indirectly via)
- Many people complain about regular expressions (and more recently), but they are an insanely powerful tool if you know them well. If you do, figure out this crossword. (PDF) (via)
- Followup on the first two links in that last item: xkcd drives a lot of traffic!
- If you are on Windows, you probably use PuTTY for ssh. It saves everything in the registry, which can occasionally mean losing all your configuration. There’s manual ways to save it, but there’s also PuTTYtray. (I’ve used portaPuTTY in the past, but it seems to be missing/no longer updated.)
- Actually, holy crap there’s a lot of variations/addons for PuTTY.
- That makes sense given how many terminal emulators there are, really.
- Why piping something off the Internet right to a shell isn’t a good idea. (via)
- Remember when the computer section in bookstores had books that involved programming? (unfair, I know.)
- “Don’t Be A Stranger“, musing on how there isn’t enough meeting strangers through the Internet any more. Here’s the odd thought I had while reading that article: I couldn’t pick most of the other DragonFly developers out of a lineup, but I’ve been working and talking with some of them for a decade.
- You could build Photoshop version 1 yourself – just substitute the original Mac libraries.
- Related: Photoshop is a city for everyone.
- Some of the oldest color film footage. Not the oldest,but possibly some of the earliest commercial film. Of course, the first thing filmed are young, attractive women. This is a re-occurring theme.
- Hey, a comprehensive year-end BSD roundup.
Wait, this is better! That previous link led to this film from an English chemistry professor about tea chemistry. At first I was just entertained by his hair and his accent, but when he put tea in a NMR spectrometer, I decided this was the best tea thing ever. Even better than Elemental!
Michael W. Lucas has put together a script for pulling a user’s authorized_keys file for SSH out of LDAP. It’s a very good idea, though he hints pretty clearly that he could use feedback/feedback – there’s already some in the comments.
Updates: from discussion in IRC about this sort of distributed authentication (maybe ‘authentication distribution’ is a better phrase): Tools like puppet or FreeIPA may also be useful. From seeing other conversations about this, it looks like there’s a lot of solutions to pick from, of varying difficulty, and none canonical. That’s both good and bad.
If you have git installed, and you are trying to upgrade it, you may have problems. The scmgit-docs package dependency requires some DocBook files that aren’t always accessible. If you do run into this problem, there’s 3 separate options:
- You can just install scmgit-base and ignore scmgit-docs. The program ‘git’ still runs.
- You can download the prebuilt DocBook files separately.
- You can rebuild some XML-related dependent files and then rebuild without issue.
Based on this bug report on the recently updated m4, you may need to perform some extra steps to update m4 as part of a normal upgrade:
# cd /usr/src/usr.bin/m4 # make # make install clean
If you are a brave soul and have an IPv6-only DragonFly installation, there’s now a git mirror of DragonFly that is available on IPv6.
Michael W. Lucas announced his next book will be about DNSSec, which is good. It’s also self-published, which I like to see. I don’t know if it necessarily makes him more money, but I like to see more exploration of this new way of publishing.
If you look at his announcement, there’s a link to something else: vendor-free SSL certificates. These are possible? That’s one of those things I didn’t even realize I wanted; having to deal with a certification authority is annoying.
This discussion of cryptographic hardware for FreeBSD may include hardware that would work for DragonFly too. Can someone verify?
Shopping! This is the big holiday shopping weekend in the US, and I usually put together something here.
- Buy an SSD for someone who doesn’t have one – including you if that’s the case. There’s better and worse SSDs out there, but you’ll get a speed benefit no matter what, and other bonuses are possible.
- The Tea Bag Buddy, which also comes in a color-changing version. Because tea.
- My perennial Science! suggestions: ThinkGeek, American Science and Surplus, Ward’s Scientific, Carolina, and United Nuclear, The Bone Room, and Skulls Unlimited.
- The Best of BSD 2011 and Last Year in BSD Security, from the BSD Magazine publisher.
- For more BSD, there’s always the orgs themselves. FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD – no DragonFly, though there ought to be. Also, ISC.
- For lists of gifts, there’s the Verge Gift Guide, which has some interesting offshoots.
- Another long list: The Comics Reporter’s Shopping List.
If you have suggestions, please comment!
Sascha Wildner has added system management BIOS (SMBIOS) support, visible with kenv, from FreeBSD. Use it for getting things like the BIOS revision, system manufacturer, and so on. For example:
smbios.bios.reldate="12/04/2006" smbios.bios.vendor="Dell Inc. " smbios.bios.version="2.1.0 "
This may seem minor, but this can be very helpful when dealing with hardware you aren’t physically able to access.
The 3.2 release seems to have gone well. Who has tried the new USB support? I’m curious to see how it’s going.
- :syntax Off, about working without syntax highlighting. (via)
- The previous link led me to this .vimrc with by-line explanations. I never get tired of looking at these things, though I also never implement anything out of them.
- 102 FreeBSD Tips. It’s really the contents of the FreeBSD fortune file. Almost all these tips apply to DragonFly, too, and often the other BSDs.
- A tcpdump primer. Always a good tool to know. It’s not as easy to use as Wireshark, but it’s certainly possible to end up with access to tcpdump and not Wireshark, right when you really need to see what’s happening on the network. (via)
- An HTML5-based terminal in your browser. Displays images, runs vim, etc. All that technological growth since 1972 has come full circle to replicate an 80×25 screen again. (I kid; it’s pretty neat.)
- A 6-week cryptography course, free of charge.
- Nothing to do with this operating system, but: Robot DragonFly, an Indiegogo project. (via)
- When you’re young and getting paid to work on open source, you can be surprisingly naive. (via several people)
- I agree with this sentiment about Linuxisms coming from an OpenBSD developer. (via Tomaz Bodzar)
- Someone want to work on ssh-ldap-helper for BSD? It sounds like a very good idea.
- A bunch of free computer books. Ignore the Linux ones; there’s free books for Ruby/Python/Perl there. (via)
A thread on pkgsrc-users@ reminds me: adding a specific line for bin-install will save time when rebuilding packages; pkgsrc will use existing binary packages instead of rebuilding from source when possible, when this is set. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it does.
- deadweight, “Find unused CSS selectors by scraping your HTML”. I’ve needed something like this for years. (via)
- The same sort of thing for pkgsrc: pkg_leaves. Worth running at least yearly, or at least before any significant pkgsrc upgrade. There’s no point in updating a package you don’t use or need.
- GNU Coreutils cheat sheet, plus the instructions to make it. There’s other cheatsheets linked in the article that may be useful.
- Compiler benchmarks, comparing gcc and clang versions. For a complete benchmark, I’d want to compare what number of programs build with each, too. (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
- When ‘your mom’ and Unix jokes collide.
- Distraction-free writing with Vim. (via)
- Also, there’s a “Modern Vim” book on the way. Will it be good? I have no idea; I don’t know of any prior books by the author or who the publisher is. Those facts might help.
- For a known author and publisher, here’s a status report on Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition. If you don’t know what a BOFH is from his last sentence, read the original stories.
- Quadrilateral Cowboy, a cyberpunk hacking game that actually involves non-boring programming and not just a pipe-matching game under the guise of hacking.
- While I’m linking to games, GUTS, sorta like Diablo but more… roguey? It’s turn-based. Also, an excuse to use the roguelike tag.
- 4 UNIX commands I abuse every day. Having done a fair amount of Perl programming, I am entertained by having side effects being the intended goal. Also, the author pays attention to what runs on BSD. (via)
- “Disks lie. And the controllers that run them are partners in crime.” Marshall Kirk McKusick describes just how hard it is to know when your data has really made it from memory to disk. (via)
I have such a surplus of links these days that I started this Lazy Reading two weeks ago.
- Setting Up spamd(8) With Secondary MXes In Play In Four Easy Steps. Reprinted from bsdly.
- A Brief History of Videogames. (via) A 3 minute movie.
- Networking by Example with the Packet Construction Set. An mp3 of the NYCBUG presentation from George Neville-Neil. I wish I was just a little closer to NYC so I could attend these… but then I’d be in Syracuse or Albany, and that’s not as cool as Rochester.
- I knew Interix existed, but I had never looked at it. Apparently there’s community-created bundles of software to go with it. I think pkgsrc works with it too.
- SSD prices appear to be crashing. Now may be a good time to buy. Having a SSD is possibly the bestest part of my work laptop.
- Buffers, Windows, and Tabs in Vim. A good explanation for terms unfortunately used somewhat differently in Vim that you’d expect. (via)
- Magenta, Darwin/BSD (so sorta FreeBSDish?) on top of Linux. Quoted from page: “This is a very weird project.” As time goes on, what you would think of as BSD goes through new mutations and growths. (also via)
- Some selected BSD desktops. XFCE seems to be the most popular; that may not be a surprise in an environment where you are compiling or installing yourself. Various Linux distributions coming with a set desktop hide the pain of compiling all of GNOME/KDE from the user. Whether that is good or bad is a matter of debate.
- I never heard the term troll-hugging before, but this description of how a caustic software community will become a smaller software community makes sense. (via)
- This emulated VMSCluster setup cost probably close to $150. It would have cost a quarter million or more when I was in college. (via)
- It’s a Learning Perl book, from Wrox. But the whole thing appears to be available online at O’Reilly’s site for free? I’m not sure what that is.
- Zork 1 played via Twitter.
- The Interrupted Unix FAQ. (via) Funny, but probably also a good thing to memorize.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Elfquest, every issue ever. The dialogue is cheesy but the original art is fun, in a way that grabbed me when I read it at 10 years of age.
The short version: MySQL, compiled a certain way, will allow 1 out of 256 root login attempts to work no matter what. I was going to link to this for the startlingly large number of MySQL installations found allowing connections from the public Internet, which means breaking into any affected servers would be easy. Then I thought about it… I don’t see a my.cnf installed by pkgsrc for at least MySQL 5.1 by default.
To fix this for your own installation, put
in /usr/pkg/etc/my.cnf to disallow remote connections. I don’t know if MySQL on DragonFly from pkgsrc is vulnerable to the issue, but it’s a good idea to not allow remote connections to the database, and ought to be on by default.
Or just use Postgres, if possible.
I got to use the ‘roguelike’ tag again this week, which always makes me happy. Surprisingly, it’s not about… that roguelike.
- RSA encryption explained. (via)
- Someone from Google went to BSDCan 2012 and blogged about it. The takeaways are interesting, especially something I’ve seen elsewhere: “Don’t buy systems that can’t take registered RAM in a bazillion sockets”.
- Occam’s Razor applies here, but still: trust nobody. (via)
- Bash One-liners Explained, part 1.
- They’re switching from ‘cvs import’ to ‘cvs add’ in pkgsrc. Now if they’d just switch the ‘cvs’ part out…
- Not even vaguely computer related: Please won’t someone make these commercially available? Wait, someone did!
- The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol’ Dial-Up Modem Sound. (via) I feel nostalgic, but on the other hand… nobody missed 14.4 kbaud.
- Advanced Vim Macros. “As is typical in Vim, the rabbit hole of functionality goes much deeper than most users will ever plumb.” (via)
- Also at the same place: Vim Koans.
- Hey, there’s a DragonFly page on the Wine Wiki. It’s short but probably very useful if you want to run Wine.
- Also, an OpenCV fix for DragonFly, pushed upstream by a pkgsrc developer. That’s always nice to see.
- Fish, a new shell with some nice features. (via) Does this compile on DragonFly?
- Found near the same place: a screen saver that auto-plays Angband. OS X only, unfortunately. There must be an easy way to do the same with xscreensaver.
- CLANG, but not the compiler. Watch the movie.
Your unrelated link of the week: I happen to work at a salt mining operation, which leads to some unique problems (more). Mining in the US is regulated by MSHA, which has been cracking down since the Upper Big Branch incident. MSHA issues ‘fatalgrams‘ every time a miner dies. MSHA also shows up on site as soon as possible, which means they are there taking pictures within a few minutes, with equipment still running. It’s essentially crime scene photos, and a little worrying; many of the deaths are of people around my age with similar experience.
So many links this week I’m already working on next week’s entry. Enjoy!
- git aliae so that you never lose work (part 2). (via) Aliae is the plural of alias?
- The Setup; people’s work environments. I’ve linked to it before, when nabbing links from Trivium, but I never realized how many people there were to look at. People like Chet Faliszek, Gabe Newell, ‘bunnie’ Huang, _why the lucky stiff, Lee Hardcastle, Joel Johnson, MC Frontalot, Derek Yu, Eric Meyer, Anil Dash, Jordan Mechner, Andy Hertzfeld, and Ryan North. There’s a lot more. If any of those names are unfamiliar, you should go look them up and be pleasantly surprised.
- How to use DragonFly to troll Amiga users. Funny/sad, like most trolling.
- One does not simply run Unicorn in DragonFlyBSD. Not sure what Unicorn is, but I feel bad that it crashed.
- Become a Vim Master By Learning these 30+ Key Bindings. Well, it’s vim, not vi, but oh well. It’s the standard list of commands that normally makes up articles like this, but I still look, in the hopes that I’ll permanently absorb another movement pattern and get that much faster.
- Which hashing algorithm is best for uniqueness and speed? (via) The colorized hash maps are a pretty interlude in a technical discussion.
- Speaking of Vim, here’s the M command, implemented for a web page. (via) The only better thing would be a vertical split screen view.
- End of a Fishing Expedition. Makes a good point about the recently-lost-by-Oracle lawsuit about copyrighting APIs: if that was possible, most Unixish operating systems, including BSD, would suddenly have legal problems. Also, the judge in the case apparently knows how to program, and actually established a point of law instead of shrugging and saying “These kids and their newfangled Internets confuse me.”
- CPU wars. (via) A trump cards game based on CPUs. Super-nerdy!
- I like the sentiments here about Instagram. (via) I can see why it was popular, but not how it represented anything but a cosmetic tool, dependent on other services.
- Waxy.org turns 10. I relink (reblog? I don’t know) material from the links page on waxy.org, because Andy Baio has a keen eye. That article has links to various high points over the last 10 years, so it’s worth setting aside some of your time and looking at previous features. Come to think of it, he started that only a year before I started this Digest.
- Supercomputers installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. All the way back to UNIVAC. (via swildner on EFNet #dragonflybsd) This picture is one of the more realistic I’ve ever seen about rack installation.
- RFC6540: IPv6 Support Required for All IP-Capable Nodes. (via) YES.
- The Story of BSD and Open-Source Linux, unfortunately incorrect, starting with the headline.
- 40 years on: Why Unix standards still matter. A brief note about the Single Unix Specification. There’s some implication that Unix was involved in the moon landings; was that the case? I didn’t think so, since at least a chunk of the moon landings predate Unix existing. (i.e. before the Epoch.)
- A photo followup on the one PHP article from last week. (via aggelos on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- From the same site as the PHP article, tmux is sweet as heck. It’s nice to see the positive points of tmux defined outside of licensing. Also, it serves as a good tmux configuration checklist.
The links are all over the map this week, which is fine. Enjoy!
- This makes me laugh every time. (via)
- Etsy has an astonishingly good internal development practice. And open source code? (via)
- For contrast, Facebook’s release engineering process. (via I lost it, sorry) Not as interesting but I can’t tell why.
- Mosh, a program designed for the persistence of screen but differently. (via) Dunno if it builds on DragonFly, but it looks neat.
- “I just ran emacs. LOL!“
- 0x10c, a sci-fi game set in the future with spaceships running a 16-bit CPU. That you can program.
- I wish I could write here with the same mix of loathing and excitement found in this comics review. Warning: mildly… gonzo?
- The journey from user to contributor, a NYCBUG talk in mp3 form. (via)
- I’ve mentioned RetroBSD before, but here’s an example of it being installed on a Duinomite board. 2.11 BSD on a super-cheap, super-small Arduino-style board! (via) I don’t know what I’d do with it, but I want one. It even has keyboard and VGA ports.
- At some point, this CPU database will be handy. (via)
- A new, slow form of brute force ssh attack. (via) What I find interesting here is not so much the new attack itself, but Peter Hansteen’s careful gathering and analysis of data around it.
I’ve seen a few people complain about poor video performance in DragonFly, in Xorg. If you see a bunch of “contigmalloc_map: failed …” errors in your dmesg, your video card needs more contiguous memory allocated. Set vm.dma_reserved to 32M in /boot/loader.conf and you should be set. If that doesn’t work, try 64M.
I’m making sure I post this Lazy Reading on the right day. A nice full week’s worth of stuff.
- Bandwidth used when loading different web pages. (via) The largest one is also the most surprising.
- Do you have an IBM x3550? Turn ACPI off.
- The recent TCL presentation at NYCBUG is available in audio form.
- Did you want to know a lot of detail on how to do journaled soft updates in UFS? You want detail, you got it. (via, via) (Is that a repeat link? I don’t think so…)
- This is totally useful if you’re using ssh from a Windows machine.
- SSH is used as a noun and a verb, I just realized. No link, it’s just me noticing verbification.
- BSDCan 2012 registration is open. (via Michael Lucas’s Twitter feed) Conventions are awesome. You should go.
- Michael Lucas talks about book promotion with his recent book. There’s a graph, so it’s automatically great.
- Speaking of books, Modern Perl: The Book is free to download in PDF form.
- A story about _why. (via) I’m not so interested in his identity, but in what he did to get people to program.
- My git habits. (Not mine; that’s just the title.) Speaking of learning, I’ve always thought the next steps past learning the basics of anything is to then see how experienced people approach it, idiomatically.
- Why Juniper Gives Back to the FreeBSD Community. I link to this because I like what they are doing, and also because in a perfect world I would rather have a BSD-ish interface on my networking equipment than fiddle with IOS. Oh well.
- Bunnie Huang always builds neat stuff. This time it’s a Geiger counter. (via)
Hello new DragonFly 3.0 users! This is my not-about-DragonFly weekend link roundup. I’ll be back to regular DragonFly-ish stuff tomorrow.
- Vim anti-patterns, Gnuplotting, and Computing History At Bell Labs. I’m combining what would normally be 3 separate points because I stole them all from Christian Neukirchen’s blog. I wish I had found them first.
- I mentioned Dungeons & Dragons last week, which led Michael Lucas to point out Dungeon Crawl Classics in the comments. Along that same theme, here’s some 70’s role playing game illustrations. (via) There’s a parallel between computing in the late 1970s and fantasy; expert programmers were called wizards, understanding computers was an esoteric art… I could develop the heck out of that thesis, but let’s just look at the pictures and feel nostalgic instead.
- And then everything got a lot more weird-looking, 20 years later! (via)
- Hey, that time zone lawsuit mentioned here before was dismissed. That’s good news. (via lots of places)
- Hyperpolyglot: Scripting. Look for your favorite scripting language and compare it side-by-side with others. (via ferz on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- The text of the DragonFly 3.0 announcement gets copied around to a lot of sites, far more than I’m linking here. However, I found this one entertaining because it kind of makes it sound like DragonFly is just what I happened to come with.
- Custom 3D printing is becoming accessible enough that I’m trying to think of things I could get printed that way, even though I don’t need it. (via I lost it, sorry)
Your unrelated link of the week: Quigley’s Cabinet. Read her books if you have a fascination with old dead things.
If you were thinking about implementing DNSSEC, Michael Lucas did it himself and wrote down his notes. You can read them and either follow along to implement it yourself, or just spectate. The one disadvantage is that it uses BIND 9.9, and I only see 9.8 and 10 in pkgsrc.
Edward Berger found that using a LG/Hitachi DVD drive kept him from successfully booting a DragonFly install CD. Using other manufacturers worked out fine. What causes the problem? I don’t know, but it’s worth mentioning it out loud in case someone else gets bit by it.
If you’re running DragonFly on a very low-end system, you may be wondering about memory requirements for Hammer. Hammer is much less RAM-hungry than ZFS, so it looks like you can get away with 128M, as long as you don’t mind the occasional error message. You can manually tweak settings for it if you like. 256M is plenty.
It still strikes me as odd to consider systems with less than 1G of RAM as “low-memory”. What rich times we live in!
There is now a NO_BINUTILS221 option, added by Sascha Wildner, that will keep your system from building binutils 2.21 during a buildworld. The system will still build binutils 2.22, so there will still be a functioning ld on the system. Use this along with NO_GCC41 (so only gcc 4.4 gets built) to speed up your buildworlds, if you like.
Getting close to 2.12 release…
- Steam and Team Fortress 2 running on a BSD – PC-BSD with an NVIDIA driver, in this case, but it may apply to other cards and other games. Using Wine is always so intricate, it seems.
- Remember how suddenly a large chunk of Internet traffic was suddenly routed through China, briefly in early 2010? Apparently it’s happened a few more times since then. This article at the Economist talks about that and the SCION project, in an accessible way.
- The 2011 Interactive Fiction Competition has released this year’s entries, and almost all of them can be played online. (via) There goes a few hours of your life. Sorry.
- Speaking of hours, there’s apparently a civil lawsuit that has rendered timezone data unavailable. Here’s a good summation. It’s a frustrating scenario. (via multiple places)
- World’s best introduction to sed.
Yep, fall hits and it’s easier to find links.
- DragonFly morphology. The insect, not the operating system, though that would make an interesting diagram.
- Stick your pinkie in the corner of your mouth, Dr. Evil style, and say, “One MEEELion TCP connections on BSD!“. (via several retweets)
- Sudo vs. SSH public keys.
- The app store concept is taking over. Not that it’s a totally bad thing! We could implement one for pkgsrc, and should. (via)
- A nice (OpenBSD-centric) walkthrough of routing. (via)
- Ooh, decent disk benchmarks. I wish there were graphs, of course.
- I think this happens to most CS grads; you sit around one day and say to yourself, “Hey, I could write an operating system!” This forum post shows someone getting that idea and then realizing it’s not necessarily the goal he wanted. Why do I link to it? I appreciate the optimism.
- Or you can just build a functioning computer in Minecraft. This sort of thing has been happening for a while – this movie is just a link to the craziest example I’ve seen so far.
Your unrelated link of the week: Scientific Illustration. Not a comic, but still visually interesting.
At some point, you may want to generate binary programs that are unstripped of debugging information. You may want to generate them with pkgsrc. Here’s a little note on what options will make that happen.
It’s almost the end of summer here, or at least the traditional end of summer in North America. About time, too! I don’t like the heat. Anyway, as people trickle back to school, some more interesting doodads should show up for these weekly Lazy Reading posts…
- Yet another git cheatsheet, this time for KDE. (Via TGEN on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- What’s wrong with sort and how to fix it. I will enthusiastically link to any article that mentions letters like þ. (There’s others that this stupid blogging software just eats when I write out the HTML entities.)
- Did you wake up this morning and say, “I wonder if I could run some really old software. Like 4.1c BSD?” Well, today’s your lucky day.
- Creating new Linux base and infrastructure ports on FreeBSD. Interesting to see just how complex it can be.
- Distributed computing at Google. (PDF, via) I like the description of the error/failure rates and how they escalate as an architecture scales up.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Jack Kirby art on what would have been his 94th birthday. I have trouble communicating how dramatic and influential his art has been.
As part of a larger thread, Chris Turner went into a longer explanation of how PPTP connections work. Do you have PPTP working on DragonFly? Please share details!
If you’re committing something to DragonFly, or even just working on your own Git repository so as to submit a patch, the new-to-me-and-not-actually-secret committer(7) man page has a lot of tips. I’m linking to it because it holds a lot of information that otherwise would be something you’d have to soak up over time from the community, maybe.
Lazy reading is easy when it’s been this hot out. In fact, I may melt before this article gets published.
- Ecdysis – a NAT64 gateway program. I link to it for two reasons. 1: You will probably need to NAT 6-to-4 sooner or later, and 2: it uses PF and so is BSD-compatible. (via)
- Don’t not copy that floppy! (also via) My original Apple ][ disk for Castle Wolfenstein is probably no longer functional. Not that I have equipment to play it on…
- World timezones, as a visible map. (via) I mention time zone updates here on occasion, and this is a immediate guide to what a strange patchwork of zones it is. You can’t even see some of the really tiny/crazy ones.
- A crappy way to start your day. Nobody ever enjoys that call from work…
And now, a link that has nothing to do with this.
Background: You may remember some time ago, I posted a review of Michael Lucas’s Network Flow Analysis. He’s written several BSD books and so I figured it was worth reading further, knowing that this network-specific book would be BSD-friendly. Also, he made it easier by sending me a copy.
No Starch Press, the company that published all the books linked in the previous paragraph, asked if I’d read/review another book from them. This would be Practical Packet Analysis, 2nd edition. (Review continues after the break…)
I happened to stumble on this: the DuckDuckGo search engine will take you directly to a DragonFly man page, if you type ‘!dfman’ at the start of your query. For instance, “!dfman hammer“.
I didn’t think of this, but I needed it: if you have an older Hammer system that now can perform deduplication because you upgraded to DragonFly 2.10, make sure to add it to the configuration for that file system, or else it won’t run.
You can probably infer the new (to me) blog I found this week from some of the links…
- Adding IPv6 to a FreeBSD Mail/Web Server – from Michael Lucas, repeat BSD author. I link to this because we’re all going to have to do something similar in the next year or so, I bet..
- A visual guide to TMUX, part 1 and part 2. tmux has usually been introduced to me as “It’s BSD-licensed and not screen”, which is good, but not compelling on its own. The first of the articles linked here goes over the comparative differences in some detail. (via)
- Speaking of screen-ish things, do you leave an irssi session running in screen so that you can rejoin IRC conversations at any time? I sure do. Sometimes I even reconnect through ConnectBot on my Android phone. There’s now a Connectbot variation for irssi, just for people who do such a thing. Don’t forget: #dragonflybsd on EFNet.
- Also still on the topic: forgetting to use screen and then being stuck with a long-running process is lousy. There’s ways to deal with it, though. (via, from a blogroll link)
- Hey, it’s neat to see a new business built on BSD – OpenBSD, in this case: Tunnelr. (via)
- We’re still doing great in terms of pkgsrc packages building successfully on DragonFly.
- An hour+ recording of the recent NYCBUG meeting about BSD networking is online. (Link is to a MP3 – via)
- How not to comment code.
- AT&T -> BSD -> AT&T.
This is one of those scenarios that I’m noting because it might bite someone, some day: if your root partition is encrypted, you can’t fit in a different keymap. However, kernel options to build in a different keymap will fix this issue.
Normally I hold this for Sunday, but I’ve got a good batch of links already. Something here for everyone, this week.
- A git cheatsheet, and another git cheatsheet. I may have linked to the latter one before, as it looks vaguely familiar. Anyway, bookmark. (Thanks, luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- What should you do about bad blocks on a disk? Get a new disk.
- If you ever wanted to port software, there’s a pkgsrc developer’s guide (thanks Francois Tigeot) that shows you how.
- It’s NOT LINUX, for the billionth time. It’s BSD UNIX (certified, even) under there!
- “Children of the Cron“. An entertaining pun. (via)
- Nothing to do with BSD, or even computers, really: Gary Gorton, interviewed about the recent financial crisis, at a Fed bank website (!?). Interesting because I like economic matters, and because it’s the first web page where I’ve ever seen pop-up links added usefully, as a sort of footnote that you don’t have to scroll. (via)
- Michael Lucas recently had a machine broken into. Since everything on the machine is suspect, he’s using Netflow data to figure out when it happened, and how, which is not surprising given his most recent book. He has two posts describing how he backtracks his way to the probable source.
I never really noticed this before, but it’s possible to include your own patchsets into pkgsrc and have them picked up as part of the build process, using $LOCALPATCHES.
If you were dying to have less behave like more, it’s possible to do so with these tips from Oliver Fromme. I don’t know if it’s that desirable, but it’s an interesting thing.
Somehow I ended up with a zillion links for this week’s Lazy Reading. I hope you’ve got some spare time for this… Let’s get right into it:
- Michael Lucas, BSD book author (see links on site), has started Twittering. He’s also found the Wikileaks/NetBSD association that I didn’t know about, as Julian Assange even shows up in the NetBSD fortunes file. Also, while linking to his blog, I’ll point at his post on “Write what you don’t know“. Think of that article next time you feel you don’t know enough to contribute to something – especially open source.
- There’s a lengthy dialog on the email@example.com mailing list about pkgsrc, and “Making it easier to get and use pkgsrc“. You can follow the whole thread on the listing page. I am all for the idea. Everybody and their brother has an App Store these days. Ports/pkgsrc are perhaps the original app store ideas, and I’d like to see them brought to the same level as these commercial entitites. This is important: pkgsrc is perhaps the only app store equivalent in existence that is not tied to a platform; that exists only to get you software rather than to provide a way to tie a platform into its developers profits.
- Hey, a roguelike zombie apocalypse game! Aw, it’s Windows-only.
- Mikel King has an editorial that sums up the many places BSD serves as an underpinning to products – a good checklist, if you don’t know of them. He’s also written an instructional article on passwordless/SSH setup.
- Along the same lines, Promote Perl by Building Great Things. This applies to BSD products too; telling people it’s great doesn’t work as well as making something great and showing that a BSD system is part of what makes it so.
- Did you know there are even BSD Certification classes in Iran? I really need to do that… though probably not at that location.
- Yacc is not dead. (via) I link to this because I had a moment of nerd excitement realizing that blog’s title is intended to look like a bang path.
- Database design ideas. There’s been a good series of posts there lately, good for anyone wanting to move beyond the basic CRUD details.
curl http://betterthangrep.com/ack-standalone > ~/bin/ack && chmod 0755 !#:3'
fetch’ would work just as well on a BSD system. The interesting thing is that it’s a one-liner for installing software that doesn’t make any assumptions about having an existing framework like pkgsrc or aptitude or anything like that – it just grabs the code and plops it in place. It wouldn’t work for more complex software, but the simplicity is intriguing, to match the Unix-like single, chainable program idea.
For those who haven’t seen it, ‘ack‘ is a grep replacement that automatically takes care of common activities around searching – skipping files that would cause duplicate matches, binary files, etc., handles a larger range of regular expressions, and runs startlingly fast.
Siju George noticed that his mouse would stop working in X, perhaps every hour. Restarting X would fix it, but he didn’t have a clear cause. Antonio Huete Jimenez suggested turning the sysctl ‘debug.psm.loglevel’ to 9 to at least see what messages cropped up, and that seemed to fix it. I don’t think it’s a good long-term solution, but it’s worth mentioning in case this odd bug bites someone else.
A number of people have encountered this: while installing some larger pkgsrc package, the process stops on a strange DocBook error. Alex Hornung has a fix: symlink /usr/pkg/etc/xml/catalog to /usr/pkg/share/xml/catalog.
Alex Hornung is having trouble getting his power consumption as low as it could be on his DragonFly laptop. A side effect of this problem is that when he posts about it, he also manages to enumerate all the various ways you can reduce power consumption and heat usage on a laptop. (Follow the thread for more.)
If your system has trouble when APIC_IO is enabled, and you’re tracking DragonFly 2.9, you may have trouble on your next build. The fix is putting this in your loader.conf:
I know this has already been covered, to some extent, but one can never be too clear with solutions.
Something that always got with with Linux binary support was that I couldn’t get the Linux /proc filesystem to automatically mount on boot. I’d end up doing it by hand later, right after I tried to start a Linux binary and had all sorts of issues. Pierre Abbat had this same problem, and Sascha Wildner has the answer: “
linux_load=yes” in /boot/loader.conf.
When compiling software on DragonFly but outside of pkgsrc, and you have trouble with configure, remember you can always manually pull down new versions. You’re welcome, future me.
I’m linking to this commit message from Matthias Schmidt simply because it has the correct invocation for installing a vkernel, and I know this will come in handy, someday.
Link dumps just so I can get caught up.
- Michael Lucas was interviewed about his new Network Flow Analysis (previously reviewed) book, in two parts. Also, he’s speaking at NYCBSDCon, this November 12th-14th.
- Dru Lavigne gave a talk on “Getting Started in an Open Source Community“. (via) In other video news, MeetBSD 2010 videos are available now.
- Random Google searches turned up a DragonFly installation video on Via hardware.
- Back to convention items: Kirk Russell has a short BSDCan recap. (via)
- Also, cluster ssh.
- Stathis Kamperis updated DragonFly’s One True Awk. (Huh. Brian Kernighan’s not at Bell Labs anymore.)