Lazy Reading: cheatsheet, disks, pkgsrc, more

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.

Lazy Reading: Lots and lots of it

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 tech-pkg@netbsd.org 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.

A super-simple install

I was reading this Perl Advent Calendar (that would be good for DragonFly, come to think of it) post about ack, and came across a interesting line:

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.

Odd mouse fix

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.

Slightly less hassle for Linux support

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.

Messylaneous: books, conventions, videos, conventions

Link dumps just so I can get caught up.

Messylaneous: reading, catchup

I apologize; I’ve been missing.  Here’s some misc links while I get back in gear:

  • A very good reason to be interested in Hammer over ZFS: nobody will threaten lawsuits over Hammer.
  • 10 tricks for admins.  I’m posting it cause I can never remember that thing with tunneling ssh out.  (via)
  • This Gaming Life, as a free download.  An excellent book that is in physical form on my shelf right now.  Yes, unrelated.