Never a Dull Moment…

I’ve been up to a few things over the last while. Apart from getting back into the studying habit for my exams soon, I’ve also been doing a small amount of tinkering, including learning how to be more active in the FreeBSD and Debian projects, mainly through bug reporting/fixes and making a few packages. After my exams, I also have to contrive a method to syncronise the installed packages on multipe Debian servers.

There is also a lot of meeting activity within the Irish tech community in recent days, not only is there a proposed ILUG Key Signing Party in September, but a full day’s talks, christened TechCamp is being organised for a Saturday in October as well. And those are only the non repeditive gatherings.

There’s the usual SAGE-IE meeting and perhaps even a second IEnog gathering coming up before October.

Fixing Backspace in Terminal.app

As many Unix or Linux users with a Mac know, Mac OS X’ Terminal.app doesn’t play nice with GNU’s Screen on a Linux or Unix server, mainly manifesting as backspace not working.

There are lots of fixes online (eg macosxhints) which cite incompatible termcap settings as the cause. Their solutions are efectively copying the OS X termcap settings into ~/.termcap/ on the remote server. I’d rather not resort to doing this, since I use screen on multiple servers to do all sorts of things everywhere.

Through some simple experimentation, I discovered it’s simply a simple tickbox setting within Terminal’s Window Preferences. Just enable the setting as highlighted here

A Bad Day…

Today didn’t start off too well. After assisting Dave to babysit a critical fileserver this morning, I had hoped the day would have gotten better. I was wrong.

A long afternoon involving messing with multiple installs of Horde, 2 moody women obsessed with using MSN Messenger, a severe lack of study, irritating delays with the Dart service on the way home and preemptive adminning to combat Zotob.A before it gives me a headache this week, I can safely say today was far from ideal.

At least I had a few drinks with my best mate in my local on the way home, so it wasn’t all bad…

On the subject of Zotob.A, since it is a Maths Dept admin tradition to log all IPs of M$ worm traffic, I started tcpdump logging all connections on port 445 from the TCD network.

So far, since 21:00 Monday 15th,

  • 3053 attempted inbound attempted connections,
  • no outbound attempted connections

Excellent! Can’t beat good, old ipfw… 🙂

[I’ve noticed recently I’m gradually moving towards FreeBSD as my distro/system of choice for a lot of things, expecially since I have come to only trust UFS and/or HFS+ for decent file storage (100GB+), since I have yet to encounter a non-recoverable, fs related problem for either (yet)]

Mega Shopping Spree…

Since I’ve chosen a practical, if complex fyp involving areas such as Unix/Linux, Multicasting, Security, Cyptography, Unicode, IPv6 and cross compatability, I knew I was going to need a couple of books to rely upon.

So, in order to build a list of recommended books, I went through John’s book list from the original Oi. I then cross referenced it against security books listed in Jerry’s books, added a few recommended Multicast books recommended by Colin (who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to Multicasting) and added, of course, a few O’Reilly published books to help me along, including my own copy of Dave’s book on all things IPv6 (which I should probably try to get autographed by the authors ;), I ended up placing a mammoth Amazon order this weekend, consisting of:

And since I was paying for the shipping, I threw in

out of interest/usefulness for work as well…

So, a lot of reading for Final Year.

Oh well, I knew I only get marks for the documentation for my fyp, so at least I’ll have a large no of resources to assist my documentation section. 🙂

Bank Holiday Weekend

The bank holiday weekend started at lunchtime on Friday for me. It ended up being my last day in BrowseIreland, since it seems there is a limit to how much web development I can withstand.

After finishing work, I collected the beginnings of my own Cisco test lab, without resorting to eBay. I got a redundant Cisco 1603 and Cisco 2501, which I happened to be offered after starting up a conversation about Cisco test labs on the IE-NOG list. They should be intersting to play with. 🙂

The reason I had arranged to take a half day, was to go to Amsterdam for the weekend. Amsterdam was wonderful. I wasn’t visiting for the “coffee shops” or the Red Light District which attract so many others. I went for the more traditional tourism interests such as the architecture and museums, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The hotel Ciara and I stayed in was very querky and unique. The building’s history is very interesting, since it was originally a prison, before being used as an orphanage amongst other things before they renovated it in 2004. It was very confortable, extremely nice and has a good location a few tram stops from the Central Station, but not near the city centre.

Apart from shopping in the city centre, and the obligitory trip to Ikea (it’s not a holiday unless I go to Ikea… :), we went to the RijksMuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, both of which were interesting. Although I didn’t really get a chance to eat any Dutch cuisine, the food I had was eclectic and lovely.

The trip was the perfect time to start using my digital camera, so combined with Flickr, my photos are available online. I really liked Amsterdam and intend to go back again.

This week has also seen me take on a new role. I’m now also the Unix administrator for a research project within the TCD Zoology Dept which uses high end graphics work stations running Mandrake to process and visualise data. Since the system is already setup, I’m mainly just babysitting the system and answering queries that might come up.