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User Journal

Journal Journal: Home sweet home 1

I'm done with boot camp. I'm done with combat training. I'm done with my MOS school. I'm out in the reserves, drilling once a month, two weeks a year, all that fun stuff.

I can't find a decent civilian job to save my life, and I'm about to go work at a grocery store to pay bills.

Any senior Marines out there want to help me out with some tips? Any civilian employers want to give some job-seeking advice to one of your Marines? Would you rather I show up in typical geek jeans-and-a-tshirt, or would I be better off in my formal alpha uniform, or something in between? If you had the choice between hiring a Marine reservist who's going off the grid two or three nights a month and hiring a civilian, would you -- honestly -- choose the civilian just because of those drills?

I want to work, and I want to work geek. I was a Linux geek before I went in, and I'm a Linux geek now, even if that's not what I do in the Marine Corps.

(PS - Yes, I've done the usual online resume stuff. It's still in progress. I'm just looking for feedback.)
User Journal

Journal Journal: Arrive onto the future

So, I've been in boot camp and combat training since April, and I've finally made it to my MOS school.

You wouldn't believe how long a dist-upgrade took the other day.

What'd I miss?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Well, that lasted about a day. 1

What happened to that "day pass" I saw at the top of Slashdot once?

In case you haven't come across it, a big thing comes across the top of the front page saying something along the lines of "Yuo aer teh suq. Go look at an ad for fifteen seconds, and we'll give you a Slashdot day pass" -- which basically lets you look at articles from the Mysterious Future for 24 hours or so.

I thought it was going to become a regular thing, but I've only seen it once. Is it gone, or just hard to come by?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Oh, yeah.

I managed to track down the bug in zkfingerd a while back. Turns out it was freeing a pointer somewhere that it shouldn't have been. What's really great is that it didn't mind so much when -DDEBUG and -DDEBUGMEM, it just ran along happily.

So, since all queries run in spawned child processes that exit soon after the query, anyway, I just commented out the code with a "wtf?" until I feel like figuring it out and applying a proper fix.

In between that, I whipped up a neat little make frontend with dialog. When I get really bored, I go 'make clean all' just to watch the niftiness. :-)
User Journal

Journal Journal: Eureka!

I've discovered that posting pretty much any Wikipedia link gets you modded +5*10^23. Neat.

I've been spending some time playing with Net::AIM (the homepage of which is 403'd, suggesting it's now unmaintained, but I haven't really checked). It's not bad, if a little wonky, and the documentation is hard to find. I wrote a TinyURL bot, mostly because I couldn't think of anything better to do with it at the time, having lost my job and not having any real systems to monitor -- text messaging has been doing me fine, anyway.

I also hacked in a bit of xmms fun, which required that I code nick-based access levels. Either you're authorized to use them, or you're not, and you're not. :-) It pretty much just passes the second word of the message as an argument to "xmms -n 0" -- e.g., if I message the bot "xmms p", it plays, "xmms f" fast-fowards, etc.; nothing against the Sidekick's ssh client, but it quietly dies after about 10 minutes or so of inactivity.

I've long wondered about tunneling ppp or slip over aim... always assumed the message rate limit would kill off the connection, but if you throttled both ends properly...

Anyway, if it's online, you can test it out by messaging "TinyURLBot" a link, or "help" for commands. There'd be a goim link, but Slashcode seems to hate them... anyway, the source is here. It's a work in progress.
User Journal

Journal Journal: More fun with the Sidekick 2

Last one for a while, promise.

Some people are still having problems with their Sidekicks, apparently, while others are doing fine. Go figure.

I'm still rolling the idea of writing applications for it around in my skull, but there's a snag: Danger wants you to fill out some freaking paperwork and fax it into them. I read something on the dev boards about how they know this process sucks, and they made some vague allusions to fixing it, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Pretty soon, the motherboard manufacturers are going to be saying things like "you can't put anything but Windows XP on your hard drive unless you contact us and wait 2-4 weeks for a developer key, and in the meantime, might we suggest a nice game of solitaire". GMC is going to be locking you in to a select chain of gas stations, it'll be illegal to vote for certain political parties without authorization, dogs and cats lying together, swords into plowshares, etc. etc.

Okay, maybe a little melodramatic, but hey, this is irritating. I own a gizmo I could be writing software for, but I have to wait for someone's permission?

I'm a programmer, damn it, I don't want to fax paperwork around the solar system and wait for your damned bureaucracies for permission to write programs, I just want to fire up a half dozen xterms and get on it.

Look, put up a CGI that spits out a dev key for the user-submitted serial number, pass it on to T-Mobile's automated "this guy is no longer supported as far as software goes" program, and call it a day.

Making people who want to write your software for you wait through this sort of stupidity is not, repeat not, a good thing.

Incidentally, now taking bets on how long until the first Sidekick virus pops up (no, uClinux doesn't count).

Okay, I'm done with my Sidekick rants -- at least for tonight. Sorry, Slashdot.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Danger, Will Robinson!

Seems like Danger's Sidekick servers are coming back up. I've had the "G" happy-happy-you-are-connected icon going for a solid three hours, and even checked my voice mail (making or receiving a call disconnects you) and it reconnected relatively quickly.

I was wandering around the Internet and found that I wasn't the only one who noticed. Good tactic, though -- I guess you can't haxx0r peoples' Sidekick accounts if you can't reach the servers.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Sorry for the inconvenience

My Sidekick II has been unable to get a decent GPRS link for the last two or three days. I called T-Mobile, they said there's an outage in my area, gave me 50 bonus minutes for complaining, and apologized for the inconvenience.

Now, I like T-Mobile. Even in the wake of Paris Hilton getting pwned. They get free coffee or something, they're always cool people to deal with. I could get seriously loaded, call up half-coherent, ask something like "duuuuuuuude, how weird is it that our ears are on the sides of our headdddddddds, and our MOUTHS! Our mouths are all sideways 'n stuff, and I wanna punch God in the face", and get a response along the lines of "haha, right on, dunno what you're drinking but I'll take two, is there anything else I can help you with today? Okay, thank you for choosing T-Mobile, [have a nice day]".

It seems like it's not so much GPRS is down, as Danger's servers are... For those unfamiliar with the nature of the Sidekick II, there is a very small section of the main screen (and any application that doesn't do fullscreen) that serves as a network connection status icon. One, then two, then three dots arrange into a pyramid, and then into a slick-looking "G" (for "GPRS"). As far as I can tell, one dot means GPRS, and hanging after that point means something's wrong with Danger's Sidekick servers; I've been stuck on two dots.

The My T-Mobile helpy thingy for my Sidekick reads:

Q: The Service Connectivity Indicator (the dots and G next to the antenna icon) is stuck on 1 dot.
A: The device is having trouble connecting to the data network. Turn the device off and on to register on the T-Mobile network again. If the problem still occurs, contact Customer Care at 1-800-937-8997 or dial 611 from your Sidekick device.

Q: The Service Connectivity Indicator is stuck on 2 dots.
A: The device has connected to the data network, but is not getting a response from the Sidekick servers. Try turning the device off and then on.

Q: The Service Connectivity Indicator is stuck on 3 dots.
A: Sidekick services are not allowing users to login at the moment. Try turning the device off and then on.

Come to think of it, one wonders if this actually has something to do with the whole Sidekick security incident that's been so thoroughly plastered around the web, and two or three times, by my count, on Slashdot.

Anyway, even trying to get to the "desktop interface" (what you've been reading so much about with Paris Hilton's account lately -- the web interface where all the Sidekick's data is remotely stored) gives me a Connection refused.

Interesting... but a major bummer. I didn't throw down $800 [0] for a cell phone, I wanted to check my email and talk to people on AIM with a QWERTY keyboard. *sigh*

Here's hoping they get it fixed soon.

[0] Sidekick II == $250 - $50 mail-in rebate - the $500 deposit I had to throw down when I gave my ex-girlfriend[1] my old cell phone for her own account.

[1] I could seriously go off on a rant while this is still fresh in my mind, but I'll spare you -- I have other places to vent online. :-)

User Journal

Journal Journal: meh!

Top o' the buglist, ma!

I figured out what was wrong with my MTA: the spamc client seems to hang on random writes. Fun. So I'm just using a SIGALRM timeout to work around it. I'm still getting mail from Postfix about queue file write errors (which happen when it can't connect to the proxy), too.

Mozilla seems to forget which window has focus sometimes, and ctrl-W kills the wrong one; not sure if this is Enlightenment's problem or not.

My boss's boss just hit me up on AIM and wants me to call him. I've been working here for a little more than a year, and he's never asked me to call him.

I want to try heroin.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Stuff: The Final Frontier

The code is now deployed on one server in the cluster; I took the others offline[0] and ran all the mail through the one to test it out. It's holding up very well. It damned well ought to be, I've been working on it since like 2am, and it's now 6am.

It speaks SMTP, scans for viruses and spam, kludges around bugs in Squirrelmail, it slices, it dices, it keeps track of child processes that hang and sends them wake-up calls in the morning, cures cancer and blindness, and YES, ladies and gentlemen, germs and jellyspoons, it just crashed as I was writing this because of the code that's supposed to keep track of hung child processes. *hack*hack*patch*patch*

[0] Actually, one of the servers in the inbound mail cluster crashed rather horribly while I was working on this, and I can't find it in the rebooter port lists. Oh, well, we needed to make a cage trip anyway.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Stuff, continued

So, the database server goes down this morning. Not so much a crash, as a full disk -- which means, yay, corrupt tables. We were getting all geared up to reconstruct the lost MySQL data from Resin logs, when my boss says to hold on a sec, he wants to try some stuff first. (Boss == database guru.) So I nod and let him do his thing, and a couple minutes later he says "fixed". Turns out the tables weren't so corrupt a "REPAIR TABLE" wouldn't fix them.

Now I just need to get another cell phone so I get paged when shit like this happens.

Oh, yeah. I dropped my Sidekick II in a puddle.


Hope I still had insurance on my line.

Anyway. Some good news: the replacement filter is running on one mailserver in the cluster and seems to be holding up extremely well -- I was damned sure something'd explode as soon as I plugged it in. The aliases don't work quite right, but it's okay. There's no longer a need to actually send bounce messages, since the fun stuff is done in real time. I'm proud of this code. :-) Still have to babysit for a while, though, and wait a while before I plug it into the rest of the cluster. And my girlfriend wants me to come downstairs... eh. Screw computers, I'm horny. (Yes, I'm sure you wanted to know that. Hey, I don't tell you what to write in your journal.) I'll just let it run and see who complains tomorrow morning. </bofh>

All in all, not a bad day; started out kinda hosed, ended up alright.

If I had a bottle of tequila right now, I'd be all set.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Yay for stuff 4

Too much crap going on. My girlfriend moved in, we're both moving out, my office is moving, my handrolled postfix transport seems to deliver 0-length messages to peoples' mailboxes (fuck!), and our app servers are dropping like flies -- even two of the brand new ones. Looks like bum hard drives. WTF!!@#%^

On the upshot, I did get a new cell phone. It's a Sidekick II, and it's sweet. AIM, YIM, ssh (!), random assorted games, email, browser (!), camera, and did I mention ssh?

It has its own issues, though. First of all, actually using it as a cell phone is kind of weird. Mainly, getting used to speaking into a cinderblock takes some time. Also, the speaker is built into the D-pad, so it's a little tricky when you first start using it; you have to kind of guess where your ear is with relation to the speaker.

On top of that, the network apps use GPRS, which is just slightly slower than a stoned Pauly Shore.

Another little interesting phenomenon is that GPRS tends to disconnect while it goes to use GSM, meaning you get momentarily disconnected from the data network while you use voice.

Its redeeming qualities are the software. Email, AIM, games (chess!), and ssh (and probably YIM, if you're into that sort of thing). Yeah, they're slow, but they're there, so I don't have to lug around my laptop just to telnet to an apc and reboot something. The qwerty keyboard is nice, too, so when I get the AIM from my boss telling me that something is acting funny, I can actually hold a full conversation with him on the way back, instead of "shit, k, 5 out, will look".

All in all... hmm. I'm not sure if I'd take one of those HP doowhackeys, but it's worth what I paid for it. The porno soundtrack ringtone is free to download, too! ("Hip Cat", by the way. :-))
User Journal

Journal Journal: I HATE cold.

I fscking hate being cold.

I went to DC213 with a couple friends from IRC. Was alright; met a few people, drank a bit, hooked up my laptop in AP mode and let someone leech mp3s.

Not too shabby, but I didn't bring enough booze, and I don't think I'm really built to handle crowds. Not that DC213 was at all unfriendly or not fun to be at, but I either need to be around one or two people or a shitload of people. Splinter cells kept splitting off and hanging out with me, talking shop mostly, while I chain smoked and drank from my flask. (At Denny's, in LA. This is not unusual behaviour for either.)

I feel I should elaborate on this. The people at DC213 all rocked. I'm just not used to hanging out with that many people at once, at least not while sober. It's usually a couple or a crowd.

Anyway, long story short, I believe there's an open door policy. If you happen to be technically inclined and in the area on the third of the month, go swing by.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Merry F'n Christmas 2

I just read a reply in someone's journal that went along the lines of

[Christmas] is all about reconnecting with friends, family, and loved ones. Oh, and good food!

No. Christmas is about getting hammered. Thoroughly hammered.

Case in point: a friend once told me about his family's Christmas. Nobody got along. Everyone always screamed at each other. I forget what the sides were, but I imagine they were husband's side of the family versus wife's. It was becoming intolerable. Shouting, screaming, on the verge of fistfighting. Then a wonderful idea struck him.

Spike the ice cream.

Everyone was drunk, laughing, getting along, and asking for more ice cream.

It's not about the presents, the tree, or chestnuts roasting on an open fire. It's not even about friends and family, gathering together to show love and appreciation for one another.

It's absolutely about getting completely wrecked. Especially when it's bloody cold.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Bad password - it is based on a dictionary word 2

I rewrote the crack program I wrote for work to use a precompiled MySQL database of dictionary words and their Digest::MD5::md5_base64().

It's kind of neat, how you can guess at what kind of person someone is by their password. Since there're no restrictions on passwords (IOW, no cracklib -- support was originally built in but unimplemented by the guys I took over for (holy shit, they actually did something sort of right!), and I didn't feel like implementing it), people can have whatever they feel like having for a password, short of a null string...

...actually, I wonder if they can have a null string.

Anyway. There're the beer drinkers, teenie-boppers, l33t h4xx0rz, serious Unix people (few and far between :-(). Moms and pops, grammas and grampas, using their offsprings' names as passwords. Peoples' nicknames. The unimaginative single-chars.

And at least two dozen people who haven't bothered to change their password from the default. *sigh*

I remember running the earlier version of this program on the [needless to say: suspended] 419 scammers that lived on my systems before they became my systems. I don't remember their passwords, but I remember it wasn't what you'd expect them to have.

Makes me wonder what sort of person I'd be judged as, based solely on my username and password.

Suppose I'm an antisocial alcoholic. :-)

Girlfriend (?) went home, after about a week of staying with me. So I got drunk, bored, and stupid, and decided to write in my Slashdot journal. Sorry, everybody. :P

By the way, the number of people with the password "password" is fucking ridiculous.

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