Posting about stuff, take 2: The extremely geeky edition.

This is my second attempt at this post, and delayed by several days from the first attempt. I keep trying to write a post and having my session time out on me, so that I go to save and it says “You can’t post here, stranger!”. Very very not-good.
This time for sure. confused
image Firstly, I have fallen deeply in love with a hardware gadget, and am consequently probably going to build Trouble 2.0 around it: The VIA VT-310DPexternal link. VIA very quietly manufacture a series of computers around a CPU called the EPIA. These computers are ultra-low-power, and conform to a very small size-standard called mini-ITX. This one in particular is fanless, incorporates two 1GHz CPUs, SATA, DDR-400 support, dual gigabit ethernet ports, and in-CPU hardware-accelerated crypto… which is supported nativelyexternal link in the Linux Kernelexternal link and in tools like Apacheexternal link and OpenSSHexternal link! Wheee!
In lay terms, this means that this little beastie will speedily and comfortably do all the things that the new trouble needs to do, without making any noise, using about as much power as a fluorescent light-globe.

In other largely unrelated news…

  • I am going to Donovans tongith with E and K & Y. This is courtesy of my lovely voucher, thanks to the intensely boring people at Dimension Dataexternal link. Sorry Joanna and others at DD, if you’re reading this: I am still deeply thankful for the voucher, but the talk was a sales schpiel, and it really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. More respect for your techie customers, folks!
  • The Laptops have finally been settled, and should be arriving on Monday, all things being equal.
  • Ubuntu Linuxexternal link 5.10 (the oddly-named Breezy Badger) is outexternal link! It doth appear to rock real damn hard. More comments on this when I’ve given it a decent try.

Tired. Troubled. Blue. Birthday.

I am so damn tired! There is no sense to this: I spent much of yesterday asleep, went to bed very early last night, and slept soundly enough. I couldn’t get up this morning though… never have I so thoroughly abused the snooze button! E and I helped Minx and Cainbits move house on Saturday (their new house is divine and glorious, we wantss it, preciousss!) and we were justifiably exhausted on Saturday night, but it can’t still be effecting me now, surely?
Pandora In light of the news that my household will be going its separate ways, I am faced with the prospect of carving up and fully separating it from its siamese half-twin sietsma.comexternal link. This is going to involve money and time, especially if I want to achieve any of my long-held desires with regard to reducing noise, points of failure, power-consumption, maintenance overhead, etc. Right now, the hottest contender is either some kind of SFF PC or a Mac Miniexternal link with a bunch of firewire external disksexternal link.
In completely random news: I copped some kind of bluetooth attack this morning on the train! I was sitting, minding my own business, playing solitaireexternal link when this guy wearing extremely dodgy clothes (see: smelly, falling to bits) got on the train with some kind of middle eastern pentatonic music featuring a rapid hand-drum and an oud playing loudly from the speaker on his phone. I, among others, gave him a dirty look and he turned it down very slightly, but then continued fiddling with his phone. This is no big deal: commuting on the train one becomes accustomed to incessant mobile-phone ringtones, and everyone texts from the train. It’s what SMS is for.
What happened next may have had nothing to do with this guy: I started getting “bluetooth file received” messages on my Palm and my phone. Fortunately, both are configured to prompt before accepting any such file, but the moment I clicked “no”, a new one would arrive. Someone was either trying to spam all the bluetooth devices in the train, or else their phone was carrying a bluetooth virus. It is also possible that someone was actually toothingexternal link on the train. I had to turn both my phone and Palm completely off to still the continuous beeping. Nasty!
Finally, the inevitable doom of my 30th bithday continues to loom. Now only ten days of my precious twenties remain, and I still have no idea how to celebrate my birthday, nor any invitations of any kind. Argh! Maybe I should spend less time blogging and more time planning. neutral

Getting an involuntary Brazilian, more Caching, Liquor-store madness, Change

Firstly and foremost, apologies for the absence of either new posts or a blog to post them on for the last week or so. Last Saturday, Trouble got attacked through an XML-RPC vulnerability in these very blogs and turned temproarily into a Spam relay site for some evil mofo Brazilians. If you were a recipient, my heartfelt apologies for your pain. I killed the server immediately, and Korny staunched the security hole last night, so now we’re back on the air. Yaaay!
In the intervening time, apart from tearing my hair about the server and experiencing deep inner doubts and uncertainties about my competence as a sysadmin…

  • I went caching again with Miss S. We found two caches and one DidNotFind, and a merry time was had by all, except E, who had to work. frown
  • I got sucked into a terrible vortex at work as a certain anonymous wine-and-spirits-warehouse in which our CEO has a stake went through another growth spurt. To give credit and blame where due, the CEO is a miraculous salesman, seemingly capable of appeasing the most ferocious wrath with a few well-placed words. A capable manager he is not. Far too much of this project has been “organised” in the sense that people have been told what is needed from their respective departments on or after the date when it was needed, and no attempt has been made to schedule anyone’s time. Bloody awful.
  • Some news which probably isn’t blogworthy yet has reached me which means that my life is about to change again; The one remaining bastion of sanity and stability to which I have clung for many years is about to get up and shamble off, and this has left me understandably shaken. More discussion later, when it’s official.