Diary of a geek

July 2004
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Andrew Pollock


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Saturday, 31 July 2004

SSH brute force attacks

I've been noticing a few SSH login failures for root and guest in both daedalus' and caesar's logs. Then I saw this post on Aussie-ISP, referring to this and this. I hadn't gotten around to disabling root logins since I reinstalled daedalus. Now I have.

[21:42] [tech/security] [permalink]

I, robot and the tragedy of Mount Stromlo

I went and saw I, robot last night, with Franko, Michael and Lynne. It was nice to see Lynne again. She's looking well. I suspect she's quit smoking since her run in with cancer. The movie was really good. I don't think I've read the book. I found the storyline quite good, and the camera work was pretty good. I like Will Smith, and think he did a good job.

Went up to Mount Stromlo this morning to have brunch with Sarah's friend Christine, who is doing her research project up there. She gave us a tour after brunch. It's such a tragic loss. Some of Canberra's original buildings were up there, and they've been gutted by the fire. Some of the telescope domes were made of aluminium, and the heat was so much that the aluminium just melted, and the wind blew the molten aluminium everywhere, so there's a couple of ruins with blotches of molten aluminium all over the place. 18 months later, there still isn't a lot of progress on the demolition or reconstruction. They did rebuild the satelite ranging laser, that I used to enjoy going up at night to watch, but now it's an infra-red laser, so there's nothing to see :-(

[21:31] [life] [permalink]

Friday, 30 July 2004

Gads! FreeBSD is shite.

So Ben's got me on this mission to migrate his nameservers from BIND and dnscache to PowerDNS for the lot. So I've been poking around PowerDNS. I must say, a database backend sounds pretty cool. The way it implements recursion is interesting.

So recursion doesn't look like an issue, and he wants the authoritative and recursive nameservers on separate IP addresses, so I'll run PowerDNS proper on the authoritative IP address, and it won't recurse at all, and I'll run pdns_recurse on the recursive IP address, and that'll replace BIND.

So I jump on one of the existing nameservers to try and get a feel for how dnscache is configured in terms of who it allows to recurse through it, and I've spent 15 minutes trying to decypher the boot process, and I still couldn't figure out how dnscache was started. It's just this myriad of monolithic shell scripts that call other shell scripts. It's bloody horrible. I figure it's got to be bad for general system administration. If someone of my calibre can't at least figure out vaguely how it's hanging together my inspection, what hope have they got if the sysadmin is hit by a bus? But I guess I'm just a Linux person, and it'd all be patently obvious to a FreeBSD person. But give me Linux any day...

[21:40] [tech] [permalink]

Annoying bug triage

#236423 has annoyed me for ages. It got fixed by the discover guys, but I thought it hadn't, because I was still getting the same crap sprayed on my screen.

Turns out now it's hotplug that is doing it. No idea why yet. Had some fun using my laptop as a serial console, so I could get some context. The annoying problem with the bug is it totally DoSes your console scrollback buffer, so it makes it very hard to do any analysis...

[01:09] [debian] [permalink]

Thursday, 29 July 2004

One down...

Phew. After much procrastination, and fiddling with blosxom instead, I've finished the essay I had to write for COMP1110. I really hate it how some of these hard core IT subjects insist on setting essays as assignments. I'd rather write code.

[19:56] [uni] [permalink]

No school today

It's Bush Week, and for some reason the Student Association has convinced the University to cancel lectures today. One less rivotting maths lecture to endure. Gives me more time to tinker with Blosxom. Loving the plugins...

[16:12] [uni] [permalink]

Tap tap. Is this thing on?

Well here goes this blogging thing. I just have to come up with a spiffy looking stylesheet or flavour or however it is that blosxom makes things look spiffy...

Well that wasn't as easy as it looked. It took a bit of frigging around to get blosxom to play ball in a root directory, and I don't think I've got it quite right yet...

[02:56] [] [permalink]