Tuesday, November 30, 2004

love to julie

batman has arrived somewhat ahead of schedule. details on what's currently known over at tertia's; please send your good thoughts, prayers, whatever, to julie.

Friday, November 26, 2004

twice now

i've twice formatted and installed w2k on my big machine dualie (so named because it has to processors). as soon as i'd gotten everything happy with the first go-round, the hard drive failed and i had to do it again.

in the meantime, i took the opportunity to install gnu privacy guard, so if you have a pgp or gpg setup and want to send some mail or something, the key is pasted below and i'll link it eventually. this is the key for the blog only; i of course have another key with my real name attached to it, and no, i won't be posting that on my blog for (ah ha!) privacy reasons.

in other news, a friend gave me a dell poweredge 2400 server, and it came with three hard drives. i replaced one and added two others, and now have it running my home directory on a raid5 array (i could do raid10 but didn't want to spend the space); in time i'll move all major mail and web service to that box. it holds the actual data files for both the blog and my family website, and it holds the mail, but it doesn't do the processing. so if you ask for a file from the web server, it has to traverse the network twice: once from monster to allevil (the current web server), and then from allevil through the firewall out to you.

also today, i upgraded monster to have two processors as well. it now has two pentium-3 500 mhz processors in it. it still has i believe 512 meg of ram, which is way way way overkill for what it does. the raid controller has 128 megs of its own.

machine names can sometimes tell you something about people, so here are the machine names in my home:

dualie - the dual processor machine. it's got a gig of ram to boot.
monster - the file server that holds my home directory, all my mail, etc. this has a raid 5 array protecting the most important data in my home.
wndrgrl - the oldest of my machines, wndrgrl (wonder girl) is a pentium-class machine that actually has an amd processor in it. it serves as my firewall; it's too slow for much else. i use smoothwall as my firewall service.
dd - the previous desktop machine, dd (digital disaster) is an athlon 650 (pentium-3 class, thereabouts), and it's got a bunch of ide hard drives on it. it does file service for the non-critical files. stuff i'd hate to lose but wouldn't be the end of the universe if they disappeared, or things that are easier to use if they're on hard drive storage but also are backed up to cd or dvd, like an installable version of ms office, my mp3 and audiobook collections, etc.
allevil - the name of allevil was inspired by a friend who wanted a machine of that name but never set it up; it runs linux, and because the administrator account on linux is called "root," that makes me (ta dah!) the root of allevil.
tiny - tiny is a machine with a via processor as its cpu. it's designed to be a word processing sort of machine; small footprint, no expandability, but useful for light tasks, and cheap. when i actually have a monitor on it, my wife sometimes uses it to let ian play on. usually it sits idle, though. it's actually pretty noisy.
bagman - bagman is a dell laptop, and because it lives in a bag most of the time, it's called ... bagman. i don't actually take it anywhere much anymore because it's so painful to use it at school on the network, as i've described before, and without the network it's almost useless anyway.

so those are my boxen. all of them, when they're up, run d.net's rc5-72 client. i'm not interested in the ogr stuff, so i don't bother. apparently though most people are doing the ogr stuff, because as of yesterday i was ranked 2180 out of all 58775 participants since the project started, of whom only 10551 were active yesterday. if you want to see all the stats, feel free.

so back i go to my little hole, hoping my kids don't wake up screaming.

one final note about the gnupg key: it displays on the web page as all lowercase. this is because of the css formatting i've got installed that displays -everything- as all lowercase. but if you copy the block and paste it into something like notepad, it should come out as mixed case. if you try that with the rest of this entry it'll all come out lower because i typed it all lower. however, the key should be mixed-cased. if it's not both upper and lower case when you paste it into your text editor, it won't work correctly.

Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (MingW32) - WinPT 0.7.96rc1


Sunday, November 21, 2004

here we go again

yet another week, except this week it's short because of turkey day.

turkey day.

an american holiday supposedly about pilgrims and gratitude and shit. okay, whatever. really, it's just about money.

in other news: i'm actually quite pleased with my mail server setup around here. i've got some tweaking to do but for the post part it's pretty awesome. i can set up whatever kind of mail processing i want, and nobody will bitch about how much processor time it takes up. (my previous hosting service made me stop using spamassassin on their machine, and do it instead on mine, meaning i had to download the spam anyway, which was what i was trying to avoid.)

i haven't done anything useful in terms of log analysis, but this entry has spurred me to actually investigate. i'm looking at awstats so we'll see what kind of output it produces.

i did manage to get my email working in a web interface to the imap server, but in my heart i still like mutt best. if only nfs for windows didn't suck so hard.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

change in signage

some signs have started appearing at my school:

the donut sale has been cancelled because it interferes with cafeteria food sales.

i didn't know that we exist to serve the cafeteria, not the other way around.

Monday, November 15, 2004

site transition

if you can read this, the site transition has gone smoothly.

i've moved the database off the old hosting provider and started hosting at home. as the dns change propogates, more people will start coming here. the old site will be left up for a few days but i won't be doing concurrent upgrades, so if you see posts appear and disappear for a day or two, that's to be expected.

it went smoother than i'd expected. the coolest part about all this is that now i'm fully in control of my hosting, i can do what i want easily and without a bunch of hassle about moving files from one place to another over relatively small pipes. i can put as much stuff as i want on my site and only be responsible to myself for how much space i burn up doing it. i was getting pretty close to my 1 gig limit at csoft. that's actually pretty generous, but since i host files for my geology class, it's always growing because i add lectures three days a week.

so just a couple more domains to transition away from there. katie is supposed to get her stuff moved eventually, but there should be no hurries because the account doesn't expire until february.

i can not tell you how happy having control of my own hosting makes me. now when mail goes down it's my fault. i can screw with it to my hearts' content and have nobody to blame but myself. and no more rude answers to tech support questions. there are apparently two guys who do support at csoft, and one is polite and helpful, and the other is a real shit.

anyway, onward through the fog.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

i hate being sick

i've had a cold for the past several days and today i felt so bad i didn't go to school. in a way i regret that because i don't like missing class. even so, i got some good sleep in; sue was kind enough.

over the next few days i'm going to try to transition this site from my hosting provider to my home. we'll see how that goes. i'm hoping i can do it without much of a hitch.

Monday, November 8, 2004


just tired. sore throat. the geology field trip was fun but too short; will discuss more of that later this week if i have time. but ... back to another week of school and work. it's burn-out time, and i'm getting burned out.

added a new link today: sad and beautiful world.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

sorry, michelle

michelle seems to have banned me from accessing her blog. i've tried to be respectful at the very least with respect to the comments i've posted there, and i feel free to express myself on my own blog, but apparently that's not sufficient.

on the other hand, ip banning is actually a pretty silly thing to do; it would be better to simply either develop a thick skin or delete comments, because simply disconnecting and reconnecting will drop the ban, and on dynamic ip blocks will eventually ban people you might want to actually see your site.

even so, when i emailed her about getting a 404 and she didn't respond, and now (from school rather than home) seeing her explanation, it makes sense, but remains disappointing because i actually liked her blog a great deal.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

notes from a texas poll

number of voters in the precinct: about 1700
number of early voters: about 700
number of election day voters: about 500
approximate turnout of this precinct: about 70%

the winner in this precinct: bush, 2:1 margin. no surprise there.

voters started lining up at the poll at 06:10, and the polls did not open until 07:00. by o7:00 the line stretched down the block and around the corner.

the polls were open for 12 hours.

in our precinct we used electronic scanners that read paper ballots. there were two major issues with the system: first, voters sometimes didn't understand how to mark the ballots, and the machine is rather sensitive about spitting them out. but this can be handled and most voters who had trouble with it got it on the second try. second, because we were paired with another precinct we had more than one ballot machine in the room. this led to some confusion as voters put their ballot into the wrong machine. the machines would spit them out and we'd direct the voter, and life went on.

observations about the day:

the help america vote act creates this system of "provisional ballots," and the way it works makes it harder to get a potentially questionable ballot counted than the old "affidavit of challenged voter" list.

because of how it works, it's tremendously more important that a voter know where they need to go. but many voters dont.

however, there is no clear, easy, fast and reliable way for poll workers -- the people in touch with the voters on election day -- to pull voters' registration information. a telephone system exists, but it's unreliable at best and a nightmare at worst.

on the whole it went well. i will write more tomorrow about it.

Monday, November 1, 2004


as i sit here, i believe very strongly that this election has already been rigged. i have two predictions:

first, that we already know who the final winner will be.

second, that the person who will actually become president on january 20 is dennis hastert. i believe this because i'm convinced that one party or the other will keep the election results so tied up in litigation that the inauguration will come and go without a winner actually being chosen.

in 1988, when george bush sr. defeated michael dukakis, i was willing to live with bush as president because i was at least reasonably confident that the process by which he was elected was honest; just as people accepted gerald ford as president in 1974, even though he'd been elected neither president nor vice president, because the process by which he'd become president was seen as honest.

i don't have the same confidence this time. i believe very firmly that this election is rigged, that bush will win, and in time, it will come out that the reason he won was because of fraud and manipulation.

at least turnout looks to be good. in the precinct i'm working, tarrant county's 1167, over 40% of the registered voters in the precinct already turned out to vote early.

--- --- ---

with respect to a comment left my michelle on the last post: therein lies our disagreement. while i can't say i necessarily disagree with her sentiment with respect to choosing life, i can say that i fundamentally believe that this is a decision cecily and her husband were entitled to make, and that their choice should not be legislated for them. i support them in their choice not because i believe it was the right choice, but because it was their choice to make.

as for michelle's assertion that cecily's health was of primary concern to them as they made this decision, i take charlie's assertion with a grain of salt: none of us know what the discussion was in the privacy of that hospital room, nor in the privacy of their hearts. i do know that they wanted those children, and they would not have given them up if they felt there was another realistic way out. the flipside of the decision, though, is that if they made the wrong one, and cecily had died as a result, even if their remaining son had lived, how would that have been in the child's interest?

president bush would take away the right to choose. i believe firmly in choosing life, but i also believe that my belief shouldn't be legislated onto others, any more than i think all people should be required to wear jeans or live without underwear (even though i do both). the government doesn't belong in my bedroom, my doctor's office, or my marriage.