Sunday, July 31, 2011


This word does not exist.

Were it to exist, I believe it would be a noun.

datallurgii plural

datallurgid adj. - having the quality of a datallurgis

datallurgology n. - the study of datallurgii

datallurgia n. - a collection of datallurgii

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Not As Stupid As I Look

I'm not saying I'm not stupid.  I'm simply not as stupid as I look.

Many years ago, I was in the First Grade.  They taught us how to read.  The teacher (Mrs. Rodriguez, if memory serves me right) divided us into three groups:
  • The Blue Stars
  • The Red Balls
  • The Green Leaves
The Blues were the stars, of course (duh!).  The Reds were the average kids.  The Greens were the idiots.  Mrs. R took one look at me and threw me in with the Greenies.  So anyway time goes on and we do our lessons and eventually it's my turn to read out loud to the Greens.  Suddenly it dawns on Mrs R that I only look stupid, so she bumps me into the Blue Stars, who were none too happy to have a Greentard in their shining cluster.  The Greens weren't happy either.  I was a traitor.  And the Reds, seeing I was disliked by both the Blues and the Greens, decided I was somehow untrustworthy.

And that's how my public education went for the next 11 years.  The smart kids thought I was stupid, the dumb kids thought I was a snob, and everyone else thought I was just weird.

So anyway, flash forward to State U.  They only required 10 hours of English to graduate.  I got that out of the way the first year.  Due to a variety of issues (drugs) I never went back to SU.  I worked for a couple of years and then decided to get a tech degree at the local community college.  I transferred my SU credits, but they wouldn't take the goddamned 10 hours of English.  I had to take three, three-hour English classes to make that up.

I guess I just looked stupid.

So I plop myself down in my chair on the first day of English 101 and this Drunken English Prof  ("DEP") announces to the class that we are to write three paragraphs on the last book, movie, or television show we experienced.  

"Not for credit", he says.  "Just so I can know where you're at."

I couldn't think of anything, and since we were supposed to use the entire class to do this I decided the best course of action was to get up and leave.  The DEP was furious.

"Where are you going?" he demanded.

"I can't think of anything," I said, "so I'm leaving."

"How will I know where you're at?"

"Look", I said, "no credit, right?  What's the point?  No credit, no paper."

And I left.  He was really pissed.

I come back the next day--silly me--and we do English 101 stuff, which was warmed-over High School English: antagonist, protagonist, plot, etc.  The BASICS.  The reading material was, believe it or not, Oedipus Rex.  Again?  Motherfucker!

Days go by and we have our first test.  I come back the next Monday and when the DEP passes the tests out, he hands me mine with a look of complete, utter disdain on his face.  He had finally learned "where I was at".  I took a look at my test.

I got a 96 out of 100.  What's the problem?

I glance around the classroom and people don't look happy.  The DEP makes his announcement:

"The class average on this test was 46.  Everyone failed.  So, we're going to break off into groups to discuss the test and then we'll take it over."

And that's when it dawned on me (I'm a little slow) it was the Green Leaves all over again.  I was in the retard class and I had no clue.  No Blue Stars here.  No Red Balls.  Nothing but drooling, mouth-breathing Green Leaves everywhere and no way out.  This time I was pissed.  There was no way in Hell I was going to re-take a test I had already passed.  I stormed out of the classroom (no protest from the DEP this time), dropped it, and forced them to transfer my SU English credits.

Later I did the math and concluded that the class average would have been 39 without me.

And so life goes on and reality sets in.  I don't think I've met a Blue Star in the last fifteen years and I've come to the conclusion that the Red Balls are kidding themselves.  Life is 90% Green Leaves.  Might as well enjoy it like a walk in the park.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

18 shitzillion IPv6 addresses and I get a duplicate

Of course, it was my fault.

When BOT House died, I swapped out the hard drive to EXP V's box, leaving everything pretty much the same.  I gutted the corpse of BH and scattered the parts to the winds.

Today I'm dicking around with the new, improved EXP V.  Even though it's off the laptop now, I'm still getting herky jerky sessions.  So I do a tcpdump while playing to see if it's some kind of network issue.  Sure enough, every time you're stuck in a doorway or whatever there is a sudden burst of udp packets, then it stops and goes back to normal game rhythm.  I start thinking NIC drivers and I realize I have no idea what's in this thing.  I do an "lspci" and discover it's a Broadcom NIC.

Same as the laptop.

I dig around in my parts pile and pull out an old reliable RTL8139.  I put it in EXP V, disable the built-in Broadcom, bring up the box and BANG.

Duplicate IPv6 address.

It was the old BH NIC.  I had hard-coded it to its EUI-64 address because, well, it just seemed like The Right Thing To Do.  Now, I'm stuck with that (or I have to perform a lot of work I don't want to do).

And, As Fate Would Have It, it seems that Duplicate Address Detection is broken in a lot of IPv6 implementations.  Check the RFC if you don't believe me.  It's not entirely my fault.  The stack SHOULD (as they say in RFC-speak) have pulled another address out of its ass, but it didn't.

But I changed the NIC's MAC address and that fixed that the next time the box was booted.

Now, EXP V seems to play better.  Blaming it on AMD was obviously wrong, but in glorious 20/20 hindsight I realized I did this (disable the on-board NIC in favor of an RTL8139) on EXP IV as well.  In fact I've had notorious bad luck with built-in NICs and Linux with just about every box that's crossed my path in the last ten years.

Maybe UT just works best on legacy hardware.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's the deal with AMD & UT99?

I just finished playing a few games on the temporary laptop server & was disappointed with the results.  It was herky-jerky in a lot of places, especially near walls and doors.

It was never like that even way back in the day when BOT House was running on a K6 (basically a hot shit 80486 processor—AMD's answer to the Pentium line), except when EXP IV was running on a dual core AMD64 and the OS itself was 64bit.  Setting the processor affinity for the different UT99 instances seemed to fix that problem.

Well, the laptop is a dual core AMD64, and the processor affinities are still there (I tried shutting them off with no improvement in play), but the OS is 32bit.  So... WTF'ingF?

Luckily the laptop is a short term band-aid.  Yesterday I ordered an El-Cheapo refurbed IBM P4 desktop to replace it.  No more or less powerful than the one BOT House was running on, or the box that replaced it.  If play goes back to normal, it will make me think twice about buying another AMD box in the future.

The box that was EXP V seems to be happy being BOT House and it plays very well.  I still have no clue what the issue was with the old BH.  There was no problem with the CPU's or the power supply's cooling fans (well, they were spinning), so that seems to rule out Heat Death, but at this point I don't feel compelled to do a complete autopsy on the damned thing.  Just let it rest in peace next to its fallen comrades in the basement boneyard.

So anyway EXP V et. al. will be back on Intel hardware by this weekend.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brain Transplant

Friday I closed The House temporarily while I pondered my options after the meltdown.  It survived the day in its minimal role as firewall and proxy, but when I came home to check it after a hard day at the Salt Mines it hung tight the first time I touched the keyboard.  After bouncing the box, it did the same thing.  Then after a few more bounces and hangs it refused to boot.

Time for Plan B.

Since I was cut off from the Interwebs the first order of business was getting back on, so I dusted off an old (vintage 2005) D-Link DI-524 wireless router, reset it to factory freshness and realized I had no idea what the default admin password was.  I booted a Backtrack 5 DVD in my laptop and plugged into the Net directly to Google it.  Turns out it was blank.  DOH!

I configured it to be a complete plug&play replacement for the BOT House firewall (sans proxy and IPv6) and got the List back online.  I pulled the hard drive out of BH, plugged it into Experimental and it booted fine.

Try that with Windows.  Unless your new hardware is identical you generally get an "UNACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE" Blue Screen 'O Death every time.  In fact I attached Experimental's drive via USB to my laptop just for funsies and it booted right up after messing around with the GRUB options (it had switched from /dev/sda to /dev/sdb).

I will probably look for a cheap replacement for Experimental, but until then BITCH House, EXPV, and Classic ]i[ are all off-line for now.

This makes four dead machines for 2011.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BOT House Meltdown 07/14/2011

I've been waiting for this day.  It's been a bad year for hardware.  Boxes have been dropping like flies.  The 'House itself is over six years old, and it's the oldest running box on DinkNet at this point (the oldest runnable box was shut down on Windependence Day).

I've always had a Bad Feeling about this box.  It has a non-standard power supply with a teensy-weensy fan in it.  Not an easy thing to swap out on a moment's notice.  The CPU has a funky cooling system.  The possibility of a meltdown has always been there.

And tonight it happened.

What the heck, six years is a good run around here.

Apologies to everyone who was playing around 10PM EDT.  It's up and running with the case open now, but I may be doing some maintenance this weekend, which will take everything, including the Proxy List, down.

So go outside and play.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Windependence Day!

After all my hardware issues this year I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop, namely, my 12 year old PIII Windows 2003 server.

I have officially declared HinkyNet link local, so a local DNS domain name and server are no longer required.

Out goes the Windows DNS server. I've been running a PowerDNS slave server for over two years now and it handles everything that's not local well, thank you.

Since IPv6 is the future, there is little need for a DHCP server anymore. I've looked at DHCP6, but my impression is "fuck it". Too much hassle. And why bother when radvd works so well?

Plus, everything on the wire has a static address anyway, so the logical place to handle DHCP for IPv4 is the wireless access point. It's very limited and not a "full featured" DHCP server. All you can specify is a range and a DNS server, which is fine for all my wireless devices. And radvd takes care of IPv6 addresses for the wireless crap. One notable exception: the built-in Atheros NIC on my CentOS laptop can't get an IPv6 address. Plug in any supported USB wireless NIC and it works fine.

So, trash the Windows DHCP server. It's not needed.

Logon domain? More hassle. Gone. And I never used that Exchange much server anyway.

Print server? It's handled by Linux and advertised by multiDNS/avahi. Even Pinky's iPad can find it.

File server? meh. I have files on that box that are over 15 years old. If I need them, I'll turn the box on and get them, but after looking at what's there it's damn obvious I won't be turning it back on soon.

The proxy server is and has always been SQUID, but today I upgraded to SQUID 3.1.13 (from 3.1.11). It's dual stack so clients can attach by either IPv4 or IPv6. Clients that don't want a proxy can out directly over either stack.

That's it! Aside from one laptop and my "UT99 workstation" DinkNet is Windows free!