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Everything posted by systems_glitch

  1. link to the Hack a Day article: Feeling pretty good about that decision to move to KiCAD with the 4.0.0 release
  2. You sure do forget all the little tricks and keyboard shortcuts in a hurry! Don't trust bulk pack bargain bin CD-Rs with important data?! I've got a few spindles of Verbatim archival grade stuff for work and really important permanent backups. Stuff that changes some times gets put on Magneto-Optical cartridges.
  3. Since getting the HP 420 squared away with a proper mirrored ZFS volume, I've been working on getting to the point where I can shut down my old workstation, which was still limping along running a few applications, like my Dynamic DNS widget. I needed somewhere to run things like the Dynamic DNS system, and leave a tmux running for persistent IRC. I don't have a server rack up yet, so my old VM hosting box is currently offline. It's really too loud to run out in the main workshop area (you can hear it upstairs, the workshop is in the basement). Until then, I dug into the junk bin and put together a server: The case is a massive Lian Li aluminum ATX server case. I picked it up at a local tech surplus auction for, I think $10, with a power supply and a DVD drive. It looks kinda silly with so little hardware in it: The motherboard is an Intel Desktop Board DP43TF from a machine I built in probably 2009 and dismantled in 2010 or 2011 -- it developed a RAM error and I stole the Xeon CPU out of it to use in something else. The CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo E4300, 1.8 GHz LGA775, 2 MB cache, that came from a computer we found in the trash that had exploded motherboard caps, but a good CPU and RAM. Power supply came from a friend's junk PC that I was given when he replaced it. There's no onboard video on the DP43TF so I've got a GeForce 8800GT stuck in there for the console at the moment 8 GB DDR2 came from another junk PC someone gave me. DVD drive and WD RE4 250 GB drive were on the spare parts shelf. I updated the BIOS to the 2011 release (was the original 2008 release) which is supposed to improve stability. It's currently running OpenBSD 6.0 AMD64, with various applications deployed to it with Capistrano (manages your deploys over plain SSH). Telephoney is going to send me a less power hungry PCIe card with VGA so I can get the GeForce 8800 out of there! I've though about finding another Xeon X3360 (quad core, 12 MB cache) for the board -- that's what I originally ran in it, and it's the fastest thing it will support, but it doesn't really seem worthwhile since this box is pretty old and should be temporary anyway.
  4. Oh man, board layout with AutoCAD We had some legacy products at previous jobs where the layouts were all AutoCAD from back in the DOS days. Using a real EDA tool makes life *so* much easier!
  5. That's the approach I go with -- small, highly portable laptop, let the desktop do the heavy lifting. Works out being cheaper anyway, since you can get beefy off-lease workstations for good prices. My poor Lenovo X201 laptop is nearing retirement though!
  6. Ouch! You can tell the iMac's thermal management was definitely designed to try and keep the fans off. The ones at the office got uncomfortably hot on top before the fans would come on. I guess most iMac owners don't use them the way programmers use them, or something.
  7. Hah, true! I had a Shuttle XPC with a Core 2 era Xeon in it that would do basically all development-related tasks faster than our first gen i7 iMacs at work.
  8. Yeah, not sure what the posting of the bill is about. I can't speak for Vonage in particular, but with other ATAs like the Digium IAXy, the conversion from pulse is done in the ATA itself. In the case of the IAXy it leave as IAX (Inter-Asterisk eXchange) protocol, which encapsulated the voice stream, digits dialed, et c. I don't know if there are FXO boards that would then allow you to convert digits dialed into pulses for a line that only has pulse service, but if there was you could probably effectively do pulse in -> pulse out. If such a thing existed, you'd also end up doing DTMF in -> pulse out.
  9. Finally decided to get MPLAB X up and going on my Slackware workstation, so I can pull the SSD out of my laptop and do a clean install on a new SSD. MPLAB X is NetBeans based and mostly Java, but apparently there are some system libs that are 32-bit x86 only Up til now, I just used it on my Arch Linux install on the laptop, since Arch makes multilib pretty painless. Slackware64 is "multilib ready," but does not include multilib stuff in the base install -- this gives you a clean 64-bit Slackware. I've never needed multilib under Slackware before, turns out it's not difficult. I followed alienbob's multilib guide: Beware that the mirror he gives is *very* slow, I ended up letting it run overnight. It worked fine, and provides everything you need to run MPLAB X (some GCC libs, X libs, et c.). Decided to do a proper SlackBuild and make a package. It's not been accepted to yet but you can find it here:
  10. In August I picked up an AMD Bulldozer workstation: This was supposed to be a replacement for my AMD A8 APU desktop, but it turns out the single core performance is *horrible* and for most of my workload the A8 is actually faster. Well, the A8 box started to have hardware issues and some update had started to cause Firefox to consume massive quantities of memory if left running for too long (it'd use up all 16 GB of main memory, plus 8 GB of swap!), so I switched over to the Bulldozer box as my main workstation for a few weeks. Aside from being slower than the A8 for my day-job workload, it's *loud*! These Supermicro boxes came from a production development environment, I'm not sure how they had several of these in an open plan work area running all day. I guess everyone was deaf or wore noise cancelling headphones. It's not 1U server bad, but it's pretty loud. Anyway, I found a used HP Z420 in "barebones" config (no RAM, hard disk, or graphics) for $200 shipped. Specs: * Intel Xeon E5-1620 (i7 derivative, it seems) * 8x ECC DDR3 slots for 64GB supported (unsure if you can use 16GB DIMMs) * 10x internal SATA ports, two of which are 6 gb/s * Still has PS/2 connectors for my IBM Model M keyboard * Shockingly, FireWire 400 on the front and back * Some generic SATA DVD burner * PCIe slots: 2 x16, 1 x8, 1 x4, 1 x1 * Legacy PCI slot * USB 3 on the motherboard It can also boot directly from M.2 PCIe attached SSDs, so no more having to have a boot partition on a SATA disk, like I did with the Bulldozer box. I put the following on-hand hardware in: * 12 GB ECC DDR3 1066 * Samsung SM951 128GB SSD in a PCIe x4 adapter board * 1 TB WD Green storage drive * GeForce GTX 750 from the A8 workstation It's running Slackware 14.2, still have a boot partition on the 1 TB SATA disk since I just pulled the storage out of the Bulldozer box and moved it over. I plan on doing a reinstall and eliminating the 1 TB mechanical disk. I'll probably replace with two 250 GB WD RE3 SATA drives in a ZFS mirror -- I don't need piles of local storage, that's what the fileserver is for. So far it's significantly faster than both the Bulldozer box and the A8 box -- my main benchmark is how long a certain massive test suite takes to run. It was about 20 minutes on the A8 box, 30 minutes on the Bulldozer box, and 17 minutes on the Z420. I've ordered 32 GB ECC DDR3 so that the memory currently installed can go back into the Bulldozer box -- I have a friend who's interested in it as a VM host. Thinking about getting a 256 GB M.2 SSD and reinstalling to that, I could use the 128 GB SSD elsewhere. Part of the reason I got this box is because it was cheaper than getting a new SuperMicro motherboard for my Micro ATX tower (the one the A8 mobo is in currently), and the SuperMicro board obviously didn't come with a CPU. Also it has enough free PCIe slots that I can use a M.2 SSD, the double slot GTX 750, and still have a free x8 or better slot for a 10gig Ethernet card. I may end up with a Xeon E5-1660 v2 CPU in there, the single-core performance is better and two extra cores (plus 2 hyperthreads) couldn't hurt with my VM load.
  11. Slackware 14.2 was released over the weekend (2016-07-01), downloading now! Got my DVD copy on order, too. Anyone else still running Slackware?
  12. I forgot to run `lilo` after a kernel update, and finally powered the machine off last night for some rewiring, so this morning it kernel panic'ed on boot and I took the opportunity to redo the system with proper drives and configuration -- I just transplanted the disks out of the AMD Bulldozer machine, so it was booting off of a 128 MB boot partition (on a 1 TB drive, lol) and using a SSD as root, since the Bulldozer box's BIOS couldn't boot M.2 PCIe SSDs directly. New config: * Upgraded to BIOS 3.91 for M.2 boot support * Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD PCIe x4 128 GB * 2x WD RAID Edition 4 250 GB SATA drives * UEFI boot/UUIDs for disks * Slackware 14.2 x86_64 * ZFS on Linux, 1x mirrored volume across the two SATA disks BIOS update was the hardest part. The BIOS on the z420 will let you flash updates through the BIOS menu itself -- no having to come up with a DOS boot disk or anything. I didn't have a USB Flash drive around, so I tried with a CF card in a multi-card reader, which it didn't like. You can use a CD, too, so I dug out a spindle of CD-Rs only to get an unhelpful message about the BIOS image being missing or corrupt. Turns out the CD must be in the drive when you power the machine on! I had to clear CMOS settings using the little yellow reset switch on the motherboard after the update, it locked up after counting RAM. Slackware + UEFI was easy, I'd never done it before. The only "challenge" was that `cgdisk` had some issue where it was complaining that the console terminal wasn't at least 80x14, so I had to use `gdisk` (GPT version of `fdisk`). You of course use `elilo` instead of regular `lilo` with a UEFI system. Slackware's setup was able to successfully insert a Slackware entry into the workstation's EFI menu, so if I punch ESC at boot-up Slackware is now listed as an option, along with CD/USB/Network/et c. So, it boots directly from the M.2 SSD without having to have a boot partition on a SATA disk, and as a bonus, the BIOS update seems to have fixed my flaky SATA channel issue (I could run the SATA 3gbps channel in IDE mode, but AHCI mode would intermittently not boot). Ended up using GPT UUIDs for mounting the root disk, since adding the two WD drives threw off the boot order. Again, this is really easy, you add it to `/etc/fstab` and `elilo.conf` and that's it. ZFS on Linux was the usual simple Slackbuild install, I already had the packages built so I just copied them over from the fileserver. New install is working fine, and it's nice to be able to offload files to a mirrored ZFS volume, and keep the SSD free for stuff that actually needs fast access/high bandwidth. Plus now I can put the side cover on
  13. So, one of the things with Puppet/Chef/Ansible/Salt, et c. is you get a base configuration set up, and you work off of that. A quick way to get up and going is to play with Vagrant, which includes many premade generic "boxes" (VM appliances, whatever you're used to calling them): We usually skip Chef on our development VMs and just use the command line provisioner -- you just script it like you would a regular bring-up before all of these devops tools were available. Our VMs that use Chef in production are written with Vagrant first, though, so we not only have a same-as-production VM to develop against, but we also don't have to use a remote VM to get the Chef recipes tweaked. I don't know if it's just us, but it seems to me that every time we Chef a VM, it takes an order of magnitude more time to get the Chef scripts just right as compared to manually deploying the same number of machines. I guess the benefit is repeatability and documentation. It often seems like these tools are trying to solve social/organizational problems with technology, which ultimately I think is doomed to fail. Yeah, dumping legacy tools is frustrating. I like that both Slackware and Arch provide a replacement for `ifconfig` -- I don't know if it's the old code or merely a wrapper around `ip`. I find `ip` syntax to be kind of obtuse. It feels like it tries to do too many things.
  14. Apparently someone else thought about this a few years ago, but I was working on my Dynamic DNS project last night and thought, how many websites grab DNS or reverse DNS information and just pass it to the browser, unescaped? Apparently nonzero: Click the button The following site works for both forward lookup on and reverse lookup on 2001:470:1f07:b75::1337 Another example of how no external data should ever be trusted!
  15. Guess that means it's done
  16. GlobalProtect can die in a fire. A client required that we use it for remote access, nothing but problems. They used RSA tokens with it, we pretty much lost sync on at least one token during the course of a week. We use OpenVPN for everything we control at work. We've integrated it into a few clients' applications so they can manage certificate generation, revocation, and emailing of "click to install" config packages.
  17. Layering is for sure the way to go. It also lessens the load on your border firewall. Host-based firewalls make host-based blacklisting far simpler -- you don't have to try and dynamically control firewall rules on another system.
  18. Welcome!
  19. I bought a HexBright through the original 2011 Kickstarter. Up til now, I've had the stock firmware on it. Today, I finally installed the Arduino IDE (PIC guy here ) and played around with the firmware. Pretty easy to hack, and I'd somehow missed that there's an accelerometer and temperature sensor on board! I'm using dhiltonp's library, found on GitHub: I haven't decided what all I want to put in my firmware yet -- I hadn't considered some of the things done in the sample firmware, and dhiltonp's included examples. There are example firmwares that e.g. use the accelerometer to adjust LED brightness by rotating the flashlight, like an analog knob. There's a "nightlight" mode in one of the examples where the end cap glows dim red, and when you grab it the accelerometer turns on the LED -- 10 seconds of no movement will put it back in "glow the end cap" mode. I also ran into a slight problem -- the o ring seal at the button end of the light finally tore. I have one of the original "wrong size o ring" lights with a slight clover leaf pattern to the light beam. One of the solutions is to just crank the end cap down, which is what I did. I'd noticed a few cracks forming in the o ring, it finally gave up today. I stuck a generic faucet o ring on there, but it's not really the right size, so I'll probably order a few samples from McMaster-Carr and get something more resilient that also solves the clover leaf issue. If anyone wants one, I'll probably have to order a box of 25 or 100, so I should have plenty! Anyone else have one of these? Have you hacked on it?
  20. Hey, there's an idea! Thanks for the suggestion. I know the guy who started the HexBright project is no longer doing it, but they show up on eBay now and then, and it looks like someone on Amazon has some to sell (price is high, though). I don't know how "open source" the hardware ended up being -- it would be nice to be able to produce extra parts, or whole new lights.
  21. Huh, interesting. It's not listed in the HP reference as a supported CPU, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. They say unbuffered ECC is the only thing supported, but Registered/Buffered ECC DDR3 works just fine. I just installed 32GB of it
  22. trojan

    Sub7 is ancient stuff, you can probably find it or one of its workalikes (Optix, BackOrifice, et c.) on some skiddie/malware archive. I suppose it could be useful to experiment with in your home lab if you've never seen it. Basically, it's a remote command/control malware. In middle school, my friends and I played pranks on each other and some of our less tech-savvy friends with it. I'd imagine even the worst possible modern virus scanner would pick it up. It may not work with anything XP or newer, IIRC when we were goofing around with it, most people were running 98 or a few ME users. We thought we were hot shit running Windows 2000
  23. Upgrade if possible, there's a Perl script to run otherwise. Slackware has updated packages out already, Arch Linux does not at time of posting. If you want to build from src until a package comes out, you can run ./configure --prefix=/home/you/bin && make && make install To build local. Obviously change the prefix path to something that exists
  24. Yeah, when I go into full hack mode, chasing a bug or a weird problem or something, it becomes its own unpaid full-time job for a while. I do it because I like it, not because it makes me money. I don't like it enough to try to monetize it, that's why I'm still a programmer/hardware design guy for a day-job
  25. As long as humans write code, there will be vulnerabilities. A safe career choice, if you like doing it.