14 December 2000

Question & Answer Sessions

How many people braved the weather to attend?

Nine. (Including one new member.) Ten. Eleven. Twelve.

Looking for a cheap (<$50) way to interface TV-level IR (like IRDa). Want to control TV's VCR's, etc. Got ideas?

Hook an IR LED to a stepper motor hooked up to an old sound card. (I _think_ I got that right.)

Cheap IDE RAID controllers (PCI bus with more than two channels) anyone?

Promise Tech cards are around $50.

Got any cheap Pentiums?

Troy is hunting for some again. (He wants a simple machine for his folks.)

Got any low-power computers? (Steve wants to make a router/firewall/NAT box that doesn't suck a lot of energy.)

And old notebook might do nicely. A Lynksys or NetGear box might be the way to go; they getting cheap.

45G drives for under a $100?

Try CompUSA; they've been having short, large rebates. Check the CompUSA ads in the Sunday paper.

What's a cost-effective upgrade to make a 400Mhz box? is your friend. Tyan Trinity 400 is a good, general purpose board for around $90.

Anyone know anything about the SAGE split?

See below.

What's a good conference for Paul to go? (He's got a budget now.)

One in New Orleans. Other than that, it all depends on your interests. Those cruise conferences ( are nice and aren't that much more than conferences held at hotels.


Steve's a manager again and has to fill his old position.

Syslog is truncating sendmail's log messages; sendmail appears to treat this as a failure and re-delivers the message in question. The user gets two copies of the message. Got any ideas on how to fix this?

Turn on some debuggering and dig through the logs. It's ugly, but it's tried and true.

Source for a small video camera with NTSC output?

Troy wants to mount something on his motorcycle helmet.

Suggestions for network monitoring tools?

NFR. Network Flight Recorder. (Older versions are free for non-commercial use.)

Cheap 80Mpgs SCSI UW?

TechRam might do an under $100 card. (For fast drives, other options, such as one IDE drive per channel, exist. You almost always need to run hdparm to tweak IDE performance.)

Questions for Bruce Schneier?

Steve needs to interview him and is looking for interesting questions.

Anyone know of a RW-DVD?

Nope. The patent-holder isn't interested in it, last anyone heard.

Any sources for cheap TiVo/Replay boxes?

None mentioned, but lots of suggestions to go out and hack them.

Steve wants to make homemade frontpanels for PCs -- Mic/Speaker/Line-in or USB. What's a good source for parts?

Check the cheapie computer stores.


LISA Stuff

LISA has grown bigger -- at LISA I, a system with 1Gb was considered a "large system."

Hiring "black hats" to break into your system is a bad idea. Either they're script kiddies, in jail, or unethical. (Natch.)

USENIX procedings are now on-line. (You have to be a member to get to them.)

Best presentation was from Steve Roemaker at Ohio State. Steve was the liaison with law enforcement during a major hacker event. Lots of info on why cops don't thing like programmers, but lawyers do. Think of lawyers as programmers that program in a language you don't understand. OSU staff wrote some slick monitoring tools during this situation. If you ever get a chance to see this talk, do it. It's great.

There was a presentation on small, restricted Linux implementations (via a loadable module) that restricts processes to a short list of commands. Nice for specialized server.

PC-Weasel ( is cool.

SAGE and USENIX are planning to split back into two organizations, dividing up the assets. The two organizations have different goals these days, so a split makes sense. (The short books that SAGE has been publishing are well worth looking at.) SAGE will focus on sysadmin stuff and USENIX on bleeding edge Unix issues. LISA will continue to be run by both organizations.

There was a state of the world article on the future of gcc3; it didn't fill Steve with much confidence for the Pentium IV. But gcc3 is doing interesting things with optimizers.

The food in New Orleans was incredible.

Rumor & Innuendo (No names, please)

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