13 December 2001

Question & Answer Sessions

Any preferences re: Ameritech DSL? (Cable modem, DSL, or dial-up for a new connection.)

Cable modems are probably the least hassle. Get the shortest contract you can.

JSP: how to get a directory into a var?

$dir = `ls *`; would work for perl, but no idea how to do it from Java. Supposedly, you can't do that on the client side. Java isn't supposed to allow it.

Any sources for prepaid cellular in da Yoop?

No one is aware of any. Try a calling card for travel use and an old bag phone for 911 service.

2-way direcPC satellite connectivity -- how is it?

Nobody's tried it yet. It needs a professional installer to aim the dish. Chris Polk has had some peripheral contact with it and says that the latency is bad. Real bad.

What's going on with Usenix & SAGE?

Bad communication skills resulting in a demand that two SAGE board members resign. They resigned and the SAGE board was extremely miffed. The communications problems were identified and the Usenix folks apologized to the two former board members.

Wireless NIC fuctioning as an access point and bridging to an ethernet in Linux -- any done this? Any caveats?

It's a lot cheaper (and less painful) to buy a WAP with ethernet. It might not do just what you want, though.

The usual jobs question?

HP keeps trying to recruit MJO -- check with them. EMV knows of a job in CA, if anyone's interested.

AAA Michigan is looking for someone to do some wiring around the state.

Where's a good place to get reasonably priced Palm III stylii? (Stylae? Stylices? Styla?)

eBay. (Moot point, since SCS had a spare one.)

Cheap way to make USB camera portable.

It depends what you mean by portable. Some sort of wireless USB extender sounds like what is needed. (No idea if one works.)

A cheap X10 camera is about $70 ... that might work. A home security wireless camera.

Any RFC recommending what a resolver should do with DNS SERVFAIL?

Yeah ... log it. It's outside the protocol, so there may be no defined action.

Antennas (antennae? antennia?) for Lucent 802.3?

Look at Cringley's site. maybe.

What's Troy's IP address?

Nortel NetID 4.3?


Any one done any serious TiVO hacking? (As in "at a shell prompt" sort of hacking.)

Doesn't sound like it.


SNMP UC-Davis needs to be installed, of course. Don't leave "puplic" as the community string -- it's amazing how many folks do that.

Bugzilla: are there alternatives?

There's always gnats. Bugzilla's got a lot of features, but gnats is very extendable.

Komodo experience?

It's an integrated development environment for Perl/Python/Tcl and runs in Mozilla. (Go figure.) It's commercial, but word on the street is that it's worth it. (SCS likes it enough to go with it, protocol layer 8 allowing.)

Any OS X experience?

Danno's played with it a little -- it's reminiscent of NextStep (surprised?). The OS 9 emulator is far from bugless, but the OS X code seems solid.

OS X.I disks are around, but no one's played with it.

Any Source Forge experience?

There's a GNU version in the works based on the last open source version of Source Forge. How's that?

Have you ever been experienced?

Well ... I have.

Linux on a PlayStation/2 ... can it be done?

Ah . . . why? No one here's considered it, but what the heck. Keep an eye open for more on this -- PS/2's a fine machine for the price.

It's supposed to boot NetBSD.

How did Steve's eye surgery go?

Really well. This laser stuff is getting better all the time. Steve went to Brighton for the work and is very happy with the result.

What's the status of EMV's Wireless Neighborhood Net.

Ed's meeting all the neighbors. That's the first step.

Check later -- this is bound to be a future presentation you'll remember and tell your children about.


Why Your Packets Go Into a Black Hole
= - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - =

We all know the sever-layer protocol stack.  (8 is financial, 9 is political,
0 is the power later, -1 is the backhoe layer)

Failures at a low level tend to cascade up.  

9  - Political   which has judicial and legislative components; both can
                 cause problems
8  - Financial   Bancrupcy can interupt service; so can mergers
                 Not understanding you assets (and licensing arrangements)
                 can be a problem

7  - Interface
6  - Application
5  - DNS
4  - session     Sessions can be hijacked
3  - Network     Congestion happens, but it's really the least of your
                 problems.  There route loops, clueless gated setups, etc.
2  - Data Link   ARP cache problems, wrong MAC address for routers
1  - Physical    Cabling problems (including cats, dogs, ferrets, squirrels)

0  - Power       Inc. fuel delivery, ventilation, cooling
-1 - Backhoe     9/11 was an extreme variation of this
                 There's little chance for redundancy here

Look for "How Systems Really Work And Why They Fail."  It's an older
book (pre-Internet-ish), but a good one.

Be sure to check out the Realtime Backhoe List <>

Rumor & Innuendo (No names, please)

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