real me

Oh I turned a year older.

I have retired my old-ish laptop, aurora. It served me quite well but I have moved on to a complete beast of a computer. C2D P8400, 4GB DDR3, nVidia9800m GTS 1GB, 320GB HDD @ 7200RPM, 17'' WUXGA display. This baby flies. The only thing I don't like is that there's only 3 USB ports - my old laptop had 4, I was used to that. Other than that though I really can't complain. I moved all my old data over without issue. I bought Orange Box for $10 on Steam, and got it running through Crossover. It took some fiddling with the configs to get it working, but TF2 runs at full res without choking. Not bad for implementing DirectX APIs in Linux, I'd say.

My weekend was totally crazy. Liz wasn't around for part of it, she was at a convention downstate. After getting out of work on Friday, I did my laundry, caught up on some TV, then went right to bed so I could go back into work on Saturday. After that, Liz was home so we got some food, then went off to a karaoke bar with a bunch of my coworkers for a birthday bash. I share a birthday with one of them too, so it made the night even more awesome. Lots of good times proceeded. Sunday morning we woke up somewhat early so we could head out to Rochester, because Jouva's visiting a friend there and we wanted to see him. Got to visit this awesome little trinket shop, played Extreme on a 100% legit Japanese cab which still had all the cardboard attractors around the monitor, and played a round of Munchkin (which is my absolute favorite card game btw). Drove back home later in the afternoon to catch dinner at my parents, then stayed up late to finish my homework.

After all that, I'm working 10-7:30 shifts at work due to the head engineer being out of the office for the week, which meant me getting up early Monday morning. Not fun. Lots of good stuff happening there though; figuring out solutions for some problems, making everyone's lives easier, and just overall having fun there. I just don't like coming home to an empty apartment.

No plans at all for this weekend, I'm stoked. It's been a while since that's happened.

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some portuguese site started hotlinking to edge in the funniest of ways: just putting my entire site in an iframe. i guess my hotlink protection is too smart for him?

a simple javascript to break out of frames is now in place.
serious business

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holy shit itt online can go to hell requiring me to use an actual windows machine for my schoolwork now.

-uploading files via an XP VM did not work, i would get some stupid java exception error in the form. using native linux though, it worked in either firefox or IE6 in wine/crossover.
-browsing the online presentations would not work in firefox, i was forced to use IE inside a VM
-now ie6 and firefox support have been dropped completely from the online interface. IE7 must be used, which crossover/wine does not support.

so my last straw is to put files on a thumbdrive, borrow the girlfriend's aspire one, and upload the files from there. it's really annoying.

How to give a chroot'd FTPd access to outside folders.

For basic security reasons, FTP daemons don't let you access folders that are symlinks (aka shortcuts) to folders that are outside of your jailed root, when you have chroot jailing enabled. This is standard practice for most shared FTP servers. So for instance my FTP session is limited to /home/sherl0k and all its subdirectories. I recently added a second harddrive to my server, and I wanted to access that drive with two major conditions: 1) not mounting the drive in a folder that resides in my /home, and b) giving me access to the contents without requiring a second FTP login. I also wasn't going to turn off chroot.

So as I said, a symlink is not possible here. Doing a ln -s /second/dreamcast ./dreamcast from inside my home, and then accessing it via FTP, would yield an error: 550 Failed to open file.

So what's a sysadmin to do?

Oh, the joys of the mount command. Believe it or not, it's possible to mount a folder and/or filesystem in two places at once. Mind you making changes in one place will yield those same exact changes in the other, so doing editing in both places at once would yield some issues. But for my uses, this would never happen. I suppose this would also apply to normal symlinks.

Lo and behold, the code to rule them all: mount --bind -rw /second/dreamcast/ ./dreamcast

The drive was originally mounted as /second, with the dreamcast directory owned by my user account. I can now "bind" the folder anywhere on the filesystem - in this case inside my home directory - and have full access to it via FTP. No symlink involved.

Finally, reliable technology in my hands.

I have been plagued all my life it seems with piece of junk routers that never work right. Started off with a Belkin that gave extremely bad speeds, moved to a D-Link that would die everytime someone's wireless dropped, then to another D-Link that had its wireless drop every 24 hours, then to a Netgear that would just crap out every hour or so if used actively.

Granted, I get what I pay for with these routers, either they were provided by the ISP or were bought for less than $50. I've always wanted a Linksys, but those cost upwards of $60 in stores. I just couldn't justify the coin.

I finally got fed up with my string of crappy routers, and bit the bullet. At least I thought I was going to. Apparently Linksys WRT54G-TM routers are only $40 on eBay. Snatched that deal up, and I'm happy as ever. Even flashed the beast with DD-WRT and I'm even happier. It was a breeze to install and it gives me so many more options to play with.

It's kinda silly how giddy I can get over a piece of hardware; but after years of dealing with faulty consumer routers I'm just happy to have something that works.

Good stuff right here.

Working with a client to deploy thousands of Ubuntu images across a network, using (what else) free, open-source software.

I'm pretty stoked about this project, not only because it's giving me a chance to prove myself to a bunch of experienced engineers who've been in the field for 15+ years, but also because I get to work with my favorite software of choice.

This job gets better every day.

Hooray for Valentine's Day.


sherl0k voodoo dolls exist, now let's see how Liz will control my life.

Had some awesome Thai food, went to Wegmans for some delicious desserts, and now we're drinking and watching the Blade movies. Out of order, because we're awesome like that.

Also went into the office for a few hours this morning, went to the gym, and even got a nap in. Pretty decent holiday, I would say.