Wandering Thoughts archives

2015-12-31: A defense of C's null-terminated strings
How I've wound up taking my notes
2015-12-30: Some notes on entering unusual characters in various X applications
2015-12-29: Take notes when (and as) you do things and keep them
2015-12-28: The limits of what ZFS scrubs check
2015-12-27: A confession: I find rejecting spam at SMTP time to be more satisfying
2015-12-26: Adjusting mouse sensitivity on Linux, and why you might want to
2015-12-25: I like Magit, the GNU Emacs package for Git
2015-12-24: There is a surprising amount of old SSL code in running MTAs
2015-12-23: Where cryptographic hashes come into TLS certificates
2015-12-21: Some opinions on how package systems should allow you to pin versions
The Apache mod_qos module worked for us
2015-12-20: There are three places spam filtering can happen these days
2015-12-18: A fun tale of network troubleshooting involving VLANs and MACs
Some things about the XSettings system
2015-12-17: Fixing the GTK UI font in my Fedora 23 setup
2015-12-16: I just had another smooth Fedora version upgrade with ZFS on Linux
2015-12-14: Some things that force Go to call the C library for name resolution on Linux
Getting xterm and modern X applications to do cut and paste together
2015-12-13: I still believe in shimming modules for tests
2015-12-12: My views on the choice of Linux distribution
2015-12-11: The ArchLinux wiki has quietly become a good resource for me
2015-12-09: Goroutines, network IO streams, and the resulting synchronization problem
A surprise about cryptographic signatures
2015-12-07: What I like web templating languages for
The old-fashioned and modern ways to remap keys in X (some notes)
2015-12-06: The (peculiar) freedom of having a slow language
2015-12-05: The details behind zpool list's new fragmentation percentage
2015-12-04: One limit to how much TLS can do for you against MITM attacks
2015-12-02: What zpool list's new FRAG fragmentation percentage means
2015-12-01: Red Hat has really doubled down on being email spammers
2015-11-30: My current dilemma: is it worth putting the root filesystem on a SSD
A new piece of my environment: xcape, an X modifier key modifier
2015-11-29: My feelings about my mechanical mini keyboard
2015-11-27: Documentation should explain why things are security issues, at least briefly
A thought on the apparent popularity of new static typing languages
2015-11-26: Some notes on Apache's suexec
2015-11-25: Why speeding up (C)Python matters
2015-11-23: PC laptop and desktop vendors are now clearly hostile parties
Why I care about how fast CPython is
2015-11-22: I should find some good small packages for templates and forms for CGIs
2015-11-21: What I think I want out of autocompletion in GNU Emacs (for Go coding)
2015-11-20: What modern version control systems are
2015-11-18: VCS bisection steps should always be reversible
Increasingly, I no longer solidly and fully know Python
2015-11-16: On public areas on the Net and conversations therein
The problems with creating a new template language
2015-11-15: I should remember that I can cast things in Go
2015-11-14: ZFS pool import needs much better error messages
2015-11-13: We killed off our SunSolve email contact address yesterday
2015-11-12: Don't have support registrations in the name of a specific sysadmin
2015-11-11: No new web templating languages; use an existing one
2015-11-10: Why I spent a lot of time agonizing over an error message recently
2015-11-09: What sysadmins want out of logging means that it can't be too simple
2015-11-08: The great Delete versus Backspace split
2015-11-07: Why I (still) care about SELinux and its flaws
2015-11-06: Revisiting a bit of my X keymapping history
2015-11-04: SELinux's usability, illustrated once again
Outlook.com now has collected some SBL listings
2015-11-02: When setting up per-thing email addresses, make sure you can turn them off
Status reporting commands should have script-oriented output too
2015-10-31: One advantage of System V is that it was available
In practice, anything involving the JVM is often a heavyweight thing
2015-10-30: My discovery that the USB mouse polling rate matters
2015-10-29: USB mouse polling rates under Linux
2015-10-28: System V was kind of backwards for a long time
2015-10-27: Some theories about what spammers get out of using null sender addresses
2015-10-26: The null sender spammers now seem to be entrenched on outlook.com
2015-10-25: More on chroot()'s history, and my blind spot about System III
2015-10-24: How my PS/2 to USB conversion issues have shaken out
2015-10-23: Perhaps it's a good idea to reboot everything periodically
2015-10-22: CPython's trust of bytecode is not a security problem
2015-10-21: Python bytecode is quite heavily trusted by CPython
2015-10-20: Why I never tell people how I voted
2015-10-19: Installing and pinning specific versions of OmniOS packages
2015-10-18: In Go, unsafe.Pointer is a built in type in the compiler
2015-10-17: Do generic stock servers have a future in a cloud world?
2015-10-16: Inside a Go 'terrible hack' in the reflect package
2015-10-15: Some notes on finding package versions in OmniOS with pkg
2015-10-14: OS installers should be easy to open up and modify
2015-10-13: Why I've come to really like git
2015-10-12: Why we hold kernels and other packages on our Ubuntu machines
2015-10-11: Bad news about how we detect and recover from NFS server problems
2015-10-09: How much space ZFS reserves in your pools varies across versions
Our low-rent approach to verifying that NFS mounts are there
2015-10-08: Why you (probably) want to have blog categories (and topics and more)
2015-10-07: The irritation of all of the Ubuntu kernels you wind up with
2015-10-05: How many recent sender domains are in the Spamhaus DBL
I don't trust Linux distributions to leave directories alone
2015-10-04: There's no point in multiple system filesystems any more
2015-10-03: There are two approaches to disaster recovery plans
2015-10-02: What creates a good wikitext dialect depends on how it's going to be used
2015-09-30: There are good and bad wikitext dialects
Why I can't see IPv6 as a smooth or fast transition
2015-09-29: Maybe I should try to find another good mini keyboard
2015-09-28: On not having people split their time between different bosses
2015-09-27: Wikitext not having errors creates a backtracking problem
2015-09-26: I've decided I'll port DWiki to Python 3, but not any time soon
2015-09-25: Do we want to continue using a SAN in our future fileserver design?
2015-09-24: We're probably going to need new Linux iSCSI target software
2015-09-23: One thing I'm hoping for in our third generation fileservers
2015-09-22: The Go 'rolling errors' pattern, in function call form
2015-09-21: When chroot() started to confine processes inside the new root
2015-09-20: Spam from outlook.com has gotten worse (well, for me)
2015-09-19: Experimenting with Firefox's 'Reader' mode (or view)
2015-09-18: Modern Linux laptop suspending and screenlocking makes me twitch
2015-09-17: We know what you are
2015-09-16: There are two different scenarios for replacing disks in a RAID
2015-09-14: A caution about cgo's error returns for errno
Tweaking code when I'm faced with the urge to replace it entirely
2015-09-13: I should have started blocking web page elements well before now
2015-09-12: How NFS deals with the pending delete problem
2015-09-11: ZFS scrub rates, speeds, and how fast is fast
2015-09-10: Changing kernel tunables can drastically speed up ZFS scrubs
2015-09-09: Some notes on my experience using Go's cgo system
2015-09-08: How we disable accounts here (and why)
2015-09-07: Getting gocode based autocompletion working for Go in GNU Emacs
Why we wind up deleting user accounts
2015-09-06: Optimizing finding unowned files on our ZFS fileservers
2015-09-05: Why we aren't tempted to use ACLs on our Unix machines
2015-09-04: Consistency and durability in the context of filesystems
2015-09-03: How I've decided to coordinate multiple git repos for a single project
2015-09-02: Thinking about the different models of supplying computing
2015-08-31: CGo's Go string functions explained
Turning, well copying blobs of memory into Go structures
2015-08-30: Getting C-compatible structs in Go with and for cgo
2015-08-29: The mailing list thread to bug tracking system problem
2015-08-28: The somewhat surprising history of chroot()
2015-08-27: Some notes on using Solaris kstat(s) in a program
2015-08-26: Why I wind up writing my own (sysadmin) tools
2015-08-25: One view on practical blockers for IPv6 adoption
2015-08-24: PS/2 to USB converters are complex things with interesting faults
2015-08-23: I think you should get your TLS configuration advice from Mozilla
2015-08-21: What surprised me about the Python assignment puzzle
What's going on with a Python assignment puzzle
2015-08-20: Using abstract namespace Unix domain sockets and SO_PEERCRED in Python
2015-08-19: Linux's abstract namespace for Unix domain sockets
2015-08-17: Getting dd's skip and seek straight once and for all
Why languages like 'declare before use' for variables and functions
2015-08-16: My irritation with Intel's CPU segmentation (and why it probably exists)
2015-08-15: Spam scoring systems are often not deliberately designed
2015-08-14: My current views on using DomainKeys (DKIM) here
2015-08-13: Enabling services on package updates is a terrible mistake
2015-08-12: What common older versions of free are telling you
2015-08-11: What free is really telling you, and some bits from /proc/meminfo
2015-08-10: My irritation with 'systemctl status'
2015-08-09: One potential problem with cloud computing for us is the payment model
2015-08-08: The ARC now seems to work right in ZFS on Linux
2015-08-07: One thing I now really want in ZFS: faster scrubs (and resilvers)
2015-08-06: Two factor authentication and emergency access to systems
2015-08-05: What I want out of two factor authentication for my own use
2015-08-04: A lesson to myself: commit my local changes in little bits
2015-08-03: Running Fedora 22's dnf as a normal user versus as root
2015-08-02: My view on the potential death of the ad-supported web
2015-07-31: The future problem with Firefox's Electrolysis project
Ubuntu once again fails at a good kernel security update announcement
2015-07-29: My workflow for testing Github pull requests
A cynical view on needing SSDs in all your machines in the future
2015-07-28: Why I still report bugs
2015-07-27: Spammers mine everything, Github edition
2015-07-26: Why I increasingly think we're unlikely to ever use Docker
2015-07-25: Everything that does TLS should log the SSL parameters used
2015-07-24: Fedora 22's problem with my scroll wheel
2015-07-22: A modest little change I'd like to see in bug reporting systems
Some thoughts on log rolling with date extensions
2015-07-20: My brush with the increasing pervasiveness of smartphone GPS mapping
The OmniOS kernel can hold major amounts of unused memory for a long time
2015-07-19: 'Retail' versus 'wholesale' spam
2015-07-18: Some data on how long it is between fetches of my Atom feed
2015-07-17: Your standard input is a tty in a number of surprising cases
2015-07-15: Eating memory in Python the easy way
Mdb is so close to being a great tool for introspecting the kernel
2015-07-14: Don't support shortened versions of your domain names in email addresses
2015-07-13: My personal view of OpenBSD
2015-07-12: A Linux software RAID message flood
2015-07-11: OpenBSD and the impact of culture
2015-07-10: What SSH keys in your .ssh/config will be offered to servers
2015-07-09: When SSH needs you to decrypt your keys
2015-07-08: Making GTK applications in alternate locations, settings edition
2015-07-07: The Git 'commit local changes and rebase' experience is a winning one
2015-07-06: My Django form field validation and cleanup pain
2015-07-05: Sysadmin use of email is often necessarily more or less interrupt driven
2015-07-04: Googlebot and Feedfetcher are still aggressively grabbing syndication feeds
2015-07-03: Wandering Thoughts is now ten years old
Some notes on my 'commit local changes and rebase' Git workflow
2015-07-02: Some thoughts on Go compiler directives being in source comments
2015-06-30: My early impressions of Fedora 22, especially of DNF
The probable and prosaic explanation for a socket() API choice
2015-06-29: BSD Unix developed over more time than I usually think
2015-06-28: Faster SSDs matter to companies because they sell things
2015-06-27: The next (or coming) way to connect SSDs to your system
2015-06-26: The status of our problems with overloaded OmniOS NFS servers
2015-06-25: Multiple set matches with Linux's iptables 'ipset' extension
2015-06-24: I've finally turned SELinux fully off even on my laptop
2015-06-23: A Bash test limitation and the brute force way around it
2015-06-22: Modern *BSDs have a much better init system than I was expecting
2015-06-21: Why System V init's split scripts approach is better than classical BSD
2015-06-20: Thinking about people's SSD inflection points in general
2015-06-19: Sometimes looking into spam for a blog entry has unexpected benefits
2015-06-18: The cost of OmniOS not having /etc/cron.d
2015-06-17: Exploring the irritating thing about Python's .join()
2015-06-16: NFS writes and whether or not they're synchronous
2015-06-15: My view of NFS protocol versions
2015-06-14: What I plug into my home Linux machine as far as peripherals go
2015-06-12: My pragmatic view of HTTPS versus caching
Red Hat are marketing email spammers now (in the traditional way)
2015-06-11: HTTP should be dropped even as a pure Internet transport mechanism
2015-06-10: My pragmatic view on switching to HTTPS and TLS everywhere
2015-06-09: How I use virtual screens in my desktop environment
2015-06-08: Exceptions as aggregators of error handling
2015-06-07: You won't get people off Python 2 by making their lives worse
2015-06-06: The security danger of exploitable bugs in file format libraries
2015-06-05: My current views on Rust (the programming language)
2015-06-04: Linux evolution through de facto quiet standards
2015-06-03: What makes for a simple web application environment
2015-06-01: The problem with 'what is your data worth?'
2015-05-31: Unix has been bad before
My view of setting up sane web server application delegations
2015-05-30: What I'm doing in reaction to Logjam (for HTTPS, SSH, and IKE)
2015-05-29: I don't commit changes in my working repos
2015-05-28: I don't find Github pull requests an easy way to submit patches
2015-05-27: The impact on you of making 'bad' bug reports
2015-05-25: One of the problems with 'you should submit a patch'
Email providers cannot stop spam by scanning outgoing email
2015-05-24: A mod_wsgi problem with serving both HTTP and HTTPS from the same WSGI app
2015-05-23: The right way for your WSGI app to know if it's using HTTPS
2015-05-22: Unsurprisingly, Amazon is now running a mail spamming service
2015-05-21: It's time for me to stop using lighttpd
2015-05-20: On the modern web, ISPs are one of your threats
2015-05-19: Converting filesystems from ext3 to ext4, and concerns attached to it (plus bad news for me)
2015-05-17: Why I'm interested in converting my ext3 filesystems to ext4
A bit more on the ZFS delete queue and snapshots
2015-05-15: Your Illumos-based NFS fileserver may be 'leaking' deleted files
The ZFS delete queue: ZFS's solution to the pending delete problem
The pending delete problem for Unix filesystems
2015-05-14: In Go, you need to always make sure that your goroutines will finish
2015-05-13: Go goroutines as a way to capture and hold state
2015-05-12: It's time to stop coddling software that can't handle HTTPS URLs
2015-05-11: The problem with proportional fonts for editing code and related things
2015-05-10: Our mail submission system winds up handling two sorts of senders
2015-05-09: What addresses we accept and reject during mail submission
2015-05-08: Sometimes it's useful to have brute force handy: an amusing IPMI bug
2015-05-06: Why keeping output to 80 columns (or less) is still sensible
Unix's pipeline problem (okay, its problem with file redirection too)
2015-05-04: Monitoring tools should report timestamps (and what they're monitoring)
What I want to have in shell (filename) completion
2015-05-03: Sometimes knowing causes does you no good (and sensible uses of time)
2015-05-02: OmniOS as a NFS server has problems with sustained write loads
2015-04-30: I'm considering ways to mass-add URLs to Firefox's history database
Why I have a perpetual browser history
2015-04-29: The 'EHLO ylmf-pc' plague of SMTP authentication guessers
2015-04-28: There's no portable way to turn a file descriptor read only or write only
2015-04-27: The fading out of tcpwrappers and its idea
2015-04-26: My complicated feelings on abandoning old but good code
2015-04-25: I'm still running a twelve year old Python program
2015-04-24: A DKMS problem I had with lingering old versions
2015-04-23: Upgrading machines versus reinstalling them
2015-04-22: Don't make /opt a filesystem on OmniOS (or probably Illumos generally)
2015-04-20: I don't think I'm interested in containers
An interesting trick for handling line numbers in little languages
2015-04-19: A potential path to IPv6 (again), but probably not a realistic one today
2015-04-18: A core problem of IPv6 adoption is the lack of user benefits
2015-04-17: In practice, programmers mostly understand complexity by superstition
2015-04-16: Are Python dictionaries necessarily constant-time data structures?
2015-04-15: Illusory security is terrible and is worse than no security
2015-04-14: Allowing people to be in more than 16 groups with an OmniOS NFS server
2015-04-12: One speed limit on your ability to upgrade your systems
Spam victims don't care what business unit is responsible for the spam
2015-04-10: I wish systemd would get over its thing about syslog
My Firefox 37 extensions and addons (sort of)
2015-04-09: Probably why Fedora puts their release version in package release numbers
2015-04-08: Your entire download infrastructure needs to use HTTPS
2015-04-07: How Ubuntu and Fedora each do kernel packages
2015-04-06: What adblockers block
2015-04-05: A note on the argument about the 'morality' of adblockers
2015-04-04: An important note if you want to totally stop an IKE IPSec connection
A weird new IKE IPSec problem that I just had on Fedora 21's latest kernel
2015-04-03: Understanding the (original) meaning of Unix load average
2015-04-02: When the Unix load average was added to Unix
2015-03-31: Btrfs's mistake in limiting itself to two-way mirroring
2015-03-30: My preliminary views on mosh
The 'cattle' model for servers is only a good fit in certain situations
2015-03-29: SSH connection sharing and erratic networks
2015-03-28: All browsers need a (good) way to flush memorized HTTP redirects
2015-03-27: Looking more deeply into some SMTP authentication probes
2015-03-26: Why systemd should have ignored SysV init script LSB dependencies
2015-03-25: A significant amount of programming is done by superstition
2015-03-24: What is and isn't a bug in software
2015-03-23: Systemd is not fully backwards compatible with System V init scripts
2015-03-22: I now feel that Red Hat Enterprise 6 is okay (although not great)
2015-03-21: Spammers show up fast when you open up port 25 (at least sometimes)
2015-03-20: Unix's mistake with rm and directories
2015-03-19: A brief history of fiddling with Unix directories
2015-03-18: The real speed advantage static rendering has over dynamic rendering
2015-03-16: Solving our authenticated SMTP problem by rethinking it
Our difficulties with OmniOS upgrades
2015-03-15: The importance of user interface, illustrated by the Go flag package
2015-03-14: Using an automounter doesn't always help with bad NFS servers
2015-03-13: The puzzle of packets to your host that your host doesn't respond to
2015-03-12: My feelings about GRUB 1 versus GRUB 2
2015-03-11: The irritation of being told 'everyone who cares uses ECC RAM'
2015-03-10: Why installing packages is almost always going to be slow (today)
2015-03-09: I should document my test plans and their results
2015-03-08: Why ZFS's 'directory must be empty' mount restriction is sensible
2015-03-06: Our brute force solution for port isolation without port isolated switches
The simple way CPython does constant folding
2015-03-05: An interesting excursion with Python strings and is
2015-03-04: What creates inheritance?
2015-03-03: The latest xterm versions mangle $SHELL in annoying ways
2015-03-02: My view of the difference between 'pets' and 'cattle'
2015-02-28: Sometimes why we have singleton machines is that failover is hard
2015-02-27: Email from generic word domains is usually advance fee fraud spam
What limits how fast we can install machines
2015-02-25: My current issues with systemd's networkd in Fedora 21
My Linux container temptation: running other Linuxes
2015-02-24: How we do and document machine builds
2015-02-23: In shell programming, I should be more willing to write custom tools
2015-02-22: Unsurprisingly, random SMTP servers do get open relay probes
2015-02-21: It turns out that I routinely use some really old Linux binaries
2015-02-20: All of our Solaris 10 machines are now out of production
2015-02-19: Exploiting Python metaclasses to forbid subclassing and where it fails
2015-02-18: I wish Python didn't allow any callable to be a 'metaclass'
2015-02-17: Your example code should work and be error-free
2015-02-16: Web ads considered as a security exposure
2015-02-15: My current views on Firefox adblocker addons
2015-02-14: Planning ahead in documentation: kind of a war story
2015-02-13: The technical side of Python metaclasses (a pointer)
2015-02-11: Good technical writing is not characterless and bland
ZFS can apparently start NFS fileservice before boot finishes
2015-02-10: Our ZFS fileservers have a serious problem when pools hit quota limits
2015-02-09: 'Inbox zero' doesn't seem to work for me but it's still tempting
2015-02-08: The history of commercial Unix and my pragmatism
2015-02-07: Trying to move towards Ed25519 OpenSSH host keys: a stumbling block
2015-02-06: A thought on containerization, isolation, and deployment
2015-02-05: All of our important machines are pets and special snowflakes
2015-02-04: How our console server setup works
2015-02-03: Why we've wound up moving away from serial consoles on our machines
2015-02-02: Why people were enthused about gcc early on in its life
2015-01-31: The problem with punishing people over policy violations
Upgrades and support periods
2015-01-30: I've come to believe Django's way of defining database tables is wrong
2015-01-29: The practical result of OpenBSD's support policy
2015-01-28: A thought about social obligations to report bugs
2015-01-27: Our current email anti-virus system is probably ineffective now
2015-01-26: Some notes on keeping up with Go packages and commands
2015-01-25: The long term problem with ZFS on Linux is its license
2015-01-24: Web applications and generating alerts due to HTTP requests
2015-01-23: A problem with gnome-terminal in Fedora 21, and tracking it down
2015-01-22: How to set up static networking with systemd-networkd, or at least how I did
2015-01-21: Why I'm switching to systemd's networkd stuff for my networking
2015-01-19: A gotcha with Python tuples
Why user-hostile policies are a bad thing and a mistake
2015-01-18: Limited retention policies for email are user-hostile
2015-01-16: Node.js is not for me (and why)
Using systemd-run to limit something's RAM consumption on the fly
2015-01-15: Link: Against DNSSEC by Thomas Ptacek
General ZFS pool shrinking will likely be coming to Illumos
2015-01-14: What /etc/shells is and isn't
2015-01-13: Our tradeoffs on ZFS ZIL SLOG devices for pools
2015-01-12: I've now seen comment spam attempts from Tor exit nodes
2015-01-11: The effects of losing a ZFS ZIL SLOG device, as I understand them
2015-01-10: Autoplaying anything is a terrible decision, doubly so for video
2015-01-09: Why filesystems need to be where data is checksummed
2015-01-08: ZFS should be your choice today if you need an advanced filesystem on Unix
2015-01-07: Forwarding access to only a subset of ssh-agent's identities
2015-01-06: Choices filesystems make about checksums
2015-01-05: Today on Linux, ZFS is your only real choice for an advanced filesystem
2015-01-04: What makes a 'next generation' or 'advanced' modern filesystem, for me
2015-01-03: The effects of our fileserver multi-tenancy
2015-01-02: Where we have multi-tenancy in our fileserver environment

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