Goodbye Raven

Raven was put to sleep around noon today. I'm going to miss him greatly.
  • Current Mood
    sad sad

Contributing back to OpenBSD

So today, I finished making a patch to OpenBSD that allows the serial card I bought to work properly.

Basically, it was a new version of the card by this vendor. Except they changed how it worked. Really, this card is a PCI bridge with 2 4-port serial “cards” behind it. The existing driver recognized the chips used, however, the card didn’t work. It took a bit of investigation to find out that some newer cards (like this one) use a timing crystal that is ten times faster than what is usually used. So the existing driver would put garbage out the serial port. (I’m not sure if it was basically running at 96000 baud instead of 9600, or more confused). Easy way to deal with that, it’s just that the driver didn’t know this revision needed that tweak, because it just saw it as generic versions of this card.

Into the world of PCI I went. I ended up needing to get the PCI vendor and subsystem numbers using lspci. Which isn’t in a base OpenBSD install by default. And it’s not on the 4.2 install media I bought (only the most useful subset makes it onto the CD). And since this was before 4.2’s official release, no package available for download. Then I had some fun with getting it to compile, since apparently the expat library moved into the base x packages instead of being a port, but the ports tree didn’t realize this. So I got that resolved. I get my numbers.

Not I dive into the kernel source code of OpenBSD. I found that I needed to change the pcidevs and pucdata.c files. But how? It took a bit of bashing my head against the code, and some mistakes that caused the machine in question to just freeze, but I got it going.

So today, after that, I created diffs for those files and submitted them to the appropriate OpenBSD mailing list. Just got back to my desk a few minutes ago, and there was a response to the list from one of the main developers saying it was a bit garbled, and he had to apply it manually, but that my contribution has been committed.

So I’m feeling all proud because I have submitted code to my favorite software project and had it accepted. It’s really not like it’s a big contribution, but I actually took the effort to learn and do it myself.
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased

The coolness - hotel and conference

When I checked into the hotel, they were very helpful. And then I got my room number.


Seriously. I'm the guy attending the USENIX Tech '07 conference who has Room 1337 in the hotel. I actually looked around last night wondering if someone was pulling my leg. But no, Room 1337 on the 13th floor.

Because of the lateness last night, I didn't end up getting up and ready until about noon. I registered, and then got a free lunch that it turns out I shouldn't have gotten. :) I wasn't trying to scam a free lunch, but when I asked about it, the conference person told me to go in and eat. Really, I wasn't in a tutorial, so I should've been on my own for lunch.

While reviewing the list of who was registered to attend by June 12th, I saw that airwick was here. Alas, the only name I recognized as someone I know (big tech people I don't know personally don't count). Then as I was heading to a session, who was walking in front of me, but Airwick. I stopped and chatted briefly before we went into the refereed papers session that I'm now.

Much missing of the wife, but now that the first half of the travel is over, I'm hoping for some interesting topics and fun.
kittens, pop tarts

Maybe it wasn't hell, but if not, it was purgatory

So, yesterday(/today) was awful. Had a 3 hour layover, which wasn't so bad, I got some lunch, read more of my book. Couldn't get any wireless in Newark (there were either ad-hoc networks or one that was secured.)

Then boarded the plane to SJC around 5:00, maybe a bit before. Then the hell began. There was weather in a huge stripe down the country from Southern Canada on down. So most air routes were shut down. And apparently the Air Traffic Control system was melting down because of all the planes asking for new routes.


Yes, seven (really, maybe even 8) in the plane, but not taking off. The flight attendants and pilots weren't happy either. They were getting jerked around. More than once we were told we had a route, and then it was taken away from us. They actually parked at a gate again at one point to allow people to get off and arrange a different flight. That was the key though.... if you got off, you were giving up this flight. We finally took off somewhere around midnight. I didn't get to sleep until 4:00am Pacific time. That's 7am Eastern. That's more than 14 hours after I got on the plane. Argh.
kittens, pop tarts

Falling out of love with Apache

I had to rebuild a webserver yesterday. And SSL refused to come online. Whatever I did, nothing.

The thing is, the new webserver is using Debian 4.0, and that includes an upgrade from Apache 2.0.x to 2.2.x. And I knew something in there must be causing it. But the damn documentation is not quite right. Not quite up to date.

The problem? They changed how SSL works in 2.2. That, the mentioned. What they didn't mention is that the standard way of doing SSL in previous versions involved using the apache equivalent of an ifdef. And they didn't mention that the necessary variable no longer gets set in 2.2. So my SSL config was ifdef'd out.

I've been using Apache since pre 1.0 days. It just seems like they've gotten bloated. 2.0 they started doing weird things with splitting up config files. And stupid licenses.

I think it's time to even more seriously look into lighttpd.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

So long to my car

Well, this morning my Prizm was taken away. I put about 140,000 miles on it. So I did get my money's worth out of it :)

I've actually had it retired for some time now, but I've spent at least the last couple of months trying to get a lien release. I paid the car off about 8 years ago. I had the title in my possession, but you are not allowed to get rid of a car without a clear title or a lien release letter for any liens listed on the title.

Shouldn't be so complicated, you just contact the place that had the lien (the finance company) and they send you a letter.

Well, easy except that this company apparently went out of business. And they went out of business like NINJAS!

It was a local company. No trace of them. Tried calling the NYS DMV Title bureau. First, they have limited hours, and even when you call during those hours, they sometimes don't answer. A couple times I even got a recording saying their computers were down so to try later. When I finally *did* get ahold of them, they had no information for me. They suggested I try the NYS Department of Banking. Barring that, the only way to get the lien released was to have a judge order it so. *sigh*

Banking department, of course, had no idea who this company was and no record of who might have bought them. Same with the dealer I bought the car from. They *arranged* the financing and were still all like "never heard of them".

I talked with a very helpful woman at a month or so ago. She said she had never known anyone to go to as much effort as I had, and to top it off, I hadn't gotten results. (She was sympathizing). She actually ranted to me about how unhelpful the DMV is in cases like these. She also pointed out that you don't get the title until you pay off the loan. So the fact I had the title means I paid it off, but that the DMV still insisted on the lien release letter. Finally, she gave me advice on hammering the dealership and then suggested I try Wells Fargo. Apparently, even when they don't have information on your car loan, they often have access to who does have the information.

So I tried Wells Fargo, who was very nice, but didn't have my car loan information, but suggested I try Wells Fargo *Financial*. So I talked to them, and a search was put in and I was told it could take 8 business days to get the letter, although I'd hear sooner if they didn't have the information for me.

Cut to Monday. A lien release shows up! Hallelujah! I called (yes I used the phone number for a .com business :) ). And within 20 minutes, had gotten a call back from their local contractor and scheduled to pick the car up this morning. So last night, I took the plates off, put the keys, title and lien release in the glove compartment, and was ready.

And the car was gone when I came home. I've already turned in the plates, so now we can cancel the insurance on the car we don't use any more :)

An eventful visit so far -- Blood *AND* Smoke

On the way back to the motel, I thought of linus52.

Quick version:

Showed up in Massachusettes. Met with my brother and father. Went onto my Mom's new place. Smoke alarms went off. Figured out it wasn't my Mom's apartment that set them off. Went outside and called fire department. Fire department showed up. Nothing in my Mom's apartment. Upstairs apartment *filled* with smoke. After waiting, apartment was cleared and we went back inside. Mom cuts her finger peeling potatoes.

All is okay, and we actually had a lot of laughs, but wow. It's weird to have a smoke alarm going off and being something. With all the times I spent waiting outside a dorm because some jackass was bored and pulled an alarm, at first we didn't think it was a real problem.

Turns out we called in time to prevent a real problem. If we'd waited a lot longer, there probably would've been a serious fire. Instead, it seems that the girl in the upstairs apartment doesn't really have any smoke damage.

Oh yeah, free wifi in motel :)

Good night.

(Oh yeah, I thought of linus52 because of his "Blood. Smoke. If your problem doesn't involve one of these, come back later" Sign. I actually debated calling him up :) )

Meme Sheepage

While I think this meme is a little early, I do like what it came up with...

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

This year I've been busy!

In March I set linley's puppy on fire (-66 points). In June I pulled over and changed candice's flat tire (15 points). In October I put gum in princeofcairo's hair (-12 points). Last Monday I helped pamela386 hide a body (-173 points). Last Friday I gave kyaakone a kidney (1000 points).

Overall, I've been nice (764 points). For Christmas I deserve a pony!


Write your letter to Santa! Enter your LJ username:
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
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Funny little meme

I escaped from the Dungeon of Theonlyasd!

I killed Artemis Lizzie the leprechaun, Aardvark428 the rat, Shekina the rat and Cubetime the leprechaun.

I looted the Shield of Memnus, the Crown of Origamist, the Armour of Maggiedacatt, the Crown of Snailprincess, the Shield of Thumbie, the Crown of Venlar, the Shield of Sithjawa, a Figurine of Eepmirva, the Crown of Jerronimo, a Figurine of Ejwu and 61 gold pieces.

Score: 461

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