2003 Mar 4 (Tue), 23:13 Big Fat Johnson
Okay, I am in a foul mood, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

I've been freakishly busy for the longest damned time. Here's a post to t4k-admin about it. Basically, I've been continuing the SAMBA migration. This has eaten up every damned weekend, and I am sick to death of it. This last weekend, I took a weekend off from it (mainly because the last group is going to be a massive chore to migrate... and I'm not 100% certain how to overcome the fact that Linux [and *nix] doesn't offer file ownership as finely grained as Windows' NTFS, which we've depended upon for this last group.) What did I do this last weekend? Jack-freaking-shit (pardon my F*cking French). I took off time, played scads of games, vegged, and finished Choke (which wasn't nearly as good as Fight Club, IMHO).

Oh, I was also busy last week writing a paper on Benacerraf's disagreement with Frege's requirements of "an adequate philosophy of mathematics". Don't know what I'm talking about? Neither did I.... And neither did Benacerraf (he actually misunderstood Frege, like everyone else did, for years and years). Anyway, the whole experience left me all angry like I wanted to perform petrosal reconstruction with a pair of pliers on every philosopher of mathematics I could see. Granted, I didn't... I bottled my rage up in a white-hot little box that is now, even as I type this, eating away at my soul...

Told you I was in a bad mood...

Also been getting involved with some anti-war rallies. This generally adds to my rage. (Because people are so damned idiotic and paranoid about terrorism and trusting in every freaking thing their lying government tells them!... But I digress...)

Oh, one more thing, I just whipped up a little perl script to take the contents of my XMMS cdinfo file and slap them on my site. Now you can browse to this page and see all the tunes I've been listening to. Whoopty-frickin'-do.

2003 Mar 6 (Thu), 17:43 Beaver Chicken

Only slightly better mood today. ('Cuz today I sat through a lecture on why Snapple.com was such a "wonderfully designed site" and it made me gag [especially when I went through with Links and saw there were no **cking ALT tags anywhere! Wonder-**cking-site.... see, I'm still in a crappy mood])

Worked on Noink2's noNews-p2p today. Getting all the back-patches (yuck, "back-patches") fed to me from Jake imported. Not all of them are in CVS yet (CVS does not yet contain a working model, simply because I'm feeling too lazy to strip the semi-confidential config information out of the working model to slap it in publically accessible CVS yet). Expect a working noNews-p2p ready this weekend. (If you don't know what noNews-p2p is, nevermind).

2003 Mar 15 (Sat), 11:47 Bite Me Apples

Starting in April, I'm the new instructor in these courses. I know, I know, someone with my stellar personality teaching a roomful of impressionable future *nix administrators. Spread the love. Eh, I should be a nicer person in this class that I am in real life (apparently, I'm a nicer person in my day job than I am in real life... those people are under the misguided impression that I am a "Nice Guy" ;-) Anyway, I'm looking forward to teaching the course... it should be fun.

Over at Tux4Kids, I've been busy getting noNews-p2p going (sorry, no URL yet, tho the source-code is in Noink's CVS). You can see our test-site here. Ignore the fact that the formatting sucks, that's not what we're testing out. We're testing out to see if what Jake and I have got is a) secure b) robust [enough for us] and c) relatively bug-free. I am hopeful that this next week I'll feel confident enough to impliment it T4K-wide.

Per my GamesImExcitedFor list at my wiki, next week The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the GameCube will be released. I have the thing pre-ordered and will get the pack-in disc with the two extra games. I am literally beside myself with anticipation. I can't freakin' wait. Of course, I am in a time-crunch, because I currently need to finish the stellar Drakan for PS2 before Zelda comes out (because, after Zelda hits the shelves, I doubt I'll be playing anything else for a while ;-)

2003 Mar 15 (Sat), 23:05 Most boring man on the planet...

Bowen just pointed out to me that I have been using the same theme for my desktop (and laptop) for well over a year now (I switched sometime before Feb.02 to Tin, and have used it ever since.)

Does that make me boring?

Oh, and for those not taking my classes come April, I will be posting my course slides online (I worked on them most of today, neglecting T4K and the Noink2 issues I have waiting, sorry Jake ;-)

2003 Mar 21 (Fri), 11:48 Eat Shit And Die

I should learn to not write in this thing when I'm in such a bad mood... but oh well.

As you know, I'm a sysadmin at the u of a Physics dept. One of my tasks is taking care of the undergraduate computer lab (PAS 272, running Win2k and mapping several SAMBA servers for printing, files, apps, whatnot). I have bitched about the irritating students abusing this lab before (lots of times... check my older diary entries), so there's nothing new about my loathing of the student body in general.

Why do I loathe them? Well, we want to give the students in this lab a great deal of freedom. We want to allow them to have the freedom to do things in this lab that they do not get elsewhere on campus. Most of the other labs on campus have these draconian policies that we have traditionally tried to avoid. It's our opinion that this lab (which is for physics students) is being used by responsable adults. Unfortunately, it isn't.

It's being used by juvenile children with too much free time and not enough to do.

It's being used by persons thinking it's kewl or l33t to install NT password crackers, packet sniffers, trojan horses, and other malicious cracker tools to try and wreck havoc on the rest of the dept. It's being used by persons installing WinMX and other file-sharing apps and sharing 6 gigs worth of movies off of every machine in the room (25 machines in all... do the math, that's some pretty f*cking big bandwidth usage, and we're always getting zinged from the university for it)

Now dont get me wrong. I'm probably the biggest anarchist in the whole dept. I share files all the time.... from my home system that I pay bandwidth for! When I was younger (a more troubled youth) I went through my cracker phase (of course, this was back in the 80s, when crackers were "pirates" and they were real SOBs... how can you consider yourself l33t unless you've built a box for broadcasting a tone of 2600 hz out of crap you bought at Radio Shack?) where I went after "The Man".

But the problem is, I ain't the Man! I'm just some freaking reformed and angry pascifist who wants to give the undergraduate students in PAS the freedom to act like civilized people. I want to trust them not to abuse my networks.

Is it all the students? No, of course not. But it's enough to make my life hell. I only work here part time, the rest of my time is spent doing things for Tux4Kids and preparing for my upcoming Linux security courses I'll be teaching. Plus, I have other responsabilities here in the dept. I do other things. I do not have the time to spend fighting the students every day just because I'm giving them more freedom than other places around campus do.

So f*ck it. That's it. I'm through. This iteration of my clone set has even more priviledges taken away. I've reduced their writable area down to practically nothing, and I'm working on another clone set iteration that all but locks down the hard drive for writing.

On a non-angry note, yesterday I picked up my Zelda remixed games for the GameCube (I have the new Zelda pre-ordered, and will pick it up when it arrives Monday at 4pm). The games are pretty cool. I also got this, which is stageringly fun. Plus, I got Tennis 2k2 for the DC, which is like the crack cocaine of video sports games (the PS2 version rocks as well, but I could pick up the DC version cheaper and have 4 player capability).

2003 Mar 21 (Fri), 22:06 @$*&! YOU SCIFI!!!!


(If you don't know why I am so angry, do a search for Sci-Fi channel, Farscape, and "Frelling Cancelled" on Google. And then realize that the most heinous sin was committed by them on this night. Hell, if you really look, I'm sure their'll be backlash about this on Slashdot.)

2003 Mar 24 (Mon), 08:44 Staggerbush Trifecta

Welp, gonna be moving the news server over at Tux4Kids to the new noNews-p2p which has been tested at the dev server here. I'll do this at some point this week, all depending on if the patches from Jake really fix his problems with rendering (I'm too casual with respect to rendering, I guess ;-) Also have to get on the ball and finish several sites, including one for the new TuxSCI project (read about it here, here, here and see the screenshot here).

Stoked as all hell for the new Zelda game coming out today. Still need to finish off Jasaad in Drakan II before I can let myself play Zelda too much, tho.

Clan of the Angry Monkey is looking for more Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Socom: Navy Seals players. If you're interrested, come by and let us know ;-)

2003 Mar 25 (Tue), 13:15 Dwarfism Sacrilege

Well, this a small update having nothing to do with T4K related things (actually, for T4K related things, read this and this for something slightly interesting).

No, this post has to do with the new Zelda game. If you read my diary regularly (what is wrong with you?) you know I've been somewhat extremely excited for this game. Well, it was released to a select few (among which, I am counted ;-) yesterday and I spent all of last night playing it.

First off, before I talk about the game, let me retell my experience buying the damned thing. I bought it from a local EB World. I like this place because they have really good prices on many used titles (since I buy so many games, I need good prices). Well, the biggest problem with this place is the staff. The guys working there are like personality clones of The Simpson's "Comic Book Guy". They don't look like him, they just act like him. Now, if any of you follow PA, you've probably read this and seen this and know that certain internal EB documents actually encourage such idiotic and annoying behavior. Well, last night was a freakin' nightmare because of this...

I go in to buy the game (which was 2 hours late, I might add) and when I get through the checkout, the cashier says "You have a 30% discount off the strategy guide, which one would you like?" Now, I'm a hardcore gamer, and I don't use strategy guides. If I ever really needed one, I could just go to GameFAQS and get one for free... so I cannot justify buying a strategy guide. So I reply that I don't want a strategy guide.

The cashier gets this look of shock on his face as if I just turned down a lap-dance from Liv Tyler and says "But you'll need it to beat the game".

I'll need it to beat the game?!! I'LL NEED IT TO BEAT THE GAME?!!! Listen, dork, I beat 100% in GTA3 without a lick of help. I beat and wrote a strategy guide on SOCOM Navy Seals. I need no guide to help me beat a game! I was playing games when this punk was a sperm! I was looping the score in Pac Man when this jackass was in diapers!

So I said, "Strategy guides are for pussies"... which was a bit crude, but it shut him up. However, it didn't shut up his coworker, who had already questioned why I only bought 3 packs of Animal Crossing Series II cards instead of 5. This guy asked if I had the GBA to GC link cable. No. Well, you have a GBA? No. WHAT?! You'll need it to get 100% in the game?! You need to buy a GBA right now! AND the link cable!

WTF? I know it's their job to shovle more crap down my throat, and I know the GBA is cool and everything, and I would like to eventually get it. But I ain't going in to buy Zelda and come back out with $200 worth of crap just because some dork does the equivalent of double-daring me! Does this garbage work on normal EB shoppers?!

Anyway, after the infuriating time at EB World, I did get to come home and play the game. Haven't beaten it yet (obviously) but I do have some first impressions.

"Wow", is one, I think.

"Holy crap, this is fun", is another.

"Why am I working/sleeping/eating/driving when I should be playing Zelda", is a third.

Suffice it to say, I'm impressed. Stay tooned for more info (get it? "tooned" ;-)

2003 Mar 27 (Thu), 19:40 Maximum Suckage

Just had the HDD of my main desktop go south. It went out with a bang (none of this whithering for a few weeks while sputtering about I/O errors for me, sir!) and I was unable to salvage anything from it. It was 40GB of data that has gone the way of the dinosaur. Approx. 20GB consisted of my email, tux4kids items, images, unpublished work, etc. etc. and so forth.... All vanished into the ether.

What's that you say? No backups? Well, no, actually. I am a poor poor man, and the only backup devices I have in my possession are ones donated to tux4kids... And I just didn't feel right about using those to backup my rather massive personal effects.

Anyway... quite discouraged by the whole thing. I'd ask anyone who's sent me anything over the last month who's yet to hear a response to send it again.... at least I would if I wasn't so depressed at the moment.

BTW, I'm a month behind in my screenshots for ClanAM... And all those backlogged screenshots were sitting there, happy and content in life, on my dead hard drive.

The only shining star in my dreary little world is the new Zelda game, which is still very enjoyable (or, it would be if I would have been playing it instead of datamining this old hard drive...)

2003 Mar 27 (Thu), 19:43 Maximillion Suckagious

Before anyone asks, yes, I have tried my best to salvage some data. First of all, not all partitions are unreadable. Unfortunately, the really important one (/home) is. I cannot mount it, when I dd it into a new partition on a fresh hard drive, it results in unreadable dren....

If anyone does have any experience doing hard core datamining on a reiserfs partition and would like to donate their expertise, please feel free (use my work email addy, hart at physics dot arizona dot edu)

2003 Mar 29 (Sat), 10:35 Sissified Wombats

Well, I have no project news today because my frickin' hard drive crashed and I am rebuilding a temporary one. Honestly, I don't know why I'm building some temp system, I next-day aired my replacement HDDs (okay, I'm going software RAID, thanks for all the suggestions, guys, I'll start taking my personal system as seriously as I take everything else ;-) and, barring any incidents, they will be here by Tuesday. Still, at the least I can experiment with a few things (like using Knoppix as a Debian install, which so many people swear by). I'm also going to probably get a FreeBSD install on this new drive, since it's been a while. It's always good to have a refresher in things, especially when you're going to be teaching classes on them. Actually, as I'm typing this I'm installing FreeBSD 5.0 (tech preview).

Since there's no project news, I'll write other junk. For example, Zelda is still rocking. I only wish I could play more of it. Honestly, the game is incredible. I really don't know what so many people's problems are with the type of cell-shading they are using in the game. I'll admit that I think cell-shading has become too obvious and cliche'd in videogames today. However, when it is done right (such as in Zelda, ZoE 2, or Dark Cloud 2) it can really add to an already great game. Besides, the style used in Zelda is very unique, and really does set it apart. Plus the game is a blast to play! If it weren't already an incredibly fun game to play, and the cell-shading was an attempt to turn crap into gold, then I'd agree. But that's not the case.

I am pining for this game. Actually, it's a bunch of games. I know it dates me, but these are the video games from my youth. Since I got the Atari Anniversary games for the DC a couple weeks ago, I've been really wanting to get this collection as well. I have an older 300Mhz PC with a Voodoo2 (which is next-to-useless under today's XFree86)... perhaps I'll dig it out of mothballs, stick RH 6.2 with an older version of FXMame (IF I can track it down) and build myself my own Jubei.

Well, the FreeBSD install is done... next comes my Knoppix test.

2003 Mar 29 (Sat), 11:15 Cannibalic Inauthenticity

Well, the install didn't take. I'm sure I did something wrong, but on this system it's easy to do. I have a particular Radeon card that has a rather annoying console text bug which makes all console text hard to read (characters get lines wiped out, leave ghosts of themselves, etc... by the end of a console based install you're screen is a mess.)

BTW, some people have been asking me what I have against GoogleWhack, since my entries often times have GoogleWhack titles. Am I trying subvert their project? Uh... no, not really. It's really more of a game we're playing, except I'm the only one who knows he's playing it ;-) Actually, I guess I'm just being pissy. So you think you've found "The One"? Well, I'll show you...

2003 Mar 31 (Mon), 15:08 Bessie

Happily sitting at my FreeBSD install I was talking about the last time. Just testing networking, and goofing off (really).

The second time was a charm, BTW. I'm actually really impressed with 5.0, I'm almost tempted to make it my main OS (if it weren't for all those ticky configuration/init things I don't like). I really hadn't been that impressed with 4.x in general as a desktop OS (and this is for my desktop) so I wasn't expecting much. I really do like (always have, which is why I like going for Debian or Gentoo on the Linux end) the minimal install and easy upgrade through ports.

Anyway, FWIW, my BigManNetworks business has its first client. Now I just need to take the site more seriously and finish it rather than use it as some wacky web-standards experiment (which is all I was doing before ;-)