10 December, 2008

Slackware-Current


Allright.
First off, this is my server/multimedia-top/desktop machine. I've been running Slackware Linux on it since revision bump 10.0. Lately I was running a heavily modified v12.1, with a custom HIDS and firewall automation solution. But with all my modifications/addons to the GUI, it was slowing down... massively. I was also experiencing kernel oops concerning OpenGL on quite a few applications as well.
Then again, the machine sports the following specs:
AMD Athlon 1.8GHz, 1.1GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6600 GT 128MB AGP8x
To put it bluntly; I was getting tired, So I decided to upgrade it all to the ever-feared slackware-current branch. Which, in my opinion wasn't that hard a task at all. I just rsynced the current-directory on a close mirror, read the 'UPGRADE.TXT', and went along with the upgrade procedure.

I am now sitting and writing this post on my newly fresh installed Slackware-Current environment ( codenamed '12.2 RC1', it even has the '12.2' insignia in some configuration files in the /etc directory already ). Anyway, the screenshot is of my low-contrast themed KDE-4.1 desktop running Plasma desktop effects, and the background is called 'vanilla standard slackware-logo', an svg-file I made a while ago.

24 October, 2008

"An idiot's view of open source"



blogs.bomputerworld.com skrev:

"...Keen, forfatteren av boken, 'Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is killing our culture', argumenterer at 'En av de veldig få positive konsekvensene av den pågående finansielle smittsomheten vil være et skarpt kulturelt skifte i vår holdning mot den økonomiske verdien av vårt arbeid. Storbredt arbeidsløshet og en dyp økonomisk nedgangsperiode inbefatter den mest effektive motgiften mot de utopiske idealene til åpen kildekode radikalene.'

Og p.g.a. dette vil 'Historikere se tilbake på åpen kildekode manien mellom 2000 og 2008 med en miks av skepsis og fornøyelse. Hvordan kunne tusenvis av folk donert bort deres kunnskaper til Wikipedia eller blogosfæren gratis? Hva var det med Internett som gjorde så mange av oss irrasjonelle om vår økonomiske verdt?'

Problemet med dette argumentet er enkelt: det er et 'strå-mann argument'. Det finnes nesten ingen åpen kildekode radikaler, og av deer det meget få (hvis noen i det hele tatt) som jobber gratis.

Hvem som helst som virkelig følger åpen kildekode utviklingen vet at majoriteten av koden som blir bidratt er skrevet av betalte profesjonelle utviklere. Som ofte påpekt tidligere i artikler på nett, er det mest populære åpen kildekode prosjektet, Linux, skrevet av industri-Amerika.

I Linux kjerne versjon 2.6.24, for eksempel, vet vi at, minst, 74.2% er skrevet av betalte utviklere. Vi kan til og med koke det ned så langt at vi kan navngi de ti øverste på utviklingslisten, i rekkefølge: Red Hat 11.2%; Novell 8.9%; IBM 8.3%; Intel 4.1%; Linux Foundation 2.6%; uavhengige linux konsulenter 2.5%; SGI 2.0%; MIPS Technology 1.6%; Oracle 1.3% og MontaVista 1.2% med Google følgende etter mot toppen av topp ti med 1.1%.

Utviklerne i disse selskapene jobber ikke gratis, og aksjeholderne deres forventer å se en sunn profitt. Nå, finnes et ideal her. Er ikke sikker på om jeg ville kalt det "Utopisk" da. Jeg ville kalt det ytterst pragmatisk og praktisk. Hovedidéen i åpen kildekode og dens noe heller radikale forgjenger 'free software' (gratis programvare), er at det er bedre å dele informasjon enn å låse det inn i proprietær mykvare (software).Eller, for å sette det i lys på en måte de fleste vil forstå, i stedenfor å prøve å spise en liten kake hel, den proprietære fremgangen, mener åpen kildekode utviklere at det er bedre å lage en større, bedre kake slik at alles stykker blir like store. Dette er ikke en form for 'pie-in-the-sky' idé. Det virker.Linux Foundation slapp nettopp en studie som viste at Linux-varianten 'Fedora Core 9' ville ha kostet, i form av konvensjonell utviklingskostnad, rett i overkant av 11.75 billioner dollars. Den kombinerte markeds-korken, i denne fiaskoen av et aksjemarked, av topp-selskapene som jobber på Linux, var rett over 400 billioner dollars denne morgenen (23/10/08). Dette høres ikke akkurat ut som Keens sultne og kalde arbeidsløse masser som gir vekk "deres intellektuelle arbeid over Internett i det spekulative håp om å få noe 'bakroms-profitt' igjen" for meg. Microsofts markeds-kork, forresten, var 198 billioner.

Linux er ikke noen form for spesial-tilfelle. Mozilla Corp., selskapet bak Firefox, har en nett-verdi på over $60 millioner per år. Det meste av dette kommer fra deres reklamepartnerskap med Google. OpenOffice er bundet til Sun og IBM. Selskapene investerer i åpen kildekode fordi det er bra for geskjeften, ikke fordi det får dem til å føle seg varme og gode. Individer kan jobbe for åpen kildekode prosjekter fordi det får dem til å føle seg bra, men det holder også et tak over hodet på dem.

Nå finnes det åpen kildekode idealister. Ta, for eksempel, vennen min og topp Samba utvikler, Jeremy Allison. Allison sluttet i Novell fordi han protesterte mot Novells partnerskap med Microsoft. Idealistisk? Ja. Latterlig idealistisk? Nei. Et par uker senere jobbet Allison for Google.

Poenget, hvis en bryr seg med å lete, er like enkelt som nesen i ansiktet ditt. Åpen kildekode er ikke bare en hvilken som helst dum idé. Det er en helt fornuftig måte å utvikle mykvare (software) og tjene penger. Hvis du tenker i andre retningen, vel, beklager, men du har egentlig ikke tatt deg tid eller giddet å virkelig tenke eller se på det 22. århundrets business realiteter.

Skrevet av: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Oversatt av: pizslacker

Original artikkel: http://blogs.computerworld.com/an_idiots_view_of_open_source

01 October, 2008

Wow, a whole month since my last post...

I'm getting very buzy these days. Doing webdesigns, scripting content management engines, portal frameworks, automagic scripts for linux, function scripts for the webserver @ work...

And I've re-lit my passion for art! ;D Gouache-, oil- and acrylic painting, pencil sketching, etc...

I'm doing very well =] Indeed.
For the first time in my life, I'm actually able to balance my finances.., sweet!

26 August, 2008

Finally, a decent HIDS for Win32!

OSSEC has finally been aqcuired by a software-company with enough resources to boost development towards a windows-client as well as a linux-client.

I installed the win32-client on my office workstation, and it is working like a charm. Active Responses are working, I'm getting the notifications I set-up manually and the agent-manager made administration quite easy.

So I can say I'm very pleased that Canada-based software-company ThirdBrigade aqcuisitioned OSSEC HIDS as a security product
. And even more so because they promised to continue with the open-source development and distribution of it under the GPL.

http://www.ossec.net/

20 August, 2008

My job...

Yes, I will now try to explain exactly what I do for a living ;) but first, a little prologue about myself.

I first started doing paid work with computers when I volunteered for a community-job at a local youth-club where I lived at the time I'm referring to. Where I did everything from administrating websites, doing webdesign, handling the networking, webserver tweaking, email server maintenance, etc. I had this job for a full year until I got sick of it. Being an operator isn't as glamourus as it may/may not seem.

Then I worked 6 months for a major Scandinavian ISP company as a service desk consultant; answering troubleshooting questions, logging faults, reading for the CCNA exam (which I never finished, due to lack of interest), and a lot of other cool stuff that heightened my professional skill levels.

Now, I do what I set out to be doing, when I was still in Junior High, I make: web designs, web templates, web applications (php & asp), administer Microsoft Servers (not my kind of bag, but I gotta make a livin').

What this means in 'g33k':
I work with programs that provide
interoperability in support of the move to coherent distributed architectures.

What this means in somewhat plain (computer-)English:
I work with programs that make business-trading more efficient by supporting enterprise application integration, which simplifies the exchange of information between enterprise software for the buyer, and the supplier. This is achieved by relying on non-architecture specific languages and tools (webservers, databases, AJAX,ASP) for cross-interoperability.

I never imagined I would end up doing programming and scripting for a living, in fact, it was the last choice I would have taken a few years ago... It's even the reason I dropped out of uni'. But here I am, and that's what I'm doing...and I'm loving it! ;D

18 August, 2008

DEC terminals

I was just sitting, surfing and playing around. Reading about computer equipment from the 70's and 80's. When I suddenly came across this DEC terminal, that has _the_ most unusual model name I have ever heard/seen... ;D

Ladies and gentlemen! The 1990 "DEC VT420" computer terminal! ;P


Jargon

The _original_ hacker's dictionary!
With tons of interesting definitions and puns ;)


http://www.dourish.com/goodies/jargon.html

14 August, 2008

OSS participation!

A 30-page ebook on how to participate in the Open Source community; whom to talk to, where to go for info, etc. =) A recent addition to open source development, following the beta release of the brilliant testing program 'AppChecker'.

http://ldn.linuxfoundation.org/

13 August, 2008

Application checker

AppCheck is a testing-application for programs made for linux to check for cross-system portability. AppCheck tests the ELFs, scripts, libraries and more. As a testing framework, it doesn't seem to differentiate itself much from the forerunner of all checking programs: lint. The first program to flag suspicious and non-portable contructs, first appeared in System V Unix version 7 (outside of Bell Labs) in 1979.

But it's what AppCheck does after these checks that makes it stand out. It
checks all the components of the program against the Linux Standard Base, AND different distributions listed in the LSB Database. It then displays all of this information on a webpage to make the report more intuitive and structured, and even gives you the opportunity to submit the program directly from the test-program for LSB certification!

After reading about this wonderful piece of software, I was inspired to do more C/C++ programming in my spare time, since AppCheck will spare me a lot of time when it comes to testing.

AppCheck is in no way a perfect checker, it's still in beta, and it cannot check libraries, binaries, and other components that aren't listed in the LSB. But it is a significant step forward for portability development.

** Note however that AppCheck is in no way a debugger **

http://www.linux.com/feature/144170

BSOD x 10


Seriously, someone should have learned by now that you can only trust Microsoft products to a certain degree when it comes to complex production environments. The computer running the lightshow in the picture above for the opening of the Beijing Olympics 2008? Well, it didn't perform quite as it should.., and then displaying a gigantic BSOD (Blue screen of death), when it wasn't even running Vista! IT WAS RUNNING XP!

Computer manufacturer Lenovo was responsible for the Olympic computers, and insisted they run Windows XP instead of Vista, which they considered to be untrustable and unstable. Yeah, like XP was the better choice, huh?

http://blogs.computerworld.com/

http://www.smh.com.au/

07 August, 2008

OpenSSH



OpenSSH er en derivat av den originale "free ssh 1.2.12" utgivelsen fra Tatu Ylönen. Denne versjonen var den siste som var "fri" nok for gjenbruk i OpenSSH-prosjektet. Deler av OpenSSH bærer fremdeles Tatus lisens som var inkludert i hans egen utgivelse. Denne versjonen, og alle tidligere, brukte matematiske funksjoner fra "libgmp" biblioteket. Biblioteket var også inkludert med disse tidlige ssh versjonene. Libgmp er gjort tilgjengelig under (LGPL) Lesser GNU Public License, selv om versjoner av lisensen på denne tiden lignet mer på standard (GPL) GNU Public License.

En kombinert lisens for alle delene er tilgjengelig på
http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/src/usr.bin/ssh/LICENCE.

Snart etter 1.2.12 utgivelsen fra Tatu, ville nyere utgivelser by på mer restriktive lisenser, selv om libgmp fremdeles var inkludert og nødvendig for å bruke programvaren. Tidligere restriktive lisenser nektet folk å lage en Windows eller DOS versjon. Senere lisenser avgrenset bruken av ssh i kommersielle miljøer, hvor de i stedet krevde at firmaer kjøpte en dyr versjon fra Datafellows.

Tidlig i 1999, gjenoppdaget Björn Grönvall denne bestemte utgivelsen og startet å fikse bugs. Hans versjon av ssh er kalt OSSH og hadde bare støtte for SSH 1.3 protokollen. Rykter sier at OSSH har blitt integrert i noen kommersielle produkter i Sverige. Og til og med den dag i dag, har ikke OSSH støtte for SSH 2 protokollen.

OpenBSD prosjekt medlemmer ble klar over Björns arbeid mindre enn 2 måneder før utgivelsen av OpenBSD 2.6 release. De ville inkludere støtte for ssh protokollen i 2.6 utgivelsen av OpenBSD, men de måtte bli sikre på at den var perfekt. Derfor bestemte de seg for å 'forke' fra OSSH utgivelsen, og strebe etter rask utvikling på samme måte som den originale sikkerhetsrevisjonsprosessen ble utført internt i OpenBSD prosjektet. Som et resultat, var mye av kildekoden i utgivelses-filene allerede på RCS revision 1.34, noen helt oppe i 1.66. Utvikling gikk veldig raskt siden de hadde en deadline å komme i møte.

04 August, 2008

28 July, 2008

25 July, 2008

Appreciating .hack value.

http://www.stallman.org/articles/on-hacking.html

Richard's Dream

An open book on the subject of freedom.

The book is entitled "Free as in Freedom", and is an interesting read about the hacker who started it all; computer ethics, software freedom, freedom of choice, open standards, open sharing of computer knowledge...

RMS (Internet alias) is both loved and hated in the open source and free software camps. He has strong beliefs, and does not compromise about his 'freedom'.

MIT AI lab hacker; Richard M. Stallmann's crusade for free software.

http://oreilly.com/openbook/freedom/


"Unquestionably, one of the great seminal figures of the hacker culture"
-- Eric Raymond, open source evangelist and author of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"

21 July, 2008

Linux, a disruptive technology?

I really like articles focusing on the disruptive force of Open Source and Linux ;P

The unknown, emerging from nowhere, taking on the big guns. Most of the big multi-national corporations are even beginning to realize the potential and cost-effectiveness of the systems available, and also it's insanely huge userbase. So it does not seem like Linux is going to be squeezed out of the market at first, due to it's superb' portability, stability and cost-effectiveness.

(Click the post-title for the original article.)

10 July, 2008

Operating Systems & area's of use

I'm getting quite fed up about reading articles discussing and comparing GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. A lot of the people writing these articles are missing the big picture. The systems are NOT similar, they are NOT based on any same principal or guideline what-so-ever...

Now, just to mention it; yes, they ARE based off some common UI (User Interface) guidelines. Most Operating Systems dating before the 80s did not incorporate any graphical user interface.



If you have seen the TV-movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley", you know that the whole GUI-idea was a rip-off from Xerox in the early 80s. As was the mouse peripheral device. A lot of the standards we enjoy today, were at first experimental projects at big companies that weren't all that comfortable about releasing any new technology, thinking it wouldn't appeal to the computer industry which had a reputation of being very conservative since the 70s.

To clear up about these different systems:


GNU / Linux:
Was developed as a hobby project by a software engineer student from Finland; Linus Torvalds. It was never supposed to become as big as it has. This is mostly thanks to the many computer hobbyists, gamers, professors, nerds and geeks around the world that endorsed development of an Open Source Operating System. For those of us that DO understand computers enough to be able to use a POSIX-system on a regular basis, it was a matter of choice: do we want a system that tells us what we need, can have or do? *OR* do we want a system that gives us the opportunity to do whatever we want? and even gives us the ability to modify/improve any part of the system at will?

GNU/Linux is, and will still be for some time; a system for specially interested.



MS Windows / Mac OS (X):
Were developed as alternatives to IBM's business systems that were dominant at the time. Most computer systems at the time were very expensive "business machines". UNIX mainframes and super computers running at universities and big companies.

But in the latter part of the 70s and early 80s, Bill Gates from Microsoft, and Steve Wozniak from Apple Computers realized that normal people could benefit from owning a personal computer.

Steve began developing an affordable computer machine in his garage. While Bill Gates and fellow MS-colleague Paul Allen were buzy rolling out their founding product "Altair BASIC". When Steve Wosniak and Steve Jobs revealed their machine at a local computer convention, Bill and Allen were gobsmacked. Someone had beat them to the punch. After setting up a meeting with Apple Computers, they *borrowed* the GUI and peripheral device technology, and basically did what a lot of people accuse GNU/Linux communities of doing now; copying the user interface and input technology that had landed Apple on the map.



Both companies were basically trying to do the same thing; bring a business-only solution to the consumer masses. Only, they stepped on each others toes in the process. Not to mention quite a lot of commercial sabotage and espionage.

Today though, the companies have different goals. And Microsoft owns quite a large part of Apple.

Apple changed their focus from being just a personal computer manufacturer, to become something of a cult icon instead. Bringing the movie, music and image industries together to worship the Apple Macintosh as the de-facto standard for audio/visual compositioning and editing.

Microsoft on the other hand paved along with their same goal of putting personal computers in the hands of the common man. Succeeding in having almost 90% of all computers running a MS product to this very day.

To quote a software engineering friend:


"Most of the average users I know would rather buy a new PC than upgrade Windows"
This says a lot about how normal computer users want to get their hands dirty with software handling. Most people get others to do it for them, or they do as quoted above. How things work, and how they should be set up, are not appealing to most non-tech-savvy people.

So it's not a question of which is better than the other. They have different areas of expertise, and so also different areas of usage.

To quote once more from my friend:

"The average consumer just wants to be able to pop a CD into his optical drive, wait 10-15mins and have a working system."
With popular open source operating systems, this is not actually an idiot-proof option yet. You still have to know what an MBR is, what a bootloader does and have some basic knowledge about different filesystems.

You really have to pocess a fair amount of advanced computer handling knowledge to be able to install a *nix-system on your PC. Let alone getting it working without any headaches or special considerations.

There ARE user-oriented Linux distributions which simplify a lot of the administration-tasks when maintaining a Linux-box. But these are usually quite bleeding-edge compared to older (matured with rock-solid stability) distro's, and tend to be buggy and unstable.., unless, you have prior experience handling difficult Linux-boxes / POSIX-systems like I have ;P

P.S.:
*nix = general acronym for POSIX-based operating systems (UNIX,Linux,BSD,Solaris).

20 June, 2008

AMD's Linux support leap

AMD have really shown their dedication towards open source software the last couple of years. As explained in the Phoronix-article below this post, AMD has fostered not only one, but two open source driver projects with technical specifications, programming guides and register information for their graphics cards. They have even started shipping their cards with Tux printed on the retail boxes and Linux drivers included on the driver-cd's! Finally, a gfx-card manufacturer that has truly started leaning towards open development.

Personally, I've been using ATi/AMD's proprietary drivers for well over 2 years now. Cannot say I've always had positive experiences with them, but they usually worked without involving too much system hacking and modification. Actually, my experience with problems related to their drivers, were caused by internal driver functions rather than conflicts with system settings/libraries and/or software.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_evolution&num=1

17 June, 2008

Acer Aspire One


I have made my choice. I chose the Acer Aspire One.

Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512 KB L2 Cache).
  • Memory: 512MB DDR2 533MHz on-board (Upgradable to 1GB or 1.5GB using 512MB or 1GB soDIMM).
  • Display: 8.9" WSVGA (1,024 x 600), LED Backlit, 180 cd/m2.
  • Storage: 8GB NAND Flash Module (Linux Versions) & 80GB 2.5in HDD (Windows XP Versions), Memory Card Reader (SD, MMC, RS-MMC, MS, MS PRO, xD).
  • Audio: Integrated Intel HD Audio, Integrated Microphone & Speakers
  • Communication: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 10/100 Fast Ethernet, Integrated 3.6MB 3G/HSDPA (Optional), WiMAX (Optional), 0.3 Megapixel WebCam.
  • Dimensions: 249 x 170 x 29mm (WxDxH) for NAND Flash and 3-cell battery version; 249 x 195 x 36mm for HDD version with 6-cell battery.
  • Weight: 995g for NAND Flash, 3-cell battery versions; 1.26kg for HDD/6-cell versions.
  • Battery: 2200mAh 3-cell battery (3 hours life); 2600mAh 6-cell (7 hours life) - figures derived from NAND Flash editions.
  • Warranty: 1 Year Carry-in, upgradeable to 2 Years.

Ordered June 20., Confirmed delivery date: 01.07.2008.

Est.delivery change #1: 09.07.2008.

Est.delivery change #2: 25.07.2008.

Est.delivery change #3: 01.08.2008.

Cancelled order @ retailer, re-ordered @ another retailer June 27., Confirmed delivery date: 09.07.2008.

Est.delivery change #1: 02.08.2008.

Est.delivery change #2: 29.07.2008.

01.08.2008 10:30am - IT HAS ARRIVED! ;p w00h00!

13 June, 2008

Friday quote

"Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything"--- William of Ockham (1285-1349)

06 June, 2008

Quotes galore ;P

“Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.“

-- Linus Torvalds (creator of the Linux kernel)

04 June, 2008

Upgrading to Slackware-12.1

A linux.com article reviewing the new Slackware release, click the post title to read.

01 June, 2008

Last nightwatch, monitoring network connections...

Yes, tonight is my last shift at a Network Operations Central (NOC). Tuesday I start working for a local webdesign/websolution company. No more working weekends, no more evenings and nights.

It was bound to happen sooner or later...me joining the masses of "nine-to-five".


At least I'm going to work with people more down to earth, since it isn't a big corporation. It's owned and run by 2 people. One of which lives in the same area I live in. Some would maybe say it could have it's disadvantages, but I see it differently:

  • I don't have a driver's license, and the public transport available where I live isn't excactly tip-top, so at least I don't have to worry about getting to work.
  • With just 2 people to answer to, I don't have to argue against a large hierarchy to express my opinions about work-related issues.
And for once in my life, I'll be working with things I've been playing with in my own time as a hobby. So I have quite broad experience with it. General webdesign with graphics and cascading style sheets are the subjects I enjoyed best @ school when I studied for a bachelor's degree in IT.

Working with Service Level Agreements in accordance with connection tracking, monitoring and faulthandling at an ISP, wasn't quite as I imagined it would be. At least not at a business level, in which I worked from august'07 up until now. It got to beaurocratic for my taste. Not that I don't value the experience I've had at my current job.

I've learned a lot about network topology (something I had trouble understanding when in school), routing theoretics and Internet backbones. And through a lot of websurfing and manual reading, I've also learned a shit load about network security; on the hardware layer, IP layer and on the software layer. And as a result, I've hardened security in both the LANs and WLANs @ my mom's and dad's places, and also my DMZ (publicly available domain, read: my bedroom ;P).


My experience gained working @ a NOC also gave me the idea of tunneling IP connections between two locations under the same WAN (ISP backbone), allowing me to serve my linux-machines located @ my mom's house (the DMZ), to a router I set up on my dad's Internet access that sports a public Internet IP address (with a DNS record) using Linux IP/port forwarding (Linux IP Masquerade, the Linux version of NAT) and OpenSSL/OpenSSH.

30 May, 2008

Open Source Software FTW!

Promising, promising...

I can't wait until an OEM releases a cellphone with a fully implemented Android software stack. The embedded video below (sporting 2 developers from Google), demonstrates the (simple,sleak,usable) beautiful user interface and some of the current functions from Android. If the final released version even resembles what they show here, I'm _definately_ switching to an OSS Cellphone!

Actually, I'll probably switch most of my embedded equipment to OSS-driven products, and especially Android, because it's Google-sponsored. Giving me a "all-in-one" solution to; e-mail, browsing, text-messaging and telephony. And if they incorporate a Blogger-feature into Android, I'll be in techie-heaven! ;P


iPhone, eat your heart out!

http://code.google.com/android/

I love Google ^_^

19 May, 2008

Linux-Live: Pocket Operating Systems

Slax LogoI've tried a lot of different flavours (Knoppix,Belenix,CentOS,Linux Mint,etc...). And I've always gone back to my favourite every time I've tried a new one, mainly: Slax.

Since it's based on Slackware (of course), it basically gives me all the superuser functionality I demand from my computer systems, while also providing a simple (non-hardware-accelerated) KDE desktop and basic built-in applications.

I've used Slax before, but I wasn't quite satisfied with the storage mounting system not being fully configured in v5, to allow mounting of USB storage devices automatically (yes, I prefer _some_ automation for basic tasks). Version 5 also incorporated a package system (much like Slackware), only, the packages were built as modules, to be easily added/removed on-the-go. This was also one of the features I did not favour very much, as it would lock up the system at times as i was removing package-modules while the system was actively running X, but this also seems to have been fixed in v6.

Features:

  • distribution has reached a more stable level compared with earlier releases.
  • it is based on Slackware Linux 12.1 (running the 2.6.24.5 Linux kernel).
  • system size is now reduced to a mere 195 MegaBytes, thanks to the merging of 7Zip-compression (LZMA) into the squashfs filesystem.
  • it now has the ability to determine if it is running from a writable or unwritable media, and saves system configs accordingly.
  • it includes an X Window System and a collection of general network-enabled applications (browser,mail,chat,ftp,games,utilities,etc.), all ready to be used out-of-the-box.
  • it now includes gcc out-of-the-box, giving the ability to compile third party software, which can then be packaged into software-modules afterwards for quick installation/removal.
  • software-packages do not occupy a lot of space thanks to 7Zip-compression (modules now has the '.lzm' file extension).
  • installation of additional software is easy using the new 'Slax Module Manager', grabbing software-modules from online software repositories, or local media.
  • it has procured a large user community, useful for third party support.
  • and it can be burned onto a CD-R or copied to a USB memory dongle like most other linux-live distros, but apart from other distros, it includes very intuitive installers for these tasks as well.
A definate must for OS techies, and Linux followers. I'm building a USB-key version to carry around, keeping my favourite OS of choice close on my person at all times to be easily deployed on a system running other OSes I don't usually favour that much... ;P

It is also a very powerful rescue-tool, allthough you CAN use the Slackware install-disc to do the same tasks, Slax lets you boot into an X environment whereas Slackware restricts to the command line.

18 May, 2008

Why I love Slackware

A few minutes ago, I read an article ranting on about the recently released Slackware Linux v12.1, where the author expressed what he thought of Slackware as a Linux distribution.

[Slackware is (in conjunction with Debian) the oldest living Linux distro out there since the early 90's. Read my post about Slackware Linux in general.]

The author noted that Slackware (being an old-timer, has over 10 years of software maintainer experience in package-building) enforces strict packaging routines in the Slackware community; following source programmer instructions to the letter with regards to configure-options at compile-time, and standardizing the prefixes where the configuration and binary files are stored on the system. This packaging method makes the packages extremely portable across different systems, as long as the systems retain the standard libraries and utilities included in the build-system (also known as a "vanilla base-system").

And the fact that it has only one maintainer at the top, having the final word on configuring and building of Slackware-software; the all-mighty (BDFL of Slackware Linux) Patrick Volkerding, makes it the closest distribution one can find to a "vanilla" system (or: "generic-type" "all-in-one" Linux base platform). Leaving plenty of room for: personal tweaking, custom branding, hacking, expansion and forking.
This focus on simplicity in maintenance, makes Slackware the perfect candidate for base-systems destined to fork-modifications. Therefore, a lot of distro-developers swear by Slackware as their base-system, as it allows for some major modifications without breaking as easily as other, heavily modified distributions that require a lot of dependancy-tracking.

  • Now, it should be mentioned that Slackware does not include a packaging-system that incorporates dependancy-tracking, so it is not a distro recommended for 'non-tech-savvy' people (computer-n00bs) as it requires that you do all the command-line work manually.
  • AND, you are _absolutely_ forced to learn the inner workings of the system to modify it without breaking any functionality. So it has it's caveats, but these caveats just improve your understanding of the system, making you (the developer), master maintainer and developer of the aspiring distribution being made.
It inspires exploration and tinkering, so you learn Linux from the ground up.

I guess you could say it's a flavour for hackers, developers, scientists, technology hobbyists, professors and generally anyone interested in the specification and documentation aspects. Or as described in computer jargon: "SuperUsers".

Everything I've learned about Linux; was either read about in the included documentation, or found online in Slackware forums. So I've done my fair share of information investigation, which is also a required ability in the open source world.

Immunity? There's no such thing... ;P

I knew someone would take up on this idea some day. Now it is reality.., hehehe...

It's all in this very interesting article from networkworld.com:
Security researcher develops Cisco IOS rootkit

11 May, 2008

Slackware 12.1 upgrade successfull

Successfully installed/upgraded my 3 computers with Slackware Linux 12.1! ;P

  • (Desktop machine, "slamd-wifi")
    • AMD Athlon XP 2200MHz | 1,1GB DDR RAM
  • (Notebook machine, "slackbell")
    • AMD Mobile Sempron 1800MHz | 1,1GB DDR2 RAM
  • (Laptop machine, "paqslack")
    • AMD Mobile Athlon XP 800MHz | 256MB DDR RAM
I'd wish I could have been done with this earlier, but I'm quite buzy nowadays.

07 May, 2008

quotation is KING

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself,
but talent instantly recognizes genius."


Sir Arthor Conan Doylee 1859-1930

Spill

Screenshot of PONG


Ralph Baer >

Som med mye annet data-relatert, ble idéen om dataspill virkeliggjort gjennom leking med teknologi. Og under 2. verdenskrig, jobbet Baer som avhørsleder og ble senere tilsatt som teknologisk ansvarlig for datasystemene som utførte missilberegning for militæret. Når man innehar en slik alvorlig stilling, var det viktig å kunne rette fokus vekk fra ansvaret for å slappe av og lette tankene. Dette gjorde Baer ved å "leke" med teknologien han jobbet med. 
Trikse og mikse, finne andre bruksmuligheter. Og idéen om å kunne bruke TV som et såkalt "varmt" medium ble født. TV, som tidligere bare hadde vært et "kaldt" medium hvor negative nyheter ble servert uten mulighet for å kontrollere hva som ble servert, ble plutselig et kontrollerbart underholdningsmedium med innførelsen av maskinen Magnavox Oddyssey. Ralph Baer anses å være "bestefaren" til data-/TV-spill, som oppfinneren av den første TV-spill konsollen, forløperen til det første dataspillet med interaktivt brukergrensesnitt: "PONG" (laget av programmereren/elektronikk-ingeniøren Al Alcorn).



Screenshot of TETRIS

Aleksei Pazjitnov >

1985, Vitenskapsakademiet i Moskva. Matematikeren Aleksei Pazjitnov gjorde som mange hackere gjør i dag; lekte seg med datamaskiner for å utforske bruksmulighetene, akkurat som Baer gjorde med militær-teknologi for å skape noe som kunne brukes til noe sosialt og positivt, enn bare ødeleggelse. Resultatet ble det mest innovative dataspillet til dags alder: "Tetris".


[Helt fra begynnelsen av spillalderens fødsel (70-,80-tallet), har militær-industrien og spill-industrien vært sammenflettet. Og det er dette samarbeidet som sannsynligvis har påvirket spill-utvikling mot en destruktiv opplevelses-modell.]


Poenget mitt med dette innlegget er å fremvise at nyvinning i teknologi som regel har skjedd som en følge av at bruksområder for teknologi har blitt påvirket av skaperne fordi de ville bruke skapelsene til noe annet enn bare strategisk og negativ fremkallende bruk.

Teknologisk nyvinning har derfor alltid interessert meg fordi det til stadighet har resultert i uante muligheter. Og siden vi lever i teknologi-alderen, med informasjonstilgang folk ikke kunne ant var mulig for et par tiår siden, hvem vet hva som venter rundt hjørnet? ;D

Innlegget ble også svært inspirert av Discovery Channel-programmet:

"I, Videogame"

28 April, 2008

PlayStation® Portable v1!

Homebrew heaven! ;P I was able to get a hold of a version-1 PlayStation® Portable system! And I absolutely love it!

Yeah, it's a bit larger and heavier than the slim-version, but hey, I can modify it to satisfy my every portable gaming need ;D

Machine specification:

The PlayStation Portable measures approximately 17 x 7.3 x 2.2 cm (6.7 x 2.9 x 0.9 in) and weighs 280 grams (9.88 ounces). The front of the console is dominated by the system's 11 cm (4.3 in) LCD screen, which is capable of 480 x 272 pixel video playback with 16.77 million colors.

Also on the front are the four PlayStation face buttons, the directional pad, the analog 'nub', and several other buttons. In addition, the system includes two shoulder buttons and a USB 2.0 mini-B port on the top of the console and a WLAN switch and power cable input on the bottom.

The back of the PSP features a read-only UMD drive for movies and games, and a reader compatible with Sony's Memory Stick Duo flash cards is located on the left of the system. Other features include an IrDA compatible infrared port, built in stereo speakers and headphone port, and IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi for access to the Internet, ad-hoc multiplayer gaming, and data transfer.

The PSP uses a 333 MHz MIPS R4000 (32-bit) CPU, a GPU with 2 MB onboard VRAM running at 166 MHz, and includes 32 MB main RAM and 4 MB embedded DRAM. The CPU was originally locked to run slower than the hardware was capable of and most games ran at 222 MHz. However, with firmware update 3.50 on May 31, 2007, Sony removed this limit and allowed new games to run at a full 333 MHz.

The PSP includes an 1800 mAh battery that will provide about 4-6 hours of gameplay, 4-5 hours of video playback, or 8-11 hours of audio playback.

Official accessories for the console include the AC adapter, car adapter, headset, headphones with remote control, extended-life 2200 mAh battery, battery charger, carrying case, accessories pouch and cleaning cloth, and system pouch and wrist strap.

Just to note a little about the functions, the RemotePlay-feature for use with the PlayStation® 3 system was pretty fun. Allthough WLAN latency usually makes the feature lag when playing video's, it's pretty well designed. Using my PS3 to stream music and multimedia through WLAN and the Internet wasn't actually that bad, considering it's a RISC embedded portable machine.

---
Update 11.05.2008 18:34
---

Ok, after struggling with some rather irritating hardware (read "old machine, with new battery-case which apparently is not hardmod-compatible".., fuck...), turns out my "homebrew" idea got nowhere slow... I have to either; buy a Pandora battery case, OR borrow one from a friend to make my PSP homebrew capable. Ah well, nothing ever goes 100% according to plan I suppose...

21 April, 2008

My God...are they serious?

Ok, from madpenguin.org, comes this shocking article regarding HDD-support for Linux(!). Excerpt from the article:

Welcome Back, Western Digital!

I never thought I would see the day when hard drives were added to the Linux compatibility list of works or needed a workaround. But it seems that Seagate has made history there. Way to go guys, too bad we Linux users, being geeks, likely make up more hard drive sales than you likely figured into this boneheaded maneuver.

As the headlines are filling up with Seagate's recent acquisition of metalincs, it's a shame to see the vendor now having to narrow their business to one spectrum while expanding it on another.

Article-link:
http://www.madpenguin.org/cms/?m=show&id=8121

Long-story-short: hard disk drives are now listed on the Linux Compatibility List due to the fact that Seagate (major PC hard drive manufacturer), announced that they will drop Linux support for their products. *Sigh* Guess I'll be relying on Western Digital like MadPenguin ;) Not that I favoured Seagate in any way before this news. In fact, the first drive I ever crashed and totally destroyed beoynd repair, WAS a Seagate! XD *roflmao*

Cross-browser compatibility!

Yes! I have finally achieved my goal... ;^) The blog is now cross-browser compatible (it displays correctly no matter what architecture/webbrowser is used to view the page).

This whole ordeal, is basically caused by the fact that Microsoft's Internet Explorer does not conform to the open web standards of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), meaning; it does not display webpages developed on open standards
correctly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer#Standards_support. The features not fully supported at the time of writing, include: CSS rendering issues + partial PNG (Portable Network Graphics) alpha support (opacity / transparency).

So, we as web-developers (who rely heavily on open standards to deliver a consistent experience to users no matter what hardware or software they are using), are forced to implement so-called "CSS-hacks" (Style Sheet Hacking), to enforce a proper user-end rendering of the website.

But I can now confirm compatibility with the following browsers (on Windows XP SP2 / Vista and Linux 2.6.x):

  • Internet Explorer 7.x (WinXPSP2/Vista)
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.x (WinXPSP2/Vista/Linux 2.6.x)
  • Opera 9.2x (WinXPSP2/Linux 2.6.x)
  • Opera Mini 3.x (Sony Ericsson K810i)
  • Sony Ericsson's K810i integrated phonebrowser (Sony Ericsson K810i)

20 April, 2008

new_job: xhtml+css+gfx+asp?

Looks like I may be working a lot with webpages / backend scripting / design after my current work contract expires (out May'08 I've been told).

I was asked by a friend of my mother, if I were interested in working with webpage development / design some 3 months ago. As this is what I've always wanted to do, this is basically a dream come true. I went by their offices last thursday (April 17th), to see the server room, check out their systems and to see if I felt comfortably settled in at my own desk(!).

My work tasks will in the early stages be:

  • HTML/XHTML and CSS scripting.
  • Eventually, create/modify ASP scripts.
  • Adapt functionality per customer request.
So far, I've gotten 2 starter projects to work with, and I enjoy it quite much :)

14 April, 2008

Cisco Turns Routers Into Linux Application Servers

I've always had a good eye to Cisco's networking equipment, due to the fact that they are administered through a CLI (Command Line Interface), i.e.: POSIX-style ;^)

Now they're integrating a GPL'ed Linux environment on certain so-called "AXP" switches/routers to allow for hosted applications developed with the accompanying standardized SDK and API (which includes standard support for C, Java and Python).

"From a GPL perspective, we've taken all the things that are GPL and reciprocated the code back to the community," Conover said. "Obviously if a developer built an application on top of a GPL platform, that doesn't imply that they have to GPL that code. "


The GPL is a reciprocal license that requires any modification made be contributed back to the community.


Overall, Cisco expects the AXP to reduce the hardware footprint at branch offices and provide deeper network integration that provides IT managers with more control over what they can monitor.

I suppose they realized the potential for hosted applications on network equipment after releasing the WRT54** series of routers through their sister company "Linksys". These routers offer the possibility to flash the firmware, allowing home-brewed firmware/software to be deployed. I have a WRT54GL router @ home, running "DD-WRT" with a few cross-compiled custom apps for network monitoring. And I must say, it gives me monitoring capabilities I never could have imagined a few years ago ;)

13 April, 2008

Improved blog layout & design

I have now fixed a lot of my earlier bugs in the CSS script for the blog.
I also added some javascript code to import my del.icio.us links.

My blog now nearly conforms to valid CSS-3.0 and XHTML-1.0-STRICT, but not quite yet. Basically, it's because of some untraditional hacks in CSS for IE-bugs on float alignment, and also, the XHTML because of some bad syntax variables, but they are all contained in the widgets used in the sidebar, and I won't hastle to inform all the developers about it, simply because there are a few of them, and it doesn't bug me...

My revisions of the CSS and XHTML style template-files are valid, so, I'm happy ^_^

Embedded Linux: "Instant-On"

Yes :) They have finally done it! An Instant-On operating system, booted from an external USB flashdrive, or embedded on the motherboard (clever).

SplashTop Instant-On at CES 2008, YouTube promo video:


The video demonstrates the "ASUS Express Gate" Instant-On system booted using a flashdrive. Just a couple of seconds boot-time, and you have basic browsing and e-mail capabilities, it's a definite MUST-HAVE for when I buy my first UMPC.

24 March, 2008

Logitech Cordless Rumblepad II - 2.4GHz USB


My gamepad of choice for my emulation-gaming ;P with:
  • rumble-function
  • frequency-jumping
  • 100 hours of battery capacity
This pad should outwin my current gamepad setup by a long-shot.

(My current setup being: 2 x "USB-to-PSone" 1m. adaptor-cables)


I've always liked Logitech's accessory product-line. I also have a laser laptop-mouse from them, with an undisputable response-time. Another reason for preferring Logitech accessories is because they use Human Interaction Device drivers (USB-HID), so they usually work flawlessly in Linux ;D

Logitech-link for Rumblepad II: http://www.logitech.com/



Update 13.04.2008:

2 x Rumblepad II are on their way! ^_^

23 March, 2008

"The trinity of the table"

A french expression regarding wine, bread and cheese.

I'm not a big fan of the first, but I love the two latter. Maybe I just haven't found a bouquet that suits my taste? My general description of wine would simply be: "acid-water". Basically, I don't like acidic taste. But as they say, taste becomes better with age. So who knows? Maybe I'll grow to like wine some day.

18 March, 2008

Kino i morgen!



Gleder meg ;P

Oppdatering 20.03.2008:

SJEFSfilm XD dødsmorsom.

15 March, 2008

Security focus: Securing Linux

Security focus published two articles on securing Linux systems. But the cool bit, is that they refer a lot to my favourite distribution, coincidence? ;P (Got Slack?)

http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1419

http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1420

(Originally written in 2000, these articles sadly address quite a lot of deprecated security issues, but a few are still applicable.)

But still, after several years, the biggest real threat seems to be brute-forcing techniques. It just changes modus operandi, and counter-measures are following quickly. To be more specific, de-centralized criminal hacker behaviour is beginning to be a major issue online, mainly because of the many homes that have 24/7 broadband connections, giving the blackhats more reliable inter-connected botnets to 'play' with...

09 March, 2008

SSH, domains, crypto...

Finally, I've acquired a location to set up a desktop computer as a domain-gateway for my personal LAN/WAN/WiFi-connections! Sw33t! My earlier conclusion to carry an USB memory dongle was a good idea. I got so many notifications about brute-force attack-attempts running SSH-blockage rules on my firewall, so I decided to drop them all together.


Using private-key authentication with a passphrase, proved to be MUCH better. Nearly any excessive bandwidth-overhead, nor serious lagging (which was the main problems when running SSH firewall rules for brute-force attack tracking and blocking. It was basically too CPU intensive to be useful).

Regarding the key-authentication, both the generation of keys, and re-configuring of the SSH server to accept the keys was pretty straightforward. So now I'm enjoying fully secured SSHv2 sessions.

But again, I decided against utilizing some parts of my plans, like using 256bit
AES cipher, instead of the intended 448bit Blowfish cipher, as it would be overkill with regards to the processing power available on the desktop machine I'm going to use ;P (Pentium-III 1st gen. 800Mhz). From what I know, Norwegian government-sections use 256bit AES, so it will more than suffice for my uses. Less is more.

I also set up a basic, free static hostname (with wildcards) to reach my public gateway-machine, and a secondary hostname for dynamic http-forwarding to the web-server hosted on the domain.

Good luck to the ones wanting to crack these streams! ;D

More computer equipment.

CNet 54 Mbps 802.11g Wireless USB Dongle, for my desktop-computer@home.


Sunsway ST Lab USB 2.0 Pocket Hub 4P (bus powered), for my PS3.

And at last, my sound will be digitally processed ;P

Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Extreme Audio, is on the way!

CNet PCI 54 Mbps 802.11g Wireless (RaLink chip), for my Linux gateway!

And finally, CNet Directional Antenna 6dBi 2.4 Ghz RP-SMA connector, to get better range and coverage of the WLAN@home.

My next tech-project ;D




eMagic 2,5" SATA USB-cabinet (yeah, ugly as f***, but it was all I could find that accepted 2,5" SATA drives), and a brand new 250GB SATA HD from Western Digital.


My project is to make some different kinds of recovery-images of my 40GB SATA HD drive from my PS3, then, install my new 250GB WD HD in the eMagic USB-cabinet, connect it to my computer and transfer the image-data to it for installation back into the PS3, approx. 200GB left to "play" with ;P

06 March, 2008

Elonex ONE

Linux UMPC from UK :)

Ultra small form factor, Linux based OS, under £100! (just above 1.000 NOK)

http://www.elonexone.co.uk/index.html

04 March, 2008

Første Linux-innlegg denne mnd, ;P

Kom på at jeg har skrevet relativt lite om Linux i det siste...til å være meg, er dette heller unormalt XD Men etter å ha lest artikkel på hardware.no om den første Linux kjernen som kom ut i år, ble jeg ivrig igjen.

http://www.hardware.no/artikler/aarets_forste_linux-kjerne/47816

Artikkelen trekker frem punkter som at 2.6.24-kjernen nå har bedre støtte for flere forskjellige prosessorer, og at koden for 32- og 64-bit databehandling nå er forent i samme kildekode.

Til sammen ble kodeendringene i denne utgivelsen på rundt 300.000 linjer, laget av 950 forskjellige utviklere fra
130 forskjellige selskaper rundt om i verden. ^_^

03 March, 2008

Slackware software repository

Once I've set up my static IP, and gotten either a Dynamic DNS address or a static domain-name, I've thought of setting up a basic FTP housing a repository of my private generated/pre-built vanilla Slackware software packages ;) address coming soon!

Packages should work on any vanilla/unmodified versions of Slackware Linux 12.0.

Any requirements are added in 'slack-required' files in the packages, making 'slapt-get' able to find, download and install requirements so the software included should work out-of-the-box.

Any non-standard requirements are present in the repository.

Extending your laptop battery life on Linux

Phoronix has an interesting article on using PowerTOP from Intel and your graphics card control-panel utility to extend the battery-power lifespan. PowerTOP analyzes the system it runs on, and from the results, it recommends and even configures the system-changes and power consumption features needed to utilize the battery-capacity in an optimized fashion, like avoiding idle wake-up calls in hardware and such.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ubuntu_battery_life&num=1

My notebook's battery has already seen it's last days. But I'll be buying a new one soon, and then I'll be experimenting with this to see if I can extend beyond the 2 hours specified in the manual (that is to say: running the machine with Windows XP with all features turned on).

Demystifying Denial-of-Service attacks

Interesting article uncovering the various ways of performing Denial-of-Service attacks through advanced networking.

http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1853

02 March, 2008

Securing PHP

I already have a machine with SSL/TLS-ready Apache running, now I need to be able to secure PHP, my favourite scripting language ;)

This useful little tutorial uses chroot and mod_security to achieve this.


http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1706

I'm testing this in combination with PHP scripting, to make my web-2.0 applications more secure, and when I'm satisfied with my setup of secured backends, I'll start using PHP in combination with Javascript and AJAX to make my apps more dynamic with regards to user-input and interaction. My whole point of this personal adventure is to maybe develop a content-management system that is a little more resistant to cross-site scripting and SQL-injections.

This is made possible by holding the apache-server and the PHP-backend in a chroot-jail, additionally secured by using mod_security as a web-firewall and not allowing HTTP headers with direct script execution and SQL manipulation.

As web-security gets more and more focus, I'm inspired to do my part in contributing to safer and more worry-free web environments. I'm not a programming guru, nor am I a security expert, but I understand the principles and concepts, so I just want to do my part as best as I can ;)

SSH port forwarding

SSH port forwarding (or: tunnelling encrypted connections).

http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1816

MASQUERADE / NAT

I knew this was some kind of unfinished technology, it somehow felt...like it wasn't a fully standardized method of implementation. Every time I've had more and more experience using this, I've always found new ways of using it, and alternative methods to boot. I don't fully understand the concept of complex protocol transmission yet, but my job let's me see the usage of NAT in WAN deployment.

This is the current, most widely used method of setting up transmission backbones from a large customer-base from within an ISP with limited IP ranges.

Or from my own setup @ my mom's place: forcing a medium-sized LAN to share an Internet access with 2 dynamic, restrictive IP addresses (one of which is switched between two internal cabled LANs, and the other serves as the Internet access for the wireless LAN) and one static, fully public, NAT'ed point-to-point IP address to serve my private DMZ.

Caveats using NAT

In computer networking, network address translation (NAT, also known as network masquerading, native address translation or IP masquerading) is a technique of transceiving network traffic through a router that involves re-writing the source and/or destination IP addresses and usually also the TCP/UDP port numbers of IP packets as they pass through.


[...] there are quite a lot of minor caveats with using NAT. The main problem is certain protocols and applications which may not work at all. Hopefully, these applications are not too common in the networks that you administer, and in such case, it should cause no huge problems.

The second and smaller problem is applications and protocols which will only work partially. These protocols are more common than the ones that will not work at all, which is quite unfortunate, but there isn't very much we can do about it as it seems. If complex protocols continue to be built, this is a problem we will have to continue living with. Especially if the protocols aren't standardized.

The third, and largest problem, in my point of view, is the fact that the user who sits behind a NAT server to get out on the internet will not be able to run his own server. It could be done, of course, but it takes a lot more time and work to set this up. In companies, this is probably preferred over having tons of servers run by different employees that are reachable from the Internet, without any supervision. However, when it comes to home users, this should be avoided to the very last. You should never as an Internet service provider NAT your customers from a private IP range to a public IP. It will cause you more trouble than it is worth having to deal with, and there will always be one or another client which will want this or that protocol to work flawlessly. When it doesn't, you will be called down upon.

As one last note on the caveats of NAT, it should be mentioned that NAT is actually just a hack more or less. NAT was a solution that was worked out while the IANA and other organisations noted that the Internet grew exponentially, and that the IP addresses would soon be in shortage. NAT was and is a short term solution to the problem of the IPv4 (Yes, IP which we have talked about before is a short version of IPv4 which stands for Internet Protocol version 4). The long term solution to the IPv4 address shortage is the IPv6 protocol, which also solves a ton of other problems. IPv6 has 128 bits assigned to their addresses, while IPv4 only have 32 bits used for IP addresses. This is an incredible increase in address space. It may seem like ridiculous to have enough IP addresses to set one IP address for every atom in our planet, but on the other hand, noone expected the IPv4 address range to be too small either.

The only grieveance for me in this sense, is the loss of opportunity to serve. I cannot set up SSH, Apache or any other form of server-application to establish outgoing connections based on incoming requests through this NAT setup. So, that's why I had to acquire a point-to-point IP address and route it manually to my DMZ. The problem I have now, is the lack of cabled internals in our house. I had to devise a hybrid LAN on both cabled and wireless connections to achieve my goal.

01 March, 2008

Distribuert Wardriving ^_^

Online liste over usikrede og sikrede WiFi-LAN ;P Genialt!

http://www.dinside.no/php/art.php?id=512387

http://www.wigle.net/

25 February, 2008

We-Hey! ;D



Se her ja, Valve viser endelig interesse for Linux-plattformen! Dette lover bra ;P


http://www.hardware.no/artikler/valve_viser_interesse_for_linux/43251

Så har vi også dette med at Incomniac Games skal slippe koden for spillmotoren deres 0_o Ikke at dette er noe negativt i-og-for-seg, kan jo bety at noen snapper opp koden og utvikler neste generasjons 3D-spill ;) Har jo andre eksempler på det samme, som f.eks. når ID Games slapp "Quake III"-motoren som åpen kildekode, men man måtte ha spill-CDen for å kunne bruke motoren som Quake-motor. De utgir rett og slett rammeverket rundt spillet, ikke selve spillet.


http://www.hardware.no/artikler/deler_spill-koden/48906

Hacker/Cracker/Phraker...What's the difference?

As my interest for computers and computer networks are expanding, so is my understanding of certain words and phrases used in these environments.

I've used expressions wrong in the past, concerning computer crime, intrusion, misuse and words describing the methods, etc. I even used the word "cracker" wrong, claiming it was the new official word for a criminal hacker, which it (as explained below) isn't.

Things that really pisses me off, are the uses and abuses of the words "hacker" and "cracker". But i won't go into detailed specifics on the subject. I'm more interested as to how the expressions originated, and how they have BEEN used in the past, to the present, to better understand the heritage.

――――――

The hacker subculture spun from the "phreaking" period in the 60's, according to The Jargon File (now an online reference for computer jargon). Phreaking was basically tampering with, or finding "hacks" in public telephone systems to initiate free transmission over the Public Switched Telephone Network. John Draper realized that a toy flute from boxes of the "Cap'n'Crunch" breakfast cereal, could easily be modified to generate a 2600 Hz tone when blown, this allowed operation of AT&T's telephone lines that used SF, or Single Frequency, controls. It also gained Draper his handle "Captain Crunch". When phreaking was introduced to the masses, Bell Labs had published a technical journal, describing their MF, or Multi Frequency, control-system. This was not intended for the masses, but found it's way to various colleges anyway. Draper acquired a copy, and as a result "The Little Blue Box" was created. And following this, Esquire Magazine published "Secrets of the Little Blue Box".

Then, by the 70s, computers had become popular amongst hobbyists. Especially when the
MITS Altair saw the light of day (an early personal computer, of which Microsoft actually created the first programming language for: "Altair BASIC", which later became the base for their founding company product at the time: "Microsoft BASIC"). Since these activities were sub-cultures, or "special interests", phreaking was often associated with hacking. This led to the term "H/P culture" (H standing for hacking, and P for phreaking).

By the 80's, breaking of computer security had already been used in computer jargon. But the 80's also saw it's own form of hacking, with the microcomputer and BBS scene.

With the introduction of "free software" in the 80's (most prominently GNU), open source also saw a form of hacking. But this form of hacking was deemed as "aestethical and playful cleverness", which was also by coincidence the original meaning of the word coined by the MIT students in the 70's. A hacker in these terms, was a person who enjoys designing software and building programs, or tinkering with technology, making it do things it was not designed to do, or do the thing it was designed to do in another way or approach.

Nowadays, "hacking" is usually used in situations where the actual individual doing the "hacking" is a person focused on security-mechanisms in computers or computer networks, and the word has been heavily abused in the media, defining hackers, as "cyber criminals". What is not commonly known about hacking, is that it has two sides: White / Black, or so-called White-Hat hackers and Black-Hat hackers. Black-Hats use their knowledge to break or bypass security mechanisms with malicious criminal intent, while White-Hats use it to prevent Black-Hats from exploiting security holes. Thus showing that like all other human-related culture, it's all about HOW you use the knowledge, not IF you use it.

Wanna learn more? https://www.black-hat.com

Update 29.02.2008:

A friend of mine, who's actually a frequent gamer (WoW) and fellow computer enthusiast, claimed that a hacker, in his own words; was a person that modified software-code. And that a person trying to break a security system was a "cracker". Well, yes and no. This is the most common misconception out there today... The term "cracker" was an attempt to create a definition for criminal hackers (CR-iminal h-ACKER). Though this term IS used today, what I've seen and read using the word, describes a "cracker" as an individual that "cracks" protection mechanisms in software (mainly copy protections, password protections and the like), so, most cases I've found actually refer to software piracy. There's so much diffusion between the two expressions, that I'm actually not sure which is the right one for the specified acts. But from my understanding, "cracker" never took on as the de-facto definition for criminal hacking. At least not in the computer communities, mainly because the phrase is very frowned upon.

Update 01.03.2008:

Actually, the term "cracker" was coined by the founder of FSF: Richard Stallmann, the self-proclaimed prophet for "free software" to oppose the already-existing term "hacker", which he deems as a positive term in all regards from his experience at the MIT A.I. Lab / Computer lab where "hacker" originated back in the 70's.

Update 03.03.2008:

After further investigation in the matter, I've found another criminal definition, "Grey-Hat", referring to those with ethical and moral values, but who are more lenient towards criminal techniques, to for example get things done more effectively, faster/optimized, or generally just complete a task at hand. The different jargon definitions "Black/
Grey/White-Hat" and "cracker" were all coined by people in the computer community to distinguish these modus operandi from the (proclaimed) legally correct term "hacker", which is NOT the definition for criminal computer acts as indicated in the media and press.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_definition_controversy

Conclusions about the matter seem to lean against the word hacker being a shibboleth:

[...] any language usage indicative of one's social or regional origin, or more broadly, any practice that identifies members of a group.

Meaning:
"hacker"

Should be considered a descriptive word for identifiying members of a practice-/social-group.
Update 04.03.2008:

The Hacker Manifesto:
http://www.mithral.com/~beberg/manifesto.html

A hacker definition:
http://www.mithral.com/~beberg/hacker.html