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Due to heavy load at work, as well as some minor things, I'm either taking back interest altogether, involvement altogether, time spent on projects, or any of these on aspects/particulars of projects.

Sometimes, when you're burnt out, it's best to concentrate on living and on core projects. mksh is one of these for me, as is keeping MirBSD userland and MirPorts infrastructure working well, with small, evolving improvements (no big jumps). Other things, no matter how nice, interesting or useful (to me as well as to others) they are, need to stay back. I poured most of the last seven years of my life into MirBSD.

Sometimes, you want to give back, but it's too much effort, or you cannot afford to spend more time on it. I'll close one of my Debian ITP bugs for this reason. (I also rarely send in patches from ports for this reason, but sometimes point upstream to our CVSweb.)

Sometimes, people like Ulrich Drepper, Marco d'Itri, Gerrit Pape let you realise that every project has its Theo de Raadt-alikes. I've still not ported jupp's latest release to Debian (but an OpenSuSE Buildservice SRPM exists), nor uploaded the current mksh(1) version even to my own wtf repo. I will do so, when I feel like spending private time with Debian again, at least for the etch and lenny (and hardy – for work) branches, as dash and mksh in sid have... issues I predicted ages ago. (For one, I'm still waiting for Gerrit to contact me. Maybe our eMail systems don't like each other? Waldi or formorer will probably pass on any messages, as will the trusty BTS.) I'll probably not open any ITP bugs again and send in much less of the bugs I notice, simply because I don't like being ignored (or flamed, but sometimes, being ignored is worse – which is why Benny works on MirPorts, btw). Maybe, if I feel the need to, my wtf repo will grow instead; DDs or DMs are free to take from there if they like.

Sometimes, one realises that he just doesn't fit in. While Cachewolf is a useful project, working together with Java™ developers that communicate over web fora only and don't even see the need for compatibility with Unix or proper processes most of the time (svn:eol-style comes to mind, and switching the source code to UTF-8 is something I've given up to dream of – I would even have fixed bugs where Ewe wouldn't do UTF-8 right, but I run into a wall of bliss ignorance there) proved impossible for me. I won't budge either: web fora are simply not for me to use. Period. This is my fault (for not fitting in) as well as the fault of some of the rest of the team (for ignoring years of experience, or for simply nicht über den eigenen Tellerrand schauen (however one says this in English, I don't know) and not caring of these who do; for supporting the commercial gc.com site over the three alternatives too). I will continue to use it, maybe the iPAQ H3600 a colleague gave me proves useful, otherwise, MirBSD will do just fine.

So, when I leave or pull back a little, no prejudices. Sometimes with reason, but mostly due to lack of available resources on my part. I hope nobody who has been or will be noticing me ceasing to contribute as much as usual thinks ill that's why.

It sucks! I want no more!

15.08.2009 by tg@
Tags: bug event hardware rant snapshot

You all know that the sparc (demo) freezed on me. Well, the VT420 only emitted “Keyboard Error 4”, I tried the other sparc (ss20/marc). Also equipped with one of these 36G LVD/SE U160 SCA HDDs, it exploded. Literally. Something – I still don’t know what (smells in the area of the tvtwo(4/sparc) and le(4/sparc) but…) as this happened during the installation, which continued as if nothing had happened, except that, a minute after the explosive sound, it begun to smell. *sigh*

Me then go back to demo, even put in the tvtwo(4/sparc) for monitor/keyboard console (sucky German keyboard, but after installing kbd(8) works), use the Stop-N trick (hold it down and power on) to erase the PROM (thanks NetBSD® FAQ, no thanks to the people in #sparc in IRC who suggested Stop-A) to switch from serial to k/m console, then it installed… and froze.

To add insult to injury (luckily not mine), the VT420 works again.

I tried hard to get you at least a minimal set of binary packages – gmake (so it’s self-hosted), lzma (for *.clz binary package support), screen (because people need it), jupp (vi(1) is in base, but no editor other than ed(1)…), rsync (even though it’s now GPLv3, we depend on it heavily) – but just could not, no matter how hard.

On the other front, after re-doing the installer a few times due to some fuckup in install.sub (don’t ask, but I really extracted the image from the symbol-less kernel and put it back afterwards…), a number of core packages for i386 were built, and bsiegert@ is supplying another few hundred. Yay!

I’ll still follow the plan to create the FrOSCon ISO tomorrow, will add a minimal set of i386 packages plus their distfiles where licences require it, and refer people to the online repository. I cannot add any “real” sparc packages, so there will be none. I’m tempted to modify the sparc installer by image extraction too, since the mount_mfs(8) fails when the box has too much RAM (more than about 300 MiB), but don’t want to power on one of these boxen and lose even more time (if not body or possession).

qemu is getting better at emulating a sparc, but we still cannot go to user space. ☹


If someone is really interested in getting MirOS working on boxen compatible to the SheevaPlug (ARM 1.2 GHz), despite our rather old gcc and binutils, please contact us. I’d drop sparc support over it once working.


See you all kissing the blue frog, but remember, don’t kiss a porc. You can read the advertisement or the flyers (German, English or French) meanwhile.

don't procrastinate!

07.07.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Hell yeah. I promised a wlog entry about the Linuxtag 2009 visit. I planned on making it somewhat detailed, enumerating a couple of things I did other than catching a few geocaches with a company's EeePC and MirBSD and CacheWolf on a USB stick, and getting ill.

Alas, things often are not as desired, and I had to work last week, while still slightly ill, and I just never came around doing it. I arguably could write up something now, but I forgot most(!) of it already, don't want to publish incomplete things out of fear from (accidental) omissions, sit on nwt (my dear 80486DLC laptop) and... well, procrastinated too much. And I had a long work day and am very much enjoying my AfriCola+SchlösserAlt beer, thank you very much.

So, without further ado (why the fuck do Amis tend to have trouble with homophones, by the way?), comrad's pictures:
The BSD booth setting (overview picture; mira says hello MirOS merchandise, grml and fun buttons, etc.

It definitively wasn't as technical an event as FOSDEM, and much less people asked about mksh, but at least now I got my OpenPGP signed by two more Debian Developers who do not intend on switching keys in the next couple of months... *sigh* Anyway, world domination coming, this is required for I am still a DM, but wouldn't say no to DD status either. Why, à propos, do I have <tg@d.o> and only realise that because of spam mails sent there? Anyway, met formorer from grml in real life, quite nice too. We got some donations for the buttons and grml CDs, but the money got distributed among many people.

Hah! These CentOS guys! They made me promise to say CentOS rocks if it included mksh; they were going to file a bug at RHEL for its inclusion. I looked today, they didn't. So I won't say it rocks. It rather annoys, truth be told. Especially since it comes without a decent shell, and I had to make an RPM of OpenNTPD myself! Imagine that!

The MirOS Project will be represented at LinuxTag 2009, Berlin, .de by tg@ with kindly sponsored buttons, some at the joint booth of AllBSD whose Daniel Seuffert kindly sponsored CDs and flyers as usual, and may be seen at the Holarse booth which has history with MirBSD™ on LinuxTag.

We will distribute MirOS BSD CDs (i386 Live, i386 Install, sparc Install, i386 MirGRML 2009.01) as well as grml CDs (containing grml 2009.05 Lackdose-Allergie, which includes MirOS bsd4grml/i386). There will probably not be any MidnightBSD CDs due to lack of an image in time for the deadline. Furthermore, besides the giveaway flyers, there are a couple of buttons for MirBSD, grml, mksh, MidnightBSD and Glenda from Plan 9. We would like to ask for a small donation (the amount does not really matter) in return for these; also, donations for the CDs are welcome to cover printing costs and will go to the respective sponsors (this is especially valid for the grml CDs, as they are not strictly covered by AllBSD).

The next event will be FrOSCon in St. Augustin, with tg@ as well as bsiegert@ and gecko2@ as usual.

Es ging also zum GUUG Frühjahrsfachgespräch nach Karlsruhe. Nun, die Stadt kannte ich ja schon vom LinuxTag (meines Erachtens auch der beste Austragungsort für jene), aber diesmal eine neue Ecke. Hotel, Einzelzimmer, bezahlt vom Arbeitgeber; Event auch. Tutorium okay, lehrreich (auch was man nicht will), die Vorträge wechselnd gut aber in der Regel es auch wert. Aber wie auf jedem Event lernt man viele neue Leute kennen, oder auch Gesichter zu den (Nick)namen. Das fand ich gut. Das „social event“ entsprach dem auch, wir waren im lokalen Brauhaus, und das Buffet… nunja, ich bin kein Freund von Buffets und „kompliziertem“ Essen, aber bin gut sattgeworden, nur die „Mousse“ war eher… interessant im Biolekschen Sinne.

Natürlich war ich auch zwischendurch Couscous Merguez essen, frischen Minztee trinken, und beim Geocachen meinen Laptop schrotten. Hmpf. Immerhin laufen die Flüssigkristalle nicht aus. Drückt mir die Daumen, daß der Händler meinen X40 auf Kulanz repariert, da innerhalb der Garantiezeit (1 Jahr; ist knapp unter 6 Monate her, daß ich das Teil brauchte). Immerhin 3 gefunden, einige nicht gefunden (dafür aber ne hiesige Cacherin) oder nicht angegangen (zB da nicht so lebensmüde, auf ein >4m hohes Verkehrsschild zu klettern, oder da die Koords zu weit weg vom Startpunkt waren).

Dummerweise werde ich also jetzt eher an nocd (win2k) und nwt (80486er Kiste) hängen und nicht weiter entwickeln.

Ich denke, ich sollte mal selber meine Founds durchnumerieren und in eine Liste packen, da die meisten eben nicht in allen Datenbanken gelistet sind.

Hier dann die aktuellen „Statistiken“:
OpenCaching.de The Frog Site Rare Jewels Broken Webpages²
Drei mehr dabei, aber leider kaum auf OC

Unterstützt JamesDoe nicht, boykottiert seine Caches, schreibt die Logeinträge bei ihm ausschließlich auf OC.de hin, sodaß er die Listings dort wieder pflegen möge, oder schreibt ihm, was ihr von seiner Aktion haltet, die Listings auf OC.de zu orphanen!

“CPAN is the host for hundreds of Perl modules. Creating ports for these modules is often trivial but may still take some time. cpan2port is a new utility available in MirPorts, the MirOS ports framework, designed to facilitate this task. It should be easily adaptable for other platforms, e.g. pkgsrc®.

“The aim of this talk is to present the implementation and practical usage of the utility. Interested developers from other BSD projects are very welcome, some hints for porting the tool will be given.”

The slides for bsiegert@'s talk at FOSDEM 2009 are now available on slideshare. Please note they require a Macrobe Flash player.

FOSDEM is over

09.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

CDs and the “m” at FOSDEM 2009
(picture courtesy of Christian “taleon” Ruesch from #pcc)

FOSDEM 2009 is over, we are all sober again (I hope), any spotted bugs are getting fixed. I tended to the disklabel sector size issue, although that has yet to be tested, and we might want to see what upstream does about it. mksh changes will be coded when I get to it, and we’re looking forward towards the next event(s).

Is there anyone interested in making a Virtual Appliance (for qemu, VMware, Parallels, you name it) out of MirOS? I could, of course, do a standard install one, maybe add some packages, like with the live CDs, but I’m not good for desktop style ones. Maybe we want a server and a desktop appliance. Benny could bake a GNOME version, just to show off (note that I still quite dislike it… and expressed it with one of these yellow stickers at the “GNOME HATE” side at FOSDEM ☺).

MirOS/sparc users, show yourselves, if you want snapshots to be built and provided more often. Talk to us, so we see the effort to support a second platform is not in vain.

Due to bug-hiding circumstances, this problem was only identified during FOSDEM Sunday afternoon. The first stage boot loader would overwrite itself trying to load the second stage boot loader, due to them sharing the same 16-bit (64 KiB) segment after the workaround for the Parallels bug. installboot(8/i386) would pass the sectors covered by filesystem blocks, which amounts up to multiples of 8 or 16 KiB, even though the last block was not entirely filled. Fix is to do bounds checking in the assembly code at boot time.

An updated fixes dist set is available for people doing a network installation anyway, or to extract later with
$ cd /
$ sudo tar xzphvvf /path/to/fixes10.ngz

If you do a CD installation, you have to do the following steps:

Location of sets? (cd disk ftp http shttp nfs or 'done') [done] shttp
HTTP/FTP proxy URL? (e.g. 'http://proxy:8080', or 'none') [none] «Enter»
Server? (IP address, hostname or 'done') www.mirbsd.org
Server directory? [v10/i386] MirOS/current/older/i386



Set name? (or 'done') […] *

        [X] bsd
        [X] fixes10.ngz
Set name? (or 'done') […] done
Ready to install sets? [yes] «Enter»
 

This sequence will add the fixes set from network after finishing a disc installation, before the installboot(8/i386) part is run. Of course, you can substitute shttp with http too or specify a proxy to use.

If you have already installed, follow the above mentioned tar command to unpack the fixes set (in /mnt if you are still in the installer), then use the command:
$ sudo /usr/mdec/installboot -v /boot /usr/mdec/bootxx wd0
# /mnt/usr/mdec/installboot -v /mnt/boot /mnt/usr/mdec/bootxx sd0
(wd0 or sd0 depending on which is your root disc; the second line is for within the installer)

My (tg@) sincerest apologies for this bug, which was introduced during the Parallels Desktop BIOS bug workaround’s creation. Remember, if you already have an (unbootable) installation, you can do all this by booting from the CD again (into the installer/rescue kernel).

Update 11.04: changed link to fixes10.ngz to new location, now that a new snapshot is up.

FOSDEM Tag 2

08.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Alle englischen Flyer weg, alle CDs heute Vormittag weg. Die (alten) deutschen sowie die französischen Flyer gehen okay, aber die Mengen und Verhältnisse sind echt nicht planbar.

Die Vorträge sind okay, aber leider für mich nichts dabei zum rausziehen. Pläne schmieden geht aber.

mksh hingegen ist mehr als nur ein Erfolg, auch wenn mir gruselt, wenn Leute eine ohne den emacs-Modus haben wollen.

Hm, irgendwie läßt sich das Event nicht gut in Worte fassen. Es hat sich auf jeden Fall für uns alle gelohnt. Das Hotel war spaßig (insbesondere der Versuch, eine Rechnung zu erhalten); gestern Abend gabs Couscous Merguez + Lamm in einer verdammt kleinen aber gemütlichen Bude (mit Couch!), wo wir frischen Minztee getrunken haben (fünf Kannen; ich alleine zwei oder so).

FOSDEM Tag 1

07.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Das Aufbauen verpaßt, aber wir haben ein „m“ (Bild wird später nachgereicht, sollte smultron freuen), viele Kontakte, und die englischen Flyer sind jetzt schon alle, die CDs runter auf ¼ oder so.

Der Unicode-syscons-Vortrag war für mich leider nicht so ertragreich; dadurch, daß wir vt100 wscons(4) haben, und durch meinen script(1) -lns Hack, haben wir schon mehr Probleme gelöst und Wissen angebaut als er. Ed Schouten ist aber anscheinend ein vielversprechender talentierter Jungentwickler.

Cool, ich habe ein bißchen WLAN! Mal schnell ein bißchen wlog Einträge verfassen, Benny und gecko2 wollen ja nicht.

Jetzt nur noch den NetBSD®-Kollegen neben uns zum Installieren des RANDEX-Plugins verlassen…

Wer setzt uns eigentlich direkt neben OpenBSD? Zum Glück gibts eine große Barriere, daher ist bislang, außer Laserpointerattacken (sogar direkt in Bennys Auge) noch nichts passiert…

FOSDEM Tag 0

07.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: event

Gestern, Freitag Abend, war der Tag 0 der FOSDEM. Natürlich waren wir – Fabian Köster und der Vortragende Robert Schuster, gecko2@ und ich – beim Beer Event, später auch mit bsiegert@. Das Bier war lecker, allerdings habe ich zwar nicht zu viel aber wohl zu varietätenreich getrunken, sodaß es mir in der Nacht nicht so wirklich gut ging und ich noch Bauchschmerzen habe. Also keinen mit dem Debian Projektleiter trinken.

Benny hat lustige Sympathiën von Leuten aus anderen Projekten bekommen, aber ich darf leider nicht drüber schreiben.

MirGRML and FOSDEM DuaLive™ Triforce™ CDs

03.02.2009 by tg@
Tags: bug event grml security snapshot

Uh-oh, 03.02. already. I think, after the switch to GRUB 2 and another couple of bootlooter fixes, that we’re there yet. Funnily I only noticed how BSD cannot access labelled disks when the device’s sector size mismatches the one in the label. There is also an embarassing (for upstream) local DoS exploit possibility, by setting a sector size of 0, the kernel traps division by zero. Thanks for all the blowfish, yeah.

The checksum file for MirGRML 2009.01 (experimental, but probably, by now, complete). You’ll probably figure out the ISO link.

The full MirOS CD should be done soonish as well. Just have to test it, then I can go to bed. Wish me luck.

GNU grub-legacy cannot access ISO 9660 on devices with sector sizes other than 2048 bytes… and, according to mika, has other quirks, with recent mke2fs’ inode defaults making it hiccup. Heh.

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