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I finally have the time (and the possibility!) to write a wlog entry. Thorsten has been absent since the end of november. The problem is that many MirOS services, mostly e-mail and the CVS master, were running on herc.mirbsd.org, which is located in tg's apartment. Now that he is not there, herc is also down. This means that mails do not work. I do not have the subscriber list for the mailing lists so I cannot resurrect these.

gecko's server aka anoncvs.mirbsd.org is the new CVS master. It is running Debian GNU/Linux with an older version of CVS. Thus, I had to fiddle a lot with the scripts in CVSROOT. The most obvious effect is that new commits do not have commitids; they get the process group of the commit process instead, which is meaningless and not unique.

However, as said on the news page, development continues, even if MirOS #10 will be pushed back even more. To follow CVS, look at the changelogs or into the cvsweb. anoncvs is running great.

There were two security-related commits this week: one in src/usr.bin/perl, the other in ports/devel/pcre. Please update those two. A binary package to replace perl in base will be available RSN.

Update 20071126: See news entry.

gcc is crap, and I have no idea how to figure out where the cause of today’s herc/rant outage, kern_sysctl + 0x2f6, is, since it seems to have reordered the functions. Damn it.

I managed to get Dr. Pfeffer to go cache hunting with me again, and we didn’t find one (the most easy one), but the other two (at 18:00 and at 19:00 local time, almost exactly). And at 16:00 I had the cache near his home location ☺ This makes, considering not both sites list all caches, a total of 29 (an offset of 3 at freely caching is more fun!OC, and 2 at travel bugs only hereGC. Now I dropped a TB at an OC-only cache and am still trying to sort out THIS mess ☺

It’s raining now. Shit, considering I left my bike at Dr. Pfeffer’s place yesterday (due to me staying at some other place over night, where we did the caches), and I need it tomorrow (or rather not, if it’s still raining by then).

As usual, no data got lost (at HERC/RANT), and I held the cache in my hand almost immediately.

The svk port is alive and kicking at devel/svk. I have used it for some simple RCS and merging scenarios with my gf's diploma thesis, and it seems to be working very well, better than subversion even. Startup time is very long (up to 10 seconds, even for svk help) but once it gets going, the operations themselves are quicker. And smerge is just very cool: you can merge one branch into another without manually keeping track of branch points and the like. It seems to me that svk can replace CVS's vendor branches easily, something Subversion does not do. Nice.

I should be starting my PhD thesis in november but I am still struggling with the bureaucrats. The problem is that I do not have the diploma itself, i.e. the peace of paper, as the evaluation of the thesis is not finished. So my employer told me to get a "provisional attestation" (?). Now, suddenly they tell me that they cannot take the one I sent them into account because my thesis is not yet noted. Great. Grr.

I tried to install my T-Com Speedport W701V router at my parents' place, only to have it crashing on me. It seems that the thing is stuck in an endless reset loop. The action of mine that brought it into this state was clicking "Step-by-step DSL installation". So much for T-Com (that does not exist as a brand any more anyway, I think) and for our channel motto Technik ist scheiße und funktioniert nicht. How right.

Update 20071231: T-Com exchanged the router without a fuss. Apparently, this is a known problem.

Synergy effects are the best. The geocacheing software Cachewolf now has automatically generated nightly builds thanks to a FreeWRT box, whose developers help testing and spotting all the bugs in mksh, make(1) and the HTML manpage stuff, and all projects get better. Wow.

I feel a little ill at the moment, which quite sucks. Not even bad enough to be unable to work, just… anyway, my bosses sent me to the Doctor.

I have generated a new 5120 bit RSA host key for use on tear (my new server), so that we can continue working on the #10 release timely even though the box is still not ready. (SCSI HBA woes, at the moment. Gosh!)

Benny, despite busy moving, is working on MirPorts again. Austriancoder and spaetzle are helping with FreeWRT. It’s good to know you’re not alone. Users are giving actual feedback. People (e.g. developers of other projects) are helping pro bono. The world is a good place still. Despite…

Working on two OS projects has very nice synergy effects. Today, as yesterday, it affected manual page availability for both projects in a very positive way.

Damn. pax(1) has a bug on FreeWRT on the targets themselves. (And my WL-500g still doesn’t have any network on trunk, this seems to be a different bug.) And I have no idea yet as to why.

When Dr. Pfeffer doesn’t want to go geocaching, I do. They amount to 26 now, although 1 isn’t listed at the ad-infested commercial site, and 2 aren’t listed at the open site.

I played a little around at work, and MirOS does boot fine, even with networking, in a Xen HVM configuration. Since it was at work, I couldn’t really do much. It was tricky, though. My boss now wants to know if Windows® would also work (I assume so, now I know how).

FreeWRT nor also has online manual pages, now guess whose script is doing the job. Right. I’m especially proud of the fact that this was in no way paid work (and that ekkoBSD was not for void either). I thought, after having hacked on it for quite a bit on the last days, that my other project (I am, after all, the provisional project leader until wbx@ is no longer EAVAIL) could benefit from it as well – I think manpages are a unique selling point in the embedded GNU/Linux distribution market (others have their own USPs… such as working X11…), and I discussed the idea with wbx@ a long time ago already; now it’s there. Of course, the packagers need to make sure themselves that their do-install targets actually provide the manpages, formatted or not, no matter, to the system.

herc crashed today due to a panic. This sucks. No idea why, and I had no time to check either, since the system is live. raid(4) boxen seem to tend to crash more often under low-ram, much-I/O situations. No data was lost, though.

Okay, the boot blocks are MI, the manual pages are split, generated much faster, and I’ve been working on the AES improvements. Today the weather doesn’t make me (or Dr. Pfeffer either) feel like going out, even though there are some interesting new caches in the area.

I’m still waiting for half of the equipment I ordered, but tear can finally be installed now (I’ll just change the internal cabling a bit beforehand though, to make my nerves more at ease).

UPDATE: Changing the cabling wasn’t easily possible, but I cleaned up the inside a little. But RAID initialisation definitively took too long, and afterwards I filled /dev/rsd0b with /dev/arandom at about 80 KiB/s, which is most truly not enough for an U160 SCSI device, not to speak about the U320 devices I also have in there. So I need a new SCSI HBA, which is supported by MirBSD and handles U320 LVD drives. This sucks. And it postpones usage of my new server quite a bit. The devices almost all share IRQ 11, which sucks even more. I gather from Xen/Linux console output that ACPI devices have 256 IRQ lines? This would be the one and only reason for me to adopt it…

I suppose this is the day my best friend moves back into this city, and since it’s due to his girlfriend I guess credit goes to her. Good. Now we can hang around more than the last years.

Today though I was at the others’ place (at cnuke@ and bogus), together with Kabelaffe, and we hacked a little, everybody on his own project, as we used to do in the past as well. I managed to create self-installing i386 boot blocks, integrated the chain boot block and SunOS disklabel, and now everything is ready for MI installboot(8).

I also started to poke around the kernel for using the hardware-aided AES functions modern CPUs (not crypto extension cards!) provide. UVM swapencrypt is going to use this code soon. vnd(4) will use the OCF – crypto(9) – for operations though, so that users can select the actual algorithm used, and we retain backwards compatibility (plus, software blowfish is a little less CPU intensive than software Rijndaël (AES)). I’ll have to write some glue first though, as the APIs differ. And I’m still wondering how to test all of this… I guess tear will have to hold for it prior to going live.

I still did not make any progress with the merged manual pages though. (Making a list which of them is the same between arches.) Although this would be nice to spot gcc/sparc/nroff bugs as well.

I had some conversation with Miod; maybe we should get boot.net back, as bsd.net kernels can’t be debugged (due to having their symbol table stripped, Miod says, but I don’t think it’s entirely stripped from what I see at elf2aout(1)’s code). But I still need some helpful people to e.g. maintain an mksh port inside OpenBSD Ports… and we definitively need a kernel coder inside the MirOS project.

It’s getting cold. Winter is near. Okay, so is Samhain.

Okay, what has happened the last few days in MirWRT-Land? I’m sort of feeling ill, sneezing a lot, coughing some, having to depollute quite often. I wonder… I am taking some vitamins…

My SCA adapters arrived on Tuesday. Almost in the night. Okay. That was a bad review at ePray. Or so I thought. It did not accept that from me without me passing some kind of driving licence-alike test… weirdos. Then I got a “function not available”, went back in the browser history, had to edit the line again because € was changed to ↺ which was, in total, too long… submitted… rejoiced… or so I thought. They accepted it – finally – but then asked me if I want to add that guy to the list of my preferred sellers. Yeaaah, of course…

Then I worked on MI installboot(8), got done with the sparc part at a Netzladen hacking session (well, more of a hacking-alone session, fukami just chilled and occasionally smoked (grr…) and Dr. Pfeffer came late – although he hacked on CacheWolf and I helped him test some diffs). I think I can now do what wbx@ prodded me for quite strongly on the phone: create a sparc bootable CD on i386 (or even non-MirBSD, for that matter). After bootxx/i386 is converted, I think I’m going to stop working on this until past the release, but it’s good to see that it works and can probably be easy to finish.

On Wednesday, I managed to add the SCSI discs (all five of them, after stealing jumpers from old boxen) to tear. They work quite nice, except the chassis is now humming. Well, 10kRPM drives. Okay. I low-level-formatted them of course, neither do I need or want the data which was on them before nor do I desire bad blocks if I have the chance to scan for them (Benny asks me “why” every time I do low-level formats, but I still believe in them, even though these aren’t MFM or RLL discs any more). And they’re really fast, I was amazed. I think I won’t need to RAID 1 the CVS repository into memory for speed, even if I could now.

Well, next on the agenda would be migrating to tear while releasing and already coding some post-release stuff. Damn, hen-egg problem. I wonder, but not about how I’m going to solve it but when I get my lazy arse moved ☺ We’re making good progress nevertheless.

Benny agreed (via the phone) to speed up the build by several hours (on a P2-350 – probably much more on the sparc) by just linking HTML manual pages if the catman page is only a link too. I implemented it, but since these generated from <bsd.man.mk>’s MLINKS are hardlinked, I needed inode tracking and cacheing, ino_t is unsigned 32-bit, so mksh’s arrays need to be able to use 32, not 31, bit as index. Done now, and it pleased me to shock my packagers, doing as if mksh R32 were impending ☻

Ah yes, Opera got a security upgrade, and while playing with AWStats at work, I realised our Lynx didn’t get counted as Lynx but MSIE… sucks though it helps with certain sites, so I changed that. Can’t have enough people noticing the small ones (Lynx as well as MirBSD). Really.

I am going to have to write an install.sparc(7) page – talking with the MidnightBSD people I realised few people know how to netboot a sparc, and since all of our manual pages are online, I just could have pointed him there. But the mnbsd people are all quite nice.

Today morning, I showed our website to a colleague. She told me she quite likes the design, the colours don’t hurt the eye. This has to be said (she allowed me to quote her here), in the face of all the critique on the current theme. (That said, the theme is not going to stay in an unmodified form though. I recognise there are problems.) She suggested we put the gothic ASCII-Art text into a graphic, together with the two logos. And “IEs for Linux” shows that a certain graphical browser has quite big issues with CSS in general.

My SCA adapters still haven’t arrived. I guess someone cries for a bad review at ePray.

mksh R31d is there, finally. Well, at least the distfile. Since I’m at work right now, I cannot really do a proper release commit series (www, ports, etc).
This release is dedicated to spaetzle@freewrt.org who kept bugging me to look for another busy-loop spinning bug, and to a certain BSD-licenced compiler whose optimiser bug has yet to be fixed, still. (I’m running with /bin/mksh compiled with pcc without -O but with -xdeljumps o MirBSD right now.) Ah, and the distfiles are there now, finally, too.

Dr. Pfeffer now has a statpic (we had a meal (Döner Kebap) together, and I “persuaded” him to configure it) at OpenCaching now, see above, but the cache we wanted to do during lunch break, with my colleague, was unavailable. Closed during the winter, and the cache owner neither knew about it nor believed me at first (though she later fixed the information and thanked me or so, but at first… nah nevermind).

Benny’s back and in France again (ok he’ll travel to Dresden tomorrow, I guess he’s more on the train line than on the internet line ☺). Just good to know he still cares ☻

Waldemar wants me to produce SPARC CDs… *sigh* guess I really have to work harder on the MI installboot(8) stuff. Damn. But o-okay.

Sometimes, cloning autotools isn’t fun. For instance, when you realise that cutting down its triplet of compile-time, link-time and run-time checks is good, but you do need compile-time checks, since not everything can be done as link-time check (e.g. checking for declarations when using deliberately wrong ones to make the compile clash – these clash at link time when the declaration actually was not existent). Oh well. Fixed.

FWIW, current CacheWolf development snapshots are available from my server, please don’t overuse its bandwidth…

I did another stats funtwo geocaches with Dr. Pfeffer, who doesn’t have any internet access nor a statpic yet though. Update: He has now, only 26/24 caches?it looks like I’ve almost got him there.

mksh R31d is released, I just didn’t have any time to prepare a distfile yet. Please see the list of changes, everybody is strongly advised to upgrade.

Ordering things online sucks. I still do not have my SCSI converters. No progress on the MirBSD server front yet. I hope to be able to host a little box at my workplace. Maybe a VM. And the other equipment I wanted (flashlights for geocacheing, for instance) only has been brought to the packet service now, let’s see how long it takes… I wish I had a beer.

Phew, we got a #10RC7 for both i386 and (days later) sparc now. Now I can refine the manifold-boot setup CD (7 MiB or so), maybe I’ll be able to create it on only one architecture, since “self-installing bootxx we are almost there”, and hardlink the HTML docs which are the same on all architectures (ignoring bugs in nroff(1) on sparc).

But first, let’s go geocacheing again, with Dr. Pfeffer, Addy, gecko2 (alias Turodagnir) and myself. It’s good weather today. And because I’m not going to have tomorrow off I’d better enjoy the weekend.

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