Entries posted in June 2005


Friday, 1 July 2005

“Open Source Surveys”

Perhaps I’m too cynical, but whenever I get a mail asking me to take part in a “survey of open source users/developers/lovers” I just hit delete nowadays.

I’m reminded of this again, after seeing a survey request on debian-devel.

I’m sure some of them do learn interesting things, and are legitimate requests; but for each of the initial five or six I’ve taken part in I’ve never seen the promised results. (These are the surveys where people say “take part and I’ll show you my results when they’re ready”).

Sure I’m insanely busy right now, but these things always seem like wastes of time. Especially when they repeat the same old things over and over again.

Perhaps I should insist on the surveyors completing a ‘steve-survey’ beforehand. Especially the particularly clueful person who mailed me in March asking me to take part in an “Developing Open Source Software on MacOSX Survey” – clearly she didn’t even bother to read the description of the project to which my name was attached, as I’ve never used/developed/wanted an OSX machine in my life!


Going to wander round computer stores, at the start of the G8 protests in Sunny Edinburgh looking for a router. The SCSI errors on the Netra are getting worse.

Network access is frustratingly intermittant.

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Managing automatic apt updates?

Thursday, 30 June 2005

Debian Pool

I’ve got a simple debian apt repository which looks like this:

|-- dists
|   `-- sarge
|       |-- contrib
|       |   |-- binary-i386
|       |   `-- source
|       |-- main
|       |   |-- binary-i386
|       |   `-- source
|       `-- non-free
|           |-- binary-i386
|           `-- source
`-- tmp

What’s the best way to setup this archive so I can upload packages to in, instead of having to scp them into the right location – then regenerate the package indexes, etc, manually?

mini-dinstall appears to only allow simple directory structures – not nested layouts like I have. Although I guess I could use creative symbolic links …

Update: – Looks like this intro to debarchiver answers my question.

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Possible lack of Steve

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Impending Doom: No Network Access

The Sun Netra which I use as my internet gateway is dying.

This means that I’ll soon have no internet access from home. (Read “at all”, since I’m not working right now)

I’ve been looking out for a decent 8-port gateway, there aren’t a lot of choices if you want more than 4 ports. But I figure I can get rid of the netra + switch and combine a hardware router to save space and noise.

Netgear’s FVS318UK model looks like a good fit, eight port and with IPsec stuff built in. Added it to my wishlist, I guess I’ll need to get one soon, or find an alternative.

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Apache2 update

Saturday, 25 June 2005

Apache have now fixed the security bug I reported in Apache2’s mod_cgid a few days ago.

Because it requires that an attacker have write access to the httpd.conf file it’s not a real security bug. Unfortunately.

As such there’s no CVE ID, or likely to be any vendor updates.

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Friday, 24 June 2005


Today I shall mostly be building security updates, though when they’ll get released is .. anybodies guess.


Apologies to Faidon Liambotis for truncating his name. After more testing a new version of dsniff will be uploaded today :)

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SSP + Packages

Wednesday, 22 June 2005


Looks like I’ve got a few comaintainers now, with Faidon Liambotis doing some great work on dsniff and other people hopefully about to make uploads any time now.


Thomas Sj?gren reminded me that my SSP repository is empty, I started work on building new GCC packages a few days ago, but paused when the patches failed to apply cleanly.

I’ll try to get gcc-3.4 uploaded shortly. Once I work out why things fail. I’m open to persuasion over whether gcc-3.3 might be a better choice…

I have one Sparc and one x86 machine running Sid to do developer uploads etc, upon. The only Sarge machines I have are a remote host and an old laptop – so building is timeconsuming to say the least!

(Using UML/Qemu would be even slower. Although I guess I could use a sarge chroot…)

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Comaintaining is a good thing.

Saturday, 18 June 2005


Anybody interested in co-maintaining these packages?

  • apachetop
  • driftnet
  • dsniff
  • flawfinder
  • gnump3d
  • komi
  • late
  • libnids – Needs work
  • pscan – Strange bug involving C parsing..
  • rats
  • tcpflow
  • ud – maybe should just be removed?
  • wakeonlan

Most have either no bugs, or only “upstream”/”wishlist” ones which are easily ignored. (Sorry reporters!)

I dont think I’m doing a bad job, but I’d like to see more co-work done now we’re post sarge, and starting with my own packages is a good start.

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Another sign off

Friday, 17 June 2005

Signed Off

Signed off work for the next two months.

Sleep study booked for October, which means I’ll need another month off – unless it’s brought forward via a cancelation, or I spontaneously get well.

There seems to be some confusion over when I was initially signed off, the beginning of March or the end of March. I was asked by my employers to check with the doctor. She told me the end only both my work and me have the suspision that this is wrong. I guess it’s entirely possible that she misread the notes…

(I believe I was off before then based soley on my memory that I was not at work on my birthday – 10th of March. Since then I’ve found emails which are strongly indicative of this being the case.)

So now my work have asked my doctors to supply the date in writing… Since this makes things official I am waiting until my employers give me this request in writing.

I don’t want to be obstructive because the company has been very supportive, and my absense is putting them in a hard place – but if we’re getting into legal/insurance/official investigation territory I don’t want to do anything without it being in writing.


bored now.

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Mousetrap 3 of 3.

Wednesday, 15 June 2005


mousetrap is now listed at freshmeat so I dont need to talk about it here any more.

Although I just noticed that the animation/movement isn’t linked to the SDL tickcount which means it plays much quicker on faster machines than my own….... ; Fixed.

It was fun converting it from straight C over to half C + C++. I managed to use singletons and everything! So it must be designed correctly ;)

Nothing else is appealing to me programming wise right now, although I’m almost tempted to hack another game out – if I could create artistic tiles/sprites I’d be laughing.

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Mousetrap 2 of 3.

Monday, 13 June 2005


Thanks to Ryan Schultz enemy objects now have variable speed and move diagonally.

I’ve added :

  • Persistent highscores.
  • A shield option which works when you eat the small blue fruit.
  • 3 seconds of immunity once you spawn.
  • Sound effects.

So that’s a mousetrap v0.5 release.

I’ll leave it alone for now, and go back to doing real work. My highscore is now 640 :)

Thanks for the nice comments from people who mailed me. I see about 20 downloads of the .deb package, and about 30 of the source.

In summary: SDL rocks!

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Mousetrap 1 of 3.

Sunday, 12 June 2005

New Game!

I wrote a arcade-style puzzle gamescreenshot.

It’s insanely difficult …. New life is given every 100 points. My top score is 180.

Feedback welcome.

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Apache2 + Catnip

Saturday, 11 June 2005

Debian Sarge

Since upgrading to Sarge I've gone and upgraded to Apache2 now.

Fun stuff. No major problems.

Once I've had a day or two to calm down I'll look at move my virtual domains to exim4.

Talking of "calm" my cat is insanely mad since I sprayed some catnip stuff over my sofa.

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Updated apt + Sarge

Thursday, 9 June 2005

Updated Apt-Repository

I’ve updated my personal apt repository to make it have a better structure. Now I’m in the process of updating the packages there to work with sarge – almost done.

I hope the changing structure doesn’t break too many peoples updates! The contents haven’t really changed too much, although I’ve removed all the packages which are now contained in the Sarge release.

Updated to Sarge

I updated my webserver to Sarge in the early morning.

Mostly it went well, I was left with a bunch of .dpkg-old files to merge and patchup afterwards, but the process was very straightforward.

Minor problems with Apache, and some source-compiled modules. But nothing major.

ViewCVS needed updating to make the images work properly, but i’m not sure if that was my breakage or a bug with the upgrade process. (Had to add ‘docroot = /viewcvs’ to the viewcvs.conf file).

integrit didn’t like the Woody database, so I just trashed it and rebuilt a new one.

exim3 complained about some files in /var/spool/exim3/db, so I removed them.

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New Wiki

Wednesday, 8 June 2005

New Wiki

The Debian Administration Wiki is now live.

Will it take off? Will it remain in the painfully empty default state? Who knows …

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Sarge + /.

Tuesday, 7 June 2005


Sarge is released, I guess most people who care know by now though.

I survived a mini-slashdotting – nice to know I “had the scoop”.

From memory I wrote the story about the release at around 3AM, then slept for most of the day – only posting it once I saw from the IRC channel that the release was free.

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Advogato - reborn?

Saturday, 4 June 2005


I used to have an account upon Advogato, where I would post journal/diary entries of a technical nature.

These were always distinct from my real life entries at livejournal.com. (Although it is certainly the case that the livejournal entries do include the geeky – especially the entries in places like shellcode, etc.)

My Advogato account became lost, so I created another account skx. This too became “lost”, one time I could put it down to coincidence. Twice? Unlikely ..

For amusement value:

So why bring this up again?

Well I was recently directed towards a new Advogato site.

Planet (Former) Advogato. There isn’t anything on the site explaining how to get added, or what it’s going to do. Whether there are articles, etc, in the pipeline.

But it’s an interesting idea. I still follow Advogato’s recentlog semi-regularly, although without the ability to comment on entries it’s usually a read-only access. Infrequently I’ll mail people to comment, but the effort involved is usually high enough to make sure I don’t make irrelevent or superfluous comments.

So .. if you’re reading this and can add me to the new site – if you think my past entries are worthwhile – feel free.

If you’ve moved away from Advogato because it’s seemingly unmaintained (eg. the Advogato attribute hack is still unfixed after two year) then you might want to look at the new site

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