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Wednesday, February 18th, 2004

Time Event
linux prng work!
so some good news has prompted me to finally post here, to share what I’m doing with everyone, and to see if people are interested.

right now I’m working on improving the pseudorandom number generator and entropy harvester in the linux kernel. I’ve just moved my work from 2.4 to 2.6, and am hoping to have a stable version of the new PRNG out in the next few months.

if anyone is into this sort of stuff, whether the technical aspects of PRNGs or just kernel hacking in general, I’d love to find more people to talk to about it, so feel free to drop me a line!

Current Mood: good
Windows 2000 vs. Linux

I just stumbled upon that, and since I don't post much, I decided I'd share with everyone else here. It amused me. ^_^

Current Mood: amused
Tapes, Slack, and all kinds of fun kookiness
At work I have two webservers running Linux. Both are currently running RH9, but the first is getting moved to SuSE this weekend. While I was upgrading the OS, I was also planning on installing a HP Colorado 5GB tape backup drive that I have laying around from an old Novell server at our offsite location that was taken out of service. Currently backup consists of a script I run on both machines weekly to tar up certain vital things, then I burn it to a DVD+RW.

Obviously it's time consuming, waiting for the scrip to tar up ~2GB of data on both machines, then tranferring it to my laptop - then burning it. So I'd love to be able to use that IDE tape drive to automate this entire process.

I've had zero experience with tape backups on Linux or Unix in general. I have gobs with Arcserve on Novell and various other stuff on IBM OS/400.

Then I got to thinking, I also have a spare P90 with 128MB of RAM, which just happens to be that de-commisioned Novell server, that I could use as a "backup" server. Hence, not loading up the webservers while I do this process, and using NFS.

Does anyone have any experience with this? My thought is just using NFS to mount the partitions I want to backup, run the backup script/utility and be done with it.

Oh, and the kicker is that the two webservers are on a different subnet behind a different firewall than the backup machine. Same local LAN, but we have our "office" and the servers seperated. No big deal, since I can NFS mount partitions between the two subnets already. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Ideally I'd like to use slack. Or, hell, OpenBSD. Those are the only two distros that I think would run decently and reliably on sparse hardware.

Any suggestions?
the great search begins again...
OK, i'm resuming the great search for that Linux distro that "Just Works". I haven't found it yet. I've googled, but I'm still sure as to what I want. I'm currently running SuSE 9 on my machine, and it isn't running like I want it to. I ran SuSE 8.2 before, with Ximian Desktop, but that didn't do what I wanted either, but it was closer (I pretty much screwed my machine over with a hardware change, so I felt it was easier to do a reinstall rather than fix it again). Before this, I ran SuSE 8.0, and before that it was a Mandrake box. All these installations ran well, but just not quite there in terms of "Just Working"

Does anybody know of any distros (besides Gentoo) that have KDE 3.2? It looks pretty damn sweet, and I wanna try it out.

Granted, I'm comparing my Linux box to my mac, so I have maybe unrealistically high expectations, but what I'm looking for in a distro are:
-DVDs "Just Work", no installing deCSS, or any of that stuff, I pop a disc in, and I can play it
-Office suite: "Just Works" either OpenOffice 1.1 or KOffice
-video driver: includes the NVidia drivers, or makes it really easy for me to get them
-has K3B included for burning, or something equally nice
-automatic clock syncing. This is essential, because my machine has kind of a crappy clock (Asus A7A266 motherboard, to be exact)
-HFS+ and FireWire support would be nice, so I could use my iPod and my powerbook in firewire targe mode with my linux box as storage devices, should the need arise. I know Gentoo has this, but I can't have my machine down that long to do the install.

I've looked at SuSE, Gentoo, and Mandrake. What else should I be looking at?

also, does Lindows still suck? I want to set my gf's machine up with something that's really easy for her to use. and, does Lindows play encrypted DVDs? From what I could find, their website doesn't say.

thanks in advance!
Where do all the entries in /etc/modprobe.conf come from? That is, I have lots of lines in there like:

alias char-major-107 3dfx
alias char-major-108 ppp_generic
alias char-major-109 lvm_mod
alias char-major-161 ircomm-tty
alias char-major-191 raw1394
alias char-major-195 NVdriver

and so forth, but I've upgraded my kernel since I installed this system. How can I be sure that all these major driver numbers are still accurate for the kernel I'm running, or remove some of the entries for devices I've removed from the kernel?

Is there any program to generate a new modprobe.conf file based on what's actually available in the kernel that's running right now?
File/dir wont rm!!
As you may or may not know the 2.6.3 kernel came out today. While emergeing it I finally decided that its time to remove all the old kernels I dont use any more, pretty much the 2.4.x tree and all the rc I have. I removed them all but doing an emerge -C vanilla-sources it left the dir so I went into /usr/src/ and did a rm -rf linux-2.4.xx on the stuff it left. Then I went to /lib/modules and do rm -rf 2.4.xx but the problem is when I got to my last dir 2.4.23-burner it wont let me remove it. Doing rm -rf 2.4.23-burner it goes like everything is kool but its still there same thing with rm -f rmdir gives me rmdir: `2.4.23-burner': No such file or directory and when I try to cd into it I get -bash: cd: 2.4.23-burner: No such file or directory. Can someone please tell me how to get rid of this?


here's a good one...
does anyone know how i can configure gnome's toolbars/taskbars to come apart, like this one? i want to have them separated from eachother, the bar with the current open apps and the shortcut bar/taskbar... preferably either one on top and one on the bottom, or one on bottom and one on the side...

thanks for your help, in advance...

Microsoft Security Posters
Hopefully nobody's submitted this yet. Found them about halfway through a handle of Captain Morgan while reading lwn.net. I almost wet my pants.

Networking Woes
I recently setup my WiFi card with ndiswrapper so now I have one ethernet card, one WiFi card, and one modem on my laptop. I need to switch between each of these devices depending on where I am. The problem is that in order for me to do this I have to go into redhat-network-config deactivate what ever im using check under profile the device I want to use and check off the device I dont want to use then active the device I want to use. This gets very annoying. What I want to do is have my system so automaticly it brings up eth0(when I boot and when im going to do something) if I want to goto my WiFi card all I have to do is ifdown eth0 && ifup wlan0. Is there a way to do this with this hole profile thing? Also when I was playing with the profile I created two new ones other then common and it wont let me delete them, how can I delete them?



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