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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Unix Admins

dissy Re:Tmux (136 comments)

Here it is in nicm@'s words:
"In particular, being able to share a single window between multiple terminals, with other windows in the same session but entirely separate. Adding this to screen was implausible"

Perhaps I am still misunderstanding the features of tmux (most likely in fact), but to say that is implausible to add to screen is misleading to say the least, since I have been doing exactly that in screen for nearly a decade.

On one terminal, either start a new screen session or -r to a detached session.
If starting a new one, try: screen -S LetsShare

On a second terminal, run: screen -list
You should see a list of screen sessions and their status (attached, detached, multi, etc)
If you used -S on start that will be the name, otherwise it's some tty.host.number string.

Now on that second terminal run: screen -x

Try to adjust both terminal sessions so you can see them at the same time. Type in either, watch in either. They are shared seemingly matching your tmux description.

You can change permissions per terminal so others can't type but will see everything you do (aka tutorial mode) using ^a *

Also for split/multiple windows showing on the same terminal, use ^a S (control-a capital-S)
To switch between split windows use ^a tab
Close a section of split window with ^a Q

The status bar problem is true and pretty annoying. I fixed it myself with a line in ~/.screenrc but of course I have to pretty much install that user config file on every new system I use which can get annoying.
If you want an always-on status bar showing window numbers and titles (^a A to change the title), add this to .screenrc (and hope slashdot doesn't munge it!)

hardstatus alwayslastline "%{= wk}%-Lw%{= BW}%n%f* %t%{-}%+Lw %-=%{= BW}%H%{-}%{-}"

Note the two "BW" bits? That's background blue and foreground white, and applies to the window with focus. Change B to R for red for example (production vs not-production in my case)

Here is my whole .screenrc file for copy/paste purposes: http://pastebin.com/kMkuFXi9
No splash screen, always on status bar, 10k line scrollback history for copy/paste (^a [ and ^a ] ), and auto-open three windows with preset titles and commands running in them.

I don't mean to knock tmux in any way at all, having not used it (and I do plan to check it out now) - but hopefully these screen tips help out others here.

about two weeks ago

Why Are We Made of Matter?

dissy Re:easy! (393 comments)

I find it interesting that there are people who believe in the simulation argument, but discount the existence of God. The Programmer would be an omnipotent and omniscient being who exists outside of this reality, and created this reality. That is the definition of God.

As an atheist who also happens to believe we are in fact living in a simulation, let me be the first reply to say - that is an excellent point!

The mind that created the universe simulation would perfectly fit the literal definition of God, and I suppose in that sense I'm not truly an atheist either, since such a mind would be a strong likelihood given the assumptions we are already making are true.

But then thinking a moment and recalling what we currently know of our observable universe, with all of the matter and energy out there that must be kept track of in such a simulation, it's fair to also think that us teeny tiny human energy structures are /nothing/ compared to that, and barely nothing in the grand scheme.

Any such mind that is able to simulate all of this wouldn't have any reason to care about me personally, any more than you care about the fate of a single specific atom in your body.
There would be no reason to lay praise or prayer upon such a mind, nor any reason to expect any special treatment over any other equally small structure that is another human.

That still tells me that even if I am factually wrong about the existence of such a God, my behavior and actions in this life so far are still perfectly aligned with how I have behaved and acted. No harm done :}

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

dissy Re:The bug is asking for the wrong fix (266 comments)

Windows doesn't support multihead well (at all, for multiple sessions, without something like Citrix intermediating the process), but it also doesn't screw up on where it put the internationalization translation tables and the dispatch routines and the usability.

Actually it does, frighteningly well.


You are quite correct however, this is a painfully ridiculous situation with the input handlers in Linux.
Multiseat and multihead seems so perfectly fitting as something Linux should be doing, but it fails miserably from the start due to the input handlers.

The real kick in the teeth bit about the Windows solution? You have to pay a full OS license for each seat/head configured!
If your goals are anything more complex than "I just wanted to see if it would work" then this licensing detail makes Windows pretty much the worst OS for such a use case, despite being the only OS that handles it correctly at the input layer.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

dissy Re:No problem (423 comments)

Where I work a good number of the surface mount assembly lines are run by windows 2000 and XP.
The screen printers still run DOS. Many of the electrical testers and chip programmer rigs need XP or lower as well.

As most of these setups require custom PCI IO cards, visualization isn't an option either.
(Though I am happy to have found an ISA to USB adapter that works well under visualization)

When "a pc upgrade" involves replacing a quarter million dollars in hardware and finding the time to eat the cost of downtime over three running shifts, even I couldn't justify the cost of doing so just to get a newer OS (that will still be windows and still go EOL at some future point!)

My solution is to segment older OSes on the network. They can reach the SQL server and occasionally the file server as needed.
NO email, NO internet, NO intranet, no random transfers between there and other networks.

Everyone has Win7 desktops for office, outlook, and firefox. There is no need to even treat the XP systems as computers anymore. They are now appliances.

With the SMT line PCs not even showing a desktop or letting the operators exit the controller GUI, and the test hardware being locked to a list of approved executables (More for QA actually), the likelyhood of an infection requiring a reinstall is next to nill.

That leaves hardware failures. I have full drive images to restore once the HDs fail. On a more serious failure, the entire rig is considered failed. Either time to pony up the $25k for a new system, or we do without.

As long as you get your desktops upgraded, there is a lot less you need to use XP for, and most attack vectors can actually be completely blocked without effecting any work flow what so ever.

about three weeks ago

Weev's Attorney Says FBI Is Intercepting His Client's Mail

dissy Re:Sweet revenge (109 comments)

Weev is the last person on earth having a right to complain about anyone accessing his emails. Hypocrite.

He has every right to complain, a lot more than you or I.

He has been put in prison for a crime that even the US government does not believe is a crime, proven by the fact they SHOW it is OK to do this to other people.

If it is acceptable for this action to be done at all, then clearly Weev has done nothing at all wrong here and shouldn't be in prison in the first place.

You don't get to claim "this person should be punished for doing X to be" and then turn around and expect to be treated differently when you do X to other people.

about three weeks ago

Microsoft Word Zero-Day Used In Targeted Attacks

dissy Re:Block all .RTF attachments (88 comments)

I know you are just trolling, but in case anyone considers that you might sound like you know what you're taking about...

Or you could just use a god damned system that isn't riddled with malware the way everything M$ is.

No, actually "you" can't. Our ERP system that runs the company cost around 2.5 million all said and done, and it only runs on Windows.
For our industry, there are only three (3!) such ERP packages in existance, ALL of which require windows to run (Except Oracles product, which can use windows and/or work poorly in non-IE browsers, but better than nothing if you can afford them)

Do YOU plan on cutting me a check to have this non-existant software created and paid for?
No? Hello? I hear crickets from you now.

Every solution you suggest would literally be no different than tossing out every computer and going back to pen and paper. You might as well suggest that a raw pork chop is a far superior weapon to a gun when the stated goal is to kill someone - obviously stupid and incorrect.

There is no longer any reason you could not roll out Linux or BSD workstations administered by someone clueful with nice pretty graphic UIs and installations of LibreOffice. Your users will thank you for systems that Just Work without silly malware paranoia.

Except for that little fact that there is no software to use. Yea, I kinda think our users will notice that tasks previously taking 60 seconds now take 4-8 hours to complete.

Your stockholders/partners/managers/owners will thank you for having some security and not letting dipshits use malware to steal customer information or God knows what other data.

Considering that advice would make the stock holders lose billions and no longer have a business, thanking me would not be on their list of methods to extract revenge and pain out of me.

As a troll I realize you only have the goals of causing pain and misery in others lives, but most of us actually don't enjoy seeing that.

Microsoft will feel rejected and their fanbois will cry about problems LibreOffice solved years ago back before it was forked from OpenOffice, pretending they are still relevant. But they will get over it.

I hate Microsoft garbage as much as the next person, most likely more since I actually use the crap and you clearly admit you don't and thus have no experience about the claims you also made.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how poorly microsoft software works, that poor solution is surrounded on all sides by non-solutions that don't even function. There is nothing better.

But if you truly believe your other solutions will work as drop-in replacements, will earn companies so much more money, and get you placed on a kingly pedestal showered in thanks - just put your money where your mouth is.
Once you pay all the change costs, and take on the risk your suggestions will incur, I will jump at the chance to rid ourselves of microsoft faster than you could sing trololol.

I'm just waiting on that check still...


about a month ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

dissy Re:Prison is more than punishment (914 comments)

1000 years of subjective time is more than suitable to plan and plot any revenge against the ones that put you through that...

"In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulu waits dreaming"

about 1 month ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

dissy Re:Prison is more than punishment (914 comments)

If you make it OK to use drugs and torture against criminal and innocent people (both of which get processed through "corrections", then at the same time you are stating that drugging others against their will and torturing them is not a bad thing to do (else you wouldn't do it)

If those are OK to do now, just imagine how many torturers you just handed releases to, since you want the horrible act they are in prison for to no longer be a crime that is against the law.

I would much prefer people so far gone they are willing to torture others continue to be imprisoned instead of legalizing torture and no longer arresting such people.

about 1 month ago

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

dissy Re:reduce the amount (983 comments)

What's the point of having a bluray movie if the first thing you normally do is make it look like crap?

I've been asking that same question, but I think Viacom blocked my email addresses by now :{

about a month ago

Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

dissy Re:The submission looks like a Microsoft advertise (208 comments)

Gnote doesn't appear to handle images and other binary data, just text.

CherryTree looks pretty close however. The only feature I see lacking is its search.
OneNote can text-search within images for example, not just the textual notes.

The Outlook integration is pretty nice too, but since that won't be in the free version it looks like, that isn't fair to compare.

about a month ago

Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy

dissy Re:Estate Taxes (300 comments)

You seem to think the deceased never paid taxes in his entire life.

Why would you think that?

Especially so after I explicitly stated they do pay taxes and would choose to do so given the choice...

Is your argument that the government does not deserve those taxes and they shouldn't be paid, thus the solution is to pay your taxes? Because that makes even less sense!

about a month ago

Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

dissy Re:Next up: a direct detection (269 comments)

NOTHING escapes a black hole, not matter or energy or gravity.

Strawman, since no one has claimed otherwise.

We detect the activity around and affected by the blackhole, which is not at all inside of it by any definition.

about a month ago

Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

dissy Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (878 comments)

Well, considering that conventional warfare is a nono, and nuclear warfare is a BIG NONO, but economic warfare is fair game, I'd say you have a point.

But once you have done that once, that's it, the economic weapon has been used, and you've got nothing left. Of course, there's always the threat of using it, or selling off a few million dollars of shares every now and again just to prove the point.

As others have mentioned, it may not be single use after all...
But even assuming it was, once the economic weapon has been used, doesn't that still leave conventional warfare and the ICBMs that weren't used?

about a month ago

Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy

dissy Re:Estate Taxes (300 comments)

So the government earned it? I don't think so.

Assuming the heirs in question weren't butchered by a mob along with their billionaire parents and the entire estate burnt down... Yes, the government earned it.

These heirs wouldn't have ANY money, nor their parents, if it wasn't for the government. If they had anything of value, they would likely have been killed and the valuables stolen if not for the government.

Not to mention they probably would have died during birth if not for the hospitals and medicine made possible by a stable economy, roads to get them to said hospital, and police to protect their safety and possessions.

If they want to claim they owe the government nothing, they also lose the right to complain when the rest of us murder them and take their stuff. I seriously doubt they really would go with that option if given the choice.

Either defend yourself 100%, or stop complaining and pay up for the protection offered.

about a month ago

1GB of Google Drive Storage Now Costs Only $0.02 Per Month

dissy Re:Why do you think $.02*12/year/GB is cheap? (335 comments)

And them going through it to profile you, handing a copy to the government, and the likelihood that they get hacked one day (either en masse or just your account or some disgrunted employee) and it gets out to someone/everyone else just free perks then?

That can be a risk yes, but is easily defeated.

If the files I upload are intended to be distributed and shared, say software I write or videos I publish or whatnot, then that profiling is only a good thing since I want to rise in the search results as the source and creator.

If the files are a backup of personal/company data, stuff not to be shared anyway, I'll be uploading an encrypted container.
Yes, my profile will have a single entry stating I use encryption (which I don't know how to avoid) but my actual data isn't profiled since they can't read it.

You also eat some business risk that they may decide to discontinue the service, with little or no notice.

True, that is always a risk when you go 3rd party and don't do it "in house".

But that shouldn't be TOO much of a problem, especially for the backup situation. By definition backups are a copy, and by best practices you shouldn't ever have only one copy but many. Losing one may be an inconvenience in replacing it, but only a fool would delete their originals after uploading a backup.
(Not to say there aren't fools out there who do exactly that - only to say this is the fools fault, not the hosting provider)

For the distribution situation, it is adamantly a much larger inconvenience and to many more people.
Hopefully a person operating this way has their own domain name and website, and can be the authoritative source for where to download the files.
Then it's just time being spent to upload everything to a new host to distribute and updating the links that point to them.

Yes users wanting to download will be upset, but that's mainly a result of you not having redundancy in place.
I realize redundancy isn't always an option for many reasons, and am not attempting to place blame. (If you can't afford it, you can't afford it.)
But this is the case with most everything online, be it file hosting, web hosting, backup services, ISPs/uplinks using BGP vs a single DSL/cable provider, etc.
I don't see that as a fault with the 3rd party really, just an unfortunate truth to the nature of what we do.

And they may lose it. Google's lost data before after all. They're far better administrators than the average joe consumer, but they aren't magical. You should probably still arrange for another backup.

Agreed! No one is perfect, and expecting otherwise can only bite you.
But for most, especially individuals and hobbyists but small companies too, Google or Amazons (or even Microsofts) admins are going to have more time and people on hand to take care of it.

It's always a cost/benefit to figure out.

That said, I don't object to making use of cloud storage where appropriate... but google storage? Really? Don't they have enough of your data already?

Perhaps. I think this one is going to boil down to personal preference.
There is a certain extent I do trust Google, and a line I wouldn't trust them past. I suspect my line is a bit closer to "trust" than your line is ;}

But assuming we are both knowledgeable about what Google does, what their business modal is, and what specific thing we will be using them for - I don't think there is much either of us can say to move that line for the other much, and that doesn't make either of us wrong.

, compared to paying you anything for the service of "oops, all your data was lost because this crappy consumer level drive failed"

Of course, one could maintain a couple copies. So when the drives inevitably fail, you've got more copies.

According to the statements made which my comment replied to, no actually you can't.

Parent specifically said the solution was one single 4 TB hard drive.
You can't do a RAID with one disk.
You can have multiple copies on that one disk, but that won't help against most failure modes.

Parent specifically argued against all the options that would let you protect a single consumer drive from failure, and didn't even account for other failures such as bitrot checksums, parity to fix said bitrot, or user error (ie deleting something on accident)

And really most data isn't worth backing up. My music / movies -- not going to sweat 99% of them. Vacation photos etc? I replicate copies to my family (and they to me). Odds of all of us losing them at once are near enough to zilch -- that whatever catastrophe manages to do it will probably make the lost photos the least of our concerns.

Strongly agreed there too.

Personally I do not backup any of my movies. I keep my original DVDs and whatnot, and yes it would suck to re-rip everything and sort it nicely again, but it can be done.
My music ended up backed up due to wanting it at multiple locations, but I didn't intend on that originally.
My vacation photo situation sounds identical to yours too. If 5 US states disappear over night including the one I live in, fallout has taught me photos will not be of help in fighting off the raiders and mutants ;P

But - I do have a ~250 MB encrypted volume I DO backup everywhere I can.
It contains my tax paper work, scans of important documents I need to keep for some time, my own unencrypted private certificate authority cert, etc.

I also have a smaller encrypted volume I store with family and friends that contains my password basis and schemes, plus some of the more important ones along with my rotation schedule and whatnot.
My will contains this volumes password and a list of which family members and friends have a copy, intended to be available to my heir once I pass on.
The more help for her in this case the better, since I won't be around to ask!

While these days I run a fleet of my own servers to host files I distribute, I too started out with free hosting online (zomg ftp.netcom.com and geocities!) then moved up to paid hosting (usually of the web hosting form) before finally moving to colo servers and now adding VPSes.

Professionally on the other hand, I do have a metric crapton of data that does need to be backed up. I have ~250 employees here I have to protect against themselves (Be it a boot drive image to be restored after an infection, or files on the storage server to be placed back after being overwritten incorrectly)

But I will fully admit at work I keep everything in-house. They provide much more funds for that than I am willing to spend for myself at home, so thankfully this isn't an issue ;}

In the end it all boils down to the specific case at hand, what concerns one has, and which options are easiest to address those concerns.

But none of that was mentioned in my previous reply, since that was on a pure technical level between a single consumer drive on one PC, and enterprise grade hardware setup by best practices, administrated by competent people.
Hopefully it is clear however that even the political side of the argument isn't as black and white either.

about a month ago

1GB of Google Drive Storage Now Costs Only $0.02 Per Month

dissy Re:Why do you think $.02*12/year/GB is cheap? (335 comments)

A 4TB drive is under 200 USD from several vendors. That is only $.05/GB. So, at 0.24/yr.

And a 74 GB SAS drive is $300, which won't fall over and puke on itself the second a second user tries to perform a read operation on it, nor will die in zero to a few years.
That is only $4 per GB, and provides significantly higher speeds, bandwidth, and lifetime over your option.

Not to mention, I would rather pay Google $0.02 per GB for the service of "storing my data", compared to paying you anything for the service of "oops, all your data was lost because this crappy consumer level drive failed"

about a month ago

Comcast Turning Chicago Homes Into Xfinity Hotspots

dissy Re:Comcast WiFi (253 comments)

Haven't dealt much with cable tech support much, have you? They couldn't figure out what is wrong with a line if you handed them a cable cut in half. They'd first ask you to try and reboot the computer to make sure it wasn't that.

What does the average tech support flow chart reading monkey have to do with automated CPE monitoring setup by the network engineers?

about a month and a half ago

Comcast Turning Chicago Homes Into Xfinity Hotspots

dissy Re:BT in the UK do this (253 comments)

I assume it is rate limited in some way

Just to clarify, it is rate limited in the same way your existing connection is (though likely more so)

Docsis 3 configured with 4096 QAM can push 10 gbps down and 1 gbps up the coax.
Out of that, your service will be allocated some bandwidth over a number of channels, depending on what the ISP feels like offering and how much you are paying them. In the US, lets say you get a 20mbps down package (For our UK friends, pretend it's 100mbps down) - and that is your rate limit.

Now they can allocate a new channel for the other virtual circuit. This is equivilent to having two people in your house each subscribing to the same cable ISP and having their own cable modem on the wire.
Short of massive bandwidth packages requiring many channels, both modems can live and operate quite happily on the same coax, each tuned to a different channel. (Only if multiple channels are bonded to give more bandwidth are dedicated coax runs involved)

In this case, there is a channel your modem uses for your own service, capped at whatever you pay for.
There is a seperate channel the modem also tunes to and sends to the wifi access point built in, that other subscribers can login to.
This unrelated channel will also be capped, and likely much lower than your own service.
That channel is bound to a virtual circuit that isn't under your name, and shows as a dialup pool or the like, where radius logs can link usernames and login times with DHCP logs and the IP(s) being used by whom.

In both cases, a metric crapton of unused and unallocated bandwidth over the coax is sitting there idle. Instead of 10000-20 mbps unused, there will be something like 10000-20-5 (or whatever they end up allocating the wifi)
The bottle necks are further up stream within the ISP network (typically at their edge routers, which link them to other networks) - no longer at the last mile.

In fact the only difference between two virtual circuits terminating in the same modem (one going to ethernet and wifi radio 1 for you, the other going to wifi radio 2 for others) is the hardware being used to do it.
Accounting, bandwidth, and cost wise there is no difference between this setup, and both you and the person next door subscribing to the same ISP.

As far as the network itself goes, this is already a well known and quite solved problem, and has been going on for decades.

The only real concern is the piece of hardware servicing these two circuits in the same software stack. Any security flaws that would let one circuit route to another in any way differently than if they were separate routers would be a "very bad thing"(tm)

Right now I can only reach you over the network by that ethernet jack in the cable modem, that your firewall names "the outside". Any packets I send must abide by your firewall rules to make it through.
A flaw in the router might possibly allow routing between wifi radio 2 and ethernet/wifi radio 1 in a different way than from coax to ethernet/wifi radio 1 and coax to wifi radio 2.

Imagine iptables setup on a machine with 3 ethernet jacks. #1 is ISP, #2 is you, and #3 is the roommate. Packets from #3 to #2 should NOT flow if they wouldn't also be able to go from #1 to #2, or from #1 to #3 even.

Docsis even provides security features where all the cable modems on the same coax can only communicate with the CMTS. You and the person next door, or even the room mate in the same house, willingly communicating over the network will route packets from you out to the cable co and back to the same house to the room mate. Replies take the same long path back. Each cable modem encrypts using unique keys.

Having two such encryption channels in the same cable modem is part of the 3.1 spec at least, so this is more like using an existing feature instead of inventing a brand new home grown solution out of a linux box with multiple network adapters.
(Which I'm not knocking! But sometimes carrier grade router gear is the better bet, and with the public masses involved this would be one of those times)

Some also question the competence of the IT staff comcast chooses to retain, and question if they are capable of realizing such a problem exists as well as can apply the industry standard "fix" defined in the 80s (ie correct filtering rules on the correct interfaces)

There are a number of ways to do this setup properly and securely. But this is comcast here, not the network professionals.

about a month and a half ago

Bug In the GnuTLS Library Leaves Many OSs and Apps At Risk

dissy Re:With enough eyes... NOT (231 comments)

Except your argument has been proven false - many eyes DID catch the bug!

You are posting to an article plainly stating the bug exists, while your post claims such an article doesn't and can't exist because this very bug you are commenting on hasn't and can't be found.

You state this falsehood while at the same time argue the only process that "works" is one where not only would this bug have been around for a decade but still to this day would only be known to the black hat hackers who will use it for ill, depriving the software users (us) of being allowed to even know there is a problem under threat of lawsuits.

I have to seriously question your motives for such a desire and why you don't want people to be secure...

about a month and a half ago

How the Black Hole Firewall Paradox Was Resolved

dissy Re:Complementarity (118 comments)

(let's call him Rob)

No no no, scientifically his name must be Carl! Did no one teach you your A B C's? ;}

about 3 months ago



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