Neil Schemenauer's Web Log


March 20, 2003

More parodies

Funny stuff.

Ready to be Shot into Space

A member of Ohio's 5694th National Guard Unit in Mansfield legally changed his name to a Transformers toy.

Optimus Prime is heading out to the Middle East with his guard unit on Wednesday to provide fire protection for airfields under combat.

(full story)

March 19, 2003

Python and Nuclear Safety

We would like to assure everyone that we have been assiduous in our efforts to ensure that our country's nuclear arsenal cannot be accidentally activated by any such occurrence. A nuclear strike can only be initiated by four Python programmers executing four different innocuous-looking expressions simultaneously in geographically separated locations.

(full post)

March 18, 2003

Linux Laptops

I feel like buying a laptop but probably shouldn't spend the money. Here are some Linux friendly laptops. We have a Dell C400 at work that's pretty nice (although XFree86 doesn't fully support the graphics card yet).

March 17, 2003


To get less magic in Debian, add eval $(lesspipe) to your .bashrc. Cool.

PM says Canada will not fight in Iraq

"If military action is launched without a new resolution, Canada will not participate," Chretien said to cheers in Parliament.

(full story)

Good job Jean.

Linux boots on early POWER5 hardware

The following is one of the original boot logs for Linux on a POWER5 microprocessor. Linux was ported to POWER5 at an IBM Lab in Austin Texas. The port was done with pre-production hardware. As such, we are not showing BogoMIPS or frequency numbers at this time.

March 15, 2003

CNN: File-sharing sites allow trading of porn

Well, duh. A choice quote:

During the hearing, a committee staffer showed how easy it is to access pornographic images. The staffer performed a Google search to reach Kazaa, then once on Kazaa searched for Britney Spears. Hundreds of downloadable files then appeared on the screen.

(full story)

Since when did Britney start doing porn? I am reminded of Jack Valenti's "takedown" demonstration.

March 14, 2003

Subversion koan

Seen in the Apache error (produced by mod_dav_svn):

A failure occurred [...]
File exists: file not found: transaction `h6i', path [...]

March 12, 2003

Andrew Morton releases 2.5.64-mm5

The global files_lock spinlock is now one of the most expensive locks in the kernel. There are a few patches here which pretty much exterminate it.

These were written by Manfred and myself. We somehow blundered through this despite our never having seen any UNIX(tm) source code. Beginner's luck.

March 11, 2003

Fun with Nigerian Frauds

I don't know if this story is true but it sure is amusing.

March 07, 2003

SCO sues IBM

As expected, LWN has a nice editorial on the SCO suit. Like most people, fail I see how SCO thinks they can win this case. The part I find most amusing is that SCO is upset that IBM provided hardware to Linux SMP developers. If you look at Alan Cox's old Linux SMP page you will see that Caldera supplied him with SMP motherboard in the early days. If you've been following along, you know that Caldera recently acquired SCO and then later changed their name from Caldera to SCO. Oh, the irony.

I recall something that an Intel executive said about Rambus after they got the litigation disease. I can't find the article now but it was something like: We partnered with them because we thought they were a techonolgy company with real products. It's looking like they are a company full of lawyers.

March 06, 2003

Finding Sendmail versions

I suspect there are many companies who have vulnerable versions of Sendmail running somewhere. I wrote a simple script to find the versions of SMTP servers running on a network. To use

$ nmap -p 25 a.b.c.d/n > smtp_hosts.txt
$ ./ < smtp_hosts.txt | ./

The and scripts are available for download.

March 05, 2003

OS level continuations

Richard Draves' thesis demonstrated that using continuations as a programming technique within the MACH 3.0 kernel simplified the code and vastly improved performance.

Linux Software RAID and IDE Disks

I wrote down a few things I learned about Linux software RAID and IDE disks. Hopefully it does not contain too many lies. :-) For the impatient, software RAID0+1 and IDE disks make a good combination.