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  Pictured is Caleb on the first day of our roll playing campaign.  I'm playing a character from one of my stories, Ciarra Larissa von Lavendry.  Perhaps it will give me more incentive to write more about her story.
   I spent the day doing homework... wow... it feels good to say that :)
   Random bug outside the Garage.

1 comment has been made.

From Ericasaurus Rex

Earth

January 22, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Ew! Interesting, but ugly.

September 05, 2006

First day of class

   It was my first day of class and everything went smooth.  Things seem to be setup for an int resting semester—I will be doing more reading from a book this term than I've done in my life.  However, I feel a connection with the course content—that I have some background in what I'm learning, and that gives me hope.  Now we find out...
   I didn't sleep last night, and I've been awake now for over 25 hours.  Time to catch a bath and turn in for the evening.
   Pictured is the balcony at Mocha Moments coffee shop in Janesville.

September 02, 2006

ip-146-162.rbnnetwork.com tries to SPAM

Schmitty

Schmitty

    I've observed several requests by ip-146-162.rbnnetwork.com trying to make posts to DrQue.net.  A quick search shows this IP address SPAMs guest books.  It's pretty clear this SPAMer didn't  actually look at my web site, since they never make a request for the captcha image.  It's pointless to attempt to make a post without the cap. image.  My conclusion is the SPAMer has a completely automated system designed to find sites where posts can be made, takes a guess at how posts are made and SPAMs them senseless.
   Tonight I, rather to my surprise, saw Schmitty at Denny's.  He is back for a short time from his tour in Iraq.

September 01, 2006

Ratrap official release

   I have finally finished the Ratrap (that is Rat•trap) and it has official been released.  The script is designed to "trap" malicious robots and feed them with a infinite set of random links to itself.  The script generates a page of random words, links and e-mail addresses.   The idea of the ratrap is to identify the bad robots (like e-mail harvesters) and prevent them from further access to the site.  Good robots (like regular search engines) follow the rules of "robots.txt".  Bad bots don't.  Good robots are told not to access the ratrap.  Hidden links are placed on the site to the ratrap as bate.  And once a bad robot entries the ratrap, it finds plenty of reasons to stay (i.e. lots of links and e-mail addresses).   The last item on the to-do list was adding tracking off IP addresses that wondered the trap and ban them if after they had access the script a number of times.  Today, I finished that part.
   The banning portion of the Ratrap really consists of two parts.  The first part is keeping a database of "offenders".  I didn't want to require a full database like MySQL as that was over kill.  And a CSV file would just be messy.  So I decided this was a good project to try SQLite.  SQLite is a standard fetcher in PHP 5, so no issue there.  It turns out SQLite was a great solution for the tracking side of this project.  The second part of the IP banning was the system call to ban an offending IP.  The program "iptables" can do this quite easily.  But adding filters requires root access.  So for PHP to call this program, I needed to setup "sudo" to grant permission to the web server user.  Once that was working, I banned myself several times from a couple different locations to get the script working.  I am so glad for SDF, along with my shell account on Zen's machine-- really helps testing.
   Now that the script is complete, I've released it along with it's own website: ratrap.DrQue.net.  The web site layout looks much like most of my layouts, except I tried something I learned from WordPress.  I set the site up in such a way that it is will quite usable even if you disable the styles.  All XHTML strict and CSS compliant.  Since it's my first draft, I'm sure I'll be doing modifications in the future so people can actually understand it, but for now, I'll have to stick with an advanced "I'm sorry".
   Pictured is my key chain.  The hardcore geeks among us will recognize the 30-pin SIMM.  It's missing 3 chips (I just lost the 3rd chip).  Solder clearly isn't glue.

August 31, 2006

OpenVPN

   This happened a few days ago, but it took several days to get working and I haven't yet posted about it.  Zen figured out how to get OpenVPN working and setup one of his servers to act as the primary host.  Following his directions, I was quickly able to get the Indigo-Dragon onto the VPN.  Over the next couple of days, we ironed out the kinks in getting file shares to function.  Although both of us run Linux, we both also have non-Linux machines, which use SMB for network file shares.  Since that was already setup, it was decided to continue down that path and share SMB over the VPN. 
   I setup two sub directories in my /mnt/ directory: /mnt/Public and /mnt/VPN_Mounts.  Under the public directory, all the SMB mounts of the house can be found.  That directory is then shared with SMB, so that over the VPN, all of the house's data has a single access point.  The /mnt/VPN_Mounts directory has a mount point for each of the remote drives mounted with the VPN.  This also has an SMB share so that any machine in the house can access all the VPN data from a single location.  This system can automatically handle NFS mounts if they are added in the future.  However, I have no rush at add NFS mount exports, since there really isn't anything on the Indigo-Dragon to share.
   Pictured is a filthy window catching the last rays of the day.
   I managed to lock myself out of remotely logging into the Indigo-Dragon.  An other leecher was killing our bandwidth, trying to download every picture on DrQue.net.  My usual treatment involves firewalling the IP address and thinking little more of it.  However, I messed up doing the command to ended up telling the firewall to drop packet coming in.  In doing this, I could no longer do anything via SSH to the server.  To fix things, I had to find the keyboard and plug in a monitor to the Indigo Dragon and reset the firewall manually. I'm going to watch my keystrokes a little closer next time
   A bee on a flower
   This is a cover I designed for C.M. Dencker's album "Lyd".  Dencker said that Lyd is Norwegian ruffly translating to "noise".  The music of the album is a mixture of orchestral interments with a beat and a variety of distortion-- it has a different dark side.  In light of this, I tried to design a cover to match the feel of the music.  Feed-back would be apreshated.