Monday, October 31, 2011

On Dennis Ritchie: A conversation with Brian Kernighan - O'Reilly Radar

On Dennis Ritchie: A conversation with Brian Kernighan - O'Reilly Radar:

'via Blog this'

Dennis Ritchie Day - O'Reilly Radar

Dennis Ritchie Day - O'Reilly Radar:

On 10/30/11 let's remember the contributions of computing pioneer Dennis Ritchie.

I don't have the convening power of a Governor Brown, but for those of us around the world who care, I hereby declare this Sunday, October 30 to be Dennis Ritchie Day! Let's remember the contributions of this computing pioneer. (Tim O’Reilly)

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

IPv6 Baby Steps

Been doing some research on how to proceed, now that my first IPv6 tunnel is working.

The "Seven Deadly Traps" whitepaper recommended finding an IP address management (IPAM) tool to manage allocation of IPv6 addresses. After installing and testing several opensource implementations, I found that phpipam works well.

Tried installing OCS Inventory NG, too, but I'm having some difficulties getting it running properly.

Checking out some IPv6 info resources at Found the following checklist at First Steps for ISPs

Work Toward Native IPv6

After you have accomplished this, it is time to begin the planning and education process which will result in offering native IPv6 Internet access services at all PoPs where you currently offer IPv4 Internet access. You will need to run dual-stack on your backbone and servers, and will need to push IPv6 all the way to the edge. Here are some pages which will help with that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who says men don't have a sensitive side?

Teddy Bear Collection

A woman meets a gorgeous man in a bar. They talk, they connect, they end up leaving together.

They get back to his place, and as he shows her around his apartment, she can't help but notice the soft, sweet, cuddly teddy bears in his bedroom!

There are three shelves with hundreds and hundreds of cute, cuddly teddy bears, carefully placed in rows covering an entire wall! It was obvious that he had taken quite some time to lovingly arrange them and she was immediately touched by the amount of thought he had put into organizing the display.

There were small bears all along the bottom shelf, medium-sized bears covering the length of the middle shelf, and huge, enormous bears running all the way along the top shelf.

She found it strange for a young bloke to have such a large a collection of teddy bears, especially one that's so extensive, but doesn't mention this to him, and actually is quite impressed by his sensitive side. All the while thinking to herself, "Oh my! Maybe this guy could be the one! Maybe he could father my children!"

She turns to him. They kiss... and then they rip each other's clothes off and make hot steamy love.

After an intense, explosive night of raw passion, the woman rolls over, strokes his chest and asks coyly, "Well, how was it?"

The guy says: "Help yourself to any prize from the bottom shelf."

Reinstalled RequestTracker

Back in the spring we had a disk failure on the BLU server, and I never reinstalled a few of the subsystems that had gone unused for a long time. One of these was the RT helpdesk system.

I needed RT again for the IPv6 project, so I reinstalled it yesterday afternoon. Couldn't get the dependencies working for the latest tarball (version 4.0.2) so I ended up using the pre-built package (version 3.8.8) from the yum repo.

Alas, there's a boatload of new features in 4.x that I'd like to use, but I needed something operational immediately. Hopefully the newer version will get packaged for EPEL in a few months.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Science Channel Videos: Through The Wormhole: Machine Planet

Machine Planet (video hosted by Morgan Freeman)

Baby's First IPv6 Tunnel

Yesterday I registered for an account at SixXS, got the account details, and then requested a heartbeat tunnel.
This afternoon I received the config details for the tunnel. I set up the tunnel on Lachesis and was then able
to successfully ping6 a few IPv6 addresses and browse a few IPv6-only websites.


(Apologies to any Minbari who may find that expression offensive or confusing :)


  1. Installed the AICCU software on the CentOS 6.0 server: "yum install aiccu"
  2. Edited the config file "/etc/aiccu.conf" with my tunnel config info. Set the username, password, protocol (tic), server, and tunnel_id. Left the rest of the file as-is.
  3. Ran "chkconfig aiccu on" and "service aiccu start" to bring up the tunnel.
  4. Ran "ping6" to ping an external IPv6 address. Success!!!
  5. Connected to the server via vnc over an ssh tunnel, and started firefox.
  6. Did a google search for IPv6-only sites.
  7. Browsed to "" for a list.
  8. Tested connection at "". Success!!!
The site linked to a free whitepaper: "The 7 Deadly Traps of IPv6 Deployment and How to Avoid Them". Next step is to read through this.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Progress on IPv6 project

Status so far:

  1. Allocated a server for a BLU IPv6 testbed at our colo facility. Needs hard drives.
  2. Talked to colo customer support; turns out they don't provide any IPv6 support.
  3. Asked for recommendations on BLU discussion list.
  4. Recommendation #1: Do a hybrid IPv4/IPv6 system, instead of a pure IPv6-only system
  5. Recommendation #2: Use the tunnel broker to connect to the IPv6 Internet
  6. Registered for a SixXS account for the project
  7. Requested a heartbeat-type tunnel from my SixXS account


  1. Browsed to and read through the "10 Easy Steps to IPv6" page. Determined that the best type of tunnel for my purposes is a Heartbeat tunnel.
  2. Used the SixXS direct signup link to register for an account.
  3. Once I received the account, I requested a heartbeat tunnel.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Red Hat Takes Its Hat Off to Dennis Ritchie

October 14, 2011

by Tim Burke, Vice President Linux Engineering

It is with sad hearts that the Red Hat community mourns the passing of computing pioneer Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie. Dennis Ritchie was the principal designer of the C programming language and co-developer of the Unix operating system, working closely with Ken Thompson, his longtime Bell Labs collaborator.

Many of us have a proud history of involvement in the UNIX operating system well before the emergence of Linux. To the UNIX world, Ritchie and Thompson were as influential as Linus Torvalds is today to the Linux community. Unix and C's direct and spiritual descendants cannot be counted, but include Linux, Android, Mac OS, iOS, JavaScript, C++, the genius of the internet, and a planet of developers. The major impact of UNIX is not so much in the elegant code itself but rather in the culture of sharing work across industry and academia that became UNIX’s hallmark. Prior to UNIX, operating system code was locked in corporate vaults – inaccessible to the masses. UNIX flung open these doors by allowing code to be shared among software engineers across the nascent computer industry, ushering in an unprecedented wave of collaborative development – and, at the same time, liberating many applications from being locked into a single proprietary hardware vendor.

UNIX code was also shared with universities where it became the foundation of the learning and advancement of operating system practices. Similarly, the C programming language became a staple of the computer science classroom. Many of us literally grew up in Dennis' technical shadow and still have his book, The C Programming Language, co-authored with Brian Kernighan and more fondly referred to as K & R, on our shelves. It remains a source of inspiration and practical help to programmers to this day.

Most of what we do is heavily influenced by Dennis’s outstanding contributions – both in the technical arena and as a founder of the concept of community development. We at Red Hat look with awe and reverence on his legacy.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

PXE Dust at Midnight

The new PXE install server is finally working! The final problem turned out to be an SElinux issue with Apache.

It seems Apache doesn't like to serve files from an iso image mounted on a loopback device, unless you set the SElinux context in the mount options:

mount -o ro,loop,context=system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_content_t Cent OS-6.0-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso dvd1