Posts for September 2003

2003-09-07: remctl 1.4

No releases (or other journal entries) for me in quite a while, I see. I've been rather busy playing video games, watching other people play video games, and doing lots of various programming and software compiling at work. But here's a little something.

I've just released a new version of remctl, the Kerberos v5 remote command execution server that we use. It contains modifications from Roland Schemers to allow particular arguments to commands to be masked in the logs, as well as a variety of bug fixes.

2003-09-07: Catching up

After a great deal of company lately, not to mention some significant distractions (Soul Calibur II isn't really a new game so much as the 2.0 version of the previous Soul Calibur game for the Dreamcast, but it's still a fantastic game), this weekend was a catch-up weekend. Both on various domestic chores (lots of laundry to do) and on sleep, as I spent significant portions of both Saturday and Sunday dozing in front of the television.

There was a lot of really good tennis at the end of the U.S. Open, and now football season has started so there's more to watch on the weekends again. I never have been much of a baseball fan. I also have a ton of things recorded on the TiVo to catch up on, of course.

All pending messages in ietf-nntp and news.software.nntp have been dealt with and various INN documentation and FAQ updates have been made. I have a small bit of programming I want to do and then INN 2.4.1 should be pretty much ready to release. WebAuth 3.2.1 has also been ready to go for a while, so that will likely be out soon.

Not a lot of reading has happened lately apart from reading my regular on-line news sites (Excite, Slashdot, and Salon). I'm still working on The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson, which is going rather slowly.

2003-09-10: WebAuth 3.2.1

Finally, after running various builds of it on various servers for quite a while and fixing lots of little bugs for the www.stanford.edu upgrade, an official release of WebAuth 3.2.1 is out the door. You can get it from the usual place.

The builds went much smoother this time, but I still do need to get a system devoted solely to building WebAuth modules and binaries so that I can set everything up the way that I want and not have to keep rebuilding the build environment.

2003-09-10: Productivity

I'm having an excellent week for sustained productivity, which is particular excellent since it's not actually been one of those weeks where I wake up with tons of ideas about what I want to do that day. I've actually not really been that "on" in terms of having ideas just flow off my fingertips, but I've been able to focus and work through things one at a time and still accomplish a lot.

ImageMagick 5.5.7 simply doesn't want to build on Tru64 with GCC 3.3.1; it spews tons of unaligned access errors and display appears to not actually work. I'm going to give up for the release next week and just leave the old version linked in for Tru64; I'm tired of fighting with it. But it's done on every other platform, which means that I'm ready for next week's release apart from doing all the posting of announcements, the actual releases, and the final release checking.

Which reminds me -- must submit a change management request.

The metrics code is now done and the first example application, parsing Cyrus IMAP logs and generating statistics from those, seems to be working great. Next comes documentation of all of the infrastructure and methods and putting together some sort of web site explaining the project (which means I should figure out how to make spin talk the ITSS project web page templates instead of just the production service ones).

A script for (mostly) automatically processing DMCA complaints is almost done, which will take some load off the security folks. I just need to do final testing.

Maybe I'll take most of next week off, since I seem to be doing the work of two weeks in this week.

2003-09-10: Death: At Death's Door

Review: Death: At Death's Door by Jill Thompson

I decided to take a break from The Years of Rice and Salt and read something else, and had picked this up a while back. For those who have not already heard of it, it's a story of Gaiman's Death, telling events at the same time as Sandman: Season of Mists from Death's perspective (and Despair and Delirium). It's entirely in black and white and is drawn in a very manga style (complete with SD versions of the Endless).

Overall... well, a substantial portion of the book is a retelling of Sandman: Season of Mists. Some of it is from a different perspective, but actually quite a lot of it, substantial chunks of it, are just taken straight from the original but redrawn in manga style. This is one of my favorite Sandman stories, so I certainly didn't mind reading it again, but I was expecting a bit more original content.

In the new content, though, there are definitely some great moments, and Death is really about as well-written as she is in Gaiman's own work. Delirium has lots of typical Delirium moments (although she doesn't seem to reach her trademark level of giddy profundity nearly as often here), and the other Endless are all well-handled. Well, with the possible exception of Despair... I can't really point at anything exactly wrong, but she doesn't feel quite right. Mostly, I think she's just not quite dark enough.

The art style, which is really the main attraction here, is going to be a definite matter of taste. People who like the manga style and SD characters (severely distorted, usually meaning characters drawn child-like with utterly exaggerated expressions) will love this. Personally, I really prefer the standard US comic style, and absolutely loved the artwork in Sandman: Season of Mists, but this was amusing and different as a change. In small quantities at least. I think I've now had my fill of it for a while. I doubt I'm ever going to be a huge fan of manga in this style; my artistic preferences have always run towards realistic or at least more traditionally artistic, like the standard Sandman art.

It's a pretty substantial-sized book, but a very quick read without the artistic detail of Sendman; I went through the whole thing in about an hour.

Overall, don't expect exceptional brilliance at the level of Sandman or the other two Death miniseries, but recommended for fans of the series. Particularly recommended if the idea of cute little Endless screaming at each other with giant sweat drops and hitting each other with things sounds hilarious.

Rating: 7 out of 10

2003-09-12: filter-syslog 1.13

New version of filter-syslog that ignores the syslogd restart lines on Linux (at least Red Hat), which don't follow the same format as a normal log message. We found this problem when we started moving to Linux for servers.

2003-09-19: Google toolbar

Okay, I don't know how I missed this before, but this is just the coolest thing ever. I'm sure everyone else in the world has been using it for years, but if you don't know what I'm talking about and you use Mozilla as your browser, go to MozDev and grab it.

Not only does it give you a place to search Google directly without needing to bookmark the site, but it can automatically highlight search terms in the returned pages, walk through the page returns with a button, search the various different indexes, show you backlinks to a page, do university searches, and all sorts of other stuff.

Really, really nice. Thanks, Neil!

Last modified and spun 2017-03-25