Monday, October 30, 2006

Damn - I'm in trouble for googling svn

There's an article about how google is in bed with the CIA. I hope it's not true. As it happens, my own sense is that there's probably a lot of overreaching going on there (the interviewee also thinks that the U.S. government probably had a hand in creating 9/11,I mean, that's possible, and Cheney and his gang are evil, but probably not *that* evil).

In any case, if this stuff is true, I'm in sooo much trouble. I keep forgetting (actually, I keep not remembering to write it down or look in my overflowing bookmarks) the URL to subversion. So I keep googling for it (there's another problem, I keep saying "googling" with no (tm) or whatever it is that will appease the lawyers, mainly because I don't know what the protocol is there. I bet I'm going to receive a cease and desist email any day now, from a company that's in cahoots with the CIA, i'm *sooo* going to be waterboarded).

Ho-hum. I do wonder how much of that is true. Maybe a lot. But I don't worry too much about it. I don't intend to come anywhere near U.S. territory until this insanity ends (probably going to be a long wait). I'm certainly not guilty of anything (well, except for saying that Bush is an incompetent nincompoop and his vice president and advisers are evil, that might be a crime now, not really eager to test it), I can explain what subversion version control is, in so much detail it would be torture on the torturers, I'm so enthusiastic about it, but there's just insanity and paranoia there. Best to leave them alone until they decompress and are more likely to leave the innocent alone.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Upgrading ubuntu without reinstall

I see that There's a step by step guide (with pictures even) to upgrading ubuntu dapper drake to eft

I'm going to try that one of these days. But first I think i'll watch someone else do it at work :-). I've been burned quite a few times upgrading distros (mostly mandrake and mandriva) upward. It's possible to do, but a lot of things can break in the middle (with mandrake and mandriva, urpmi being so dependent on perl, there are lots of things in perl upgrading that could break urpmi which would break the whole thing.

Yeah, I think I'll watch someone do it first. I wouldn't be surprised if it goes smoothly. A lot of things go smoothly with ubuntu (although I still need to get sound working on my wife's laptop, I got that working when I had a similar laptop more than a year ago, but I've forgotten the magic incantations necessary).

A* pathfinding fun

On one of the games programming feed aggregators I monitor (or rather, that I have Bloglines monitor), there was a recent post pointing to an A* pathfinding discussion for beginners.

I haven't finished it yet, but it's sufficiently fun that I'm blogging it already :-). I doubt if I'll actually implement it. But I like knowing about random things not directly related to work. It might come up in an interview. If it doesn't, I *might* bring it up in an interview :-). And, anyway, a problem in the future might come up that looks like a pathfinding problem. It's useful to know things that are close to but not exactly in ones normal problem domain.

At work, my company happens to have How To Solve It: Modern Heuristics and I read that slowly, mostly on breaks. Not because I necessarily understand everything I read, but it's interesting, expands the mind, and even if I don't understand, it's useful to know that this or that technique exists so that, if something comes up in the future whose shape looks like it's solvable by the familiar technique, I know which book to look to. Or at least, which wikipedia article to follow :-).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

wifi insecurity

By today I should have set up the wifi router to use WEP (I don't see where I can set up WPA on the netgear, which is a bit strange since it *is* 802.11g capable, so it's *new*).

I've decided against doing that for now though. I'll just make sure all computers in the house are firewalled off, and I'll keep the wifi router open. There's not that much bandwidth to share, but I'm interested in:

A. *Whether* someone will piggyback on the wifi at all (we're
in a lower middle class neighborhood and it'll be interesting
to see if anyone even notices that there's some free wifi

B. If anyone *does* notice the free wifi and decides to piggyback,
I'll just sniff the network and snoop a bit :-). I don't care
about any of their data, I won't crack their windows box or
anything (although I may portscan, you come in the door without
knocking, I'm going to frisk your donkey), I'll just see what kind
of traffic they generate.

C. If they start doing peer-to-peer downloading, well, I'll block
them just to see if they know enough to change their Mac address
to get back in :-).

Monday, October 16, 2006

PLDT mydsl, wifi, woohoo!

I was mistaken in my previous post on pldt mydsl not working with linux. It *does* work. The problem I encountered was that when requesting an IP address over DHCP, there is a delay between when the first computer (which got an IP) stops using the internet and when the second computer (which could not get an IP) finally gets an IP over DHCP. I haven't done much more experimentation than that. I got the same problem with the computers reversed. When I was able to get an IP via DHCP on my Linux laptop, when I switched to the Windows computer and tried to get an IP, it wouldn't get one until many minutes later.

My guess is that this is related to the DHCP lease time. PLDT probably just won't provide another IP to a computer behind the DSL modem until the most recent DHCP lease provided to another computer behind that same modem has expired and has not been renewed.

In any case, I've got a new NetGear WGR614 v2 wifi router courtesy of Jijo Sevilla and after a painless (because I didn't try to set any security, I'll do that tomorrow or the day after) setup, my laptop (Ubuntu linux), my brother-in-law's laptop (Windows XP) and my brother-in-law's desktop computer (Windows XP) are now all able to go online, although the desktop computer is wired.

I'm typing this from the bedroom, but I'm going to have to turn this computer off soon. It's just nuts to be surfing continuously for the whole weekend. There hasn't been enough quality time with my family and I haven't even done work-related stuff that I was going to do over the VPN over the weekend ;-).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

pldt mydsl

Sol and I moved recently. We loved our apartment, but with the baby coming, it makes sense to move in with her family, for help at birthing, with the baby, and to consolidate costs.

I miss Destiny Internet I had hoped that I'd be able to bring it with me to Sta Mesa, but they don't have cable internet available there. So we decided to go with PLDT MyDSL, the PHP 999 low end version. Installation was pretty quick and the bandwidth is as expected (actually, it's a bit faster than advertised, which is all to the good).

There are some problems though. They don't use PPPOE, instead it looks like all that's necessary is to get an IP via DHCP and you're golden. This works with my brother-in-law's windows XP desktop and laptop. It doesn't work with my linux laptop though (dhclient eth0 just doesn't succeed). I'm wondering what I need to do to get this done (apart from buying hardware, although we might get a linksys wifi router so the two laptops in the house can use the link too).

In the process of trying to decide what router to use, my brother-in-law called myDSL support and asked them what routers work with myDSL. He got a singularly stupid reply from the tech support person there. It seems that (since we just got the connection yesterday) we're not in their database yet as being connected. Paperwork on the way from their DSL installation contractors I guess. But because we're not in their database, they won't help us.


If I were connected to ZPDee or Destiny or Globelines or some other internet provider, they won't help me switch to PLDT because they won't tell me whether the router I've already got will work with their system? I'd be a loss already. But maybe it's policy, they don't want to help anyone share the internet connection. It's still a loss though. People are going to share their connections anyway. I certainly am. Putting a speed bump in the way just pisses off paying customers. That's a stupidity worth a firing.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

milenyo overhang

We just had what must have been the typhoon of the decade pass through manila. Electricity went down within an hour or two of Milenyo making contact with metro manila. We stayed home (people told me of their cars shaking in the wind, cars being hit by flying billboards and people blown off their motorcycles by the wind).

Electricity didn't come back until Saturday night and by Friday night we were fed up with the heat and the uncertainty of getting electricity back (plus not being able to charge celphones, see the news on TV, etc. There's only so much AM radio one can stand).

So we decided to go to Roxas Boulevard and stay in a hotel. That worked out really well. The Aloha hotel (which doesn't have a lot of stars but is reasonably comfortable and reasonably priced) had airconditioning, hot and cold water and a great szechuan restaurant on the ground floor.

One night later, the power is back in Sta Mesa and we're home.

I haven't been online (on this laptop) since Thursday and am at Robinson's galleria waiting for Sol and her sister to come out of their Victory Christian Fellowship sunday service. It's always a pain finding good places to sit down with a laptop. There's Starbucks, where they let you charge your battery (extra points for that), but I don't like coffee enough to pay $2 for it.

Fortunately, nearby is Cafe Mediterranean. I'm having a Greek Salad, olives and ice cold San Miguel Beer. I'm also posting this blog article. This, I think, is where I'll wait in the future. I spend more than I would at Starbucks, but I like the food and they just don't serve beer at Starbucks. now if only those two women over there would finish their meal so I can take over their table and plug in to the wall socket right by them.