As a New Yorker I take pride in knowing about the city I live in. I don’t know everything of course, and so from time to time I am stricken with this intense desire to figure something out about this great city of mine. The other day while walking around I noticed that the Empire State Building was blue and white, and that there were police everywhere. I joked with my friend that it was a signal that police were going to take over the city It turns out that it was United Nations day and that blue and white is chosen to represent that (the flag is blue and white if you haven’t noticed). Where did I find that out? I’m glad you asked! Check out the official website of the empire state building and the tower light schedule. There’s also a page dedicated to the history of the tower lights, and a list of the meanings for all of the colors that are displayed throughout the year. I <3 NY!
Archive for 2006
What is the deal? I add a new imap account and it doesn’t show up until I close Kmail and then open it again? And then it doesn’t accept even the correct username and password (ok fine that might have been a server issue… maybe) and then I try to just cancel and it won’t go away! If I say cancel, that means cancel! It doesnt mean cancel this little window and then bring me to another annoying window and then bring back the window I just cancelled. Cancel means cancel. It means no more, no mas, I’m giving up, please go away, leave me alone. I didn’t even want to try kmail because last time it decided to download all of my mail and re-upload it, effectfively destroying the date/time stamps on every message in my imap box. This time it gave me a new reason to hate it. I don’t get it… I mean kde is so nice… why does kmail have to suck for me every time?
It’s easy to install OpenBSD on mac hardware the right way. Simply download what you need and follow the install guide. What’s not so easy is installing OpenBSD the wrong way. This guide is intended to help someone who may have gotten anxious and strayed from doing things The Right Way(tm) [see also, The Easy Way(tm)]. It is also a warning. RTFM. Read it twice.
Take notes. Installing OpenBSD can take as little as 20 mins or as much as the rest of your life…. It all depends on how you approach it. This is the rest of your life approach
With all that said, let’s get down to business.
After much struggle (see the post entitled “my new wireless router”) I gave birth to a new wireless router. Her name is Hecate, after the Greek Goddess of crossroads, wilderness, ghosts, Wicca, etc. (see the wiki entry). The system board is a Soekris 4801-60. I found a great wireless card and antenna (and pci to pcmcia adapter) at netgate.com and followed some very helpful tips that I found at this ultradesic site. It took a lot of work, including some case modification.
Here are the parts (click for full size):
As you can see (can you?) I needed a usb to serial adapter because I wanted to use my powerbook to install openbsd onto the soekris. I also needed to get a null modem adapter and a serial cable (DB9 female to female). I spent too much money on the null modem adapter and cable because I went to radio shack instead of ordering from a place on line (I was anxious!).
You can also see that I needed to use a PCI to PCMCIA adapter for my wireless card. This is only because I could not find a well-supported PCI wireless card (supported on openbsd). I also could not use mini-pci because I have a vpn1411 card in there (more on that later – it has some major issues!). The use of this PCI->PCMCIA adpater required some case mods…
Luckily my stepfather happened to have a hacksaw handy
So with the case all ready, I needed a way to make sure that the metal case bottom did not make contact with the solder from the PCI to PCMCIA adapter card. Wouldn’t want to risk a short! I used wide, clear tape and put a layer on the metal in the area where the board will sit, and to provide support I used a foam ear plug (the kind used to protect your ears from loud noise) that I cut into three pieces:
I still don’t have a cover for the case yet… I’ll figure something out
Once the modding was done, I used the info from the ultradesic site that I mentioned above, and things went well for the most part. I did run into a problem not mentioned there, namely if you want to use tftp and pxeboot to install openbsd on your soekris, you need to have not only dhcpd and tftpd running, you need to have rarpd running as well. Once I set up rarpd along with dhcpd and the tftp server, all was well.
I’m debating about whether or not to post all of the software configuration stuff that I did – there’s just so much! Everything I did not know I found via google or man pages (openbsd has THE BEST man pages!). So far I have a working dhcpd on my wireless interface, which uses WEP to keep unwanted people out (for now). Dhcpd is also running on 2 of the 10/100 ethernet ports on the box. I have my first ethernet port configured to use dhclient to get an address, so that I can plug my cable modem in there.
Some basic pf config and a bridge interface make this little box the firewall/switch I was looking for. I am still working on it though – the plans are to run bind and squid, to get dns and some caching – hopefully improving my network performance a bit. I also plan to use openvpn to connect my machine with those of my friends. In time… time
Stay tuned to culmination.org to see how the project is coming along!
It’s so new… it hasn’t even been built yet! Today I purchased a Soekris 4801 (with a vpn1411 add-on card) and an Amigo AWI-926W wireless card. I’m going to build a wireless router/firewall/vpn box. Stay tuned! I’m going to update this post with details about the whole process, from the ordering to the first boot and beyond!
Update! – Well it seems that soekris is all sold out of 4801′s for this week. Hopefully mine will get shipped soon, I’m anxious!
Update! – Finally got my soekris board yesterday! Everything seems to be in tact. The amigo wireless cards I ordered from iocombo.com are never going to come – I just saw that they cancelled my order and didn’t have the decency to tell me about it. Hopefully I don’t have to fight to get my refund. So far it looks like I made a few mistakes:
1. Didn’t do enough research. I did some, but had I done more I would have gotten the dual mini-pci board. I have a pci slot that I’m not sure is going to be very useful to me. I didn’t realize that “right angle” pci meant that it would be mounted so close to the case that a normal pci card wont fit. I knew I’d probably have to cut a hole in the back of the case for the antenna, but didn’t think about the right-angle pci slot and what that would entail. Obviously since the case is about 1″ deep a riser card is not exactly an option. I have my mini-pci slot filled with a vpn 1411, and that was about $70 so it’s not a good idea for me to just not use that. I’m considering buying a wireless bridge, which would unfortunately add another 90 or so dollars to the total cost of this project, but would also take some of the burden off of the soekris board.
2. I shouldn’t have trusted iocombo.com. I was putting too much faith in an unknown vendor. They appeared to be a trustworthy site, but they screwed me and now I have to do some work to get my money back.
The struggle continues……
Update! I tried a linksys WMP54G but of course I could only find a v4.1 which doens’t work. v4 only. Great. I am getting sick of supposedly supported wireless cards. I can’t find any of the cards listed on openbsd’s site. They must exist somewhere… people seem to use them. I just can’t find em. I thought I had a shot with the amigo card… but they were out of stock. I bet they arent even made any more. Oy!. It looks like it’s time to go with plan B – Get some kind of wireless bridge and use that. I might try one more wireless card but I am really just doubtful about this. I’m beginning to wonder what the hell I was thinking when I decided to get the 4801 with a pci slot and mini pci vpn chip. mini pci wireless cards look like they might be better supported. I just don’t get it! Grrrrrr
Update!!!!!! It’s working! I’m going to make a new post to tell all about it
I’m experimenting with Spam Sieve to see if it can replace Mail.app’s dumb junk mail filters. I trained Mail’s junk filters for about a year and I still got spam last week. Obvious spam at that. It’s just silly. Thunderbird for Mac has great junk filters but no direct tie-in to the Addressbook. SpamSieve adds better bayesian filtering to Mail and entourage (but please don’t use entourage – it’s a tech support nightmare. thx.) I’ve been training it for a couple days now and it’s doing well. I’ll post again in a few days to note the progress. At the end of my 30 day trial I’ll definitely be posting whether or not I feel that it’s worth the $25 that the devs are asking for it Stay tuned!
THIS JUST IN – Trial ended and I decided to go buy it. read on! View full article »
I had attempted to get my finances in order, but this time I’m going to stick to it I swear… thanks to gnucash. If you haven’t heard of it by now, then where have you been? It’s awesome! I never used quicken or Microsoft Money, or iCash, but this program really has made it so easy to get a good picture of my financial state that I would never want to use another. I wanted to try the latest version and, as you may know, I’m running Tiger on my powerbook G4. I found some helpful directions for intel macs and I’m happy to report that following the tips I found there I got gnucash working great even though I’m using a G4. Once I have a better understanding of everything I’m doing (I’m winging it so far but it’s working!) I’ll post some info to help you get started. But hey don’t wait for me – if you’re looking for some good accounting software check it out. Did I mention it supports .qxf files? Oh and it’s FREEEEE
This is so awesome. Check out what this guy does to people that try stealing his net connection. It’s a great use for squid. I swear it makes me want to go home and install squid just to screw with people. hahaha this is why I read slashdot