FUDcon NA 2011 ... Post thoughts

So my part of FUDcon is over, and I want to thank our hosts at the Arizona State University and our co-ordinators Robyn Bergeron and Ryan Rix. At the end of the talks and meetings I ended up with a lot of lose ends.

  1. There were several questions I was asked at my short term lightening talk about the Monday security item. I had to run to another item and did not find them afterwords to discuss better why the reporting method was used and what was told. I apologize and will try to find out who you were to talk later.
  2. Somehow I not only left my coat at FUDcon but also the new long-sleeved Mr Hot Dog shirt I had bought from Brand X shirts 20 minutes before.
  3. I get cranky a lot more than I should be around people after 3 days of no sleep.


FUDcon {Day -4 => Day 3 }

Sunday: Work over what netapp infrastructure changes need to happen on Monday.

Monday: Help a user with an account issue. Clean up and find various items. Spend Monday night moving to new Netapp infrastructure. We have lots more fast storage.

Tuesday: Go through audit logs (selinux + auditd for the win). Centralized logging of items really helps.

Wednesday: Pack. Try to decide if I want to blog about detrimental blog posts. Decide that lack of sleep has made me rather hostile and peeved.

Thursday: Try to fly out but have to wait for snow bound plane to get things done. Get to Phoenix and find that servers knew I was coming. Spend afternoon and night fixing boxes.

Friday: Go to collocation. Prove that IBM Power computers HATE me. Long story short... Power system A has never worked. Power system B stops working. Power system A starts to work and I am so happy. Try to fix system B and system A stops working. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Saturday: Lots of cool talks. All of the ones that I wanted to attend keep getting done at the same time. But I have lots of fun. Spend evening trying to find vegetarian food for other people. FUDpub was fun but I am not really good with crowds anymore so spent evening working out items.

Sunday: Got to morning presentations and found that many of the items I wanted to do were all at the same time. Ended up doing a quick infrastructure meeting and a talk on Fedora Engineering next big things. Then spent a but load of time working on what blue sky governance issues we could deal with.. [this was started by Toshio and it was cool that a lot of things I wanted were similar. After we got 10 other people on it though we ended up with something else.. but ok.] Spent the evening reading/writing infrastructure issues and then playing some board games.

To Do Monday: Hope to meet with Cristoph Wickert to clarify communication problems I have had and clarify points. Got 1 infrastructure meeting, 1 board meeting, and 3 other meetings. My luck they will all be at the same time.

Thank you to Google and RackSpace for providing various events. It really helped get me working on 2-4 hours sleep.

Things I wish I had time to do:
  • Learn scribus
  • Learn gimp (tatica did a cool tutorial.. will have to watch the video)
  • Learn inkscape
  • Figure out how to fix EPEL.


American Generations

Sometimes I wake up at 2 am, and can't get back to sleep because of some silly question my brain has posed. This week was "What is Generation X really versus the Baby Boomers... and should they really be X or should we be Y or U." I guess it came from all the press coverage that people born from 1946 til 1964 were Baby Boomers and after that were Generation X. Now the name "Generation X" seems to have been chosen out of the air but is it appropriate and what years would it cover.

Now first off, I think Generation X etc is silly because we should start counting back to when people came over the Bering Straights N thousands of years ago. But since this Generation thing is "American European based" I will focus on that.

Actually what I will do is say every generation lasts 18 years, and that baby boomers were generation W, then generation X, then Y. Backing up we get a list of the alphabet like this.

Generation:  A 1550 -> 1567
Generation:  B 1568 -> 1585
Generation:  C 1586 -> 1603
Generation:  D 1604 -> 1621
Generation:  E 1622 -> 1639
Generation:  F 1640 -> 1657
Generation:  G 1658 -> 1675
Generation:  H 1676 -> 1693
Generation:  I 1694 -> 1711
Generation:  J 1712 -> 1729
Generation:  K 1730 -> 1747
Generation:  L 1748 -> 1765
Generation:  M 1766 -> 1783
Generation:  N 1784 -> 1801
Generation:  O 1802 -> 1819
Generation:  P 1820 -> 1837
Generation:  Q 1838 -> 1855
Generation:  R 1856 -> 1873
Generation:  S 1874 -> 1891
Generation:  T 1892 -> 1909
Generation:  U 1910 -> 1927
Generation:  V 1928 -> 1945
Generation:  W 1946 -> 1963
Generation:  X 1964 -> 1981
Generation:  Y 1982 -> 1999
Generation:  Z 2000 -> 2017

This does work because the "first" generations of children being born in European colonies (that lasted) in North America are known to have been after 1560. Now the question is what to call the generation after 2017? AA?

Anyway.. I think I can get a good nights sleep finally.


FUDcon NA 2011... Gaming

So today I was reminded that FUDcon was 10 days from now. WHAT 10 days?!?!!?!

Last year I ran a D&D event on the last night of the Con which went ok.. but I really wanted to do better this year. I have had all these ideas in my head about what to do, but it would seem putting them off for other things. [And spending 2 hours learning the Neverwinter Nights editor to map out the town doesn't really count because I just went and played NWN instead.] Ok so what to do, what to do...

Well first thing, what is the idea? Since it will be all levels of players I would like a prewritten module in the style of the ones that I played as a youth.

  • A4. In the Dungeons of the Slavelords
  • T1. Village of Hommlet.
  • U1. Sinister Secret of Saltmarth

And secondly, about the game systems.. there are several "open source" games but none that I am really familiar with enough to teach others with. Plus the fact as a game designer, I am always ending up fiddling with the bits here and there. Of the semi-open source games, D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder seems to be the best out there. [I doubt the OGL could pass the Debian legal test so I figure it is semi-open.] So the module will be written up using the D&D 3.5 SRD and some mayonnaise from Pathfinder.

Then I remembered.. hey wait... I need players and they might want to play something specific... so its time to ask. [It puts me off writing anything for another 24-48 hours :).]


New Year, No Radio [And a DNS troubleshooting included too]

So I went on break at the end of the year, and when I come back few of my Internet radio stations are working or even exist it would seem.

Norway's NRK seems to have dropped their ogg streams for MP3 ones (this looks like it happened sometime late last month before I went on break). So most of my channels are now giving me the "Searching for MP3 plugin" which they won't find unless I get an updated fluendo software package.

But worst of all audio-ogg.ibiblio.org was "gone". Not even 404, it is

$ host audio-ogg.ibiblio.org
Host audio-ogg.ibiblio.org not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

This however turned out to be bad DNS. [Every couple of lookups showed a NXDOMAIN and I had filled the negative cache with requests :)]. So how to track it down.

[ssmoogen@ponyo ~]$ dig +trace audio-ogg.ibiblio.org
;; Received 441 bytes from in 74 ms

ibiblio.org.            172800  IN      NS      ns.unc.edu.
ibiblio.org.            172800  IN      NS      ns2.unc.edu.
;; Received 81 bytes from in 95 ms

audio-ogg.ibiblio.org.  86400   IN      CNAME   sopwith.metalab.unc.edu.
sopwith.metalab.unc.edu. 600    IN      A
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      ns.unc.edu.
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      dfranklindns.its.unc.edu.
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      ns1.int.ibiblio.org.
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      dmanningdns.its.unc.edu.
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      fasterpass.net.unc.edu.
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      ns2.unc.edu.
;; Received 315 bytes from in 90 ms

I used to have a shell snippet that would take that "IN NS" section and query by each to show which ones weren't working.. but I lost it during a bad set of backups and never rewrote it. So I go by hand. We end up with 3 bad DNS servers responding with no sopwith.metalab.unc.edu or 50% of the time getting no WCPE.

metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      dfranklindns.its.unc.edu.
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      ns1.int.ibiblio.org.
metalab.unc.edu.        600     IN      NS      dmanningdns.its.unc.edu.

Well off to let ibiblio people know but no idea about NRK. [I will miss Super.. I was beginning to learn some Norwegian I think.]