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I know I’ve been quite for a while. I’ve been quite busy. Unfortunately, due to changing priorities, there are a lot of projects I’ve been working on, but few of them have gotten finished. A sampling, in no specific order:

  • Migrating my network/service monitoring to Nagios 3, totally re-writing my config files to make use of the new features, and making one coherent list of all the services that should be in it and aren’t.
  • Planning to totally re-wire all networking at the ambulance corps building to eliminate some problems. This includes building an 8U wall-mount rack, and also trying a PC Engines ALIX.2c1 board as a router (still undecided on WAN/LAN/DMZ or WAN/LAN/WLAN). It also means a long day of work at some point in the future, and lots of cable drops.
  • tuxOstat, the linux-controlled thermostat, is pretty much on the back burner. It’s a stable beta with severely reduced functionality, but has been handling my cooling needs without any major bugs in the past month or so. It still only has a basic CLI interface and a very simple kludge of a web GUI, but it works. Other modes (heating, fan only), predictive temperature calculation, other temperature/zone calculation modes, and physical controls (buttons, menu on LCD) are still to come, as well as the move from PC to Soekris (if I can ever figure it out, and get one with USB). I now feel that an ALIX board might be a better shot, as they take CF (more space than the Soekris), have a slightly faster processor, and also support USB at about half the price point.
  • I’m considering moving my main web site to a CMS, and letting the wiki serve more as a knowledge base.
  • I’m working on patching together a new access point for the ambulance corps, based on Pyramid Linux. I needed something which would run on the Soekris net4526, had at least WEP, and supported some sort of captive portal. Pyramid has WifiDog, but that only wants to do local authentication or RADIUS, and I wanted direct auth to LDAP and MySQL logging. On the positive side, it just uses some PHP pages hosted under Apache to handle authentication - the WAP redirects the user to a login page on a (separate) web server, the user does their stuff, and then the WAP makes a request to the server to determine whether it should open up the firewall, keep the user locked down, or totally kick them. So, once I figure out some routing issues, I’ll get back to working on the new project - BlackLabAuth, a re-write of the WifiDog auth server software that’s geared towards a closed-access network (i.e. only people and/or MACs already listed in LDAP can login) with full logging to MySQL. I already have some code in CVS, but some issues with my development Soekris board have slowed the project for the time being. When finished, I’ll have not only the new auth server available for download (with documentation) but also a ready-to-run (well, some configuration time needed, but minor and scripted) image for the net4526.
  • My desktop that I use for MythTV filled up its’ disk. Totally. I ordered a cheap Syba SATA card (PCI) from NewEgg, along with a 500GB WD SATA-150 disk, but no luck. Though the card (Syba / Initio 1622 chipset, shows up as Class 0106: 1101:1622 (rev 02)) said it was supported under Linux, the driver CD mentioned nothing about it. Some investigation on the Syba website turned up a zipped archive. After extraction, I found a readme that gave (poor) instructions on how to re-compile a kernel, and warned that you MUST have 2.6.15. Oh well, I wasn’t going to give up 2.6.16.27 (the newest RPM’d kernel for OpenSuSE 10.1). The standard drivers for it didn’t appear until 2.6.25 or so. So… after many debates with myself as to whether I should blow away my whole MythTV installation and upgrade from the now-ancient 10.1, I decided that I’ll only be in my apartment for another year, I should make it last. Some investigation turned up a $24 Silicon Image-based card that should work fine, and it’s now in the mail…

I’m sure I missed something big, but I’ll update as needed, and attempt to make it a daily habit to post something interesting or, at the very least, hard-to-find. After all, I’m sure that I use this blog and my wiki as an informational resource (my bad memory) more than anyone else would…


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