miscellany

Just to start out with, for all of you’s been bugging me to get Skype, well ring me up as user jameslick.

Today and yesterday has brought us fantastic weather here. You’d almost think it was spring already.

Yesterday my wife decided that the TV upstairs in the office needed to have cable. Previously it was just hooked to a DVD player and that was fine for me. But somehow that wasn’t good enough, so a couple of guys come over and string a cable over the roof and down the side of the building, and now I can watch all the crap on TV again. Whoo-whee.

Today I went down to Subway for lunch and afterwards went over to the Sunfar 3C store to get some random computer stuff. That’s where I got a headset/mic for Skype. I also got a new mouse since my old one is flaking lately. I got a Logitech MX510 800dpi optical mouse that has something like 20 buttons on it. Some CD sleeves cause I’m running out. And for my Shuttle SB62G2 box that runs Solaris 10, I finally got a CD-ROM with a black faceplate and while I was at it I also got a black mini-keyboard. That Shuttle system has a really nice black aluminum case, but when I installed it I just threw in a standard beige CD-ROM drive. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it just looks pretty uncool to have such a sweet looking box with a lameass beige drive ruining its funk. And besides, CD-ROM drives are practically free these days. (The new mouse cost 2.5 times the CD-ROM drive price.) And the black keyboard was even cheaper, so might as well just complete the whole makeover. After I get around to installing it I can finally ask the question “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.”

I’ve been playing with openvpn a lot lately. I’ve gotten it to the point where I have a pretty solid VPN link between my Taipei and Santa Clara networks. So now I can finally talk direct IP between any machines on the two networks even though they are 6500 miles apart and both behind firewalls. Pretty cool stuff. Previously I was doing ssh tunneling or squid proxying, depending on what I wanted to do, but that’s always kinda of a pain. Setting up openvpn is a pain too, but once it is working, it just plain works.

By the way, if you have a 64-bit Solaris system, the right way to install the tun driver is to compile and install the 32-bit version and install it normally, then compile the 64-bit version (for gcc just add -m64 to flags and recompile) and install it in the sparcv9 directory under where you installed the 32-bit one. There’s sites that tell you to compile just the 64-bit version and install it where the 32-bit drivers are supposed to go, but they are wrong. You always want to install both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers in case you ever need to boot into 32-bit mode.

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