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Topics - Parsifal

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1
Arts & Entertainment / MOVED: earth chan
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:50:06 AM »

2
Status Notices / Unannounced maintenance, 2018-01-17
« on: January 17, 2018, 09:35:34 AM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC were offline for about fifteen minutes on 2018-01-17, between 09:20 and 09:35 UTC.

This maintenance was initiated by the hosting provider as part of their patching for the Meltdown vulnerability. I received notice of this maintenance yesterday but forgot to relay the notice here because I've been sick this week.

3
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2018-01-13
« on: January 10, 2018, 06:37:49 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2018-01-13, between 10:00 and 10:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EST (USA east coast):
2018-01-13, 05:00-05:15

UTC (UK):
2018-01-13, 10:00-10:15

CET (Most of Europe):
2018-01-13, 11:00-11:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2018-01-13, 21:00-21:15


The intent is to install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

4
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-12-23
« on: December 19, 2017, 11:47:56 AM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-12-23, between 10:00 and 10:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EST (USA east coast):
2017-12-23, 05:00-05:15

UTC (UK):
2017-12-23, 10:00-10:15

CET (Most of Europe):
2017-12-23, 11:00-11:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2017-12-23, 21:00-21:15


The intent is to install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

5
Technology & Information / Building a real distributed Plan 9 system
« on: December 06, 2017, 10:56:45 PM »
So this is more of a medium-to-long-term thing, but I want to try to build a proper distributed Plan 9 system, with all the services running on different machines, and I've been thinking about what hardware to use.

So far, I'm leaning towards:


File server - HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10

Auth server - Raspberry Pi

To be honest, I actually don't know much about the auth server or what resources it needs, but I can't imagine it being too intensive, so a RPi should suffice.


Cpu server - Intel NUC7i7BNH

Terminal - any web browser

This is actually the fun bit. I plan to install 9webdraw, which is an HTML5 implementation of a Plan 9 terminal. As a result, I will be able to use any web browser on any Internet-connected computer anywhere as a terminal for this whole system.

Of course, I'll probably also install a real Plan 9 terminal, most likely on my X201, but having the ability to make any public computer into a terminal for my own OS seems like a neat feature. This will also make it easy to hand out accounts to anyone else who may be interested in the system.


Software is a no-brainer, of course. 9front is the only competently maintained Plan 9 derivative. As a bonus, it has an x86 hypervisor, so I can run OpenBSD in a VM on the cpu server for all my Unix crapware.

6
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-11-25
« on: November 23, 2017, 03:38:57 AM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-11-25, between 10:00 and 10:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EST (USA east coast):
2017-11-25, 05:00-05:15

UTC (UK):
2017-11-25, 10:00-10:15

CET (Most of Europe):
2017-11-25, 11:00-11:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2017-11-25, 21:00-21:15


The intent is to install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

7
Suggestions & Concerns / Renewed FES merger talks
« on: October 23, 2017, 02:06:03 PM »
For anyone who may not be aware, preliminary merger talks have started up again in this thread on the other FES. There is nothing concrete to report yet, but if and when we come to a tentative agreement, it will of course be posted here for general approval before we proceed with anything. This is just a heads up at the moment in case anyone is interested in following the discussion over there.

Edit: Also, John Davis is refusing to engage anyone but me on the subject as he wants a single point of contact. If anyone wants me to raise anything with him, please post it here.

8
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-09-30
« on: September 28, 2017, 09:02:26 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about an hour on 2017-09-30, between 08:00 and 10:00 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-09-30, 04:00-06:00

BST (UK):
2017-09-30, 09:00-11:00

CEST (Most of Europe):
2017-09-30, 10:00-12:00

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-09-30, 18:00-20:00


During this time, the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be migrated to a new virtual machine host. This downtime would be required next week regardless due to maintenance imposed by the hosting provider; we are choosing to undertake the migration early in order to take downtime at a time of our choosing.

At the same time, we will be undertaking two unrelated changes. First, we will be updating SMF's configuration to use HTTPS links for everything on the forum and homepage, following the successful transition to mandatory HTTPS earlier this month. Second, security updates will also be installed on the server. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

9
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-09-10
« on: September 09, 2017, 07:28:08 AM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-09-10, between 09:00 and 09:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-09-10, 05:00-05:15

BST (UK):
2017-09-10, 10:00-10:15

CEST (most of Europe):
2017-09-10, 11:00-11:15

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-09-10, 19:00-19:15


During this maintenance window, the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be configured to require SSL for all traffic. This should have no user impact for the homepage, forum and wiki, as well as the webchat interface to IRC. In the case of direct connections to IRC, you will need to reconfigure your IRC client to use SSL if it is not already.

At the same time, we will install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

10
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-06-18
« on: June 13, 2017, 01:23:21 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for up to 2 hours on 2017-06-18, between 08:00 and 10:00 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-06-18, 04:00-06:00

BST (UK):
2017-06-18, 09:00-11:00

CEST (Most of Europe):
2017-06-18, 10:00-12:00

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-06-18, 18:00-20:00


The server will be upgraded to a newer stable release of its operating system. This introduces the risk that problems will arise after the maintenance; in case any are noted, please create a thread in Suggestions & Concerns so that we can deal with it. Thank you.

11
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-05-23
« on: May 21, 2017, 04:22:21 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-05-23, between 09:00 and 09:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-05-23, 05:00-05:15

BST (UK):
2017-05-23, 10:00-10:15

CEST (Most of Europe):
2017-05-23, 11:00-11:15

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-05-23, 19:00-19:15


We will be updating SMF from 2.0.13 to 2.0.14, which is a larger patch than normal. We will also be taking this opportunity to update the Tapatalk integration code with the latest SMF fixes. While we are endeavouring to test the change as thoroughly as possible beforehand, please report any problems that may arise after it has taken place, either in this thread or in a new thread in S&C (the latter being preferred for bigger issues).

During this maintenance window, we will also be installing security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.


For details of the changes we will be applying, see these GitHub commits:

12
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-05-04
« on: May 01, 2017, 03:58:22 AM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-05-04, between 07:00 and 07:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-05-04, 03:00-03:15

BST (UK):
2017-05-04, 08:00-08:15

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-05-04, 17:00-17:15


The intent is to install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

13
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-04-01
« on: March 27, 2017, 08:59:57 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-04-01, between 07:00 and 07:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-04-01, 03:00-03:15

BST (UK):
2017-04-01, 08:00-08:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2017-04-01, 18:00-18:15


The intent is to install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

14
Technology & Information / 9front (and Plan 9 in general)
« on: March 27, 2017, 03:30:34 PM »
Plan 9 is an operating system developed at Bell Labs in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the creators of Unix. The idea was to create a new operating system based on the principles used in creating Unix, but avoid the mistakes that went into the first iteration.

The result was a small, modern, distributed operating system in which everything from network access to window management is represented by standard read/write operations on files (no ioctl like in Unix) over the network-transparent 9p filesystem protocol. By breaking everything down into that one abstraction, it becomes trivial to control any device anywhere, even on another computer, as if it were attached to your own. Just mount a remote system's /dev to gain access to its devices, or /net to gain access to its network.

The distributed nature of Plan 9 also means that it is designed so that one operating system can be spread across multiple different machines. For instance, you can run a file server on a system with lots of disks, and boot using that filesystem from a laptop with a small SSD. Because 9p is network-transparent, there is no difference to the OS between using a local filesystem and a remote one.

In recent times, modern Unix systems have gained some of the capabilities of Plan 9 (in large part due to its inspiration), but none of them has the same transparency that 9p provides for Plan 9.


9front is a fork of the original Plan 9 created in 2011, after it was abandoned by its original maintainers. It has a focus on modernisation, such as allowing 9p network mounts to be encrypted with TLS, rewriting the filesystem to better suit modern disks, and supporting WiFi on laptops.

I installed 9front some time ago in a VM, which was interesting, but not really a good way to get to know the OS. Over the past few days, I've set up 9front on an old laptop, and I'm still getting used to the system, but so far I'm quite enjoying the experience. Even if I don't end up using it regularly, it's quite interesting from a theoretical perspective because it's so different from any other OS in existence.

See also:


This post was made on a ThinkPad X201 running 9front, using the mothra web browser.

15
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-02-25
« on: February 23, 2017, 11:33:51 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-02-25, between 08:00 and 08:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EST (USA east coast):
2017-02-25, 03:00-03:15

UTC (UK):
2017-02-25, 08:00-08:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2017-02-25, 19:00-19:15


The intent is to install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

16
Technology & Information / Parsifal might be getting a gaming laptop
« on: February 19, 2017, 01:26:04 PM »
Since I will be moving overseas in just a few months, I am thinking about getting a gaming laptop so I can keep playing Star Citizen once I no longer have a desktop.

This seems like the best value for money that I can find. The specs aren't mind-blowing, but they're still an upgrade from my current desktop, particularly with regard to the GPU. I don't want to spend much more than that since if I end up settling down somewhere in a year or two, I'll build a brand new gaming PC and the laptop will become obsolete.

17
Technology & Information / Windows Subsystem for Linux
« on: February 15, 2017, 08:32:08 AM »
Let me start out by saying that the name "Windows Subsystem for Linux" is terribly misleading. It is not a subsystem for Linux at all, but a subsystem for Windows. It allows running unmodified Linux applications on Windows 10.

Now that that's out of the way, this looks very promising. Microsoft have made this feature available following an announcement in April 2016. Windows NT has always been designed to allow the development of different subsystems for executing different kinds of applications, but this is the first time it's been taken to the point of allowing unmodified Linux binaries to run directly on the NT kernel.

As someone who boots into Windows only to play a couple of games, I find the continual reboot cycle between Windows and operating systems that let me actually do useful work very tedious. I was curious if this subsystem was featureful enough to allow me to use a Windows system as if it were Linux, but with the ability to launch Windows-only applications as desired.

It turns out that someone has successfully gotten my window manager to run on Windows, complete with all the normal applications you'd expect from a Linux desktop. The main caveat there appears to be that i3 is confined to a window within the Windows desktop, rather than taking over the role of the Windows shell, but it's a start.

What I would really like is for i3 to manage the desktop itself and also be able to display Windows applications within X. That might be a bit much to ask, but this is intriguing enough that I'm going to give it a try and report back here.

18
Status Notices / Unplanned outage, 2017-01-29
« on: January 29, 2017, 09:19:26 PM »
From approximately 21:05 to 21:15 UTC on 2017-01-29, the forum and homepage were inaccessible due to a failed SMF database upgrade. To recover, it was necessary to restore a backup taken at 21:00 UTC. Up to 5 minutes of posts may have been lost.

This was entirely on me -- I should have tested the change more carefully, but assumed that an upgrade within the 2.0 series would be safe enough. I will be more careful in the future.

19
Technology & Information / LineageOS
« on: January 29, 2017, 01:29:41 AM »
The Android discussion in the thread about phones has motivated me to finally get around to installing CyanogenMod on my OnePlus 2. Thereupon, I found out that the CyanogenMod project is dead as of December 2016, and its developers have moved to a new project called LineageOS.

So, I'm going to give the LineageOS 14.1 nightly build for OnePlus 2 a spin. Wish me luck.

20
Technology & Information / Smartwatches
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:48:40 PM »
I'm thinking about getting a Samsung Gear S3.

http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-s3/

It's quite expensive, and the 4G model doesn't seem to be available in Australia, so I'd basically just be paying $600 so I don't have to take my phone out of my pocket as often. Then again, that sounds really convenient.

Has anyone used a smartwatch of any sort? Is it worth the price tag?

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