YES YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS

I don’t think any explanation is needed here. However, let me add that if you later decide to change a name (to something sensible like you should have chosen in the first place), you are going to be amazed at the amount of pain awaiting you. No matter how easy the manuals suggest it is to change a name, you will find that lots of obscure software has rapidly accumulated which refers to that computer using that now-ugly name. It all has to be found and changed. People mailing to you from other sites have to

Source: RFC 1178 – Choosing a name for your computer

This is good knowledge to have when making use of this here site.

I only write here on this here blog thing

Source: Submission Fees are Classist as Fuck – CLASH

Once upon a few lives ago I thought of a story, and thought up an outline. Something simple, a riff on a story that has been done a million times by a million people.

During this time I was poor — had to walk to and from work, spent the bare minimum on food, clothes. Everything went towards rent, and saving up for moving elsewhere.

But it turns out you have to pay to submit stories anywhere. The tale died and it’s only memory is of its death.

Fin.

“Vamos a la plaza” turned into “vamos al moll”

In the early 1990s, Manuel Camacho Solís—then Mexico City’s head of government—announced his goal to turn Mexico City into a “global city.” To that end, he approved five redevelopment-oriented urban megaprojects. The reconstruction of the corridor between the Alameda Central—a park in the center—and Paseo de la Reforma was one of them. The others included the revitalization of the city’s historic center; the creation of Santa Fe; the improvement of Avenida Masaryk, the main thoroughfare in the upscale Polan

Source: An Alternate Future for the Mall | Online Only | n+1

This article was written before the ’17 quake struck the city. Given the fact a lot of buildings that did not fall down during the quake are now toppling, it will lead to a redistribution of spaces across the entire city.

Let’s hope the city government will do what is right, providing housing to those who lost it in the neighborhoods they’ve lived for decades, instead of what it easy thing, shoving them out to the edges of the city.

Another skirmish in the culture wars

I have no favored party among the ones named in this article, but this one quote stuck with me:

It’s because the only other person who is able to subvert and defeat a white woman (and her white privilege and white tears) is another fellow white woman.

This is important to remember in identity politics if you are a person of color who will be working with white people, or viceversa.

There is still the fact that the parties involved might be just playing the media at large using their fans to generate untold income.

Bleh

A new sign of the digital apocalypse is the new Equifax breach. I’m not sure if I’m affected but the company is certainly not making any effort whatsoever to help anyone out. The other two credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion are probably savoring this and will keep doing so until they get hit.

So for the cleanup, there’s this post written by someone with experience in the matter. Not a lawyer, but knows enough to help one on the way.

And just like techdirt say… it will get worse.

The default of your credit identity starting from now on is “stolen”.

tl;dr I want Google Keep extended with WikiWords and file storage.

I’ve toured all the note-taking apps: Evernote, Simplenote, OneNote, Google Keep… and I’ve found them all wanting. These past few months I’ve gone back and forth between Keep and Tiddlywiki trying to figure out exactly what I want I think I finally realized what I want:

  • The speed of Google Keep when it comes to creating and saving new notes.
  • The speed of Pinboard when it comes to tagging.
  • The formatting facilities of Simplenote, which uses markdown. The version control is also nice.
  • The file attachment ease of OneNote when it comes to binary blobs. You can put anything in those notes.
  • For images… well, pretty much everything sucks, but I guess WordPress is a good starting point.
  • The interlinking ease of Tiddlywiki. WikiWords kick ass.
  • The ubiquity of Keep. It’s on your phone, your desktop, your tablet. Which goes back to it being fast.

Reading through this and apparently no one makes a version of Keep that has better text formatting, lets you attach images and decide where they’ll appear, while letting you travel from note to note via tags or WikiWords so you can remember the flow of though that led to that thought sequence.

Paper does not work for having to remember related thought separated by time and space. Plus writing for more than five minutes annoys me.

They say most programming projects start from a developer scratching their own itch. I guess it’s true.

Meh router pffft

And as soon as I think I figured out the issues with Debian the decision was made to get an specialized router device, so that’s that.

Going to do better things with my time now.

A Debian Wifi Router: THE REBOOT

Just like a Hollywood movie, it’s time to do a reboot. Fucking around with the networking stack after every reboot got old real fast. But this time around it looks like the remake is actually better than the original.

The router is still my trusty Thinkpad T60. Other than a couple of scares because of its age it still works! Just need to replace the CPU fan sooner rather than later.

Sources for this were:

Yes, this writing assumes you know what you’re doing on the command line.

Install Operating System

Whatever your version of Debian is, make sure that it’s up to date and that you install the stuff you’ll need:

# aptitude install hostapd rfkill dnsmasq fail2ban

Switched away from BIND and ISC-DHCP because they’re a pain in the ass to deal with. Maybe in the future I’ll use them again, but for the time being… this will do the trick.

Something I keep doing and forgetting to document is changing sshd port from 22 to something else and switching from password authentication to key-based authentication. Fail2ban is useful in blocking people trying to force their way in.

Networking

I had to add both wlan0 and wlan1 manually. Why? Dunno. I suppose they only get added automatically when you’re installing Xorg, which I’m not. Here’s my /etc/network/interfaces:

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

source /etc/network/interfaces.d/*

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

# Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (Golan) Rev 02
#auto wlan0
#allow-hotplug wlan0
#iface wlan0 inet dhcp

# Qualcomm Atheros AR922X Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
auto wlan1
allow-hotplug wlan1
iface wlan1 inet static
    address 192.168.1.1
    netmask 255.255.255.0

iptables

Edit /etc/sysctl.conf and uncomment the line for ipv4 packet forwarding:

net.ipv4.ip_forward=1

Create /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/iptables with the following contents:

#!/bin/sh
/sbin/iptables-restore < /etc/network/iptables

Change permissions and make executable:

# sudo chown root /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/iptables
# chmod 755 /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/iptables

Create /etc/network/iptables and put the following in it:

*nat
:PREROUTING ACCEPT [0:0]
:INPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
:OUTPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
:POSTROUTING ACCEPT [0:0]
# eth0 is WAN interface
-A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

COMMIT

*filter
:INPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
:FORWARD ACCEPT [0:0]
:OUTPUT ACCEPT [0:0]

# Forward traffic from wlan0 (LAN) to eth0(WAN)
-A FORWARD -i wlan0 -o eth0 -j ACCEPT

# Service rules
-A INPUT -j ACCEPT

# Forwarding rules
-A FORWARD -j ACCEPT

COMMIT

This part remains unchanged from my the initial post. If you want it to do a more thorough job of filtering packets the Ars post is a good place to start.

dnsmasq

Edit /etc/dnsmasq.d/local.conf:

# If you don't want dnsmasq to read /etc/resolv.conf or any other
# file, getting its servers from this file instead (see below), then
# uncomment this.
no-resolv

# Never forward addresses in the non-routed address spaces.
bogus-priv

# If you want dnsmasq to listen for DHCP and DNS requests only on
# specified interfaces (and the loopback) give the name of the
# interface (eg eth0) here.
# Repeat the line for more than one interface.
interface=wlan1

# Uncomment this to enable the integrated DHCP server, you need
# to supply the range of addresses available for lease and optionally
# a lease time. If you have more than one network, you will need to
# repeat this for each network on which you want to supply DHCP
# service.
dhcp-range=192.168.1.1,192.168.1.100,24h

# Set nameservers to use
server=192.168.1.1
server=8.8.8.8
server=8.8.4.4
server=208.67.220.220

Then restart the service with # service dnsmasq restart.

Much, much simpler than trying to configure both BIND and ISC-DHCP just for local networking. The options I included are pretty self-explanatory. If you're going to be assigning IP addresses on more interfaces, make sure to add them.

hostapd

The great big bad. If your card doesn't support Master mode, just stop trying now and go get yourself a plain old router.

For me these are the settings that work on my Atheros card. You will need to figure out what settings work on your own based on your hardware; you can query its capabilities with iw.

Edit /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf:

# the interface used by the AP
interface=wlan1
# a means 5GHz, g means 2.4GHz
hw_mode=g
# the channel to use. Using 0 will make the AP use ACS to search for the channel with least interference
channel=0
# limit the frequencies used to those allowed in the country
ieee80211d=1
# the country code
country_code=US
# ieee80211n: Whether IEEE 802.11n (HT) is enabled
ieee80211n=1
# QoS support
wmm_enabled=1

# SSID (name of the AP)
ssid=SSID
# 1=wpa, 2=wep, 3=both
auth_algs=1
# WPA2 only
wpa=2
wpa_key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
wpa_pairwise=CCMP TKIP
rsn_pairwise=CCMP
wpa_passphrase=KEY

I tried using hw_mode=a but then OSX and iOS devices have a hard time connecting and staying connected to the network, so I switched bands to 2.4GHz. It's slower but far more stable. You'll want to configure the ht_capab command to better make use of your NIC.

After this is done, edit /etc/default/hostapd, and change the DAEMON_CONF line to match the location of the hostapd config file:

DAEMON_CONF="/etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf"

Make sure to test out the configuration file by actually running hostapd and making sure it runs:

# hostapd /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf

If you run into issues here you'll have to determine where the issue is coming from:

  • Network card driver
  • Hostapd configuration

In that case run hostapd with one of the debug switches (hostapd -d /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf) to figure this out. For maximum driver support the best option is to use Atheros-based cards using the ath5k, ath9k and ath10k drivers. Various cards from other suppliers will work, but will require fiddling with the configuration. They're worth a shot if you need to share Internet access with others around you quickly.

Reboot

Yes, you'll actually want to reboot at this point. Why? Because the point of a router is that when you turn it on everything works automatically, without you having to manually start a service. So reboot, and check that

  • All services come up by themselves
  • You're able to have the system act as a router
  • You're not having latency/DNS/throughput anomalies

That's pretty much it. It's a better setup than the first one and it's much easier to control with much less software installed.

Oh Google

I guess Google’s reputation is going down the drain.

Today there was this: Google employee’s anti-diversity manifesto goes “internally viral” at the company . The twitter comments for that Motherboard post on twitter are quite something.

I won’t link to any reddit posts. They’re always a toxic dumpster as it is.

Then today browsing my RSS feeds I found this: Google Introduces “Invisible” Gmail Messages!. I’ve noticed this myself.

So now in addition to being misogynists, they’re ableists (I hate using this term, but it’s true) and if a white male developer in his 20s thinks it’s not worth his time to fix these things… they’ll never be fixed.

A path ahead

I’m stuck in a rut. I thought it would take me longer to get to this point, but looks like that is not the case. I realized this fact after reading this article.

I have two jobs and both of them share


Started writing this, then I got fired from one of them. They would rather keep a bad white employee than a good brown one. You do you, Bite Squad.

I’ll tell you all stories of my adventures there.

Geany on Windows 10

Just don’t use it. Use anything else, but don’t use it on Windows.

Failed software from failed developers. It will waste at least an hour of your life and you still won’t get it to run after testing all compatibility modes.

I tried all versions and could not get it to save files. Even running it from command line with switches failed to provide anything useful. It fails silently, with no recourse.

These devs probably all think systemd is a good idea.

HTTPS

I done went and got SSL on this here site by way of Let’s Encrypt. It was pretty easy.

Not so easy was the run up to get it installed:

  • Update Debian with latest packages
  • Realize Debian is now on oldstable (jessie)
  • Update Debian to stable (squeeze)
  • BREAK EVERYTHING
  • Kinda-sorta fix it (aptitute still suicides on forking)
  • Run $ sudo certbot --nginx and marvel at how far we’ve come along

The last time I tries setting up SSL was a total pain in the ass, and it only got me a self-signed certificate that all of the browsers kept complaining about.

Yay for one thing taken off the bucket list. As an aside, I changed the permalink structure cos long URLs that use a date/time format are annoying and hard to remember. I got the idea for switching from here. I hear it plays hell with your SEO but I don’t particularly care about it here. Everyday at work I suffer from URLs that mean one thing for one person but something entirely different for someone else depending what they are doing.

Annoying as fuck, let me tell you.

Now I just need to figure out a plugin that will let me type stuff into the WP editor in markdown/commonmark, and not make the plugins kill themselves.

Let’s give it a shot

Many times over the years we’ve heard Windows users say they wish that third-party apps could update with Windows Update; that’s more or less what the Windows Store offers.

Source: Even if you hate the idea, Windows users should want Windows 10 S to succeed | Ars Technica

I’d be willing to give it a shot. I’ve seen others bitch about these things but the reality is that trying to keep apps updated on their own is a total pain in the ass, requiring the perennial use of batch scripts, or things more recent like ninite.com. I love ninite.com but its functionality is something that should not be needed at all.

Hell, even Linux has the equivalent of an app store. It’s just call a package manager. If Microsoft enabled a powershell interface the the Windows Store then it’s going to be really damn useful for sysadmins.