My network at mom’s is now running off pfSense! I took Zombie 6, gave it a second ethernet card I bought from the school, and installed from the LiveCD. Fairly simple, it even let me figure out which card was which by plugging it into the switch! That was cool. The install was uneventful. It started working! I configured the port forwarding and even some fancy DNS options I’d been looking forward to. The domains I host now go straight to the LAN IP of the server when accessed from within the LAN. I think before that it was going out to AT&T and back. DNS seems much faster, although I haven’t put it through a scientific test, nor do I intend to at this point. I set the pfSense box to query the AT&T DNS servers that the modem was querying, although I’m not entirely sure if it’s doing that. Then it broke. I spent what I’m pretty sure was hours going over the configuration of the modem and pfSense box. Then I turned on the monitor, and it was spamming errors which I now unfortunately cannot remember. Google revealed that it was a problem with the PCI bus and ethernet card I bought from the school. (10/100 Mbits, WAN side, a Gigabit card is LAN side) I took down the machine and moved the card to another slot. It started working again, then failed in the same way. I swapped it with the ethernet card in my sister’s machine. It worked instantly in the pfSense box! After another reboot and some nagging, the other card started working on my sister’s Ubuntu box. I then, after some effort, set my Linksys router to be a switch and wireless access point. I had to set the advanced routing option to router instead of gateway, disable its DHCP server, assign it an IP out of the router’s DHCP range, and plug one of the LAN ports (not the uplink!) into the pfSense router. Hooray! The only problems out of all this are that Xfire file transfer didn’t work when Brad tried to send me a file, although it worked a few minutes later for Pat, so whatever, and that for some reason my SRCDS server can’t be seen from the Internet now. I’ll have to check the pfSense forums when I get time, and if worst comes to worst there’s always commercial support… Zoneclient is awesome. I was able to just point it at the modem connection status page, from which it found and used the IP. Surprisingly easy.


I read a large part of the feature list. This part made me sad.


  • Only works on primary WAN interface – multi-WAN support is available in 2.0.
  • Can only update one account with a single provider. 2.0 enables the use of unlimited accounts.
  • Only works when pfSense has the public IP assigned to one of its interfaces. If you have a modem that obtains your public IP and gives pfSense a private IP, the private IP will be registered with the provider. In 2.0, there is an option to determine your actual public IP and correctly register it.

Given that I do have a modem that assigns a private IP to whatever is connected to it, I’ll either have to use the unstable version if this stuff has already been added, or just stick with what I’m already using, which is really messy and involves duplicate python scripts in cron. If I get the time and will to do so I might hack the script apart so I only need to run it once and it searches the router more efficiently, but… EDIT: D’oh. I can set the script to check multiple domains. I now only run one instance of the thing.

Server Move Complete!

The server has now been moved to the Pentium 4 box! It was a surprisingly easy move. All passwords and data should be preserved. Let me know if there are problems, all the data remains on the former server as well.

RSA key fingerprint is now:


I tar’d up my main web directory, tar’d one other person’s stuff, and just moved another’s one at a time. (Only 2 files, so…) Moving them over network was okay, although maybe not as fast as I might have hoped – going from the P3 to the P4 was about 6.5MB/s. Tar preserved the permissions. Then I moved over the MySQL databases using PhpMyAdmin. I needed to move the MySQL users too, so I exported the users table of the database “MySQL” and restored the lines I needed. I hope I got the system user passwords moved successfully as well – I recreated the users, then moved the /etc/shadow lines for each user from the P3 to P4 box.


Robert Langdon and I wrote a poem about my mom’s carpooling consistancy:

Sometimes she’s there at 3:20,

Sometimes she’s there at 3:10.

Sometimes she’s there at 3:40,

And sometimes not even then.


Pat’s map that I was working on wasn’t done after I left it overnight and waited until after school. This is insane. I guess I’ll have to read up on level optimizing.

EDIT: Looks like the first step will be making all the columns func_detail, then once I learn more about area portals and hint brushes I could try those as well.


I found out that my Fluxbuntu-Gutsy-powered box with 256MB of RAM had to use swap to play a sound file. This was upsetting. I uninstalled Xorg and Fluxbox and slim, (login manager) but couldn’t figure out how to add virtual consoles, which Fluxbuntu sadly seemed to lack. I somehow failed to install the standard C++ libraries, (I was too fed up to try to fix it at that point) and just installed Debian Etch. I installed BOINC and ALSA from repos, along with libasound2-dev (needed to compile Mplayer to use ALSA) and was pleased to find I could now run Seti@home, transfer files in over sftp, and play an audio file all within 256MB. (With around 4MB to spare.) Hooray!


This one is for the Linux geeks. Save the following file:




$ chmod u+x myscript #adds executable flag for the user that owns the file

$ ./myscript


Grandma’s machine is working now. I went out to Discount PC Outlet and got, literally, a $10 used (Creative Soundblaster Live!) sound card. I popped in the new card, disabled the onboard one in BIOS, and the card worked flawlessly on boot. I literally didn’t have to do a thing. I have the thing hardened thanks to Firestarter. Nmap just looks at it and shrugs. Compare this to a firewalled (the built in one :\ ) Windows machine where Nmap finds two open ports lists at 100% certainty that the machine is running XP SP2, which is correct.

I also learned something accidentally today, which is sometimes the very best way to learn. I had forgotten to plug the speakers back into the alarm, yet it got me up anyway. I was confused, and told the alarm to play music again only to discover it had an internal speaker! o_O You learn something every day, I guess.

Well This is Upsetting

I got Ubuntu to install. I set the BIOS to use AHCI, and added pci=nomsi to the end of the command line, and it worked, albiet somewhat slowly. Point is it’s installed now. The next problem in this seemingly unending road of setbacks is that although the sound works, it’s glitchy. It stutters. It’s not the speakers, I’ve tried both speakers, and headphones. I guess hopefully I can get this sorted out, and if not, we’re a $10 sound card away from getting it working, anyway.