January 14, 2011:

Today, I tried to install two OSes I'd never seen before.

Why? Because I want to set up a pair of backup servers to rsync my code to every day (alternating on a weekly or monthly basis, so whichever one I'm not using can be off and unplugged for lightning-strike protection).

The attempt to install ChaOS did not go well - it booted, got far enough to tell me to press anything but shift to reload the bootstrap, then refused to respond to input. Oh well - I'm not sure if ChaOS was the best choice for a backup server anyhow, but I wanted to try something WEIRD to see if perchance one of the many people whose idea of a good time is writing their own OS has come up with something that meets my definition of 'AWESOME!'.

So, time to try something likelier.

Plan 9. A vaguely unixlike thing (it's more unixlike than, say, Windows XP is Maclike, but less unixlike than, say, Linux/HURD/GNU/OS X.). It's apparently the origin of procfs (which I've always found unaccountably interesting to peer at). It's got filesystems I've never heard of, UIs I've never used, a weird shell that allows treelike redirection constructs, and treats EVERYTHING as files.

The first frustrating thing was that it hated my DVD drive - it worked enough to get a large chunk of the way through the installer, but not enough to actually detect the installer data. I'm not sure if that's Plan 9's fault or my DVD drive being crappy, though. I put in an old CD drive and it installed happily enough.

The documentation was frustrating, though I think part of that was that I was stumbling around in entirely the wrong set - a collection of occasional step-by-step instructions buried among a large number of academic papers discussing the behaviour of a jukebox full of worms that they were using for a fileserver (with 320 gigs of storage and, IIRC, 128 megs ram - BIG IRON indeed!)

So, I blundered around the filesystem trying to figure out what to do next for a bit. The /n/dump filesystem is YAY and pretty much settles that Plan 9 will be one of my backup servers if at all possible (unless it winds up requiring so much storage that I can't back up ~/code/ to it.). I'm somewhat worried by the fact that I don't know what happens when the storage fills up *and* the docs were happily announcing 'Don't worry, by the time you fill it up storage costs will have come down!', though.

Blundering was frustrating, because I hate having to touch-type qwerty on a dvorak. So, I went looking for instructions for how to change the keymap, and found them. kbmap.

Which is a GUI app, that lets me use a mouse to select keyboard type by clicking on it- no, wait, clicking does nothing. Escape does nothing. Hm. The apps in the installer would let me do things to the windows by right-clicking... *right-clicks in a blank piece of the window.*. Nothing. Maybe if I right-click on one of the keyboard type buttons? Yes! It selects! And stays selected.

Websearching eventually disclosed that kbmap is dismissed using the Q key.

... of course, I haven't bothered to find out if rsync runs on this beast yet...


sync separator on 0x7DB May 0x3:
Could you by any chance tell me where to find out how to *shoot* in Orb 2005 ? It is built on the old Cube engine, and the Cube site is all about the Cube-Cabbage. Normally I am not the shooter type. When the foe are represented by ASCII characters, even then I tend to forget I have a mace because it seems like I am crashing headlong into them more than anything else. It's possible that I am expected to compile my own, but no one has said so.

Message ID: 'comment-0x7DB_May_0x3-0x0'; spamfilter sequence: {%turing_match%}-{%turing_response%}

GreekEagles on 0x7DC April 0xA:
Hello Dear Admin Your security in your site is not best.. I upload a (shell) on your site from here (upload(DOT)h-t-m-l)

Fix it ... -------------------------------

Friendly Greek Eagles ....

Message ID: 'comment-0x7DC_April_0xA-0x1'; spamfilter sequence: {%turing_match%}-{%turing_response%}

Deekoo on 0x7DC April 0x1B:
Wow, there are a lot of shells in my upload directory. (Not everyone's nice enough to tell me when they've put something interesting there.) It's only a security hole if people other than me can *run* the shells, though.

Message ID: 'comment-0x7DC_April_0x1B-0x1'; spamfilter sequence: {nice}-{If this is spam, anyone may crack the websites herein linked.}


{ Add Comment }