Gargantuan file servers and tiny operating systems.

We seem to have reached a unique point in history: Available to your average home user are gargantuan amounts of disk space (8 terabyte hard drives are a thing, and the prices are rapidly coming down to widespread affordability) and enough processing power is available for the palm of your hand that makes the computational power that put the human race on the moon compare in the same was that a grain of sand does to a beach.  For most people, it's the latest phone upgrade or more space for your media box.  For others, though, it poses an unusual …

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A busy couple of days, to be sure.

The past couple of days have been busy, highly eventful, and fruitful, to be sure, which is why I've only been posting terse updates here and there.

Here's what happened:

Lucien, the mail server that I've been running for the past couple of years, flamed out on Monday afternoon, leaving me mostly incommunicado for a few days. I had to scramble to construct a replacement for reasons that I'll go into shortly. What I wound up doing was downloading an .iso image of the 2007.0 release of Gentoo Linux and while Leandra was pulling it down I hunted through …

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FIXED: A late 20th century grimoire?

This is one of the neatest art hacks I've seen in a while. Let me explain:

Books are ultimately tools for storing information in a non-volatile manner for ease of transportation and reference. They're a relatively low bandwidth medium, limited by how fast the reader can turn the pages and the rate at which the visual cortex processes the characters, but are remarkably stable. Diskettes, on the other hand, are a more informationally dense storage medium, weigh less, and take up less space. They are more vulnerable to mistreatment, however: A fingerprint in the wrong place can wipe out large …

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Random knowledge II.

If you turn on the Xscreensaver module called Sonar while you're running a packet monitoring application (such as TCPdump), people are less likely to think you're doing anything shady, because "Only hacker tools don't have GUIs." Always hack your shell's personal configuration file (~/.bash_profile, for example) to change your shellprompt if you use GNU screen. That way you can tell what shells you've left open are single-access shells and which shells are multiplexed through a single connection with screen. It can get confusing sometimes. Because a shell run inside a GNU screen metaterminal sets an environment variable called $WINDOW, you …

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