delegation, or lack thereof

The problem of the day is delegation. We’ve been migrating some of our older servers to IP addresses in a new C block that was recently assigned to us by Verio. We’ve been having all sorts of unexplained lookup problems with those servers and finally discovered the cause today. Verio never properly delegated the authority to our DNS server for the new C block. It took a full day of debugging and playing with nslookup and, of course, turned out to be something obvious and simple (doesn’t it always?). Verio submitted the delegation update to Arin tonight. Now I’m a full day behind on my schedule for this week but at least I can get back to more interesting work now.

Newslog bugs

I’ve been getting more feedback about the newslog script lately. It’s probably due to the recent announcement on Freshmeat. A couple of security bugs and the need for better documentation have been pointed out and I’ll probably tackle these in a new release soon. This week has been very busy and next week looks the same but at some point in the near future I’ll find the time to get a new release out.

Openboot Update on the UltraSparc II

Today I did something new. I upgraded the Openboot PROM on our Sun Ultra 10. The version it shipped with seems to have trouble with IDE drives larger than 8 gig. And the Linux SILO program also seems to have a few problems with the old version of Openboot. Upgrading firmware is always a bit scary since a power loss or mistake results in an unbootable motherboard. Fortunately, all went smoothly. No more problems with large IDE drives and Linux boots perfectly every time. I highly recommend converting any UltraSparcs to Linux. Not only can you run in true 64bit mode but you’ll find that everything runs a lot faster – apparently this has something to do with the size of the Linux kernel and cache architecture of the UltraSparc II cpu. The next step is upgrading the IDE drives from 5400 rpm to new 7200 rpm.

Welcome to the year 2000

Well the zero hour came and went with no ill effects. Susan and I, along with my brother, Randy, watched the festivities on TV and The Net from my house. Sometime around midnight we popped the cork on a bottle of cheap champagne and toasted the New Year. We had a few laughs at how many media and marketing people still thought that this was the beginning of a new millennium. Even stranger, at least one news network was claiming that this was beginning of the second millennium (off by 999 years instead of just 1 like everyone else!). The local news indicated that a large fine had been implemented to prevent people from firing their guns in the air (hey! If you can’t fire your guns in the air to celebrate the New Year in Texas, what’s the world coming too!).

All the servers at NCC are still up and running. The phones kept working, the grid stayed up. We’ve noticed lots of minor problems since. The next morning at Le Peep, the waiter left us a check with a date of 1/1/20. The Paramount web site said the next Voyager episode would air on 1/1/1900. The Swiss atomic clock pegged the date at 1/1/19100. I’m sure we’ll find more such annoyances in the coming months and I expect the world will be cleaning up the mess for the next year.