9 December 2007, 23:37 by mark hoekstra

project: using an Indy as network MP3 player

People who watch my flickr photoalbum already saw a glimpse of this project, next to that I mentioned it in my previous post and this weekend I finished this project concerning one of my all time favourite machines.

Making a diskless network MP3 player out of a true Silicon Graphics Indy. This marvelous little machine still has life left in it! *^_^*

it’s so leet, it started to elevate!
click to go to the project page

use an Indy as a diskless network MP3 player

DIY trackback

Comment - permalink

4 December 2007, 22:27 by mark hoekstra

my black iPhone in print and then some

Last thursday I traveled to Amsterdam, first to *ahem* star in a new TV-show (no kidding). Pictures of that day can be found here. I’ll probably be on TV only for a few seconds, but still… I think it’s nice.

Then, on friday I picked up the new Bright magazine, in which my (already famous) iPhone is featured. Now my projects are featured in every issue of Bright magazine, still, I’m exceptionally glad with this episode somehow. ^_^

Bright No. 19, for sale in Holland right now
click to enlarge

I think Bates likes it too…
click to enlarge

btw, on that last picture, in the top left, you can see an Indy, which’ll probably be the star of one of my upcoming projects. I’m having lots of fun with it.

And then, Elsie, she keeps having problems and crashes quite often…

click to enlarge

Now she is a proper UNIX-machine and crashes into the debugger although it doesn’t give me clues… So I’m hooking up my old iBook every now and then and resurrect her by serial console… (Did I already mention Elsie is a proper UNIX-machine with a debugger and serial console?)

left: Elsie crashed into the debugger, right: Elsie hooked up by serial console to my old iBook
click to enlarge


Comment [7] - permalink

26 November 2007, 18:06 by mark hoekstra

resurrecting Elsie...

Long time visitors of this site of course know Elsie, my beloved 33MHz webserver…

click to enlarge

Elsie gently hit the net in december 2004 and she’s been having some peculiarities every now and then. (that’s not the reason I refer to her as a female machine, also the only machine in my house I refer to that way, but, well, it very well could be of course *^_^* )

Anyway, sometimes she crashes everyday and sometimes she runs for months on end. Late last year I put yet another router into my network and decided to give Elsie a rest before I had the port-forwarding up and running. I actually totally forgot about her, but now, with all the router madness going on in my closet, I thought it was a pretty decent time to wake up Elsie after a long sleep and resurrect her…

If she feels like it, you can find this server here.


now please, don’t get mad if she doesn’t feel like serving you, it’s nothing personal, okay?

UPDATE in the first 48 hours after posting this, Elsie handled 344 unique visitors. Now I don’t have any stats running, that’s what I got after cat-ing and grep-ing with the access_log and even though 344 visitors is something completely else than for instance this, it puts a similar smile on my face *^_^* Elsie FTW!

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

...and yes, Elsie’s traffic is coming to you, through the setup I mentioned in my previous post. That routing setup now clocks in at a multitude of the MIPS Elsie does…

Of course, resurrecting Elsie is also a brilliant reason for me to rant on about other stuff going on in my closet, even though I promised I’d stop about that ^_^

click to enlarge

I finally got a proper use for yet another toy, a HP secure webconsole I bought ages ago. I now used it to reconfigure my Cisco again, after I changed the network devices in there, but I can just as easily plug it into the LOM of the Sun, to check up on that machine. I changed the network devices in my Cisco yesterday because last week a package from China (via eBay) arrived with two times the 1FE-2R2W inside:

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

So, now this Cisco has two fast ethernet ports and thereby the whole setup with the Cisco and the Sun is fully 100 mbit full duplex. My private traffic now travels over six (fast) ethernet devices before it enters and/or leaves my house… hmmmz…

LEDs on the back…
click to enlarge

On eBay I’ve also been bidding on the NM-2E2W, a network module with two fast ethernet devices on it. Now in the end it was cheaper for me to buy two times the NM-1E2R2W instead of one NM-2E2W… Next to the fact that I got double the hardware for less money, two modules instead of one, there’s also another advantage I hadn’t thought about up front:


Comment [4] - permalink

18 November 2007, 19:20 by mark hoekstra

...and a Sun to match

click to enlarge

...although I somehow have the feeling I’ve now got a whole bunch of solutions in my closet, all looking for problems which aren’t there (yet) but well, we’ll see about that ^_^

click to enlarge

Last week I received a Sun Netra T1 AC200 and I already received a Sun quad happy meal interface. This weekend, in between other things, I’ve been installing OpenBSD 4.2 on the last machine to go into my closet… well, for now.

And oh, there are fast ethernet devices on their way for my Cisco, so then this routing setup will be 100mbit full-duplex through-and-through (not that it can route 100mbit and/or that I’ve got a connection that fast, but still…)

click to go to my hinv-page

So, why? and what does it do?

Well… this is something I’ve got in my head for a long time and I’m not even sure if there’s any real use for it. Still, with this hardware going for scratch-prices I couldn’t resist to build this setup once again and spend time figuring everything out, refamiliarize myself with lots of network related stuff and just see how it runs. The Sun is used as a double transparent bridge, one before the Cisco and one behind it.

If you want to know more about transparent bridges and such, I guess this is a nice read.

When it turns out this Sun is more show than go than I probably will disconnect it after a while and use it for other purposes (btw this machine’s got Lights Out Management which enables me to turn it on and off through the serial port…). But, for now, I’ll use it for some experiments even though there are way too many screws I can turn!

The setup now looks like this:

cable modem <-> OpenBSD PF <-> Cisco IOS <-> OpenBSD PF <-> home-network

(both OpenBSD PFs run on the Sun, I made two transparent bridges on the four ports of the quad happy meal card)

“we have joy we have fun, we have Puffy on our Sun…”

riiight *^_^*

Something else, this being a quiet sunday and such, I thought I revise my network diagram, which was getting old after four(!) years. You can view (and even rate!) it overhere. (never mind the crappy rescaling…)

And as a last one, something totally different: this last week I also received pictures which I’ve put in a Flickr photoset, these pictures were made (by Bram Belloni) while I got interviewed a while ago.

P.S. Somehow my blogposts a lot of the times seem to go in threefold (3 times the iPhone, 3 times the CCC) which would mean the next one is about something totally different. right. ahem.

Comment [2] - permalink

9 November 2007, 15:40 by mark hoekstra

a decent Cisco

or at least, I think it’s a decent one… ^_^

Since I finished my OS-upgrade cycle, I was also looking into what else I could do in my home network. Well, to be little more correct and totally honest, that’s something I’m always looking into… ^_^

Every now and then I look around sites like eBay to see for what prices certain hardware is changing hands and lately I was looking into Ciscos (again). Now I’ve got a Cisco 2610 and as you can see in this document, that one is running at its maximum on my current 6Mbps cable connection… But since I’m planning on upgrading my connection somewhere in the near future (ADSL2+ 20mbps connections are quite cheap overhere), I would also need a spiffier router to handle traffic of around 20Mbps properly…

click to enlarge

Now of course, these routers, a Cisco 3640A in my case, with 128MB memory and 32MB flash, with 2 ethernet-devices (NM-2E2W), are already totally obsolete in production-environments and their official life ended three years ago, but that’s also the reason I was able to pick one up at only a small percentage (2% ?) of its original retail price ^_^

click to go to the pic on flickr

Now, even though I had a good deal with this Cisco, it came with ethernet-devices (2× 10Mbps) which is fine on my current cable-connection, but if I would upgrade to, say, ADSL2+, I’d also need a NM-2FE2W (or 2x NM-1FE2W) and those still seem to go for, well, decent prices... Well, I still got time and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to pick up fast-ethernet-devices for this baby for a reasonable price any time soon… We’ll see…

some Cisco-pr0n:

click to enlarge

But, this Cisco is only one part of the obsolete hardware upgrade-cycle… I’ll continue on something I tried earlier… and for that I’ve been buying similar class gear (for similar low prices ^_^)

There’s more hardware on its way and the beauty on the picture below is meant for a machine which isn’t here yet…

click to enlarge

ah well, the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys and in my case, that’s only a small percentage of the original retail price…


Comment [3] - permalink

5 November 2007, 22:52 by mark hoekstra

OpenBSD 4.2

click to enlarge

Last thursday OpenBSD 4.2 was released and yesterday I took the opportunity to install it on my quite famous fileserver. Part of the reason to do that was to see if my how-to was still valid (and it is!) but also because I had some specific problems with OpenBSD 4.0 I was running on there and the packaged Samba, 3.0.21bp4. Now I could’ve upgraded to 4.1 a long time ago (and I should’ve!), but it wasn’t clear to me from the start what was happening. I could’ve recompiled a new Samba also, but somehow on OpenBSD-machines I like to stick to the package-collection. So, a fresh install of OpenBSD 4.2 it was!

From my media center which runs Vista I could browse my fileserver, although on some occassions, my fileserver would completely crash. Now I think this had to do with the Vista-machine doing fast-queries on the Samba fileserver. There’s more about that here.

It would happen during large filetransfers, but not when playing MP3s for instance or playing videos… Downpoint was, since I run softraid, after a crash the parity needed to recalculate and I wanted to do filechecks of all the filesystems (and on my fileserver, that’s one on the other…) before I put it back up, which in all would take several hours to complete.

Now a sureshot way to crash the fileserver was to go into a directory full of rar-files, open it on the Vista-machine, and put the decoded output back onto my fileserver. I just tested that on the 4.2 machine which has Samba 3.0.25b and now everything goes like it should.

Well, because of the fresh OS-install, I also swapped a 9GB SCSI-disk on an Adaptec 2940 for a 180GB one (I never knew they existed!) on an Adaptec 29160N SCSI-card. And about the drive… well, I have that one for ages already and thought it was an 18GB-drive. That’s how I bought it also… but when I partitioned the drive I became suspicious and after googling I found out that it’s a 180GB-drive instead of an 18GB one… It’s old but unused (and therefore probably has quite some life left in it), like a lot of my stuff ^_^

With my fileserver on OpenBSD 4.2 I guess I finished the OS-upgrade-cycle for now. My workstation now runs Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, my old powerbook now runs Leopard and my media center still runs Vista, although the way I use the latter I guess it’s the worlds most bloated MP3-player… I really should do something about that one day. *^_^*

Comment [1] - permalink

2 November 2007, 15:48 by mark hoekstra

here's what a black iPhone does in traffic

the modded Jesus phone:

click to go to the project

this year’s traffic:
...according to Google Analytics

the blue line flat on the bottom represents around 3,500 unique visitors a day.
click to enlarge

the vertical line represents visitors *a day*, so yes, last wednesday I’ve seen upwards of 60,000 unique visitors…

according to AWstats it’s 70,650 to be exact, on the 31st of October…

legend to go with the spikes: ;-)

1 DIY obsolete iBook logic board repair

2 iNoPhone

3 how to turn your iPod mini into a flash based iPod

4 put flash memory into (almost) ANY iPod!

5 Slurpr – the mother of all wardrive boxes

6 iNoPhone. A guided tour.

7 How to build a fully encrypted NAS on OpenBSD

8 paint it black: the iPhone

This was one wave my webserver wasn’t able to digest fully. It was doing alright until Digg came along and from then on, I had to keep my fingers crossed… And ‘normally’ whenever a project of mine hits the frontpage, it automagically disappears from there once my server can’t handle the traffic anymore. I mean, people can’t see it anymore and people don’t digg it anymore… Makes sense, right? But this time, even though the project itself already was long time gone from the frontpage, it also was still there because it reached a Top 10 in all topics, a list which is on the frontpage and so the traffic kept on coming …and coming …and coming, hour after hour…

This does have me thinking though, I mean, the counter now counted only what it was able to handle, how high would that spike be if I got a server farm which would be able to handle such a wave? Next to that it somehow doesn’t feel right that Digg is able to also make sure other visitors from other sites aren’t being served well. I mean, I couldn’t care that much if a visitor from Digg isn’t served the page he/she’s looking for, they post mirrors in the thread and all that. But for every other visitor from another site it’s just all a bad user experience.

My still single webserver itself is doing great though, it’s now got an uptime of 519 days(!). There was only no way in the world it could handle this traffic and I doubt very much if I would’ve been able to with my second server next to it. I haven’t colocated that one yet, but maybe it’s also better cause now I know what kind of waves my next setup should be able to catch ;-)

My server’s been able to handle a slashdot twice this year, but this wave from Digg was about four times that of a slashdot…

Kind of odd though, needing to optimize a machine for around fourty times the traffic it won’t handle 99% of the time. And extremely odd if you think there’s only one site (Digg) responsible for those extreme spikes.

wanna see another spike? here’s one from the ever reliable(...) Alexa.

I guess I’m gonna redirect the traffic from Digg next time something like this happens, to Flickr for instance. That should be possible with Apache’s .htaccess. That’s exactly what happened in the thread this time, someone was pointing to one pic on Flickr and that seemed to please the crowd. It makes sense on a site where ‘articles’ reduced to single pictures (with [PIC] in the headline) are able to reach the frontpage time after time.


Comment [7] - permalink

29 October 2007, 23:46 by mark hoekstra

project: paint it black: the iPhone

...title says all… *^_^*

paint it black: the iPhone

DIY trackback
BBC NEWS | technology (no joke! here’s a screenshot)

Comment [3] - permalink

26 October 2007, 12:32 by mark hoekstra

interview in Dutch MacFan magazine

A while ago I got interviewed by Dutch MacFan magazine. It was a very pleasant interview and the journalist (Ben Melis) did an awesome job getting all my ranting onto two pages, I mean, I must’ve talked for hours and he really managed to get it all on paper very well. I’m quite thrilled with the result.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The contents of this issue can be found here and the issue itself is on sale, starting today, in Holland in almost every newsstand/bookstore.

Comment [3] - permalink

18 October 2007, 00:25 by mark hoekstra

recycling: iPhone sock

click to go to the projectpage

Well, with the iPhone itself being not too environmentally friendly how about recycling some of our old accessories?

iPhone sock

Comment - permalink

Previous Next