Sunday, April 18, 2010

History of the US Moon Base

As you know, we are approaching the twentieth anniversary of man's permanent habitation of the moon. Yes, ever since President Reagan insisted America implement a moon colony by 1990, astronauts have lived at Moon Base. This Nasa site chronicals the designs for a permanent moon habitat of the decades. Unfortunately, you can't zoom in on the pictures.

This is apparently part of a series designed for High School students to teach the history of space exploration. The top level page includes a history of the shuttle and discussion of a Mars mission.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Password Change Policies Do Not Enhance Security

In another example of security through "because we say so," there is a recent study that indicates changing passwords does not enhance security. The premise of the argument is that if the bad guy's compromise an account, they will exploit it immediately, rather then hang on to a password for some future use.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Started Japanese, Ended American

There was a Japanese Street Festival in downtown, but it was waaaaay too crowded. So, I went to the National Portrait Gallery instead... Which is in Chinatown... Which has sushi bars... So I got better Japanese, for less, without the long lines.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Google Earth Vehicle Shoots Self... Sort Of

Ultra-geek time. I was on Google Maps Street View looking for the hot dog guy on the roof of Polock Johnny's in Baltimore. The sun was at just the right angle, and you can see the shadow of the Google Earth vehicle. Notice the periscope. Cool.

View Larger Map

Monday, April 05, 2010

Cherry Blossom Firworks Pictures

Not really, but pictures from Saturday evenings fireworks excursion.  Ah... no fireworks pictures. (I don't know how these got lost: they were suppose to post Saturday night.)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Cherry Blossom Fireworks Fail

I got lost on the way to watch the DC Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks last night. I'm not sure its completely my fault... So did 10,000 other people.

The paper said the fireworks would be part of the music festival going on at the Southwest Water Front (A) at 7th and Maine. The crowd assumed it would be at the Tidal Basin, and collected on its shores (B).

The problem with the waterfront, is that it is highly developed, so there are few places to kickback away from the crowd. I decided I would watch from Potomac Park (C) and have a picnic.

To get to the park, I had to foot it in through the crowd from the Smithsonian Metro. I made a wrong turn, and ended up "on the wrong island" (D). The good news was no crowd. The bad news was trees and bridges obstructing the view.

I tried my Sprint PDA's navigation system-- it said I was at the Pentagon Lagoon.

Better luck next year.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

OpenNebula- Red Hat Xen Node

For the record, if your are running Red Hat, consider making the move to KVM-- That is where they will be focusing their attentions. This is not to say that Xen is dead, since it is re-included in Fedora 12. Having said that, my test cluster is old hardware that won't support KVM, so I'm having to do my OpenNebula development on Xen.

To test Red Hat functionality, I needed to build a Xen node. I could have used CrapOS... I'm sorry that was a type... I meant to say: I could have used CentOS for this test, but we all know how stupid that would be.

What follows is a little black magic used only for testing. These are the steps needed to take an @base install on 5.5 and get Xen running. Since yum sometimes gets confused on this process, it is best done directly off the CD or a mounted image:
rpm -Uvh Server/kernel-xen-[0-9]*.rpm
rpm -Uvh Server/bridge-utils-[0-9]*.rpm
rpm -Uvh Server/xen-libs-[0-9]*.rpm
rpm -Uvh --nodeps Server/SDL-[0-9]*.rpm
rpm -Uvh VT/libvirt-[0-9]*.rpm
rpm -Uvh VT/libvirt-python-[0-9]*.rpm
rpm -Uvh VT/python-virtinst-[0-9]*.rpm
rpm -Uvh VT/xen-[0-9]*.rpm
sed -i "s/default=1/default=0/" /boot/grub/grub.conf
Note: the nodeps argument is to avoid complaints about sound drivers. Since we are building a cloud node, we don't care 'bout no stinkin' sound drivers.

Now, the dependencies for OneNebula:
yum install -y ruby xmlrpc
Unfortunately, there is one dependancy missing from the Red Hat disto, so we have to grab it from Fedora. Due to some glibc versioning issues, we go back to F8:
rpm -Uvh --nodeps xmlrpc-c-1.06.31-2.fc8.i386.rpm
And lets try Open Nebula:
rpm -Uvh one-1.4.0-1.i386.rpm
Preparing...   ########## [100%]
  1:one           ########## [100%]