Tag Archives: geek


Adam, Nathan, and I are going in together on some more hosting. This time around, the box is with Layered Technologies and is running one of their L2 plans – AMD Barton 3000+ with a gig of ram and 80gb hd, 5 ip’s, 10Mbps bandwidth, and a TB/month allowance to spend it on. Her name is Esme, and she’s running OpenBSD 3.8.

The three of us are grabbing the machine for different purposes. Nathan wants another off-site storage solution. Adam wants somewhere to post little toys. I want to extend the SIMud empire’s network presence and reliability. There’s a lot of joint stuff between these purposes, of course.

I’ve been doing most of the setup work right now… I guess since I’m most experienced when it comes to this sort of stuff? Shrug. I’ve been having some – shall we say – issues with OpenBSD so far, but I think I’m over all of the ugliness for now. I hope.

PHP was a nightmare to get running for some reason. I compiled MySQL and Apache by hand. Individually, they ran just fine. Once I threw PHP into the mix, however, it borked something fierce. However, it looks like I am not alone when it comes to problems getting MySQL and PHP to play nice on OpenBSD. Following his advice, I have everything working quite happily now.

My general plan for the machine’s integration into the network is that it will become our master DNS and LDAP server. It will host the mud (taking the burden from A’tuin), and will be where everyone’s email lands. A’tuin will become a slave DNS server, will continue to use LDAP for user accounts, and will probably continue to offer generic web and database services to people. Falku (the pair server – whose name we didn’t choose, of course) is going to drop any associations with the simud.org domain, but will continue to host this site and the comic.

Should be a good deal for everyone involved. Mud gets reliable again, usage drops on A’tuin – thus freeing up cpu and memory for those people who’ll continue using it, and my monthly hosting bill still only lands at around $60 😉

the array of hope

An old friend from TAMS sent me this url today. It links to a particularly … horrid example of programming practice. Our conversation follows.

(15:40:34) Matt: must… not… look…
(15:40:52) Ammon: huh?
(15:41:00) Matt: (look ;-))
(15:41:29) Ammon: …
(15:41:34) Ammon: _wow_
(15:42:00) Matt: hooray for exceptions
(15:42:05) Ammon: that’s just obscene
(15:43:13) Ammon: … it
(15:43:17) Ammon: it hurts my soul
(15:43:27) Matt: deep down, where the pie goes?
(15:43:28) Matt: yeah
(15:43:32) Ammon: yeah

The code in question (for those who don’t want to follow the link)?

I don’t know if I really want to explain what’s wrong with this for those non-programmers who might be reading… No. I don’t. But I will anyway.

Since time immemorial, the most common way to iterate over an list of values has been to use an index variable that is incremented until it reaches the size of the list. And then you stop. And you don’t continue to look at things. If you try to look beyond the end of the list, strange and unpredictable things can happen – exactly what happens depending on the system involved.

This program … does an infinite loop, increments its counter, and then crashes when it runs past the end of the list of product id’s to be displayed. But, it plans on crashing. So it knows to just ignore the disturbance in the Force that is generated and continue running despite the millions of souls crying in agony before being silenced by the idiot programmer who is being paid to murder them in their sleep.