My home network

A lot of small screws

Yesterday I was asked to fix a notebook. The power connector was malfunctioning. The normal fiddeling with the connector didn't work and there was power coming from the power supply. So the problem was somewere in the notebook itself. But after unscrewing all the screws on the bottom I still could not remove eigher top or bottom of the notebook. There were a couple of screws located near the hinge of the display. Only way to remove these was to disassemble the display. Being very carefull it took me almost half a hour to figure out how the display was held together. The six screws were easy, but then the display was somehow being held together by the design of the top and the bottem sides.


I've been to busy doing other things as home than spending time on my home network. And there are so many things I could hack on...
But after the water soaked our livingroom and kitchen, I had to renovate a little bit. And when you're busy renovating...there are always some things that you should have done a long time ago. Now our bedroom is renovated as well.
But as far as my home network goes. Did some checking up on the netfilter stuff for IPv6. It seems that my server needs a new kernel to get a statefull firewall up and running. This makes it a lot easier to implement IPv6 on my internal network. I've not yet enabled this to make sure no one whould try to use the internal machines without firewall. Only problem is that debian (Sarge) does not have this in its kernels. Perhaps time to start compiling my own kernels again on my server.

Spamassassin versus DNSBL

Until now I've only been using spamassassin as my personal spam-fighter. Messages are tagged by spamassassin when he thinks its spam. This works quite well. As part of its tagging spamassassin uses DNS blacklists which is ok. But having a relative slow DSL-line I now use something which works even better in my case. I'm now using the dns-blacklist feature from exim4 to reject incoming connections from known spammers. I just added this file (04_exim4-config_dnslists) to the /etc/exim4/conf.d/main directory and now my debian host automatically rejects the incoming spam (see /etc/exim4/conf.d/acl/30_exim4-config_check_rcpt for more info about how exim handles this)


Finally moved the main nameserver for my domain to my own server. Until now the main nameserver was a machine at TeamWiSE. Secondary nameservers were running at Everything seems to be ok according to but my mailserver is responding to slow for them. Main problem is the amount of RAM on my server I guess.


Friends of us just bought a house nearby. They asked me if I could take a look at the "cabling" in their new house. I've seen a lot DIY cabling and I've always said that the house were I lived when I studied was kept upright only by the amount of cabling we added.

But this house really is something special! Yesterday I already removed enough coax television-cable to simply plugin the house to the transmitter which is only a few kilometers further. Would have resulted in a much better signal I guess. Then there was this huge professional alarm which was installed. This was all done after the house was build, so almost all the wiring was done underneath the floor and along the walls. Then there was the doorbell with a seperate intercom system. In the hallway there were two buzzers next to each other. One for the doorbell, and one for the intercom, which was triggered by the doorbell. Why mount an extra buzzer?

Canon EOS 350D

I got myself a new "toy". I really like taking pictures and like to experiment. Until now I've been using an Canon EOS 300 for the job. This camera never failed me and produced very nice pictures. I'll certainly continue to use it I guess. But this new EOS 350D is much better. My first pictures can be found in the gallery. I've enabled the EXIF Data so you can see the settings used to take the pictures. I'm really looking forward to taking a lot of pictures and then just deleting the ones I do not want to keep. No more shooting multiple roles of film and the hassle of bringing them to the shop to have them developed. Just take a look of me just after receiving the camera:

My unstable box becoming really unstable

My old Gateway 350Mhz Pentium II machine which has been running Debian unstable for ages is becoming really unstable. But it's not Debian which is causing the problems. Seems to be the Harddisk on which Debian is installed. Better get it up in the near future and see if there is any data that must be salvaged from this old machine. Main use of this machine was my old flatbed-scanner. Transfering the Firmware is also the most important thing to do. Otherwise I have to install Windoze somewhere to obtain the Firmware.

Debian Sarge Released

So long Woody, Welcome Sarge! Finally, Debian Sarge (3.1) is released. Thanks to all the folks at Debian. Not that there is going to change much on my systems. They were all running Sarge already. I suppose I'll keep the main systems running Sarge for a while and move the less critical systems to Etch when I find some time. The Testing-Release of Debian is rock-solid and even Unstable is running most of the time.

Chaos and no time....

I did not have much time to spend on my home network. Had a busy time at work. Servers breaking down. NTFS-Filesystem getting corrupt due to failing RAID 5 hardware. And there were some serious problems with the main Visual SourceSafe Repository. If you could take a look at my attic where most of the machines of my home network are located, you would notice that a lot of stuff just got piled up on the last remaining free spots. The result is that now nothing can be reached. Tomorrow I have a day off and hopefully I can use it to clean-up/re-group/re-cable some of my network.

More PHP fun

Just stumbled upon PHPsysinfo. Just could not resist an apt-get to include this as a feature on my site.

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