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ISP move

2019-06-04
Tags: hardware personal

In a similar vain as last post, I’ll be moving with my ISP (to a new 1ˢᵗ TAE) next Tyrsday. I hope everything will be as unupsetting as last time…

ISP change

2019-04-22
Tags: hardware personal

I’m going to be switched from ADSL (version 1) at Netcologne to VDSL with Vectoring at Telekom Business tomorrow. So, if I seem to have fallen off the earth, you’ll know why.

I should also take this as chance to replace the ne(4) NIC my current DSL modem is connected to (a 10 Mbit/s card, but at least already PCI) with another fxp(4) to make use of the more speed (50/10 Mbit/s instead of 4/½ or so).

I’ve set up Backup MX (already had Backup NS), so nothing should suffer too much except response times, perhaps.

The Freizeitkarte offline OpenStreetMap vector maps can be rendered with MapsForge, a library which is embedded in several Android applications like c:geo. (Note that c:geo ships two instances of it, the “old MapsForge v3 API” which works much better on my ancient HTC Desire and the standard newer one.) However, this uses the stock rendering theme of MapsForge by default, which is an old Osmarender one (in v3 at least, later MapsForge extends it) and kinda sucks for detailled navigation, such as what GPS Stash Hunters need to do.

Thankfully Freizeitkarte ships a MapsForge theme, well two, one with more contrast or something. Did I say “ships”? Oops, “shipped” is more correct. It was taken offline (with, unfortunately, no trace any more online) some years ago due to difficulties or something.

Luckily, I still have a copy (in which I enabled several “extra” features (such as displaying bus stops, which ought to be default…) which I can use. But this has several problems: it needs fixing, as upstream said, and OSM also developed, so I could not see any ramps (lanes to join/exit highways) any more.

Well, jupp and XML editing and OSM data inspection to the rescue. I now maintain the XML in a private git repo (although I unfortunately only have the preconfigured one as starting point), and I extended, changed and fixed it a lot and redrew two of the images, and freizeitkarte.zip is the fruit of these efforts. It likely can still use more fixing and extending but is at least usable, and the licence is rather liberal. Perhaps I should rename it to Mirzeitkarte to clarify it is not the original any more, but for now I did it in the title of this wlog entry. (Dear Freizeitkarte people, please do contact me if you have anything to say. We could even populate your fzk-theme github repository.)

Update 2019-04-22: I’ve renamed the XML (but not the PKZIP archive name, as to not break deep links) and have fixed more stuff, continuing to do so. Freizeitkarte people just pointed me to Geoclub (an independent webforum) for “support”, so they seem to not be interested. I do have permission though.

In unrelated news, the Free Music repository also grew, and the soundfont has an update.

I’ve updated a lot of things in MirBSD and for use with the Debian operating system. More to come, pax(1) has been converted to Mirtoconf (the successful Build.sh system of mksh’s) but needs to be re-ported to a lot of systems (and some more bugs squished). My “WTF” APT repository also received a number of updates, such as to the ever-desired wtf(1), but it’s the time of that two-year cycle which invites general care for all of one’s packages.

On the other hand, MirBSD stops offering RSS feeds by tags. The world has become more insular, first by DSGVO, now by other cultural issues. I’ll be at FOSDEM, as usual, though, so rejoice!

You can now directly download, for all platforms and synthesisers, the soundfonts shipped in Debian for MuseScore (and others) I maintain. This service may cease at any time, without notice. Also, do mind the MIT licence.

On an unrelated note, happy new year in the western calendar!

learn.to/quote

2018-10-25
Tags: archaeology debian news pcli tip

The “properly quote eMail messages and on Usenet” documentation is hosted on a server that appears to not get too much care at the moment. I’ve dug out workable versions:

The original link, with its http://learn.to/quote/ redirection, which contained the links to the translations into Dutch and English, unfortunately no longer works.

I’m asking everyone to please honour these guidelines when posting in Usenet and responding to eMail messages, as not doing so is an insult to all the (multiple, in the case of Usenet and mailing lists) readers / recipients of your messages. Even if you have to spend a little time trimming the quote, it’s much less than the time spent by all readers trying to figure out a TOFU (reply over fullquote) message.

Ich bitte jeden darum, sich bitte beim Posten im Usenet und Verfassen von eMails sich an diese Richtilinien zu halten; dies nicht zu tun ist ein Affront wider alle (im Falle von Usenet und Mailinglisten viele) Leser bzw. Empfänger eurer Nachrichten. Selbst wenn man zum Kürzen des Zitats ein bißchen Zeit aufwenden muß ist das immer noch deutlich weniger als die Mühe, die jeder einzelne Leser aufwenden muß, herauszufinden, was mit einer als TOFU (Text oben, Vollzitat unten) geschriebenen eMail gemeint ist.

Mag ik iederéén verzoeken, postings in het Usenet en mailtjes volgens deze regels te schrijven? Als het niet te doen is vies tegen alle ontvanger’s en moeilijk om te lezen. Zelfs als je een beetje tijd nodig heb om het oorspronkelijke deel te korten is het nog steeds minder dan de moeite van alleman, om een TOFU (antwoord boven, fullquote beneden) boodschap proberen te begrepen.

Nik wishes you to know that the Movim packaging sprint (sponsored by the DPL, thank you!) is handled under the umbrella of the Debian Edu sprint (similarily sponsored) since this package is handled by the Teckids Debian Task Force, personnel from Teckids e.V.

After arriving, I’ve started collecting knowledge first. I reviewed upstream’s composer.json file and Wiki page about dependencies and, after it quickly became apparent that we need much more information (e.g. which versions are in sid, what the package names are, and, most importantly, recursive dependencies), a Wiki page of our own grew. Then I made a hunt for information about how to package stuff that uses PHP Composer upstream, and found the, ahem, wonderfully abundant, structured, plentiful and clear documentation from the Debian PHP/PEAR Packaging team. (Some time and reverse-engineering later I figured out that we just ignore composer and read its control file in pkg-php-tools converting dependency information to Debian package relationships. Much time later I also figured out it mangles package names in a specific way and had to rename one of the packages I created in the meantime… thankfully before having uploaded it.) Quickly, the Wiki page grew listing the package names we’re supposed to use. I created a package which I could use as template for all others later.

The upstream Movim developer arrived as well — we have quite an amount of upstream developers of various projects attending MiniDebConf, to the joy of the attendees actually directly involved in Debian, and this makes things much easier, as he immediately started removing dependencies (to make our job easier) and fixing bugs and helping us understand how some of those dependencies work. (I also contributed code upstream that replaces some Unicode codepoints or sequences thereof, such as 3⃣ or ‼ or 👱🏻‍♀️, with <img…/> tags pointing to the SVG images shipped with Movim, with a description (generated from their Unicode names) in the alt attribute.)

Now, Saturday, all dependencies are packaged so far, although we’re still waiting for maintainer feedback for those two we’d need to NMU (or have them upload or us take the packages over); most are in NEW of course, but that’s no problem. Now we can tackle packaging Movim itself — I guess we’ll see whether those other packages actually work then ☺

We also had a chance to fix bugs in other packages, like guacamole-client and musescore.

In the meantime we’ve also had the chance to socialise, discuss, meet, etc. other Debian Developers and associates and enjoy the wonderful food and superb coffee of the “Cantina” at the venue; let me hereby express heartfelt thanks to the MiniDebConf organisation for this good location pick!

Update, later this night: we took over the remaining two packages with permission from their previous team and uploader, and have already started with actually packaging Movim, discovering untold gruesome things in the upstream of the two webfonts it bundles.

mksh bugfix — thank you for the music

2018-05-07
Tags: bug debian mksh pcli

I’m currently working on an mksh(1) and bc(1) script that takes a pitch standard (e.g. “A₄ = 440 Hz” or “C₄ = 256 Hz”) and a config file describing a temperament (e.g. the usual equal temperament, or Pythagorean untempered pure fifths (with the wolf), or “just” intonation, Werckmeister Ⅲ, Vallotti or Bach/Lehman 1722 (to name a few; these are all temperaments that handle enharmonics the same or, for Pythagorean in out case, ignore the fact they’re unplayable). Temperaments are rule-based, like in ttuner. Well, I’m not quite there yet, but I’m already able to display the value for MuseScore to adjust its pitch standard (it can only take A₄-based values), a frequency table, and a list and table of cent deltas (useful for using or comparing with other tuners). Of course, right now, the cent deltas are all 0 because, well, they are equal temperament against equal temperament (as baseline), but I can calculate that with arbitrary and very high precision!

For outputting, I wanted to make the tables align nicely; column(1), which I normally use, was out because it always left-aligns, so I used string padding in Korn Shell — except I’m also a Unicode BMP fan, so I had F♯ and B♭ in my table headings, which were for some reason correctly right-aligned (for when the table values were integers) but not padded right when aligning with the decimal dot. So I worked around it, but also investigated.

Turns out that the desired length was used as second snprintf(3) argument, instead of, as in the right-align case, the buffer size. This worked only until multibyte characters happened. A fun bug, which only took about three minutes to find, and is covered by a new check in the testsuite even. Thought I’d share.

Feedback on and improvements for the tuner, once it’ll be done, are, of course, also welcome. I plan to port the algorithm (once I’ve got it down in a programming language I know well) to QML for inclusion in the tuner MuseScore plugin, even. Check here, for now, for my work in progress… it’s quite big already despite doing basically nothing. Foundation laid (or so…).

I’m currently working on consolidating mirsolutions.de (as my former business is long defunct) and “The MirOS Project” (that as of 2018 is also back to being my own one-man show / hobby) into www.mirbsd.org as my hobby / personal sorta homepage to not need any vhosts and simplify EU-DSGVO conformity. (I’ve also reduced logging.) Please excuse upheavals, as well as the continued presence of old, obsoleted or outdated content that may even be, as of now, completely wrong; I’ll fix it as time permits.

FixedMisc [MirOS] 20180429 released

2018-04-29 by tg@
Tags: news pcli

Today I’ve released another new CVS snapshot of the FixedMisc [MirOS] font; as usual, the tarball contains the font in BDF form, with no conflict with the system Fixed [Misc] font; sources for use (compilation, editing) with bdfctool(1) are in CVS.

The Intelpocalypse

2018-01-04
Tags: archaeology bug grml hardware pcli security

The unveiling of the three new CPU bug classes, collected in the two brandbugs “Meltdown” and “Spectre”, has mostly shocked the BSDs; I’ve got it on some authority that even FreeBSD was not informed ahead of time, left alone the others. Thanks to laffer1 from MidnightBSD for a couple of heads-up warnings into our direction!

Here’s what I could gather until now (please do correct me if I’m wrong):

Meltdown is specific to Intel® CPUs with out-of-order execution, that is, all P6-class (Pentium Pro/MMX, Pentium Ⅱ, but not Pentium Ⅰ/MMX) or newer (except old Atom) CPUs. It appears to allow user processes to read kernel memory, but not across VMs, nor to attack a hypervisor. A variant for ARM exists but AMD’s x86 CPUs are supposedly safe. The KAISER/FUCKWIT/UASS/KPTI patches for Linux fix this, at huge performance cost on x86, not so much on ARM, and no cost for unaffected CPU models (runtime detected).

Spectre affects x86, ARM, POWER CPUs and possibly others. I’ve not yet found information on whether it is also limited to CPUs with out-of-order executions, but it seems likely. SPARC CPUs might be safe; Solaris/SPARC64 is safe due to the way its memory addressing works. If the OOO execution assumption is true, 80486 and P5 class x86 CPUs are also safe. This one does allow cross-VM and hypervisor attacks, so if the bare metal CPU is vulnerable, SOL. There does not yet seem to be a generic fix; some hint at having to patch the compiler and recompile everything with a workaround that has a performance cost, even if the CPU is not affected, or was fixed with a microcode update. AMD’s x86 CPUs are partially hit, one of the variants does not work on them.

“CERT recommends throwing away your CPU and buying an non-vulnerable one” (thanks to El Reg), but nobody states which CPUs are not vulnerable.

At the present time, we suggest any MirBSD/i386 instances that run on any CPU other than an 80486 or P5-class (Pentium Ⅰ or a non-PPro MMX) to be restricted to single user or trusted user access only, and no untrusted software including ECMAscript to be run on them.

Watch this space for updates. Oh, and, if you know what you’re (and I’m) talking about, please, again, do provide me with information necessary to provide those updates, both to MirBSD and to this space. Thank you.

mksh R56 was released with experimental fixes for the “history no longer persisted when HISTFILE near-full” and interactive shell cannot wait on coprocess by PID issues (I hope they do not introduce any regressioins) and otherwise as a bugfix release. You might wish to know the $EDITOR selection mechanism in dot.mkshrc changed. Some more alias characters are allowed again, and POSIX character classes (for ASCII, and EBCDIC, only) appeared by popular vote.

mksh now has a FAQ; enjoy. Do feel free to contribute (answers, too, of course).

The jupp text editor has also received a new release; asides from being much smaller, and updated (mksh too, btw) to Unicode 10, and some segfault fixes, it features falling back to using /dev/tty if stdin or stdout is not a terminal (for use on GNU with find | xargs jupp, since they don’t have our xargs(1) -o option yet), a new command to exit nonzero (sometimes, utilities invoking the generic visual editor need this), and “presentation mode”.

Presentation mode, crediting Natureshadow, is basically putting your slides as (UTF-8, with fancy stuff inside) plaintext files into one directory, with sorting names (so e.g. zero-padded slide numbers as filenames), presenting them with jupp * in a fullscreen xterm. You’d hit F6 to switch to one-file view first, then present by using F8 to go forward (F7 to go backward), and, for demonstrations, F9 to pipe the entire slide through an external command (could be just “sh”) offering the previous one as default. Simple yet powerful; I imagine Sven Guckes would love it, were he not such a vim user.

The new release is offered as source tarball (as usual) and in distribution packages, but also, again, a Win32 version as PKZIP archive (right-click on setup.inf and hit I̲nstall to install it). Note that this comes with its own (thankfully local) version of the Cygwin32 library (compatible down to Windows 95, apparently), so if you have Cygwin installed yourself you’re better off compiling it there and using your own version instead.

I’ve also released a new DOS version of 2.8 with no code patches but an updated jupprc; the binary (self-extracting LHarc archive) this time comes with all resource files, not just jupp’s.

Today, the jupprc drop-in file for JOE 3.7 got a matching update (and some fixes for bugs discovered during that) and I added a new one for JOE 4.4 (the former being in Debian wheezy, the latter in jessie, stretch and buster/sid). It’s a bit rudimentary (the new shell window functionality is absent) but, mostly, gives the desired jupp feeling, more so than just using stock jstar would.

CVS’ ability to commit to multiple branches of a file at the same time, therefore grouping the commit (by commitid at least, unsure if cvsps et al. can be persuaded to recognise it). If you don’t know what cvs(GNU) is: it is a proper (although not distributed) version control system and the best for centralised tasks. (For decentral tasks, abusing git as pseudo-VCS has won by popularity vote; take this as a comparison.)

If desired, I can make these new versions available in my “WTF” APT repository on request. (Debian buster/sid users: please change “https” to “http” there, the site is only available with TLSv1.0 as it doesn’t require bank-level security.)

I’d welcome it very much if people using an OS which does not yet carry either to package it there. Message me when one more is added, too ☺

In unrelated news I uploaded MuseScore 2.1 to Debian unstable, mostly because the maintainers are busy (though I could comaintain it if needed, I’d just need help with the C++ and CMake details). Bonus side effect is that I can now build 2.2~ test versions with patches of mine added I plan to produce to fix some issues (and submit upstream) ☻

In other news, I’m working on a new i386+sparc MirBSD snapshot more than ever. Mostly to get everything old out from under my feet before tackling the LibreSSL import (to get TLSv1.2 support, due to the aforementioned idio…decision). I’ve yet to see whether our G++ port works on sparc, and I’ve yet to create ports for libGLU and xlock which used to be in the base X system but had to go away for being written in an unmaintainable language (plus a system is only reliable if it has only one libstdc++), but it’ll be a good stepping stone (plus mfny asked for a sparc snapshot on IRC). I was considering distributing ISOs at FrOSCon but, with an installed user base in the single digits (likely), you can imagine how useful that’d be. (Fun side idea: distribute ISOs with a boot menu where you can choose not only MirBSD installer or live system but also “minimal Debian system directly booting into the MirBSD live system running under qemu-kvm”. But I’ve got not enough spare time right now.)

Hurried snapshot and known issues

2017-08-07 by tg@
Tags: mksh pcli plan snapshot

As already mentioned I planned creating a new snapshot. Well, it will be out shortly, albeit in a hurried manner and not with everything I had planned for it, and with lagging sparc (as if that were new, though…). A hurried mksh release will there be as well. The reason for this is the top #1 known issue:

  • Debian OpenSSL now excludes TLS < 1.2 from communication
    ⇒ there will be some followup release with LibreSSL, I think
  • There’s still no port for libGLU and xlock
  • We didn’t import lzlib into base yet, nor recent fixes to pax(1) from OpenBSD necessary
  • The new Unicode property code is not written yet (although I fixed the data shipped so it matches, at least)
  • I didn’t test g++ from ports on sparc yet, we’ll see how that goes

That being said, you’ll be able to work with what I’ve got, like in olden times when MirBSD was defined as “the contents of my /usr/src and /usr/ports” and be assured that, besides working on things like MuseScore in the meantime, I’m on it.

An unrelated minor update to another recent post; apparently I managed to make the GitHub Legal people aware enough of the problems that they are working on fixing their ToS; I admit there’s been an update since August 1ˢᵗ/2ⁿᵈ which I haven’t yet gotten around to reading at all.

wtf rocks; Eugen is working on an iOS äpp and already has a beta version which just needs bugfixing.

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