[lug] Hostname, Knoppix, where does it come from?

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Fri Jun 30 01:01:46 MDT 2006

> Thank you for your words of wisdom. It must be the practice you had 
> getting ready for finals. You seemed lucid to me. I decided to change 
> the range of DHCP addresses and eliminate the old addresses. This seems 
> to have fixed the problem, if you can call it a problem.

Heh, I'm far too old for finals... well, I suppose that's not true, but 
I'm not in any school other than the School of Hard Knocks at the 
moment.  ;-)  Right now that school includes the courses:

- How to screw up telecommunications robbed-bit signaling (AKA "You 
never learned how to diagram sentences or follow a flow-chart or 
state-machine diagram -- did you?")

- How to apologize to customers for your engineering group releasing 
stuff that doesn't work... again.  Or introducing new bugs as fast as 
they fix the old ones (It's an advanced course, and I've been working on 
the homework for 11 years now... heh... someday I'll find the key to 
unchain myself from the support desk)

- How to grep through more than 1 gigs of log files looking for a single 
event that caused a telephone conference call to go bad (AKA "Oh man, 
I'm going to be here REALLY late tonight again, aren't I?")

- How to convince customers three years behind on upgrades and patches 
to actually do them (AKA "Studies in irrational behaviour", handled by 
the Psychology department)

Heh... there's others... but that's the themes this week.  ;-)

Lucid at 3AM... Wow.  I surprise even myself sometimes.  Glad to help out.

My knowledge of 2Wire devices came the hard way, by having one of those 
"Hey when you come down here for Christmas, can you fix our computer?" 
e-mail notes from my family when they lived in SBC territory (they use a 
lot of 2Wire devices).

My DNS knowledge came even harder... I designed, built and maintained 
the public DNS architecture for a data center company that eventually 
had 18 data centers, and is now known by another name after buy-outs and 
mergers and all that usual business fun.  I'm not there anymore, a 
victim if you will, of the post-9/11 market crashes at the time.

Maintaining 40 public DNS servers (long before anyone though of Anycast) 
and one private master box and it's backup machine by hand without 
automation was a royal pain in the ... ahem.  Anyway... I kinda miss it. 
    I DEFINITELY miss working on Linux for a living.  Sun Solaris is 
rock-solid but man is it BOOOOOORING.  It's so much more fun to explain 
to the boss that an API that's worked for a decade just got screwed up 
by the Linux vendor choosing the wrong fork after some 14-year old got 
pissy about some mailing list tiff he had with another "developer" and 
decided to take his marbles and go home.  ;-)

Linux still needs to grow up a bit, in that regard... you still have to 
be VERY careful what software you choose to run and know what's going on 
in the community surrounding that software to use it in a professional, 
production environment.

But I loved it.  The great BIND security freak-outs during the 
transition from BIND 8 to BIND 9 were the source of a number of 
sleepless nights...

Welcome to professional system administation, two-drink minimum.  ;-)
(Shamelessly stolen from Scott Adams and Dilbert, who used it for the 
Marketing Department, not sysadmin -- both are probably true!)

> I don't think the DSL modem can forget an address and what it learns 
> about it. Even if it is wrong.

I kinda thought the 2Wire box might act like that.  The one I worked on 
seemed to put EVERYTHING right into non-volatile RAM and keep it there, 
come hell or high water.

> As for the reason I care about it, I suppose I am more than a little 
> anal retentive.

No worries.  I am too, or I wouldn't have been tasked with the DNS 
chores.  ;-)  I just gave up on worrying what machines are "called" 
quite some time ago.... although I'm always tempted to name them more 
appropriately... "annoyingfedorabox.natetech.com" has more than once 
almost made it into my DNS zone file.  "bfd.natetech.com" DID make it in 
at one point... I'll leave the translation up to your imagination, but 
the first word was "big" and the last word was "drive", e.g. the network 
storage server.  I ended up sticking with mountain town names as a 
standard, it seemed more Colorado-y and politically correct than most of 
the names I came up with.  ;-)  And "midair.natetech.com" is still the 
router... as in "midair collision".  A little of my pilot training 
showing through there.

> Thanks to everyone who offered help. I appreciate it.

Great group of folks here, eh?  I particularly enjoy the crazy 
one-liners people come up with to fix complex problems.  My poor brain 
has to think hard to be that "lazy".  My programming style is 
structured, rarely object oriented, and definitely brute-force, most of 
the time.  I just need to get it done, usually.  Whatever "it" is at the 
time.  If I can beat the computer upside the head and win, I usually 
feel like the day was somehow productive.

Remember if you boot up that Knoppix disc again, it'll probably do 
whatever it did to register it's silly name in the 2Wire router's DNS 
proxy again...

Have fun with your springtime-fresh DNS tables there... :-) :-) :-)


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