So in addition to the whole Python thing and independent study blah blah blah, I’ve been up to a bunch of other crap too. A couple weeks ago, I was having problems accessing a certain website, and it was pissing me right the fuck off. I could get to the main page of the site, but certain sub-domains just wouldn’t load. But I knew the site was up and running, I could ping the sub-domains from my hosting here at DreamHost if I SSHed in, and I was able to have someone else confirm that it was up as well. So I decided to try bypassing my router. Sure enough, that worked. What the fuck? Why would a router block access to certain sub-domains of a website? I still have no idea what the fuck happened there. I tried all kinds of shit to get it working, updated the tomato firmware it was running, tried flashing to dd-wrt, even reset to factory default settings. Nothing fucking worked! In the end I solved the issue by taking the old Dell Dimension 4100 desktop my parents replaced earlier this summer and sticking pfSense on it, and using it as the router and my WRT54GL as a switch/AP. Well at least it’s been working since then.
So now I’m finally getting around to replacing that desktop I have running as the router with something a lot more normal as it were. Tonight I ordered a PC Engines ALIX 2c3 kit from Netgate. Hell of a lot better than the old Dell desktop don’t you think? Gonna run m0n0wall on it, rather than pfSense. I like the look of m0n0wall better, and it’s also better suited to the more limited hardware of the ALIX than pfSense is, as it’s a lighter OS. Sometime in the next month or month and a half I also want to pick up a couple of new network switches, so I can have full gigabit though the house. That will definitely be a nice bump for going between my various machines. I’d also like to pick up some new antennas for that router, to hopefully boost my signal strength, because frankly, it’s SHIT. I can’t get better than about 650 KB/s within my LAN. That’s bullshit. Seriously. I definitely need to do something about that at some point, just not yet. $200 for that ALIX and $45 in various cables was enough for today honestly.
I’ve also been piddling about with virtualization on my test machine. Specifically, I’ve been using Xen. I originally tried using VMware ESXi, but it didn’t support the NIC in the machine, so I ended up going with Xen. It’s very easy to use and set up, at least to get Ubuntu/Debian virtualized on Ubuntu Server. No idea how to do other distros/OSes, like FreeBSD or CentOS or anything like that. Which kinda stinks really, because I’d like to have a FreeBSD and/or CentOS VMs available for playing with. Ah well, can’t have everything I guess. So yeah, I’ve got a whole bunch of Ubuntu Server VMs filling various roles, 1 each for:
- Apache + PHP
- lighttpd + PHP
- Python +TurboGears/Django
- Ruby + Rails
It’s actually pretty nice having it all set up this way. I have the MySQL/PostgreSQL VM boot automatically at startup of the physical machine, and then I can load the others on demand or I can have them all up and running at once. Works quite nicely for a development envirnoment. I’ve also got pure-ftpd configured to use a MySQL backend for logins, and since I have the same login across all of the VMs, I just added that one user, and the appropriate uid and gid to the MySQL table and bam I can log in to every VM with the same user/pass, get to my home directory, and do whatever I need to. It’s very effective.
Last but not least, I was messing around with jQuery today a little bit, specifically jQuery Curvey Corners. That shit is mindblowing. It’s incredibly simple to get something up and running. I actually was watching a podcast called jQuery For Designers a week or so ago, and became genuinely excited about web development. Like, no fucking joke, I was thinking “wow that’s really cool. I wanna be able to do that.” I’ve never really been terribly interested in web development, but jQuery and Django may actually change how I feel about this stuff. They’re incredibly powerful, but simple to use. I’m still not much of a designer, but I think jQuery might be able to go quite a long way towards helping me with that. Adobe Kuler should also help in that regard, because color scheme shit is definitely not my thing. Hah!
Tomorrow I’m going to Dive Into Python and see what the language can really do, and hopefully get up to speed on it pretty quickly so I can really start working on getting that independent study going full steam, and get to working with Django a bit more intimately. For the rest of tonight, before I go to bed, I am going to keep working on getting a prototype design of the forum index going. I really don’t want to end up with a solid backend and shit front end like we did back for my CSC330 class. Despite that being pretty much Uday’s fault, it still reflected badly on the rest of us. I will probably have to ask some people for help with that part, because I’m really not much of a designer. But I am definitely going to try, just to see what I come up with.
Ok, well that’s it for today I guess. Maybe I’ll write something tomorrow???????????