Shortlog - a log of everyday things



Quoth Jacob Appelbaum, via Twitter:

"Someone in Iran is performing an active MITM on Google with this cert right now (remove diginotar from CA root list):"

Not a good sign.

In other news, I'm none too pleased with Apple right now. It's nigh-impossible to get a MacBook Pro to boot from anything but the internal hard drive or the internal CD drive. Which is a shame, considering the EFI fanciness they drove to market.

I wouldn't have minded, except for the fact that there's a bug in the Linux kernel preventing the kernel from talking to the CD drive on my MacBookPro8,2 at all. It's been around since 2.6.33 and thus affects at least the past two versions of all the Linux installers that I'd deem suitable to use. Moreover, there's a (two-character) patch that I hope will get merged before Fedora 16 Beta, but (as it was developed in the last week) is currently unavailable in any distro.

So I can't read the installation stuff off the CD drive. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be a problem - I've got at least three other methods for doing a Linux install that don't involve the CD drive. People who have used Linux on netbooks are probably familiar with the approach of doing installs from USB flash drives. On the MacBook Pro, this is a non-starter - the firmware can't boot from USB.

Now I'm about at a point where I'd try to just format the partition and do the install as though it were in a chroot and rsync the filesystem from one in a VM, except Apple also saw fit to remove their ext2 driver from OSX entirely. So unless I want to install on either FAT32 (which will have broken permissions) or HFS+ (for which I'd have to disable journalling to get read-write support), or UFS (which admittedly would probably work, but I've never set it up before, and I'm not sure if OSX will format a partition like that), I can't do that either.

The other technique that I'd employ (network installation) has problems of its own. When possible, I like to use the netinstaller off a USB drive, since it's easier than setting up DHCP and DNS and NAT and TFTP and pxelinux and a bootmenu...but we already established that USB is not an option. In particular, I seem to have found a particularly annoying bug in either firmware or an OSX driver. When I connect an ethernet cable directly between my desktop and the MBP, suddenly, the Mac starts hanging in a strange way. Based on the symptoms, I'd guess that every syscall is blocking and never returning. I'm unable to spawn new processes, read or write on the filesystem, read network config, or in general, do anything useful. This made testing annoying.

Searches on the web also suggested differing levels of success in netbooting Apple machines from anything other than an Apple netboot server.

My options remaining are thus:

  1. See if netinstalling something like Debian works and if so, do that and then update things and ignore the broken CD drive (I'm skeptical as to whether this is doable at all, at this point)
  2. Install Fedora 16 Alpha in a virtual machine, build a custom kernel in that vm with that two-character fix, master my own installer ISO, burn that to a CD, and install from that media (more feasible and much greater probability of success, but an awful lot of effort, and downloading all the packages will push us over our monthly bandwidth cap (also not my fault))
  3. Notify #fedora-qa, wait until this is fixed in Fedora 16 Beta, then install that (high probability of success, but won't happen for about a month)

So far, I'm leaning toward the last option, but the lack of a reasonable window manager on OSX is killing me.

I'm also learning C#, since we're getting a bunch of Kinects for CS260 to do projects. The Kinect SDK for Windows does not support such things as Processing or Python (well, maybe IronPython, but I am NOT bothering with that), so I'm going to learn enough to support the class for their projects. Which means doing all the projects in advance myself. Which really shouldn't be too hard - I'm at least halfway through the Bubble Cursor assignment already.


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Sarah | 2011-08-30T21:35:12.742576

quoth the raven: