04 November 2009

go6.net, freenet6.com IPv6 solution at last!


I've been bragging about how I turned a g5 iMac into a Debian server, thanks to the good people here, but my tunnel to the IPv6 internet kept dying (a common problem). At least two weeks passed while I struggled with crontab and generally fumbled towards a solution.

The main problem, I now realize, is first, that the connection is fragile and occasionally drops (obviously). To automatically reopen the connection, I added the following to root's crontab:

  * * * * /bin/pidof gw6c >/dev/null 2>&1 || /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/gw6c

Unfortunately, the script to reopen the tunnel always tried to ask a question: "do you want to add some server to your configured list, blah blah blah?" Since I was nowhere to be found, the script kept asking over and over, got no response, filled up my inbox with error messages, and finally died without reopening the connection.

The fix was to add the line always_use_same_server=yes the the gw6c.conf file. The script asks no questions, and the connection is now reasonably stable. Now I can get all all my files from anywhere.

03 November 2009

Toxic cloud computing (ha!)

The next big thing on the internet: cloud computing, even though it was the first big thing. Weren't MUDS, OLGA, and timesharing computers "cloud computing," anyway?

Now cloud computing means Google and Microsoft Azure and Amazon's computation service, or whatever. I am sure that for some companies, these solutions make sense. But wouldn't it suck if your remote data got hacked? What about that time Google Mail crashed?

Everything has its risks. Still, I am puzzled. Computing power is cheap and only getting cheaper. Plenty of people carry phones with enough space to fit every email they'll ever write. Why centralize our data? Unneeded cloud computing invites a security nightmare.

01 November 2009

Killer app for IPv6 internet?

You may have other things on your mind right now, but we are running out of internet addresses (a.k.a., version 4). Maybe it isn't really such a problem—ISPs have been pretty blase' about the whole thing. More likely, no-one is switching to new addresses (version 6), mostly because no-one knows that there is a problem, since just about everyone who cares about the internet (in its current form) already has a access through an old address.

But now hear this: non-Latin characters will soon be available to name your website. That's a lot of potential websites (hello, Iranian protestors!); where will we fit them all?

Ho, ho—IPv6 addresses will ride to the rescue of our UTF-8 brothers and sisters. How many years til the Westerners' original web becomes a parochial backwater?