KaBoom!

Not quite, but almost, and thankfully not. On Friday, the day before our vacation ended, we drove down the island to get some fresh seafood for dinner. On our way back up, we stopped to buy some fudge. We had just gotten out of the car and made it up to the second floor of the gift shops.

Just as I stepped into the doorway, I heard a very disturbing screech. I turned around and jumped up on the bench only to see a propane truck swerving down the road to try and avoid the accident. A split-second later the truck started to roll and a loud bang rang though the air as the tank slammed down onto the asphalt. Everybody gasped and a few people began to dial 911.

We stood there and watched, no more than 1500 feet away, hoping the truck wouldn’t blow. Thankfully a few minutes later, just before the ambulance and fire crews arrived, a few bystanders managed to drag the 350lb man out of his truck.

We quickly bought our fudge and got back on the road just as more fire trucks arrived. As far as I know, the truck never blew, and if it had, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this now.

I’m baack!

Everybody can stop wondering, I’m back from vacation. I spent a beautiful week in the Outter Banks of North Carolina. Six of us rented a house down there for the week and enjoyed some great weather and lots of alcohol. Now that I’m back, things should begin to pick up some. Sorry I forgot to mention I was leaving for a week. Things were a bit hectic in the days prior to leaving.

Teens Arrested on Felony charges for Hacking School Network

Why is it that whenever someone in my area happens in my area to make it in a national magazine, its either stupid or negative? 13 Kutztown teens are faced with felony charges for bypassing security on their school-issued laptops… and they just made it in Wired News!

Apparently you can’t sneeze without getting put in jail. I’ll make a mental note not to show up a school IT Administrator or he might bring charges against me. C’mon. Just because you’re stupid and not qualified for your job and a handful of kids can get around your protection schemes, that’s no reason for the school to go after them. Especially when they get the administrator password because you taped it to the back of one of the machines.

The administrative password that allowed students to reconfigure computers and obtain unrestricted internet access was easy to obtain. A shortened version of the school’s street address, the password was taped to the backs of the computers.

Go support these kids and hopefully they’ll get out of this mess. I just want to drive up there and bash some heads. The hour drive would surely be worth it.

Online Gaming Kills

I’ve been preaching this for years and here’s the proof.

Case in point… I had a friend who played constantly. He’d be up all night, until like 4am then sleep 2 hours and come to class. He quit work and school to play games, his fiance dumped him and he didn’t seem to care. The kid ruined his life because of a stupid game. We kept telling him he needed to give it up but he wouldn’t. I wonder where he is now.

Re: Server Upgrade

After some brief downtime last evening, I’ve upgraded MySQL from 3.23.58 to 4.1.7 and from PHP 4.3.10 to PHP 4.3.11. The only thing that prevented me from going to 5.0.2 was the fact that the repo I was using didn’t have all the packages for PHP 5.0.2. Mainly it was missing php-domxml and php-mbstrings. I’m still considering a `yum --force update php` then just compiling those packages from source.

The upgrade process was broken into 2 parts. After the dependency issues I just upgraded MySQL, restarted mysql and httpd and found out that PHP wouldn’t connect. The next easiest thing was to comment out my unstable repo and fall back to my stable one changing the latest PHP package from 5.0.2 to 4.3.11. Once I updated that everything was working again. I then noticed that PHPMyAdmin was broken and found a fix for this in the release notes. I ran the update file and fixed the tables. The only thing I still need to try is to see if creating a database and adding users breaks in Plesk or not. Hopefully not since Plesk seems to work fine after the upgrade. I’m still debating if I want to update PHPMyAdmin to a newer version or not.

Server upgrade

I’ve been pondering a server upgrade from MySQL 3.23.58 and PHP 4.3.10 to MySQL 4.1.7 and PHP 5.0.2. I’m still debating whether I want to mess around with the database because Plesk stores all its info in there. I need to read up some more on the conversion and hope that everything goes well. I’ll make sure I do a complete backup in case I need to revert back to the original version of MySQL and PHP that came with Plesk.

Normally, you’d have to build them from source because there isn’t packages built for Fedora Core 2, but I came across the ART repository which has packages specifically built to run with Plesk. Hopefully it’ll be a smooth upgrade and I won’t have to import or upgrade the databases at all. We’ll see how things go and if I decide to go for it. I’m still not 100% comfortable and probably won’t ever be until I do it and see that everything is still working 5 days later. Once I read more on the upgrade from MySQL 3.23 -> 4.1 and see what is effected, we’ll see how long my site goes down during the upgrade process. I’m shooting for tomorrow night because Sunday night always seems to be light on the internet.

Mastering SSH

I was working on getting SSH setup again between my dedicated server and my home server so that I could once again do backups and copy them to a remote host. I had SSH’d into both boxes from the other and created my DSA key, copied the public key to the other server and tested it out. I could SSH passwordless from my home server to my dedicated server, but not from my dedicated server to my home server. It had me baffled for about a week.

Finally today I was in #wordpress and roddie helped me out. After about 6 hours of back and forth while I was at work, during my free “seconds” between issues today, then finally when I got home, we managed to figure out what the problem was.

We killed SSH then restarted it via /usr/sbin/sshd -4 -ddd -D which forced it to start but not fork into a daemon. After playing around and not seeing all of the error messages, I got smart and did a /usr/sbin/sshd -4 -ddd -D 2> /ssh_debug.txt to send all the messages to a file so I could read the full list of debugging errors. I pasted it and we both noticed

debug1: trying public key file /home/ryan/.ssh/authorized_keys
Authentication refused: bad ownership or modes for file /home/ryan/.ssh/authorized_keys

I checked the permissions on the file. Yes, it was owned by the right user, chmod’d the authorized_keys file to 600 and it was still prompting me for a password. All of the sudden roddie asked me to check the permissions on the ~/.ssh directory and told me it should have been 755. Nope, they were set to 775. Fixed that up and tested again and this time it finally worked.

Then I remembered back to when I was setting it up and that for some strange reason the ~/.ssh folder was not automatically created so I just did it myself. Not thinking, my umask was set to 022 instead of 002 and the permissions were originally set wrong. Sometimes I wonder why I get myself into these things. But now I know and now I can finally get back to modifying my backup script so I can get nightly snapshots of my server.

More on Comcast’s speed increase

I still haven’t seen my speed increase. I never even saw the increase from 3MB to 4MB that was supposed to happen over 6 months ago. I did, however, stumble across this map. I’m not sure of its accuracy, but according to it, Pennsylvania is only partially complete. I also came across this story that states that they will automatically rebooting the modems for them to get the new increase. Hopefully I’ll see it soon; 6mbps is the closest I can get to FiOS in my apartment.