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    More zine work this week, this time both writing and recruiting. I also finished up my Hackers pager guide last week, but want to make an edit to include a PDF or two to make things easier for the reader to print out decals.

    A bit less technical, but I also want to get my remaining stereo equipment set up and vinyl added to my shelves. I probably have nearly 2000 records in the shelves already with 1000 to go. I only have the turntable, reciever, and cassette deck set up right now. Minimally I also want to connect up the minidisc and maybe a reel-to-reel if I can figure out which one of these giant bastards works.

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      Damn, thats a wild vinyl collection! enjoy :)

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        Thanks! I’ve been collecting for about 12 years but haven’t bought very many in the last 4. It’s taken a long time to just get this many in the same room at one time.

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        Wow that’s impressive! Nothing beats the fat organic sound of clean vinyl on a good record player! Way too space intensive for my blood though, I’ve pretty much standardized on lossless CD rips :)

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          Interestingly enough, I have quite a few albums that don’t seem to be on CD or anywhere else! Finally organizing everything really puts the quality into perspective. One bad scratch and it feels like the whole album is worthless. Luckily I still have some deduplication to do, but I’ve already found that none of the 3 copies of Rumors I have are playable.

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            Oh I hear you! It’s striking how quickly music falls out of print and becomes otherwise unavailable. I’ve been ripping my entire media collection to lossless of late, and I had more than one acquaintance tell me to let go and just use Spotify et al.

            Except that you don’t have to look very far at all to find whole genres of music that Spotify doesn’t provide. Heck there’s even a bunch of stuff from when I did college radio in the 90s that’s just about un-findable.

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        More zine work, and hopefully by today I’ll have a quick and dirty writeup done for building a replica Hackers pager :)

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          Local 2600 meeting is tonight, so I hope to play around with some licensed packet radio.

          Otherwise, more writing for me :)

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            Have you tried out a HackRF? It was pretty amazing to play with.

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              I have not, I can’t begin to justify the cost to buy one, and don’t know anyone with one.

              I know the author of Chattervox, as he has been coming to the 2600 meetIngs. We’ve been getting a little network working every first Friday :) https://github.com/brannondorsey/chattervox

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            Just a few things this week.

            • I made a replica/prop pager that looks like the one in the movie Hackers (1995) over the last week. I’d like to do a full writeup on how I did it before I start messing with it again to look into POCSAG. Some pictures of it are here: https://mastodon.sdf.org/@Famicoman/100952892701301619
            • I’m working on some ideas for an upcoming zine that should come out next year. I’m in the early part of my contributions where I outline what I’m going to write about, but I’ll probably dive right in!
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              I’m considering trying this for my area but the process seems complex and there is a fee for freedom of information requests :L

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                Where do you live if you don’t mind me asking? In the US, I’ve FOIA’d the FBI and my local goverment, which can be done for free in both cases.

                I’m currently using a third party proxy to submit requests which does cost money, but any of these requests could be done for free and there are tons of easy-to-use templates where you just paste in what you want and mail/email it over.

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                  I’m at Australia.

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                More BGP darknet work. We connected two bgp routers last week :)

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                  Are you the guy behind playing battleship over BGP?

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                    Unfortunately no, I’m nowhere near that cool.

                    This is a project very similar to dn42, which I admire greatly, though I never had full success with getting it configured properly. Working on a much smaller scale definitely helps to better understand what I’m doing other than blindly doing it to meet all the requirements. It’s all very interesting considering there isn’t a ton of readily-available documentation for using bgp on things beside cisco equipment.

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                  I usually read a weird mixed bag of books about computer history and cyberculture books from the ‘90s where everyone thinks the future is awesome or the future is scary.

                  I’m currently reading Net Slaves 2.0, from the website of the same name, focusing on little stories from the dot-com crash, https://www.amazon.com/Net-Slaves-2-0-Tales-Surviving/dp/1581152841

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                    Have you read Stephen Johnson’s Interface Culture? It’s my favorite in that genre.

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                      That one’s new to me. Thanks for the recommendation!

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                      Dealers of Lightning is one of my favorite books. How do you like Where Wizards Stay Up Late?

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                        i am still going through it, and will be done in a 2-3 days, will post here then.

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                        I thought wizards was too disjointed. “Inventing the Internet” by Janet Abbate was a more coherent history. Really enjoyed that book.

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                          ah ! thanks for the suggestion, will check that one out as well :)

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                        I launched Networks Of Philly last week and am going to continue building it out. It is a sort of field-guide type site for city network infrastructure in Philadelphia, very similar to the work of Ingrid Burrington. https://networksofphilly.org

                        I’m also going to continue work on my group BGP darknet project, which currently needs more documentation.

                        If I have time, I also want to do a little bit more on my PBX project, https://famicoman.com/2018/07/18/building-a-pbx-part-1-pbx-hardware/

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                          Finished and published 4 articles documenting how I set up my small PBX to allow incoming/outgoing calls and hook up touch-tone and rotary phones via two different analog telephone adapters.

                          This week I hope to continue some collaboration work with a BGP darknet project I’m involved with, and start a new project similar to Networks of New York, but featuring Philadelphia.

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                            Continuing the never-ending process of documenting my PBX. It was fruitful in that published a small intro piece last week.

                            Also started a BGP darknet with some mesh people which I hope to keep building out this week now that people are back from HOPE.

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                              We currently use CVS at $job for a large amount of our projects, mostly because that’s what had been in use here for some 30 years. It’s great for our use-case (one branch, many developers), but we’ve been migrating projects one-by-one to git very slowly.

                              Git feels much more powerful, but also more complex for basic operations like merging and rebasing. Our integration/workflow with Eclipse could be hindering some of this, but it’s almost second nature to use CVS in the IDE.

                              I do use git quite a bit for personal projects, but mostly just through the terminal and with minimal merging/branching.

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                                magit under emacs is really, really good if you’re jonesing for proper editor integration with your revision control system.

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                                  I used CVS for a few things back in the day, and SVN more - but I can’t remember either well enough to know how you’d even handle things like rebasing - to me that’s a term that almost doesn’t make sense outside of modern VCS. So when you said it’s more complex, I was surprised. I do ‘git merge’ and ‘git rebase’ regularly, it’s an everyday part of the workflow. Rebasing in particular makes keeping long-lived branches alive in a state where they can be cleanly merged, a much more sane proposition.

                                  +1 for magit in emacs also, btw. It’s a power tool for git.

                                  Cheap branching and local commits are the biggest selling point for git’s usability over CVS/SVN, because I can be so much more confident that I’m not going to lose work. I can save commits, use temporary local branches, and never worry about accidentally destroying my local changes while doing a merge.

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                                  I hit a few snags documenting my low-budget PBX setup when we had a series of power outages last week. Everything came back online, but I couldn’t get any audio through the phones when placing/receiving calls. Rebooted, and the web interface wouldn’t come up. So I upgraded the host to a Raspberry Pi 2 and things work perfectly and much faster. I hope to continue with documentation this week!

                                  I’m also reading Ingrid Burrington’s wonderful Networks of New York book, which explores a lot of the interesting network infrastructure within our cities that you might not notice just walking by. I could see myself working on something similar for Philly, though currently I’m very focused on one piece of this: determining what each manhole around me is used for.

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                                    I’ll definitely be following this as I’ve been interested in running an nntp server for a few months now. I’ve briefly looked into older software like leafnode, but there is some abiguity when it comes to things like IPv6 support. It’s feels very similar to shoehornimg old BBS software into a more modern environment.

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                                      Yeah I looked at leafnode but hell these old protocols confuse the hell out of me. I know I should read more into them.

                                      Well actually the protocol ain’t bad, the implmentations are confusing as hell.

                                      Anyways, I digress, I looked at leafnode but it wanted me to setup more stuff (I think a mail server, Idk, I don’t know how to do that). WendzeNNTPd was amazingly easy to setup and get running and working with posts coming in and out. It is amazing.

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                                      It’s really cool that 10 EUR of the annual rate goes to the OpenBSD Foundation!

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                                        That’s the whole point.

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                                        I’ve discovered that pretty much any project will take me 3x as long as I think, so I’m taking a more modest approach to try and complete one thing a week as entirely as I can. I’m tired of sitting on projects for years and telling myself, “I’ll work on that later” for eternity.

                                        Anyway, last week I completed my documentation/tutorial for emulating a z/OS mainframe, https://famicoman.com/2018/06/28/emulating-a-z-os-mainframe-with-hercules/

                                        This week I hope to take a stab at documenting my PBX setup.

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                                          I can share the same sentiment here. I’m much younger than the two Model M keyboards in my possession (one IBM, one Lexmark), and I find there is just something wonderful about how they feel.

                                          I tried to use my IBM-branded M at $job a while back, and it was far too loud as a daily-driver there. I have since switched to a 70% with brown switches and am thorougly satisfied (though my coworkers have still made note of the noise).

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                                            The amount of work people are putting into RC2014 boards amazes me. There sre floppy controllers, voice synthesizers, and people getting these things running POSIX operating systems or ZX Spectrum software.

                                            I picked up the Plus kit several months ago and got to work soldering it all together. When I go to boot it up, I get the LED lighting up but no output over serial. I feel stuck because I’m unsure how I, a novice, would know whether it’s the serial board, CPU board, RAM board, backplane, etc. at fault. I guess I could try reflowing things and breaking out the multimeter.

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                                              That was a great investigation and highlights how insecure a lot of IoT devices really are.

                                              A while back I had the idea that I would buy several inexpensive home automation devices to audit for fun (or for a blog or something) and I reached out to Reddit’s home automation community for suggestions. I remember at least one incredibly negative comment that basically told me I was an awful person for wanting to hack these devices in such a way and I should leave. It amazes me that people would prefer to not know if their devices are insecure.

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                                                Last week I finished my article for Neon Dystopia about the roots of bOING bOING (the zine), https://www.neondystopia.com/cyberpunk-books-fiction/the-brain-mutator-for-higher-primates-a-boing-boing-retrospective/

                                                This week I’m continuing my documentation for emulating a z/OS mainframe and then hopefully documenting my PBX configuration.