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Back from ESC

Exhausting week-end in Veneto, with Zuc and Alessandro attending the ESC. Here are some pictures of it:



While reading the news around the net, I come across this gem about Sarah Palin:

In 2006, Palin obtained a passport[83] and in 2007 traveled for the first time outside of North America on a trip to Kuwait. There she visited the __Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait–Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard at several bases.[84] On her return trip to the U.S., she visited injured soldiers in Germany.[85]

All of a sudden I have this "WTF? But seriously, WTF?!?!?"

mod-auth-cas and slow logins

Today I dedicated some time to hunt down my "the logins via CAS on apache2 are awfully slow, but not always, just most of the time" problem. At first I thought I had some weird network/dns/whatever issues, but after proper investigation it turned out to be that /dev/random is being used for generating the CAS cookies and my entropy pool is depleted most of the time..badaboom..APR is blocking.

This machine is a virtual server so no way I can use any Hardware RNG or anything along those lines. Given that it only runs in an internal corporate network, I've started feeding the cryptographically-strong entropy pool with rng-tools and /dev/urandom. In /etc/default/rng-tools:


Finally, no more login times issues

ps. APR 1.3.0 has switched to urandom for apr_generate_random_bytes, so in the future this won't be needed

Random stuff

In no particular order:

  • Signed the Fedora CLA in order to get some patches upstream into Fedora Directory Server

  • Committed the work I have done a few weeks ago on the FDS packages on Debian's pkg-fedora-ds svn (still lots to do before asking for proper review..)

  • Together with Olivier Berger, started the pkg-cas project: an effort to coordinate the packaging of CAS-related applications

  • libapache2-mod-auth-cas looks now pretty decent and as soon as 1.0.8 with the GPL exception comes out, will retitle the RFP to ITP and seek sponsors

  • Moved the blog to wordpress 2.6.1 and thereby fixing some annoying issues while inserting hyperlinks

  • Still chasing down #492488 which is still haunting me

Soekris 4801 as a complete modem / firewall

I've been using a soekris 4801 with 512Mb flash w/ Debian on it for a few years without any problem whatsoever. The box runs perfectly and never had a glitch. Since last week-end I got a table in my studio, I decided it was time to unclutter all the electric mess and remove as many cables, power chords and devices as possible. After removing a small switch, I'd been looking for an internal PCI (3.3V) ADSL modem. Some lurking on the list and I got the right suggestion (this time googling around yielded 0 results...): Traverse Viking ADSL2 PCI cards.

They support the following:

Network Protocols

• PPP over ATM (RFC 2364 PPPoA) • PPP over Ethernet (RFC 2516 PPPoE) • Bridged Ethernet over ATM (RFC 1483) ADSL Standards • ADNSI T1.413 i2 • G.992.1 (G.DMT) Annex A • G.922.2 (G. Lite) • G.992.3 (ADSL2) Annex A • G.992.5 (ADSL2+) Annex A

So Alessandro and I bought two of these Traverse Viking ADSL2 PCI modem cards (75 Euro + 13 Euro shipping each) from

Yes, my iron-cutting hardware skills leave a lot to be desired ;)