2017-11-13 The television version of "The Cuckoo's Egg" 4 weeks ago
I read the Dutch version of "The Cuckoo's Egg" when it came out in 1989. Later I bought the English version. Via a complete diversion I found out this weekend the book was made into a TV documentary: The KGB, the Computer and Me which has a lot less personal diversions than the book. It is played by Clifford Stoll himself and others involved in the original story. Although the CIA guys look a bit more stereotypical than they come out in the book. A very interesting part is there is a closing remark in the documentary by Markus Hess. Now I want to get a view of the movie of the other side, '23'. The funny part is that I found this documentary from following news related to amateur radio: Cliff Stoll -- K7TA -- Has THE KNACK. And a GREAT NOVA Video. Clifford Stoll does have a callsign: K7TA
2017-10-15 Getting to play VIC-20 games again 1 month ago
Ages ago my first homecomputer was a Commodore VIC-20. I did basic programming on it and played some games. I remember the game Centipede and loading games from audio cassette. These days games seem to be enormously complex and expensive or filled with advertisments. I don't like these, the last time I seriously invested time in a game was Pinball Dreams. I found out about the VIC-20 emulator xvic, part of the vice package. I even bought a cheap USB joystick to use. I never had a joystick with my VIC-20 so it was about time to get one. This joystick is a DragonRise Inc. Generic USB Joystick (yes, including the spaces) and I noticed today it wasn't working right: up and down on the joystick did not work. I found out eventually the left and right on the second stick mapped to up and down, thanks to a simple joystick tester from Joystick - Denialwiki in 7 lines of Basic. Some searching found DragonRise USB Driver Issue - RetroPie which mentions this issue in hid-dr.ko happened in Linux 4.4 - 4.9. I did not feel like going back to compiling my own kernels for this laptop, but there is a simple solution in Ubuntu 16.04: use hwe (hardware enablement) kernels. These seem to be aimed at the long term support server versions, but they fix my joystick problem and I can play centipede.
2017-09-01 The right to be forgotten versus keeping history 3 months ago
For ages the whole 'right to be forgotten' issue was something happening to other people for me. The worst I do on my website is name spammers that keep sending me unsollicited e-mail. This changed when I started playing with old files from BBS Koos z'n Doos including old BBS lists. A few years after I started putting these on-line I received a request to remove a name from the lists. This person advertised running a 'hardcore sex' BBS in the 1990s. But in 2013 the rather unique name of this person showed up with a decent company and in this BBS list. I could imagine that this person had no idea in the 1990s what someone might do years later with that information. At the same time it felt bad to 'change history'. Those were original files, it felt bad to change them. But after consideration I changed the name to spaces. I also received notice from the google webmaster program that some search results are hidden on bbs.idefix.net. I have no idea which ones or what names I should mask. The whole 'right to be forgotten' is a typical 'shades of gray' subject.
2016-10-05 A blast from the past! 1 year ago
I just saw:220 pi FTP server (Version wu-2.6.2(1) Mon Apr 30 20:10:54 UTC 2012) ready. 230-This is an experimental FTP server. If have any unusual problems, 230-please report them via e-mail toThat's a long time ago, the default welcome file of wu-ftpd version wu-2.6.2(1). Oh and the current default passive mode of ftp wasn't working, I had to dig up an old client to use the default active mode.
. 230- 230-If you do have problems, please try using a dash (-) as the first 230-character of your password -- this will turn off the continuation 230-messages that may be confusing your FTP client.
2016-05-27 Reminded of Computing Across America 1 year ago
A fellow radio amateur posted an old picture somewhere of Steven K. Roberts on the Behemoth "Big Electronic Human Energized Machine, Only Too Heavy" bicycle, a recumbent bicycle with computers and amateur radio as a joke suggestion to me. But this is more than just a joke to me, I follow the work by Steven K. Roberts since somewhere in the 1980s when I saw an article and picture about him in a popular science magazine. Articles and pictures by Steven K. Roberts are now collected on microship.com where some of the old memories seem to have gone the way of the 404 after almost 30 years of gathered digital history have been reorganized. Steven is still busy with the same ideas, nowadays on a nice sailboat, as can be seen at Blog - Technomadic & Gonzo Engineering with regular projects. Browsing the site I found some interesting videos such as the ones in Vintage Video: Computing Across America - Hackaday and Computing Across America - April 1988 - Louisville WHAS11 Bernson's Corner - Youtube.com.
2016-03-26 Adam Curry discovers new geek hobby, tries it immediately 1 year ago
I have been following Adam Curry on and off since the Curry & van Inkel show on the radio in the Netherlands years ago. He is a hobby pilot and active in amateur radio. Recently he heard about skywriting with gps/aprs and went all in: Digital Sky-Writing by Adam Curry and I found it on Skywriting with APRS - /r/amateurradio on reddit. Comments on reddit aren't too favourable, it is clearly a first try but I am amused by Adam's actions. Have fun, Adam.
2015-02-18 Old-skool usernames in ssh attacks 2 years ago
Somebody dug up some 'hacking VMS' howto files I guess:Feb 17 21:53:25 greenblatt sshd: Invalid user OPERATOR from 220.127.116.11 Feb 17 22:00:43 greenblatt sshd: Invalid user RSBCMON from 18.104.22.168 Feb 17 22:09:54 greenblatt sshd: Invalid user FIELD from 22.214.171.124 Feb 17 22:18:39 greenblatt sshd: Invalid user MANAGER from 126.96.36.199 Feb 17 22:35:21 greenblatt sshd: Invalid user SYSDBA from 188.8.131.52Some of the old 'default accounts' from way back! HACKING VAX'S VMS. at textfiles.com
2014-10-08 (#) 3 years ago
This is really old-school: I see messages in the newsmaster mail from a newgroup/rmgroup war. Haven't seen that in firstname.lastname@example.org asks for christian.binaries.sermons to be created. If this is acceptable, type: /usr/lib/news/bin/ctlinnd newgroup christian.binaries.sermons y email@example.com And do not forget to update the corresponding description in your /var/lib/news/newsgroups file. The control message follows: .. For your newsgroups file: christian.binaries.sermons Christian sermons CHARTER: christian.binaries.sermons is a newsgroup for Christian sermons. The newsgroup and hierarchy will not be strictly moderated per se. Spam and heavy trolling is not permitted, however, and may be post-moderated after the fact. The christian top-level hierarchy does not follow the precise policies of the current free.* hierarchy. We do, however, share a similar vision of a relatively free and open hierarchy allowing almost anything created by virtually anyone, with few rules. JUSTIFICATION: Christianity being one of the world's largest religions, there are several Christian newsgroups in various hierarchies out there, but no established central structure that combines a variety of topics, and especially Christian binaries are fragmented in disjointed hierarchies throughout the Usenet. This newsgroup under the free.* mantle espouses the ideas of freedom, the liberty to create your own group, and allow relatively free posting with the exception of spam and heavy trolling. As Christian newsgroups are often trolled, this is a necessary evil for the hierarchy to thrive. In this new age of persecution and ostracization, the christian hierarchy is necessary to unite Christians worldwide and give them a digital home. There has been much discussion on the Usenet regarding the need for separate Christian groups, especially topic -specified binaries groups, which seem to be largely absent in terms of Christian media. The amount of Christian material found in any typical web search on this subject alone is sufficient justification for this group.I'm not sure usenet binaries are the best way to reach christians today. The church I visit uses live-streaming with availability on a mobile 'app' and the archive is available via the church website.
2014-05-30 (#) 3 years ago
Ik kwam wat papieren tegen van het BBS Koos z'n Doos en de vlakke scanner is weer beschikbaar, dus ik heb die papieren weer eens gescand. De rekening van de harddisk uit Februari 1993 en de kerstkaart uit December 1993 zijn nu echt goed gescand en beschikbaar in hoge resolutie. Wat ik ook nog tegenkwam was een rekening voor een ROM upgrade van het SupraFax 14k4 modem uit December 1993. Opvallend, de aanschaf van het SupraFax 28k8 modem was Juli 1994. Ik weet op dit moment niet precies wat de reden was van de ROM upgrade, ik ga er van uit dat het te maken had met het definitief worden van de v32.bis standaard. De SupraFAXModem 14400 pagina op Wikipedia Engels geeft hierover geen informatie.
2014-03-03 (#) 3 years ago
Vandaag is het precies 34 jaar geleden dat 27 MHz communicatie in Nederland werd geintroduceerd, 27 MC artikel op de nederlandse wikipedia. Ik luister wel eens met een scanner naar 27 MHz verkeer, erg vermakelijk.
2014-01-06 (#) 3 years ago
Searching for the print header - COM port cable in the PC parts junk box for the new weatherstation on the alix.1c board gave 5 of them, 2 with db9 connectors and 3 with db25 connectors. I tested them all with a real telephone modem. In total 3 worked, 2 didn't but that may be because there are two different standards for it.
2013-12-31 (#) 3 years ago
Nu ik bezig ben met ritchie als weerstation computer en tegelijkertijd even keek in mijn Linux Counter entry naar wat 'oude' systemen. Wat ooit een topsysteem was (500 MHz pentium III met 512 Mb geheugen) is nu oud ijzer en ongeveer dezelfde specificaties (500 MHz AMD Geode met 256 Mb geheugen) is een minimaal systeem met verminderd energiegebruik. Grappig hoe de zaken veranderen.
2013-11-08 (#) 4 years ago
An interesting bit of cold war history: when the British army had a large number of people stationed in Germany a TV station was set up, BFBS Television which still runs in areas where the British army is active. Back in the 1980s satellite home distribution wasn't an option so first videotapes where sent from the London studios to the German transmission center(s) where they were transmitted to the families using low-power local UHF tv transmitters. 'Current affairs' programs such as the news were only delayed by about a week, less urgent programming could be delayed by up to 6 weeks. In 1983 a microwave link England - France - Belgium - The Netherlands - Germany made live transmissions possible from London, a major and costly upgrade. The first live transmissions were the ITN and BBC evening news programs both of which mentioned their new audience.
2013-05-08 (#) 4 years ago
I had to test some part of the multicast setup on the work network and fired up VLC. And from the department of 'some things never change' or 'still going strong', Bratislava STV2 testcard is still available under the title 'Monoskop' on vlc url rtp://@184.108.40.206:1234. This stream must have been going for years, I remember using it in tests years ago. And during the day when STV2 has no program, it still transmits an actual Philips PM5544 testcard.
2013-02-10 (#) 4 years ago
Playing with some blue box apps on the Android tablet: Phone Losers Blue Box: simple Blue Box application and Tone dialer FREE: DTMF / Blue box / Red box. Both are more of a gimmick than really usable, although rumours that MF is still in use in some remote corners of the world are persistent. Fun to hear those tones from the Android tablet. It does make me wonder: if I play tones like these in a big crowd, will I get seasoned phreaks to look up when I play some MF...
2012-12-12 (#) 4 years ago
Good rant by Jason Scott on The Quiet Wikideath of BBS History - ascii.textfiles.com. I helped my bit by copying a few BBS doorgame articles from Wikipedia to the BBS wiki. I hope initiatives like Break Into Chat help preserve more history. I think the big issue with early personal computing history is that storage was expensive back then so older stuff had to be thrown out. Now we all have permalinks and nothing gets thrown out. And when a digital archive is in danger of going away, Archive Team will rescue it.
2012-12-04 (#) 5 years ago
Network history revisited: Building a 10BASE5 "Thick Ethernet" network when looking funny at a heavy network cable could disable network on an entire floor. It gets worse: he even designed and built a USB Ethernet Adapter with AUI interface. So he can get 64-bit Windows and Linux on a 10Base5 network and visit facebook (why??). Found by @pndc: This horror needs sharing. A USB to 10BASE5 adaptor: http://tech.mattmillman.com/10base5/ (hat-tip to @garysmi)
2012-11-30 (#) 5 years ago
The Phone Books Are Just Mocking Us Now which reminded me that the library in the Hogeschool I worked 1993-2000 had the shelf with the entire set of phonebooks of the Netherlands replaced by a sign 'look it up on the website'. But the publisher of the phonebooks in the Netherlands has only started this year (2012) to ask whether you are interested in the paper phonebook. And according to the article above some phonebook publishers are taking even longer. Article found via @haighteration : The Phone Books Are Just Mocking Us Now http://haighteration.com/2012/11/the-phone-books-are-just-mocking-us-now.html
2012-11-25 (#) 5 years ago
Ah, memories... Stefan Arentz dug up pictures (analog pictures! made with a chemical camera!) from hip'97: HIP97-Felipe2, a set on flickr. I still think hip'97 was (for me personally) one of the best hacker camps. More hip'97 goodness: HIP97-Felipe1, HIP97-Unknown with actual black and white pictures and HIP97-Wendy.
2012-10-09 (#) 5 years agoOlder news items for tag vroegah ⇒
I just found Intercept Service with Jane Barbe where ElmerCat has put a lot of time and energy into saving, splitting and digitizing phone phreaking recordings. My first thought was to take the Jane Barbe recordings and set up a few intercepts of my own. Maybe for playing with the people who try to break in to my asterisk testserver or (more constructive) to set up a Jane Barbe intercept service which can be used on Collectors*Net.
Found (unsurprisingly) via "1000 Abstract Machines" ... and a New Generation of Phone Phreaks? - The History Of Phone Phreaking. Update: Ok, using the 'Jane Barbe' digits in Asterisk isn't very hard. Download the .mp3 files from soundcloud and convert them to the asterisk .gsm format:$ mkdir janebarbe $ sox JB-0-neutral.mp3 -r 8000 -c 1 janebarbe/0.gsm..$ sox JB-is-not-in-service.mp3 -r 8000 -c 1 janebarbe/is-not-in-service.gsm $ sox JB-the-number-you-have-reached.mp3 -r 8000 -c 1 janebarbe/the-number-you-have-reached.gsmAnd put that entire janebarbe directory in the directory where asterisk expects the digit files for language 'janebarbe' which is /usr/share/asterisk/sounds/digits/janebarbe/ in the 'old' directory structure and /usr/share/asterisk/sounds/janebarbe/digits/ in the 'new' directory structure. Look at Asterisk multi-language - voip-info.org for details on directory structures. Using the digits is now simple, a test:exten => s,1,Answer() exten => s,n,Wait(1) exten => s,n,Playback(digits/janebarbe/the-number-you-have-reached) exten => s,n,Set(CHANNEL(language)=janebarbe) exten => s,n,SayDigits(1234567890) exten => s,n,Playback(digits/janebarbe/is-not-in-service) exten => s,n,HangupWill have Jane Barbe telling you what you expect. This can be used as an invalid-number intercept.