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Friday, 17 January 2020 Dereel
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Garden work
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Mick Solly, the gardener, along again this morning. On the positive side he significantly removed many weeds, and the place looks the better for it. On the negative side he sprayed the arena and the front of the house with weed spray, draining the battery of the sprayer until it was completely discharged—and then left the thing turned on. By the time I found it and put it on charge, it showed a voltage of 2.6 V, and no longer charged. That's the second dead weed sprayer in a little over 2 years. Clearly Mick isn't the bloke to spray weeds, but I never found time. Yvonne has offered to do so, as long as the thing weighs less. That might be the best choice.

Understanding Wayland
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

As planned, took a look at The real story behind Wayland and X , a video presented by Daniel Stone at in Canberra in 2013. It was quite a disappointment. There was no description of functionality differences at all. Does Wayland support multiple screens? My guess is yes, but it's just a guess. Does Wayland support networking? Hard to say. The talk was somewhat rambling, and it pointed at known weaknesses in the X implementation, but it somewhat overstated the case. They were trying to get Wayland to the performance level of VNC. But VNC has terrible graphics performance, way behind X.

More to the point, the video is 7 years old. Why haven't we heard more?

Saturday, 18 January 2020 Dereel Images for 18 January 2020
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Migrating DNS to new server
Topic: technology Link here

There's not very much left on I really should migrate the remainder before the end of the month. The big one is DNS, and in principle that's relatively simple.

Or is it? The configuration files have now completed their wandering through the directory hierarchy, it seems, from /etc/namedb/ via /var/named/etc/namedb to /usr/local/etc/namedb, and of course sample configuration files have been installed in /usr/local/etc/namedb. They're probably needed, as I noted when I checked named.conf:

; DNS resource files for
; Greg Lehey, LEMIS, 21 January 1995
; $Id:,v 1.167 2019/12/10 01:41:03 grog Exp grog $

Is that date correct? I first registered on 18 January 1997, and the first revision of the zone file is dated some time in 2002; before that I didn't keep it under revision control. But it almost seems that I got the year wrong in the header. Still, it makes a nice story, and clearly I should have waited a couple of days to be able to celebrate the 25th anniversary. And equally clearly it makes sense to go through the whole file and check what dead wood there is there. What I found was:

Apart from that I removed old CNAMEs and some other stuff. I have long forgotten what this was all about, but blame helps:

1.2   (grog 12-May-03): microsoft    IN CNAME        panic           ; horrible kludge for forwarding mail
1.39  (grog 20-Mar-05): firefly      IN CNAME        mojave

About the most obvious thing is that I have a long-standing tradition of disparaging names for Microsoft machines.

Similar considerations applied to, which is much smaller. And named.conf? Things have changed there, and I started looking at the sample file provided, but my eyes went funny. In the end, I just tidied up the old one:

Then there's, which is run via an external name server which I can't access. Chris Bahlo will have to do that, and by chance (nowadays it's only by chance) she was here for dinner this evening, so she'll get to it.

Startup was relatively smooth. I had the permissions set wrongly (owned by root), and I forgot a file, but after fixing that and Andy's forwarders, all was well. But sometimes I wonder about the messages that named outputs:

Jan 18 06:49:31 lax named[50419]: zone loading from master file localhost.reverse failed: file not found
Jan 18 06:49:31 lax named[50419]: zone not loaded due to errors.
Jan 18 06:49:31 lax named[50419]: all zones loaded
Jan 18 06:49:31 lax named[50419]: running

Are we done? No. This server is running in isolation, and it's not visible anywhere else. When I'm happy, I'll copy the files to eureka, and then they will propagate elsewhere. And then I'll need to update the glue records. Anything else?

This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.

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