Category Archives: Computers

Hurricane Electric Free IPv6 Certification

Last week I mentioned a bit out IPv6 and that I was working on getting the Hurricane Electric Free IPv6 Certification. Well on Friday last week I completed the last tests, earning me a T-shirt and a neat little badge to put on my website(see below). I’m not sure how many brownie points this sort of cert would earn you in a job interview, but its fun and it proves that you know enough to get IPv6 working.

According to http://ipv6.he.net/certification/
“Users say that the Hurricane Electric Free IPv6 certification service is both entertaining and educational.
We aim to provide you with something to do after your first IPv6 ping.”

It took me about a week to complete all the steps, mainly because my DNS is currently hosted with Xname.org so changes to DNS records tend to take about a day to happen. If you have a reasonable amount of sysadmin knowledge and can configure things like web servers, DNS and mail, then you should be able to complete this in no time. Parts of the test are practical things like configuring your DNS and mail server to accept connections from IPv6 hosts. Other parts are answering multiple choice questions to demonstrate your knowledge of IPv6 and the tools used to manage it.

The kind people at Hurricane Electric have put together some handy video tutorials to help you through the certification process. They also offer free Tunnelbroker and DNS services for those who don’t have native IPv6 connectivity or DNS servers.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking at learning IPv6, and with the deletion of the IANA’s IPv4 pool at the end of January, that means everyone. Even if it doesn’t score you any brownie points at work, at least you get a free t-shirt out of it.

Before I go, I just want to remind everyone that I will be doing a talk on IPv6 on 14 April. I will most details about where it will be when I have them.

cya

SB

IPv6 Certification Badge for SmilyBorg

IPv6 and me

For some time I’ve been interested in IPv6(Internet Protocol version 6). I first heard about it while doing a TCP/IP module as part of an MCSE certification back in 1999. Back then IPv6 was in its infancy but Linux had experimental support for it. At the time, there wasn’t much info available, so while it interested me, I stuck to getting to know IPv4(Internet Protocol version 4) better.

Fast forward to 2007. I saw an announcement, somewhere on the net, saying that the AfriNIC meeting would be happening in Durban that year and there would be an IPv6 training workshop that would be run on the few days leading up to the meeting. Well, I managed to get my employer to pay for me to go and it was great. We had trainers from around the world, one of which was from Cisco, that came to teach us a about IPv6. There was a nice pile of Cisco routers and goodies in the corner that we got to play with too. After the 3 or 4 days(I can’t remember , it was almost 4 years ago) of training, I had a much better idea of what IPv6 was about and I experimented a little with it, but again, put it one side since there wasn’t a big need for it in my day to day life.

Over the last few years, I’ve mentioned IPv6 to a number of groups I’ve been involved with and guys have asked me to present talks about it, but they never happened. At the January Durban ISG/White Hat meeting, I was again asked to present on IPv6 and I said I would. During preliminary preparation for the talk I found out that there will be an IPv6 day on June 8 2011. So last week I committed to presenting a talk about IPv6 for the Durban ISG/White Hat group on 14 April so that everyone has time to get themselves ready for June 8.

As part of my preperations for the talk, I am also working on getting the Hurricane Electric IPv6 Certification. It’s prety easy to do if you are used to setting up web, mail and DNS servers, and its loads of fun.

Anyway, I’ll be posting bits of info over the coming weeks about IPv6 and how to set it up. Hopefully I don’t bore too many of you and hopefully I get some of you at least partially as excited about this “new” protocol as I am.

cya

SB

Hacker Spaces

Ever since I first heard of hacker spaces, I’ve been enthralled by the idea of a place where like minded people can come together to learn, teach and build things. We are or course talking about the true definition of hacking. The meaning that goes back to before computers were even thought about. Hackers are those who like to learn how things work. They take things apart, and put them back together and make them do new things that they were never meant to do. Hackers thirst for knowledge and crave challenges that stretch their minds.

I first heard about hacker spaces while listening to recorded talks from one of the HOPE conferences(Hackers On Planet Earth). These are basically places where hackers can get together to share information and work on projects. Lets face it, not everyone has the space or tools at home to work on some kinds of projects and no one is an expert in every field. This is where the hacker space really helps its members. It can be a shared workspace with tools that all of its member can use to work on their projects. With enough members, there will most likely be someone knowledgeable around that you can ask for help or who can teach you to use a particular tool.

Over the past few years a number of hacker spaces have popped up all over the world. At the Last Hope conference, a website dedicated to hacker spaces was advertised, http://www.hackerspaces.org/ This site aims to help people find hacker spaces in their area, to help people to start spaces where there are none and to enable hacker spaces to communicate amongst themselves to share ideas as to what works and what doesn’t as far as running the space is concerned. I took a look at the site and wasn’t exactly surprised to find that there were no spaces listed in Africa. If I wasn’t motivated to start a space before, I am now.

Personally, my interests are generally in the region of computers, electronics and radio, though my interests cover a wide range of technologies and engineering. I would like to have a hacker space in the Durban area where one can come to work with others on cool electronic and computer based projects but also to be able to build a desk or fabricate a computer case from scratch or build a boat if they so wish. Obviously what is possible depends on space and tools available, and ones imagination. Many hands make light work too so involving others helps you get your project done quicker and you may get valuable input and ideas that you would never have thought of before. Of course when others have projects you can lend a had, ideas etc and everyone benefits from the pool of knowledge.

Ok, so here is where I ask for input from you. Would you like to participate in a Hacker Space in the Durban area? What sort of group projects would you like to see achieved? What sort of facilities would you like to see available for members to use? Would you or someone you know be interested in donating tools, materials or cash toward setting up such a space? How much would you be wiling to spend on a monthly basis toward keeping such a space going? Keep in mind guys, rent has to be paid by someone and in this case its the members. Any other ideas are most welcome.

I’ll leave you now with a few links to info on hacker spaces so you can get an idea of what its about.

Happy hacking ;-)

SB

NYC Resistor
HACDC
the hacktory
NoiseBridge

Building Hacker Spaces – talk from The Fifth Hope
Building a Hacker Space – talk from Hope Number Six
Building Hacker Spaces Everywhere – Your Excuses are Invalid – talk from The Last Hope

Victorian all in one pc

Jake Von Slatt has done it again. The ever creative proprietor of the Steampunk Workshop has built himself an All-in-One PC and it looks beautiful. Built from standard PC parts and a few custom buts he built and found lying around, Jake shows that there is no end to what can be done with a little time and a lot of imagination. At the end of the article you can see his new PC along with his Steampunk keyboard that be built some time back.

Toy Projects

Hey all

Those who know me know that I have been into computers and electronics since before I could read properly. I loved to connect wires and batteries and light bulbs and just make stuff work in general. Lego was a big part of this too as I was growing up. Eventually I got into programming and learned more about electronics to the point where I could make more useful stuff. Having a project goal inspired me to learn more about what I was working on and helped me to learn as much as I have over the years. Lately however I have had so much support work to do at work that my development work has fallen by the wayside and so my interest in in IT has dwindled somewhat.

In an attempt to rekindle my interesting in IT and electronics and to try to inspire the guys I work with to learn and improve their skills, I am trying to find a bunch of what I call toy Projects that can be worked on. The idea is to have them be fun and have some sort of tangible result while still requiring that those participating expand their minds a bit and learn something. Most of the guys I work with are general support techs. They do the usual PC desktop and network support. There are a few of us who know Linux and 2 or 3 of us who can program so some degree. There are also 1 or 2 people with some electronics training/skills. Below is a list of a few projects I would like to do. I will add to it in time and would greatly appreciate any input as to other projects that people think could be fun and educational.

cya

SB

Projects

wifi antennas
-pringles http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/448
-gutter
-jam tin
-bi-quad http://www.seattlewireless.net/index.cgi/SardineCanAntenna
-see who builds the longest range antenna

war driving – drive around and see how many wireless networks are in the area and how bad their security is.
wep cracking – how bad wireless security is and how it is broken

Home Automation Controler + asterisk = gate opener
bluetooth + bemused + HA Controller = gate opener
HA controller + lego + webcam = office spy cam?
HA controller + lego + AP = mobile robot?

media center pc
-IR reciever + transmitter

Webcams + zoneminder = surveilence system
zoneminder + asterisk = intrusion notification

bluetooth + building media distribution system(like pluto) + asterisk = notifications of phonecalls/emails/etc in the room you are in

Zigbee wireless devices

Linux Games

Hey all

Thought I would post a bit of info on Linux games since I am trying to put together info on them for the LEAD Social meeting.

Linux games you say? You have actual games on Linux? The answer is yes. There are many free games on Linux and some commercial ones too. Some, like Doom3, run on Windows and Linux. Unfortunately not all the games we like are available for Linux too so in those cases we have to look at windows emulators like Wine(free) or Cedega(Commercial).

If there are any games that you would like me to test or that you have working that everyone might enjoy at the social, let me know and I will take a look and report back. I tend to be kinda biased toward FPS games but I do enjoy the odd RPG or RTS.

Until later, have fun.

SB

Working games(Native):
Quake3:FPS
Quake4
:FPS
Unreal Tournament 2004:FPS
Second Life(Currently only Alpha for Linux but it works for me)
Neverwinter Nights:RPG(Reported to work by Jeremy Thurgood)
Doom 3:FPS(Reported to work by Jeremy Thurgood)
Warsow:FPS
Rise of the Triad:FPS(Old DOS game that the source was released for and now has a Linux port)
Xtux(multiplayer Gauntlet-style arcade game)(played it years ago)
Scorched3d:Stratagy
Nexuiz:FPS
PlanetPenguinRacer:Driving
Frozen Bubble:Stratagy
Uplink:Role Play?
Darwinia:Stratagy
Worms Of Prey:Arcade
Wormux:Arcade
FreeCiv:RTS
Abuse:Arcade/Platform
SuperTux:Platform
SuperTuxKart:Driving
Savage:FPS/RTS
Americas Army:FPS
Bub n Bros:Arcade
TuxPuck:Arcade
OpenMortal:Arcade

Working Games(Emulator):
Doom 3:FPS(It worked with Cedega about 3 days after release. haven’t tested it since but rather try the native version)

Still to be tested:
Return to castle Wolfenstein:FPS
World of Warcraft:RPG(apparently it works with  Wine or Cedega)
Boson:RTS(compiled but failed to start a game)
XShipWars:(the ebuild failed to compile will try again later)
World of Padman:FPS
Urban Terror:FPS – Available as an add-on to Quake 3 or stand alone

Other Tools:
TeamSpeak: Team chat program

Useful Sites:
http://www.linux-gamers.net/
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_ATI_Drivers
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_nVidia_Drivers
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_ALSA
http://gentoo-wiki.com/Index:HOWTO#Gaming
http://www.lanaddict.com/rev.php?ID=76&PAGE=1