Centroid.EU Blog

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Equinox in 4 days

March 16th, 2019

Equinox is upon us again in four days. From then on the nights should be shorter than the days. It also marks the official start of spring in the northern hemisphere and start of autumn in the southern hemisphere.


The difference between wrong and accurate timing

March 12th, 2019

In Germany everyone is a taxpayer. We have a general sales tax, so even if you buy a snickers bar you're a tax payer. Just it's hidden from you, but it doesn't matter how they apply it, what my article is about is time. DCF77 is a signal that is sent out by a public institution paid for by tax payers. It is an important piece of infrastructure for Germany and I remember clearly from grade five in 1986 when people had the first digital watches that made use of this signal. In fact a lot of things in Germany depend on it.

When I cycled from Frankfurt to an undisclosed location 90 km up river along the Main river I passed the transmitting towers of Mainflingen which is the location where DCF77 is sent from, there is several atomic clocks that make this signal accurate at the time of send. I approached a company making radio clocks for computers that use the DCF77 signal, and low and behold they don't sell to individuals, only corporate firms.

So to sum up. They, are a company that leans on a signal, paid for by tax payers (ie. everyone) to make income yet they don't sell back to the tax payer. Funny that. And all their contacts of resellers sell only to corporate customers as well. They also lean on Galileo signals paid for by europeans, and GPS paid for by americans for other products, but I'm only concerned with the DCF77 products right now. It's rather ridiculous that I have to jump through hoops to get accurate time, ie. SDR or bettering NTP, when all it could have been is a simple order through a friggen web interface.


CryptoBook USB

March 12th, 2019

So, four years ago I made cryptobook, which is a USB stick based encryption and decryption tool. It works on basis of one time pads, which when the algorithm creating the random numbers is secure, are secure.


For the cryptobook you'll require a recent vmware fusion for it to work. The OS on the cryptobook is OpenBSD 5.8 so it is 4 years old. Have a lot of fun!

Back four years ago I made a manual as well explaining how cryptobook is made. But it's in german. Anyhow here it is in pdf format. Please be aware that you can just encrypt little things with cryptobook although it uses a 4GB pad max. The pad gets shared among your family or co-workers and then you can encrype AES keys for example and securely transfer those per USB stick. USB sticks cost 5 EUR in 2015 for a 8GB stick. Today you can get a 16-32 GB stick for that, but I'd stick with 8 GB.


I am against upload filters (article 13)

March 12th, 2019

There is a big stir in europe about article 13. While I don't understand the specifics, it leads one to think that the EU wants us to be consumers and not upload to platforms such as youtube at all. This can't be! What we need is a search engine that is customizable so that everyone can find what they want to see. Put restraints on just what a community wants is not really a good idea, because people inside communities want different things. The german wikipedia is protesting article 13 by shutting down on March 21st. I think that's a drastic wrong. Don't fight a wrong with another wrong!

So what I have done is I copied 416,000 articles from wikipedia and put them on a private vps. With 50 GB SSD space that's all the compressed 5 GB dump plus the import could handle. So roughly spoken the german wikipedia needs around 128-150 GB of space, that's a good to know. I'm also glad I know the process of copying wikipedia now, and the ImportDump.php program in wikimedia has a memory leak unfortunately I had to restart it with a new offset half way through.


Ahead of Brexit, buying three OpenBSD posters

March 8th, 2019

The OpenBSDStore is in England. So ahead of Brexit I decided to buy three posters from OpenBSD 5.8+ days. These will decorate my apartment soon.


Crimped three patch cables

March 6th, 2019

A fourth patch cable I threw out for being bad. But I basically checked what these patch cables go for (cat 5e, RJ45) and the are between 1 and 8 EUR. So I've bought myself lunch with this.

There is order now in my cabinet. One thing I'd need is a labeller, but that will be in due time. I can't justify it for 3 ports.


I have a job interview tomorrow

March 6th, 2019

Finally an opportunity to make some money again. I have been lightly searching since last summer. In the meanwhile I did several projects the powerpc64 project, getting a closer look at windows server and some time invested in delphinusdnsds (which seems to get better with time). I didn't secure a grant this year and I'm not trying again (that was prototype fund). Also the electric car didn't work out in 2018. Maybe in 2019, if I get paying work, I'll get a colocation at an ISP, other than that I'm considering rebuilding mail at vultr.com VPS's. That work should be done by November. So that's where I am job and projects wise.


Delphinusdnsd does TSIG Notify+AXFR now

February 28th, 2019

I'm very happy of this. Here is the NSD log where the test zone was pulled with the right key:

Feb 28 11:22:48 tau nsd[97745]: xfrd: zone dtschland.eu committed "received 
update to serial 2019022801 at 2019-02-28T11:22:48 from 
TSIG verified with key *censored*"
Feb 28 11:22:48 tau nsd[91883]: zone dtschland.eu. received update to serial 
2019022801 at 2019-02-28T11:22:48 from TSIG verified with 
key *censored* of 6266 bytes in 0.000263 seconds
Feb 28 11:22:48 tau nsd[97745]: zone dtschland.eu serial 2019022201 is updated 
to 2019022801.

I'm very happy of this. Now I'm gonna try to take it easy for the rest of the week. Happy February + March!


New delphinusdnsd in production

February 22nd, 2019

I have put on a snapshot of last night on into production on omega.virgostar.net. I'm hoping it's alright I tested it to the best of my ability. Fixes are: an ENT reply with dnssec option on (see. ent.dtschland.eu), and it has a new database that I put together by February 16th. Since then I just fixed a few bugs and hope it's bugfree by now.

version.bind.           3600    CH      TXT     "delphinusdnsd-20190222"

That is a version reply of omega's delphinusdnsd indicating it is from today. The query string was: @omega.virgostar.net version.bind ch txt


Gmail has started blocking me, after 5 years

February 20th, 2019

It's worked for five years. See here. I haven't changed much in the last little while to cause any problems. So it's gmail who have updated some policy. I complained to them, and hoping to get this straightened out.


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