Wednesday Dec 16, 2009

GnuPG for Solaris

GnuPG is available in Solaris starting with build 130.  OpenSolaris users can pull the latest packages from the /dev repository by looking for SUNWgnupg and SUNWpth packages.   GnuPG is a complete implementation of the PGP protocol (RFC 4880) with an open source license (GPL).  I will not enumerate all of its many features here, the GnuPG website has plenty of good information.  There are even a set of HowTo documents to help you get started using GnuPG. 

 Things to note:

  • SUNWgnupg delivers version 2.0.13 - the 1.4.XX versions are not included
  • you also need to install SUNWpth (GNU Portable Threads) package.

Also, with PGP support, you can now install the Enigmail plugin for Thunderbird and configure it to use the GnuPG that was installed with the SUNWgnupg package (/usr/bin/gpg2).  This will allow you to send encrypted or signed emails and also to decrypt and verify emails you get from your associates (assuming you have their public keys).  Once you install Enigmail successfully (I did it using Solaris on x86 with the bundled Thunderbird mail client - version 2.0.0.23 and the enigmail from the above link for x86), you should see an "OpenPGP" menu item that was not present before.  Using the items under that menu (Key Management) you can create a key for yourself that can be used for the crypto operations on your emails (sign/verify, encrypt/decrypt).


Tuesday Sep 20, 2005

Join the FBI - watch porn!

As if the FBI does not have its hands full with terrorism, organized crime, white-collar crime, and other threats to society, the Washington Post is reoprting that the FBI has been directed - BY CONGRESS - to divert resources to investigating pornography. Not child-pornography, but regular, consenting adult stuff. Apparently, it is a running joke inside the FBI and noone really wants to be part of it because they all know it is a joke, but the geniouses that we elected into congress think it is "Real Important" and are mandating some extra attention. Seriously, does our country not have enough Real Problems to solve that are more important than investigating businesses that have already passed constitutional muster several times? Go after the spammers and phishers that are putting porn links onto computers without consent - that would be GREAT. Go after the spyware sellers and makers (some of whom are backed up by largely legitimate corporations) - again, GREAT. This move reeks of political influence from the religious right who seem to think that they have a mandate to legislate their own version of morality on everyone, regardless of constitutional protections and existing laws.

Is it 2008 yet?

Tuesday Sep 06, 2005

Spaghetti Monster

In the last couple of months (prior to the Hurricane), there was a bit of news about some school districts wanting to promote the theory of "intelligent design" as a legitimate scientific theory, right alongside Darwin's theory of evolution. The problem is that it is not a theory and is not scientific. That an entire state would choose to "educate" its children in the area of science in this way is pretty controversial, for obvious reasons. Apparently, some guy wrote an open letter to the Kansas school board that pretty much deflates the whole concept of "intelligent design" in a humorous way (well, at least to me).

Friday May 13, 2005

Darth Vaders Blog

With all the hype for the new Star Wars movie coming out next week (I think), I found this funny blog from none other than Darth Vader himself.

Some of the comments are almost as funny as the blog itself.

Thursday May 12, 2005

Coding Styles and OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris is coming! The world will get to see, warts and all, the gory details of how and why Solaris works the way it does. I'm not actively involved in any sort of decision making on how OpenSolaris will work or how code contributions from outside of Sun will be reviewed. I do know how things work from the inside, though. In addition to the obvious requirements that new code doesn't break old code, interfaces stability rules must be maintained, and architectural integrity must be respected, there are other "rules" that we (inside Sun) must follow. Among these are our "cstyle" rules - rules that govern how the code must appear (braces and indentation rules, for example).

This sort of thing (enforcement of style rules) has been known to spark religious wars in some companies that I worked at prior to Sun and is always a contentious subject when 2 people with different style preferences try to merge their code.

I read an interesting article yesterday on Joel On Software about coding standards and how code styling standards can be misused (as well as how and why they are indeed useful). Mostly the article is about Windows programming and there is considerable discussion on Hungarian notation and the use of exception handlers in Java and C++. It is all sort of interesting and timely (at least for me) because I've been wondering how the external community will view our code from a readability and "stylistic" point of view. I guess we'll find out soon enough...

Wednesday May 04, 2005

... In with the new!

I borrowed some CSS from fellow bloggers MaryMary and Martin today to give my blog the new corporate look (see Sun.Com).

I bought a book on CSS a while back called 101 Essential Tips, Tricks, and Hacks (by Rachel Andrew) from SitePoint and found it to be very helpful in designing web pages WITHOUT having to use alot of TABLE tags. This book is especially good for someone (like me) who prefers to learn by looking at examples. This book has tons of good examples as well as descriptions. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in learning or writing web pages using CSS.

Wednesday Dec 22, 2004

New Name

I've renamed my blog. Since I am one of those people who work from home (full-time), it only seems fitting to title my blog "The Pajama Hacker". The stereotype of the work-from-home person who sits around in their pajamas (or sweat pants, as I prefer) all day is pretty accurate in my case. My daily routine usually doesn't involve getting dressed until after lunch sometime. Why bother, right ? I get my best work done in the morning's just after my wife goes to work and my son is off to school. Because I am on the east coast (Wash DC area) and most of my co-workers are on the west coast, I don't get many phone calls until at least 11 or 12, which means I have several hours of uninterrupted quality work time. "Pajamas" is not accurate, though, I prefer old sweat pants or shorts (in the summer).

So, welcome to my new blog, same as the old blog. The Pajama Hacker.

Tuesday Dec 21, 2004

New blog theme

I changed my theme to celebrate the new blogging interface. I think there are some kinks to work out, but overall its going to be an improved blogging experience for readers and posters.

More GMail invites available

Happy Holidays!

I have some more GMail invites to give out. First come, first serve. Email me at my gmail address: wyllys _at_ gmail ... (you know the rest).

Monday Dec 20, 2004

Things I liked in 2004

I considered making a "top 10" list, but then I was worried I wouldn't come up with 10 good thoughts :) So, in the spirit of blogging, here are some of my favorite things about 2004 (in no particular order).

  • Solaris 10 - It's redundant in this forum to keep gushing about our latest release, but I can't help but sing the praises of our new baby. 4 years ago when I started at Sun, I was given an old laptop to use when travelling. My first thought was to try and put Solaris 8 (x86) on it. Big mistake. Video drivers didn't work right, PCMCIA support was non-existent (or very difficult to get working correctly), which meant that I couldn't use my NIC card (and definitely couldn't use my wireless card). I gave up after a few days of teeth gnashing and went with some Linux distro. Fast forward to 2004 and its a completely different story - Solaris 10 installs smoothly, it has all of the key features I need (video support, PCMCIA support for many NIC cards, CD/DVD RW support) and its F-A-S-T. I love opening it up at a conference or in front of customers and seeing the look of disbelief when I say "No, it's not Linux, this is Solaris 10.". 2005 should be a great year as the rest of the world will see what we've been up to for the past 3 years.
  • My iPOD - I got a 10GB iPOD last year for Christmas and its been my #1 gadget ever since. My preferred use is to plug it into my car (cassette adapter) and use it on road trips - nothing like having 1000 or more of your favorite songs right there in a tight little package. Why would anyone get one of those bulky car CD changers these days??
  • Netflix - Fantastic idea, wish I'd thought of it first (and had the money to make it happen). I can't see any reason why I would ever visit a traditional video store again.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers 13-1 BABY! What a great season. I was at 2 games this year, the opener against the Raiders and the Halloween game against the Patriots. Whipping the Patriots and Eagles back-to-back made my year. Now they gotta take care of business and keep it going to the very end.
  • Music - Lots of great music came out this year, but I seem to be stuck in the early 1990's in my own tastes. My favorites this year were:
    • U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - Vertigo is sort of everywhere right now, but I still dig the opening riffs.
    • Pearl Jam - Live at Benaroya Hall - Pearl Jam is often overlooked in the ugly homogenized world of commercial radio, but they still have a really solid fan base and are still cranking out great music. This album really showcases what great musicians they are and what a great voice Eddie Vedder still has.
  • blogging - blogging was influential throughout the presidential election cycle, and its now growing into all kinds of new areas. I am not a particularly prolific blogger (its been months since my last post), but I enjoy reading others. I especially enjoy photoblogging which is a cool way to exhibit your own personal favorite photos for others to comment on. My Photo Blog .

Saturday Nov 13, 2004

Photo blogs


I haven't blogged in a while about Solaris or anything else, but I plan to be more proactive about that in the future, especially as Solaris 10 starts rolling out. There is alot to talk about, especially in the security area.

One thing I have been working on, as a personal project and on my own time, is my own photo blog. Check it out if you enjoy random photos.

Forcing oneself to take some photos every day (or at least every couple of days) can be challenging, especially if you are not visiting new places or doing "new and interesting" things. The most challenging thing for a photographer is to take a mundane subject and find a new way to see it and give a boring subject new life. If you take the time to look at my photos, you will see that I still have a long way to go to acquire this skill, but there is some enjoyment to be had in the learning process.

My Photo Blog

Wednesday Sep 29, 2004

Sun is #5 Best Commuter company

The EPA has published a list of the Best Commuter Companies and Sun is #5.

Sun has been very supportive of giving their employees the ability to work from home whenever possible and assuming it fits your job responsibilities. For an engineer such as myself, it works out very well. Especially since my home is 1800 miles from the office where my manager and most of my coworkers reside.

As I and others have documented here in the blogs, working from home has many advantages beyond just having a short commute and the ability to work in your pajamas (or less) all day long.

Tuesday Sep 28, 2004

Gmail invites - gone

OK, I've sent all my invitatations for now. Thanks to those who responded. If I get more I'll offer them here.

Wednesday Sep 15, 2004

Positive Press!?!?!

CNN has a nice writeup about Sun's improving financial fortunes. Also mentioned are the "widely praised" Java software and Solaris OS.

My favorite quote: "Sun is a classic case of a misunderstood company that's primed for a breakout. He thinks it could double in the next year or so".

Its nice to read something positive for a change. Everyone who posts here has been working like crazy to get this ship moving in the right direction. Once Solaris 10 starts getting more exposure, I think we will start getting alot more attention from everyone who once counted us out.

Tuesday Sep 14, 2004

Double Sided DVDs

I'm a big fan of netflix, since I started using it a couple of months ago. When I first signed up, I filled up my queue with tons of movies I'd been meaning to watch, but never got around to (or couldn't find at the local rental store). This past weekend, "Das Boot" moved to the top of the list and arrived in my mailbox just in time for weekend viewing. Good thing, too, cuz its a 209 minute movie. Wolfgang Peterson is a very good director, I did not see Troy yet, but I liked the Perfect Storm and some of his other work (The Enemy Mine, In the Line of Fire).

Because its so long, its one of those movies that either has to be split onto 2 discs or put on both sides of the same disc. This one is a double-sided disc. Someone else popped the movie into the machine for me and started it up. I thought the beginning was a bit odd because it just sort of jumped into the action without any opening credits or character introductions or anything, but dismissed it because it was a foreign film and figured maybe it would work out ok later. So, the movie ends about 135 minutes later and I knew something was terribly wrong since it was supposed to be 209 minutes long. Yup, we had watched side 2 and not side 1.

So, I flipped it over and watched the 1st half. Watching the movie in reverse is more than a little annoying. Either way, the movie was great and I highly recommend it, but I wish we had caught the problem in the first place.

So what was my point... oh yeah ... I don't like double-sided DVDs. However, Netflix counts it as 2 movies if you get 2 discs, so I guess a double-sided one is better for rentals like this.

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