Archive for August, 2009

Pasta and tuna salad

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Yesterday, upon recovering from a terrible hangover I cooked an interesting pasta salad that turned out to be very tasty. You need:

  • Pasta (250 g). I recommend farfalle or fusilli – even better in three colours.
  • A can of tuna (130 g)
  • A can of Mexico salad: sweet corn, peas and paprika (250 g)
  • Sour cream (150 ml)
  • One table spoon of butter
  • Basil and oregano
  • Parmesan cheese

The quantities are for a double meal (two people). Boil the pasta, drain it when it’s done, put it back in the pot you used for boiling it and add the butter. Stir. Open the cans, drain the tuna and the Mexico salad, then put them in a bowl and add the sour cream. Add basil and oregano to taste. Stir. Put the pasta in the dishes and place the tuna and salad sauce over it. Add Parmesan cheese around the sauce, over the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


Thursday, August 6th, 2009

‘No; I can’t forget him, though I am not prepared to affirm the fellow was exactly worth the life we lost in getting to him. I missed my late helmsman awfully — I missed him even while his body was still lying in the pilot–house. Perhaps you will think it passing strange this regret for a savage who was no more account than a grain of sand in a black Sahara. Well, don’t you see, he had done something, he had steered; for months I had him at my back — a help — an instrument. It was a kind of partnership. He steered for me — I had to look after him, I worried about his deficiencies, and thus a subtle bond had been created, of which I only became aware when it was suddenly broken. And the intimate profundity of that look he gave me when he received his hurt remains to this day in my memory — like a claim of distant kinship affirmed in a supreme moment.

“Poor fool! If he had only left that shutter alone. He had no restraint, no restraint — just like Kurtz — a tree swayed by the wind. As soon as I had put on a dry pair of slippers, I dragged him out, after first jerking the spear out of his side, which operation I confess I performed with my eyes shut tight. His heels leaped together over the little doorstep; his shoulders were pressed to my breast; I hugged him from behind desperately. Oh! he was heavy, heavy; heavier than any man on earth, I should imagine. Then without more ado I tipped him overboard. The current snatched him as though he had been a wisp of grass, and I saw the body roll over twice before I lost sight of it for ever.’

— Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Clarles Lloyd, Migration of Spirit

Life with NSD

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

I have migrated two of my DNS servers from djbdns to NSD. The main issue with djbdns was the inability to handle BIND-style zone transfers properly which leads to interoperability problems with BIND and other nameservers. Otherwise it performs flawlessly as a stand-alone nameserver and DNS cache.

NSD is an authorative-only, high performance, simple and open-source name server. Like tinydns and unlike BIND it does not do recursion and caching, but then it doesn’t need to. Currently, three of the root-nameservers run NSD. If it’s good enough to run on a root-ns, then it’s good enough for me and you. It has most of the relevant features of modern DNS servers.

NSD uses BIND-syle zone files, so there’s no need to convert anything if you are migrating from BIND. Since I was migrating from djbdns I needed to convert the data back to BIND-speech. The easiest way to accomplish this is to replicate the zone data from the master using AXFR. Well for some reason or another when I attempted to use nsd-xfer(8) do this, it failed. As I checked the axfrdns logs it turned out to be a bogus query. Then I tried to accomplish the same with dig(1) which worked fine but it doubled the SOA records for some obscure reason. NSD itself transfers the zones just fine. So far it works like a charm, regardless if it’s in master or  slave configuration.

For the DNS cache I am still using dnscache. NLnet Labs also has an alternative called Unbound.