New Core team

Looks like today I will break the articles/day record.
FreeBSD core team elections are over. 74% voter turnout is a good result. 45% were required to win a seat. I was surprised that rwatson got the most votes (86%).
We now have a new core team, which is nearly identical to the old one. The only new face is scottl replacing grog, who resigned earlier this year. FreeBSD developers seem to be either very comfortable or very conservative. I would have liked to see more fresh blood.

Wireless LAN solution engine

The university’s WLAN currently consists of 60+ Accesspoints. We are planning to double this number to cover whole buildings in the near future. Monitoring is currently done by a shellscript/MRTG combination that monitors Reachability, Configuration changes, Associations and Traffic.
Now we are evaluating buying a Cisco product called Wireless LAN solution engine for $$$$.
It is basically a pentium-machine running an IOS like Operating System with a Web/JavaApplet Application.
It has tons of features including statistics of everything and a Radio Manager that monitors the coverage, interferences etc. Of course it also includes Configuration and Firmware management.
Unfortunately I haven’t found any neutral reviews on the Net. Only Product information and a default password vulnerability earlier this year.
What speaks against it:

  • The Handbook consists of 1102 pages.
  • It requires specific Browers and specific versions of Java Plugins. For Cisco Works, another Network Management Tool we use, I have not found a working combination of Browsers/Java Plugins that works on FreeBSD.
  • It needs to be updated with every new Firmware version Cisco releases for its Accesspoints
  • It requires a lot of effort to use it optimal:
    • A LEAP setup needs to be established between the Accesspoints
    • For every Accesspoint you need to collect data by running running around the covered area with a Laptop
    • Sometimes the Radio Manager needs to recalculate its data, which requires the WLAN to be shut down
    • Maps and Sizes of every building and every floor need to be scanned and imported into the WLSE

I tend not to buy it, but I am not sure if this are just my predjudices against closedsource Software. I would be glad to hear a review from anybody who bought this product.

Notebook universities

My university has WLAN in the lecture halls like most universities nowadays although most of them have not defined a usecase.
Oliver Wrede wrote an article about Notebook conferences, where he tries to verbalize how Network access can be used *during* conference and teaching talks. He presents the SubEthaEdit Notes from the blogtalk conference as an example. What are they smoking at blogtalk? These notes are nearly unreadable, and as summaries really bad.
Philipp writes his summaries after the talks while he is traveling home by train, they are much better to read, although (or because) they are written by only one person.
Volker Weber’s observations are much more realistic.
I only take my notebook into boring classes and talks, because if the topic is something more serious than “social software” you have to concentrate 100% on the speaker to get an idea what they are talking about and to not loose track.


My university joined the AT43 project, which provides a VoIP infrastructure for Austria. In theory I am now reachable via my new telephonenumber or +43 (0) 59966-642055 from the normal telephone system.
I tested the two Softphone Applications that are available for FreeBSD. linphone is a GTK Application with a lot of Options, but an unusable GUI. kphone looks a bit oldfashioned, but the GUI is intuitive as it looks like an Instant Messanger and apart from some crashes it works.

news bits

Greece won Euro2004 and Jimmy Jump stroke again and jumped into the Greece goal.
This is the first holiday weekend and the results of last weeks “ARK” university course were released, and to my surprise I managed not to fail.
I read through a lot of Popmusic articles on Wikipedia today, now i know that Lauri from “The Rasmus” owns _three_ BMX bikes and I wrote a small article about one of my favorites from the 90’s: Deee-Lite
I shot today’s picture yesterday at Natural History Museum. Don’t ask me what species the black fishes are.

vlan(4) Locking

Today bms closed my old PR regarding a locking bug in the vlan(4) driver.
His commit looks reasonable, but I will update polly and recheck.
BTW my next wantlist entry will be vlan-capable switches like the Cisco 2940 in my office.


It is now proven that I am visiting McDonalds too often. When I entered the local McDonalds today, i was not greated with the usual “Gruess Gott, Bitte sehr!” but with “Hamburger Royal TS Menu regular mit Cola ohne Eis zum hieressen?”.
So here are some facts about McDonalds Karlsplatz, where I am eating at least once a week. There are four groups of customers, pupils from the next school, students, tourists (like everywhere in Vienna) and junkies, as Karlsplatz is the meeting point of the Viennese drug scene. This McDonalds is unique, because it is the only restaurant I know, that has _no_ toilet. As McDonalds restaurants are famous for their cheap and clean toilets (compared to public toilets) around the world, half of the people entering look confused around and leave the restaurant without buying something.
I am still trying to find out, why seven out of ten junkies buy a FishMac. The others are either too stoned to order or notice after they ordered that they don’t have enough money.
Another important advise, if you plan to eat on the terrace, don’t buy fries. Because if you enter the terrace with fries, you will immediately learn that the birds, that look so peacefully are descendants of Alfred Hitchcocks’ Birds.
Other things I like about this McDonalds, one of the shop managers hates the usual US-Top40 music played at most McDonalds and prefers to play DrumNBass, HipHop and other “alternative mainstream” music. Additional they usually have Austrian Newspapers laying around, so you are not bored while eating boring food.


Next Week a lot of Bloggers will visit Vienna. On Sunday BlogWalk 3.0, an invite-only gettogether and next week BlogTalk 2.0 the official conference. Check the wiki if you plan to attend.
I will not attend, as it is not very likely that someone donates me a 60 Euro-ticket for the conference.