Upgrades and good grades

What is now:

 15:39:17 up  5:27,  1 user,  load average: 0.01, 0.04, 0.01

Ah, the uptime. One of the things we aspire to make as large as possible, and love every minute of it.

I did do a reboot today due to a mass of updates that I’ve lacked to do for 250+ days. Regardless, it’s a fresh uptime, and i’ll go with that.

With all these mass updates included SSL attacks such as poodle and heartbleed. I don’t typically run my server on https for public facing stuff, but right now I do for specific URLs and all that is presented is a self-signed certificate. You can go ahead and try https://www.unliterate.net to get the typical browser warnings.

So, with all the updates ssllabs SSL Server Test has given me a “T” (or A-), which I’m pretty proud of after reconfiguring. Maybe I’ll end up buying that cheap SSL cert and going for broke.

What used to be:

I happened to get really curious and find out if some old websites and documents existed from when I was originally fumbling around computers myself. Lo and behold, yes, I found ’em.

RBIL / Ralf Browns Interrupt List (wikipedia, cmu)

The de-facto bread and butter of my machine language learning. For every piece of hardware that downloaded its ROM into RAM, or any software that made hooks into the IVT, this list was just awesome.

I can’t recall how I located it back in the day, but what I do remember is that I was excited to get the updates to it online. Back in the modem days i’d wait upwards to 5 minutes to download 1 of the zip files, and then maybe an entire minute to load one of the text files into Windows 95’s notepad.

This list also got me into direct port access programming. Some of the interrupts and combinations needed for RS232 programming seemed slow to me, especially when trying to go faster than 9600 baud, so I had to turn to a different reference to learn to actually drive the serial controller.

Beyond Logic (retired)

Craig Peacock wrote awesome manuals on how to talk to the RS232 controller (specifically the 8250 and 16450/16550 UARTS), and also the Parallel Ports as well. It wasn’t until I read his manual about the parallel ports that realized that the bidirectional capability had quite a faster transfer rate over the cable than serial. His manuals helped deepened my knowledge on “how things worked”, cause who wouldn’t wanna know how things worked.

PHG Opcode (phg.chat.ru)

From Ralf Browns INTERRUP.LSTs came OPCODE.LST, which was a separate list created and maintained by Alex Potemkin. This list itself, when read entirely, gives you so much in-depth knowledge on how a processor works. From Intel and AMD, to Cyrix, you got instruction times, bugs, incompatibilities, and more than the whole nine yards. It was from this that I understood that 0F A2 means “Identity Yourself!”

From my memory this actually used to be at www.chat.ru/~phg, but as times change URLs have to change.

In a nutshell:

It’s been 20+ years that I’ve been using a keyboard and digging into computer guts, both software and hardware. I’ve been in and out of technology-related occupations, stepped into many hats, and accomplished so much, and I feel good about it.

Sometimes it feels good to take a step back and wonder how you got there, cause all you see is the progress you’ve had and know there is more to accomplish.

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