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I worked 17.5 hours yesterday. Took a half an hour break for dinner between jobs, and that was about it for rest. In Ann Arbor, most of the client machines could not connect to anything but the file server. Knowing that the file server uses Appletalk as the protocol and TCP/IP is used for everything else, we narrowed down the list of possible problems. Checking out the error logs on our servers showed stuff like this over and over and over:

Aug 16 18:54:45 beer.pub.umich.edu dhcpd: DHCPDISCOVER from 00:50:e4:30:6f:24 via eth1

Aug 16 18:54:45 beer.pub.umich.edu dhcpd: DHCPOFFER on 141.211.148.76 to 00:50:e4:30:6f:24 via eth1

Aug 16 18:54:45 beer.pub.umich.edu dhcpd: DHCPREQUEST for 10.0.1.5 from 00:50:e4:30:6f:24 via eth1

Aug 16 18:54:45 beer.pub.umich.edu dhcpd: DHCPNAK on 10.0.1.5 to 00:50:e4:30:6f:24 via eth1


In basic terms, this is what was happening: a system comes online and tries to DISCOVER the DHCP server, the server OFFERs a good IP from it’s pool, the client REQUESTed a bad IP, and the server does Not AcKnowledge that request. Then the cycle repeats. This made no sense to all three of us working on the problem. We tried restarting our DHCP server, we tried using a different server, etc etc. FINALLY, Sat realized that someone had an Apple AirPort they wanted to hook up. Searching the Apple Tech Info Library, we found out that the AirPort acts as a DHCP server! It was accepting all of the requests, and just giving out bad information! Took that off the network, and everything returned to normal. And it only took 8 hours to figure that out.

In the midst of a vast wilderness, far off, standing all alone, is a high mountain. You are sitting on open ground on top of the mountain, looking off into the distance in all directions. There are no boundaries. As you sit, you fill the world. Relaxing and releasing body and mind, You abide in the Buddha-realm.

I used to joke about how my main non-free ISP was AOL (simply because a family member has paid for it, and I get an account), yet my main operating system has become some flavor of UNIX. I thought I would never see this day, but there is now an AOL client for Linux. I cannot try it out, simply because I only have a winmodem that doesn’t work in Linux, but we shall see when I get that cable modem…

They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

Excellent, the next Survivor type show deals with people trying to become astronauts, and the winner gets a trip to MIR.

Oddities. I noticed today that my top line of links (* HOME * ARCHIVES, etc) was resizing with screen size. Hop into my editor, make sure that two of the three data cells in that row have their widths set, and now IE has no trouble keeping the black part the same size. Netscape, on the other hand, decided it still likes to resize it. There goes my browser consistancy! Anyone have a suggestion?