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Toreishi.net ~Now with more SNAP~

Last modified by Mitchell on February 23, 2014, 4:17 PM

Nov 26 2017

Not quite dead yet

Yes, it's been a while since I've updated anything here. I really should do more updates. 馃構 I've worked on a few things, so will start scribbling things here in the meantime.

At the moment, I'm replacing my older server at home with an Intel NUC. While doing so, I was looking at installing Windows Server on my server as before... except that a few things have changed. For starters, since it's a 7th Generation Intel Core-based system, Windows Server 2012 R2 is no longer supported. Okay, I can deal with that... except that my preferred minimal server interface is no longer supported. Thanks?

So I suppose I'll end up running VMware ESXi there too. Except that there have been changes there as well, with VMware 6.5, where the native Windows client has been deprecated. Thanks? And on top of that, predictably, ESXi doesn't support the 7th Gen NUC out of the box. Fortunately, there are workarounds, but... bleh.

Just can't win, I guess...

Aug 06 2016

First Looks: Windows Subsystem for Linux

As I imagine you've probably read about, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update included the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). I don't fully understand the technical details, but I would imagine they've implemented something along the lines of the Linux emulation layer included in FreeBSD. There's still a fair amount I have to poke around with, but there are a few interesting things I've noticed so far:

  • There doesn't seem to be an obvious location of where the virtual filesystem is (although, admittedly, I haven't tried that hard to find where it is, and pico processes don't seem to be introspectable by Process Explorer). It doesn't appear to be in the usual Windows Store package location (%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Packages). Each user does have their own instance of the filesystem, though, so it can't be used as a sharing mechanism. I suppose on the bright side, lxrun.exe lets you reset your WSL installation in case you break it.
  • WSL isn't able to run Windows executables, interestingly. So it looks like no scripting your Windows tools with a Linux stack. Read more...

Jun 28 2016

1Password for Families

So I've been using KeePass for a while to manage my credentials. Somewhat recently, there was a kerfuffle involving an unencrypted check for updates. It wasn't so much that there was an issue that bothered me (everything has issues, including security software). What bothered me was the complete disregard for it as an issue, particularly since it's meant to be a piece of security software.

So what came up next was 1Password for Families, since I had a sibling who decided to go for it and let me opt in as well. Seeing as it's a commercial product that's been out for a while, you would think that they have it to the point where It Just Works, right?

Wrong.

  • The import process was fairly miserable. Sure, I understand that KeePass might not be a large target audience. But when their migration solution involves running a Perl script? I suppose ignoring Windows might be a strategy, but it doesn't strike me as a good one.
  • Once the import was complete, I tried to import the generated file. Like a good number of Windows users, I'm now on Windows 10... except the Windows store version of the app (required for Families) doesn't support imports. I guess Windows + Families users don't matter....
  • I ended up using a Mac OS X system to do the import. Almost every entry came in as a Login, which isn't a huge issue. Except that they, as a design decision, opted to not allow for converting between categories. I have almost 600 entries, and manually recreating those items isn't a pleasant option.
  • I have several items with attachments (e.g. 2FA where I've saved off the authenticator image so that I can have multiple synced authenticators). Except those aren't supported in Families; again, a design decision.
  • For a product that was initially built around saving off website credentials (like most of these applications), you would think that they would at least have that working great out of the gate. Except you'd be wrong, at least for Windows. For the current official releases, the browser plugins require the standard desktop application... that doesn't support Families. In somewhat fairness, the 1Password 6 beta adds support for this... almost six months after they launched Families.

Short version? Families (and likely Teams as well) was launched half-assed. Windows is a low priority for them (seeing as one of the most important features wasn't provided for half a year). Dealing with a product like this just doesn't make sense, so I'm going back to my usage of KeePass, where at least I know what to expect.

Feb 21 2016

First Looks: February, 2016

A few games that are scheduled to come out this year that I've had a chance to get some information on this month.

钂笺亶闈╁懡銇兇銈°儷銈儶銈

The newest game in the 鎴﹀牬銇兇銈°儷銈儶銈 series. I really enjoyed the first and third games (the second was too grindy for my tastes). There's a video available which shows an hour of gameplay, and... wtf. Seriously? This is what's happened to a game that was about tactical gameplay? Something more like, but not quite like, the 鐒″弻 games (known in the US as the Dynasty Warrior games)? It just looks... really weird for somebody who was expecting a tactical game. Although I do have to admit that it's pretty, for what it's worth. And to think that I was going to purchase a PlayStation 4 for this game. Read more...

Jan 10 2016

More fun (or not) with VPN

So I had initially written about setting up VPN with Windows Server as the platform. But I then swapped over to Libreswan and Linux. Ironic or not, I've decided to switch back to using Windows Server for a couple of reasons:

  • It turns out that the problems I was having with routing were actually the fault of my personal wireless router, and not the platform. Switching to a custom firmware and setting my custom route there was actually necessary to get Libreswan/Linux working as well.
  • Debugging the Libreswan/Linux setup is easier, true. But only nominally so. And in return, the setup is considerably more complicated.
  • Perhaps most importantly, under the Libreswan/Linux setup, a given user could only have a single connection to the VPN. Under Windows Server, that restriction doesn't exist.

However, during that process, I also decided to switch around my home setup. Previously, I was running a domain controller as a Hyper-V host with a RRAS server as a client. The problem is that since the RRAS client comes up after the domain controller does, so it doesn't always act correctly as a result. So, I decided to switch it around, and try to set up a RRAS server as the Hyper-V host, with the domain controller as a client. Except... this doesn't work properly. Honestly, I'm somewhat shocked that this bug has existed for over 3 years - I will admit that's one area where open source would (probably) not have let this bug live for this long. In this case, it resulted in me setting up a standalone Hyper-V host with two clients: the RRAS server coming up first, with the domain controller coming up later. *sigh* Read more...

Jun 18 2015

CentOS 7: Differences on the ground floor

As you might expect, CentOS 7 has its package differences from CentOS 6. What does looks like from the ground, though? There have been a number of changes, as you might expect.

Well, let's start with my base-level kickstart file which sets up a fairly minimal system: Read more...

Kickstarting a new image

I've decided to finally get around to set up kickstart configuration files for my system images, since I've started investigating migrating over to CentOS 7. Kickstart, if you're not familiar with it, is a method of automating Linux installation and configuration, and is largely centered around the Red Hat-based distributions. While I was setting all of this up, I decided to also investigate whether it was worth switching from CentOS to Ubuntu Server, seeing as Ubuntu usage has passed CentOS and RHEL usage according to W3Techs (I suppose I could have looked at Debian as well, but for whatever reason it doesn't particularly appeal to me - possibly because it's not as marketable a job skill, for all that I don't really do this for a career?).

That said, I decided not to, for a couple of reasons:

  • The difference in how well they're documented is huge. Red Hat has a tremendous amount of documentation on setting up a kickstart installation compared to Ubuntu's preseed documentation (which seems to boil down to: take this undocumented file and it should work). Somewhat ironically, Debian has considerably better documentation.
  • Red Hat's installation process generates a kickstart configuration file (/root/anaconda-ks.cfg) that you can immediately turn around and feed back into a kickstart installation to get the same result, whereas the Debian documentation notes that their equivalent (debconf-get-selections --installer; debconf-get-selections) doesn't actually quite work (and I would expect that Ubuntu would follow in the same footsteps).
  • And, of course, I'm still better and more comfortable with Red Hat-based distributions than Ubuntu distributions, which matters for what is effectively a production deployment.

P.S. Yes, Ubuntu can also support kickstart installations, but it's a hacky process. I don't care that much.

Dec 23 2014

Review: 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜

I've now finished playing through all of 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜, as well as 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜 -Dreaming Sheep- (which is a fandisc of after stories), and I figured I would write down some of my thoughts (I haven't yet finished 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜锝炴斁瑾插緦銇椼仯銇姐儑銈ゃ偤锝, which is a side story fandisc).

Story/Characterization

  • The story for 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜 just isn't as tightly written as that of Fortune Arterial. The base game, 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜, is designed in the standard form of a common main trunk, which then branches out into the separate character stories, with the True End route locked until certain requirements are fulfilled. Fortune Arterial is written such that each of the character arcs helps contribute knowledge towards the True End; in contrast, the primary character arcs in 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜 don't, although (as expected) they do help flesh out each character. In an interesting twist, however, the True End route actually consists of multiple endings: one for Kodachi Nagi (which is more independent), and one for each of the other girls (which result in minor variations).
  • The stories in 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜 -Dreaming Sheep- consist of one after story for each character's ending in 澶у洺鏇搁え銇緤椋笺亜 (five main heroines, three secondary heroines), along with one ending for a secondary character (Takigawa Aoi) which attempts to explain her personality and motivation and one story arc, named the Toshobu arc, that covers a "blank" of a month that occurs during the True End routes.
    • In an unusual twist, Shirasaki Tsugumi's after story occurs after her True End route, while the other after stories occur after their normal endings. To further confuse players, although one of her appendix stories occurs after her True End route, the one she shares with her younger sister occurs after her normal ending (her other appendix story occurs sometime considerably later, and isn't tied to either).
    • Aoi's route is an interesting decision as, although it starts with an Aoi like in the other arcs, it ends in an Aoi that is substantially different from any of the other arcs.
    • The Toshobu arc is fluff. Entertaining fluff, but still fluff (obviously, as it was completely left out of the True End route). Read more...

Nov 16 2014

Unusual crossovers

Of the overall Japanese electronic gaming market, a considerable chunk consists of what are called ren'ai games (鎭嬫剾銈层兗銉, lit. love games), which are games that revolve around love, romance, (and all-too-often for guys) sex. From a mechanics standpoint, a fairly large percentage are comprised of what the Japanese consider simulation games (銈枫儬銉兗銈枫儳銉炽偛銉笺儬), which for those not familiar with the term, are essentially electronic versions of Choose Your Own Adventure books (or gamebooks, if you want to use the more general term). For the most part, these types of games don't exist in the Western market. From a theme standpoint, some of these are called nakige (娉c亶銈层兗, lit. crying games), where the goal is have a story so emotionally charged that the player is brought to tears. Again, for the most part, these types of games don't exist in the Western market. Standard examples of the cross-section of these two are games by Visual Art's/Key (Kanon, Air, Clannad, 銉儓銉儛銈广偪銉笺偤锛), as well as games in Giga's (鎴敾) maid cafe series (銈枫儳銈炽儵銆锝瀖aid cafe "curio"锝, 銉 銉 銉 銈с锝炪偡銉с偝銉 second brew锝) and CIRCUS' D.C. series (D.C.锝炪儉銉汇偒銉笺儩锝, D.C.II锝炪儉銉汇偒銉笺儩II锝, D.C.III锝炪儉銉汇偒銉笺儩III锝), amongst others.

But what if you were to take some of these themes into a different environment? Such as, say, board gaming? Read more...

Sep 01 2014

Tunnelling through the Internet

As mentioned in the previous post, I'm writing down some details concerning setting up a VPN, which can occasionally be quite useful, whether it be due to accessing the Internet from an insecure location or due to working around region restrictions. As before, I'm using Libreswan, along with xl2tpd and ppp. I'm also using winbind (part of the Samba project) in order to authenticate against a Windows domain. Read more...

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Created by Administrator on February 9, 2014, 4:08 PM

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