Really, there’s two big news items. One is… I’m getting married! I got engaged yesterday at a little after 12:00am. Natasha and I are both pretty excited about that. The other big news item is that I’m back in school, going after a degree in computer science. That’s all for now, but stay tuned for pics of some cool events at work and home.
I’m a *nix admin by trade. I work in support of infrastructure services and research at a University. My group also handles issues that grad students have that might be keeping them from getting research done. There are many, many of these researchers using some form of Linux to get their work done, and the biggest problem they’ve had has to do with IPv6.
By default, SuSE, Fedora and Mandrake have decided to enable IPv6. This has caused numerous problems, all of which are fixed by disabling IPv6. The question then becomes “why the hell is it enabled in the first place?”.
I have worked in both corporate and academic/research environments. I work in a place that is involved with some very intense and high profile research into network-related protocols, devices and internetworking mechanics. However, I have never received an email from any research or development group demanding IPv6. That being the case, you can imagine how many end-user-types have requested IPv6. A vast majority of non-CS types have no idea what IP even is, let alone that it has versions.
I’ve been using Linux on my desktop for about 5 or 6 years now. I have never required IPv6 for anything. Over these past several years, I have frequented many forums and google groups, and joined a few dozen mailing lists. I have not ever witnessed a post from a frustrated user trying desperately to enable ipv6 and get it working. However, since this recent onslaught courtesy of the Linux distros, the forums and newbie lists are absolutely flooded with problems with name resolution, slow network connections, and “Mozilla slow” postings. These are all fixed by disabling IPv6.
Nothing *requires* IPv6 that I’m aware of, and I use *a lot* of various types of applications, ranging from mundane services like LDAP, DHCP and CUPS, to slightly more exciting things like Apache and MySQL, to cool stuff like music streaming apps and multimedia recording and editing tools, high performance clustering apps, and I’ve even tested P2P apps for others. From the desktop to the server to the cluster, IPv6 is simply NOT a necessity. Please, please, please, disable it. If I need it, I know where the modules.conf file is.
I have a Mac at the house. For any mac folks wondering, it’s A dual G4 with the mirrored drive doors. I finally found a really great online source for Mac hardware, bought an airport wireless card for my Mac, installed it (all of 30 seconds, by the way), and proceeded to go buy the Airport Express with Airtunes. Read on for details…
This little gadget fits in the palm of your hand. The way it works is really simple, too, even if you’re a complete technology zero. It gets power by plugging into a wall socket. It also has jacks on it so that you can connect it to your stereo system either via standard RCA-type cables or via an optical connector, which is what I used.
Once it’s plugged in and connected to your stereo, you run over to the mac, open the “Airport Assistant” tool, tell it to find the new device, and then when it does, you give it a name. At this point, you can open up iTunes, select the name you just gave to the Airtunes unit as the destination for the music, and your Mac is now beaming music to your stereo system via the wireless network. It really is absolutely brilliant. It’s what we in the tech industry call a “solution”. This is not random crap cobbled together with duct tape. This is stuff that “just works”. However, there are two things any geek should know about this solution:
1. It won’t beam Ogg files, to my knowledge. I have a mixed collection of 90% ogg and 10% mp3 files. When you tell iTunes to play an MP3 file, it shows that it’s contacting the airtunes unit to beam the files over for playback. With ogg files, iTunes doesn’t even try. This isn’t totally unexpected, since iTunes doesn’t even play ogg files by default, but people should know this.
2. I initially had my wireless network set up with mac address filtering turned on, which will cause the airtunes unit to fail to ever get on the network. For my setup, the easiest way around this was to turn it off, let it discover the mac of the new device, and then add that to the mac filter list. Then I turned mac filtering back on, and all was well with the world.
Once that was out of the way, everything worked wonderfully! I’ve only played about 2 whole songs over the network, but so far I love it!