Dateline: One of our x86 Linux systems serving MMO in 32-bit for some reason.

One of the monsters we’ve created via Kickstarter – known as The Fun Pimps – has pioneered the use of paid alpha status as a mechanism to violently subjugate its users, client- and server-side alike. Fans of their sandbox zombie horror survival project entitled 7 Days to Die have willingly given money to the developers for the right to play as well as for the right to serve an instance of the game. We usually don’t do citations in grapevine MOTDs, but, if someone could pull one up supporting the claim that it’s not possible to legally serve an instance of 7 Days to Die Alpha without paying for the game that you’ll be hosting for free, it would be appreciated since the claim is so outrageous that, without citation, it sort of sounds like I’m either an internet troll or wildly misinformed.

Anywhatever, we at the grapevine love this little game and have been proudly serving it since it became available for Linux. We have been using the game in tandem with our developing openly pro-open source project known as TNA, an acronym for TNA’s Not API. We chose to implement the specification of TNA using 7 Days to Die because the game so perfectly embodies everything we think is wrong with software development. For example, although the server instance will leak to fill the 2GB allotted for a 32-bit process much more quickly than it would were the game open source, it is still The Fun Pimp’s prerogative not to bother with producing a functional 64-bit build of the closed-source Linux dedicated server. In addition to the inarguable assessment that a 32-bit version would leak more slowly if it were open source, let us note that if the project were not closed source, we wouldn’t be running a f’cking 32-bit server instance of a game whose installer service’s application (someone grab a citation for this one too please) literally requires 64-bit Linux to run. To recap, you cannot download the 7 Days to Die dedicated Linux server – which forces the user to run 32-bit – unless your operating system is 64-bit.

In addition to this x86/64-bit issue – which we don’t particularly mind at the grapevine, but which does cause us a lot of extra effort when we build our instance at friend-and-hero-of-the-grapevine, SDF.org, on 32-bit CentOS – 7 Days to Die contains within itself a wondrously quintessential example of something closed-source software vendors do in order to justify their being closed: implement a sloppy Application Programming Interface so that third-party developers can, very awkwardly, interact with the back-end of the closed software running on the local machine, through some trivial communication protocol such as TELNET, SSH or TCP. Here we discover the source of the name, “TNA’s Not API” — TNA is, at its heart, a specification for dealing with broken closed-source software. While the specification remains unpublished at this moment (but available upon request to members of the grapevine or arpa-level members of sdf ) the implementations, such as TNA For 7 Days To Die Dedicated are all open-source in entirety.

Today we officially launch our server instance for 7 Days to Die A13.

The modus operandi of the TNA specification is to identify commonalities in broken closed-source software, then to predict both universal and uncommon properties in the inevitable interactive afterthought mechanisms built by the closed-source developers, then to plot a simple course to the eventually-automated plugging in of efficient communication with the broken-closed process somewhere between the process itself and the level of the operating system, and have at-the-ready obvious modules that fix &or augment the broken-closed software so that it is at least possible to debug and at best possible to use as if it weren’t the product of an antiquated paradigm in software development. Our artistic goal is to prove our fairly-obvious point, that closed-source is an outdated model, by adapting to support the bananas out of a program’s new – or even first – alpha, & to do it so quickly – at day zero – as to make everyone (including ourselves) embarrassed with accentuated predictability of the shortcomings of a closed-source release. Our practical goal is to keep our sanity in a world full of subjugated software users who won’t wake up and show Windows to the door, no matter how hard we shake them.

In the specific instance of TNA’s application to 7 Days to Die,  our additional and perhaps most important (or at least most relatable) goal is, of course, to provide for ourselves, as a community, a working version of a silly little grindhouse zombie-horror mmo survival video game that, although certainly lacking in execution on many fronts, is simultaneously wildly special, and indeed – to all of us here at the grapevine – a silly little zombie game that we sincerely find to be a truly wondrous and beautiful concept to share in and experience with one another.

Dateline: At one of the moments in our lives wherein a new computing device is added to the repertory

Setting up a new screen* can be an immersive, revealing, fulfilling experience. In this case, I’m dealing with a popular-brand laptop of a very portable size with enough resources to do anything and an LCD that responds to touch. The personal computer shipped with that one operating system, the closed source one whose very existence as a competitor in the software marketplace makes me absolutely sure that average users are in a state of insanity.

*(by “screen” I always mean something like “a device with a screen at which one will be looking very often” and it could be a desktop computer, a laptop, a telephone, a television, a tablet, a wristwatch, even a HAM radio really. A screen for our purposes is one of a software hacker’s main meta-tools / workstations).

Goodness, oh how I judge the operating system in question! While the machine was en route to me in the post, I noticed myself thinking “of course the first step is to remove the evil software and replace it with a real operating system,” and I said to myself then:

y’know, J.R. Nydel, a lot of the people you’ve known and loved probably use that thing — the thing you don’t even want to name, but let’s go ahead and do it – Micorsfot Wnidwos — and think it is not only fine-because-it-is-all-they-know but maybe even something-they-think-of-as-good.

& I did not like how automated my dismissal of Wnidwos was. When I took a moment to think about it, I realized that I hadn’t really used that thing in several years, and 3 major new versions had come out since I disavowed it.

Do I want to be the type of person who checks himself for dogmatic practices, the way one checks oneself for ticks after spending a summer’s weekend in tall grass; or do I want to be the type of person who fancies himself immune to lime disease and other similarly sour afflictions of the body, mind and spirit?

Of course, I should be the former! Right!?

Right.

So for the first time in i-don’t-know-how-long, instead of bulldozing my new preassembled personal computing device vis a vis software, I gently formatted half of the internal disk and configured a simple boot selection menu, enabling me to easily both/either boot the hardware using this KDE-heavy Debian-like Linux that I built optimized for a portable laptop, or using the MS Windows that most people would use. I did this so that I can try and either a) see something good in Windows by using it now and then over time or b) confirm my suspicions that Microsoft’s operating system is an evil subjugation machine as well as simply inferior software to anything open source and based on something akin to the kernels of Linux or BSD or Solaris.

If A happens, well, there won’t be much more to say aside from “hey nydel, you should check yo-self more often, n’gga” .. & if B happens, well, at least I’ll be a bit closer to the struggle I – admittedly – do currently believe exists for the majority of you; to confess in plain English absent of any exaggeration or rhetoric… well… I think everyone who uses MS Windows is an ignorant slave.

Obviously though, that is not the point, not for this particular motd anyway. Rather, the point is that we need to be careful about remembering to at least occasionally reexamine things that we’ve accepted as being good to make sure they still are or ever were good, as well as the things we’ve accepted as being bad.

So I guess it’s pretty cool if one can find the thing for which of one’s disdain’s validity one is one particularly sure in their justification, but then still participate in an experiment proposing the opposite of one’s hypothesis on account of that one’s brothers and sisters so overwhelmingly disagree.

When one is able to do this, one feels that one’s mind is of the open variety. And I think that’s a good thing.

Dateline: Intersection of Misanthropy Way & Hope Ave, where stand many a SysOp.

When I open my primary laptop, my first task is to close a box of messages that were left with me while I was away. I am not proud of or happy about this. However neither am I ashamed. As a person who operates mechanisms over the internet that are services to many users, the sad truth is that the majority of messages I receive while away are composed of two parts.

The first part is a demand for some sort of specialized attention over one of the services I offer. This may range from as innocent as “Hello friend. I think your [X] server is down” to “Your [X] service screwed me and I demand the special treatment to which I am entitled by gracing you with my existence!” … The second part of the message, which is not always present, but occurs at a rate I would estimate to be above 95%, is some form of “Actually, the problem was on my end. Thanks!”

Were there a SysOp of all SysOps – the way there is a Highest Leader of the Yakuza, whose word and actions govern and lead all other Leaders, and with whom non-leaders would never dare interact by mere code of honor, or what we in the west would refer to as common courtesy – I would not write him. However, were I forced to write him somehow, my letter would look like this:

“Not only is my problem neither important nor time-sensitive objectively, it also lacks any real personally-perceived/subjective import &or time-sensitivity. I am aware that you already knew that. Should I escape the captors who are forcing me to write you (under the duress of a katana’s blade being held to the jugular arteries of my wife and children), I will murder them in your honor, and of course – unless my wife and children remain alive, which will oblige me otherwise – I will then turn the blade on myself, jam it deep into my viscera, pull upward with all my might, & twist; I know this act of humility and sacrifice will not be enough to save my own soul, but I will hope it saves the souls of my family. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter – a reply will not be necessary under any circumstance. Deadly Yours, – Joshua Ryan Nydel of The Grapevine Clan P.S. Again, Domo.”

When I open the door of my car, my first instinct is to feel anxious. Of this, I am slightly proud and happy. The anxiety is over that I do not know enough about my car &or about explosive-fuel-propelled vehicular transport in general to create my car from the ground up should it disappear. However, I am not ashamed, because I routinely study automobile theory, on the levels of physics, pragmatic application, and history. I do this on a regular basis, about 15 minutes out of each week, and will continue to do so until either I fully understand the service with which my sedan provides me, or that service is replaced with something superior.

It has been at least a decade that I’ve studied automobiles and transportation on a casual yet regular basis, and not once have I spent the designated 15 minutes on the phone with Homda customer service or the branch of City Hall that deals with roads and transport. This is not simply out of respect for the time of others, but also out of respect for my own time. For you see, my goal is to become worthy of that which I possess, and bothering those by whom was/am I provided with service would be a criminally inefficient method of arriving at my goal.

Note that I don’t believe “it is unethical to make use of a thing unless said thing is first fully understood from every possible angle” etcetera.. I simply believe in gratefulness for selfish reasons; the world looks more beautiful to me when I can feel gratefulness, and it happens to be that through understanding alone am I able to increase the frequency and intensity of that feeling.

Neither do I believe “it is unethical to request assistance” in any way shape or form. Although, personally, I will treat inquiring with a professional/specialist as a last resort option only after I’ve determined two things.

The first thing I need to determine is that I have reached the end of my capability of fully understanding my problem on my own. This may range from something as innocent as “Hey, self, you’re out of tomatoes.” to “Your car won’t start.” And I find that – not always, but at a rate I would estimate to exceed 95% – I am able to respond to myself with “Let’s go buy some tomatoes.” etcetera. But ~05% of the time, the second part of my message to myself would be the same as the first but augmented: “Your car won’t start, and you’ve exhausted your ability to resolve the issue on your own.”

In a case such as this, there is a third part to my inner dialogue. In this hypothetical example, it would be like this: “Not only have you done as much troubleshooting as is possible with your current skill-set, you’ve also boiled down your results into three piles of theories – those of no probable use, those of unlikely use, and those of probable use. It is now time to request assistance.”

A benefit to the approach to life which I describe is that – when I enter into conversation with the automobile mechanic, s/he notices two things.

The first is that I am knowledgeable enough about his/her field of specialty that a) my request for help is made out of necessity and b) it will be extremely difficult to rip me off without risk of a metaphorical katana being shoved into his/her metaphorical tailpipe.

The second is that I acknowledge, appreciate and feel gratefulness for that he/she exists, makes himself/herself available to work, and executes work that not every person can do by themselves. This makes him/her much more likely to want to help me, and much less likely to attempt to hold my need for service ransom.

My point is made, I feel. But I want to leave an afterthought:

A man might bring his car to the shop claiming he “hears a weird sound sometimes when he drives over 30kph” without the man insisting on the importance of the issue nor its being time-sensitive. A good mechanic may dismiss something like this. But I believe that the mark of a great mechanic is the one who handles such a claim for what it probably is – a man without direction, looking to interact with another human being. I can imagine all sorts of arguments against my distinction between good & great here, but my answer to almost all of them will be the same: “well, then you have too many clients.”

I guess what I’m getting at is – my katana needs sharpening, and you have to: 1) buy me a katana 2) buy me a car 3) drive me to the knife guy, where Hope Avenue meets Misanthropy Way. Right now. Me-me. Me want. You do. Do it now – (Ho-Ho) – That would’ve been unacceptable obviously, so here’s how I ended up choosing to close this MOTD:

The mathematics would suggest than on some timelines, someone who reads this actually buys me a sword; I’d use it to cut a tomato.

Dateline: Within the budding so-called “grapevine” social multiplex thingie…

First, allow me to posit a, well, let’s call it a hypothesis:

2 + 2 = 4

Momentarily forget that the above equation is beyond-easily provable mathematically. As whatever-is-thegrapeine community members, I have utmost confidence that every single one of you can provide the ironclad proof for the sum of two and two being four – it is worth noting that the majority of people would respond to this motd with:

  1. Complete lack of interest in the content
  2. Utter inability to find relevance in the proving of the proposed equation, e.g. “Huh? Of course two plus two IS four” etc..
  3. An urge to succumb to boredom – i.e. a lack of faith that this is going somewhere … and most notably:
  4.  Okay, they’re gone. Here’s what we’re doing:

Respond to this motd, via comment, with one or more ways to go about suggesting that the above equation – being 2 + 2 = 4 – is false. Obviously it would be impossible for you to be wrong for the same reason that it will be impossible for you to be right. But this is not about being right or wrong, good or evil, pious or damned.

No. Rather…

…this is about deciding your own level of involvement in.. in.. y’know.. in whatever-the-hell it is that we’re doing by building this community together.

Trust me: all the other community members want to read what you might have to write; we all want to get to know each other’s modalities of intellect, intuition, playful nonsense &or whatever else may arise from this. So drop all uncertainty, inhibitions etc, get creative, & just post whatever the hell you come up with!

 

Addendum:

Read More →

Our very openly pro-Open Source project called TNA which is an acronym for TNA’s Not API and is pronounced as tina has evolved wildly during its Alpha 2.0.11.x development. The old repository remains public, but I highly recommend visiting the TNA’s Not API 3.0.x Repo and having a look at what we’ve been able to make possible so far. At the time of this post, we’ve only added the beautifully-compartmentalized Common Lisp package’s core module, now easily-loadable as an asdf system, but over the coming weeks I will be adding more and more – not only modules – but support for our NAML project, the Non-API Markup Language which works in tandem with TNA to make it more expandable and easier-so to expand.

Oh & also, our beloved grapevine Grindhouse 7 Days To Die server is stronger than ever – thanks in no small part to TNA for 7DTD – and we are running one public game, Zombie Grindhouse PvE Sandbox 03, as well as our gorgeously-constructed Grindhouse 01 on port 26500 with the password grapevi17e and finally our whitelist-only world on port 26800. Email the author of this MOTD or find another grapevine community member if you’re interested in playing on Grindhouse 02 or simply log in to GV1 or GV3.


How to make an instance of 7 Days To Die Dedicated Server on your GNU/Linux

This is current for version Alpha 12.5 and is both first-try-friendly as well as appropriate-for-those-who-had-Alpha-10/11-working-but-could-not-get-Alpha-12-up!

Through this MOTD, I’ll comment on the proceeding step, then number the actual lines you should feed to your terminal. So let’s get situated and grab steamcmd the tool you’ll be using to download & update dedicated server builds. Assume a bash shell or adjust for what you’re using else, then:

  • 0010.    $ cd ~ && mkdir steamcmd && cd steamcmd

Above is simply a standard directory creation in your /home/$USER/ directory. Let’s follow with obtaining and extracting the steamcmd binaries.

  • 0020.    $ wget http://media.steampowered.com/installer/steamcmd_linux.tar.gz
  • 0030.    $ tar zxvf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz

Now SteamCMD will be present in your current directory. Let’s go ahead and run the thing! Then we’ll install the A12 Dedicated Server.

  • 0040.    $ ./steamcmd.sh
  • 0050.    Steam> login <username> <password>
  • 0060.    Steam> force_install_dir ~/7dtd.ded.a12
  • 0070.    Steam> app_update 294420
  • 0080.    Steam> quit

We need some mono libraries locally. If you know what you’re doing, use aptitude & grab all the obvious ones that don’t overlap. Else, this should do:

  • 0090.    $ sudo apt-get install mono-runtime libmono-2.0-dev

At this point we can edit the configuration files for 7DTD Dedicated Server. These are mostly self-explanatory once you get into them. Leave Telnet set to ON but change the pássword to anything other than the default.

  • 0100.    $ cd ~/7dtd.ded.a12 && nano serverconfig.xml
  • 0110.     $ nano serveradmin.xml

Then edit the executable shell script that will launch the server.

  • 0120.    $ nano startserver.sh

Edit the line that is not commented to include -configfile=serverconfig.xml between ./7DaysToDie.x86 and -logfile

Once you are finished editing the config files, do the following in order to allow for unity5’s gdb-related threading:

  • 0130.    $ echo 0 | sudo tee /proc/sys/kernel/yama/ptrace_scope

Although #0130 may not survive a reboot of the system, it will be fine for now, and I will add an appendix featuring scripts that automate a lot of this.

  • 0140.    $ sudo apt-get install nohup

So the lovely nohup is a beautiful binary meant to run a command immune to hangups that will output somewhere other than a TTY/terminal. By default this usually means ./nohup.out so let’s go ahead and finally launch the server!

  • 0150.    $ sudo nohup ./startserver.sh &

This should spit out a Process ID in brackets along with a confirmation that nohup is routing textual output to a filestream rather than to a TTY. Simply hit Return to leave it in the background and get back to the shell.

  • 0160.    $ telnet localhost 8081

Your crappy, limited little server backend. Try working with this for more than a few minutes as a SysOp if you don’t yet think all software should be open-source.

Simply see to it that the ServerPort, 26900 by default, is open for TCP; Open (1+ port) 26901 and (1+ (1+ port)) 26902 for UDP.

 

On most systems, it should be as easy as that. Of course substitute yum for apt-get on RedHat or CentOS machines. In the case you’re not 100% sure you understand why this series of commands works, you would be wise to read into them.

 

An Appendix will be added soonly. Please do leave feedback if you use these steps – or have used similar &or different steps – to succeed &or fail at setting up an instance of the 7 Days To Die Dedicated Server on GNU/Linux.

DATELINE: MMOFPS GameScape / Among myriad 7 Days To Die dedicated servers.

It is in my opinion that all software should demonstrate the so-called Four Software Freedoms which means that, while it can be ethical to charge money for your product, you must provide the user with the source code, the permission to modify &or distribute the source code, and the ability to use their modified versions in whatever manner they see fit. Furthermore, let me posit this: If you want me to use your software, but you will not show me the source code, you have only one possible motivation for such actions, that motivation being that your software is not very well-written, and if I see proof of this in the form of source, I am likely to write the same program, but written well. Please, do disagree with me, and give me another possible motivation for using the keeping of your software proprietary as a way to keep your users in a subjugated state – I would absolutely adore to be wrong about this. Know that I have never been more sincere; I am truly bothered by the idea that there isn’t an explanation for making closed-source software that doesn’t imply lack of morality in the creators, and I would appreciate an alternative theory that is not idiotic (but I cannot as of yet think of one).

Proprietary software that succeeds usually develops a so-called API or Application Programming Interface. These standards attempt to make closed-source programs such that third-party software is able to communicate with the software and utilize the service/s it offers in innovative manners. Now, phenomena similar to API has appeared in numerous dedicated server builds of MMO video games. Most of these work by allowing the system operator to connect to a telnet-based socket that outputs a readable log as well as accepts certain defined commands. This is so wildly inefficient in comparison to open-source that I’ve decided to do something about this API sleight of hand bollocks clearly meant to distract us from that the notion of keeping most software closed is ludicrous.

Very Early TNA Build in Action on our 7DTD Server

An open-source project we’re heading up called TNA, an acronym for TNA’s Not API, seeks to find the similarities in various MMO video game dedicated server build’s back-ends, social-media-platform-based token nonsense, general API on the w3/html spec & beyond; we then aim to – through making TNA such that software vendors will wish to design their API to easily plug into the TNA Specification – standardize all API knowing that to do so will reveal how much money, time, & even non-imaginary resources such as effort/energy, are wasted by the keeping proprietary of software that could, if its source were made open, evolve wildly more quickly & do much more for the world.

The initial implementation of this TNA Standardization runs on the grapevine’s very own zombie grindhouse pve sandbox 7 Days To Die Dedicated Server. As soon as the source is cleaned and made portable, TNA For 7 Days To Die Dedicated will be up for clone, edit, fork etc on github, SDF, and somewhere locally at the grapevine.

We’ll be discussing initial features in this motd’s comments thread for the time being.

 

newbie onesieDATELINE: Anyplace in the IP Suite where are laypeople.

while true remains that most of our motd’s here at the grapevine are vague and exploratory in nature, this particular entry differs in that we begin with a clear, concise & declarative thesis:

 

whosoever has ever used the word “newbie” – or any variant thereof – in an insulting &/or derogatory manner – is an idiot.

 

i’ve been wanting to write this up for a while. and multiple instances of interaction with idiots via internet have triggered me to think on the subject of discrimination against new users, specifically as it relates to the varied subjects of linguistics, sociology & community. i assumed that at least 100 articles entitled “the new n word” or “the newbie word” or other obvious crap like that had already been written – this assumption didn’t deter me from wanting to write my own, but informed me (falsely) that i’d need to read 100 already-existing articles first then come up with a much more clever title.

to my shock, a cursory search-engine query for n-word OR n word AND newbie OR newb etcetera returned nothing. i wonder how many original ideas i throw away on assumption of them having been too obvious & thus already done (don’t i love the way that one motd begs topics for handfuls of additional motds here at the grapevine?!).

what do you think about my stance against this new n-word? i will tell you what you think. you will say “i see what you mean, but i don’t think it’s necessarily harmful to use the word in a teasing manner sometimes.” please note that i already know what you think, because i do, and if you deny that, neither of us is fooled, and the both of us know it.

let me tell you about being new. when unix became standardized into the GNU/Linux we all know and love today, there was a lot of talk on IRC instances such as USENet, EFNet, Freenode, DALNet etcetera. the rising distributions such as Debian and SuSE made veridical the running of an open-source operating system on one’s personal computer. before the internet and all these network-expanding protocols started to begin being hacked together, it was much more difficult to find a copy of a *nix operating system and succeed in creating an instance of the distribution on your own machine. so naturally, jargon evolved, and one term that proved useful was GNUb which, of course, meant “GNU’s Not Unix-beginner” and was devoid of connotation; it was simply necessary to quickly communicate one detail of a situation to other users in the channels of the day.

have you called someone a “n00b3r” or whatever after they grenade themselves in Call of Duty, or get incapacitated by common infected in Left 4 Dead 2, or in any other such circumstance? when you did it, were you aware of the term’s origin regarding GNU/Linux? i highly doubt it. and did you realize that the server hosting your game is most likely running some distribution of Linux? either way, do you know how to use *nix systems in an administrative capacity? i highly doubt it. and when you used the technological n-word, did you send the message over a chat protocol that you would have NO IDEA how to write from scratch yourself? i bet rather that you never even noticed that you were utilizing the IP Suite, Transmission Control Protocol, and standardized sockets, buffers & stream systems with specifications that would blow your minds galore; i bet you were too busy taking all of it for granted. for, one who isn’t taking what the hackers have built for granted will not write “you’re a new user and i think that’s wrong!” – no – you would write “thank goodness for this wondrous shared virtual space and its various mechanisms!”

and when you call someone the n-word for new user in a derogatory manner, to what is it that you refer vis a vis the user being new? is it something you could make yourself? i.e. when a new player messes up your wheat field in minecraft on accident, and you utter “f–king n–bie” — doesn’t it seem that you should be able to write minecraft’s console, its hud, its graphical user interface, its server, registrar and client along with the specifications for communication between the three etcetera? — because if not, you might as well be posting twęëts from your smartphone to some server in 15th century Italy disparaging Leonardo Da Vinci, f’cking n00b is logged into history books as an inventor and he can’t even come up with the iPhone i’m using to call his ass out.

 

newbie onesie

* not original work – for sale at, uh, thinkgeek dot com *

unfortunately our grapevine is picking up a cult following very slowly, so we do not have as much power as i’d like.. but it should be a good idea that we incept the collective unconscious with a meme that will destroy the currently-status-quo memetic idea object that supports notions of that one should feel badly about being new to something. obviously this insane memeplex has been put in place by the (or ‘illuminati ‘whatever) in order to subjugate the common folk and keep us from gaining new sets of competence that could threaten the semper-vera mind-control of the governing bodies that be – not to mention in order to trick the common folk into discouraging one another from gaining new abilities and skill via experience.

more to come on the topic of some global consciousness meme theory hacking soon. i’ll sign this motd/grapevine for the moment, quite happily. as all i really wanted to say, i feel i’ve said, and i’m confident that if you objected at first you are surprised at yourself for so doing by now and are on board with the revolution of the remarkables. i would love for someone to disagree with my thesis intelligently – if it is possible, i need to know. for those just tuning in, that which i meant to posit was, of course:

if you use the n word, i.e. newbie, you are an idiot.

DATELINE: W3 Applications Galore, Internet Protocol Suite

 

many of us who enjoy Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece film entitled The Room do not watch it as the romantic drama it was probably intended to be; instead we view it as something of a black comedy.  if you’re unfamiliar with the film, watch it immediately – but if you’re not going to do that, here are some favorite scenes:

a frozen bag of peas can be used as a cold compress to reduce inflammation of swelling.  your coffee mug is a paper-weight. take a moment, if you would, to pause reading this motd and to recall/consider all the things you utilize in a manner other than that for which they are implicitly intended. is there anything wrong with intentionally watching a bad horror film as if it were supposed to evoke laughter? one might highly doubt it.

every hacker’s toolbox contains an appropriation methodology. this is nothing more (nor is it anything less) than the ability to discover &or invent uses for existing things. how developed is your personal instance of this mental faculty? do you apply it by default when observing, and if so, how far do you take the theory, how far do you act on appropriated uses of which you theorize?

let’s look at some examples on the w3 spec:

  • a mobile application designed to connect nearby singles for dating was used by students on a university campus to make efficient shared use of their credits at the cafeteria – users would swipe through profiles looking for a particular tag such as “cafeteria: in need” or “cafeteria: have extra” then use the application’s chat feature to work out details.

 

  • recently a pizzeria solicited fabricated horrific reviews of the restaurant via a commonly-used ranking & comment application;  the business owners answered a question (follow link-image to read more)

click image to read review (non-sdf/motd link)

 

  • many new top-level domain (TLD) including country-codes have been used to create shorter urls; the search engine góoģle registered goo.gl to use for their url-shortening service. long before that, the domain inter.net was registered long before alternatives to com, net & org showed up. idiots refer to this as domain hacking and it raises an interesting issue regarding the practice of appropriation:

in the case of appropriating top-level domain, we can see the potential for abuse. the amount of domains that have been bought with the expressed purpose of selling them, i.e. predicting that they’ll be needed by someone else, has gone up drastically since the introduction of new TLD. unarguably, this so-called domain squatting is highly-unethical and more-or-less equivalent in morality theory to concepts such as extortion or blackmail. interesting, isn’t it, that the act of domain squatting is in fact a very pure form of appropriation on the w3 spec: using a service intended for to register domain names for to direct to an IP of a machine serving a web page or other internet protocol-based service. so here we see that, as a form of magic, the practice of appropriation in the sense of witchcraft, i.e. hacking, can be unethical, or at least destructive.

this topic interests us at the grapevine greatly. consider this motd to be more of a conversation we need to start; in fact, we’re already considering creating a website dedicated to appropriation magic, instances thereof, organization of large-scale counter-intended-use of a thing – with or without a goal, theory being built around the appropriation faculty, etcetera. so we’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

note: for the time being, this motd’s composers here at the grapevine have intentionally left out any attempt at a clear definition of appropriation hacking because we want to study it further before putting on this concept the confines of diction specification.

DATELINE: Some Folder In /dev/sda1 I.E. Your Root Partition on Your Primary Lappy/Desktop

invariably it happens that we screw up an important library upon which all things seem to depend. today, in my ongoing war against the anthropomorphized gnu/linux’s malpractice lawyers, i emerged from a battle/lawsuit victorious. i want to outline the details in a motd on the grapevine because i couldn’t find sufficient help anywhere – and i even resorted to desperate pleas on mainstream irc – so i’m pretty sure a guide doesn’t exist for this particular battle.

 

in my case, the package that got f’cked was libc6 & glibc which are in one of ubuntu’s weird-ish manners combined into a meta-ish package called eglibc or something. at some point, by no real fault of my own as the user, my system was running two different versions of libc, and this rendered almost every command i could issue useless. the error was as follows:

 GLIBC_2.17′ not found (required by /bin/ls)

not a joke, that was seriously my system’s response to a call of `ls` (although `echo *` continued to work).

my laptop’s manufacturers responded to my support ticket (under paid warranty) with the following:

 

interaction w/my hardware manufacturer’s under-warranty tech-support during major system crisis

after a painstaking process of this & that, i ended up posting the following as my solution:

  1. accept that your system is f’cked. i wasted a lot of time keeping the kernel & in-memory programs running.
  2. boot a functional instance of ubuntu, most likely off of a thumb or cd/dvd image.
  3. do ‘mkdir /m1’ then ‘mount /dev/sda1 /m1’
  4. grab the apropos deb from http://packages.ubuntu.com/trusty/libc6 — replace “trusty” in that URI with your distribution
  5. save the deb to /m1 and from terminal, cd’d into the /m1 directory, call ‘dpkg -x {libname.deb} /m1’ to extract it
  6. call ‘chroot /m1’ and try ‘ls’ — it should work. feel free to run ‘dpkg -l | grep libc6’ to see details & confirm all upgrades
  7. if this doesn’t boot, get back into the working instance, mount your /dev/sda1, chroot to its folder & call ‘dpkg –configure -a’
  8. avoid #7 and all future handling of package/system configuration on your ubuntu using debian utilities.
  9. browse /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ and see that there are only one instance each of ld-2.xx.so & libc-2.xx.so & libpthread-2.xx.so
  10. while still in the changed root call apt-get and do update purge autopurge autoremove install, the works.
  11. reboot and don’t f’ck with packages using debian tools ever again. if you get out of this without fresh install, you got lucky.

 

i don’t want my motds to be computer science support tutorials but this is a bigger concept than that. i only hope that enough people will know about the grapevine soon enough that this advice will get into the appropriate hands! hey – help us make that happen if you can, would you? cheers.