The 2038 Crisis – Only for SunOS server

     For older Unix’s and Linux’s that kept track of time in a 32-bit integer counting seconds since January 1, 1970, time would run out in 2038.

    I have experimentally determined that I can set dates out to the year 2262 (but not 2263).  It appears signed 64-bit nanoseconds runs out in 2262 so that is probably what the current kernels are using.

     The old Eskimo.Com shell server will need to be retired by 2038 if it isn’t dust before that time since no updates to SunOS 4.1.4 are ever likely to be made available to resolve the time issue.


     I had to say something.  Wind is picking up now and we’ve just had three power hits here.  My workstation survived, enough capacitor in the power supply to bridge the gap, but we may be in the dark yet.

Wind Hasn’t Happened Yet

     So far the wind hasn’t happened in a big way, maybe 15 MPH gusts or so and 3-4 constant.  There is eight hours left on the high wind warning though so might happen yet.  The barometer is taking another big dive here, down to 28.18 so far.  My sinuses are beginning to complain.  But the telephones are still working.

High Winds – Telephone Availability

     There is a high wind warning for tomorrow predicting sustained winds of 40 MPH and gusts up to 60 MPH.  Almost invariably when we have winds of that magnitude I lose power, Internet, and phones here (Internet and phones being provided by Comcast, and Comcast distribution amplifiers require power to run).

     So if you call and the phone isn’t answered, please leave a message with your name, telephone number, user ID, and the nature of your call and I will return your call as soon as possible.

     The equipment is in a co-location facility with a big UPS and diesel backup generators so service should not be impacted.

Update Caused Interruption

     I applied some updates to one of the host machines and it caused a number of guest machines to reboot.  There was no advanced warning to me else I would have done this at a low traffic time.  I apologize for the interruption.


1995 Hacker Attack

     I stumbled across this article in the Seattle Times regarding the hacker attack in 1995:

     I thought I’d comment on a couple of factual issues twenty years after the fact.  First, the attack wasn’t particularly sophisticated, it took advantage of a race condition that existed in BSD mail and the fact that the old program was setuid root made it possible to abuse the condition to replace the password file.   It was a scripted attack.

    The FBI’s statement that the fact that it came across state lines made it within their jurisdiction is somewhat humorous.  I attempted to get the FBI’s involvement and their response to me was that if it didn’t involve at least half a million in losses, go away because they had bigger fish to catch.

Mail Server Rescheduled Again

     Mail server maintenance is rescheduled again.  Tonight (Sunday) 10ish.  I’m leaving some wiggle room on the time, sometime between 10pm-midnight, so I don’ t have to skip it if I’m in the middle of something at 10pm. Sorry, computers were not being nice to me last night.

Mail Client Server Maintenance

     The client mail server,, which provides pop3, imap, and smtp for mail clients will be down from 10pm-10:20pm approximately to make a backup image this evening.

     During this time webmail and imap/pop/smtp from mail clients will be unavailable.  Mail can still be read via shell mailers like pine, elm, mush, heirloom BSD mail, etc, but outgoing will be down for that duration.