Archive for the ‘irc’ Category

Surfing in Tamarindo with Will

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

I didn't know what Will would look like, having only seen his tiny comment icon on my blog. But I knew he had hair, and lots of it, and that's how I knew it was him when I arrived at the Surf Culture surf shop. He had already procured a board for me, and, donning the white man's burden1, we made our way to the beach.

At the beach, Will showed me how to get up for a wave. He demonstrated by quickly bringing his left foot and then right foot forward, with knees bent, and both feet on the center line. I practiced this several times, and when I felt like I had it down, we went into the surf. When a good wave came, Will would give my board a push at just the right moment, and so I was able to catch multiple waves and stand up on the board before either falling or jumping off as I got too close to the shore.

Rather than discussing the details of our conversation, I will say that Will listened very closely to what I said, and responded to that, and that to my detriment I probably talked too much about myself and did not ask him about himself as much as I should have. I also regret not having read more of his blog. When I last checked it prior to the trip I only saw 4 or 5 of his most recent articles, but now I know there are many more going back a few years, which I look forward to reading.

For me it was great to meet someone who had, with interest, read my blog. I was somewhat taken aback that anyone would find it interesting since either a) the topics discussed are a non-starter for most of the population or b) for the log-reading population it's nothing new.

It was also interesting to try to have a serious discussion outside of IRC. I was frustrated by my inability to remember things I had written myself.

After surfing, we went to get my girl2, who we found about to cross the street in between the hotel lobby and the rest of the hotel buildings going back up the hill, and tried to decide where to eat. The girl wasn't up for anything exotic3 like sushi, so we ended up going to an Argentinian place with standard Argentinian fare. I had the Neapoliton chicken Milanesa, Will had a gigantic steak, and the girl had ... I forget.

We still had some time, so we decided to go to the casino, which turned out to be almost completely empty except for ourselves and a few employees. I am not a gambler, but the girl was so she went about losing some money while the conversation continued. What I remember most from this part of the discussion was that we touched on morality - whether there is right and wrong and I believe Will's stance was that for most people it is too complicated to figure out. I was woefully unprepared to support my stance that there is indeed an ought, which I regret. Perhaps we can discuss it more next time.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole afternoon and evening and look forward to the next opportunity we have to get together.

Here are some photos from Tamarindo, where the whole thing took place.

  1. sun screen []
  2. She was from Honduras, and was friend of a girl I met on one of my previous trips []
  3. I found out later she didn't know about for example sailboats or how the worked, but fortunately for me she was an expert in Spanish as it is spoken in Central America []

EsperNet 2nd Chance

Friday, October 18th, 2019

I tried another tack in another channel (#help) on EsperNet last night with the following results.

[19:48:07] <thimbronion> Who should I talk to about linking a server?

[05:45:24] <lol768> thimbronion: https://www.esper.net/txt/servapp.txt can be submitted as a support ticket. Can't guarantee we'd accept a link application though.

[09:45:58] <thimbronion> lol768: How is the decision made and why couldn't you guarantee a link application would be accepted?

[09:53:27] <lol768> It gets votes on by the admin staff

[09:53:34] <lol768> * voted

[09:53:47] <lol768> And I am not a mind-reader :p

[09:54:32] <lol768> It might be other folks think we are fine for new servers right
now, or would prefer applications come internally

[09:59:12] <thimbronion> lol768: I see. So a simple majority vote?

[11:18:36] <lol768> 2/3rds majority

[13:14:52] <thimbronion> lol768: Do you know who the people might be who would object on the grounds that no servers are needed right now or prefer no external applications? Or perhaps there are some recent past proceedings I can check out?

[13:46:41] <chauffer> thimbronion, out of curiosity, why do you want to link a server?

[14:47:56] <thimbronion> chauffer: IRC is very important to us (I'm here for TMSR, lots and lots of logs here: http://logs.ossasepia.com) so we want to have a stake in whatever network(s) we join.

[14:56:18] <chauffer> what is TMSR?

[15:20:12] <lol768> >Or perhaps there are some recent past proceedings I can check out?

[15:20:31] <lol768> External link applications don't happen very often, I don't think one has happened in my time as an admin

[15:30:24] <lol768> We had four link applications in the ticket system in 2014. One was accepted, 3 were rejected. In 2015, we rejected one server application. In 2016, one was accepted.

[15:36:59] <lol768> Missed from my stats, an acceptance in 2013 and another rejection in 2014. So, it varies - and you won't really know until you submit the app. Common rejection reasons: inadequate DDoS protection, inadequate hosting, poor quality of application, concerns about longevity of the server, concerns over bandwidth, concerns over the submitter's ability to maintain the server.

[15:37:05] <thimbronion> chauffer: TMSR stands for "The Most Serene Republic." We are working on several projects around Bitcoin, from a game, to cryptography.

[15:39:14] <thimbronion> lol768 - very interesting thanks. So how long have you been an admin?

[15:42:30] <lol768> 2018

[15:42:35] <lol768> I was an oper before then

[15:43:01] <lol768> (so, not long at all in the grand scheme of things :P)

[15:43:17] <lol768> This network is older than me

[15:43:26] <thimbronion> lol768: ah so do those acceptances include any external apps?

[15:44:22] <lol768> these are just external apps, I think (I'd expect internal apps to be submitted differently) - though in one or two cases the folks applying had been around the network a while

[15:45:49] <lol768> I might be wrong on this, though

My questions went unanswered for the most part and I let it pass ("Very interesting thanks").

I wonder if Linus Torvalds came in and wanted to link a server, would they be so adamant about him filling out the damn application? I do not know how to communicate clearly that they are missing out on the chance to save their network from oblivion.

IRC Diplomacy: OFTC, Undernet, EsperNet, DALnet

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

[Updated 10/18/19 - fixed missing nicks due to escaping problem]

I began attempting to contact IRC administrators in order of their need for more resources based on reported number of users per server on Mon. Oct. 14th. Initially I had to take some time to figure out how to connect weechat to multiple IRC networks via a single ZNC connection, as I anticipated needing to hang around a while in the various relevant channels to get a response. After I got that working, I contacted OFTC, then Undernet, then DALnet. Other than EsperNet, where someone bothered to inform me there was a typo in my link to logs.ossasepia.com (which for some reason I keep typing as "logs.ossesepia.net"), the only response I've gotten so far was from Ahnberg in #ahnberg on DALnet, which I have quoted below.

[10:24:32] <thimbronion> Hey Ahnberg I'm coming from TMSR (http://logs.ossasepia.net). We've got a growing set of high quality people and a lot of resources and are interested in linking a (at least one) server to DALnet. Are you (or is DALnet) interested?

[10:25:53] <thimbronion> sorry typo http://logs.ossasepia.com.

[10:28:34] <Ahnberg> What is TMSR and/or ossasepia?

[10:31:21] <thimbronion> Ahnberg TMSR stands for "The Most Serene Republic." We're working on a bunch of projects related to Bitcoin, from a game, for example, to cryptography. Ossasepia has the logs of all of our channels which are currently on Freenode. BTW Welcome to join #ossasepia and #trilema to ask around.

[10:31:40] <Ahnberg> Ok. Interesting!

[10:32:30] <Ahnberg> We don't really "need" more servers on DALnet so we're not actively looking. But anyone who thinks they have the interest or passion to join the network might apply. We do prefer if someone joins after actually using the network, being active part of the community or such, not just to expand footprint on as many networks as they can. Not saying you are one of those, but just explaining what adds value to

[10:32:36] <Ahnberg> us.

[10:44:11] <thimbronion> Ahnberg I see. Is that a hard requirement? Asking because our criteria for joining a network is being able to contribute to it. And in lieu of us having an established presence here, you can see our history going back several years in the #trilema logs.

[10:45:08] <Ahnberg> Not a hard requirement, but makes it quite complicated since it usually indicates that someone just wants to grow their footprint regardless of major network they end up on. We prefer people who are passionate about DALnet itself and care about this specific network.

[10:45:18] <Ahnberg> Sounds weird coming from me maybe since I am linked to almost every major network. :P

[10:45:46] <Ahnberg> But to my defense I have been using IRC since early 1991 and I am really involved and fond of all the networks I partake in hehe

[10:47:48] <thimbronion> I'm not quite clear on what you mean by growing our footprint. In this case, we would actually be leaving freenode. That's not to say that we wouldn't want to join other networks that meet our criteria.

[10:53:42] <Ahnberg> Not directed at you specifically since I have no idea who you guys are. Just that people who seek to link to any major network where they haven't had any interest in the past has the risk of just seeking to expand their footprint, i.e. size/presence/reach and don't actually care about the network, is all I'm saying.

[10:53:54] <Ahnberg> Which is why it is harder to get accepted applying to a network where the staff doesn't have a known history.

[11:11:07] <thimbronion> Ahnberg can you go into more detail about what it means to care about DALnet? I don't mean this to come off flippantly in any way.

[11:13:50] <Ahnberg> "Oh DALnet is big so we might as well try to link there, if that doesn't work Undernet seems quite big too so we'll try there as well" .... vs "I have a lot of friends on DALnet, I have spent my last 8 years on the network, it would be awesome if I could help support the network since its meant so much to me over the years".

[11:19:03] <thimbronion> We definitely want to care about DALnet! :) Our experience with Freenode however was that we built up a lot of infrastructure around it, but they ultimately turned our offer to link servers down, leaving us somewhat stuck. We definitely don't want that to happen again.

It's been several hours since Ahnberg last replied, and I don't anticipate hearing anything more from him. This dialog went awry where he said "I have no idea who you guys are" after I gave him a link to years of logs. I don't know how he'd know us any better if the logs happened to be from DALnet.

For reference, here were my openers on the other networks:

Undernet #routing-com

19:31:56] <thimbronion> Hi. I'm here on behalf of TMSR(http://logs.ossasepia.com/). I'd like to chat about linking (at least) one server to the network. Are you interested?

EsperNet #esper

[19:44:59] <thimbronion> Hi! I would like to chat with the network administrators about linking (at least one) server. Where would be a good place to do that?

[19:45:30] <thimbronion> Btw I'm from TMSR, which you can find more about here: http://logs.ossasepia.net.

[21:01:20] <kbuck> thimbronion: your link is dead

[21:02:45] <kbuck> looks like it's probably .com

[21:57:36] <thimbronion> @kbuck .com, yes.

[14:53:31] <thimbronion> Kramer Kristina, any interest in my proposal above?

For some reason ZNC did not log the OFTC chat.

IRC Takeover Initial Findings

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

[Updated 10/3/19 8:54 PM PST]

Over the past week, I've spent some time surveying the websites of the top IRC networks gathering information about their linking policies.  Many are in a state of disrepair and haven't been updated for some time, as evidenced by the latest "news" items on their front pages being several years old.  From their linking application forms (or lack thereof) many of the top networks look averse to linking new servers.  For example, see the IRCNet documents:

Please be aware, that usually administrators never link servers from people, who apply for a link. If there is really need for a server, the administrators of that TLD will look around which organization would be most appropriate, and then ask them, if they would like to support an IRCnet server.

That said, some appear to be reasonable and they are at the top of the list.  In terms of hardware, my server far exceeds the recommended specifications (which all appear to have been written long ago).  My hosting provider has approved my request to run an IRC server, and will contact me if my bandwidth usage spikes significantly.  For whatever reason they felt it necessary to inform me that:

In addition please take note that we cooperate with government agencies to
deliver secure web services for all our customers and the Internet at large.

Below is a partially researched list of the 100 top IRC networks according to netsplit.de.  Details about more networks will be added as time allows.  Having found a few apparently amenable networks I will next focus on contacting them.

Due to the wysiwyg editor1 in my blog not being able to handle cutting and pasting list items, instead of reordering, for now I've bolded networks of initial interest and added a users per server metric in parentheses next to each researched network name. I intend to add a notes row to each item, but did not have time as of publishing to review already researched networks to add relevant notes.

Based on my readings of the server applications and the user/server ratios, I have selected the following networks for my initial linking efforts in the following order:

  • OFTC
  • Undernet
  • EsperNet
  • DALnet

Network Linking Application and Contact Info

Source List

  1.  This data might be better suited to be in a spreadsheet and presented as a .csv file. []

DALNet linking application, annotated

Saturday, September 28th, 2019
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
DALnet Server Link Application - Version 3.2.0 - Rev. 10 July 2019
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revised by brandon (brandon@dal.net) on 10 July 2019
Revised by brandon (brandon@dal.net) on 2 Jan 2018
Revised by brandon (brandon@dal.net) on 2 March 2012
Revised by Simon P (melech@dal.net) on 02/06/2003
Copyright (c)1996-2019 The DALnet IRC Network

INSTRUCTIONS:

Before you apply, you should familiarise yourself with the DALnet Server
Application Guidelines.  These guidelines explain the application process,
the recommendations and requirements for linking to DALnet and give technical
and other information to assist in your application.  You may view these
guidelines at https://www.dal.net/?page=Application%20Guidelines

Once you are sure your IRC server meets the recommendations and
requirements, you should fill out this application form.  You must
complete each of the following six sections.  When complete, please
mail the application to apply@dal.net

Data collection scripts for Section 6 may be downloaded from
http://www.dal.net/?page=routing

Applications that do not follow these instructions will be ignored!

==========================================================================
Section 0: Quick Link Eligibility Check List

0a. Have you (admin) read and understood the Server Application Guidelines
    and believe your server to meet the requirements of linking to DALnet?

0b. Is your server provider-sponsored, and not being paid for by you or
    your business? 1

0c. Are you running some flavor of UNIX?

0d. Is your server capable of absorbing massive, multi-GBit/second DDoS
    attacks? 2

If you answered No to any of the above questions, do not submit an
application. Do not submit this portion with your application.
==========================================================================

------------------------------- CUT HERE ---------------------------------

DALnet Server Link Application - Version 3.2.0 - Rev. 10 July 2019

Section 1: Server Information

1a. Full server (machine) hostname:
1b. Server's IPv4 address:
1c. Server's IPv6 address:
1d. Hosting network's ASN:3
1e. Intended DALnet server name:4
1f. Ports (ports 6667-6669, 7000, 7325, 6697[ssl] required):
1g. Server's operating system/version:
1h. Server's processor info (type/speed/cores):((AMD Opteron 4226/2700 Mhz/6 cores))
1i. Server's memory:5
1j. Is the machine dedicated to DALnet? (see guidelines):
1k. Server's geographic location (city, state/country):
1l. Maximum clients you will allow: 6
1m. Type and version of named used as a resolver:
1n. Type and version of time sync program: 7
1o. Are you or your sponsor applying or linked to any other IRC networks?
    (please list):8
1p. Is this a physical server or a virtual machine?:
    If virtual, please complete questions 1q-1v
1q. Are the CPU/RAM resources dedicated to the guest dynamically shared,
    or dedicated to the irc vm?
1r. VM Host Software & Version:
1s. VM Host hardware specifications (Total CPU/Cores/RAM):
1t. Approximate number of guests on this host infrastructure:
1u. Please describe the nature and purpose of other guests:
1v. Please list anyone with administrative access to the VM Host:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 2: Personal Information

2a. Admin's real name (Last, First):
2b. Admin's E-Mail address:
2c. Admin's nickname on DALnet:
2d. Does admin have "root" access on server:
2e. Who else has "root" access on server (Please list and explain why):
    Note: Console/admin access to a VM host counts as root access.
2f. Server owner's name (or ISP):
2g. Server owner's E-Mail address:

    It is your responsibility to provide contact phone numbers to DALnet
    officials if they are required.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 3: Host Information

3a. Where is your server hosted? (Please give the name and location of the
    ISP and/or datacenter)

3b. Please indicate your relationship to the hosting provider and whether
    your server is colocated (i.e. you are personally paying for bandwidth),
    ISP-sponsored or has some other arrangement.

3c. Please provide a brief statement of permission from someone in a
    relevant position of authority at the HOSTING SITE where your server is
    located (who is entitled by that organisation to give such permission),
    clearly stating that they know of, support and agree to your
    application.  A name and contact e-mail address should be included.

3d. Is your host/provider sponsoring any IRC servers on other networks?
    If so, please list.

3e. Does the ASN associated with your server IP belong to the sponsoring
    organization?  If not, please explain why.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 4: Routing Information

4a. Describe, in detail, your connectivity to your transit providers. You
    may also list peering arrangements. When doing so, list everyone who
    peers with you at that location, and with what amount of bandwidth. 9

4b. Please obtain from a network engineer at your sponsor10 the output of
    'show ip bgp summary' (or the vendor equivalent) for EACH router that
    is directly connected to the upstream providers listed in 4a, and
    paste here.  If this action is not possible, please explain why. 

4c. Does the ASN associated with your IP address match the name of the
    provider hosting your server (the company that provided permission in
    question 3c)?  If not, please explain.

4d. How much outgoing bandwidth (in Mbit/s) is available to the server?11

4e. What is your switch port speed?

4f. Describe, in detail, how your server will be filtered from Denial of
    Service attacks. Make sure you include the hardware type and software
    release running on the devices doing the filtering. 12

Note:  For security reasons, any information provided in 4b and 4f will be removed from your application before it is shared on the DALnet staff list.

WARNING: DALnet's Routing team will verify any information in this
application to ensure consistency and validity.  Please ensure the
information you are providing is *real* and *correct*.  Applicants that
falsify anything on their application will have their application revoked
and will be barred from ever re-applying to DALnet.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 5: Free Answer (Use as much space as needed)

5a. Please describe the ways you have been involved with DALnet, and why
    you feel your server should become part of DALnet. 13

5b. Do you have any IRC Operators in mind?  (Please list and state why you
    think they will be a good addition to the DALnet staff.  Please note
    that DALnet does not allow you to nominate an assistant administrator
    (AA) on your server application form.  The right to appoint an AA is
    subject to a separate admin CFV after you are fully linked to DALnet.)

5c. How much active time would you estimate you will be able to dedicate
    to DALnet per week?  There are approximately 112 waking hours in a
    week; be realistic. 14

5d. Please provide a brief summary of your *personal* experience in:

    1) implementing OS level configuration changes to accomodate ircd15
    2) actually compiling and running ircd16
    3) any other relevant *technical* skills that you have17

5e. What action will you take if your server's performance becomes a
    detriment to the operation of DALnet?

5f. Do you have anything you would like to add that you haven't yet been
    able to tell us?  (If so, please describe.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 6: Traceroutes

Please submit a set of traceroutes as follows:

INSTRUCTIONS:

On a Wednesday of a given week, run the traceroute script found
at http://www.dal.net/?page=routing at the following times:

  12pm EST (midday)
  10pm EST

Paste the results below.

To avoid any line break issues, please paste your entire application into
a plain text file and attach that file to the email you send to
apply@dal.net.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1. I believe as things stand I am excluded here.  I wish they were more specific though.  From the guidelines:
    h)  Out-of-pocket Servers
    
        The costs involved in hosting an IRC server are often unpredictable due
        to the cost of bandwidth and the risk of Denial of Service Attacks.  It
        is not feasible for an individual to absorb these costs.  DALnet does
        NOT accept applications for servers that are paid for out-of-pocket by
        an individual.  Servers MUST be sponsored by a hosting company or
        network operator.  If you are paying for the server you would like to
        link, you need not apply.
     []
  2. What is the standard for absorption? []
  3. AS16578 []
  4. thimbron []
  5. 31 GB []
  6.     No idea what the max my server could handle would be.  From the guidelines: Question 4b of the application form asks how much outgoing bandwidth is
        dedicated to the IRC server.  In addition, question 1k asks for the
        maximum number of clients your server will be able to hold.  The amount
        of bandwidth stated in your answer to auestion 4b must be sufficient to
        hold the number of clients stated in your answer to Question 1k. 
    
        For North-American (USA/Canada) based servers:
    
        You must be prepared and able to support a minimum of 2,500 concurrent
        user connections.  The ability to support 5,000 users is recommended.
    
        For servers located in all other areas:
    
        You must be prepared and able to support a minimum of 2,000 concurrent
        user connections.  The ability to support 5,000 users is recommended.
    
        As a rough rule, a decently sized public client IRC server will use
        about 1Mbit/sec per 1000 users (95th percentile) or 600GB/month per
        1000 users (inbound + outbound) data transfer.  For example a server
        with 5000 users will use about 5 Mbit/sec, or 3000 GigaBytes/month
        inbound + outbound total data transfer.  This is assuming normal
        operating conditions.  During synching to the network, your server
        might burst to higher usage than this.  See below for information on
        the problems of Denial of Service attacks.
     []
  7. I wonder why ntp is required? []
  8. Technically no but we will be later []
  9. Going to have to ask colo for this info []
  10. who is my sponsor supposed to be? []
  11. 1000 I think - colo claims 1 GB connection. Apparently the guidelines linked in the first paragraph indicate 10GB is required, which would require me to upgrade my plan. []
  12. I think these types of questions will make my colo nervous, good to know nonetheless []
  13. Although I have not participated on DALnet, I have participated on Freenode for quite some time. Freenode is losing it's independence by relying more and more on platforms to run its servers and is not accepting independent servers. We wish to provide a reliable platform for promoting and supporting Bitcoin []
  14. Perhaps 3 hours []
  15. I have experience building and configuring linux machines in general []
  16. I have previously built an ircd for my own private use []
  17. Computer science degree, years of experience running a colo'ed machine []