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vtools worklog

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
This is my vtools worklog.

Consider this more or less an extension of the original idea and worklog thread at 




 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
disabled the SSH port forward - the machine was getting totally overwhelmed by SSH authentication requests. I will probably attempt to reinstate the forward later but with an alternate port.

SSH might, with this information, live behind a PPTP VPN.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
General "vtools connectivity" update. I called my ISP to try to fix an error from earlier this year.

The TL;DR is that I used to have 40/20 service from my local telco. I called to ask about getting on a newer and cheaper price plan, confirmed no fewer than three times that I'd still have 40/20, and lo and behold, I ended up with 40/2 and it cost more.

Called yesterday and got a bit of a retentions type of discount applied, we'll see if that worked, but I'm still stuck at 40/2 for the time being.

My address qualifies for 140/20, but it would be a fairly big price bump and it needs a tech visit to install a new modem (really, to wire the jack for bonding, but whatever.) I'm not going to try to force (or allow at all) a tech visit at the moment, for obvious reasons. TO make it worse, they'll probably charge me for the modem, and they'll definitely charge $130 for the tech visit regardless.

So, things are stuck for now. I don't know what it's like using vtools from off-site but it's probably worse now than it was, say, in January, because of the 40/2 issue and because my housemate and I are now both working from home doing frequent voip and multiparty video conferencing.

There's an in-between option of 60/5 - it was 60/20 a few months ago, and it was 60/30 back when the tier first got introduced in like 2015/6 or so, but whatever. (In the olden days, there was an 80/40 tier as well but it seems like that's right out of the question.)

Part of why I've got the Patreon is for vtools to help ya its way. What I really intended to do with that money was to buy disks for it but if it comes down to it and the pandemic's off later this year, part of the patreon money will end up going to Internet costs.

As ever, still haven't managed to get RDNS set up for email.

 

Unknown_K

Well-known member
Are those DSL speeds then? 

I have cable and its $70ish for 100/20 and the cable modem and wired/wireless router are part of the deal. I think they also have a faster option but never seen a reason to get it.

Don't think I have ever been charged for a service call in 20 years.

 
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Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Yes. VDSL2. In general if you're about as close as I am, you can get 60/30 on a single line, or 140/20  (used to be 100/12 or 80/40) on a pair bond, which is where they split your connectivity between two lines and the DSL modem muxes them back together.

When I first started back in 2015, 40/20 was more usefully fast for me (running servers, 20 megabits upload) than business class cable, and at around $175/month was way cheaper than business class cable, which was around $350/mo back then, for 50/8 (the max speed, very low speeds were still available here then.)

I almost live close enough to just string an SFP fiber out the back of my house and plug that into one of the switch ports on the DSLAMs they use, but they might not like that and almost certainly wouldn't be set up, billing codes wise, to sell me anything over that connection anyway, but, I can dream I suppose.

My cable company does offer up to about a gigabit download speed on the consumer side of the house, and it's pretty cheap, but it's probably not meaningfully better on the upload side, plus I'd need to figure out the logistics of getting static IPs and port 25 open, or figure out where to re-house my services.

For greater context, I have a /29 network (5 usable public IPs, plus a gateway which in my setup also has stuff behind it) and I host email and some web sites, I'm holding onto one of the IPs for use as an Oshaberi node, I previously ran a fediverse mastodon instance, and of course vtools gets its own IP because I'm ultimately going to be using it for email as well. Right now, the gateway and my sharepoint server currently have their own separate IPs.

I'm going to get a reverse proxy set up to unify modern web services under a single IP (same as the current gateway stuff) so the ultimate plan is to really be using 3 of them, but having them here is easier than doing other VPNs.

In terms of the tech visit: I actually have a bundle that has bundled wire maintenance. Annoyingly, getting bonded installed as a new customer involves a $0 tech installation. The main reason it's mandatory is to get the two pairs set up. I was tempted to see if they'd have someone bring the service to the demarc and do the inside wiring work myself, or just leave the modem plugged into the box outside the house for a few months, to avoid both having to move all the stuff in front of the phone jack and have someone enter the house, but it's easier just to defer upgrading until later.

Anyway, I might look at some point into other ways of getting a static IPs. In theory I could get away with two, and if vtools didn't need to host email service then I could do the whole thing on one IP, minus a possible oshaberi node. (At which point I can use some nicer and simpler router stuff too.) That would only really save me a couple bucks though, I think CenturyLink charges like $10 for one IP vs $20 for five.

Anyway2, the other thing is that business doesn't have a transfer quota, which you need to pay your way out of on the cableco too, so even if I did restructure my service entirely, there's a possibility I'd stay with the phone company for the aesthetics of it, even though in reality there's no major difference between them.

Tangentially to all this, for new accounts on the simplified plan (no IPs, no phone) you can get 140/20 for like $65/mo right now, so my pricing is entirely because I insist on keeping the IPs and because nobody has asked whether or not I actually need a phone line. (I don't think you can get the cheap prepaid internet plan with statics, so it's out of the question unless I were to decide against hosting anything public at home.)

tl;dr - yes I have DSL from the local ILEC. It was (by over 2x) a much better price when I started and had better upload speed, for this kind of set of capabilities.

 
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Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Called my ISP and I have a ticket in to set the reverse DNS for vtools, so I can enable email.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Rebooted "old" vtools after 48 days up.

Found a 4TB Seagate GoFlex Desk disk and did some write tests with my '11 mini and it seems to be in working order. I'm going to attach it to "v2ls" (the 10.4 server testing machine) and see about moving the common shares (newpublic, sw-classic, sw-osx) to it, to both reduce iops contention between individual users and shared data users (read as: "coryw" and "everyone else") and to make space, because data01, the current data volume (still workshopping disk naming ideas, tbh) is nowhere near full, but I'm setting up a second data volume (currently "3000 mybook") where the incoming big software dump from the internet archive will go.

The idea is to have that as a source and have people copy or move stuff into the sorted destinations as they have time, or as demand for specific things opens up.

We're getting to the point where there's probably enough patreon money to buy another disk or at least buy a disk box, so I might hold off and wait and go in that direction, just to avoid spending a "bunch" (10TB WD MyBook on sale at the moment at best buy for $210) of money on something that I won't use long-term.

The other thing it occurs to me is that I'll probably go ahead and buy a superduper license for vtools, since that'll let me do scheduled backups of the boot and data volumes either locally or over the network to DMG files.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
A couple weeks ago I called CenturyLink to get RDNS set up and I never heard from them about it, but, they must have done it because today I enabled mail on vtools, and for my account on it and I've been able to send and receive a couple messages.

Modern clients are weird about it, and I haven't found out about  requiring authentication on SMTP yet, so it's sort of in a bad place at the moment, but it is working!

Mostly this is to confirm all the DNS stuff is in order, which, so far it mostly is!

That said - ping me if you'd like mail enabled for your account!

(this is all on the old ASIP6 vtools.)

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Just set up an admin email account, so you can also email me admin@vtools.68kmla.org for admin requests.

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Had a hilarious moment. I had done something as an experimental configuration and managed to completely fill the mail database. ASIP falls over and corrupts all the mail stored on it if you meet the 2GB mail database size limit, and, well, that happened.

I wasn't fetching mail, so, if you sent something to admin@vtools.68kmla.org, it's been lost, my apologies. Please re-send. (vtools has a relatively low overall admin request volume so I'm kind of expecting that this didn't actually happen but I'm also being abundantly cautious here.)

 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
I took down the "test" vtools (the one whose AFP address is fd.stenoweb.net) which I don't think many people were using. If you were, let me know, I'll pull your data off or turn it back on so you can move stuff to "old" vtools.

I want to reformat it with some newer lessons learned about mac os x 10.4 and then test out enabling the mail service and see what options are available.

My hope is that I can enable basic authentication on mail sending. I don't know what the oldest clients that support it are, but I do know outlook express 4 does. This way, mail can be turned on.

I need a new security gateway and perhaps a couple add-ons before I unleash vtools email service to the world. There's some stuff I want to look into as well, like, 10.4 server has a webmail webapp built in but I don't really know if it's worth running, especially since it's likely compromisable.

Another thing that I might ultimately look into is enabling the PPTP VPN service, which, IDK where this got discussed, but PPTP doesn't have great encryption but it does have really good backward compatibility. I've seen clients for as old as 7.5.3 on '030s with 12 megs of RAM.

I'll post another note when I have the test vtools back up and then another when I'm ready to clear it. I'll probably check space usage on home directories too just to make sure nothing gets lost.

I did at some point figure out how to open the mini so I'll open mine, dust it out a bit and I've got a fresh hard disk to use as a new boot volume that I'll put in. It's a 2TB SMR disk and I suspect 10.4 will be "fine" with this, most of the actual data is going onto externals anyway, but we'll see.

 
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