Currently - Custom built i386 computer running
Solaris 10 10/08FreeBSD V8.0 connected to the Internet via a static IP and DSL connection in Windham, ME. Server contains the following components Foxconn A7VMX-K motherboard AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) (2) 320GB WD SATA hard drives setup as mirrors running ZFS 20x SATA DVD+-R drive Super generic case, power supply, etc
In a former life -
Sun Ultrasparc 10, 440MHz, 1024MB RAM, (2) 80GB IDE HDs setup as mirrors running Solaris 10 connected to the Internet via a DSL connection in Portland, Maine, USA.
The hostname is josie, but this computer is also known as www.phlexi.com & www.stmental.net
Why Oracle Sucks:
I've run Solaris on my personal internet/home server for close to 10 years, going through several iterations of Sparc and UltraSparc hardware and corresponding versions of Solaris, eventually switching over to Solaris x86 a year ago. It was great. I thoroughly enjoyed running Solaris and the free support and security patches I could get. However that all changed when Oracle bought Sun earlier this year and stopped providing security patches to users without a service contract. However the real death knell for Solaris was when Oracle decided to drop support for OpenSolaris, which effectively killed the project. Thanks to Oracle's idiotic decisions to try to squeeze money out of their Sun acquisitions, I can no longer promote Solaris as an operating system to use, particularly not for home/personal use.
Upon deciding to switch the server OS, I had to find an adequate replacement. I ended up deciding on FreeBSD. OpenBSD and Linux were also contenders, but FreeBSDs support for ZFS and it's record for server performance won me over. I've still got much to learn about the admin differences, but so far I'm very pleased with FreeBSD and wholly endorse it for any server OS.
What to find on this computer:
Security Enhancements -
SSH: Secure Shell (v. 2.x), a replacement for rlogin that provides encrypted communication. An excellent ssh program for Windows is Putty. Alternatively, try this local Java SSH client Secure Apache (https) in addition to regular mode. We haven't paid Verisign or any of those other corporations for a "authenticated" SSL certificate, so ignore any warnings you see about the certificate, we signed it oursevles! ;-) VSFTPD - an open-source highly configurable ftp server with a focus on security. It supports TLS and SSL encryption and authentication. (Core FTP LE is a nice free windoze FTP client with support for TLS and SSL) Other various things I haven't gotten around to mentioning...
Other things (not on josie, but just cool stuff)
SAL: Scientific Applications on Linux. Very cool site for scientific/engineering apps and great for finding libraries/languages/etc.
SDL Programming: Want to write a game for Linux? The SDL library is great for this sort of project. This is what I'm using on my Project Piedmont game that I'm slowly working on. (ok, it's been on haitus for 4 years...)
Router on a disk: Want to set up an old computer as a router or for sharing one connection among many computers (IPmasq)? Check this out, it's everything you'll need and fits on one disk. Boot directly from the disk, hard drive not required!
VNC: Virtual Network Computing. It's kinda like an X-server, but not quite. This client/server set of programs allow you to run your X desktop from any networked computer (even from a web browser). Kinda handy.
Perl: Who doesn't love Perl, eh? This is great for writing little cgi scripts, like for getting a daily Paulism.
Leftover Linux Stuff:
Free S/WAN: An implementation of IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) for Linux and Unix. Provides encryption for IP traffics and allows easy implementation for VPNs.
Replay Associates: Your onestop for security programs for Linux/Unix. Red Hat didn't include most security related programs in Red Hat 6.0 (way to go US gov't!), but this site has everything you'd every want for securing Linux.
Generating an SSL Certificate with Apache+mod_ssl
Useful Solaris Administration Info: This is some info we've learned along the way on administering Solaris.