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Ten Years of Silverfir.net

More than ten years ago, I registered the silverfir.net domain name. From its humble beginnings as debian server at my parents house, to several stints at various friends’ houses, to the multi-state distributed network it is now (WA, CA, VA), it has served me and my friends well — and will continue to, long into the future.

In this time, silverfir has been the home of my blog and many friends’ blogs and personal website projects. Its various servers have served as file servers, a development platforms, web hosts, and learning devices. It has been hacked once, but there wasn’t much interesting to see, I’m glad to say.

From the whois records:

Domain Name: SILVERFIR.NET
Created On: 20-Mar-2003 00:01:37 UTC
Last Updated On: 25-Dec-2011 01:27:54 UTC
Expiration Date: 19-Mar-2015 23:01:37 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar: Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC / No-IP.com
Registrant Name: McElroy, Ryan

Four Years at Facebook

Today marks the completion of my 4th year of employment at Facebook. From eager anticipation and the first week, though my graduation from bootcamp and my first faceversary, to two years of management experience and now a chance to go back to engineering, it has truly been a roller-coaster ride in every sense of the metaphor — fears and thrills, ups and downs, highs and lows.

I celebrated the day by helping my Ultimate Frisbee team, the Feral Cowsbreak seed, even if only for a day. I think tomorrow will  be a somewhat less restrained celebration.

Though I don’t know what the future holds, for now I’m sticking with Facebook. To many more highs and not too many lows!

Conurr: It’s alive!

Today, I played a game on Concurr for the first time in a long time.

I have learned so much through this process, and there’s still a lot more to build, but it’s good to have the basics back in place.

Stuff that works really well:

  • Chat
  • Move submission and cancellation
  • Clicking on map
  • Manual Tics

Short-term TODO list:

  • Lots of bugfixes
  • Get countdown clock setup again
  • Spawn tic daemon from main

Medium-term goals include:

  • Generalize the chat server long polling to send any type of game update
  • Following from above, more client-side rendering in general
  • Don’t assign home planets until game starts (instead of game join)
  • Stabilize colors by game join order (or selection process?)
  • List players in the game

Long-term goals:

  • Chat in lobby
  • Change all planets to have orbits instead of the current fixed map setup
  • Game fast-forward (if all players agree)
  • Game ending win condition

Given the limitations noted above, is anyone interested in a game? Let me know and we can set something up.

Free Alex Rodriguez

We really need to get over ourselves and this stupid war on performance-enhancing drugs.

Harbinger

I lay on the cot staring up at the sickly pallor of the light-pollution hanging over Palo Alto. Off to my right, movement catches my eye. A rat is running along the telephone wire. That’s all that’s up at this hour: the rats and me. One the harbinger of disease, the other the diseased.

Reload screen config without restarting screen

This is one of the more useful linux-fu bits I’ve come across recently.

Arcanius Upgrades

I’m having trouble sleeping, and the server behind some of the websites I administer went down a few days ago, so I’ve been on an upgrade tear. I just moved this blog from the industrious-but-odd win7/vmware/ubuntu hybrid minimus to a amazon micro instance (free for a year!), presumably virtualized under something like Xen.

All the sites that I’ve moved to this EC2 instance are noticably faster, and Checksum Arcanius is no exception: page generation times seem to be about 10x faster (based on WordPress’s self-reported times at the bottom of the page), and the page load just feels much faster overall.

This is my first foray back into AWS since I played around with it during my Amazon internship in 2008. The experience has been incredibly positive. Amazon deserves tons of credit for what they’ve done with AWS.