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Netwinder News

Jul 18 2005 - We're back (again) by ralphs

NetWinder.org has moved, virtually, to a new home at the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University.

Dec 22 2004 - Holiday cheer by andrewm

Ralph and I took a roadtrip to Montreal yesterday, and claimed the N.O equipment without any hassle. Now we just have to find somewhere to put it.

Dec 13 2004 - Holiday cheer by ralphs

Finally some good news: it appears that we will be getting the netwinder.org machine back! I received a message today indicating that we could come and pick up the hardware. Arrangements to do so are now being made, and we'll hopefully have the box back in the next week or two. So I guess there really is a Santa Claus :)

Sep 13 2004 - Status update by ralphs

Regrettably, much of the netwinder.org project is still offline. The main website is available, and we are able to do email forwarding for anyone who needs it. None of the user webpages are accessible though, and the FTP area can only be reached via our mirror sites. Other services such as the newsgroups, CVS and rsync access remain offline.

The machine that hosted netwinder.org is stuck in a messy legal action between our previous network sponsor and their ISP. We have contacted both parties in hopes of getting our system back, but have not had much luck- they will not even tell us how much money is involved. So we are pretty much giving up on ever seeing the hardware again. ;(

A new mailing list has been set up, with thanks to David Woodhouse who is also providing email forwarding services for the netwinder.org domain. Old subscriptions are not carried over since we do not have access to the old hardware. Please sign up for the new list!

Jul 17 2004 - Network connectivity by ralphs

The netwinder.org site has been offline for nearly two weeks, due to a billing dispute between the ISP and our sponsor. There is nothing we can do but wait, unfortunately. Andrew has kindly offered his web server to host this page temporarily, and email is being routed through a European host for some users (those who'se forwarding addresses I happened to know by heart...). If there is anyone else who is dying to receive their netwinder.org email, please send me an email and I will fix you up.

For the time being, a lot of the site is missing - FTP, CVS, the news server and the mailing lists are all still down. We regret the inconvenience and hope to have things restored to normal soon. However, we may be forced to relocate the system yet again, so downtime could be a while yet. Note that the FTP mirror sites are available for downloads.

Jan 21 2004 - No we're not spamming by ralphs

In the last week or two there has been a large jump in the number of junk emails (spam), claiming to be sent "From" netwinder.org addresses. If you receive one of these, please check the headers of the message (all those "Received" messages at the top of the mail). This will show you the IP address where the mail came from; and in all likelyhood it will not match to the actual IP address of netwinder.org (do let us know if you find a match!)

There is nothing we can do about this sort of spam... it doesn't come from our site, and we therefore can't "block" it from being sent. One thing that does help is to enable the "sender verification" feature on your mail server - this will cut down on junk mail from random addresses. (Unfortunately it won't help prevent mail from the viruses that go through your address book and mail themselves to everyone you know).

Dec 16 2003 - Firmware, disk images, mirrors by ralphs

As many of you know, we've run into some legal problems with the NetWinder firmware - as a result of which, all firmware has been removed from the site, as well as the older DM disk images which included firmware in them. We are still trying to get this matter resolved, updates will be posted as we get them.

There is a "new" disk image called "nw-9" available. This was first announced in July on the devel list. Since mid-August, the image has been running the entire netwinder.org site, and it has proven to be quite stable. Please see the release notes for download locations, known issues, etc.

Recently, Mark Lord built a "live" disk image, based on nw-9 but with lots of extra things added.

The daily file indexes have changed, to better make use of our mirror sites. Instead of linking directly to the FTP site, you will now see a dynamic page that links to each of the available mirrors. Users can click directly on the closest site to obtain the file(s).

If you have any webpages, on www.netwinder.org or elsewhere, that link directly to ftp://ftp.netwinder.org, please take a moment and change them to http://www.netwinder.org/mirror instead. It is a simple search-and-replace and will help balance bandwidth usage.

Dec 06 2003 - Kernel, rsync vulnerabilities by ralphs

Vulnerabilities have been reported in the 2.4 kernel and the rsync program. This does not affect the OfficeServer or older DM images, but users of NW-9 should take note. See the advisories for details.

Oct 28 2003 - Services restored by ralphs

Services are fully restored now. Or so we hope. If you notice anything that isn't working right, please let us know. Our UPS did not survive the recent outage, so we'll need to replace that shortly. (Nov 10th: the UPS has been replaced).

Oct 23 2003 - Site maintenance by ralphs

The power is back on, but we've taken the opportunity to do some major upgrades on the site. First and foremost, we've upgraded the hard drives so that we will no longer be out of space all the time. Secondly, we are in the process of moving everything to run on the NW9 image. This will take some time, until we restore all the services. Right now, email, web, and ftp services are available. The mailing lists and news server will be back sometime tomorrow.

Oct 22 2003 - Planned power shutdown by ralphs

We've been informed that the entire building power will be shutdown this evening (Wed Oct 22nd) beginning shortly before midnight EDT. Since I do not feel like staying up all night to babysit, we will shut down netwinder.org this evening and will power it back up early tomorrow morning (Oct 23rd).

Sep 10 2003 - Mail services by ralphs

In an effort to cut down on spam (particularly in my Inbox), the mail server software on netwinder.org has been upgraded. We are now using very strict server verification, RBL blacklists, and some content filtering (malformed MIME attachments, anything ending in .pif, etc). As a result, we are now blocking in excess of 10,000 messages per day! Hopefully, this will not affect any legitimate users - but if you are having problems sending mail to netwinder.org, please use our news server as an alternate means of contact.

Aug 17 2003 - Electricity outage by andrewm

Netwinder.org was down from Aug 14 16:18:26 EDT because of the great Blackout of 2003.  This unfortunately killed our uptime.  I'll have to manually figure out just how long it was.  So now we begin again...

Jun 18 2003 - Network outage by ralphs

Netwinder.org was unreachable as of about 16:15 EDT due to some upstream network problems. If you are reading this message then the problem has been resolved. Meantime, the autobuilder continues to churn out packages.

Mar 11 2003 - Uptime wrapped by ralphs

Netwinder.org has just surpassed what may be a record for uptime: 497 days continuous operation. This is a special point for a Linux systems because the jiffy counter wraps back to zero. So far, no adverse effects from the counter wrap have been observed. (The jiffy counter is a 32-bit quantity that increments 100 times per second; it is used to schedule much of the inner workings of the kernel).

Mar 4 2003 - Sendmail vulnerability by ralphs

A potential remote root exploit has been found in Sendmail. This is the default mail transfer agent used on the NetWinder, so all users are urged to upgrade. Please see the advisory for further details and links to the updated RPM packages.

Dec 9 2002 - New disk image project by ralphs

Work on a new DM disk image has begun. Thanks to several "donors" we now have an automatic build system in place again, and it is churning out RPMS based off of RedHat-8.0. The results aren't stable or complete enough to distribute at this time, but progress is being made. More details in the announcement that I posted to the devel mailing list/newsgroup.

Nov 16 2002 - DNS issues resolved by ralphs

I've updated the DNS records for netwinder.org since it seems our primary DNS server has been offline for some time, and the secondary recently lost its records for us. Everything should be back to normal now, apologies for any inconveniences...

Oct 22 2002 - Even more network problems by ralphs

We are experiencing very erratic network connectivity today... the problem is somewhere in the Telus network, a few hops up from us. They are aware of the problem and are working on it, no word on when it will be fixed.

Sep 26 2002 - More network problems by ralphs

The network connection has been intermittent today and the service provider has informed us they will attempt to fix and repair the problem today beginning at 17:30EDT. We could be offline or intermittent for 3 hours or more.

Jul 30 2002 - Network maintenance planned by ralphs

Our network provider is planning to do maintenance work tomorrow evening, that is July 31st beginning at 18:00EDT. It is expected to take about half an hour, if all goes well. Netwinder.org will be unreachable during this time.

Jul 25 2002 - FTP site mirrors by ralphs

Another complete mirror of the ftp.netwinder.org site has been added. As the main ftp site continues to operate under restricted bandwidth, it is highly recommended to use a mirror site for downloading. Please see the list of mirrors.

May 13 2002 - StrongARM 256MB RAM by ralphs

A special group purchase of RAM for the original StrongARM Netwinders is being organized. The price is $137 for a 256MB module, which should work in all existing units as long as they've got recent firmware on them. At least 10 pieces must be ordered, and the price will drop more if 20 are ordered. Please contact Martin Lightheart if you wish to participate, no later than May 24th, 2002. (Note: Martin is not affiliated with either Netwinder.org or NetWinder Inc. He's just looking to get a good deal for NetWinder owners.)

May 06 2002 - Network interruption by ralphs

Netwinder.org was offline for about six hours today due to an issue with our upstream provider. They claimed they were having problems with a router. Netwinder.org was humming along as usual during this time, except that nobody could reach the site. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Mar 28 2002 - M4 claims NetWinder insecure by ralphs

Some NetWinder customers have reported receiving a letter from "M4 Technologies", claiming that their NetWinder firewall is not secure. M4's claims appear to be unsubstantiated; no record of vendor disclosure of the purported vulnerabilities exists. You can read more in my personal opinion of the situation. Update: See also the article in the Ottawa Business Journal.

Mar 04 2002 - netwinder.net returns by ralphs

Looks like netwinder.net has been quietly brought back online by the new NetWinder Inc. company. Phone numbers and email addresses are posted on the site. Also, the full set of plugins for ARM and Crusoe is present. The auto-update server doesn't seem to be present yet (no DNS anyways).

I should point out that netwinder.org remains an independant site, with no connection to the new company other than our mutual interest in the NetWinder device. We'll keep you posted via the newsgroups on any developments between us and the new company!

Feb 27 2002 - Slashdotted!!!! by ralphs

Well this is a good test of the old StrongARM netwinder... we're getting bombarded with http requests after a story got posted on Slashdot. Temporarily I've taken the FAQ offline because it generates way too much load...

1:18pm up 119 days, 20:18, 1 user, load average: 124.91, 102.34, 101.20

Update: Well, one day later, we have served 53,000 hits to almost 8,000 distinct IPs... pretty impressive! We also found that there is a memory leak in python, well at least the version on our site ;) The load is back to normal so the FAQ is now back online. You might need to Shift-reload this page to get the updated link.

Feb 25 2002 - New NetWinder company by ralphs

An article appeared today in the Ottawa Business Journal, talking about the new NetWinder company. Update: Another story has appeared in the National Post.

Feb 04 2002 - FTP site mirrors by ralphs

Several FTP site mirrors are now operational, and at least one more is on the way. The mirror sites have much better bandwidth than netwinder.org itself, so please get your files from a mirror site. Especially those large DM disk images.

Jan 29 2002 - Rumour mill by ralphs

We now have it on prety good authority that the NetWinder line has been bought and that a new company is being formed to continue the product. There have been a few interesting facts revealed on the newsgoups lately, though we've yet to hear any official word to confirm them. It seems that the main focus will be on the 3100 series (Crusoe-based).

Nov 16 2001 - News server by ralphs

If you are having trouble with the news server, complaining about missing articles and such, then try deleting the news server and adding it again. It seems that certain newsreaders (Netscape 4.7 for example) have trouble when articles dissapear off the server prematurely...

Oct 30 2001 - Power bump by ralphs

We had a brief power outage - only got notified at the last minute, there was no time to send out any warning. Everything came back up fine.

Oct 19 2001 - Various issues by ralphs

The mailing lists now appear to be working properly (for a while, the server was not sending out subscription confirmations or autoreplies). If you previously tried to subscribe and got no reply, then please try again now. We're starting to see some activity again.

The FAQ has been updated. It still needs more work, but hopefully all the ancient information and broken links are now gone. Let me know if you find anything still wrong.

We had to impose some bandwidth limits on the site. This will affect FTP in particular. Our current network provider is being gracious by hosting us, so long as we keep it to a "dull roar". Hence the limits. We're looking to setup some FTP mirror sites to help with this.

Oct 10 2001 - Back in business by ralphs

We're back! The transition to our new location took a little longer than we had hoped, but we've taken the opportunity to perform some much needed maintenance. We're now running with the latest stable kernel, mail/news/ftp servers, and a whole lot more. See below for more details.

The NetWinder.org team would like to thank the many individuals who offered to help us out with equipment and/or bandwidth. We hope that the site will continue on as it has in the past, and if anything that we will develop even more of a "community" feeling.

Sep 27 2001 - Site changes by ralphs

The netwinder.org services are now split across two external IP addresses. If you previously used simply "netwinder.org" to reach our site, you'll need to add a prefix of www, ftp, news, or cvs (eg. www.netwinder.org). The same thing also applies to any hyperlinks you might have on web pages.

We have installed GNU Mailman to manage the mailing lists, and to ensure gatewaying between the lists and the newsgroups. While we still prefer that you use the news server, the option to receive your "netwinder news" by email is now available. Mailman also provides web-accessible archives of the mailing lists.

All web content on www.netwinder.org is now accessible over a secure connection. Simply use "https:" instead of "http:" to access the site securely. The first time you do this, you'll need to accept the 128-bit certificate for our site. This certificate is not signed since that costs money. Some browsers will inform you of this fact. Rest assured that the data you transmit is encrypted and cannot be observed by others.

We no longer have the NetApp that used to hold much of the FTP site. Disk space is now much more limited, so we ask everybody to do their part to clean up old files. We will also be making an effort to get rid of duplicate RPM packages that exist on the FTP site.

For previous articles, please click here.