I’m generally satisfied with MacOS X – it’s software so it sucks, but for my purposes it generally sucks less than most anything else.
One area which I’ve recently discovered that greatly displeases me is the fact that it’s pretty crap at doing NTP. My G5 at work had its clock skewed by something like 4 minutes – “oh noes!” one might say, but the fact is that accurate time is important to sysadmin stuff, *and I have it configured to sync time*.
I discovered that it would adjust time ok once I opened date and time settings, but that’s a crap way to sync one’s time. Turns out that it writes a crap ntp.conf, so it can’t really help it, and apparently it’ll clobber changes you make too, if you’re not careful.
Herewith some bookmarks to help me on my crusade for better time in OS X: tells us about their configs, and offer a few hints for making life better for most too.
The NTP folks themselves are at least peripherally aware of troubles in Apple-land too.
I will post further if and when I solve this issue. I’m just happy that I don’t run any OS X Server machines, since I really wonder if they do the same thing.

SuSE redux

Apparently that was the first OpenSuSE 10.1 in my previous post. I reinstalled the machine with the “remastered” ISO and it was much happier to allow me to update.
I wonder why Novell called it “remastered” instead of 10.1.1 or something. The release so nice they named it twice? Historical revisionism? Curious what software vendors do.
Oh well, I’m sure there’s equally stupid error messages in even the remastered release.

SuSE updating

More stupid error messages.
I set up a spanking new OpenSuSE 10.1 box. Being security-minded, I wanted to check for updates. I clicked the system update icon in yast and told it to configure now – seems reasonable.
Here’s what I got (link is to 1280×1024 original):

I’d clicked “Next” in configuration, then got the message box entitled “Error”, so I clicked Details. Nice.
The little “notification area” icon that later appeared (no idea what KDE calls that area) let me set up our local mirror as a source for updates, which is good, but refused to let me actually apply any of them – kept erroring out with vague messages.
Needless to say, my system is not updated and I am not impressed. Maybe it’s a pilot error on the latter, but the former I didn’t do anything but click.

Windows TS using TLS/SSL

I’m not much of a Windows user myself, “but some of my best friends are”. has an article on using TLS/SSL encrypted RDP sessions. Not useful for people connecting workstation to workstation, but potentially useful for Windows users connecting to a Server TS session.
I Am Not At All A Windows Guy, but the advice looks good and relatively straightforward to follow.

Jarnal: note taking

Something that’s been kicking around occupying space in one of my secondary inboxes, but I write about here in order to get it out there: Jarnal, a Java application for taking notes and such, intended mostly for tablets it looks like, but it works with mice and such as well. It likes PDFs. One of the profs here uses it and likes it, so I figured it was worth taking note of.