Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Random vs. Urandom

“You keep using that word. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”
I’ve been told for most of my professional life that /dev/random was “better” than /dev/urandom, that one was inherently more secure and sophisticated than the other. I bought it, because it made sense based upon the little I know about cryptography. And there’s the rub. Most of us aren’t experts in the field. This cool little article delves into some good explanations of what is meant by “random” and why it matters. It may turn some of your preciously-held notions upside down, but that’s okay. The day we stop learning is the day we start dying.
Be seeing you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Load Average: those funny little numbers

I was going to write a little article on interpreting the load average in UNIX and Linux machines, but I ran across this blog post and don’t think I could have said it better. Really, check it out.
When I’m logged into a graphical session on my FreeBSD system I use conky to monitor hardware utilization and performance (and the local weather and unread messages in my GMail inbox, etc.) But normally I work from the command line with ssh and tmux, so I have created an alias that I load in my login profile to let me get at the load average in a quick-and-easy fashion:
alias loadavg='sysctl vm.loadavg | cut -d" " -f3,4,5'
Now I just run loadavg any time I want to see how my cpu cores are doing.
Be seeing you.