Monday, November 30, 2009

New Deadwood snapshot

In today's Deadwood snapshot, I have updated the Windows reference documentation to have all post-2.3 Deadwood parameters documented.

I have also updated the documentation available on Deadwood's web page.

MaraDNS wish list status

Here is the status of various wish list items people have requested that MaraDNS have over the years:
  • IPv6 (DONE, except for Deadwood's recursion)
  • Multiple views -- DNS answers vary depending on the IP sending the request (won't do)
  • SQL support (won't do)
  • Include other files in mararc (done in Deadwood, won't do in MaraDNS)
  • DNSSEC (won't do)
  • Ability to dynamically load zone files (won't do)
  • DNS curve (won't do)
  • BIND zone file support (mostly done; will finish up)
Note that won't do means I won't implement the feature in question without being paid.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I've been making some stuff for C-evo

I've been spending my geek time these last two weeks or so making some stuff for C-evo. Namely:
  • I have taken a tech chart someone else made and compressed it to be only a little over 100k in size
  • I have written some programs that slightly modify the gameplay: The final year, the technology advancement rate, the city growth rate, and the map sizes can now be adjusted.
  • I have written an over-6000-word HOWTO that describes C-Evo's basics; it is geared for someone who has never play a Civilization game before
The files I have made can be looked at here:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Desert Island update

Earlier this month, I updated my Desert Island disk and changed a few files. Notably:
  • Instead of Doom, we now have six tiny video games: C-evo, David Teach’s Ginny Rummy, a tiny under 400k version of Zillions of Games (only Chess and a couple of variants, no music, no sounds), Cultivation, and two of Andy Noble’s games (Tetris, Manic Miner)
  • I have added a lot of pictures, most notably a nice desktop background picture I took nearly two decades ago and more family pictures
  • I’ve added the text of a 1979 computer article talking about computers in the home
  • Various other minor updates, most notably progress on making sure we correctly use “LORD” or “The LORD” in the Old Testament of my modified World English Bible
  • I no longer have a guide for reading playing cards; this is something I no longer do
  • MSYS update to 1.0.11; 7zip updated to 4.65
  • Spanish accents for a US keyboard added

Invasion of the spammers

A lot of spammers have been trying to put spam in blog comments here. Since I moderate all comments posted here with some strict guidelines (no spammers, no flamers, no completely off-topic posts, no support requests) none of these posts were made visible, but still it's annoying to have seven posts to moderate and have them all be spam.

A lot of spam blogs use CSS to hide the button to report the blog; to report a spam Blogger blog, go to this link (or this link) to report the offending URL.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deadwood handling problematic upstream DNS servers

Well, after upgrading to Deadwood 2.4.08 on my system, I was getting a lot more “We could not find the server you looked for” error messages in my browsers. The problem is that the particular upstream servers I use are buggy and send out bad DNS packets which confuse my browsers.

Deadwood has had in place the ability to filter and remove packets like this, which I set up to be disabled in Deadwood 2.4.08 because sometimes filtering causes these packets causes issues (read this thread for the gory details); however with the particular upstream servers I use, setting it to 0 is better.

So, if you use Deadwood and are having problems with your browser or what not reporting it can’t find sites at times, add the following line to your dwood2rc file:

deliver_all = 0

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Deadwood 2.4.08 released; MaraDNS snapshot update

Since I have delayed, for the time being, my work finishing up the recursive version of Deadwood and releasing MaraDNS 2.0, I am declaring Deadwood 2.4 stable and making it the new stable version of Deadwood.

Deadwood 2.4 has a number of features Deadwood 2.3 doesn't have, most notably RR rotation, TTL aging, and dictionary support for upstream_servers--you can have one upstream DNS servers to recursively resolve "" for you and another, that redirects phishing domains, resolve "" or "" for you.

I have just released Deadwood 2.4.08 today. Compared to Deadwood 2.3, Deadwood 2.4 has:
  • TCP and UDP done by the same service/process
  • upstream_servers now a full "dictionary" variable
  • Full DNS compression and decompression support
  • RR rotation and TTL aging
  • ip_blacklist support (if you have an annoying ISP DNS server that redirects mistyped domains to some ad-filled page, just put the IPs of that annoying page on your ip_blacklist and Deadwood will make it a DNS "not there" reply again)
  • execfile support (Deadwood can now include other files while parsing its configuration file)
  • Merging multiple identical in-flight queries (if you just asked for, and ask for it again, instead of creating a new query for, it will just merge your query with the one already sent)
It can be downloaded here:

I have also updated the MaraDNS snapshot release to have the download page point to the new 2.4 stable release of Deadwood.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deadwood snapshot update

I have updated DwMararc.c to correctly report an incomplete last line as such, instead of giving a vague parse error. I've also updated INSTALL.txt to make it clear you need to enter the "src/" directory to compile Deadwood in Windows.

It can be downloaded here:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

MaraDNS snapshot update

Last Friday, I updated the MaraDNS FAQ to correctly answer the question about NS delegations, and added a question and answer about with guidelines on using MaraDNS for phishing protection.

I finally announce it today. It's here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

C-Evo 1.1.1 on one floppy

In my last blog entry, I noted a number of games that fit in under 7 megabytes. One of the games, C-Evo, I noted fitted in about 2.5 megabytes.

Actually, it fits on a single 1.44 meg floppy. Two if you want sound. What I have done is take the C-Evo installed files, remove the AI development kit (this is only useful if you're both a Delphi developer and have interest in developing an AI for C-Evo), and split off the sound. I then made two files; the core C-Evo game that is perfectly playable, albeit without sound, which compresses in to a 1,384,627 byte 7-zip file, and a file with all of the sounds for C-Evo, which compresses in to a 924,045 byte file.

If you need 7-zip to decompress C-Evo 1.1.1, that will also easily fit on a single floppy. Who needs CD-ROM drives anyway?

Speaking of floppies, the last version of Slackware that could be entirely installed from floppy was Slackware 3.4 from 1998; the last version of Slackware that could have the base system and networking utilities installed from floppy (installing the rest over the network) was Slackware 7.1 from 2002. A base Slackware 2.1 system (1994) fit on four floppies; the entire system only used 70 floppies. Yes, I remember, back in 1995, giving my roommate an entire floppy tray filled with 70 floppies so he could install Slackware on his computer. The base system for Slackware 7.1 needed 16 floppies; at that point it no longer made sense to use floppies any more.

Recently, an artist made artwork showing you would need hundreds of floppies to fit a modern Photoshop install. But, good software doesn't need that bloat. C-Evo shows that a compelling and addicting game can nicely fit on a single floppy; MaraDNS can also easily fit on a single floppy, complete with source code.

Zillions of Games can also easily fit on a single floppy; I have a version thats 400k in size that supports Chess and a couple of Chess variants (notably Capablanca chess). The majority of the space in the 20 meg install file for Zillions is for all of the graphics for all of the abstract games supported by Zillions.

Some other games that easily fit on a single floppy: Cultivation, Andy Noble's remakes of classic games

For people who want to look at the files showing C-Evo 1.1.1 on a floppy, go here: