The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, February 29, 2000

Life in Unixland

ytalk doesn't work on linus (my home system). Nor does talk. Strange, I have it enabled, but it just isn't working and it seems to be horribly damaged.

This is Unix. So what else is new?

Seriously. There are at least two different talk protocols, neither one documented (unless you count source code to be usuable documentation, much like uuencode when you get down to it) and both incompatible with each other. Which is why ytalk is nice—it preportedly talks both so it doesn't matter.

Only it's not working.

Over the years I've found it harder and harder to find working implementations of *talk on any system but I did have a working version I could use to talk to a few friends with before the install of RedHat 5.2 on linus (it was running RedHat 5.0 before).

Now it's general braindamage all over the place.

In trying to debug the problem, I found that /etc/inetd.conf had a bogus entry for dtalk (whatever that is) so I commented it out. Still didn't work. Uncomment telnet on the advice of Mark to see if inetd is okay.

telnet isn't working. What the … ? I try killing off inetd and restarting it. Same deal.

Is it possible for a newer release to exhibit so much lossage? That isn't a Microsoft product?

Try re-enabling FTP. Same lossage.

Turns out I had neglected to install TCP-wrappers. Nice that the RedHat install program neglected to make a dependancy on that. But it includes Perl. Goes out of its way to include Perl.

Such is life in Unixland.

I should note that I get easily upset when stuff that should work doesn't. Computers don't have to be this difficult. There shouldn't be this much lossage and braindeath in dealing with computers. But I suspect that most programmers can't cope with such ideas. Programmers give programming a bad name.

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