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.

Monday, June 19, 2000

… and other things

Sorry for the lack of entries recently, but the past week I've been busy with installing software, installing servers, writing documentation and other things.

A Network Black Box

Just saw a program on the Discovery Channel about black boxes on airplanes. Cool stuff, even if the re-enactments were a bit gut renching.

But I started thinking about what it would take to construct a black box for a network. With large fast drives it might be possible to record packets for a network and store them for a period of time. The airline black boxes only record the previous two hours worth of material, continuously overwriting the older material.

The largest ethernet frame is 1514 bytes, so let's round that up to 2K to make it easy to record to disk. Twenty gig drives are pretty common now and fairly cheap. Well, doing the math shows that we can record 10.5 million packets to a 20G drive (using 2K per packet).

So I checked some stats at Atlantic Internet, my current ISP. I checked the primary ethernet network interface and it's currently averaging 6400 packets a second.

The math shows I can store about 27 minutes worth of traffic per 20 gigs.

That's pretty sobering. Ouch.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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