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, July 18, 2006

Snippits from Lost Wages

Still have yet to get the write up started, so yet another snippit from notes I took:

Road [US-93 in Nevada —Editor] actually has more
traffic than I expected.

Stuck in traffic just outside
Alamo—doing a slow 30mph
A wide load spanning both
lanes is slowing us down

Bumper to bumper traffic
outside Alamo—400 population.
Rush hour 8:30am

Alamo has a motel
with showers and telephone.

Notes from page 36 of “Viva Lost Wages” notebook

Yup, we hit rush hour traffic in a town of 400 along US-93 with only two towns between Las Vegas and the turn to Rachel.

[Even out here there's traffic!]

Rush hour traffic just outside Alamo, Nevada

But once we hit the Extraterrestrial Highway the traffic cleared up and it was smooth sailing to Rachel, Nevada.

[Yup, the road just kind of vanishes like that]

The road to nowhere Rachel, Nevada.

Along the way, we passed one of the access roads to the mysterious Area 51, which in this case, is a one lane dirt road heading off into nowhere (in the photo below, it's the white line on the right side of the picture).

[Abandon all hope, ye who enter here]

Area 51 is just beyond the mountains in the distance, at the end of the dirt road.

We nearly missed Rachel as it's a small cluster of trailers on the south side of State 375 (aka “The Extraterrestrial Highway”) with only three permanent buildings, one being the Little A'Le'Inn, one being the gas station/super market (who's proprietor drives into Las Vegas each week and buys supplies from Wal★Mart) and the third being a thrift store/community center.

[Earthlings welcome]

The infamous Little A'Le'Inn.

[The vast supermarket in Rachel]

The Gas Station/Supermarket

[Dig the old style gas pump, back when gas was below $1/gallon]

The old style gas pump. So old it doesn't have display dollars, hence the handwritten “2.” Gas was $2.89/gallon (this was last year—it's probably higher this year).

For me, this was probably the highlight of the trip, even though we only spent about an hour, hour and a half in Rachel. The next time I'm in Nevada, I would definitely like to spend more time out here.

Wil “Not William Shatner” Wheaton

[Take two. First time through, the keyboard got stuck in uppercase that some how survived a reboot. It took a powercycle to get the keyboard unstuck. Go figure. —Editor]

It's funny.

Wil Wheaton is currently in Las Vegas, one year after I was there. Hoade and I had just missed World Series of Poker when we went, which probably explains this entry on page 22 of the “Viva Lost Wages” notebook: “I don't think we'll be running into Wil Wheaton anytime soon.” It would have been quite funny to go up to him and mistake him for William XXXXXXX Shatner.

Postfix, Dovecot and Ravencore! Oh my!

I think I've finally calmed down.

Rough day at “The Office” (even if it was from home). SMTP authentication problems, control panels and horrible documentation.

Let's see … can't uninstall the control panel probably because I modified it so that it would actually work with the Apache installation, which means I couldn't reinstall it with the updated versions of Postfix and Dovecot since the system installed versions do not support SMTP authentication (with Postfix providing the SMTP part, and Dovecot providing the authentication portion). Finally had to upgrade to the latest version, uninstall that, upgrade Postfix and Dovecot, reinstall Ravencore and still have it fail (although I figured out the immensely bizarre method Ravencore uses to store the Postfix configuaration file, and the cached copy of the Dovecot configuration file so at least using Ravencore won't break SMTP authentication).

Then there was getting Dovecot to authenticate not against /etc/passwd but another password file. Turns out you need to specify the file twice under different options:

auth default {
  passdb passwd-file {
	args = /etc/dovecot-passwd

  userdb passwd-file {
	args = /etc/dovecot-passwd

Yeah, I don't understand it either.

Postfix wasn't a problem—good documentation there. The only problem with it was Ravencore overwriting the configuration file with its own copy without the proper SMTP authentication settings. It was just a matter of tetting the proper settings into the bizarre format Ravencore uses to store the Postfix configuration (each line gets its own file—sigh).

Hours! (You paying attention, Smirk? Hours!)

Update on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Smirk just called to remind me that I was the one that picked Ravencore. So there you have it.

Obligatory Picture

[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

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:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

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.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2024 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.