Linux technical pleasures

Tonight, Zanchey and I had planned to attend a seminar put on by PLUG about GNU Arch. We had intended to arrive at the Central TAFE meeting location on time. But you know what they say about best laid plans...

Enough of the drama - suffice to say that the seminar was moved to a Kebab shop in Northbridge. So, we finally managed to find our way there, find a car park, and began chatting with the 5 or 6 other Linux geeksguys there. (For some strange reason, David didn't wear a BSD shirt... I can only assume it was dying at the time...)

It was interesting having a chat to some of the members about all sorts of varied "geeky" topics, such as faking the moon landing, programming Amigas in Pascal to talk to Apple modems, and amateur radio. About 9, David and I are wondering when the seminar on GNU Arch is to begin, when we find that it has actually been cancelled, and this is just a social gathering. Not to worry, it's been interesting anyway.

Next disappointment of the evening is getting to the bus depot to find that, oh snap, bus left at 9:15, rather than 9:30 as I had thought. Guess what - last bus is at 11:15 - make yourself comfortable.

One of the things that has interested Simon and myself when getting the bus, are those pie Internet Kiosks that you see quite often in public places. Coincidentally, there are at least two at the bus depot. I've got two hours to kill... Let's have a play.

So I sit down at the terminal, and start to have a look. Expecting some sort of NT4 (or at the very least, Windows based), I instantly recognize it's X11. xpdf and gnumetric sitting down in the task bar confirm it. Awesome.

After about an hour, I can confirm that the box was running what looks to be a modified Mandrake Linux 8.2 system, with the X session running inside of a chroot jail. I'll be preparing a detailed posting at a later date (ie. when it isn't 12:48am) covering all the details I found.

I will say quickly though that I was quite impressed by the security of the systems, considering the usual quality of "secure" public terminals. Although there are some fairly large security holes (:cough: xpdf), without a way to break out of the jail, they are pretty useless. I was not actually able to gain shell access to the box at any time.

I told you I was hard(corE)...