General FYI - I modified the PHP configuration on my webserver, converting over to FPM from the old mod_php mode. This was done to address some compatibility issues, but this change itself can cause other compatibility issues. Did a spot check of the various components and things *seem* to be good, but if you notice anything broken, please let me know.
Legroom General Update
Wanted to put out a short general update. I clearly haven't been putting much time into the legroom.net website in recent years. It honestly just hasn't been enough of a priority compared to other stuff going on. Heck, it's been over a year since my last post, about a major upgrade mentioning a few remaining issues that I still need to resolve... and those issues are still unresolved. Sigh
However, while I haven't posted much to the website, I've still been tinkering around with stuff, writing new scripts and whatnot that would be of interest to at least some people out there. I'm going to make an effort over the next few days to start publishing this stuff on the site so it's publicly available. To be clear, nothing here will be earth-shattering, but it'll include a few posts, scripts, tips & tricks and whatnot that some my find useful. So, you'll see a flurry of activity while I'm working on this, and then afterward I'll try to get back into the habit of posting new stuff here to share with the world.
In the process I'll likely clean up some other content on the site. Much of the content is dated and I've left it on here solely for archival reasons, but I mean really - how useful is my Installing Gentoo Linux page originally written in 2003 for a Pentium III-based system really going to be today? I'm not sure yet what will go and what will stay, but just a heads up that changes are coming. That's it for now. If anyone's still reading this site after being idle so long, well, buckle up. Going to get (comparatively) busy soon!
Major Website Upgrade
I've recently upgraded the Legroom.net website, as the new look of the site probably gave awway.. This was a major upgrade, with some significant changes:
- I've upgraded from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8. I got most of the old content migrated over, but it's still a work in progress. Currently:
- Most visibly, I've switched to the default Drupal 8 theme, bartik. It's not ideal, but it'll take quite some time to port over my old theme, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it yet. At the very least I plan on tweaking bartik to better meet my needs, but I'm not sure how much of the old look and feel I'll be able to pull over.
- Forum content is completely missing. This appears to be due to a bug in the migration scripts. I'll see if I can write a script to cover that myself, but honestly don't know if it's going to be worth the trouble considering they've been read-only for several years now.
- Navigation/links/permissions may not be 100% correct at this point, though most things should work. I need to tweak a few things to work with the new/different permissions available in this version of Drupal.
- There are known rendering issues on several pages, especially wherever dates are shown. I haven't had time to rewrite them to use the new Drupal API yet.
- I've upgraded from PHP 5 to PHP 7. This has affected a number of support scripts on the website, but I believe the user-facing scripts should be working as expected now. Finding and fixing all issues in all scripts will likely be an ongoing process for some time.
- I've switched to Let's Encrypt for TLS certificates instead of my own LegRoom CA. This has two important implications:
- From now on, the secure (HTTPS) version of my website should be trusted by any browser.
- As a result, I'm forcing encryption on by default for all visitors.
I'll be tweaking the site much more and working out the kinks over the next few days. In the meantime you see anything obviously wrong or missing, please let me know so I can add it to the list.
I just upgraded a number of components on both my website and server, as well as made a few backend configuration changes. If you notice anything not working correctly, please let me know.
How to Install and Configure MS-DOS 6.22 (Yes, Really)
I just posted an extensive new HOWTO regarding How to Install and Configure MS-DOS 6.22. I'm sure you're probably thinking, "WTF?", and you have every right to, so let me paste a bit from the HOWTO introduction that explains why I bothered to take the time (quite a lot of time, actually) to write this up:
This walkthrough covers installing MS-DOS 6.22 from the original installation diskettes. Why write this in 2013? That's a very valid question, to which there are a few answers:
- Setting up a fully working DOS system will give you great appreciation for how far computing has come. For old-timers, it will be a walk down memory lane; for youngsters who've never used nor even seen DOS before, it should be quite an eye-opening experience to experience first hand both how primitive DOS was and yet how capable it could be.
- A working physical DOS system is the most authentic way to (re-)experience classic PC games. DOSBox does an amazing job of supporting DOS games on modern platforms, but for perfect accuracy, including the full memory management experience (which can be a game unto itself), a real DOS system can't be beat.
- There is a dearth of detailed information about MS-DOS on the internet. This makes sense as MS-DOS predates the web as we know it today, but I don't want knowledge of this system to be lost to time. I did a significant amount of research for this project, and I want to document and share what I've discovered and re-learned for future reference.
- Perhaps most importantly, why not? This project was inspired by a previous project to resurrect my old Packard Bell, my first computer that, not coincidentally, ran MS-DOS 6.2 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Rebuilding and enhancing it from a hardware perspective was a fun experience, and now I'm doing the same from a software perspective.
If you're curious, please continue reading, but take heed: geeky content ahead.
I upgraded part of my website a couple weeks ago, and made a configuration change that required updates to a number of files on the backend. I thought I had made all of the necessary changes, but I apparently missed a few. Someone just notified me of this earlier today.
If anything didn't seem to be working correctly lately (most visibly, UniExtract downloads), it should be working again now. If you notice any other issues, please let me know.
Legroom.net General Update
There hasn't been much news posted here lately, so I wanted to give everyone an update on what's going on in regards to the website and various projects hosted here.
As anyone viewing the forum or old posts has undoubtedly noticed, this site has been overrun with spam. Since moving to Drupal 6 a couple years ago, the anti-spam module I used never worked quite right, resulting in a lot of extra work on my part to keep things tidy. After a while I got tired of dealing with the spam, and have simply neglected it since then. This is not good for several reasons, not the least of which is that legitimate posts got drowned out by the noise and never received any attention.
I spent just spent a couple hours deleting all of the spam I could find, so all that should be left on this site are legitimate posts. Unfortunately, at this time I have no good way to keep it that way, which leads into my next topic...
Forum, Comments, and User Accounts
Effectively immediately, the forum and news posts have been switched to read-only mode, and the ability to create new user accounts has been disabled. The end result is that no one can post new comments or topics to either the forum or website, and no one that doesn't already have an account can (automatically) create a new one. I was hoping I'd never have to resort to this, but until I get the time to upgrade my site again and implement an entirely new anti-spam system, I simply have no other way to keep the site clean.
Continuing on the topic of users, I'm also working on cleaning up all of the accounts. Some quick math showed I have about 6500 registered accounts when I started working on this, and I can guarantee that over 6400 of those are simply for spam. As I have no great way to distinguish the difference between legitimate and non-legitimate accounts when dealing in this volume, I'm taking the following approach. Any accounts meeting the following criteria will be deleted:
- Have never logged in
- Have not logged in for more than one year
- Has a last access time within one week of their account creation
- Has a suspicious looking username
I have no doubt this will include some innocent and legitimate users in the mix, and for that I apologize. As noted above, though, I don't have a better way of dealing with all the spam right now, and drastic actions are needed to get things back in order.
If you have a legitimate need to access the site, e-mail me. I can still create accounts manually. If you want to use the forum to post a question about Universal Extractor, I recommend posting to the MSFN forum instead. A bunch of great people frequent those forums, and you're more likely to get a timely response from them then from me for the foreseeable future. For anything else, e-mail me. My address isn't that hard to find if you really need it.
This really isn't anything new, but just to formally announce it: for now, all Legroom.net software projects are on hiatus. This does not mean that I've abandoned them or no longer plan on working on them, just that I don't have the time and/or desire to do so right now. As I said, this isn't anything new - most of this site in general has been on hiatus for a couple of years, so not much will change. When I resume development, don't worry, I'll be sure to post an update. :-)
Legroom.net SSL Certificate Changes
The SSL certificates used by this website and other related Legroom.net services are expiring soon. As a result, I'm taking this opportunity to revamp the process I use for generating and managing my certificates. The end result will (at least I hope... ) be more flexible and easier to maintain system for me, with less interruptions necessary for my visitors going forward.
Unfortunately, this change also means that all existing Legroom.net certificates are no longer valid (if you received an error when viewing the page through an "https" link today, this is the reason). If you use the SSL version of this site or Legroom.net e-mail, you will need to update your copy of the Legroom.net certificate. In order to do so, please refer to the new Legroom.net SSL Certificates page I created. It's also available through a handy link in the Navigation menu on the left side of the site.
This page covers why I use self-signed certificates on this website, what that means to you, how Legroom.net certificates work, and how to install the Legroom.net CA certificate in a few common browsers and mail clients.
Please let me know if you encounter any problems.
Universal Extractor Download Links
I've just been notified that the download links for Universal Extractor have not been functional, returning a 404 Not Found. This was the result of an inappropriate and inexcusable action taken by the shitty webhost currently hosting these files. I will consequently likely be moving the files soon to another host. In the meantime, the download links are working again. If you notice any similar problems in the future, please e-mail me ASAP.