Search Results: "Benjamin Seidenberg"

7 February 2007

Clint Adams: Statement from the fambly of the nut

[astronut arrested] The family of Benjamin Seidenberg released this statement today: The family will not be granting interviews at this time, but does want to issue the following statement in response to numerous media requests. We are naturally saddened and extremely concerned about the serious allegations being made against Benjamin. We love it very much, and right now, our primary focus is on its health and well-being. Benjamin is a very intelligent, accomplished individual. As an honorary pamp-commando of the International Bacalao Organization (IBO) and dubbed the Lauren Jarrett of the Cornell Orthodox Union Dining Society, it has resisted the evil temptation of search engines for over 18 years with a mildly-blemished record. Benjamin attained the rank of Golancipel, and sailed as a Hackergotchi Specialist aboard the Good Ship Lollipop in August 2003. Personally, Benjamin is an extremely caring and dedicated sibling and loinfruit to its brother and parents, respectively, although we amended our life insurance policies to remove him as a beneficiary last week. Considering both its personal and academic life, these alleged events are completely out of character and have come as a tremendous shock to our family. We are anxious to allow the facts to develop so that we can better understand what happened, and why. We hope that the public will keep an open mind about what the facts will eventually show and that the legal system will be allowed to run its course. Finally, we are very grateful for the expressions of love and support that we have received from family and friends, and we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for our family.

5 February 2007

Benjamin Seidenberg: 10011

I’m 19 today. However, this comes with no new privileges or abilities. 2 more years until I can drink, 6 more until I can rent a car, etc. Still, it’s been a good birthday so far.

12 January 2007

Benjamin Seidenberg: Second Life

Recently, I’ve been playing a bit of Second Life (Wikipedia has a good page on it here). This is not so much a MMORPG as a virtual world, a metaverse if you will. There is no set of goals or levels in second life like a game. Second Life allows you to interact with other players (Residents) and to build and create anything you can imagine (skill permitting). I started playing Second Life with a very close friend, and the two of do most things in the game together. I find that it’s a lot more fun to experience everything together and we find the game to be a great way to interact with each other. I’d post a picture, but she’d kill me since she’s dramatically changed her appearance since I took it.
Second Life just recently open sourced their client, and has pledged to eventually opening the entire platform. When I get around to it, I want to take a look at packaging it for Debian, unless someone beats me too it. However, the build process is a bit daunting, and there is apparently a performance gap between their build and the open source build due to libraries they can’t distribute.

Benjamin Seidenberg: I m off to Scotland!

Dear Benjamin E. Seidenberg, Thank you for booking your travel on Your flight purchase is confirmed. Your eTicket Itinerary and Receipt will be sent separately.
Travel Summary
Confirmation Number: XXXXXX
CO334 - Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU) to New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty) on
Fri., Jun. 15, 2007
CO108 - New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty) to Edinburgh, Scotland (EDI) on
Fri., Jun. 15, 2007
CO109 - Edinburgh, Scotland (EDI) to New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty) on
Sun., Jun. 24, 2007
CO445 - New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty) to Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU) on
Sun., Jun. 24, 2007 Anyone else on this flight? For those of you who don’t know, this is for DebConf7, the Debian Developer’s Conference in Edinburgh this summer.

21 November 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: How to set up an encrypted filesystem in several easy steps

Introduction: This guide will walk you through the creation of an encrypted filesystem using LUKS. LUKS is the Linux Unified Key Setup and is a standard format for linux hard disk encryption. It has a lot of interesting features such as using a key on a removable disk, keeping multiple keys, and more. This is the technology used by the Debian Installer (since etch beta3) and is quickly becoming a standard in the linux world. Who this guide is for: This guide is for anyone who wants to secure their data using an encrypted partition. While it is tailored to users of Debian, it should apply elsewhere in the linux world. This guide is intended to add an encrypted device to an existing install, if you are contemplating a fresh install, the Debian Installer will configure encrypted filesystems for you. Ready? Then let’s begin Prepare the partition (or other block device) to be used This can be a partition on disk, a logical volume in LVM or some other block device. For this example, I created a 40 GB volume in LVM. Install cryptsetup This utility provides an interface into the code in the linux kernel that handles encrypted block devices. It’s packaged for Debian in both testing and unstable, stable has an older version and I don’t know whether or not it will work in the same manner.
apt-get install cryptsetup Set up encryption on the partition: This initializes the partition for encryption and sets the initial key. People not using LVM will want a path like /dev/hdxY where hdxY is the partition on their hard drive that will be used for encryption. Important! This command will wipe out anything on that partition
cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/mapper/asimov--vol-crypto_test
This will overwrite data on /dev/mapper/asimov–vol-crypto_test irrevocably. Are you sure? (Type uppercase yes): YES
Enter LUKS passphrase:
Verify passphrase:
Command successful.
Congratulation! You now have an encrypted block device! However, it’s not quite ready to use. Open and map the device: This opens the device (prompting for a passphrase) and maps it to a block device in /dev/mapper. This can be used like any other block device, and the encryption/decryption is transparent. The first path (/dev/mapper/asimov–vol-crypto_test) is the encrypted partition you set up earlier. The name (crypto_test) is the name of the volume, the block device will be mapped as /dev/mapper/<name>.
cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/mapper/asimov--vol-crypto_test crypto_test
Enter LUKS passphrase:
key slot 0 unlocked.
Command successful.
Create the filesystem of your choice on the device: This is just like setting up any other block device. I use ext3, others may prefer different formats.
mkfs.ext3 /dev/mapper/crypto-test Add the definition to /etc/crypttab: /etc/crypttab is a list of encrypted devices that are mapped on boot. The format is <map name> <path to device> <key file> <options> Since we’re using a passphrase, we don’t have a key file.
crypto_test /dev/mapper/asimov--vol-crypto_test none luks Create a mount point: This is where the encrypted device will be mounted on your filesystem.
mkdir /mnt/crypto_test Add the device to /etc/fstab: /etc/fstab tells the computer where to mount different devices on the filesystem. The format is
<source path> <mount path> <type of filesystem> <options> <mount options options> <dump frequency> <fsck pass> More information can be found by reading man 5 fstab. You will want to add a line like this: /dev/mapper/crypto_test /mnt/crypto_test ext3 defaults 0 2 somewhere in this file. Update the initial ramdisk. The initial ramdisk is used to jumpstart the boot process and load modules for the kernel that it can’t load itself (such as drivers for block devices that contain the modules it uses). I’m not sure if this is needed or not, but I wanted to be on the safe side.
update-initramfs -u -k all Congratulations Now your encrypted filesystem is completely set up! Reboot the system and you will see it prompt you for your passphrase during the boot cycle. Once the password has entered, the encryption is completely transparent. If you want to use your encrypted filesystem before rebooting, simply type mount /path/to/mountpoint.

17 October 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: New Debian maintainer Benjamin Seidenberg

Dear Benjamin Seidenberg! Your account ‘benjamin’ has just been created in the central LDAP database of the Debian project. Please note that it needs a bit of time until this information is synced with all developer-accessible machines. You should be able to login or upload packages after about 30-60 minutes. The password for this account can be found appended to this message, encrypted with your GPG key. Email sent to will be forwarded to, to change this visit
This has definately made my day. I would like to thank my sponsor and advocate, Anibal Monsalve Salazar, the Debian Cyrus Team (especially Sven and Henrique) and especially my AM, Cl ment Stenac (Zorglub). I couldn’t have asked for a better AM; he answered every mail within a day as far as I remember, was extremely supportive and helpful. I remember when I sent him the last T&S response he appologized on IRC that he couldn’t write the recommendation until that evening, whereas some AMs have taken months to do it.
For those interested in the NM queue’s proccessing time, here is an approximate summery of my progress through NM:
Waiting for advocate: 2.5 weeks (This should have been shorter, I had my advocate lined up, but then there was a question about me signing the key of the guy who signed mine, but I hadn t checked his ID).
Waiting for AM: 6 months
Going through the checks: 2.5 months. (This would have been shorter had it not been right around the end of my senior year of high school, with the mad rush to cram everything in before exams)
Waiting for FD: 1.5 Months
Waiting for DAM: 1.5 Months
Waiting for account creation after DAM approval: 2 months.

15 October 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: RC Bugs and how to not handle a transition

Thjis: This is the right time to automatically search for RC bugs. So was a year ago. Although we want the RC bug count to drop, an RC bug is still an RC bug regardless of whether we know about it or not. And many RC bugs didn’t exist a year ago. Take for example #392121. A package name change in a build-dependency caused my package to FTBFS. This bug would not have existed a year ago, but needed to get fixed for etch. Incidentally, when you go through a package rename for a development package, it would be nice to check what packages build-depend on the old package. A september changelog entry for cli-common says:
- Removed transition dependency for cli-common on cli-common-dev. (7 month for a package rename transition should be more than enough)
However, at no point in that seven months did anyone email me or file a bug report to tell me that the name changed. This bug wasn’t caught until someone rebuilding the archive noticed.
Actually, this might be a good idea for an infrastructural change. Would it be possible to set up a script that notices when packages are removed and sends a notice to the maintainers of any packages build depending on them?

16 September 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: The Debian Community

One thing that has always appealed to me about Debian is the strength of the community behind it. A somewhat recent incident has reminded me of how strong this community really is. When several members of the Debian community became concerned about a situation in the life of another member, they immediately tried to contact that member, and that member’s friends and family to insure that person would be ok. Phone calls were made halfway across the world in the middle of the night (in various timezones) to insure the well-being of a member of our community. It is a strong reminder that even though the Debian community may have vigorous arguements about technical and social issues, we still take care of our own.

15 August 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: All packed

[This is the first post in the new “Cornell” Category]
Well, my room looks quite empty and the van is quite full. We weren’t sure if all the stuff we were planning on taking was going to fit, but it did. Now, the question is will it fit in the 10×10 dorm room that is typical of the building I’m in. We’ll soon find out. We are driving up to Ithaca Thursday, and I move in Friday. Now that it’s getting close, I am starting to get more and more excited.
If anyone recently out of college, or still in it (Ari, joshk, and others) wants to offer any advice for a rising freshman, feel free to leave a comment. In other news (those of you who were helping me in #d-d already know), my server was out of commision for a few days. Grub and lilo both refused to boot off the 200 hard drive that I had moved my data to using a live system, and sarge D-I saw it as the wrong size, and did not see the partitions (perhaps why grub and lilo both failed). This was apparently a kernel issue, and so I installed using the etch beta3 netinst. G-I was working fine, but after partitioning got in a loop where it would drop to console and complain about some fatal error then go back to graphics again (somewhere around setting time zone) so I eventually used the old text system, which worked flawlessly. The only thing that I found I forgot to backup was my wordpress theme directory, so not only do I have to find my theme again (whose name I forget), I have to modify it, since I had customized the CSS. Pity.
The last bit of this post is a thank you to Joerg for approving my NM application. Now all that’s left is for elmo to proccess his backlog.

4 August 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: Happy (NM) Anniversary to Me!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my application to become a Debian Developer. Here is an approximate break down of my time in the NM Queue: Waiting for advocate: 2.5 weeks (This should have been shorter, I had my advocate lined up, but then there was a question about me signing the key of the guy who signed mine, but I hadn’t checked his ID). Waiting for AM: 6 months Going through the checks: 2.5 months. (This would have been shorter had it not been right around the end of school, with the mad rush to cram everything in before exams)
Waiting for FD: 1.5 Months Waiting for DAM: almost 7 weeks so far… Total: 1 year and counting…

26 July 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: Quoted in the paper

One of my former teachers told a reporter from the local paper that I had just gotten back from Israel and he called me to set up an interview to get my views on the recent conflict. I met with him monday, and the story is now in print. I haven’t seen where in the physical paper it is, but it’s position on the webpage suggests it’s a front-page story. It’s available online here: The Pilot: War Zone: Local Residents Flee Mideast.

25 July 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: New Box

So I’m planning a new box for college, and have come up with a tentative parts list. I am soliciting any advice and comments that people would be willing to offer. CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Dual Core Processor - Retail
$169 (This was $289 2 days ago when I was pricing it - sweet) Motherboard: ASUS A8N5X Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
$84.99 RAM: CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory - Retail
$207.00 Video: eVGA 256-P2-N553-AX Geforce 7600GT CO 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
$169.99 (Before $30 mail-in rebate) Hard Drives: I was originally planning on doing 3 Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (, $82.99) in a RAID-5 (software) configuration but there is currently a sale on the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM ( for $99.99 and I might just order three today. Enclosure/Power: Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 ATX 12V V2.0 for AMD & Intel systems Power Supply - Retail
$104.99 (But that’s a one-day sale price, I think it’s like $109.99 normally, though this is the 2nd day in a row it’s had a one-day sale. Both before $15 mail-in rebate). Optical Drive: Reusing my Sony DVD Burner from my current box. Not including shipping or rebates, the total price comes out as: $1035.94 Advice, comments, etc. are most definitely welcome as I don’t follow the hardware market.

24 July 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: I m ba-ack!

So I realized that I haven’t made a post since I get home from Israel. I want to reassure my faithful readers (all one of you) that I am back safe and sound in the country, and had a wonderful time. Pictures from my trip are available at . Be warned that they are quite high-res and load slowly. Please do not kill my DSL. Thank you.

25 June 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: Coffee is for wimps

It’s 3:51 in the morning and I am already awake and showered. In about 30 minutes or so, I leave for the airport, for a flight to NY, where I will meet my tour group and fly to Israel. Back in 3 weeks. Email me if you need me, I’ll respond if I have a chance. I will hopefully put pictures up at during the trip, but no promises.

11 June 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: Done! Pt. 2 - Graduation Pictures

(This is a followup to Done!) My graduation pictures are available here.

10 June 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: Done!

I’m done! Today was the commencement ceremony at Pinecrest. I am now a high school graduate, ready to take the world by the horns but responsibly, or something like that (our principal isn’t the best with words). The ceremony was all right - short with no keynote speaker. I think I missed Salutatorian by a few hundreths of a point, but that’s ok, Kala’s speech was excellent. It was really annoying when students’ parents would start yelling out when their name was called. The recessional worked MUCH better this year than last though. Afterwards, I went back to homeroom to get my diploma (pretty nice, will post picture later) and final report card (not so pretty). No transcripts because the state’s student managment system screwed up GPAs and ranks, I’ll get it later. All in all, not a bad end for 13 years. I’m glad to get the hell out of Moore County Schools and Pinecrest, hopefully Cornell will be much saner.

5 June 2006

MJ Ray: Annoying blog comment misfeatures: anti-spam: How not to do it (2)

Benjamin Seidenberg's Blog: New Anti-Spam Measures uses a simple maths test, which should work, but it produced a rambling SQL error for me. I emailed it as requested and got an error back saying Command died with status 1: "/usr/share/doc/spamassassin/examples/" That may block all spam, but also blocks other mail, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. [links in permalink version]

3 June 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: New Anti-Spam Measures

(Sorry Robert, this is a meta-blog-post. Perhaps I should create a catagory for them?) Since being syndicated on Planet Debian, the amount of comment spam I’ve gotten has risen sharply. No spam has made it onto th site itself, since I moderate the first comment someone makes, but the emails have gotten annoying. Therefore, I put a turing test into place. Blind users will be happy to hear it’s not a CAPTCHA, instead it’s one more field to fill out that asks a very basic math question to prevent spambots from commenting. Users who registered back when I required it won’t even get the field, isn’t that nice?
To the readers of Planet Debian who are probably asking “Why Do I Care?”: If you don’t mind, try out the system to make sure it works. I figure the readership of that site will have a fairly diverse set of browsers and maybe even a few using accessibility ehancements that can confirm that the system has no problems. If you encounter any problems, email me at or ping me on IRC (astronut on both freenode and oftc).

Benjamin Seidenberg: Another Scholarship and Graduation Honors

At the Senior Awards Ceremony, I found out that I was awarded the 1st place ($1000) scholarship by the PTSA. Then later, I found out my parents had known for 3 weeks. It’s the first time my dad has kept a secret that long. In related news, I’m still ticked about the honors thing. The local paper’s article about the issue sucks, but a paper from a neighboring county has a great article here. In short, to make everyone more equal, the school is prohibiting the wearing of honor cords and medals and such that signify participation/success in various activities and programs. I intend to wear both my AP Scholar of Distinction and IB Diploma Canidate medals when I walk across.

1 June 2006

Benjamin Seidenberg: Scotland, Inc.

So, for English, I had to do a 30 hour project to learn a new skill. So, not realizing it was as easy as learning to play golf or sewing a dress or something similar, I set out to rewrite Shakespeare. Specifically, I rewrote Macbeth in a modern setting. The (comical? good? you decide) result is available here.