it could be called work obscure pursuits

experiments in IPv6

I have been hearing that a new version of the TCP/IP addressing system is “imminent” since 1994. 18 years later, I have been moved to look into it, to see what it offers or requires. I found more requirements than benefits, some of which are noted below.

The argument is the old addressing scheme doesn’t have enough addresses to go around and it’s design subdivides it inefficiently. There are probably other more technical arguments but those are the reasons more often cites in favor of migrating to it: more address space, less waste. From Wikipedia:

In IPv4 an address consists of 32 bits which limits the address space to 4294967296 (232) possible unique addresses.

You’d think 4 billion addresses would be enough. Maybe so but then some people have been (mis)quoted as claiming the global market for computers was less than 10 or that no one would need a computer in their home. They could not have imagined either the network of today or the devices people use to access it.

IPv6 expands the pool a bit:

Mathematically, the new address space provides the potential for a maximum of 2128, or about 3.403×1038 unique addresses.

I self-host a couple of domains, complete with internet-connected email and web service so this may not apply to a lot of people.

The first thing I needed was access to the IPv6 internet. This doesn’t mean a new ISP so much as either having one that supports it already or using a tunnel service that encapsulates IPv6 packets in innocuous IPv4 packets, allowing them to be unpacked upon receipt. I have CenturyLink (née Qwest) and they don’t do IPv6 yet. So I went with Hurricane Electric and now have free access to services on IPv6. The folks at Hurricane have been doing this for quite some time and have probably answered your questions already. And there is an active forum community as well.

A handful of large public sites offer their content to both varieties —,,, to name a couple. Lots of resources in the free/open source software world, as well. Microsoft requires it to be installed in some of its server products, even if you have no plans to use it.

So that’s all good. The equipment here all understands IPv6, from iMacs and MacBooks to a FreeBSD server and a Time Capsule used as a network interface to the ISP we use. So I set up the Time Capsule with the options I got from Hurricane Electric: you’ll need to use an older version of Airport Utility, as of this writing, since 6.0 doesn’t allow access to the IPv6 settings. Their setup page has the options you need for each dialog field:

In your network settings (here’s the Preference Pane in OS X Lion), turn on IPv6 and let it work it’s magic with auto discovery/autoconfig:
Apply those changes and you should be good to go.

To test it, use the Terminal/console app of your choice:

# ping6
PING6(56=40+8+8 bytes) 2001:470:b:839:230:1bff:feaf:42c8 -->; 2001:4860:8005::69
16 bytes from 2001:4860:8005::69, icmp_seq=0 hlim=55 time=88.143 ms
16 bytes from 2001:4860:8005::69, icmp_seq=1 hlim=55 time=84.827 ms
^C?--- ping6 statistics ---
2 packets transmitted, 2 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/std-dev = 84.827/86.485/88.143/1.658 ms

So you can now ride out on IPv6. Check out the sites listed up top and see if they work. Or try .
But what if you want to host services for an IPv6-enabled public? That’s a little trickier, with some previously undocumented gotchas.

obscure pursuits observations

free music? free as in speech, that is

Picture 9.png

[From Apple – QuickTime – Macworld 2009 Keynote]


books obscure pursuits

what will the chickenhawks say about this?

What gives you the right to f*** with our lives: VII:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Ronald L. Paulsen, 53, of Vancouver, Wash., died on Oct. 17 in Tarmiya, Iraq, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Paulsen was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 414th Civil Affairs Battalion, Utica, N.Y.

53 years old. This isn’t some kid who couldn’t make up his mind what to do with himself. Not that I think anyone should over there dying to defend the delusions of Dear Leader, but for some kid, drunk on entitlement, to cheer for a war he won’t fight is sad. To be willing to have someone his father’s age die in his place is pathetic.

obscure pursuits


The update to 10.4.6 may not have gone as badly as I thought. There are rumors that permissions cleanup tasks make the install take longer. To my mind it was just hung. Got to a message about IPv6 and then just stopped.

So I reverted back to 10.4 and ran the massive updaters overnight. After a slow login this morning, all seems well, though for reasons I can’t make out, I got no email. I usually have 20-30 pieces in the inbox and a bunch more filtered out. Only the filtered email was delivered.

Boy howdy, does it use some memory: after a fresh reboot this AM, it still needed a Gb of swap space to buttress the 640Mb onboard.

white:~ paul$ du -hc /var/vm/
1.0G    /var/vm/
1.0G    total

Knowing what I know now, I would have waited or skipped this upgrade.