.@ Tony Finch – blog

This is the seventh AfNOG. The workshop side of it - a week of intensive teaching - seems to have grown out of the INET workshops that started back in the 1990s. It’s also associated with the “network startup resource center” which grew from Randy Bush’s efforts to get the Internet going in the third world. The funding is interesting: it comes from a variety of international development quangos, with a substantial chunk from the US NSF - ostensibly so that US scientists have better infrastructure to support their research abroad. A surprisingly large number of the protagonists work at the University of Oregon Computing Center.

The network held up relatively well, though when the ISP realised how much we were using it, the “nominal” 512kb/s link became strictly 512k, and the queueing delays rose into the seonds. I have also had some irritating problems with the wireless support on this laptop - possibly dodgy drivers in the slightly dodgy FreeBSD-5.3.

My Exim bit seemed to go quite well. We got through the material somewhat faster than I expected, based on what Philip Hazel told me, and the students mostly made swift work of the exercises. There were some good questions about how to deal with spam and viruses, and about how to put together larger email systems. I talked about the current “new” Hermes architecture, and my fellow instructor, Joel Jaeggli from the University of Oregon, talked about their email architecture, which is similar to the old Hermes system.

By the end of it I was pretty zonked, and my throat was slightly sore. I clearly need to learn how to project my voice properly…

I’m leaving tomorrow night, but AfNOG will continue with some half-day tutorials followed by a conference.