Today, despite having the entire day off, was incredibly unproductive for me. I must admit I didn’t write so much as a single line of code. The day’s one saving grace is that I did finally decide on a use for an original era xbox that I converted into a PC a little while back. A process that, I cannot lie, was almost disappointingly easy. What was even more disappointing however was how hard it was to come up with what to do with it once I had it all set up.
Finally after weeks of having the damn thing sit under my TV, inspiration struck when my wife and her band mates ran into a little trouble with the service they usually use to transfers files back and forth between one another. I decided, for some unknown reason, that a device manufactured somewhere around 2002 for the sole purpose of playing video games could do a better job.
For the sake of this blog I wish I could try to tell you it was in some way incredibly difficult or helped make me a geekier person but the whole process went pretty smoothly. The xbox was already running Debian (Sarge to be exact) which is a distro I have a fair amount of experience with anyway. For the most part the process involved typing apt-get install proftpd and editing a .conf file. The only particularly interesting part was that I wanted to have the service available over both the internet and my local network due to Canadian internet service provider’s insistence on bandwidth caps. The fact that you have to masquerade the internal IP as your external IP to allow external users to get a directory listing creates the reverse issue for local users.
The strange thing is that after getting it sorted out I now wish I had done something completely different. After spending a few moments with my old friend Google I have learned that there was in fact a FreeBSD port released for use on the original xbox. Now I wish I had’ve waited before informing my wife and her band mates of their new personal FTP server. As those who read my post BSD and Maybe A Little M know, I have been meaning to try FreeBSD out. I’m sure I could have set the same thing up using the port. I could probably have set it up for SSH as well and learned a little something new about BSD every day!
Missed opportunity I suppose. I mean, who knows, if my FTP server goes down for even an evening some asshole might replace it with some kind of jury rigged set-up made out of a Commodore 64 and a rotary dial telephone or something.