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Node.js - First Impressions

I've spent some of my personal time over this past week looking into Node.js. I'll be up-front in stating that my efforts have not been particularly broad, but I have gone reasonably deep into the parts that I looked at.

I've been building evented systems for more than a decade, mostly in the "C" language, so Node is particularly interesting to me; it blends an evented I/O model with the Javascript language in such a way that it doesn't feel like a continual struggle.

To get a feel for Node, I decided to look at what it would take to get some kind of mtrack implementation running on Node; don't get too excited, I didn't finish anything worthy of public scrutiny.

For the purposes of the experiment I selected Riak for the data storage solution; it has a compelling mixture of document storage, full-text searching, secondary indices and map-reduce facilities.

Two Factor SSH on Joyent SmartMachines

After reading this scary blog entry about domain hijacking I've been a bit concerned about brute forcing of credentials and have been turning on the two-factor authentication facilities that folks like Google provide for my gmail and personal domains.

I've just found out about Duo Security, a service that allows you to add two-factor authentication to your SSH server, Juniper VPN and even Wordpress blogs. Their service is free for up to 10 users and they start charging when you pass that threshold.

Read on to find out how to set it up.

Scriptable Debugger

Adam Leventhal mentioned on twitter that he'd found my umem slab allocator port on macports. I commented that he might miss some of the umem debugging features that are available on its native Solaris platform in mdb, and we dreamed briefly of a portable version of mdb.

This weekend I took a peek at the mdb sources (via the Illumos Gate) to see how hard this might be. As it happens, this isn't the first time I've looked at porting mdb, so I was bit better prepared to go snooping around in there.