Currently, the only way to achieve automatic, reliable configuration of Linux machines for BU networks and services is BU Linux. While BU Linux is effective in this sense, it has shortcomings, mainly that it is CentOS-based (which some people don’t like), and that it requires installing a completely new operating system, instead of just being able to install the config on top of an existing setup. To address these concerns, I propose an alternate system, tentatively entitled “debDog”, which is a collection of debian packages that install and/or configure essential software for use on the Boston University network. It is modular, allows for deeper customization, and is installable on top of an existing debian-based distro.
Let’s get this out of the way right here: the inspiration for this project is MIT’s Project Debathena (http://debathena.mit.edu). While using debathena on the MIT campus, I was amazed at how easy it was to install, configure, and use. If you poke around their site, you’ll notice that their system was so solid that MIT IS&T started using it on all the public clusters.
But I digress. The packages are currently using CDBS (Common Debian Build System) along with Config-Package-Dev (MIT-developed system for using divert commands to install configs on a machine).
The Packages Have a Home
Current packages live in http://www.github.com/broglek. Using git is easy…github has directions if you’re not familiar (you’re also welcome to email Kyle).
When we have a set of packages that we have tested individually, it will be time to test them as a group. For this, I can use my PPA on Launchpad.
Also, the BU Linux Users Group expressed interest in hosting a PPA for us to use for this when we go into more of an open beta/release mode. (They’re pretty awesome).
List of Packages Written (Ready for testing)
adds all myprint printers to the machine to facilitate easy printing.
modifies krb5.conf so that you can pull tickets from the bu kerberos realm.
configures afs to allow access to BU afs cell(s), allowing you to run site-licensed software, among other things.
List of Packages Currently Being Worked On (help welcome)
On the technical side of things a Tesla coil is a pair of resonant RC circuits that operate at voltages high enough to create arcs. The idea is that there are two coils of wire called the primary and the secondary that act as inductors for their respective circuits. A large toroid acts as the capacitor for the secondary circuit as well as a site for the arcs to discharge. A large bank of capacitors connects to the primary coil forming the primary circuit. The primary and secondary circuits are designed so that they have the same resonance frequency and will transfer power between one and the other.
Construct a small working Tesla coil
Experiment with attaching a keyboard to Tesla coil
Build a large scale Tesla coil to amaze friends and crush enemies
There’s a lot of online documentation about how to put one together a coil. One site is linked below and it walks through design specs using a sensible progression from a desired arc length. Using this site I’ve done a few calculations for a coil designed around a 6 diameter secondary coil.
Most of the materials can be found easily on McMaster Carr, but the one thing thats holding up calculations is acquiring a high voltage transformer either from a microwave or a neon sign. Otherwise, major materials as follows: