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JACK has joined GEIN in the Deathrow Cluster
Sun. Nov 17th, 2013

The AlphaServer DS10L GEIN has been joined by an HP Integrity rx2600 Itanium server known as JACK, and the cluster has been upgraded to OpenVMS V8.4; to the current version. Usernames and passwords are the same on both, NEWUSER sign-up works on both, and your login directory and files are available on both servers, though JACK is much faster than GEIN. For additional details, please see topic 177.* in the Notes conference GENERAL.

Deathrow moves to the Quadrant Information Security offices!
Sat. Jun 15th, 2013

GEIN & the Deathrow cluster has a new home at the Quadrant Information Security [https://quadrantsec.com] offices! It is our hope that this will make the systems a lot more stable and we can further re-grow the cluster again. For more information about the move and it's progress, follow @dabeave666 on Twitter, or stayed tuned via NOTES or the #vms channel on irc.2600.net.

Deathrow helps with Defcon 20 CTF quals.
Wed. Jun 6th, 2012
The cluster, unwittingly, became a part of this years Defcon 20 pre- qualifications. It ends up that one of the CTF challenges was to reverse engineer a OpenVMS Alpha binary. With over 200 teams competing from all over the world, this lead to many teams using the Deathrow cluster to execute/reverse engineer the Alpha binary. We thought that this was a great usage of resources of the cluster and a lot of fun! The competition was great to see and the fact that it didn't degenerate into DoS/DDoS attacks was even better. We'd also like to thank several people/teams that donated to the cluster! Thank you!

Update: Thanks to donation from the various Defcon pre-qualification teams, we now have a new UPS. Thanks again!

Deathrow slowing coming back online.
Tue. May 3rd, 2011
The cluster is slowly coming back online. At this time, only GEIN:: is online. Many services are not operational but we are in the processes for restoring them. I'll be sure and post more information here and in the cluster NOTES as we go along. During ths transition, there maybe unexpected service outages.

Deathrow online IRC chat system repaired.
Thur. Oct 21st, 2010
The Deathrow online IRC chat has been down for a bit. I managed to get that back online. This is basically a web based IRC client that'll connect you to our 'chat' channel (#vms). You can find it at the top, in the menu bar under 'Deathrow Chat'. If you click that, you'll be joined to irc.2600.net #vms. If you'd rather use your own IRC client, simply point it to us.

Deathrow cluster outage
Wed. Feb 17th, 2010
Due to several factors, the Deathrow cluster was down for a bit this month. I appologize for the outage. I was out of the country (U.S.A) at the time, which made it very difficult for me to work on the issues involved. The good news is the cluster is back online. DAHMER is still having some slight issues, which I'm addressing.

Da Beave (Deathrow founder/admin) & JFalcon on KGNU Radio tonight!
Saturday Jul 11th, 2009
Da Beave ( Telephreak founder / Deathrow admin ), JFalcon (Telephreak Fame/Alaskan Hacker), Notkevin (2600 "Off the hook" radio fame) and, and Nick Farr (Hackers on a Plane/Hackers Spaces fame) will be on KGNU (Denver) tonight @ 9:30 PM Mountain/11:30 PM Eastern. Discussions will include Hackerspaces/Hackers on a plane, Defcon talks (JFalcon/Da Beave) and the social eng. contest @ Defcon sponsored by Telephreak! For KGNU information, check out the KGNU website: http://www.kgnu.org.

DAHMER:: Online, MANSON:: repaired!
Tuesday Mar 8th, 2009
Recently we where having issues with SCSI errors on the Deathrow node MANSON::. This was causing stablity problems with MANSON::. This has been repaired (was a bad SCSI drive). MANSON:: seems to be stable now (knock on wood). Keep in mind MANSON:: is the slowest node in the cluster, but is a true VAX.

We've also been getting a lot more users and heavier load on the cluster. To help out, Telephreak.org has donated a SIMH node. This node is known as DAHMER:: . DAHMER is being run off a dual Xeon 3.06 Ghz machine and has 256 meg's of RAM allocated. I/O is being served off U320 SCSI. It should be a fast node, so consider using either GEIN:: and DAHMER:: for normal day to day use.

Couple of small fixes, here and there.....
Tuesday Jan 24th, 2009
Noticed a couple of things broken around here. First off, people couldn't send outbound e-mail via the web mail interface (see Webmail at the top). That has been corrected. It also appeared that the "Deathrow Chat" (at the top again) was broken. That has been fixed. In other news, I've allocated a dual-core 3ghz machine to run as a SIMH box. That'll hopefully be online soon. It'll be the replacement node named "DAHMER" (The old DAHMER suffered hardware failure and was a DEC Alpha). More news about that later.

"Hacking OpenVMS" at DEFCON this year....
Thursday May 29th, 2008
This years DEFCON will feature a talk about "Hacking OpenVMS". It should be interesting! Here's the information from the DEFCON web site.

"OpenVMS is considered a highly secure and reliable operating system relied upon by large enterprises around the globe such as Stock Exchanges, Governments and Infrastructure for critical operations. Our talk will focus on subverting the security of the OpenVMS operating system in a number of new and creative ways. There will be an initial brief introduction to the OS basics, security model and its core features. We will also talk about things we perceive as flaws in the security model and weaknesses in the security features provided by OpenVMS. There will also be a practical demonstration of the 0day vulnerabilities found, ranging from logical to memory corruption bugs, along with discussion on how these were found and exploited and obstacles encountered in the process."

UPDATE: Aug. 18th, 2008 - Audio/Presentation information/Exploit video is avaliable at http://deathrow.vistech.net/DEFCON16!

Deathrow dies, moves, then lives again!
Tuesday July 17th, 2007
As you may or may not have noticed, the Deathrow cluster has been down for sometime. Due to bad timing and hardware failure, the cluster was down much longer than expected. First off, we had a another CPU fan failure on GEIN::. Typically, I'd just drive the 2 hours and replace the CPU fan and drive back (the cluster is about 160 miles away from my home). However, we where also in the process of moving the Vistech, Inc. data center to North Carolina! So, rather than drive 160 miles, fix the CPU fan, drive back home (total: 320 miles), drive back again a few days later (another 160 miles) and then to North Carolina (several hundred miles) I postponed fixing the CPU fan. Of course, the data center move was postponed a week. This led to more down time! Long story short, the Deathrow cluster has been moved to North Carolina and the CPU fan has been replaced. Fixing GEIN::'s CPU fan took some "creative engineering" I won't go into, but it appears to be stable (knock on wood!). If you have any questions about all these dang problems, post it in the NOTES system.

Getting the most out of OpenVMS 8.3
Friday Mar 16th, 2007
This week I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Guy Peleg on how to get the most out of OpenVMS, with detailed tips and tricks for tuning your system and applications. Guy, formerly with OpenVMS Engineering is now with BRUDEN OSSG (OnShore Sourcing Group). I've been given permission to share the Powerpoint presentations, plus a little "bonus" from Kevin FitzPatrick at BRUDEN.
V8.3 New Features
Performance Cookbook
Porting Real Applications
Bonus: BRUDEN Solves World Hunger

Saturday Mar 3rd, 2007
We're listed on Wikipedia's page about the OpenVMS OS. If you came here from there welcome! We offer free access to the OS, sign up for an account!

Deathrow Online Chat System Online.
Thursday Jan 25th, 2007 @ 14:44 EST
We've added a online chat system. This is a Web to IRC gateway and doesn't require you to load any software. If you wish to chit-chat with the Deathrow administrators or fellow users, join us. Also note, the chat option has been added to the top menu.

Multiple Hardware Failures, but Deathrow's back online!
Tuesday Jan 16th, 2007 @ 16:41 EST
The Deathrow cluster has had multiple hardware failures! We had the system disk in MANSON die. Shortly after working hard recovering from that failure, the PSU (Power Supply Unit) in DAHMER failed! This resulted in an extended outage of the Deathrow Cluster. I appologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We are looking at moving the cluster to some sort of "shared SCSI" type of configuration, but we operate on limited funds. We are currently short a machine in the cluster (DAHMER), but all services should be up and operational via MANSON and GEIN. This includes DCL access and web mail. DNS records to DAHMER have been pointed to GEIN until we resolve the issues with DAHMER. If you have problems with your Deathrow account, please e-mail admin _AT_ deathrow.vistech.net.

Also, NEWUSER access is back up, but only on node GEIN (gein.vistech.net). It's still not functional on MANSON.

Nothing to see here, move along....
Friday Sept 29th, 2006 @ 18:38 EST
It should be noted that GEIN:: is back up and healthy thanks to the fine team at Island Computer. We are also still looking for t-shirt designs and logos! If you have some ideas, please send them my way. Of course, the "winning" design will get a free shirt!

Deathrow node GEIN:: is down
Tuesday May 30th, 2006 @ 18:38 EST
We've had a hardware failure (CPU fan) on Deathrow node GEIN:: GEIN:: will be down until we get this resolved. Hopefully, it'll be back up in a couple of days. In the mean time, the Webnotes system is off line.

Yearly Deathrow Cluster Purge!
Thursday April 20th 2006 @ 17:27 EST
I've done the yearly cluster "purge". Any accounts over 120 days of interactive inactivity have been deleted from the systems. The purge removed over 3,400 inactive users off the cluster! If your account was once of the ones delete, tough luck. You'll have to create a new account.

Deathrow gets web based NOTES system!
Wednesday October 5 2005 @ 22:39 EDT
Thanks to the Deathrow Administrations team (Burley and Doc!) the NOTES system can now be accessed via the web! NOTES is a BBS (Bulletin Board System) created for general discussions. To check out the new system, point your browser to https://gein.vistech.net/notes/. You'll need a valid Deathrow account in order to use the new system. [Note: We've also added this as a menu item on our page ]

Web mail system is back online.
Wednesday October 5 2005 @ 22:00 EDT
Due to hardware failure, the Deathrow Webmail system (openvms-rocks.com) has been off line. I apologize for the delay, but the system is back up! We took this chance to upgrade the hardware, which should make things much faster! At this time, we are still moving your old data to the new system. If you don't see your old e-mails on the new system don't panic! It'll show up in a couple of days!

Deathrow is looking for logo designs!
Thursday June 23 2005 @ 18:02M EDT
Do you enjoy using the Deathrow OpenVMS cluster? Want to help support it? We're currently looking for a logo for t-shirts! If you're a graphic artist and wish to contribute your talent to the cluster, submit a design! The submissions we receive will be put up to a vote by the cluster users. If you have a idea or design, e-mail : beave_at_deathrow.vistech.net!

Deathrow Cluster Web Page Facelift!
Monday April 18 2005 @ 20:50PM EDT
Welcome to the new web page! It's nice and simple, but more pleasing to the eye. I've been meaning to update the cluster webpage for quite sometime. Did I mention how much I hate frames? Well, no more frames! All the links should work, and I've upgraded the MindTerm WebSSH support. The new WebSSH support has been greatly improved! Check it out! If you have any questions or suggestions, please e-mail beave_at_deathrow.vistech.net. Thanks!

New Deathrow node GEIN goes online!
Thursday April 14 2005 @ 03:28PM EDT
The new Deathrow cluster node "GEIN" goes online! This is a DS10L (Alpha) and is now the newest and fastest machine in the cluster. While GEIN:: (gein.vistech.net) is online, we are still installing system software. We also have another VAX node that will be going online soon. We'd like to thank our friends at Island Computers for this wonderful donation. If you're in the market for Alpha equipment, I highly recommend them. I've personally bought machines from these guys, and they simple cannot be beat.

NEWUSER login accessable from all nodes
Thursday April 14 2005 @ 03:28PM EDT
In the "I should have done this a long time ago" department, the NEWUSER login (for automagically creating accounts on the Deathrow cluster) is now accessable from all nodes. I would advise not using MANSON:: to create accounts, as that is the slowest machine in the cluster (uVAX 3100/80)

The Deathrow OpenVMS Cluster