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:
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
Telephreak.org has donated a
This node is known as
. 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
"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
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.
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
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 :
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
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
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