2011-10-31 - Halloween

Well today was mainly catching up with email then getting the house ready for trick and treaters tonight (I might be giving away king size candy and needed to get another crate... next year I am just going to give away bags of powdered sugar.. its easier).

Worked on getting PPC systems ready for the transfer then got sidelined by a bunch of emails about other systems. I think I have them all cleared up.. going to need to make a todo list for tomorrow:

  1. Order tapes
  2. Get quote for new system
  3. Build ppc06->ppc09?
  4. Get quote for powersupply
  5. Get quote for sourceware systems
  6. Get RHN for sourceware systems
  7. Work with gnome admins on backups
  8. Play more with FC16.. 
F16 RC2 is running on the spare laptop. It is running "cooler" in that the system temperature isn't pegged at 97C like it was on the beta. However I haven't had enough time to see if in my normal workflow (thunderbird, firefox, openoffice, eclipse, xchat, lots of terminals). After that it will be "can I deal with the UI" layout. [I am ok if the UI isn't for me.. lots of things aren't for me. It doesn't mean I have to swear and complain about them.]

Well the doorbell is ringing saying trick or treat.. time to publish.


Thursday 2011-10-27

Today was pretty quiet which is always nice on a Freeze.

  • Read email
  • Read LWN
  • Try to understand the intricacies of CSS
  • Download Fedora-16-Final-TC3 and see if it works OK.
  • Tried out the new Blogger interface. I am not liking it.. but I think it has to do with how spartan it feels to me.
  • WCPE for most of the day.

Tuesday 2011-10-25 / Wednesday 2011-10-26

Yesterday was a large number of interruptions so I didn't get this post done on the usual time.

The Fedora 16 Freeze started on Tuesday. If all goes well Fedora 16 will be out soon. Updated one laptop to whats in F16 and will have to rebuild it because somewhere in between something went fishy in my updates. Oh well. Worked on a couple of stuck servers in the morning. Looks like when I missed a dependency in mediawiki for svg (which pulls in half of GNOME (sigh)) and so I need to make some updates to packages.

Read through the whole move /usr -> / tree of emails and wondered where I had read this before.. oh yeah I joked about this a couple of years ago, but someone wants to do it seriously. Look if you are going to reinvent the filesystem layout REALLY do it, not some half donkey attempt.

  • Change etc to configs
  • Change bin to programs
  • Change share to data
  • Change home to user-stuff
  • Change usr to distro-stuff
  • Change local to local-stuff
And I want the bikeshed to be yellow too. Wednesday opened with some rain which if I lived 400 miles north would be 8+ inches of snow. Tasks
  • Email (lots and lots of email)
  • Got a hair cut (several actually)
  • Go over tickets for final release
  • Rebuild value01.stg
  • WCPE on Tuesday
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - Chronicles, Volume 2
  • Depeche Mode - Black Celebration
  • Genesis - Invisible Touch
  • Peter Gabriel - So


Monday 2011-10-24

Friday I went to Socorro, New Mexico to attend the annual alumni event, 49'ers, at New Mexico Institute of Technology and Mining. I went to this school a while ago and learned quite a lot about computers while trying to get my Physics degree. The school has changed greatly on the outside and somewhat on the inside, but it was a fun event. The students still complained about the same things and us alumni got to chide them on how hard we had it compared to them.

Saturday was another trip to Socorro, this time with the family. The dog enjoyed the horses, and I enjoyed the old cars. They had a lot of 1929 Model A's and I had the entire engine explained to me by a fan. The best thing was the showing of how pedal UI design has changed since 1929.

Having a gas pedal in the middle seems intuitive to some, but man it is hard to go from one car to another and drive them.

Monday's tasks were pretty simple.

  • Get blood taken for tests
  • 3 days of email backlog
  • Wash dog which rolled in something
  • Get app servers have same RPMS on them
  • Go to library about books
  • Find a coffee cup I want for Xmas

  • Blue Oyster Cult - Club Ninja
  • WCPE

(Edited to add: I misspelled pedal as peddle)


Tuesday 2011-10-19 / Wednesday 2011-10-20

Tyr's day

So Tuesday was mainly dealing with Big Blue Room IRQ's. Termite inspection that showed house was ok. Having to deal with preteen school drama. In the end, I got another app server moved to our KVM systems and will have only 3 more to do this week. 2 are going to be harder than I wish because when bapp goes down we are SOL for a while.

Wodin's day

So today started off walking the dog and realizing that with my coat and not shaving.. I didn't look much different from the transients living in the arroyo. No wonder no one wanted to come near me. A shower and shave later.. I still need to do something about my coat (its an old cloth jacket which is super comfortable.)

Booked travel to January FUDcon. Put in the receipts and everything! Worked through a ton of email... and hit the big D quite a bit to avoid drama of various sorts. I got app02 moved over to another box.

  • Loreena McKennitt - Elemental
  • Phil Collins - No Jacket Required
  • Rush - Power Windows
  • Sting - The Dream of the Blue Turtles


Monday 2011-10-17

Today was mainly dealing with email. It is amazing how much piles up in 48 hours. Beyond that it was pretty quiet. I spent the afternoon getting bastion02 built as RHEL-6 on kvm. This was a lot easier than dealing with the bastion01 move.. I guess I had learned all the easy mistakes I could make.

Beyond that, I learned that changing passwords on Friday is a bad thing.. especially for passwords you only use once in a while. Sigh..

And for future reference
  • Apples - member of the Rose family (Rosaceae)
  • Oranges - member of the Ruta family (Rutaceae)

both of which are grouped one or two steps higher in the trees. So when trying to compare different things try for something like Mushrooms vs Oranges.


Thursday 2011-10-13/Friday 2011-10-14

Thursday was a bunch more of not responding to emails about password changes and such. In the end. my Grandfather's words of wisdom came to me: If you haven't got anything nice to say, keep your frelling mouth shut.

Got plans in place for Januaries FudCon. I think I will fly in and drive up with my Dad. He had a lot of fun at SELF and all the ex-Navy people who were there. I think some of them will be at FUDcon also.

Saw that there was an announcement for 10,000 paid for round trip tickets to Japan. Sadly it is just an idea, and people need to be serious bloggers to get them if they do come out. I don't think that my love for Sergeant Frog and Totoro will put me in any spot of placement there.

Well hope everyone has a good weekend. I am going to spend it reading about Isometric games and CSS


Thank you Dennis Ritchie

Today marks the passing of the pioneer of C and Unix, Dennis Ritchie is the R in K&R, the true C that many of us middle aged programmers grew up on. He helped author two of my need to find new copy books: The C Programming Language and UNIX Programming Manual. What I love about "The C Programming Language" was its conciseness. In this age of 400-1000 page tomes on languages, it covers pretty much everything you need to know in less than 200. If I ever write a programming language guide, I hope mine does not get longer than that.

Anyway thank you Dennis Ritchie, you have shaped my life in many ways. [Thankyou LWN for the heads up]

Wednesday 2011-10-12

Spent most of the day hitting discard on posts about password lengths and things like that. Nothing I could say would help, because people are not in the mood of listening. Did spend some time going through the glibc code for md5 and sha512 password hashes. Also read the Ulrich Drepper code and first misread that there was an 80 character limit. However a rereading said that I was wrong. It looks like there are no practical limits on how long a password could be, but the worries about a DOS are overblown to any of the other input methods.

Got some disks replaced inside of one of our virtual servers. Waiting for NFS to be finished setup and then I can move the app servers around. Made Linux Weekly News quote section again.. I see someone reads these blog entries :), thanks.

Working my way through the CSS Cookbook by Christopher Schmin at the moment.. I will hopefully update my main site to beyond HTML3 soon :).

How to Create A New SSH Key

Here is how you can change your OpenSSH .ssh key if you need to. On a non-shared Linux computer do the following:

$ ssh-keygen -b 4096
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/ssmoogen/.ssh/id_rsa): id_fedora_rsa
id_fedora_rsa already exists.
Overwrite (y/n)? y
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in id_fedora_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in id_fedora_rsa.pub.

In your .ssh directory you can configure a file called config to use this key when logging into fedorapeople or similar stations:

Host *fedorahosted.org *fedorapeople.org pkgs.fedoraproject.org
    User ||put your fas account name here||
    ProxyCommand none
    ForwardAgent no
    ForwardX11 no
    Port 22
    KeepAlive yes
    HashKnownHosts no
    GSSAPIAuthentication no
    VerifyHostKeyDNS yes 
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_fedora


Tuesday 2011-10-11

OK so Beefy Miracle will be F17. Could we have this be the last release name, please? I am not sure that release names really fire anyone up for our release cycles as our audience is much more oriented on engineering bling than marketing buzz :). [And really how many double entendre jokes will we have to deal with this?]

Ok onto the workload for today ...

  • Email
  • spend some time on the serverbeach05 issue
  • arrange for IBM to come to cage tomorrow

More WCPE.

Monday 2011-10-10

I spent Friday on travel to Los Alamos New Mexico. The fires in the Spring had removed more of the trees from the hills, but due to the heavy cloud cover it looked rather pretty at times (or scary in a horror movie way). Los Alamos has always reminded me a bit of Twin Peaks. I had a damn fine cup of coffee though no cherry pie.

  • A lot of email to dig out of.
  • Work with Kevin on serverbeach05 oddity
  • Get info on virthost vlans
  • Work with IBM on how to get disk replacements

Today was more WCPE. If you like classical music and like to listen on an ogg stream, you might want to listen and if you like give a pledge to them


Thursday 2011-10-06

Today was split up into 3 parts:

  1. Standard thursday items: emails, reading weekly lwn.net news, and Infrastructure meeting.
  2. Moving proxy08 to proxy01 so that we could have RHEL-6 on our main proxy. Most of the hard stuff had been done before with the testing and setting up of proxy8. Most of my tasks were just making it think it was proxy01 and rebooting.
  3. Moving app03 from xen04 to virthost08. In my first attempt at doing this I learned the hard hard lessson that Unix does not ask you "Do you really want to do that." If you mistype the partition you want to dd over.. you will wipe out your physical system pretty quickly.

Well with virthost08 dead, (although enough existed for dracut's rdshell to work on bootup.) I needed to rebuild it. That was just a series of setting up a proxy to the IBM's IMM card and then using the remote console to run anaconda to repartition the disks and set stuff up. All in all about an 2 hours later.. we are back in business for copying 32 GB of data across a LAN... this time making sure that the dd target is correct. Then there is a lot of fiddling of removing xen bits and making kvm ones work. In the end, I got it working at the end.


Thank you Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs passed away today and I want to thank him for one important things he did. While I enjoyed the NeXT cube in my office in the 1990's and playing with the Lisa in the 1980's.. the most important thing doesn't deal Apple or Next. He kept Pixar going when most other CEO's and investors would have canned the company. That foresight brought my family many movies that have made us laugh, cry and think over the years.

Anyway thanks.

Wednesday 2011-10-05

Today was spent tracking down why XFCE and Fedora beta 16 didn't work too well. In the end it turned out that Adam Williamson found the solution in 10 minutes after I found a log file which said why my systems would never log in. The solution was due to a gdm-sessions file checking for 3d effects and then trying to launch mutter whether or not it was installed. Ray Strode had fixed the issue upstream already and soon it will filter downstream.

Beyond that I now have 2 test systems installed and running. One is an "old" eMachines with a 3 GHZ Pentium 4 processor and 1 GB of ram. The other is the loaner laptop, Lenovo T61. I have a 3rd box which I know won't run anything past RHEL-2.1 so I don't put it in the pool. Test box 1 is slowly working out pi to its last digit, and the laptop is doing the same for e. [No not really.. gdm shuts down the boxes after 20 minutes whether I am remotely logged in or not :)]

On Fedora IT front, I mainly read email and stayed out of Seth's way as he updated systems. Tomorrow I will be working on Drupal7 items to learn how that will work with insight, and Friday I will be taking off for another 3 day weekend.

Remember to vote in the F17 naming. Never looks like a great name for 17... though I do have a soft-spot for Gernsback.


Tuesday 2011-10-04

Today was mostly fighting one of two things: F16-beta installing on a spare E-machine and trying to get a system that had been a xen box to be a kvm one. Took a bit but I realized my problem was that console=hvc0 doesn't work well with bootup.

After that I worked on the E-machine and found that its BIOS was so old it didn't know how to deal with GPT partitioned disks. Thankfully dlehman had a update.img that fixed this issue.. yeah! Since the system has only 1GB of ram, I installed the 32 bit at first.. and am now trying the 64 bit. The box is probably at the bottom end of what Fedora can support out of the box these days or a bit faster than that.

Oh and I voted for the next release name: Go Never.


Monday 2011-10-03

Missed several days of blogging due to allergies. Most of my time was spent trying to get stuff sort of working while keeping my brains from rattling too much from sneezing.

Today was a lot of catchup email and reading articles people had sent me during that time. I would like to recommend the Atlantic's article on parental computing I think it hits the nail on the head of issues with todays push towards centralized (ahem cloud) computing.

  • Work through 4 days of email
  • Do Fedora IT tickets for release tomorrow
  • Try to move a xen image into a kvm image.. now where was that howto