Older blog entries for Centove (starting at number 11)

Yesterday's grand adventure was paint ball! Couple of things made it even better. First someone else was paying for it, second the boss was there (heh) and lastly free food. So here you have engineers from 4 hi-tech company's gathered together ready for some paint ball. Ninety percent of the participants were x-military of some sort. So it was interesting to say the least. I managed to get shot four times, so I was glad of the three layers of clothes, it still stung but not as much as the other guy with just a t-shirt that I shot. ;) All in all we had a good time discovering how out of shape office work can make one. Seeing as they called it 'The River stone Annual <something>' one can guess they'll have another one.

Time for a rant now. At work we have this new color laser printer. It produces some of the best looking printed color for a laser printer I have seen. There is however one problem with it, (not really a problem depending on how you view things), It appears to really dislike Windows NT. I don't know what it is about how windows is sending print jobs to it but it crashes and otherwise becomes unresponsive after a windows printjob daily. The unix boxen that print to it have no problem at all. And can spool pages and pages of stuff to it. Stick a windows client in there and *boom* no one can print. Talk about annoying.

Today was argue with phone company about bill. *sigh* Thats one thing I hate about moving is it takes forever to get all the services settled down in the new place. First it was the cable company being impossible. Now MCI and AT&T can't decide on how much to bill us for long distance, never mind the fact that MCI shouldn't be billing me in the first place.

Also had one of those do some boring task but realize it would be virtually impossible without the unix shell environment days. Yes the unix shell is just amazing in what one can do with it and the various, crypticaly named utils. Add into the mix the piping and redirecting and some fairly amazing things can be done. Or some really trivial, but repeatitive tasks can be accomplished.

Here are some of the tasks I've had to do recently, imagine trying to do them without the basic unix factilties in a shell.

  • Combine two nameserver zone files into one and copy the resulting directory structure to the server. Oh and all the zone files are named db.<domain>.<com|net|org> on the server that they should wind up. Also the zone files are stored in a directory of the first letter of the actual domain. On the source server they are all just lumped together in one dir. (about 250 files) This took me about 10 mins to do. Try and think how long it would have taken moving em around by hand.

  • Now that all zone files are on one machine. Add the missing ones to the sql database that the named.boot/conf is built from.

  • Update the installed XFree packages on a group of machines, where each machine has a different Xserver..

  • (this one comes up almost daily) Convert a MS-DOS text file to something a unix machine will be happy with (usually a perl script)
    Anyway thats just some random sysadmin type junk that is made easier with the unix utils :)
  • Ok, scanner is on crack. I have no clue what its problem is. Attempts to scan result in the following: 1. light comes on and the unit sits there for a min or two (warm up?) 2. Light switches off and scan pass commences (huh?) So now if I need to make a black image I know a slow way to make one. It even teased me once and spit a preview scan out but refused to scan properly. Now to find a hp dealer and see if in todays disposable society it can be repaired. On that topic I have a realitivly old powerstrip, the switch had broken but it had broken in the on position so I didn't worry about it to much. Well the other day it deceided that now was a good time to go off. Ok so I take it apart pull the switch out, go off in search of a replacement switch. Well radio shack is a shell of what it used to be, I can recall a time when one could go in and get just about any electronic part one could wish. Now the selection is the absolute bare minmum. *sigh* Looks like its off to the web hunting for a switch. Yes I know it would be easier to toss the strip and go buy a new one. But the new one will be: 1. disposable (ie breaks toss it) 2. plastic. To replace a, in theory, repairable metal one? Nope. I'll hunt around and if worse comes to worse I'll hard-wire the thing on :)

    Today was run around and snap some pictures of the house. Depending on how those come out I may put them on the web somewhere (maybe on xach's photo thing) or not. Gotta warm up the scanner and see how it handled being bumped around in the truck.

    Tinkered a bit with CORBA/Bonobo and perl (find a stranger combination eh?) All in the vain attempt to maybe start using other components in gxsnmp for stuff I can't write (or am stuck on)

    Had a look at maybe doing some rpm type work for mozilla. (what a beast) If it was just unix it would be easy enough but that build system they have is just twisted enough to thwart any simple attempt at packaging...

    You ever wonder if someone really hates you? Take for example we spent all day saturday cleaning up the yard removing all the dead branches cutting the grass and other yard type things. Everything looks real nice and trimed just right so, what does it do the next day? Severe thunderstorms, tornado watches/warnings and dump a new load of junk to clean up. If I didn't like trees so much I'd cut the lot down. As it is some of the bigger pine trees close to the house have to go. The icestorms down here like to know em down and I'd rather not have a huge pine tree falling through the roof wake me up one morning/night.

    Exciting events today..

    Bought a house. (eek! now I'm broke) Now comes moving, bleh. Lets see 2 cats, 10 computers, 2 phone lines, ISDN line, and all the other fun stuff... Looks like it may be bread and water for the first few months till I fund all of this... People keep telling me its worth it, I sure hope so...

    Looks like its time to start shopping around for some replacement scsi drives as the ones in tweetie are getting progressivly louder and I fear that when I go to move tweetie to the new house the drives will not survive. A well its been a good 5 years with those drives and I shall miss them when they die..
    Let me tell you one thing... Buying a house is a royal pain.. The most painless part (believe it or not) is/was getting the loan, that took all of about 1 1/2 hours. Looking for a house, making an offer, doing the counter offer, doing the inspection, getting insurance and on and on is about to drive me batty..

    Well after some time a 'lost' member of the gxsnmp team re-appeared today, lets hope this trend continues.

    Meanwhile Larry has been a code writing maniac. There is a ton of stuff I need to comb through and get cleaned up and building in a nice clean/warning free way.

    I suppose I should start looking into getting a clone, but I don't know if the world is ready for that :)

    Ahh time for vaction.. do the family thing and all that jazz.. One benifit no work.. I can deal with that...

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