Older blog entries for Centove (starting at number 17)

Oh lets see... I haven't written an entry in forever, so whats been going on? House things, painting the basement walls with some really rancid smelling stuff. This is supposed to seal the concrete hopefully this will keep the dust down.. Moved the computers down to the basement area More room and cooler. Next summer the A/C should appreciate the reduced load upstairs. Discovered I didn't forget everything about electrical work. Been following mozilla fairly closely the past few months and its really starting to not suck, its my primary browser now so that says quite a bit. Got a mail from Loki stating:
"This morning we announced we're working on Tribes 2 and that we're accepting applications to assist in beta testing. Please be assured that you are already on our beta tester list and that we will notify you as the test nears."
Which was a tad confusing but I guess I'm on their 'permenant beta tester list' or some such... Things could be worse :) .

Been working on some SkillDrills for skilldrill.com Thats not to bad a 'job' and as a benefit I actually learn something I didn't know about the topics I've been covering so this is a good thing. Plus it gives me some extra $$ for toys..

Wow where did June and July go? Here its almost August! eek! Larry has been a mad man working on the database backend for gxsnmp and is to a point where the gui needs attention. Looks like I'll have to poke at that some.

Been battling LDAP at work, its getting tiring to add accounts all over the place when a new hire comes in, and that is progressing slowly. Looks lke there will be some PAM hackery to get things working the way we need them to. This also appears to be one of those neverending tasks.

We're settled into the new house and I discovered that I made a poor choice for the computer room and shall be building a bigger, cooler (as in temp) one in the basement. Its amazing how much the tempeture difference is in the one room with all the computer gear in it.

Long time no diary entry:

Lets see.. I did some work on gnome-utils got that ready for 1.2, come to find out some of the dependices are screwed so I have to go tinker there and clean that up so all the docs get generated with the proper stylesheet. *sigh*

Did some fiddling with the evil of all evils c++ dug around a bit, discovered that gcc 2.8's c++ thing is broken in a couple of key places, chased down 2.95.3. Then the fun of building gcc... whee.

Installed netscape on the Alpha, now I need to find some more mem for the Alpha as there is a reason to fire up X on it now..

Spent alot of time 'testing' smac for linux (smac -- Sid Mier's Alpha Centauri) the results of such testing are here

Today was sorta productive, I got the initial code of gcharmap sucked into gnome-utils. Delt with some annoying customers. Nothing overly exciting.

Trees in the winter look so barren and really don't look like they would get in the way of anything. Well let the leaves come out. Yeesh! So off to home depot (being a new homeowner you realize you don't have squat for tools) to get a pruning saw. Shudder at the prices of the various tree torture devices, see a bow saw for a decent price, sold! Come back examine tree. Determine that the next lawn mower chasing incident shall be unencumbered by the lower branches, saw.. saw... saw.. ok We can walk under the tree now without running into branchs. Look at the driveway, oh dear, look at all the branches drooping down into the driveway, saw... saw... saw.. Ok Now the tree looks a might better.

Now look at the mailbox, its all crooked and the post thingy is falling apart, off to find a hammer and wack the thing back together. Thats all done, clean up some more sticks twigs and other assorted yard debris from the front lawn (does it ever end?).

Next project will be replacing the pool liner when that arrives. The current one has a hole that I can't find/fix so I got sick of screwing with it and am just gonna replace it.

The yard recovery project is proceeding nicely, and I discovered a nice place for a little picnic table and grill, all shaded so it should be nice once I get that all cleaned out and some grass grown in there.

Lets see today was chase the lawn mower around and attempt to catch it.. Didn't catch it so I shall have to try next week.

Did some painting while waiting for money to build up in SimCity 3000 that I'm testing for Loki (for the curious here is what my city looks like so far..)

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 :)

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