Older blog entries for Centove (starting at number 19)

One of the big drawbacks to Linux is that its so damm reliable :) Let me clairfy this...

We have a machine that everyone at work basically forgot about, for about a year. It was/is a simple web hosting machine that really hasn't been paid attention to. I get a request to cancel one of the websites we host. I rummage around on the network for a bit trying to locate said site. It comes up as being on machine <x>. Machine <x>? What is that? More to the point _Where_ is that. Connect, it wants a password. hmm.. Now what was the password for this box... Try all the ones I can remember, none of them work. Ok.. off to the console to hack into the box and change the password so that we can once again get into the machine. Login cancel the site and go about my other business. (btw this is kernel 2.0.33 which shows how long its been chugging away in the rack basically being ignored) Wind up rebooting the machine, check it, yep all the stuff is running as it should.

20 minutes later Evolution is thrashing at the drive something fierce.. hmm.. appears that sendmail on this machine had quit around nov of 2000 and no-one noticed it. And now that it was running it was happily dumping a years worth of mail out. (over 7K of messages in the queue when I discovered this) Yikes.

Kinda like the nntp server we had that quit responding one day and no-one remembered where that one was either.

There is another machine (A Dual 350 PII box) that has been running so long the uptime wrapped. Funny thing about that is when it was booted however long ago that was it only booted one processor for some reason, so that one has been humping along with one processor basically shut off for well over a year. (And its a mail server so it is _not_ just idling in the corner)

Today's lesson? Log into your boxes from time to time just to see if they are doing thier thing cause you _will_ forget about one. If you think thats impossible, imagine close to 100 servers and 36 routers. You will forget about one that don't give you any problems...

On the home front the home workstation still locks up for no apparent reason though the thinking is now that something in the ide subsystem is flakey. And it appears to be related to the external UDMA66 card I have.. Letting kernel/bios set things as they see fit, heavy disk access == locked machine. Switched the drives on the external card to UDMA2 and things are a bit better. However 2.4.17 appears to be a keeper on the Alpha, 14 days uptime and no mysterious lockups yet over there. So its beaten its previous 2.4.xx record of 3 days by a long shot. On the intel side of the house however we are at a record of seven days.

2.2.xxx just keeps chugging along on the other box so looks like marcello still has some issues to sort before 2.4.xxx will be truely stable.

Another day, woo. Recently the battle has been lets get linux to work with an ADSL modem. The manufacturer has drivers Alcatel But the adsl provider here BellSouth uses PPP over ATM for the connection. With the 'official' drivers this requires a kernel patch that (surprise, surprise) broke under kernels 2.4.xx (where x > 5) Luckly This is a userland solution to the PPP over ATM stuff and as an added bonus its GPL'd. (though it uses the binary microcode from alcatel to actually get the modem to do something besides look cute with two green led's on it)

Now if the kernel would stop locking up from time to time for no apparent reason life would be good.

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.

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