Older blog entries for MartBrooks (starting at number 43)


I've spent this morning tinkering with backup scripts to replicate the live site database and content. This seems to work quite nicely though the only way to test, of course, is to recover the site to another box and check.

This afternoon I plan to play with the kernel VLAN module and see how well it works. If it works as well as I hope, I'll be able to greatly simplify the cabling in our rack at Globix.


We have the carpenter round tonight to correct a small problem with a section of flooring. I'll have to dash home tonight so I can tidy up a little.


Spent much of the past day or so preparing an intranet for our new sister company. I don't know exactly what they're doing, and I don't know how much of it is secret or not, so I'd best not say too much about it here right now.

Fixed some minor fallout from the IP range transfer. One of the Intel routers at a director's house had been set up to hand out the old DNS server IPs to DHCP clients hence his Internet connection apparently stopped working.

This morning I zapped one of the old servers with an antiquated Redhat on and re-installed it fresh and clean with Debian. It's going to be our warm standby site server.


I'm taking a few days off at the start of February while our double glazing is fitted. I've also managed to arrange for a cat flap to be fitted at the same time.

Five has now started to act like she owns the place. Last night, she swanned in, meowed til I fed her, then wandered upstairs and fell asleep on the bed. She went out at about 10pm which is a bit of a relief. Her method of waking me up when she wants to go out are painfully direct.

Work An interesting week has kept me far too busy to do diary entries.

We've pushed out the new live Jtrix website which has been re-engineered by CryoBob. It's now completely CVS'd and has a nifty Ant build script.

I've finally managed to complete the switch over to our new IP range and weeks of careful planning and checking meant that when I rebooted the primary firewall this morning to finalise the changes, no-one noticed. Well, no-one who has my contact details, anyway :)


Phone call from Everest, our double glazed windows for the top floor on the house are ready. They're going to be installed on the 4th of Febuary.

Five has been exploring the house, she likes my computer room for some reason. Maybe all the flashing lights attract her.


Busy. I'm now catching up on all the nastier admin stuff that I put off before the xmas break. I've also been playing with the LInux VLAN stuff which was recently merged into the kernel. It's slightly non-intuituve and I need to verify it works alongside freeswan. Freeswan is rather good at breaking low level networking patches. :)


We've been adopted by a ferile cat, now named Five. (Cat-Five, geddit?).

Happy New Year!

This is going to be an uber entry to catch up with what's been happening.

The six days in France was fairly uneventful, just really really cold. They have really neat halogen heaters at the Gard du Norde which kept Lynda and I nice and toasty while we waited for her parents to find us.

As usual, I took the opportunity to do some clothes and media shopping. France is a hell of a lot cheaper than the UK for both these items. I came back with a nice new pair of jeans, a new coat and a handful of CDs including the rather cool Enigma remix album.

We got to see the building site which will, next year, become the new home of Lynda's brother, Kamel, and his fiance, Sonja. It's in a fairly quiet neighbourhood and will give them a lot more space than they have now.

The trip back from France was a bit of a nightmare. Various signal and "technical" problems with the train left us arriving back in Waterloo over an hour late.

We got back to the house and started the mammoth task of unpacking and tidying up. It was at this point I started to feel a little bit ill.

Much later, after a trip shopping, I was in bed with a fever and a very very squirty stomach. I managed to lose over 10Kg in under 18 hours. At least I don't have to diet now :)

For New Years, we went to our favourite restaurant called Perennial which is on Columbia Road in east London. It has to be said that the food was somewhat below their normal standards and the normally quiet atmosphere was broken by a very very funny man singing along to Frank Sinatra. Hey, he was having fun :)

We got home and, as I was the designated driver and alcohol free, I opened what turned out to be a fantastic bottle of red wine. I then proceeded to play computer games til about 8am while Lynda slept. I grabbed a few hours sleep, then up and about and preparing for work tommorow. Boo! Hiss!


It's my birthday. 28 mostly happy years on the planet. The pretty girl from the sandwich bar just round the corner gave me a mince pie.

We're mostly moved into the house now. We've two heavy items left to move, a bookshelf and my computer desk, and so I've hired a man and a van to come round tonight and help me shift them.

We'll be in the house officially as of around 8pm Friday night, we then head off the France on the 7.15am Eurostar to Paris the following day.


I have a whole pile of jobs to do but I'm reluctant to do them given there's so little time before we head of for a break. I'm not fond of making changes to live systems when I'm not going to be around to keep an eye on them afterwards.

Instead, I'm doing DNS kung-foo with the aim of us dropping our little /27 early next year. The only really nasty thing left to do is to move all the VPNs over to their new IP.


It was the company's office party last night and I drank far far too much wine. Hope I didn't make too much of a chimp of myself :)

After many weeks I finally did some Savannah work, albeit simply spell checking someone elses docs. Hey, it's a start.

My eyes feel like red-hot curried marbles immersed in candle wax. Flatpack furniture sucks.


"the end of this week" is indeed accurate - whahay! We can start moving in tonight and I may even try to sneak out of work a little early to kick start the process. I'm going to try and enlist the help of a few friends to do some of the donkey work. I'm sure I can bribe them with sufficient quantities of beer and/or food.


Fixing the fallout from major DNS changes.


It looks like the builders estimate of "the end of this week" is accurate. The dust sheets are still down but 3 out of 4 of the upstairs rooms are all but complete and the kitchen has been started, too.

By complete coincidence, I bumped into an old friend of mine in a pub last night after not having seen him for two years. He's getting engaged before the end of the year so I get to go along to the party. Cool.


Having finally wrested control of one particular domain back from the incompetent clutches of Network Solutions, I now have a stack of DNS modifications to do. I really wish that Nominet (the UK authority) was allowed to take other the management of the .com, .org and .net namespace as they have a clue and their automated admin system is fantastic.


It looks like we're on the home straight now. The two large bedrooms upstairs should be finished by the end of the day which means we can start shifting boxes from the flat into the house. It's going to be a close thing, though.

One thing that amazes me each time I move is the sheer amount of stuff I seem to buy in between each hop. When Lynda and I moved in together, all our collective stuff fitted into the back of a friend's car. The second time we moved, it needed 8 trips in an estate car to move all our stuff. I dread to think how many trips it's going to take this time.


Things are going well. Jtrix 0.14.3 was released with a fairly impressive set of new features and updates. The main cluster has been running for several days now with no problems. This has been helped by several known memory leaks being patched by the "core" team.

CryoBob has been hard at work on the website infrastructure and I now need to give him a real live environment to play in. This means a trip to Globix with a Debian hacked boot disk later on this week.

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