Recent blog entries for RoUS

31 Dec 2002 (updated 21 Jul 2007 at 20:07 UTC) »

ante-meridian, est

'Frood, forgive me, for I have neuroses'
Oh, well, what the hell. I've broken down and started a blog. Actually, I was writing some logging/annotation software for something else, and it occurred to me that a tiny bit of additional work would make it suitable for prose journalling. Andy Oliver started it, though. So I expect more content to end up there than here, although I'll still post stuff on Advogato.

ante-meridian, est

Woe be unto thee, O disks!
Hah! Even though good blocks were leaping off the platters like rats from off the Titanic, I managed to outsmart the bugger. It occurred to me that I still had my old /usr partition, unused, on the original disk. I never zapped it after copying it to the larger partition on the new (now discovered to be bad) disk. So: play some cabling games to get both disks into the system, boot with the bad one, use it to copy the old partition to the new disk, shutdown, swap disks and remove the bad one, reboot, rpm --rebuilddb, up2date -p, up2date -ui, and I seem to be back in business. (Those last few commands were to handle any RPMs I had installed since the original partition move from the installation of the bad disk.)

post-meridian, est

Lying bloggo
I'm not much of a one for diaries or journals or blogs, but I need to get more of my brain on distributed media. So for now I'll continue to use Advogato, but I'll probably be moving to a more personal-type blog that I can fail to update more efficiently.

Well, ApacheCon 2002 US has come and gone in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I'm personally pretty pleased with the way it turned out. The content seemed good, the delegates seemed satisfied and happy, and the sponsors likewise. I'm still waiting for some numbers to find out what colour the ink is on the balance sheet, and the final tally of attendance.

Disk woes
Feh. First the disk in my laptop started making a high-pitched whining noise. No problem; under warranty. IBM shipped a replacement, and I purchased a SuperBay disk adapter so I could have both disks in the machine at once, and I made the copy with a

    dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdc bs=<m> count=<n>

I found that a little scary, but it worked a treat.

So now the /usr drive in one of my Linux systems at home has started logging bad blocks. Hoo boy, does it have bad blocks! And they're not getting any better, either; every boot shows errors and forces an fsck, which in turn whittles away from the partition's usefulness as the blocks are found in directory inodes. So I got a replacement disk from Maxtor (had to special-request getting the replacement before sending in the busted one, and I have to pay the postage on the return shipment -- IBM is much better about this stuff), and tried the dd trick. No joy; large values of bs result in massive amounts of non-copied data. So I fired it up with bs=512 to do a sector-by-sector copy (took all night!) so each bad sector would only account for a single uncopied sector. The result was a new disk with a huge bad-block inode and an even less usable filesystem than the original. So now I've got the original back in the system, and I'm cataloguing what's on it so I know which packages to install and which custom stuff to try to save by copying it to another filesystem. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to do a complete re-install. Bah.

And this experience tickled a peeve about Red Hat's up2date tool: it checks to see if the requested packages are already installed, and ignores them if so -- which means you can't download an RPM if you've already installed it. Nor the source. I need to work on a patch for that..

I've had some recent brainstorms for Spackle, like adding support for groups, customised Subject:s for commit messages, et cetera. Going to be ready for a beta release soon; some of this is functionality I haven't seen in any CVS repository. (Don't know if Subversion has similar features; for a future investigation..)

Apache Cookbook
Well, after much non-activity, the Cookbook project is back on track. DrBacchus has joined me as a co-author.

Fun doings inside the ASF, including a new project for bringing new packages and communities into the Apache fold, and providing info for Apache developers about the philosophy and infrastructure.

post-meridian, EDT

ApacheCon news
Nothing new, alas. Still working on the registration system. One of our speakers cancelled so the programme is being altered slightly. See the #apachecon channel on

Spackle news
Woo-hoo, I managed to get a bunch of stuff done on Spackle and release two betas at the week-end. (There were bugs in the first one.) Burnin' with gas here..

post-meridian, EDT

ApacheCon news
Still trying to wrap up the final technical details of data transmission for the registration system; should be up this week.

Whew! Finally got a few minutes to put the last fixes in and release version 1.16.7 of autoresponder. Freshmeat announcement should appear soon.

26 Jul 2002 (updated 6 Aug 2002 at 18:42 UTC) »

ante-meridian, EDT

ApacheCon news
Well, we don't have registration going yet, but the schedule has been finalised. In addition to the stuff on the Web site (<URL:http://ApacheCon.Com/>), there's an #apachecon channel at IRC.OpenProjects.Net and an open discussion list (send an empty message to discuss-subscribe@ApacheCon.Com). The IRC channel has an infobot, faqtoid, which will answer questions about ApacheCon and the schedule in particular. Try 'faqtoid: sessions about xml?' or 'faqtoid: sessions by schlossnagle?'.

Watch out, CPAN! :-)
Woo-hoo! Got my CPAN account a couple of days ago. Now, what were those modules I wanted to submit..?

post-meridian, EST

Heh. Got the Podium page on SourceForge working, thanks to the spicy goodness of PHP's variables-scoped-at-the-function-level architecture. So now the Podium documentation is there and online, using Podium itself. Whee.

Now off to write/update more presentations using it..

ante-meridian, EST

ApacheCon news
We have a new management/production company for the ApacheCon event, and we're working on the plan to have a conference sometime later this year.

obOpen stuff
I tried to use PHP's pres package to handle my slides for the NordU2002 presentation, but I couldn't get it to work -- so I've started working in a presentation system loosely based on it that I can get to work. The project is Podium, and it's still pre-alpha. The Web page isn't even entirely working yet (mainly because SourceForge is still using PHP 4.0.6). But it's getting there..

I've been working on some other open stuff as well, but I can't remember the details right now. Must.. eat.. lunch..

29 Jan 2002 (updated 29 Jan 2002 at 17:53 UTC) »

post-meridian, EDT

Well, I upgraded my kernel to the latest RH 7.2 RPMs, X likewise, downloaded and installed the 1.1.20t Savage S3 driver, and added an 'Option "NoAccel"' line to my XF86Config-4 file, and my laptop has managed to stay up without hanging now for almost 72 hours. Fingers crossed..

Even with the hardware problems I've been having I still have two systems that have been up since the last millenium. :-)

Brian Behlendorf pointed out another no-op situation for autoresponder: it shouldn't bother trying to do anything if there's no address to which a reply can be sent.. Updated to 1.15.2, but no release announcement made yet.

Last week I went to add Spackle to Freshmeat, and found that Jeremy Weatherford had created a project there with the same name a couple of weeks ago. We worked it out; he changed his project's name to 'SpackleStats', and we each reference the other's project on our various pages.

post-meridian, EDT

jhermann, putenv() will certainly do the trick, but it's generally not thread-safe nor terribly modular.. You're working around the API rather than within it. :-/ I'm not even sure it will work on Windows and other non-Unixish platforms.

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