Older blog entries for eknuth (starting at number 4)

Mad props to Zach (free as in Bir) for the John Irving reference. The coop sounds like a great idea. I think we need to come up with a location. I've been pushing for Alaska, but I have ulterior motives. And Alaska isn't exactly tropical.

I think that advogato helps me organize myself when it comes to work. I am kind of in a vacuum physically, but here I can actually think in a group environment.

Today I need to get two terminal servers configured and ready to go. Or finish them up, anyway. DSL meeting. Lunch to "walk the dog". Maybe I will get to mess with cflowd and the monitoring package. I've convinced my boss that we can put something together with mon/rrdmon, cricket/rrdtool. This is good.

Went shopping and bought a bunch of new clothes. Including some jeans from old navy. I tend not to wear jeans very much and then I get some and I remember that I like to wear them.

My weekend was very mellow. I read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre. I enjoyed it. There is definately a spectrum to spy novels. Tom Clancy is probably on one side. Recent Tom Clancy anyway. And Le Carre is on the other side. Len Deighton is close to Le Carre, but not quite sharing his rarified air space. Le Carre is very artful and more is implied than explicit. He doesn't need huge terrible villains. He knows that bad guys are people that just happen to have been born in a different country. His "villains" are fully developed characters. Clancy on the other hand needs some terrible, evil and mentally twisted bad guy that he can kill off in some horrible way. Last week I read Rainbow Six and in recent books it seems like Clancy is just expressing his anger against various groups, environmentalists, women, Japanese, etc. The cold war boogeyman is gone and I think Clancy is feeling angry and powerless. Compare Rainbow Six and Hunt for Red October. It is interesting to see how these writers are dealing with the "end" of the cold war. Le Carre is doing pretty well. Our Game was brilliant. Tailor of Panama was decent. The champ in my opinion is of course Len Deighton. As always.

Didn't walk last night. My poor dog.

Digging deep into cricket and rrdtool. They can be superfly tnt. Our current configuration is just scratching the surface. My brain is tired. I am going shopping.

Had movement in fifth floor bathroom. Everything came out ok.

Last night over dinner with cdent and squiggy, we discussed the whole network monitoring situation. We decided that the problem seems to be project definition. In this entry I am going to try and clarify what my department needs as far as this project goes.

  • statistics gathering
  • outage notification
  • threshold notification
  • report generation

    We, as a company are already using cricket/rrd and mrtg to gather statistics. We are using mon to notify us of outages. Mon also keeps a history of outages which pretty much covers the report generation. Cricket can send traps when thresholds are crossed which could probably be messaged into a pretty good threshold notification system. So, sounds like we have this almost covered. We just need to take advantage of the tools we have. My boss seems to want to do something, though.

    Racked up our dslam today. The thing is a beast.

    Does anybody else wonder if anyone ever does any advogato based industrial espionage?

    Even after bumming around the Crazy Horse until 10pm, I still managed to get my 1hr evening walk in. At lunch I just did the 30minute one. Which is probably for the best. Doing the hour long walk kind of makes my lunch hour stretch a little too long.

    I need to keep the door to my office locked and my lights off.
  • This morning I went over our needs for a network monitoring system. We've looked at a bunch of different commercial setups, but they seem either pricey or not what we want, but usually both. We've tenatively decided to roll our own. Which may or may not be a good thing.

    Our needs:
    We need to monitor a variety of network devices including upses, routers, switches, cmtses, dslams, terminal servers, ds3 muxes, csus and other things like that. We need to be able to look at cpu usuage, temperature, modems in use, blah, blah, blah. Then we need to monitor thresholds and be notified when certain things happen. For example when a ds1 circuit zeros out or saturates.
    My analysis:
    Cricket/rrdtool could collect the data. We don't like rrd's pruning techniques. We could pull the relevant data out of the rrd data files and use it before it gets pruned.
    Prior Art:
    We've looked at netcool, nocol, and a couple others. I really like netsaint which I found in the project section. I've installed and I am playing. With some tweaking it could do what I want it to do. I also need to hook up with noc guys over at IU to see what they are doing. They've tweaked the hell out of mrtg. We'll see. Netsaint, rules, though.

    We all need to think about burstable t1s. Monitoring and billing.

    In other news, I've decided to more fully develop the linux side of my notebook. It has become my central workstation. I've needed to run windows because 3com's total control manager and cable modem manager run in windows (although wine seems to work more or less). Recent events have changed my needs. I've rewritten the cable modem manager in perl as a cgi, and we are mainly using as5300's rather than total controls. And I am going to be doing more developing. I've gotten used to securecrt and it keeping track of all the places I need to telnet or ssh too.

    I think every 8 months I get antsy. For more than 10 years I have either moved, changed schools, changed social groups or changed jobs every 8 to 9 months. Now I am supposedly all grown up. I am just passed 8 months in current job and I need to buckle down. I think I am over the antsiness, at least. Plus as my pal cdent says, I need to get in touch with my inner geek. That stalwart lad that hiked through the snow to the computer lab with dozens of disks to install linux way back when. We'll see.

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