Older blog entries for eknuth (starting at number 8)

My office is a mess. I just sucessfully created a console cable hood that will basically let me console into nothing. And I can no longer use my stack of 6 retired Kentrox dsu/csus as a monitor stand. So, time to reconfigure the desk. I'm think a xyplex might work well.

Lunch with the boys. Stan and I talked about Alaska. It is looking more and more likely that sometime in the next two years or so I could likely move up there. My girlfriend goes to school in Juneau. I could move there or perhaps back to Boulder, CO where I am from. I haven' t lived there for more than 10 years though. I'm almost done with Indiana, I think. I want to put at least another year into my job, though. And moving would mean getting a new job. Unfortunately there don't seem to be any ISPs in Juneau. You would think that it being the state capitol and all... I don't know. Regardless I am planning a big trip there this summer. Do some major camping in Denali. Doesn't sound too bad.

My best buddy from high school leaves for Seattle Saturday morning. We've been hanging out quite a bit lately, which is good. I'm going to miss him.

Had kind of a frustrating day. I was inconvenienced by the ba/verizon strike. No big deal. Apparently they shipped in around 30,000 managers to act as scabs. The people I talked to were almost worthless. Tomorrow I am going to get cflowd/netflow working. Should be exciting.

It kind of pisses me off when people whine about the content of the diaries here. If you don't want to read it, then skip it, which is what I do when people whine about content. I also skip messages from people wanting someone to suggest a project for them to do. If you need to be told what to do you are a consumer not a producer.

I think that most of us college drop outs are having trouble understanding the certification system. I don't really have a strong grasp of it, but I think I may have an idea. It isn't the amount of certs you have, it is who you are cert'ed by. The closer you are to the top of the tree the more likely you will actually be certified. I just lost my Apprentice status which makes sense because I am part of a constantly changing status network. If someone pulls the certification of someone that certified me, I lose status. One thing I wonder about is if the more people you certify the more diluted your seed becomes. The less weight you have. Maybe I am misunderstanding the whole "seed" thing. If I'm right shouldn't the originally seeded people have their weight increased to cope with an ever expanding universe?

Some of my comrades have weighed in on the whole work not being a perfect system. I have some very thoughtful friends and co-workers. I'm interested in seeing what happens in the near future at my workplace. I think most of us have gotten pretty jaded. Hopefully this will increase consciousness. Either that or our concerns will get swept under the carpet yet again. I think that recent events will hopefully drive home the point that we all have to work together to get what we want. It is easy for them to throw a bone to the trouble makers and cause division. Leadership comes from the trouble makes. Without leadership most people are content just to muddle through and wait for better things to happen. Or jump ship. I think management has proven to be deaf to us. We'll see.

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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