Older blog entries for mperry (starting at number 22)

The clock rolls around to new hours...

I get to say goodbye to someone I enjoyed working with and hello to a friend I used to work with in another lifetime. Many years ago in some desert wandering I worked with a person who had this particular talent that I found to be amazing. My friend, Theo, not involved at all in Open Source or Linux; but instead a guy that does Human Osteology called me this evening. What is so unusual and unique is that I only saw him once a year if that as he flew through to new places. Theo and I worked together so many times in so many places doing other things; that hearing his voice at a totally unexpected time was bittersweet. It reminded me of other times, of other places, of other things I have done. It also reminded me I should say goodbye to hacker after his recent diary entry and thank him for always being there for us, for never being too busy to help, and for just being himself.

Thanks also to another person that I suddenly feel like finding again. Once, many years ago, I stood at a decision point. Perhaps others have stood the same ground. Considering what would work, what would not, and what direction their lives should embark on. I left one thing I loved truly for something I thought I would love and my friend RWR, told me, "always know where you are and what you are doing". In archeology, one often finds a mentor; a person who guides and helps and fosters an understanding. RWR was mine. He taught me about not only archeology but about life and how to live it in full measure.

Priceless advice I have carried with me and taken out when making a decision. Some of the best and brightest people I ever met were at Linuxcare. But back "in the day", I watched others that were gifted and imaginative and insightful do work so completely different that it invites comparison. Back then I was a nomad, tromping through deserts and forests across the Desert Southwest, the central plains, and the fantastic and beautiful Mojave Desert.

Too much introspection for perhaps one night.

Whoa !

December 2!

Tomorrow marks the first time in 3 years I don't have a job to go to. I still have a few things I want to make an attempt at though. One is using Markybob's debian netinstaller cd on a system here, reading my mysql book to make an attempt at learning a bit more about it, and working on a scalable architecture approach that I may just get paid for.

This is actually a great month to be unemployed. I have two kids which I am really going to enjoy this year without having to rush off to meetings or be on the road on business trips.

I think there are lots of interesting possibilities for things I want to do. I am definitely interested in working on building out approaches to build custom Linux distributions which are modular, replicable, and scalable. I also want to do one of those Linux from scratch things just to play a bit and learn a bit more about how things work under the hood.

I also am being retained by Linuxcare as a contractor which means I am gone; but I am not gone. I always like decisive departures :)

Almost two weeks since I have posted.

I get to see LenZ here and wish him congratulations on his marriage! Long time, no see, LenZ. Hope all is well for you.

From my last post, I had started messing with Amanda to backup my home network which includes a number of Windows and Linux systems and two laptops. This works very well I am happy to say! Amanda is a very nice and easily configurable backup program. I also use it on a OpenBSD firewall box.

Not much else worthy of note. My last day at Linuxcare approaches next week. I have a lot of feelings about it. Its fair to say that I will miss a lot of the people there now and once there.

Sunday afternoon-

Started playin around with AMANDA to get an idea about how it works, what I can gain from it to backup my smallish home lan. Pretty cool and easy to setup. There is a deb package for it that works pretty well too. I am using a Exabyte 8700 tape drive with the 2.4.13 kernel and the "old adaptec driver". The new driver seems to want to get a "message" from the device and the exabyte does not speak that language at all.

I also am exploring backing up my windows systems using SAMBA and a BSD box with a amanda client running on it.

If you want an easily configured backup solution, I think AMANDA seems pretty solid. I also tried AFBACKUP but I could not get the authentication to work right. ARKEIA is free to download but I could not get a network problem fixed that plagued me through 3 days of trying.

I attended the Linux Showcase only one day due to illness but would have liked to attend the Friday evening handhelds.org BOF but could not.

In other news, my days at Linuxcare are waning away and Christmas approaches. Appears that I will be off work during the holidays and this means I can be home with my wife and kids for the whole season. That's a nice change.

Sunday evening after...

Been an interesting some months, have to say. Built a new system for some work going on and took it from debian stable to unstable in about an hour.

Spent a lot of time at work playing with new laptops which is kinda nice and then writing the reports which is not so nice. Began working on associated documentation on a pet project of mine which must live in seclusion for now. I have a feeling by first of next year it will not be so. Way to early to speculate on what it will mean and to whom, but its fun and rewarding doing the research and then writing the documents.

Not a very lot to say these days. Sometimes its fun to write; other times its fun to lurk. Lurking was something almost forced by pacbell today in the East Bay from Fremont to Newark and Union City. No dsl, no nothing for 7 hours. This was building up yesterday with a series of shorter outages. I also have this feeling that performance seems hampered here. I guess I could go looking for another ISP but I have been here for almost 3 years and its still more of a local business.

Oh well, deal with it tomorrow! Have another beer now.

Well, its been almost 2 weeks since I posted anything here. Been pretty busy working on a variety of laptops which seem challenging to get Linux working on. I think I managed to learn a bit about how to compile X from CVS since I have probably done it about 30 times now give or take.

Have not had much time to mess with my IPAQ lately and I wanted to take a look at some of the networking stuff especially with regard to wireless.

I suppose one could say things are moving right along. Halloween, and my son is very excited. My daughter, who is three, is totally taken in by house decorations and runs around yelling "boo" all the time.

I think I will have a lot of interesting things to say around about 1 December or so :)

New day here...

My big announcement, at least for me, is I am leaving Linuxcare on 30 November 2001. A lot of reasons, some personal, some professional. Am I happy? I think so. Do I have something to look forward to? I definitely think so.

Many thanks for the kind words ianmacd . I don't feel quite able to address some of your very well written questions right now. I think that you know the truth though.

Thanks to that group at Linuxcare that has always been there for me, helping me, sometimes being that guru that is so necessary. I have always felt so close and through the next weeks I don't feel any further away. You are all in my thoughts and I have enjoyed the work and play and the trips to other planets (inside joke for the Linuxcare folks!).

See everyone on these dusty roads soon.

Quite a day today. Simply exhausting, perhaps exhilerating, and interesting to say the least. As I watched today unfold, it dawned on me that I am glad of the final outcome.

More on changes and mods most likely tomorrow. Suffice to say that many things will end shortly and others will begin.

New challenges, especially!

Waning days of the vacation.

Last day or so has been off but working on some things I would definitely like to get done before I return. I have a strong feeling that I am about to witness some basic changes in my life. I don't want to go on or post an epic here. When I left archeology behind, it was after 15 years of happiness tromping through the American Southwest and Mojave Desert doing environmental protection and consulting and finding a lot of very significant prehistoric cultural resources as I went. But my time came up for that. One day, I just knew it. I was walking in a pretty park in Daly City and I had this burst of realization that I would never walk from "Barstow to Las Vegas" ever again nor would I work on a 1,000 mile long natural gas pipeline or be on US Government federal properties like the Forest Service or the Air Force or the Navy. I walked away from that with some sense of accomplishment but also a sense of completion.

I am nearing that also in other arenas. I feel I have completed things and I believe change is coming. I believe that change can be good and if one does not adapt and adopt to it, it leaves you behind and you have not gained.

Where I am going with this, I don't quite know yet. I want to announce something, but its too early. I want to find a new place I can journey through, find some happiness in, find a lot of challenge, and go for another walk in another park.

No big news for me on things Linux. I am happy with it. It seems to encompass me with its flexibility and learning abilities. I also feel so glad to know the people I work with and have worked with.

Very gratifying.

Ongoing vacation and sometimes work diary :-)

We spent a few days on two short trips which were nice getaways. Earlier we went to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and we just got back from Sonora and a trip to several pretty nice state parks.

Working on a few documents and technical approaches that are continuing labors of love for me. I have done a lot of work around custom Linux solutions both from an implementation and design architecture standpoint and I had decided some months ago to bring all this together into a paper. The focus of this particular work is on Linux and its adoption over a strategic lifecycle. Very interesting evolutionary perspective which perhaps comes from some years of doing exactly that in the Social Sciences (archeology).

I had hoped to move past fvwm but its such an interesting window manager that I am still on it. Lots of things to learn about it. Hopefully tomorrow, I can get some work things done so that I am not terribly behind when I arrive back at $JOB this next week.

One other note... dsifry , I apologize for missing calls from you. I will take care of what I promised. We were on vacation the last week.

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