Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Aperture (almost)

Am I on the bandwagon or am I out in front about to get run over?

I got a shipping notification from apple...only after I had already seen
the ups, "you need to sign for this" note on the door.

If they had sent it three hours earlier, I would have come home early to
receive it.

Capture ONE LE, did almost everything I think I want but not all at the
same time


Capture ONE PRO, better but I had some trouble trying to get it to do
what I wanted even though it should be supported. (multiple sessions,
multiple settings at once on an image)


Aperture, looks like it does basically everything I want and more,
hopefully it isn't too slow on my not quite supported powerbook

$499 ( $249 go student discount)

The price is right, Aperture wins even thought I am drinking the apple
kool-aide buying a product that I have only ever seen in demo videos
probably running on the biggest baddest fastest quad G5s with 16GB of
RAM and an X-serve RAID array behind it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

File editing with IM

Chatting over IM with a coworker about editing some perl format
configuration files.

Emoticon translations really lower the efficiency of this process.

$foo::Debug != $foo:[Big Grin]ebug

especially when copy/paste ignores the emoticon

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Cycled to work on tuesday...my computer is out since the last time I rode.
My sister happened to be leaving for work at the same time, our routes are
identical for the first 3 miles or so. After three miles I turned off for
the ~.5 miles to my office while she continued the 12-13 miles to her

It is almost not worth riding so short a distance. I think I need to
take a few spins around the block just to ride long enough for a good

Wednesday, fairly normal work with the exception of some package install
problems. Bouncing package builds across the big pond is not the most
efficient testing method we have ever used. School was...well school,
nothing special at the moment.

Thursday, took my car in for service at 06:00, that is way to early. The
regular service was as expected. However the "you really need two new
tires (the ones I mentioned looking bald), however the other two are
almost ready for replacement as well"; with pricetag was not what I was
hoping for. So later today my wallet will be an unexpected 1K
lighter..damn performance touring tires.

I am also displeased by the wear life of the OEM tires. I have been
reading reviews that seem to indicate that in some ways I am lucky to
have gotten ~30K miles on them, in others it seems that I should have
been able to get 40-50K. In the future I am avioding the "Bridgestone
Turanza EL42".

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

SMF services

I will post the last part of my creating an SMF service saga shortly.

However, I feel that I should comment on a very obvious difference
between a couple of commands.

smf: not a command

svcs: smf service status command

svn: a version control system and command

Various combinations of svn -l "*fmri*", svcs commit, smf status are not
helping me get work done.

I find that I am having occasional issues trying to use svn track
changes to smf services.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

More things not to do...(or fun with at)

Adding another item of things not to do.

at now+30m
at> shutdown -g300 -i6 -y
at> CTRL-D

So I was testing some behavior to see if trying to allocate more swap than the available space would generate the message I was expecting (It does).

My next step was to use mkfile to eat up all but the smallest amount of space in /tmp that I could. Before doing that I set up the at job to try and recover if I ended up in a situation where all of my connections hung.

The result of the whole situation...

I was able to use almost all of my swap, the system was unresponsive for a minute or so while I was filling up /tmp.

While I continued to mess around seeing if normal tool use would also generate the message (It doesn't) I forgot to remove the at job.

So after making a note of my results and writing a message to that effect I remembered that I had an at job... unfortunately about 30 seconds too late to kill the running shutdown.

So much for my uptime.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Creating an SMF service (Part 3)

If you havn't already read them you might want to start with Part 1 or continue with Part 2.

It took me a bit longer to get this written than I intended, now that I have figured out that textile and code/pre tags don't play well this should easier.

In short however, it does what I need it to do now. The whole thing wouldn't suffer from some more work though.

In particular it is currently very brittle. If my relocatable package is relocated parts of this will break. I particularly don't know what to do with installations on a root server.

The following is the first part of the manifest.

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE service_bundle SYSTEM "/usr/share/lib/xml/dtd/service_bundle.dtd.1">
<!-- Service manifest for the Sysedge monitoring program(s) -->

<service_bundle type='manifest' name='SUNWsmcsysedge'>

<!-- A milestone to collect dependencies for both sysedge and sysedgeplus -->

<!-- common sysedge dependencies -->
<instance name="default" enabled="false">
<service_fmri value='svc:/system/filesystem/local' />
<service_fmri value='svc:/network/initial' />
value='file://localhost/etc/opt/SUNWsmcsysedge/sysedge.cf' />

<!-- sysedgeplus dependencies -->
<instance name="plus" enabled="false">
value='file://localhost/opt/SUNWsmcsysedge/plus/sysedgeplus' />
<stability value='Unstable' />

The brief rundown including how I generally read it to myself:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE service_bundle SYSTEM "/usr/share/lib/xml/dtd/service_bundle.dtd.1">
<!-- Service manifest for the Sysedge monitoring program(s) -->

This is XML, and the DTD can be found here /usr/share/lib/xml/dtd/service_bundle.dtd.1

<service_bundle type='manifest' name='SUNWsmcsysedge'>

This is a manifest called SUNWsmcsysedge

  <!-- A milestone to collect dependencies for both sysedge and sysedgeplus -->

The first "service" in the manifest is application/monitoring/sysedge_dep and it is a milestone.

(It is a milestone because somewhere the docs said roughly: A milestone is a syntectic service that collects dependencies)

      <!-- common sysedge dependencies -->
<instance name="default" enabled="false">
<service_fmri value='svc:/system/filesystem/local' />

As stated in the comment this is an instance of the service/milestone called default and it has a dependency called filesystem.

The dependency is part of the require_all groups of dependencies it has restart_on=none set which indicates that the local filesystems are reqiured to start the service, but after it is started changes to the filesystem do not require a restart to this service automatically.

This service has multiple instances with different instances being used or re-used to fulfill the requirements pf various other services.

<service_fmri value='svc:/network/initial' />

The second dependency is a requirement for networking support to be enabled. Again it is part of the require_all grouping, however in this case if the network configuration is refreshed the dependent service is restarted. Effectively I believe that this actually propagates down through the dependencies.

value='file://localhost/etc/opt/SUNWsmcsysedge/sysedge.cf' />

The third dependency in sysedge_defs:default or application/monitoring/sysedge_deps:default is also part of the requireall grouping. Note that the type here is *path*. The path type indicates that the *servicefmri* is pointing at a path that must exist to meet the dependency requirement.


The closing instance tag indicates that the first defined instance (In this case named default) is finished.

      <!-- sysedgeplus dependencies -->
<instance name="plus" enabled="false">
value='file://localhost/opt/SUNWsmcsysedge/plus/sysedgeplus' />

The second instance exists to validate the sysedgeplus instance.

      <stability value='Unstable' />

The stability Unstable indicates that I am still making up my mind about how all of this should work and I am apt to change it at any time. (Sun has actual definitions of the different stability levels)

Stay tuned, in our next episode I will define a service that actually runs a process.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Roller and Posting time

Somehow it appears that two of my posts are out of order...
I don't think I edited them and changed the posting time before trying to get them to show up as expected again.

In any case I am sure that I posted the first two parts of creating an SMF service in order;Part 1 was posted before Part 2.

The entry names make me sure of that as well. Additional posts that have the same subject for the length used to create the permalink appear to have numerals appended.

Creating an SMF service (Part 1)

This is Part 1 of an attempt to document creating a new service in SMF.


smf(5) and other related manpages


BigAdmin SelfHealing Site

BigAdmin Developer SMF Intro

BigAdmin SMF QuickStart

docs.sun.com Solaris 10 Admin Guide

Ben Rockwood's SMF Manifest Cheatsheet

The goal is to create a SMF manifest to start a monitoring daemon. (maybe one of those mugs as well)

Before going doing much poking around. I was expecting that I would create a binary instance and a script instance. I would like to be able to have a single manifest that contains all of the services/instances/bits I need.

There are two complementary functions a binary and a script. Recently the script has been modified it now has two operation modes. A "Full" mode and a compatability mode.

I will try to document the problems I run into and the solutions I find.

Part 2


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Live Upgrade Rocks

I know that live upgrade has been available for a while...What I don't
know is why I never really used it before.

Conceptually it makes sense but it was cool how easy it was to upgrade.
I need to see it in larger environemnts with complex application
deployments, but so far so good

# lucreate -c "Nevada16" -m /dev/dsk/c0d0t4:/:ufs -n "Nevada18"
# lustatus (see output below)
# lofiadm -a /var/tmp/solarisdvd.iso /dev/lofi/1
# mount -F hfsf /dev/lofi/1 /mnt
# luupgrade -u -n "Nevada18" -s /mnt
# luactivate Nevada18
# init 6
# lustatus (See output below)


Boot Environment Is Active Active Can Copy
Name Complete Now On Reboot Delete Status
-------------------------- -------- ------ --------- ------ ----------
Nevada16 yes yes yes no -
Nevada18 yes no no yes -


Boot Environment Is Active Active Can Copy
Name Complete Now On Reboot Delete Status
-------------------------- -------- ------ --------- ------ ----------
Nevada16 yes no no yes -
Nevada18 yes yes yes no -


Monday, July 18, 2005

Creating an SMF service (Part 2)

If you haven't alreay read it you might be interested in statrting with Creating an SMF service (Part 1)

The first major problem...the DTD

Or maybe not so much a problem with the DTD as with my understanding of the

Which generally means that I have either been lucky before when writing
Validated XML or I knew and forgot it.

I spent a good 30 minutes trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

I had valid XML but it didn't validate.

My first thought was that I was miss-remembering the DTD occurrence syntax.

W3 Schools: DTD Elements Indicates:

When children are declared in a sequence separated by commas,
the children must appear in the same sequence in the document.

Error message line breaks for readability.

svccfg validate sysedge.xml
sysedge.xml:94: element service: validity error :
Element service content does not follow the DTD, expecting (create_default_instance? , single_instance? ,
restarter? , dependency* , dependent* , method_context? , exec_method* , property_group* , instance* ,
stability? , template?), got (instance create_default_instance instance stability )
svccfg: Document is not valid.

Now, that error is clear. I have my children out of order (The above error is synthetic).

I have come up with the following "services":


sysedge_deps:* are classified as milestones

I don't understand why sysedge:default exists with
<create_default_instance enabled='false'/> set. Or is that just "The default instance will be created but not enabled"?

I may try and reduce the possible confusion and break the regular and plus
code into different services instead of instances. Particularly since I
want/need to set <single_instance/> for sysedgeplus.

It also seems that "application property groups" might do some good things.

I may also see if I can figure out how Dan Price
did his dependency graphing. Stephen Hahn has a cool example of smf dependency

Part 1

Part 3

Since I wrote this I have split the services and done a bunch of package integration.

I will go into details of the design and implementation in future installments.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Unfortunate Power Outage

Had a power outage at home this weekend. I wasn't there so I don't know
how long it was.

I do however know that it was long enough to run down my APC 2200.

The problem here is that the old flaky hardware that I have been using
for my main server appears to have lost it's powersupply.



Monday, July 4, 2005

Tour De France

So with the Sun shutdown I am all set to watch the first week of the

Friday, July 1, 2005

What not to do with your Lab v20z

...at least when someone starts using it while you are messing with the
Service Processor Sensor settings.

 sensor set -i ambienttemp -c 29.23 -w 29.24 -W 29.26 -C 29.27

Particularly when the operating temprature is ~29 - 31 deg C. We got a
bunch of SNMP traps as the temp. bounced between the thresholds. The
goal was to make sure we were receiving traps properly. Then we got a
platform state change trap...system power off.

A coworker started working with the system during this time and after
turning it on began to create a flar. Naturally after a short time the
system shut down again.

He came over and asked if I shut the system down. My answer: No

I told him that if he would give me a moment I would reset the sensors
so it would shut itself down again.

In any case it all worked as expected.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

You can make a lovely hat out of previously-used aluminum foil.

What is: A Gmail Trash "Recycling Tip"?

I Laugh: Ha Ha

Monday, June 27, 2005

Add an Ultra 20 to the list of things I want...

The price on the
Ultra 20
looks really good.

I really want:

A v20z,
and a

Actually two each of the servers wouldn't be bad except for the fan
noise and the power. All of my old equipment (more than 20% of my
current power bill) could be consolidated onto a v20z with plenty of
room to spare.


Friday, June 24, 2005

zweigles texas hots

We recently got a Wegmans (grocery store, supermarket, really kick butt
food other junk place)

One of C-'s coworkers/friends is from Upstate NY (The home of Wegmans),
and asked us to check and see if they had any "Zweigles Texas Hots"

"Zweigles Texas Hots" are apparently also a product of Upstate NY.
Prompting the question from a coworker (and former resident of Texas) of
mine: "Why is everything that has Texas in the name not from Texas?"

So "Zweigles Texas Hots" are hotdogs/frankfurters. Red and White
variety. No skin and Natural Pop-Open casing.

Also: Tastes Good

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fun with Phones

So I finally fixed my home phone setup, only to find some entertaining

First I needed to get a punchdown tool, I thought I had one but all of
my searching turned up nothing. I do however have two ratcheting crimp
tools. I also appear to be down one set of Coaxial crimp heads.

Second I needed to rewire my landline at the NID to continue to provide
service to my alarm and to switch line 1 to the inside wiring for line
2. (This could have been done inside but I didn't want to pull the
connections off the internal punchdowns)

My landline actually routes first to the alarm then into the house so
the alarm can preempt existing calls.

Third I needed to punch a line from my Vonage VOIP gateway into the
wiring for line 1.

All of that accomplished and tested I then went to demo the voice mail
function of our new phone to C-. (The phone detects the stutter tone
that indicates voicemail and lights an indicator on the base and

------------- (Fun Starts Here) --------

The phone is programed with the voicemail access number. Accessing VM is
as easy as pressing the VM button and selecting a line. (This should be
easier the phone should know what line has a stutter tone)

Upon calling the number for the VOIP line (VM access number) my second
line rings. I have a call from myself.

Vonage provides a call forward feature when the VOIP gateway is down,
the line is busy, the line is not answered and other fairly standard
call access features.

The defined forwarding number is the landline...sigh maybe there is an
alternate VM access number or the behavior can be modified to not
forward calls from it's own number.

As I get a look from C- telling me, "Wow that is neat, you can call
yourself on the phone!. Can you put yourself on speaker go in a dark
room and have a confrence call?"


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wikipedia: Heavy Metal Umlaut

To quote the person that posted this.

This is funny.


OpenSolaris Popularity?

It appears that OpenSolaris is popular(This may be an understatement).

I have been pushing an average of 200Kbps since I started seeding.

I wonder if we have tracker stats available. Or stats from all of the
download methods for that matter.

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Disapointed and Excited All at Once

I downloaded snv_16 which is not quite as uptodate as the downloadable
OpenSolaris code.

PXE booting to a grub menu was really way too cool!

Not getting an address for the actual boot was lame and now not being
able to repeat anything except dhcp not working it is disapointing.

I was hoping to get snv_16 installed tonight and start compiling
OpenSolaris tomorrow.

Taking one last look at my configuration shows that somehow I lost the
client idnetifier for my statically assigned DHCP address. I have
re-modified the entry and it is time for another shot.

Technorati Tags:

OpenSolaris Torrent Tracker Problem

I had been seeding the OpenSolaris when I started getting errors about
most of the torrents from the tracker.

If you are having problems getting everything except opensolaris-src...
then it would appear to be the same issue.

Although while I was writing this demand for the single file has

Edit: I restarted everything again when I got home. Naturally after I
say something they all started working. It appears I forgot to publish
this update, things have been working fully since around 19:00 Eastern

Downloading OpenSolaris

I am currently getting a good 80KB/s down and I have flipped to seeding
i386 closed bins and SUNWonbld.

Looks like 25min to finish bfu and src.

Then to look at distributed grid builds! It looks like I have a new
thing to suck up my free time.

Monday, June 13, 2005

JB weld rocks

that is all really, JB weld rocks

Biking: short and not fast

Went for a ride on Firday after I got home from work. I determined that.

  1. I have no idea where the lid for my camelbak bladder is

  2. It really is time for a new helmet

  3. I need a better place to wear the battery for my headlamp

  4. It is obnoxious when your front wheel is loose

  5. (4a really) Shearing off your skewer is not condusive to a good ride

  6. (4b) C-'s road bike is now short a skewer

  7. My bike pump may be in need of replacement as even I am having
    problems with it

  8. It took me over an hour to get out the door for an ~30min ride

  9. My front brake alignment was a simple fix

  10. I felt great after the ride

  11. ~7miles at 14.4 mph

  12. (11a) I rode to the office and back

I had to edit the source of this entry to get out of that list.


Putback Failures

Everytime I post with BlogEd I get a java class exception because of an
error making a cast. I didn't used to get that error.

I would post a screenshot but I closed it, I believe that BlogEd will
facilitate adding an image after the fact.

Too Busy To Blog?

I have been thinking about stuff to blog for a while. I keep nto writing
the entries. So the following posts in some random order will be at least
some of the things I have been thining about.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Nevada Build 16

I downloaded Nevada Build 16 last night. Hopefully I can get things
together enough to try and rebuild my little laptop this weekend.

Actually I think I will try an upgrade to see if I can get it to work, I
think I allocated a partition to try live upgrade when I built it.

I really want to see "New Boot"

Vaguely on that note, if anyone has an external vga connector for a Sony
PCG-U3 I wouldn't mind if you wanted to send it to me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Vonage call lentgh limit?

So it was confirmed...sort of

Jun 01, 2005 01:11 PM 04:00:00

Jun 01, 2005 09:07 AM 04:00:00

May 30, 2005 01:09 PM 04:00:00

May 30, 2005 09:08 AM 04:00:00

My calls drop at 4 hours, still no idea where the limitation is
and no real testing.

If I can plan for another long call I will try moving the VOIP
gateway outside the firewall but I can't currently think of a
limit that would be imposed by the firewall that I wouldn't hit
with other long running connections like music streaming.

Maybe I need to try and start a Skype call and let it run for 4
hours and see if it drops.


I just got a "call" or really an IM then a call to figure out my skype ID

A coworker is going to London and trying to figure out how to do some

The builtin mic on his laptop is broken, I had him plugin headphones and
talk to them.

He says his wife was looking at him quzically. It worked though.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Vonage or something else?

As part of the customer go live on the 30th I was on a long con call.

Twice during the call I got the receiver off-hook tone. At first I was
thinking that it might be interference between the cordless and my
wavelan. Since I was hardwired that was right out.

So I had two calls, that terminated at exactly 4 hours (4:00:00) into
the calls. A Vonage limitation? Some sort of counter overrun?

Since I don't see anything after a quick search about 4 hour call limits
for Vonage calls...

I assume, maybe I am wrong that other people have phone calls for more
than 4 hours. I assume that it is not the VT1005V, since it is
reasonable that some number of people who have calls longer than four
hours have the same device.

What most of those people probably don't have is an ipfilter firewall.

Could it be an aspect of keep state? Maybe I need to upgrade to
unlimited calling...since I have unlimited calling on my cell phone I
think I have the perfect test setup!

Monday, May 30, 2005

DNS Woes

So the new site go live... Current DNS lookups depending on who you ask
return: www is a CNAME to CDN www is an A record to old site foo is a
CNAME to www foo is a CNAME to CDN Which in addition to the above can
return: foo is a CNAME for www is a CNAME to CDN is an A record for a CDN
server foo is a CNAME for www is an A record to the old site This shows
that the lookup for foo sometimes goes to a DNS server that has the old
info for foo. Foo previously being a CNAME for www results in a lookup for
www. The lookup for www sometimes goes to a server that has the new info
and sometimes the old. The real confusion being the belief that if the
final answer is the CDN there should be no intermediate CNAME. We just had
a spirited conversation that resulted in browsers being restarted, which
cleared up a number of interesting behavior patterns. Now to try and find
some lunch since I didn't get a good breakfast and it is almost 3pm

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

BlogEd Strange Display Behavior

BlogEd is writing HTML for me. Historically I am not a fan of HTML

And it appears that this one is doing strange things to the fonts in

  • Bulleted

  • Lists

As well as

  1. Numbered

  2. Lists

It is probably style sheet related.

Solaris 10 ipfilter ipnat and PPTP

I have been having a problem setting up PPTP tunnels since I upgraded my
firewall to Solaris 10 (nv_12).
Some basic tests clearly
indicated that the problem was with my configuration.

  1. My BSD firewall with ipfilter worked

  2. My laptop direct worked

As part of the migration I copied the ipf.conf and ipnat.conf files that I
had been using.
Once the firewall was up on Solaris 10, I
installed the files and changed the interface names to match.

After installing the rules, I had to edit pfil.ap and add a new
interface type. svcadm start ipfilter and everything started
working...almost. All of my web browsing, inbound/outbound mail, inbound
http and ssh worked. The only thing that I couldn't do was create a PPTP

I have been poking the config for a few weeks never making the time to
sit down and really think about the problem. Last night I took some time
to start at the beginning and see if I could work it out.

After reading through the Section 4 of the ipf and ipnat man pages a few
more times to make sure I wasn't doing anything obviously wrong. I
practiced my googlescholar skills and looked at a bunch of mailing-list
posts, the pptp rfc and piles of other stuff. The trigger was seeing a
post indicating that all GRE traffic needed to be redirected to the PPTP

Kicking off a number of snoops an ipmon and finally (and I don't know
why I didn't do this a while ago) I ran a tcpdump for proto gre on my

  • From the external snoop I was able to see the inbound and outbound

  • From the ipmon I was able to see the inbound and outbound traffic

  • From my laptop, I could only see the outbound gre

The "fix" is to specifically route all gre traffic to the address of my

I need to see if I can do it without the hard coding of the IP addresses
that part is lame.  

The rules that make everything work are:

:::::::: ipf.conf ::::::::
pass out quick on extint proto tcp from any to any port = 1723 flags S keep state
pass out quick on exitint proto 47 from any to any
pass in quick on extint proto 47 from any to any keep state

:::::::: ipnat.conf ::::::::
rdr extint PPTPserverip/32 port 0 -> laptopip port 0 gre

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I prefer plain text mail.

No fancy
fonts and colors required.

So this mail from Sun of all places was a bit of a disapointment.

It's one thing to send HTML mail it is another to send HTML mail and
call it text/plain.


The Dashboard widget blogger is neat, but I think it is missing some of
the features I would want like drafts. The interface is also overly large
and not resizeable.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Solaris 10 Zones and N1GE6

I am trying to decide if it is cool or if I have no life(this is generally
rhetorical) I recently (last night) created some more zones on one of my
machines. Subsequently I installed N1 Grid Engine 6. The install was
surprisingly easy. Literally 1) Install Packages 2) run
$SGE_ROOT/install_qmaster 3) share $SGE_ROOT via nfs 4) mount shared
$SGE_ROOT at $SGE_ROOT on each node 5) run $SGE_ROOT/install_execd on each
node 6) run jobs $SGE_ROOT/examples/jobs/pascal.sh 200 Things I have found
out: 1) 50000 jobs in simple queuing results in horrible io wait on an
underpowered PC         e.g. qstat may as well never respond for how long
it takes at 99% io wait 2) 20000 jobs in BerkeleyDB queuing isn't to bad,
but it will be a while before they are done running.         e.g. qstat
takes 3s to return the list (15727 entries currently) Things to try: 1)
add the little PCG-U3 laptop as an execution host 2) add my powerbook as
an execution host 3) add C-'s ibook as an execution host 4) pascal.sh 500,
just to see if 125250 jobs will kill it Remaining Jobs at 60s + qstat run
time intervals Fri May 20 17:40:56 EDT 2005 | 15688 Fri May 20 17:42:04
EDT 2005 | 15673 Fri May 20 17:43:14 EDT 2005 | 15661 Fri May 20 17:44:26
EDT 2005 | 15646 Fri May 20 17:45:37 EDT 2005 | 15631 Fri May 20 17:46:44
EDT 2005 | 15616 Fri May 20 17:47:56 EDT 2005 | 15604 Fri May 20 17:49:07
EDT 2005 | 15589 Fri May 20 17:50:15 EDT 2005 | 15574 Fri May 20 17:51:27
EDT 2005 | 15562 About the server: s10_69 (still haven't gotten around to
the upgrade to Nevada Build 14 I want to see New Boot) System
Configuration: Sun Microsystems i86pc Memory size: 768 Megabytes AMD: K6
600MHz Currently Running 5 zones(3 execution hosts, apache, torrus
collector) Technorati Tag: Technorati Tag: Technorati Tag: Technorati Tag:

Friday, May 13, 2005

Solaris DHCP and Replay TV

I have a ReplayTV, I have had it for a couple of years. Until now I
haven't had any problems to speak of. I recently installed Solaris 10 on
my firewall. As part of that process, I moved DHCP to a different Solaris
10 server in my network. The ReplayTV (named Bob), sends dhcp requests
asking for addresses with the host name "RTV Bob". 42856e77: Datagram
received on network device: rtls0(limited broadcast) 42856e77:
select_offer: hostname request for RTV Bob 42856e77: name_avail(F):
gethostbyname_r failed, err 2 42856e77: select_offer: name_avail false or
no address for RTV Bob This is a problem. So now I have manually assigned
it an address, but it appears hung. I think it might be running an update,
but I can't be sure. I am tempted to powercycle it, but instead I think I
will go to bed. It might get kicked in the morning. On another note, the
email support link specifically says "Not for technical problems"...WTF I
guess it would be silly to send them mail about hostnames with spaces
then. Or not, it just started responding right before I was about to
submit this entry

Monday, May 2, 2005

Solaris 10 Beta Exam Part 1 - Passed

From the ~180 questions the end result was a field of 58. I Passed! I am
curious to know how I did on the full spread. Things that could have gone
better: Printing (So not a surprise) Software Installs File systems High
points: Security Booting and Shutting Down Backups and Restores It is a
shame that you don't get immediate feedback on Beta exams, I might have
better remembered the things that I thought were problematic aside from
the general printing kicked my butt. Part 2 will be the real question, it
was much more Solaris 10 specific, or rather there are a lot of things
that had different ways of being done before Solaris 10. It is however
suggested that Sun Edu. Services would be more than willing to help me out
on the weaker aspects.

Referrer Humor (To me anyway)

Unfortunately YakShaving appears to fit in quite well with thoughts of
"Itcy and Scratchy" Most of the other direct hits have to do with my next
post, which not existing yet probably gets a special tense from the "Hitch
Hiker's Guide to The Galaxy" This post will probably get some poor people
who are looking for something useful or informative or both as well.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Appeal from a Comment Spammer

I just canned some comment spam. The only english in the comment aside
from some links to movie sites and other garbage was. "God will love you
for your not killing my words" I don't recall any specifically enumerated
love for cherishing the comment spammers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A pint low

Gave blood today. Ate breakfast, then a snack then gave blood then a snack
then lunch... Then I was ravenous for dinner, and now an hour later I am
hungry again...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Chicken and Egg? Solaris Firewall Install

Days old entry that never got out.... I am upgrading my firewall to
Solaris 10. However the following problems exist... 1) My firewall is my
gateway 2) My firewall/gateway does not support pxe boot 3) My
firewall/gateway does not support console at boot (Anybody want to send a
V20z my way? I understand that the employee discount is good, but not so
good that I can just pick one up) 4) My Jumpstart + DHCP server want's to
use my firewall as it's gateway 5) I am way to lazy to reconfigure so that
it will all just work 4) Keeping the natives happy involves maintaining
Internet access throughout this process. 6) I can't boot disk one from my
SCSI DVD-ROM so I have to use the slower internal CD-ROM. Now the only
problem is that I misremembered the type of network cards that I had in
the system and I have no net from the box. Then after I grabbed the one
that I thought it was, because I didn't have a pen handy to write down the
vendor information from a prtconf -pv, it turns out that I have Netgear
FA310 not FA311, ah well fortunately bulk CDs are cheep. Tonight I will
find out if the tu driver from
works for me. After the
fact: Tonight was a little optomistic maybe by next week.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Fabulous Dinner

Just had a fabulous dinner. C-, went shopping today and bought, bratwurst,
asparagus and pineapple. (and a whole pile of other stuff as well) For
dinner we had grilled brats and asparagus, then for dessert we had grilled
pineapple (Do you see the trend). Nothing special about the bratwurst just
slow cooking. The asparagus was lightly brushed with olive oil and lightly
dusted with salt and pepper (to taste). The pineapple was prepared with
orange juice(didn't have any lemons), honey and pepper, then grilled on
medium heat until hot. It was all quite good, the asparagus should have
gone on a little later as it ended up a little over done. The pineapple
although good by itself went quite well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The only down side is that I just showed C- the animation from my
Hitachi Perpendicular Recording now she is dancing and sort of humming (She
feels that she is currently dancing like a cross between

Bill Cosby (in the later seasons) and

Napoleon Dynamite

Friday, April 22, 2005

22.02 miles 15.x mph on my road bike.

Rode out to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, then to the rt. 15
bypass, but I decided to turn around at the top instead of going down and
under just to go up the other-side a bit to turn around again. From:
just past 26.5
just before 33
I feel it a bit this morning, going up the stairs, I could
tell that I rode yesterday. I also feel it a little in my achilles. I need
to be a bit more through in my stretching.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Battery -- Excelent Life!

For the first time in about 6-9 months my laptop has warned me about
running on reserve power! Before I replaced the battery at almost exactly
1 hour of predicted life my laptop would sleep. Now I have had about 2.75
hours of wireless operations streaming audio running at highest
performnace and constant 'find /'s to burn power. I expect my laptop to
sleep any second now, with an estimated 4 minutes of power left, but the
estimated time appears to be dropping about 1 min for every 90s or so of
operation. It's like christmas, and I have a new toy. Now I am running at
%0 power and no estimate of time just "Calculating". Damn, and there goes
the recycling collection and I didn't take it out. Saving quite often now
just in case I shutdown instead of sleep. Went to sleep at just over 3
hours, I am happy.

What I should be doing right now

Writing a papers on SLAs and B2B commerce What I was doing...sitting on a
con call. What I am doing for the next hour...writing papers on SLAs and
B2B commerce Then getting back on the phone It's good that I have three
cordless speaker phone capable handsets, I can almost use them

New Laptop Battery

Received a new battery for my Ti Book today. So far, it is charged. I am
supposed to wait 12 hours before going off line power then run it down
until my laptop suspends. (This to try and calibrate the microprocessor in
the battery) That part isn't a problem. What concerns me is that as with
the old battery the charge went to ~75-80% and then jumped to 100%
charged. The reverse was also happening with the old battery only it was
jumping from ~35-40% to 0% Hopefully this will not be the case with the
new battery. Although 2.5 years and still over an hour of full power use
isn't too bad. We will see. If I continue to see strange behavior I will
go for a PMU reset. Then off to the genius bar if I can show the problem
with more than one battery maybe I will get somewhere without having to
let them have my laptop for testing for a minimum of three days. Repair is
one thing, but testing where I know that what they said they will do is
watch it charge and discharge a number of times is just silly.
Particularly when I can show logs of the charge discharge cycle.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hitachi Perpendicular Recording

This is interesting, and potentially useful to me... I need more storage
in my laptop. And I wouldn't complain if I could get 1,400 exposures on a
card... until I had to post process them, or if I toasted the physical
card at any point. Ok, 20GB on a 1" microdrive, RAID 1 in camera. This
animation is quite entertaining: Perpendicular Recording> The
looks interesting.

Evil Shortcut Coding

osver = `uname -r` if [ $osver -ge "5.10" ]; then zonename =
`/usr/bin/zonename` fi Unfortunately 5.10.1 isn't a number. -x
'/usr/bin/zonename' is probably better form in any case.

dhtadm -g; jumpstart wrong version, solved

The moral of this story might just be: If it keeps failing between 23:00
and 02:00 try it during the day after you get some sleep. I need to thank
Eric Noriega, for his summary post a year ago in which he states that the
Sun DHCP server does not pick up changes to macros with out a restart. I
need to blame my apparent inability to read (see moral) on missing the
following in the man page for dhtadm.

After you make changes with dhtadm, you should issue a SIGHUP to the DHCP server,
causing it to read the dhcptab and pick up the changes. Do this using the -g option.
Signal the DHCP daemon to reload the dhcptab after successful completion of the operation.

Quite obvious when you go back and look for it thinking; that is stupid,
why doesn't dhtadm tell in.dhcpd that something changed? So remember,
after you make changes to your macros and you can't figure out why nothing
appears to have changed, you forgot 'dhtadm -g'. 'svcadm restart
dhcp-server' will do it after the fact.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Jon Greaves Appointed Distinguished Engineer

Congratulations Jon 

So automated jumpstart works...sort of

So I have downloaded the latest Nevada build and added it to my jumpstart
server. However after installing I see SunOS 5.10 s10_72 Now I am not sure
exactly what I should be seeing but I know it should be SunOS 5.10.1 What
is really confusing me is that I have removed all of the other instances
b72, GA... But it still appears that I am installing b72. This makes no
sense to me. More digging.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

14.5 miles at 15.28mph

Not bad, not great, I need to keep riding.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Automated Jumpstart Finally!

After cleaning up some out of date macros, interpreting some errors from
JET that were actually from add_install_client and creating a new macro
specifically for the host, things appear to be going well. It is still
confusing to me that the initial boot image appears to be Solaris Express
build 72. It makes me wonder if I didn't clean something up, or if I am
otherwise confused about the state of my jumpstart server. Once this is
done I will make the tiny little laptop into a jumpstart sever, at some
point I need to rebuild my firewall/gateway to Solaris as well. I will
also be able to play with live update without worrying about destroying my
production boxes, and without having to worry about trying to get them
back up if I do something strange. It's a shame that it is late and I am
tired, it would be interesting to see if I can figure out why my root disk
is blocking so much when the jumpstart root, boot and packages are all in
a JBOD. This sounds like a job for Dtrace! I need to see about some more

What not to do when you are streaming audio

Apparently streaming audio while connecting to a VPN might be a generally
bad idea. It seems that changing all of your routes and DNS configurations
may have a detrimental impact on the function of your system. My guess is
that if I had waited instead of screwing around it would have resolved
itself, probably in about the time it takes to timeout a DNS request.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Unpacking books

I just unpacked a fair number of boxes of books. Both in my office and
onto the bookshelves in the "library" It appears that we need more
bookshelves, I think two layers, one built in, one half layer on tracks
and a rolling ladder sounds about right. Then again, maybe not this
decade, but it is a fun thought. Currently the organizational method has
been pick up book put on shelf. That will probably need to change at some
point, but not today, maybe around the time when the books aren't two deep.

With a prompt like this...

You would think I would always know where I am... [root@>ioerror(0) 1:05
pts/4] {global} [735] [root@>apache01(0) 0:42 pts/6] {apache01}

Friday, April 8, 2005

Interesting Zone UID behavior

I am playing with zones and instead of maintaining a centralized UID list,
I am adding users as needed to each zone(As I suspect would be the normal
behavior). Not surprisingly there are differences in UIDs. As a note it is
strongly recommended that you never directly access files in other zones
from the global zone.

sort -t: -k3 -n /etc/passwd /stripe/zones/apache01/root/etc/passwd /stripe/zones/apache02/root/etc/passwd | uniq -c

3 root:x:0:0:Super-User:/:/sbin/sh
3 daemon:x:1:1::/:
3 bin:x:2:2::/usr/bin:
3 sys:x:3:3::/:
3 adm:x:4:4:Admin:/var/adm:
3 uucp:x:5:5:uucp Admin:/usr/lib/uucp:
3 nuucp:x:9:9:uucp Admin:/var/spool/uucppublic:/usr/lib/uucp/uucico
3 smmsp:x:25:25:SendMail Message Submission Program:/:
3 listen:x:37:4:Network Admin:/usr/net/nls: 3 gdm:x:50:50:GDM Reserved UID:/:
3 lp:x:71:8:Line Printer Admin:/usr/spool/lp:
3 webservd:x:80:80:WebServer Reserved UID:/:
1 apache2:x:100:1::/zone/local/apache2:/bin/sh
1 yak:x:100:1::/export/home/yak:/bin/zsh
1 srs:x:101:1::/export/home/srs:/bin/sh
2 mysql:x:101:1::/zone/local/mysql:/bin/sh
1 mysql:x:102:1::/home/mysql:/bin/sh
1 yak:x:102:1::/home/yak:/bin/sh
1 torrus:x:102:1::/zone/local/etc/torrus:/bin/sh
1 yak:x:103:1::/home/yak:/bin/sh
1 torrus:x:103:1::/home/torrus:/bin/sh
3 nobody:x:60001:60001:NFS Anonymous Access User:/:
3 noaccess:x:60002:60002:No Access User:/:
3 nobody4:x:65534:65534:SunOS 4.x NFS Anonymous Access User:/:

As you can see above, starting in the 100s we have conflicting uid
assignments. The result is some confusing ps and prstat output in the
global zone which indicated in my case that mysql was running the torrus
collector process.

    ZONE     UID   PID  PPID   C    STIME TTY         TIME CMD
apache01 mysql 29869 1 0 09:48:57 ? 0:10 /usr/local/bin/perl /zone/local/torrus/bin/collector --tree=yakshaving

Total: 138 processes, 447 lwps, load averages: 0.48, 0.47, 0.41
11642 daemon 2096K 616K sleep 60 -20 0:05:16 13% nfsd/4
29869 mysql 16M 8404K sleep 59 0 0:00:10 2.0% collector/1
160 root 4404K 4200K cpu0 59 0 0:00:00 0.4% prstat/1

Knowing that mysql was not running the collector made this simple to
diagnose, but in a less controlled environment I think it could be quite a
bit more confusing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Closely Shorn...RRDtool 1.2rc4 and Torrus

1.2rc4 installed... Lack of font in display fixed, check recompile after
compiling in non-global zon, done (Ah! that is why I didn’t have
/usr/ccs/bin in my path) drive bogus load to servers, running I have a
make clean, sh config.status, nice -n 5 make loop running for 1.2rc4 to
drive artificial load on the server, as well as a bunch of windows open
pulling down pages from torrus every five minutes. I also have a find loop
running on the little Solaris 10 laptop. Now I need to get around to
rebuilding both the laptop and my firewall to at least GA...or maybe I
will look into Nevada for one. Maybe tomorrow/today I will publish the
link to the my Torrus install to let people poke around. I should check
and see if the http collector works for apache2 first and update it it
doesn't. More yaks to shave.

Dynamic DNS...

I use dynamic dns for access to my systems at home. Unfortunately it
appears that my DHCP lease has expired. I set up a cron job to refresh my
source address daily, when I get home tonight I will have to switch to
hourly. EDIT: Because of a runaway double quote everything below this line
was hidden before. FreeDNS works quite
well and the price is right. All of these problems will go away when I am
able to get static addresses from my broadband provider. Even then I don't
know that I will stop using FreeDNS, I will just manually setup the
entries. Well, off to school... Just remember, don't slack off on your
school work to play with computers the first time around. Although if I
hadn't done that 10 years ago maybe I wouldn't be where I am today.

Note (probably harmless): No library found for -ldb-4.2

Why is it that "probably harmless" really isn't? I am compiling mod_perl 2
from the bleeding edge source. Thinking that as usual that is a lie, I
went ahead and compiled it anyway. Although I didn't see any messages
indicating that something was wrong 'make test' informed me otherwise. The
problem is that I have BerkeleyDB installed in /usr/local/BerkeleyDB.4.2
and I don't see a why to fix the library path to use that location. crle
-u -l /usr/local/BerkeleyDB.4.2/lib added the path to my library search
list, but that didn't seem to do it, but starting down the road to a
configuration nightmare I added symbolic links from
/usr/local/BerkeleyDB.4.2/lib/* to /usr/lib Now that it is compiled I
should see if I can remove the links, the actual execution should respect
the library search path.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Waiting for furniture (PXE, RRDTool, Torrus...Yakshaving)

I stayed home this morning waiting for the last piece of furniture that we
ordered when our style/color was discontinued. The furniture got delivered
at ~9... Then I didn't get out of the house in time so I got on a 10:00
call, then while that was going on... I tried to fix my PXE boot problem,
I think I also needed to remember to change the DHCP macros. Unfortunately
after redoing the macros the initial kernel that is being loaded by my net
boot is still b72. I read my mail, RRDtool 1.2rc2 has been released. So I
downloaded it, compiled it. and got Torrus collecting data. So far so
good, now to make the changes to apache so I can look at the data. But
first off to the office so I can deal with my normal triple booked
12:00-1:30 Tuesday Morning and have a half hour before the meetings start
again. Tuesdays are basically useless.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Solaris 10 x86 GA Jumpstart...Making Progress

Interesting problem... At boot the Secondary boot loader repeatably
panicked with a
Nonexistant Diskette0
error. Not to give up easily I decided to try with
the express b72 nbp and inetboot image. I still see the error, but I don't
get the panic. Now the problem is instead of running my custom Jumpstart
it is running interactive. However in the grand scheme of things,
installing by hand will be much faster than trying to install by thinking
hard and cheaper than buying an external firewire CD/DVD.

Playing with MacJournal 3.1b1

I have been using textism.com/tools/textile">Textile: A
Humane Web Text Generator text processing plugin for roller. However it
looks like it is not applied when posting with the Roller xml-rpc API. At
the moment I am just logging in selecting the formatter and reposting each
entry. Even with the extra step I generally like this more than editing in
the web interface.

Getting a little internal Traction

Just got a note from my manager saying that he understands that I have a
good blog. I just sent him the link, we will see.

Friday, April 1, 2005

Nonexistant Diskette0

I am trying to re-jump a box at home. It is currently running Solaris 10
b72. I am trying to jump it to Solaris 10 GA, but the boot keeps panicking
because there is no /dev/diskette0. At first I was hoping that the problem
was DHCP handing out the wrong address. Thinking that maybe because hosts
and ethers didn't agree with address something was missing from the boot.
Unfortunately after I fixed that no apparent changes. Next Step, look at
the old JET template that I copied into a new 3.7.3 install, or GASP maybe
read the docs to see if something changed.
(I should read this one),
and Jumpstart
Enterprise Toolkit
really are quite useful.

First Ride of the Year

Went for my first bike ride this year. I came home a little early (or for
a very late lunch) and actually stopped working before it was dark out. At
about 5:45 I finally got out of my chair and located all of my bike stuff.
Fortunately I had a couple of jerseys hung in my closet and shorts in a
box in the bedroom. The helmets were sitting on the kitchen table and my
bike shoes, and a patch kit were in a box in the garage cleverly labeled
"bike stuff + junk", I grabbed a small pump from my camel back and my
water bottle and off I went. Ended riding just over 10 miles @ 12.89mph
max 25 The first five miles as usual were the worst, I rode a mile in a
partial loop around the neighborhood then headed over to the office. Total
distance for the first leg was 5.18 miles, It sucked. I started off
strong, a bit too strong for not having done any real cardiovascular type
activity in months. ~15mph for the first .25 and then ave ~18-20 for the
next .5 or so At the end of the first mile instead of heading back into
the neighborhood I struck out for the office at a moderate middle distance
pace. 4 miles later at the back door of the office I had forgotten my key
card, since I hadn't finished my water I rested for a minute and headed
back. The trip back was much better, the warmup on the way out and better
pace control left me at home feeling quite good. Next time I need to grab
a light if I am leaving so late. That ~4mile commute is really going to
kill me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I just talked to my youngest sister, she has two job offers and doesn't
know which way to go. I am more partial to the one that is near my house.
The offers are substantially similar, one company has a reasonable web
presence and some transparency as to who they are and what they do. The
other has a poor web presence and I can't find anything useful about them.
She interned with the former over the summer and has a good feeling about
them, she doesn't have a bad feeling about the other so that is no help. I
fear that I wasn't much help either.

Windows XP SP2 - Forced Install

So a friend of mine just sent me a link that seems to indicate that on
April 12th SP2 will be installed. UPDATE: Time is running out! Please note
that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is
only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004.
At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be
delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems. I am
glad I don't have any devices running windows at home any more.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Extensive Cross Linking Problems

So I just ran into an initially non-obvious problem. Given: foohost1
/usr/local/foo -> /realfoo bar: /usr/local/foo -> /realfoo Where the
contents of /realfoo are superficially identical on bar mount: foohost1:/
/tmp/foohost1 foohost1:/realfoo /tmp/foohost1/realfoo So knowing about the
links everything is clear, but if you are not thinking about them or are
unaware that they exist you get confusion. The problem: /tmp/foohost1 ==
foohost1:/ /tmp/foohost1/realfoo/one/two == foohost1:/realfoo/one/two
/tmp/foohost1/usr/local/foo/one/two == bar:/realfoo/one/two so if you were
to rsync /tmp/foohost1/realfoo/one/two AND
/tmp/foohost1/usr/local/foo/one/two In reality you are smashing the two
trees together the result in this case being strange application behavior

Posting and Losing the Subject

The post worked, but I had to edit it online and re-add the subject. One
more try and off to sleep.

Testing MacJournal XML-RPC

Testing 1..2..3.. and now as usual about this time while blogging I start
to fall asleep. This time with the correct password I think it will work.
As long as it doesn't hang again.

Things to Blog About

I keep coming up with things I want to blog about when I don't have
time... Then when I have time I don't have the energy or I look back and
say well that was hours/days/weeks ago and is no longer relevant. Maybe I
will do something about that. Possible future topic include: * Our New
house * Solaris 10 in my basement * Security Systems * Vonage/VOIP *
Internal Call routing, 911 and Vonage * Photography * Our Old House (For
Sale, almost) * Hosting dinner for 14, weeks after moving * Why an airport
express is cool, particularly with in ceiling speakers * Silt fences and
the river in my back yard * rebuilding my firewall to Solaris 10 I like
IPF and Solaris, I think I will like them together * Setting up my little
sony to be a jumpstart server * del.icio.us, can I get a feed from my
del.icio.us account in this blog?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Torrus and SMF

I was able to compile the current RRDtool 1.2 Release Canidate, install
the required perl modules and Torrus without any issues. I was also able
to setup the configs, do the device discoveries and database compilation.
Instead of manually starting Torrus and setting it up as a legacy service
I created my first SMF manifest and imported it. I was expecting it to be
at least a little bit more complicated than editing an XML file, moving
the start/stop script to the right place and running svccfg -v
import /var/svc/manifest/application/torrus.xml
The online and
offline functions appear to be working quite well.... Unfortunately the
RRDTool 1.2 Release Canidate perl shared bindings are another problem. I
can however report that when the start method fails the system runs the
stop method. Unfortunately I don't think I will have any real time
to work on it until next week. Maybe I will just try a slightly older
rrdtool snapshot.
Trying an older snapshot is no good because I
get an error from configure telling me that my compiler does not support
IEEE math out of the box. So I am back to trying again later when I can
think about the problems.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Moving House

We moved almost three weeks ago. On Monday, a gentleman from the company
who we previously had power wash our deck called. We had reported to the
company that the last job was horrible, the work we were billed for did
not appear to have been performed. He wanted to come out, take a look and
try to remedy the situation. Good news...The deck looks fabulous. The deck
is clean, some of the stains didn't come up, but what do you expect from a
15-20yr old deck. The siding on the house that had old stain on it is
clean (something we were billed for but did not receive the first time).
The only remaining step is re-staining the deck (Also contracted, but we
understand that they wanted to wait for it to dry). Today we got most of
the last of the stuff from the old house staged into the living room,
loaded up the car, removed the old decrepit carpet and pad from the
basement and threw away a bunch of junk. We also talked to some of our old
neighbors, one of them does a carpool to meet HOV restrictions and such.
One of the people she gave a ride to last week is looking to buy a
townhouse in the price range we are looking to sell. We have a contact
number, it might be possible for us to get the house sold even sooner than
we hoped. Tonight in the new house, while looking for some curtain rod
hangers C- found the key chain that had the keys for the locks that I cut
off three of the storage units. There was a theory that stated that they
may have fallen in a box that was packed into one of the storage units,
based on the box that they were in that was not the case. I am vindicated
in my belief that they had not been locked inside. Tonight we also finally
got the mirror hung in the bedroom. I really like it, but it was a pain.
It is fairly heavy and one of the screws went into a stud...unfortunately
it was not a self drilling wood screw which made for hard going. The
hollow wall anchor for the other side was quite simple, easy and
effective. We also priced blinds for our bedroom. The golf course behind
our house put in a new cart path...It appears to have opened this
weekend...I am not overly body shy, but I don't need to wave to golfers in
the morning. Now to finish cleaning up the garage so we can put both cars
in it, finish fixing the legs on the old dining room table before we have
people over for dinner on Easter Sunday, probably finish unpacking and
arranging as much stuff as possible before that as well. Off to bed, I
brought some cable management stuff from the old house today but I am
exhausted and not in the mood to recable the rack tonight.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Thoughts on Solaris Beta Exam Part 2

Well, this one did not go as well. I think that name services will end up
being my downfall. I have only ever really worked with NIS once. It was
very specific and required a lot of knowledge about how NIS works,
unfortunately it was in no way a traditional use. I am also sure that I
blew a few RBAC questions. I am tempted to see if there are any openings
left and try to take the exam again (after a bit more studying). So anyone
who is reading this and has yet to take the Exam...you should think about
a review of name services, RBAC, PXE booting or really everything in the
testing objectives.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Off to Solaris Beta Exam Round 2

I talked briefly about the
Solaris 10 Beta Exams
Beta Exam Part 1
Thoughts on Beta Exam Part 1
. Now I am off for part two. Yesterday a
co-worker and I both took part one at the same time, we talked about it a
last night
and we both feel that we probably did reasonably well. He was
going to sign up to take part two today as well, but the schedule was
already full (I think he just wants some feedback to know if he should
focus on any specific technology areas for his test next week :) ). I
don't feel nearly as well prepared for this part. Nothing is really new to
me, but it is technology that I have used more at home than in a day to
day work environment. I will keep everyone informed as to how many surveys
I take this time, and if in the end if I could have used more than four
hours to complete the test.

Studying for Beta 2

Had a nice evening of relaxation.


A co-worker's last day is
today. He is not going to be in for the full day and will
not be available tomorrow tonight for a going away type
event. So a group of people were going to go to the local Irish
place...Except for the big line and the cover charge. Who knew, St.
Patrick's Day and all.


So the celebration moved down the street and then
back to our new house. Now I have spent a bit more time relaxing and
hanging out than I would have liked, and I am sure the low key partying
will not be helping my test score.


So tonight now a quick
review of RBAC, zones, PXE booting, disk suite and name services. In
roughly that order. I think RBAC appeared in Solaris 8, I remember playing
with it. I also remember being excited by the possibilities but
disappointed with the execution.

As I recall the instructions were
basically "Only change this with the SMC GUI". Now I see from the
objectives, that the RBAC using CLI utilities is part of what should be
covered. I have done Zones and PXE booting at home, so I think I am doing
OK there. I am reasonably comfortable with disksuite and name services.


Unfortunately all of the afternoon and evening got eaten up by real work
and later revelry, so the feeble attempt at studying before bed failed

Thoughts on Solaris 10 Beta Exam Part 1

So day one is done. Overall I feel good about the test, some interesting
things. I took the initial survey 4 times, after the third I was sure I
wasn't doing something wrong. (After the PC was rebooted I got to do it
once more and continue on) Although I considered answering the survey with
different answers each time, I decided that it would probably be a
mistake. I haven't actually used ufsdump/restore in a long time... a quick
check shows that I got at least one question wrong* Printing wasn't as bad
as I was expecting. I haven't done much with printing in a while but I am
reasonably confident that I didn't mess it up too badly. I don't like
questions similar to "what is the proper order for these items:"
a,d,g,f,b,h d,h,f,g,e,c b,c,s,d,e,f e,d,s,x,c,v I much prefer the

First      a
Second b
Third c
Fourth d
Fifth e
Sixth f
g (So even using pre, my contiguous white
h space gets eaten if it is ^ +)

Not all items must be used Maybe it is just me, but I strongly prefer "put
in order" to which of these is correct. Particularly when the list is
long. The lists were long. The wording of the questions was actually quite
good, with very few questions that I had to read a few times to try and
understand. Only a few questions that I think were not answerable given
the wording and the possibilities. (One of which I just tested and I am
sure that the correct answer wasn't presented) A couple of questions that
I believe had more than one valid answer presented in a pick one scenario.
My favorite error... (Select two choices)
Select three choices Which one to choose, the one that is probably correct, or
do you take a third could be correct sorta selection. I went with three,
assuming that you are using mechanical grading it is probably better to
fulfill the programmed expectations. After all of that and making sure I
had a somewhat reasonable grasp on EFI and how to deal with multi-terabyte
filesystems, not a single newfs question -T or not. Tomorrow Part II, time
for more studying. *probably a few more than one really :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Solaris 10 Beta Exam Part 1

In about 1:30 I will sit down to take the Solaris 10 Beta Exam Part 1 I also participated in the Sage Certification
Beta Process as well. (Since I passed I am cSAGE certified) This sounds a lot
like the Sage beta process. The testing time is 4:15, I expect to be hit
with all of the possible candidate questions for the production exam. With
none of the immediate feedback. For all of my efforts playing with Solaris
10 at home, I wonder how well it will go. I haven't had nearly the time to
play with everything that I have wanted to play with. So now having had a
half hour or so to review the options for smf related commands one last
time I am off.

Edit: 10/12/2006, noticed some obnoxious content errors that I don't think used to exist, and applied the line breaks plugin

Friday, March 11, 2005

Things to Do This Weekend

1) Write a few pages of our group paper 2) Fix up the old house to sell 3)
Study for Solaris 10 Beta Exams 4) sleep

Local Number Portability

I have been a little busy and neglecting my personal mail. In checking
just now, I see that I have a notification from
that I have a voicemail. I will take that as an indicator that my
number transfer to Vonage has gone through. The stated minimum time for
the transfer was 20 business days, it appears to have gone through on the
10th. Figuring that getting the request sent late Friday doesn't really
count as a day, it took 22-23 business days. Part of the HOA fees at the
new house are for local phone service. Time to setup Asterisk or something
to route calls between Vonage (basically everything) and the land line
(911). I understand that Vonage has a basic 911 tie in, but why not use a
land line with full integration.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

XSH: XML Editing Shell

Just fixed a small xsh
script that I wrote months ago in my spare time to walk a
configuration snapshot.

A coworker asked me If I had a way to easily provide an overview/outline
of the data that was being collected via Torrus for a customer.
Fortunately the answer was yes, and it didn't involve the complex, ugly
and not quite functional grep and awk statements I used the first time I
tried to get quick overview of the XML tree.

The problem was that in order to get the comment I was stepping into the
comment parameter to get the value when I should have been doing

$comment = string(param[attribute::name='comment']/attribute::value);        

Then I wasn't stepping back out, prematurely ending the loop and missing
additional trees and leaves.

The Final output looks a bit like this, but goes on to enumerate all of
the data that is collected and displayed.

  Subtree = Devices ''
Subtree = router-name '2651XM chassis, Hw Serial#: XXXXXXXXX (XXXXXXXX), Hw Revision: 0x301'
Subtree = Buffer_Usage 'Buffer usage statistics'
Subtree = Small_Buffers 'Buffer usage statistics'
Leaf = Free 'Number of Free Small Buffers'
Leaf = Max 'Max Small Buffers'
Leaf = Hits 'Small Buffer Hits'
Leaf = Misses 'Small Buffer Misses'
Leaf = Creates 'Small Buffer Creates'
Leaf = Trims 'Small Buffer Trims'

The snapshot XML in part looks like



Tuesday, March 8, 2005

DCE followup/Primary Source Joke

My primary source joke made me curious. Fortunately the
Oxford Reference Online
backs me up, even in spanish.

3. DCE Abbrev. for
data communication equipment. The side of an interface that represents
the provider of a data communication in a standard such as RS232C or X25.
DCEs are usually analog or digital modems or network interface units.
Compare DTE . (From A Dictionary of Computing in Computing)

4. DCE
Computing data-communications equipment (From The Oxford Dictionary of
Abbreviations in English Language Reference)

5. DCE abbr ( data
communications equipment ) equipo de comunicación de datos m (From The
Oxford Business Spanish Dictionary (English-Spanish) in Bilingual
Dictionaries) The search for the other term returns no results.


I will
enjoy arguing about this in class tomorrow night.

When did DCE become Data Circuit-Terminating Equipment?

Has it always been Data Circuit-Terminating Equipment?
Why isn't it DCTE

DTE - Data Terminal Equipment DCE - Data Communication Equipment Is
DTE really Data Terminal-Terminating Equipment?


I think I can see a way
that Data Communication/Terminal Equipment could have become that DCTE
garbage. An exhaustive primairy source (google) search shows that the
DCE "data communication equipment"
has ~30K results.
While my
new favorite
DCTE "data circuit-terminating equipment"
has 54 results.


real questions here are why am I reading "Essential Guide to
Telecommunications, Second Edition, The" and "Absolute Beginner's Guide to
Networking, Third Edition" and haven't I already proven to myself that I
get much less frustrated when I just don't do the assigned reading?

is what I get for playing with computers instead of attending classes
during my first go at college, well this and a pile of student loans that
took a few years to pay off.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

What I should be doing right now...Packing

  1. Staging the contents of the Attic into the living room so we can move.
  2. " " Basement Closets " "
  3. " " Laundry Room/Computer Closet/Work Room
    " "
  4. Break down rack leaving only the FW and enough gear to run this
    house until the new house is live on Tuesday.
  5. Break down the old HUGE
    UPS in the Laundry Room/Computer Closet into "3 man carry" portable bits
    so the movers can get it out of the house.(Free isn't always good)


What I
want to be doing right now...

  1. Rebuilding my Solaris 10 box with a
    failed Hard drive and upgrading to GA
    1. Rebuilding my FW to scavenge the
      SCSI card so I can access both sides of my old HP NetStore JBOD(see 1).
    2. Checking out this bfu thing and trying out Janus and ZFS although I am
      not really sure how bfu works.
  2. Continue working my way through the
    Dtrace manual (which depends on 1)
  3. Get
    running on my Solaris 10 box and use Dtrace to look at the
    internals(see 1).
  4. In conjunction with 3 play with slamd, ctrun and
    smf(see 1).
  5. Trying to not electrocute myself while isolating the short
    in my APC3000, and Figuring out if the APC2200 I have destroyed the last
    set of batteries or if the batteries were
  6. bad to begin with(Auctions Can
    be Bad, cheap junk is still junk).
  7. Most anything other than packing.


What I could be doing right now that would sort of qualify for both...but
not really

  1. Figuring out if the APC Trade-UPS program where they come
    and take away your old ups would include the removal of the behemoth not
    that I can really afford to buy 6KVA of new hardware to qualify even with
    the discount.


What I am doing right now...

  1. Playing
    Metaphysik: Ball Revamped II by John Cooney
    a silly flash game that now I
    feel the need to play again for better results.
  2. Reading
    Sun Blogs
  3. Wasting time posting to this blog :)

Friday, February 11, 2005

New House

We just got a message telling us that we have a walkthrough/inspection of
our new house on the 18th and a tentative settlement date of the 25th.

Exciting and scary at the same time. It has been a long wait and I am
ready to move.

It looks like the next couple of weeks will be all about the last of the
packing and cleanup of the current house.

...off to clean and pack

Sunday, February 6, 2005

PowerBook as a serial console

A question about using a powerbook as a serial console was forwarded
around recently. I thought I would share my solution(which happened to be
suggested by more than one person).


I have been using a "Keyspan High Speed USB Serial
Adapter":http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/usa19hs/ a db9 -> RJ45
adapter, a rollover cable and ckermit

This solution has worked without a hitch for devices with RJ45 serial
management ports. Adding a additional RJ45 to DB9 and RJ45 to DB25
rounds out the connectors for basically everything else.


Another recommendation from someone using the same hardware is Zterm.

And now off to sleep.

So Not Funny: Shmoo Group International Domain Name Translation Spoof/Hack

The "Shmoo Group":http://www.shmoo.com/ has published an example of an
exploit which takes advantage of IDN to spoof sites for both "PayPal
http":http://www.pаypal.com and "PayPal https":https://www.pаypal.com

The links above should take you to "PayPal". Original "Shmoo
Example":http://www.shmoo.com/idn/ and
"explanation":http://www.shmoo.com/idn/homograph.txt Using firefox and
setting "network.enableIDN" to false in about:config, will prevent
firefox from following the link, but the error is non-descriptive
resulting in a "[Translated Name] site could not be found, please check
the name and try again"

Update: I should mention that it does not work in IE by default, as
apparently IDN translation code is only available as a plugin.

IV Fluids and ABs really hit the spot

So I went to my local urgent care facility Saturday morning, after
expirencing some dizziness apparently this was probably due to sinus

With a slight rattle in my chest, a cough, and fluffy green phlegm the
doctor decided that I would benefit from a liter of fluid and some

I think he was correct, I felt much better today. At least until I got
some calls from the office. Talking on the phone for extended periods
made my throught itcy and scratchy again.

5 days left in this course of ABs, if things keep up I should be all
better. Now for cough medicine and sleep.

Smallest JumpStart Server Ever

I am planning on making the currently undisputed smallest JumpStart server

A "Sony PCG-U3":http://www.dynamism.com/u3/main.shtml


In breif: Crusoe 933 MHz processor 6.4" (XGA) TFT-LCD 20gb HDD 512mb RAM
1.8 pounds 7.3" x 5.5"

I understand that I could maybe make a smaller server with a nano-itx
board, but not with a keyboard, display etc. in such a portable package.


So far, I have Solaris 10 installed and running, from a PXE boot
jumpstart install. That was neat, not as easy as booting a SPARC, but
not bad once I got the proper DHCP/BOOTP settings in place.

Unfortunately the box that did the initial jumpstart is currently unable
to see it's root disk. So I can't use it to share the media to do the
setup install server. I have all the hardware I need to recover one way
or another, but I don't currently feel like scavaging from my firewall
for another scsi card so I can see both sides of my old HP NetStore JBOD.


So the next step is probably to nfs share from my laptop to the PCG-U3,
possibly between commercials during the superbowl.