Archive for July, 2009


Late last ‘week I noticed that my new nagios server was not responding anymore. Well, I checked it and it was down. Not only that, it was a vm on my test server and the entire server was down as well. Arrrgh.

Usually I use this as a foray to tell you all to remember to do your backups. Well, in this case I didn’t do them either. Hey, it’s a test vm server right? Yeah, well I am kicking myself about that anyhow. I just got nagios working really well the way I wanted. Oh well, I guess I get to practice some more right :-)

Well, as it turns out, my server had a catastrophic drive failure. I did EVERYTHING to try and resuscitate this thing. To start with, it had no partition table at all. Luckily I bought 2 of these servers and they were identically configured, so I checked out the partition table of the one and used fdisk to apply it to the broken one. After that I was able to fsck one partition, but as it would happen, that partition was only boot. Feh. The other partition had lost all it’s superblock info. I couldn’t even use a backup superblock. Nada. I noticed that mkfs had a command line switch of -S, which writes the superblock info on a artition without formatting or touching the inodes. I tried that and it appeared to be successful. At leat I could run fsck on the partition now and it was fixing the inodes. YAY! except that after a few hours of fixing, I still got nothing but a few system files in a pile under the lost-n-found directory. Shortly thereafter the drive lost it’s partition info again anyway. That’s life I guess.

So, it was off to Microcenter to get a new hdd. I brought that home and did a fresh CentOS 5.3 32 bit install and played with it a bit and thought to myself, hey, maybe I should run some kind of burn-in test on this server before I go investing a lot of time into it again.

That is where Sys_Basher comes in. Sys_Basher is a multithreaded memory and disk exerciser. That’s what the website says. It makes a pretty good burn in program by continually testing your memory and disk (which pushes on your cpu as well) for any length of time you specify. I kinda like it actually, and that is a good thing because there are woefully few burn-in or stress test type programs available to the Linux community. In fact, if you are a programmer and looking for a great project, you could generate a lot of traffic and interest by making one. Not that I don’t like Sys_Basher, mind you, but variety is the spice of life and certainly the way of open source!

Anyway, I ran Sys_Basher overnight on my new machine which passed with flying colors. Then, this morning, I decided that maybe I should run 64bit Linux on this box. Some days I am so fickle, but I decided it would be in my best interest to change up the OS before building a bunch of new test vms on there :-)

Maybe this time I’ll even back the darn thing up too! Wish me luck and, btw, do your backups!

Just Checkin’

Many many upgrades to the backend of today. Just checking to see if everything syndicates like it’s supposed to.

A Win for Mono

Miguel announced on his blog that Microsoft has place ECMA 334 and 335 specs under the Microsoft Community Promise . So that essentially means that projects like Mono implementing these standards will no longer have to worry about potential patent infringement law suits from MS so long as they fully implement the standard.

Now some might be concerned with the clause “fully implement the standard.” But think about it. Microsoft wants to see their .net technology take off and for someone to take the standard and produce a version that does not fully implement it, then extends it in a different way, results in technology that chances on breaking other implementations of the standard in a way that can jeopardize the community surrounding it. Hmmm… I guess MS does not want other people doing what it does to other standards to push out competition. Regardless, this is still a great boon for Mono.

I hope now we can set aside this bickering as to whether implementing Mono will get you sued by Microsoft. On one hand, while Microsoft is admitting, again, through this license that they feel Mono is infringing on their patents, they have relegated this concern /dev/null with their community promise.

Now I for one would like to see more attention placed on what an open standard is and how an open standard could be labeled open when it is patent encumbered. Case in point: Mpeg.

AndNav2 – GPS navigation application for Android

AndNav screenshot

The idea of having an all in one device is pretty much realized with my G1 phone. It has a built-in GPS and is capable of being used as a navigation device. There is a commercial application called TeleNav which is free for the first 30 days but $10 a month thereafter. I did find a free application called AndNav2 that’s currently under development. AndNav2 utilizes the Open Street Map project and provides turn by turn voice navigation. The only issue is right now is only a handful of countries are supported for the turn by turn navigation. They are currently in the process of rolling it out for U.S. based users. I plan on donating some cash to these guys to help them accomplish this. I encourage other U.S. based Android users to do the same so we can enjoy it like our European friends.

Nipple Burn is Back

Boy is it ever. I’ve been running again and man, the chaffing is something awful. Follow it up with a trip to OBX and man you have a stingfest like nothing else. But the ocean is so much fun.

I had a nice run today, 4.8 miles and followed it up with mowing the lawn. Right now any shirt kills me. Maybe I can go to work topless tomorrow?

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