Happy Sysadmin’s Day!

It is the last Friday of July once again, which means it is Sysadmin’s Day. Congratulations to all system, network, and database administrators.  Have a short day and a long pint!



Everyone else should take this opportunity to appreciate the work done by system administrators.  The nature of this profession is such that most people only notice the existence of system administrators when something is broken and doesn’t work.  If you network is running smoothly, if can’t remember the last time your computer gave you trouble, if your inbox is clear of spam and viruses – there’s a sysadmin somewhere making sure of that.  Things don’t just happen by themselves.

Validating website HTML, CSS, and links from the command line

When working on a long running projects, it’s easy to lose track of HTML and CSS standard compliance.  Also, link rot is a common occurrence.  Gladly, there are command line tools that can be executed on a regular basis (think weekly or monthly cron jobs), that would check the site and report any issues with it.  Here is one of the ways.

Installation on Fedora:

yum install linkchecker
yum install python-tidy
yum install python-cssutils

Example command line:

linkchecker -t20 --check-html --check-css http://mamchenkov.net

Obviously, check the manual of linkchecker for more options.

Useful Skype commands, roles, and emoticons

Just by accident I came across this list of Skype commands and roles.  I only knew two or three.  Apparently, there is much more.  For those of us who use Skype on multiple devices, checkout /showplaces and /remotelogout :

  • /showplaces – Lists other instances where this Skype name is currently signed in.
  • /remotelogout – Sign out all other instances except the current one. This will also stop push notifications on all other instances.

And while we are on the subject of not so well-known Skype features, have a look a the complete list of emoticons (smileys) that you can use in the chat.  These include some more additional icons and country flags.

Platforms trump products – an excellent view on the trend of vendors to create platforms rather than just products or services.  The world is getting larger and scalability becomes a problem fast – platform, it seems, is a viable solution for now.  Interestingly, lessons learned in the digital world can be applied to the real world.

Backup black hole

I just had to look for something that got deleted in one of the systems I administrate.  We have daily backups for the last week, weekly backups for the last two month, monthly backups for the last year, and yearly backups for ever.  That seemed like a sensible backup plan.  Unfortunately, the item that I was looking for was deleted created and deleted a couple of weeks ago.  It probably made it into one of the daily backups, but got rotated out.  And it didn’t live long enough to get into the weekly backup.  And now it’s gone.

(It wasn’t anything critical – but it would be awesome to restore it anyway.)

If it was a file, a backup tool like HashBackup could have made sure I’d never lose it.  But it was an item in the database, of which I have a compressed dump.  I’m guessing it’s probably the time to look for a proper database backup tool…

Any recommendations for MySQL?

Mobile Web Monitoring Advanced Scripting (MITE)


Reduce your test time with MITE test automation. MITE comes with a script recorder that lets you capture each step as you navigate a mobile website. Record once and re-run the script on any device profile, repeating each action and collecting unique mobile Web optimization data for each selected device.

Start recording any time during a session by clicking the record icon on the ribbon. You can add validation checks for every step by simply right-clicking the script and selecting the validation check.

Not only does automated testing save time, but it also guarantees a consistent test methodology. Once you’ve completed mobile Web optimization, upload your script into your own MyKeynote portal and a get a new perspective on the availability of your mobile site with a week of free monitoring.