Random bits

Morning started with debugging – the storage we’ve got yesterday didn’t want to boot at all, although Red Hat Linux 8 installation finished OK. BIOS check revealled that boot devices were specified only to be a network adapter, floppy, and a CDROM. OK. Fixed, but didn’t solve the problem. Rescue mode showed that installation did indeed went OK. Everything is there. Boot floppy successfully brings the system up. Some more playing with the BIOS, and ole! Second RAID controller was specified as a first, and first – as second. Problem fixed.

Finishing LDAP interfaces I wrote in PHP. Somewhere I have a stupid problem with crypt() using DES.

Lots of talking with our developers: ctags enlightenment, “always full” UNIX memory approach, iabb and Ctrl+P/Ctrl+N complition in vim, email aliases and scripts for mail processing, etc.

Some talking with our admins aswell: open-source vs. closed-source, de facto vs de juro standards, Exchange and Outlook in Linux world, system development life cycle, and the like.


Arrivals day. First, early in the morning, first book (out of 2 ordered) arrived from Amazon.co.uk. Surprisingly, it took it almost 2 month to come.

Then, after lunch, our 4U Terabyte Gorilla Storage arrived. IDE versino with total capacity of roughly 2.7 TB claimed (16 drives x 160 GB each). It has 2 3Com Escalade 7500 IDE RAID controllers. Each one handles a RAID 5 configuration of 8 disks. Out of curiosity, I’ve changed the configuration to 7 disks + 1 spare on each controller. Looks nice till now. There are two pairs of keys – one pair for the front cover, another – for hard disks. Lock ’em up, hehe. Drives are hot-swappable. Nice. Dual redundant power supply, but from the single source. Not too bright. Lots of fans inside. Good. 4, afair, PCI slots still available, but 2 of them are not accessible due to IDE cables sticking out from controllers. Still, not bad. Internal design looks good.

I’ve started with Red Hat Linux 8.0 installation later, but didn’t wait until it’ll finish. Linux sees raids as two separate SCSI disks (sda,sdb). Funny thing with the default 5% of disk space allocation for root comes to something about 13 GBytes on a 1.1 TB partition. Mp3 time.


Compilation-installation-testing day. Compressed quoting in tin finally pissed me of, and I’ve built mutt RPM with NNTP support (vvv.nntp patch). Using mutt-1.5.3 was also a good excuse for the CPU cycles. Once I start, I am unstoppable, so mozilla’s new 1.3 beta release didn’t have to wait too long. Font aliasing is a new concept for myself.. err, for my eyes. I’ll keep it for a couple of days, and if it won’t start unblurring, I’ll build it without xft staff.

Looks like I also have a night of php programming of LDAP web interfaces in front of me. Heh, well, ok.

Random bits

Today I did have the first production restore using amanda. It went like a charm. I’ve spent some time with Red Hat Network today, since updates were coming faster then I could put them – kernel, php, openldap, kerberos, xpdf, etc.

Half of the day was spent on a somewhat lengthy presentation by HP guys. Few of them were local, rest came from Greece. Nice talk about HP itself, hardware (mostly Proliant servers and blades), and software (mostly OpenView). Few of them were rather impressed by our home-grown solution based on Nagios (aka Netsaint), MRTG, RT help desk, tkined/scotty, mtr, and few other tools (maybe later I will fill in the links, but now I am too lazy and tired).