Power outage

Last Saturday there was a scheduled power outage.

For admins, rule number one is to make sure your servers are configured to come back on when power resumes. This usually involves a switch in the BIOS and of course a simple test.

Office UPS are useless in such situations as they rarely cover the length of the outage.

It is good to have lots of servers in order to distribute services. So if one machine goes down it isn’t the end of the world. However in hybrid networks where samba and nfs run together strange problems can result. NFS and Samba are usually configured to automatically try remount, but sometimes esp. on old servers this isn’t the case. So sometimes the way machines come online, is something to worry about.

I experienced a strange mount: RPC: Program not registered error this morning. Some people suggested it is some race condition between samba and nfs. I fixed it by tailing the logs and retrying the mount. It seemed to want non-IP entries in the /etc/exports for some odd reason. 192.168.0.* should be OK. Anyway I played dumb, added the duplicated entries. Restarted. Remounted and everything was back online at last on one of “those” Monday mornings.

Mobile browser market

Lately, it is really heating up with mobile UAs.

  1. Minimo
  2. Webkit mobile port
  3. Opera for Mobile
  4. Netfront

After being subscribed on the Minimo dev mailing list, I can safely say that it’s a dead project. As for opensource software, I am not sure how Nokia’s port will be licensed. Hopefully opensource, though I am not sure how opensource will work on the mobile platform. You can’t develop on that platform as easily as a desktop. Some advantages of opensource might be reduced…

If Opera 8 is on a mobile, then Opera have a great mobile platform. They need to aggressively market this product the world over and right now. Japan has the edge with small devices and selling in that market could prove tricky. IMO, give it away. I’ve seen at least one phone (KYOCERA?) in Japan with Opera though. Oh, there’s more. Their big hope is with Scandanavian Nokia who are working on the competition, Apple’s Webkit. Oh dear !

Japan’s NetFront is a product I haven’t used, but I am hearing a lot of. If this is going to be on every PSP, it will be HUGE. I am sure it will be, so targeting applications now for that platform should be worthwhile.

I would love to see a good comparison of at least 3 of these browsers. I would happily do it myself if someone gave me the devices to test. Please improve this silly comparison for mobiles Opera!

This is really an exciting time for Web applications. At last there is light at the tunnel for deployment to the masses.

Ideal working conditions

Home office

  1. Internet has to be fast and reliable
  2. IBM keyboard
  3. Optical mouse
  4. A decent chair
  5. A decent large LCD screen
  6. A large Oak desk (ok, a tall order!)
  7. Good pens and a good spiral notepad
  8. My own office space (least likely to be fulfilled)
  9. Where no one can disturb me (no looking over one’s shoulder bullshit)
  10. A decent fast printer
  11. Where I can use the toilet in absolute privacy
  12. Where I can have a window to the world, preferably a natural landscape
  13. Where I don’t have to hear sirens, traffic or drone of noisy machines (i.e. QUIET)
  14. Where someone makes me tea when I wish :)
  15. Where I can smell things other than the normal office smells (flowers)
  16. Where I don’t have to wear shoes
  17. Where you don’t have to wear ID
  18. Where cleaners clean when you are not in the office
  19. 40 hour weeks and very flexible (no timesheets!)
  20. A place to lock up a bike
  21. Allows employees to connect up personal gadgets like laptops/mobiles to the network
  22. Where your employer isn’t paranoid about you stealing intellectual property
  23. Where people don’t frown on IRC

Update: I’m starting to think the ‘home environment’ is best for hardcore programming productivity. Though I sometimes miss having people physically around to discuss problems with.

PSP cons
  • Short battery life compared to a mobile phone. 3–4hrs to what, 24 hours nowadays at least?
  • It’s not a mobile phone. So you can’t make phone calls, so I find it hard to imagine myself with two hunks of plastic in my pockets.
  • UMDs suck. They spin. They break. They’re shitty proprietary technology.
  • Firmware upgrade issues. Version 2 has the browser but is more restrictive
  • Memory sticks are atm maximum 2G. 1G currently cost a fortune here in Australia. Almost 300AUD!
  • Not sure about the support for Linux and generic USB storage. No way am I using win32.
  • I heard the software for mp3 playback has annoying bugs.
Shock, Horror

Can’t access google.

debian$ date --iso-8601=seconds 2005-08-04T09:42:59+1000 debian$ ping google.com PING google.com ( 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=239 time=335 ms 64 bytes from icmp_seq=11 ttl=239 time=330 ms 64 bytes from icmp_seq=16 ttl=239 time=326 ms 64 bytes from icmp_seq=18 ttl=239 time=330 ms

—- google.com ping statistics—-
18 packets transmitted, 4 received, 77% packet loss, time 16997ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 326.154/330.584/335.217/3.243 ms

Oracle insight
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL.  This e-mail address is not monitored.

This e-mail contains priority desupport information and is being sent to MetaLink users as a service from Obsolescence (desupport services).

The following new desupport advisories & notices have been approved and published for your information:
– Oracle Workflow Cartridge 2.6.x on Application Server and Collaboration Suite
– Specific Database Platforms for E-Business Suites ALL (Releases)
– Oracle Quality Online (E-Business Suite) All
– Oracle Install Base Intelligence (XNI) (E-Business Suite) All
– Oracle E-Business Suite 11.0.3
– Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.1 through 11.5.6

The following desupport advisories & notices have been updated and published for your information:
– Oracle Application Server 10g – 9.0.4
– Oracle’s Platform Strategy Advisory
– 3rd Party Advisorie for HP Tru64 UNIX 5.1b

Please review MetaLink Doc ID: 329772.1 for further details on the above.
MetaLink Location:

All desupport advisories and notices are available in Certify (via MetaLink) by following this path:
“Certify & Availability”>"1. View Certifications by Product">“Desupport Notices”.

Thank you!
Obsolescence Administrator

  • PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL* is absolutely unforgivably idiotic.
  • Is desupport in the English dictionary? I don’t think so.
  • Advisorie is spelt Advisory
  • URLs you idiots, not *path*s.

I am so infuriated with Oracle and their 10g product. It is such an ugly bitch to maintain. I have to create new databases every now and then for deployment. That alone takes about 3 hours. Then I have to patch it up with the zillions of advisories which takes about 2 days. Their patching system in their Enterprise Console (Web application) generally fails.

What a waste of time and money.

DreamHost review

I am moving over to DreamHost.

My colleague says the Jmeter test on DreamHost hosted Natalian is about 10 times better than the previous test.

Several of my Web application are still hosted with Jamie’s server. On my CodeMonster account I can only seem to fully host 15 domains. So that means 15 Web applications and I have more than that, although many of them are unstable prototypes.

DreamHost seems alright after exploring the panel for a good few hours.

There does seem to be a major NFS issue regarding Subversion. That’s a pain, as that means that I can’t host my FSFS repository here on my DreamHost account.

Another element I didn’t like with the DreamHost is the amount of new accounts I had to create. I think it was 6 and that’s just one domain:
# WebID
# Spork (mail)
# pico (shell)
# DreamHost Wiki
# Stats
# Mysql

My encrypted ~/personal/accounts file is nearing 100 accounts. FFS! We need something like OpenID.

On my laptop I had trouble with Postfix again. This time getting clear SMTP Authentication to work. How many times have a I tried to migrate from Exim to Postfix? OMG. Anyway, usual story. Back to Exim4 and things work. Although I wish DreamHost would use secure SMTP. Now I have to make sure my passwords are different as my mail password is very vulnerable. :(

Wordpress “one click” installation just seems to untar the latest.tar.gz, so I guess I have to manage updates manually. That’s a pain. Dreamhost should use my Debian package for taking care of this problem with tons of users ! :)

Here is some DreamHost porn to give you an idea about the DreamHost panel.

Down Under

I am touring Australia from tomorrow. Canberra, Sydney and up the coast to warmer climes.

My return flight to Bangkok has to depart from Melbourne, so I’ll be back. I have been offered another 3 month contract though I am unsure whether I can do another 3 months in Melbourne. It is boring here!

I might buy a second hand Nikon D70 for 1200AUD tomorrow. You can almost get that camera new for that price in the UK. Hmph. I was thinking of getting a 1G Iriver USB, but they’ve sold out. Oh well.

My thinkpad’s PSU packed up and I tried to get a replacement from where I bought it. They said I had to go to IBM‘s website etc. and they will pick it up and replace it by courier. They said it would take 4 working days but that’s ridiculous. I’m on the move and I don’t have a fixed address. I ended buying another IBM thinkpad PSU for 90AUD. So if I get the faulty one replaced I’ll have two.

It is a bit of crazy situation the way warranties work nowadays. I’ve read about horror stories were people bought an Ipod from a store and it didn’t work out of the box. The store then refers them on to post their faulty Ipod to Apple. I mean give me a break. I don’t have the time. Last time I posted off a faulty DeathStar I invalidated my warranty as I didn’t read the small print. I had to pack it in at least 2 inches of foam.


Things fall apart

Made packages of Wordpress 1.5.2.

This needs testing. Though it should be OK for Fabio to upload.

I have had horrible problems reverting to a pre dbconfig-common Wordpress packaging with Subversion. dbconfig-common just isn’t going to work with Wordpress for awhile. Use the setup-mysql example for now.

Odd problem on upgrade with mysql I have yet to work out. Also base-config seems broken on my machine after a dist-upgrade. Great.

3AUD an hour in this Internet cafe. I sort of got pickup line working with an Azure accesspoint in Canberra ACTON shopping centre. Argh, free (Wireless) Internet is hard. :(

I’m off to see the Australian National Museum. Canberra is actually surprisingly good, though I am a geek and I like museums, art and exhibits etc. Buses are a scandal though. I wish I bothered to rent a car.

Sydney tomorrow.