Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Server Upgrade

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

I was so far behind on my servers OS upgrades that I had to do a destructive dump and load to get it back to the current version on Saturday.
I almost remembered to save everything except for:

  • My current emails – destroyed by a corrupt tar file
  • All my mailman mailing lists – stored in /usr/lib/mailman if anyone else is backing up their server!

Now I just need to remember to upgrade as new versions are released so I won’t have to do all this crazy dump and load unless something major comes along.

Fredora 14: Android SDK

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Started installing the Android SDK on my Fedora laptop.
I’m interested in making improvements to an app that leverages the Environment Canada data sets plus learning about how Android applications are developed.

These are the instructions I’m following to get started: Upgraded

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

I’ve been working on a hardware upgrade for over the holidays. I’ve almost migrated all the things that I use from the old machine to the new.

I’m running a RAID 1 array of hard drives. This allows me to mirror all the data from one hard drive onto the other in case one of them physically fails. I will be able to recover my data from the other and rebuild the array once a new hard drive is inserted.

Lots of software upgrades have taken place and I’m finally running a current Linux operating system again. The hardware is power efficient running a VIA Esther processor at 1500MHz and the CPU runs fanless, but of course the power supply does not. This makes it nice and quiet as well.

RAM has been bumped up to 512 from 128 in the old machine with a massive 80Gig hard drive.

It just shows that you don’t need a huge power sucking work horse to do basic things like web serving, email, and data base work. That is unless you are serving for a site like Digg or Slashdot. I have a feeling that my network pipe would be the bottle neck and not my hardware in case I ever get swamped with traffic. But I haven’t left it to chance either, my firewall ensures that only a trickle gets through and not a tsunami of network traffic.

All that is left to do now is the following services. I’d like to get them finished up before new years eve so I can decommission the old machine to the dumpster for the new year.

  • SVN
  • Trac
  • munin

SQL Injection

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Good ol’ Bobby Tables. A good giggle from XKCD.

Programming Standards Enforcement

Friday, July 20th, 2007

This one had a few of us rolling on the floor laughing at work today.

FC6 Upgrade Breaks CPU Scaling

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Just this past week I updated the OS on my laptop from Fedora Core 5 to 6. Even though 6 was released on the 24th of October it just took me a while to motivate myself to upgrade. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So I broke it. ;)

Actually the upgrade went fine. Usually I do a fresh install of OS major version bumps since I’ve partitoned my laptops HD into /, /home, etc. I just keep the home partion unchanged and we’re off to the races. This time I did an OS upgrade to the new version and everything went grate until a day later I ran yum to try and upgrade the packages that must have been outdated by now.

The OS upgrade left a FC 5 mono package lying around on my machine. I removed that by hand after wondering why my yum upgrade commands were failing. After that yum did a nice job upgrading my OS’s packages and going through all the dependencies. Or so I thought.

Of course I expected a new kernel to be installed and one was. When I booted up my laptop the GUI informed me that CPU frequency scaling was disabled because it wasn’t supported by my hardware – that was a red flag that something was up. When I ran uname -a after the upgrade everything looked fine so I started searching the web and found that I had the i586 kernel installed on my machine. This kernel is for machines pre Pentium II. I have a P4m chip in this laptop!

To get the right kernel on your machine run check out this page which explains how to diagnose the problem and fix it. Then life should be consuming less power for you again durning the noop's.

I gotta get me some of that

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Penelope Brake Job

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Penelope was due for her 95k oil change service and I had noticed some “chirping” noises in the wheels since I need to roll down my window to access the magnetic key fabs for my building. I had been ignoring that for quite a few weeks now because some days my 2002 Chevy Cavalier is a symphony of groans and squeaks.

That “chirping” noise was the front brake pad warnings – I should have known better since it went away when the brakes were applied. Apparently when they inspected the pads on the lift I had 3mm left therefore a brake job was in my future as well. I knew my rotors were warped since the car bounced around pretty well when braking was taking place so I had to bite the bullet and make the decision on the spot.

When I bought the car the dealer did a brake job for me at 65k so those pads only lasted me 30,000 km – which I found out from Scott at Richardson Chevrolet is near the norm depending on the parts used.

The rotors were already warped, having only 3mm of pads I didn’t want to drive it around since I could etch the rotors with the calipers if those 3mm wear out, I don’t have a jack, stands or a garage to do the work in myself. I was stuck, so I had the guys at Richardson do the work.

Wii Tennis And A Roomba

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written here but I have been plenty busy with packing, moving, unpacking plus the daily grind on top of that.

But all work and no play makes me a dull boy — that’s where the Wii helps. I was in a race with Chris at work to see who could accumulate > 2000 points in Wii Tennis. On Sunday night I won a game which put me at 2011 points. Just enough to edge Chris out before he could get there, but he’ll stick to his story that he had tennis elbow and couldn’t play as often as I could.

On Tuesday this week Lauren and I picked up a vacuum cleaner from Canadian Tire. It’s a Roomba Discovery created by iRobot. iRobot is a robotics company that just happens to have a hugely successful robotic vacuum. From the outside it looks like a pretty neat company with some very interesting software challenges.

Now for the neat part. You can control the roomba’s motors and read the sensors through the serial port. There is a published serial port (hardware) hack that puts a Bluetooth radio onboard the device which allows the radio to connect to any other Bluetooth device that can talk the serial port protocol. Now I need to build some hardware so I can write some software.

Don’t Buy Vista

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to buy a version of Microsoft’s new operating system labeled “Vista”.

The time to upgrade to Vista will be when you buy a new computer and Vista comes preinstalled. This way you won’t have to worry about hardware incompatibilities and slow execution because your machine may not have enough horsepower.

Most software vendors say their software is “Vista Compatible”, but I wonder how true that is. Things like tax software, and anti-virus could be issues. If you’re not dreaming about the bleeding edge of technology and you like your computer to work for more than a few hours — then just wait. Don’t be an early adopter unless you want to deal with the upcoming issues that are bound to surface as the code base is explored by more users in new and exciting ways.

Is XP broken for you? If not, just keep on trucking because your web browser will continue to work if you don’t upgrade.

Here is a new argument against Vista based on the environmental impact of replacing tonnes of computer components. While I don’t endorse all the political ideas of the green party they do have a valid point in this specific case.