Sunday Morning Coming Down

Why is it that some people use products like Microsoft Office to write web pages? Oh sure, it’s easy, but does it display worth crap in any other browser? Course not! Who cares if your vital information is unreadable to 10% of the Internet?

Just got back from the gym, munching down my protein bar. I discovered they don’t taste nearly as good if they sit out open all night. I’ll have to remember that.

These last couple of days have been a bit strange. I’ve got a lot of stuff, both work and fun, that I wouldn’t mind getting done, but it seems that I’ve had something to do pretty much every day, without time to sit and relax and just futz around. Today it’s attending the church of brunch at de dutch pannekoeken house, then dinner with the folks tonight, replacing the motherboard tomorrow morning, then tuesday heading into work to meet and look at what we’re doing next (and assuming the MB isn’t fixed, heading back to the co-lo again, hope that doesn’t happen).

These are of course all things that I need to do, and want to do, and enjoy doing… Guess I’m just not quite used to the 8:30-5 office job yet 🙂

An Agreeable Arrangement

My cat and I have come to an amicable agreement regarding the office chairs. He gets mine, I get the wierd yuppy kneeling chair thing, and I pet him, in my chair, while I work. Sounds fair doesn’t it.

<pause to pet cat>

I converted my root partition to RAID0 (striping for speed) today. First I moved everything to one of the spare 80G drives, reset the /etc/fstab and GRUB config to get it to boot properly, and rebooted. GRUB (the boot loader) wasn’t changed properly, but due to it’s super magical command line editing capabilities, it was easy to boot into my “new” drive.

I then made sure everything was ok, backed up my spare 20G (which was my FTP drive, and was going to be a device in the RAID array) onto the new root and then repartitioned and created the array.

All that went dandy, so I rebooted again to make sure all was well and then started copying files over to the new root (/dev/md0). After about 480megs things froze up with an ugly kernel panic and I had to reboot. Of course, my old bootable partition was changed now, so it wouldn’t boot. Mondo to the rescue as a boot disk, which let me boot up, with my own kernel with RAID compiled in, and I was back in business. Got the drives where they should be, and copied again. This time all went without a hitch. Finished, reset /etc/fstab and GRUB again and reboot. Somehow the numbering of the drives had changed, so grub bitched at me, but that was easily fixed, and I’m now in my new RAID0 partition, which has everything on it, including the stuff destined for the RAID5 array (which will be able to withstand any errors in hardware).

So now that all is well, or seems to be anyway, so I’ll be blowing away things and creating a big ass partition and moving data, home, code, and all the important things onto it. Things are actually working! Yay!

Oh, and good wishes out to Tig about the you know what with the you know what. T’will all work out.

Hardware Prices Suck

Just found another local place to get hardware cheap… A-Power Online. They sound like, another hole in the wall. Of course, they have the hard drives I just bought for more than $30 cheaper 🙁 I realize a whole week has gone by, but geez….


Slept horribly last night. I went to bed just after 11 with the intention of getting up at 6am to go to the gym and then go to work. As time ground on it was 12:30 and I was still lying in bed unable to sleep. Shouldn’t have had that cup of tea I guess. I decided that a good night’s sleep was more important at this point, so I reset the alarm for the customary 7am and got to sleep.

I woke up pretty much every 15-30 minutes from about 4am on, thinking that I had overslept or something, and when my alarm did finally ring, I was not in the mood to get up. Course, I wasn’t sure it was a real alarm either.


Then on my way to work I forgot to slide my drink holder thing in and my tea sloshed all over the place. Including the bottom of the travel mug, giving me a nice wet spot on my crotch that I didn’t notice until I was almost at work.

Looks like it’s gonna be one of those days…

Crack Smocking Microsoft

What the hell is it with Microsoft that makes them change the key configuration on their keyboards each revision? I realize that people need reasons to get the newest and best in the MS Natural Keyboard (which I have and like), but the last four keyboards I have had or used have a completely different setup as far as the arrow and home/end/pageup/down/insert/delete key region goes. I can see adding funky scroll things, or new “media” keys at the top, or even giving the whole thing a funky look with different colored plastic, but this is stupid.

The first version I had had the arrow keys in the standard upside down “T” and the home/end/etc keys in the standard 3×2 configuration.

The next one was the “not so damn big” version, which moved the arrow keys from usable to small and set up in a “+” with the home/end keys in the less easy to deal with two across three down configuration.

After that came my current home keyboard, the “Natural Pro” with the arrow keys back to the familiar upside down “T”, and the home/end/etc keys in their standard positions ((ins,home,pgup),(del,end,pgdn)).

Now I’ve got a chance to use the new keyboard they got for me at work and it’s a bit annoying. Thankfully the arrow keys are still in the upside down “T”, but the home/end/etc keys are just wacked. First of all, there is no “insert” key anymore. For those of us who are used to hitting SHIFT+Insert to paste, this is annoying. Actually, it’s not gone, but moved to the printscreen/sysrq key. Before you ask, no, it doesn’t work properly under linux (meaning the keycode it sends is different as far as I know). The rest of that set of keys are even stranger. They are in a 2 wide by three down, but… well, they are set up like this:

| Home | End |
| Del | PgUp |
| | |
| +——+
| | PgDn |
| | |

So now I’m deleting stuff all over the place because I’m used to having an insert key where the elongated delete key is, and whenever I try to hit pageup I end up at the end of my documents.

Sunny… oh yea!

Nice day out after some wacky morning fog burnt off…. looked like there was a fire or something when I got back from my run. Not long after, just after breakfast, there was a power outage too, lots of fun. Sat around reading for a bit, then started cleaning. Lucky for me the power came back on around then.

Did a presentation on RAID (which I’ve been yapping about for a while now) at the local LUG last night. It went pretty well, though it was slow due to lots of questions. In the end I think people learnt something. After that Cuv did a presentation on the new stuff in Postgres which was very cool, lots of stuff I didn’t know it did, and I’m thinking of moving all my stuff back from MySQL (again).

The presentation are available at in both Openoffice and powerpoint format. Cuv has his presentation here. I made some minor changes to my stuff, added in some things that were missed originally but were brought up in discussion afterwards.

Oh, and wave to raskal, doing the journal thing again.

Da Fingertiiiiips

Got up at 8, went for a run. Came home, eat, showered, vegged a bit and played around with a backup program called mondo-rescue. Cat5 came by, went went to the climbing gym and discovered that my fingertips are in no way near the same shape that they once were, and that all the work at the gym I’ve been doing has been somehow avoiding the muscles that I’m using to climb. After a while we both decided that we were dead and came back here, watched a movie, and vegged.

Mondo is still kinda iffy for me. I’m thinking that I could backup my main system, without my home directory or anything so that I have a backup to restore from if I need to, move my home files to another drive, nuke my system and put it on RAID0 (striping for speed and performance) and leave all my data on the RAID5 array. I’m currently restoring my system onto a vmware session to see how it goes… much as the guy claims that mondo hasn’t made any bad backups since 2000, ‘m not going to trust him if I can verify that I can create a new system without error.

I’m gettig some “fileset #xxx - restore FAILED" so I am going to try again until it works properly.

In my love of RAID I'm also working on some slides for the FVLUG meeting on Monday to show everyone why they should never have to lose 40G of music and movies to a bad harddrive.

My first week of work at the new job went well. Like I said, the people are nice and the work is interesting. What I've been doing is trailing along behind the lead programmer and converting normal DBI into the new DBIx and implementing the Embperl::Form::Validate for form validation to get rid of lots of ugly Javascript code, implementing a new login system, and all sorts of other nifty stuff. I figure that next week I'll work the same Wednesday to Friday so I get the benifit of the "casual" (jeans are allowed) Friday. Also I think I might be putting the motherboard back into the UFies box, along with a new power supply and seeing if that works for more than a day at a time.

Mental note: find out and eliminate the funny smell coming from the fridge. Maybe it's Tig's bag of peas, time warped like Jason R did to a mouse with a pellet gun in high school.

Hardware Love

I was up till past 1am last night, after a long day at work (which went fast which is good) and a good (well, “Ok”) workout at the gym. I finally got around to installing some new hard drives that Cat5 brought over a couple of days ago and discovered that my current workstation case simply didn’t have the room, so I moved naked‘s guts to phoenix’s (my workstation) case, and vice versa. The whole operation took about three hours, starting after CSI. Went really smoothly as well, only one cable turned around, and only one missing power cable (working on getting a splitter now).

Anyway, starting to code now, update soon.

For Cuv an article on DBIx::Recordset.

Oh, by the way, that is funny. Pretty much describes my first Unreal experience with the redeemer.

Day 1 Report

Was good. Not too brutal on the getting up in the morning thing, as 7:00am is when I get up to go to the gym. It was relatively easy to get up and get myself awake and alive in the morning, even with making a lunch (well, throwing some leftovers in foil and into a bag). I’m still not exactly sure how it’ll work for going to the gym in the morning as well, but we’ll see.

The people there were all nice and made me feel comfortable. There was a mini-tour and intro to people in other parts of the building, most of whose names I had forgotten by the time I was introduced to the next one. On the up shot, they will probably remember me now, so I won’t get funny looks wandering through the building.

After getting a feel for what was going on I jumped in, getting to know the system without messing things up too badly. There are a couple of very cool perl modules that I didn’t know about before that are tied to EmbPerl2 that bear some looking at all you perl junkies out there. They are DBIx::Recordset and Embperl::Form::Validate. I’ll go through ’em later, now I need to get my morning tea into a travel mug and head on out for day 2!

Day 0.25

Yesterday I went into the place that I’ll be for a while to do a meet and greet with the main programmer there, J. He’s a decent guy with wild hair that makes me think a haircut was completely un-needed. I got a good feel for what the project will entail and how it is all being used. It’s a decent setup, I’ll be using Embedded Perl 2 on an Apache 2 server, with decent source control and postgres what not. What surprised me the most was that J isn’t a programmer by trade, but someone who was sort of thrown into it. He said that it would be nice to have someone who has done a lot of perl in, which was a nice ego boost for me. From what I can see of the project though, he’s done a pretty decent job so far. I’m looking foward to this.

I get to go and meet with the SEP program guy to see if this contract actually qualifies as a contract, and how it affects me and the Self Employment Program. From what I’ve seen it shouldn’t, but who knows. If I’m not hurting for moola, I don’t mind, but extra money to cover expenses is always appreciated ya know?