Apr 06 2006

Misc CFEngine thingies

I'm doing a lot of CFengine studying, learning and testing these days,
and I guess one could study CFengine for a couple of years still not knowing everything about it ;)
Up till last week the 2 most difficult tasks I had in mind was the initial distribution of keys , and how I was going to put Cfengine in HA.

As someone at the UKUUG Lisa conference mentionned you can distribute keys using cfrun. If you make sure that on your managed nodes you also have a cfservd running that accepts keys from a certain subnet, you then do a echo y | cfrun with your managed nodes in your cfrun.hosts file cfrun will help you spread the keys.
Also cfengine is so kind to try multiple values of server = ( server-a server-b ) so that if server-a is down it tries server-b , next step is to find out a intelligent scheme for modifying the configs of server-b

Apr 06 2006

Java Error, Google returns 0 results .. till now :)

Google is was not very helpful with the "Exception in thread "main" java.lang.Error: Probable fatal error:No fonts found." I ran into earlier this week. I figured out via another box that /usr/lib/jvm/java/jre/lib containd a missing link to fonts -> /usr/share/fonts/java
Which actually can be found in java-1.5.0-sun-font alike packages. Who knows this helps soneone someday.

Apr 06 2006


My most recent presentations are online ( UKUUG & TMAB ) , yes the UKUUG one has some minor changes when comparing to the LinuxDays.lu presentation.

The other presentation was about Contributing to Open Source, A strange experience for me I kind of got used to rushing trough my presentations in about 75% of the time I have available for my talks, only this time to realise that I had used about twice the time I had available , strange thing the moderator didn't even try to warn me that I was going over time.

Apr 06 2006

Deep Hacking Mode Explained

We can't idle, we can't sit down and listen , we can't stay awake in meetings ,
and the worst part of all, once we are sitting behind our laptops, the rest of the world doesn't exist anymore

Guess what.. there are even explanations for this behaviour

The typical geek trains their brain to be heavily focused while multitasking day after day. Is it surprising that this same brain does not do well when forced to isolate down to one task? Listening in a meeting is a very isolated, very passive event. Coding, developing, debugging these are not passive at all. The geek brain is just not trained to sit quietly and listen.

Now the next question is, do we want to be cured ? :)

Mar 31 2006

LinuxTag 2006 - Grid, Cluster and Virtualisation Track

It's almost completely finished the LinuxTag 2006 - Grid, Cluster and Virtualisation Track

Reviewing all the submissions was a lot of work, there were a lot of interresting topics and we had to decline a lot of them, I hope we managed to create a schedule where all kinds of different topics in the track will be tackled.

The Kernel track on friday also look interresting .. It's nice seeing people such as Alasdair and Matt showing up again :) Too bad once again Wim can't make it :(

Mar 29 2006

Open Source vs Web 2.0

Don Marti on Open Source and Web 2.0 stuff

There's some overlap between being a "Web 2.0" company and being an "open source" one. Here's where I think Web 2.0 goes further than open source. If open source is trees, Web 2.0 is hemp. Instead of harvesting big particpation from a committed developer, tester, user, partner, or customer, you get a small quantity of fiber per transaction, fast, and you do a lot of them.

Mar 27 2006

MySQL Bugs: #12027: DBDICT: File has already been opened

I just ran into MySQL Bugs: #12027: , one of the fixes for this is to run ndbd --initial again, however as I had already done that on my other node just removing the offending file also worked.

Mar 24 2006

FBI Involved in DNS Problems (almost)

Now this really is an annoying DNS problem :)

Mar 23 2006

Report of the UKUUG Spring Conference Day 2

To start with the Postgresql talk , I ran in just too late as the slides about slony were just finished :(

Skipped out on Nigel's Talk, after not having time to play with the OpenPower at the office I`m assuming that Macbar knows enough about it already ,
Then the awkard break before your own talk it's the waiting and the people dropping in one by one , It's much easier to start directly after someone else :) Ray introduced my talk as "The talk you have all been waiting for" , hmm.. he shouldn't have done that. It made me fall back into my old bad habit of speeding trough my slides in just about 35 minutes rather than the scheduled 45 I had.

I'm starting to hear myselve thinking during a talk that I gave before "Hmm.. I've already said this" then realising 2 slides later that I actually didn't say that yet during that talk but during a previous one. That really might have confused people. I really have to work on my presentation skills.

But then again it's the content that counts and discussing other ideas with people afterwards, actually much of the discussion already happened before :)

Back up the hill, to Collingwood College, for lunch then back down the hill for the Kerberos talk. Lunch was good at this conference, the only donwside being that you had 1 hour time and you also needed about a 5-10 minutes up the hill and back down which didn't really give you the opportunity to eat and rest.

I sneeked out during the break to get a drink, and the machine ate my money :((

Alex has been quite active on de MySQL Cluster list so I`m kind of interested to see what he has to say about it. Hmmm. what's a NetApp Filter ? :)
He is giving a general introductory talk on LAMP HA, nothing really new there for me .. turns out he is about to get his book on MySQL Cluster published really soon now.
I spoke to him afterwards on what to expect from the book, mainly regarding MySQL 5.1 etc..
The Register's talk on their Apache infrastructure is matchining really with his paper, good talk, but as he concludes they are extremely lucky that their site is mostly static, this ain't working with fully personalised an dynamic sites.

Pieter also just posted his report .. which is quite normal as my laptop is bridging his internet access ;)

Mar 23 2006

Report of the UKUUG Spring Conference Day 1(delayed)

The next couple of blog entries have been written offline and pasted here when I finally had time and network access, so some stuff might be out of sequence :)

Pieter and I flew from Zaventem to Newcastle on tuesday, then the Metro to from Newcastle Airport to Newcastle Train Station , then the train from Newcastle Station to Durham station, then the Bus to Collingwood college where we are staying.

So here we are now UKUUG Spring Conference Day 1 :)
Our first talk was the LDAP tutorial, the lack of IP feed is really annoying, seems the Durham Uni is using some kind of wifi auth that is only working for some weird platforms ..
The LDAP tutorial was fairly good, altough the number of things I learned from it was minimal, but that mostly to blame myselve as I've been working with LDAP for a couple of years now

Something went wrong with one of the keynote speakers laptop so the only keynote we got was from James Youngman from Google crawling and indexing
Some notes, according to Google "HA comes in for free, with scaling" , now how comes that when I say that HA shouldn't be more expensive when taught about upfront people don't believe me but when Google says it ..
There is a paper about GoogleFS which is in userland not in kernelspace on labs.google.com
Use cheaper hardware, use multiple instances, replicate , hmm.. that sounds familiar to the the kind of architecture I'm working with daily :)
Automate yourselve out of a job each 18 months, yep that's true that way I can move on to doing new and other interresting stuff and spreading knowledge ..

Then it was Pieter's turn to talk about Juliux, we really need to get that domain registered and small site to get started with. People are really interrested by the concept and some even want to contribute it seems, great stuff

Then the CFengine talk , I was really looking forward to this talk ... oh my .. this Kpresent presentation is the most annoying I have ever seen.. what's with the baby and dolphin pictures in this presentation ? Apart from that the presentation was
good for an introductory talk I was hoping to learn a lot here.. well it didn't happen.. I learned some stuff however I`ll be looking at replacing filereaper cfengine soon on some platforms,

My biggest question was how do you do the Initial key distribution ? Seems like you can do something with cfrun initially, I have to look into that

Ahhr.. the network really, really sucks here.. even the wired stuff in the terminal room upstairs doesn't work.. , after the "registration" I should be able to access the network but it keeps telling me I`m not registered, however when I try again it tells me I`m already registered, let's not even mention the fact that wifi was only available for some proprietary platforms, and it didn't even work for these people.

The Exim talk , hmm I should look into ho how this stuff can be done on Postfix also :)

Finally I figured out I had ip connectivity at my room in Collingwood College but as we had to hurry to the Conference Dinner then to "Vix" these postings will still be late ;)