We use the Nagios monitoring system at work (in fact we use four installs of it for physically isolated networks) and while it’s damn useful (and service checks are easy to create or extend) it’s a little lacking in higher level trending and visualisation tools. Well, at least the very old version we run suffers from this. Thankfully I work for a company that invests time in its core tools. Over the last couple of hackdays I’ve written two small scripts for parsing Nagios logfiles and presenting the information in a different, slightly more grouped way. Read on →

It’s not a well kept secret but I’m still surprised by how many people have never encountered .bash_logout. Its purpose is pretty simple, if you use the BASH shell it’ll be executed when you log out (see, a well named file!) So what’s it for? Well, I use mine to invalidate any sudo sessions I’ve got open (sudo -k), clear the screen -in case it’s a local session - and nuke a history file or two.

When I worked as a developer I played around with servers and infrastructure in my spare time, now I get paid to worry about that kind of stuff I quite enjoy writing the occasional useless piece of code. This weeks were a patch (well it started as a patch) to Statistics::Lite to make it pass its tests. And then I got distracted in to re-writing its test script from Test.pm to Test::More. Read on →

After heading to the Nordic Perl Workshop and watching sessions by Jonathan Worthington and brian d foy I decided to have a little play with Perl 6 and see if I could port my Daemon Percentages script (Perl 5 and Ruby versions already exist) to Perl 6. Thanks to material in the slides from the above sessions and asking a couple of questions in #perl6 I got a basically working Daemon percentages Perl 6 script running on my Windows desktop under pugs in a couple of hours (I had problems finding an example of the substitution). Read on →

I went to the Nordic Perl Workshop. I had a great time. I also got sunburn. The legal issues surrounding my grandfathers estate are heating up again. Which takes a lot of my time and energy (and money). Builders have been in and redone the kitchen in the flat. It flooded a couple of months ago and now looks shiny and new again. Which means I’ve not been able to move about in here much for the last week or so. Read on →

The topic of budgets came up in the office today (the team I work in wants to spend more than we have - of course - but SUN thumpers are so shiny…) and I was reminded of a tactic used by one of my previous bosses in a VC backed company. The systems team were assigned an amount for the year that was too low for the planned upgrades (which had been signed off) and was a suspiciously round number. Read on →

Sometimes questions come up that you know you should know the answer to but you just don’t. My recent one was “how does df choose the output order?” The man page doesn’t mention the logic behind it and a quick strace shows it pulls its data from /proc/mounts (which you’d expect) and returns the output in the same order. So logically the question becomes how does /proc/mounts order things? It’s not exactly an important question but I can see how this ends - and it involves source code.

The Workshop On Offensive Technologies (WOOT 07) might be the most interesting new conference this year. If it plays its cards right it’ll be a good mix of the more underground groups, infosec professionals and security think tanks. We need more events like this in the UK. Don’t know how nice I’ll have to be to management to try and get a ticket but it’ll probably be worth it.

In one of those serenity^Wserendipitous moments I seem to have an abundance of Science Fiction close to hand. Thanks to Richard I’ve got tickets to see Spider-man 3, Amazon DVD rental have sent me Metropolis, A Scanner Darkly and Triangle. Paul grabbed tickets for the London SciFi weekend showing of Quatermass and I’m now the proud owner of the whole Deep Space Nine run. Sometimes it’s good to be a geek. Read on →