The Nagios monitoring system is a great example of Free Software, powerful, flexible and easy to extend. While it comes with a lot of functionality out of the box you’ll occasionally want to write you own Nagios plugin; which isn’t too hard to do. The plugins below have all been written by me to help keep my systems under control. They’re functional, released under the GPL and hopefully useful to someone other than me. Read on →

You start off with a couple of partitions. You add a MySQL instance and put it on a new logical volume. You break its logging out to a different volume group for performance reasons. You take a snapshot for query tuning and mount that. You add a chunk of disk for a short experiment you were going to try… thanks to legacy, laziness and easy to use LUNs you eventually end up with more mount points than you know what to do with. Read on →

…I just look like it. I’ve spent the last week and a bit wrapped up in bed fighting the flu (and it won). I’ve been a good boy and stayed off-line in an attempt to keep the headaches tolerable so now I have the joy of nearly a fortnights backed up emails; and the same again in my work accounts. I’ll be (slowly) working my way through the pile from tomorrow. Read on →

I’m subscribed to a lot of RSS and Atom feeds. I’ve tried online readers but I never found any that could match the user experience of SharpReader so I stuck with it on the desktop. But now I’m starting to want some functionality that none of the readers I’ve looked at seem to include. Firstly the easy stuff, when was the last article posted on a blog? When was the last time I clicked through it? Read on →

There are a couple of webcomics I read on a daily basis (a couple a week in the case of MegaTokyo) and recently I’ve found myself wanting to link to a couple of different strips in blog postings; and then discovered that they’re almost impossible to search through. None of the webcomics I read regularly have any kind of strip content search. You can’t see who was in which strip, you can’t search on the punchlines - which is what I want - and, apart from a couple of sites which have a one sentence summary, you can’t get any more context about any days issue than the time it was uploaded. Read on →

Each year I put a small todo list up on Unixdaemon and see how many of the goals I can meet. The 2005⁄2006 Pragmatic Investment Plan is now closed so it’s time for a quick look back. First up we have the writing of articles. I’ll come to this in a separate post as I’m still not happy with what I want to say. Training courses are an easy one. I did two main courses and I can’t remember much from either of them. Read on →

For my own use as much as anyone elses… One of the problems that’s haunted me at least once per company I’ve worked at as a tech is “the disappearing partition”. It’s there, it’s accessible, and it should be persistent across boots. But it isn’t! The machine reboots and then you discover that the database partition is no longer visible. The check mounted disks Nagios plugin looks at the mounted partitions and compares them to what’s in /etc/fstab (minus a couple of things like cd drives, floppy disks, swap partitions etc). Read on →

I’m a big Kevin Smith fan and Clerks 2 more than met my expectations. Great dialogue, some top-notch one liners, inside jokes (for both comic and View Askew fans) and more story than he’s usually given credit for. A couple of things stood out in a bad way though, the choice of music seemed very slapdash, some of it really hit but a lot of it seemed to detract from the scenes. Read on →

When you meet someone you click with things are good. As things start to progress you learn about each other, become more involved in each others life and you discover what makes you both tick. In some cases this is a wonderful thing and can bring you closer, in other cases this is the last exit ramp off the road that leads to the boiling of cute bunnies (no one ever boiled an ugly bunny - there’s no point). Read on →

I ended my sudden bout of cinema going with Children of Men, a very British Sci-fi films about a world that has no children. No screaming on buses, running riot in restaurants or being herded along the street in an annoying and impossible to pass snake of tiny, whiny voices. But the film paints it as more of a bad thing. Includes Spoilers: As you’d expect this changes during the course of the film and it turns in to a woman (and unborn baby) hunt through a Britain that’s known terrorism, treats immigrants a scant few steps above how the Nazis treated Jewish people and has some freedom fighters / terrorists that don’t know where their line is anymore. Read on →