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 →

ps is an incredibly flexible command but it also has a checkered maintenance history in the Linux world. Yesterday I needed to output just the username, the command and any arguments passed to it. And it was hell. After reading through the man page a couple of times I settled on the following: ps -e -o user,args. But this doesn’t work. It shows the command and the full arguments but it trunks the username at 8 characters (which doesn’t help with things like exim on Debian - which has a username of Debian-exim). Read on →

I really liked Building Scalable Web Sites, its topic coverage is impressive - the author obviously knows what he’s doing - it’s written in a practical, easy to follow style and the text explains the theory while remaining pragmatic. There are few books on the market that contain this much useful information in what has always been an under-documented “niche” and it’s sure to save every admin at least a few scalability related headaches. Read on →

“What do you think of the Getting Things Done book?” “I’ll worry about time management when a tech publisher has a book on it.” “Have you seen Time Management for System Administrators?” Queue the sound of being loading in FireFox I’m happiest when I’m bouncing between lots of different tasks - whether they’re all independent or part of a larger project. This is great in an emergency or when I’m working in a small team with a decent workload but not so good when it comes to simultaneously juggling small, quick turn around requests with longer, concentration demanding projects. Read on →

Today I was fortunate enough to head down to the JP Morgan building in John Winter street for, my first and, the second UK Subversion User Group Meeting. First up the audience, it was in the high twenties, which surprised me, and included a lot of people in suits; only a handful of us were casually dressed in jeans, untucked shirts or trainers. I didn’t get to stay too long afterwards to chat, although my employer was gracious enough to allow a couple of hours in the middle of the day to attend and I didn’t want to push my luck too far. Read on →