After their 2004 AGM UKUUG arranged for Jon Haslam, a Software Engineer at Sun Microsystems, to give a presentation on DTrace. While I missed the first thirty minutes of slides I did get to see the ninety minutes of practical demonstrations. The official DTrace spiel, “Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) is one of the hot, new technologies in the next revision of Sun’s Operating System, Solaris 10. DTrace provides the ability to generate concise answers to almost arbitrary questions about the behaviour of your systems, from the top of the application through to the bottom of the kernel.” sounds quite impressive. Read on →

I was lucky enough to take a long lunch and amble down to see Larry Lessig’s presentation at UCL on the Creative Commons Licenses last week, firstly it’s worth noting that Mr Lessig is a very slick speaker, he obviously invests a lot of time in his presentations and it shows. The slides were very shiny and incorporated a lot of multimedia, video clips ranged from a mash-up of a Charley Brown cartoon with an Outkast sound-track (the song was Hey Ya) to Blair and Bush singing love-songs; the latter was interesting as the whole video was created from public footage. Read on →

It’s been pointed out to me that while I’m willing to endlessly type about such thrilling subjects as “Incomplete Ideas – Knoppix, UML and CDs in books” and Apache Logging directives I’m very lax about covering events, talks and workshops; or as it’s known, things people actually care about :) Two good examples over the last few months have been EuroFoo and the UKUUG Linux Techcon in Leeds. I started out intending to blog at least some of the sessions at each conference but two things stopped me, the talks were too interesting and I felt rude. Read on →

I’ve recently re-read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I was actually looking for a different finance book and this one fell on me so I considered it an omen :) The book is pretty straight forward read which gives you a peek at the perspective of a business man who is trying to educate his son and sons friend in how to treat money. While the book isn’t exactly life changing it is a worthwhile read and contains a number of well explained nuggets, the best example and the one that stayed with me from my first reading about four years ago is the comparison between a “rich” and “poor” mans balance sheet. Read on →

I’ve been to every Linux World Expo at Olympia in London and each year it gets a little bit more depressing. Earlier events have had such marvels as a giant ice penguin (provided by SGI) that had vodka flowing though its veins and Jon Maddog Hall pointing out how insane it is to refuse entrance to students to a Linux focused event (watching the management squirm was great fun) this year we had… well nothing of any real note. Read on →

A little bit of online technology I’ve been using for the last couple of months is the pool.NTP service provided at (surprisingly) NTP is used to keep your local system clocks synchronised by using some of the bigger, more accurate clocks such as atomic or radio clocks. Traditionally you would add three or four server names/IP addresses to your NTP configuration file and the time would be pulled down and used, the downside to this included the need to ensure the remote servers were still available and the issue of being a burden as the teeming hordes of NTP clients hit the same servers again and again. Read on →

If you are working on a modern Unix machine (no, thats not an oxymoron) then it’s annoying difficult to determine the operating system name and version running. Where you should just be able to type ‘/etc/release’ and get the relevant details you instead need to either guess or brute-force your way through the possibilities. Debian stores this info in ‘/etc/debian_version’, Redhat in ‘/etc/redhat_release’. You know the world is going to end when Solaris makes the most sense and puts this information in ‘/etc/release’. Read on →

I had a little rant on this subject a while ago about the practises of some companies when it comes to evalling software. After some more digging I found a solution I was happy to recommend for the task; webMethods Glue. I had some trouble using the generated WSDL with a Perl SOAP::Lite server but it was nothing ten minutes fiddling didn’t solve. While I’ve only looked at the java2wsdl converter that single component did exactly what I wanted.

While testing a small FireFox plugin in both 0.9.3 and PR-1 I noticed a small oddity. Open 0.9.3, leaving this window open try and open an instance of PR-1. When both windows are open click on the Help menu, now select ‘About Mozilla FireFox’. Both windows are version 0.9.3. I’m note sure if this is a bug with FireFox opening new windows with a ‘getobject’ call rather than a ‘create object’ call (that is a serious over simplification! Read on →

If you are expecting an email, call or anything else from me this week then there is a pretty good chance it ain’t coming. I’ve come down with the flu and I’ve been going to work, doing the minimum hours, coming home and crashing out. What’s that noise? Violins? For me? ;) While I’m typing I’d like to note that my packetstorm feeds actually seem to be getting more users, any other time I’d be ecstatic but come on people move to the official ones so i can shut mine down.