"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
August 2, 2008
August 7, 2008


I have yet to see a NIN show. Given that the first CD I ever bought was NIN's Broken, I am pretty sure this fact, more than anything else, makes me incredibly lame.

1:54 AM | Music

Punch 'em in the dick, coming at you via Danelope.

Certainly doesn't remind me of the 2006 Pumpcon tagline...

1:55 AM | Music

Building A Solaris Cluster Express Cluster in VirtualBox

Pretty interesting stuff. VBox on OS X is not incredibly useful to me (the lack of host networking is a killer), but I run OpenSolaris on my desktop at work.

Very cool stuff.

1:58 AM | Systems Administration

Went to Distrito for dinner tonight. H notes that it's run by Amada and Tinto head chef Jose Garces.

The decor is pretty cool, very oddball, and somehow manages to be eccentric without becoming tacky. The restaurant is huge, two floors, plenty of floorspace. Huge booths that put you in mind of 2001 line the walls.

The ratio of servers to customers was impressive, though presumably if the place is ever packed, that would be less noticeable. It was perhaps a quarter full tonight; H made reservations, but they were certainly not needed.

The food, "upscale Mexican", was pretty excellent. I especially enjoyed the carnitas tacos. H was having fits over the mole verde, and it was pretty tasty, but I'm just not a big mole guy. The queso fundido was delicious. We ended up sharing five items, and were both pretty stuffed by the end of the meal.

They also serve roasted nuts (heavy on the lime -- very tasty) to snack on between dishes.

Next time we go, I'm definitely going to save room for a churro. Because churros are delicious.

It's not a quiet place, which is probably my biggest complaint. There was a mariachi wandering around; he was very good, and it alternated between being awesome and annoying as it made conversation basically impossible (to be fair, I had a sore throat, so I couldn't speak particularly loudly anyway).

Overall, it's a very cool place, and worth the trip if you even remotely enjoy Mexican food and quirky restaurants.

Between the enchiladas (which had a subtle traditional taste under the upscale) and the mariachi, the place honestly made me kind of homesick.

2:00 AM | Life

So for a while now I've been struggling with an older Xeon system which becomes more and more unresponsive until it finally hangs, when under a moderate amount of I/O load.

I asked zfs-discuss@ about it, and received a very helpful response from Marc Bevand.

Now the kernel heap bounces between 1.2GB (idle) and 1.4GB (loaded). The ARC has maxed around 400MB, but I haven't been doing any major reads off the box yet, just a lot of write I/O, so I don't think that's particularly surprising.


(This experience really reminds me that I need to re-read Solaris Internals. I could have solved this problem myself, if I refreshed on those books periodically.)

7:27 PM | Systems Administration
August 13, 2008

So this morning has been... annoying.

A box was rebooted and didn't come back up. Network came up (pingable) but not ssh. Based on previous idiocy with this system, I suspected it had something to do with filesystems not being able to mount at boot. I shot off a mail to the NOC monkeys, not expecting much (and four hours later, still no response from them), and then started trying to get into the system myself to fix it.

The box in question is a Sun X4150; a really nice system (though now that I've had a T5120 for a while, I have to say I really do much prefer SPARCs simply for ease of administration), with a really lame-ass LOM (ELOM). But: Whatever. So I go to start the console via the LOM... no joy. Apparently console is not redirecting. So, ok, I should be able to get at glass (thanks for the reminder, dlg) via the web interface.

Of course there's no VPN at that site. So I kick open netcat and don't have much in the way of luck. After a few minutes of screwing around with it, I give up and download haproxy. In about three minutes I have it compiled, configured, and forwarding :80 and :443 for me.

listen proxy1
mode http
balance roundrobin
server test
contimeout 3000
clitimeout 150000
srvtimeout 150000
maxconn 60000
retries 3
grace 3000
option forwardfor
option httplog
option dontlognull

listen ssl-relay
option ssl-hello-chk
balance source
server inst1

I log into the LOM, start the redirection Java app, and... nothing.

And... Mac OS X Java bullshit.

So I start an old Parallels OpenSolaris image I had laying around, connect to the LOM that way and... get an I/O connection error. Figuring that the KVM was running on another port, I sniffed off my firewall and discovered that yes, it wanted :8890 as well.

listen ssl-relay
option ssl-hello-chk
balance source
server inst1

Did that, got into the box and discovered the problem was...

[20080813-05:43:12]:[root@brood]:[~]# tail -2 /etc/vfstab
/dev/zvol/dsk/data/zones/lb-arc/root /dev/zvol/rdsk/data/zones/lb-arc/root /zones/lb-arc ufs 1 yes logging
/dev/zvol/dsk/data/zones/lb-arc/root /dev/zvol/rdsk/data/zones/lb-arc/root /zones/lb-arc ufs 1 yes logging


A svcadm clear filesystem/local later, and all was well.


5:43 AM | Systems Administration

Went to the Radiohead show in Camden last night, with H, her sister's friend, and a friend of H's from NYC (who I'd heard a fair amount about, so it was nice putting reality to stories).

We got some dinner at Penang beforehand (a spinach dish I hadn't had before was ordered, and it was just as delicious as everything else there), then took the ferry over the river. We had skipped the opening act (Grizzly Bear), and got to the stadium just as the show was starting. Awesome timing.

The set list seemed like a good mix of new stuff (most of which I wasn't familiar with) and older stuff (which I was).

They played Climbing Up the Walls, Everything In Its Right Place and How To Disappear Completely, which was enough to make me a happy little monkey.

The effects were quite awesome, comparable to Massive Attacks.

After the show, we sat on a bench eating pretzels and vending-machine-ice-cream waiting for the ferry line to become less insane (a thousand or more people were waiting), and would have been the last group on the boat except some old guy wandered up behind us basically as we were boarding.

An excellent evening, for sure.

6:02 AM | Life
August 19, 2008

On the way home, I asked a quartet of pigeons what they were doing up at 3am.

I suppose they could have asked the same of me.

4:20 AM | Life
August 27, 2008

Recently I moved our x86-64 pkgsrc build zone to another system. When I did so, I had forgotten I had built the original zone as full, to get around an annoying install(1M) bug. Basically, when you tried to build a package, it would attempt to recursively mkdir /usr/pkg. On sparse zones, /usr is shared read-only from the global zone.

So the install would fail, because it couldn't create /usr for obvious reasons. At the time, I thought I had tried various install programs, but given that the problem was being re-addressed and I didn't feel like reprovisioning a zone, I figured I would tackle it again.

After some minor discussion on #pkgsrc and grepping through mk/ I "discovered" the following variable:

TOOLS_PLATFORM.install?= /usr/pkg/bin/ginstall

Added to mk.conf and all is good. Mainly because ginstall actually uses mkdir -p, so...

The contents of pkgsrc/mk/platform/ are very useful if you aren't on NetBSD.

1:32 AM | Systems Administration
August 31, 2008

New Dr. Horrible content in the works, and the soundtrack is apparently soon to be released.


10:39 PM | Linkwhore