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I’m experimenting - I’ve found out that tech on the interwebs is advanced enough to offer me full control over my very own ‘virtual private server’ - a Xen virtual machine running Centos 5, specifically - and it’s let me install and tinker Wordpress to my desire.  Wordpress 2.5 is pretty damn slick - AJAXy and all - and better yet, it allows me to integrate with Livejournal, so I could technically move everything from LJ to my site and still keep folks up to date on such critical inanities as the state of my work life and what my bent frame thinks is funny.

So I’m testing it.  If it works, I may finally be able to have a nice hobby box without the annoying hum or the cost of SDSL.

(crossposted from The Dream Library)
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[ profile] chalain explained the feeling of the Vista upgrade more eloquently than I ever could, though I disagree with him on the nuance.

Honestly, Vista feels polished, just a little more grand and cultured than XP. The eye candy is lush, but subtle - little things that fade into the background but make it feel cool.

It has some distinct nods to those of us who like to know what the damn computer's _doing_ with all that grinding and clunking; a nice little Resource Monitor'll tell you what process is writing how many bytes to which file every second. Also, whenever something Administratively Important's going on, it'll ask you whether it's okay. A nice little bit of security.

The downside? About 400MB of memory down the tubes; I'm running around 900MB now with all my whosits and whatsits running. I suspect it'll grind a little harder than XP does.

Also, I'm going to have to search for a few knobs a little harder - Display Preferences is now abstracted a level, for instance.

All in all, it's a good experiment. The part that's going to kill me is trying to repair my RAID mirroring, since I unplugged one disk to retain a backup after the upgrade.
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Decided to take a swing at learning the State of Java Enterprise Software around middle of last week - I had free time, and I wanted to give myself a goal. Being able to program is only sort-of my goal. I don't have the smarts to be an architect, developer, and QA-tester in one body.

My goal has been to familiarize myself with the language at minimum, and learn the scope of the basic technologies. J2EE - now Java 5 EE - is a big damn toolbox, ranging from the Application Servers like Weblogic, Websphere, JBoss, and Glassfish, all the way to management APIs and parsing tools. There's a standard tool for just about everything, and it's _all_ painfully flexible; you have to wade through miles of power to get to simple things.

That's not inherently evil, just painful. I'm stuck with a lot of alphabet soup - JTA, JAXB, JAXM, JAXP, StAX, JMX, JMS, JDBC, EJB, RMI, and so on - that I want to understand enough to be able to know when the person I'm talking to is blowing smoke up my ass, at least... and at best, be able to contribute to the developers more than just the ability to tell them we won't do something.

I'm maintaining a program that surrounds and controls all these things... I wouldn't trust a mechanic who couldn't tell me why not to put diesel in an unleaded-only truck, or one who told me that when my brakes went out, I should just restart the car and hope it works.

Wish me luck... I hope my head doesn't explode.
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Prius owned. ... well, financed. I now embark on the wonderful quest to fidget my budget so that the fact I have a lot less disposable money now doesn't bite me on the ever-so-careless ass.

But it is good. I look forward to being able to take advantage of all my new geek toys on it. Didn't realize it, but apparently my entire car is a hands-free headset for bluetooth phones. wtfyay! That plus the keyless ignition system and the in-dash computer pretty much make my day.

I am geek, hear me... geek.


ETA: yeeeegods. I'm sooooo spun up right now it's hurty. Cross between new-toy syndrome, night before Christmas, and goodgodI'maspaz.
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So the DOD increased their requirements for password strength. The details are easy to code, but I was faced with the problem of _coding_ a PAM module to do the password checking; noone had a module that could be tweaked easily to match.

After much pain, I randomly happened upon a spot on the Sun site that had a collection of PAM module templates! About 20 minutes later I'd built and tested a replacement for our current (shitty) password checking module. Thank god for small miracles. That, figuring out how to get Solaris to stop encrypting passwords before sending them to LDAP, and figuring out how to get Solaris 9 to use MD5 instead of crypt mean that I can get most of our systems at least partially covered relatively easily.

Next trick: writing up a random password generator, since the new password requirements are going to tweak my brain.
issaferret: (nukes - end of the world)
So to get through the endboss and be about level 55, it takes about 40 hours. I've not gotten through _nearly_ all the content in the game, though. Of particular interest to me:
- Completing Jiminy's journal (so I can get the pretty 'special' FMV - I'd not have to do that if I were playing on proud)
- Playing more thoroughly through the Gummi Ship runs. It's actually a pretty cool vert-scrolling-shooter type game.
- Completing all the Synthesis stuff.
- Completing the Arenas... including the 99th-level arena, which I can only unlock after capping out all the forms.
- Kicking Sephy's ass and getting a pretty new keyblade for it
- Figuring out what the _hell_ Antiform's all about. (Randomly sometimes when you go into a battle form, you turn into an icky shadow being that kicks all kinds of unholy ass. It's very pretty. I've no idea if there's an answer in-game.)
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*grins in manic relief* Mandatory ethics training didn't kill me. In the middle of it, though, the guy running the Teleconferencing rig from our side interrupted the speaker on the other side and said loudly, "Are we going to have an intermission sometime? Because it looks like some of us are falling asleep -" *several people try not to look pointedly at the guy who had been snoring in the middle of the room and was now trying to look like he hadn't been* "- and may not realize that you can still see them when the slides are up..."

Other than that, it was remarkably boring, other than highlighting the fact that interactions between the government and contractors are pretty tightly circumscribed by law.

In other news, I finally got around to finishing the tortuous bit of logic that is the local-to-LDAP authentication conversion script. 610 lines of barely-passable Perl. I need to program more often.

Next up - a script to go through and make sure that the auto-home directories are all correctly chowned and chmodded. This one seems likely to be much simpler.


Jul. 21st, 2005 01:57 pm
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Flipping through source files trying to sort something out, I came across these in the Rs:

My brain being what it is, I spent a coupla seconds trying to figure out wtf 'floop'ing something would be, and why one would need to re-floop it afterards.

Check, please?
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This is definitely the biggest challenge I've had in my system administration career.

I have to come up with an algorithmic method to convert a system from using its current nameservices to using my new LDAP server. The old system may use both local accounts and an old central naming service. I have to remap all G/UIDs on the system in question to fit my new criterion - local accounts that're staying local below ID 1000, local accounts that're moving to LDAP getting removed from the local passwd file, old remote accounts simply getting remapped.

Trying to keep the whole project straight in my head is, in fact, causing me head pains.
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So, I finally found and read the Chronicles of George. I have a couple of things to say about this:

First, I laugheted my assening off at the whole damnening thing. It was actually an order of magnitude more funny because of the familiarity of the ticketing system - Poly uses Remedy as their workflow manager, so the faux-proximity had me rolling for some reason.

Second, I'd be crying if I'd actually had to deal with those kind of tickets. Even Long, one of the senior admins who Just Doesn't Do English Well, had better ability to communicanate than that.

Third, I'm havening too much fun witht he terriblethings that George does to English.

Fourth, I particularly like the response to this question in the FAQ:

I don't particularly care for the amount of sarcasm and general nastiness displayed on this site!

Shut up. And fuck off. Talk to me at work, where I'm paid to be courteous and agreeable. No one is paying me to be nice on my web site. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.

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