Today is the last day of the annual Netadmin Techshare for Associated Engineering. By all accounts it has been a success and kudos should go to Rob Larmour for organizing the whole thing, Rob, Brad, Bart, James, Ed, and (humbly) me for presenting, and to Ed for supporting the event with management. I think there has been considerable value in having these events over the last six or seven years (wow!) in real dollars from improved productivity and reduced downtime of systems. Its also great fun to see all the guys and gals collaborating and socializing together. It builds camaradarie and teamwork. Thanks for coming, everybody.
Last night’s Edmonton appearance of Van Halen was nothing short of spectacular. I went with my friend Ben, another dad from the kids’ school. Van Halen were in top form, and seemed to love performing for the fans. The show rocked fans from 14 year old kids to some I saw who were at least in the late 50s. There were lots of 30-somethings like us, of course.
I kept some notes, hastily scribbled on a notebook in the dark during the show, including the complete set list.
Once a week, the Janitors around here seem to like to wipe all my monitors with rags that they previously used to clean mud from their boots. I’ve left them notes, I’ve complained to the management company, but it’s all to no avail. I’m considering changing the lock on my office door and taking out my own garbage just to keep the idiots out of my office. I don’t know what more I can do when I’ve got “DO NOT WIPE SCREEN” stickers with 3 cm high letters, in neon pink, stuck to each monitor. Excuse me please, I have to go get a static-free cloth.
I’ll try to keep a setlist, and I’ll publish a blog entry on the show tomorrow. I can’t wait to see Sammy doing some of the old DLR songs better than DLR ever could. I always thought Dave was a bit of a lightweight for such a major rock band. Sammy’s more hard-core. More tomorrow.
This weekend one of the other parents from Emily’s classat school made a very exciting offer to Emily. He is a private pilot, and he had heard that Emily has been fascinated by planes and flying since a very young age. He has his own small plane, a Cessna 306, that seats five people, and he offered to take ort, and got the royal tour.
Perry, our host and pilot, with his son Jason, showed Emily around the hanger and the plane, and then took her and Jennifer on a flight over St. Albert. Emily even got to sit in the copilot’s seat. You could say she was pretty thrilled. They flew over our home, the school, and several other landmarks that Emily recognized. The smile on her face when she landed lasted for several hours afterwards. When the intrepid flyers returned, we all went for a very informative tour of the airport control tower, which in this post-9/11 era, is a rare privilege. All in all it was a total blast, and Emily’s even more enthused about flying than ever.
I am not a programmer. I am an Engineer. However, I have written some code, and I can usually get my code to do the simple things I need it to do given a bit of time and some Googling. Today I’m writing a Java wrapper for my rsync backup processes. Woo. “Why the heck would he do that?” you ask. Well, I’m running multiple rsync processes from ncf (NetWare shell script) files, and I want them to run consecutively. Unfortunately, if you write an ncf file for NetWare that runs rsync multiple times for different repositories, you end up with multiple concurrently executing rsync processes. When you are rsyncing filesystems with tens of thousands of files, that situation is bye-bye memory. Instead, I need a way to run rsync, wait until it is done, then run it again with different parameters, etc., etc. Hence the java wrapper.
I get to have fun with Runtime.exec(), which on my dev platform, Linux, sucks royally. It behaves inconsistently. It works fine on NetWare though, so it just makes development a pain, but once it is working it should be fine.
As mentioned earlier a beta copy of NLD appeared in my mailbox recently. I’ve installed it on a server box in “Engineering” a couple of times just for fun, and within the confines of a very secretive beta license agreement, here’s what I can tell about it.
Time to go and get rid of our psychotic mayor whose mission in the last 3 years has been to alienate all neighbouring communities with hostile posturing at all inter-municipal meetings. There’s nothing like being on the hitlist of the councils of all the communities adjacent to our home. See ya mayor!
Well, winter is officially here, ending the golf season on the earliest date in the past 6 years (according to my dad’s records) and continuing a trend of earlier and earlier snowfalls. Over the weekend, we had about 25 cm of snow, 20 of which came in one snowfall. That’s 10 inches for you metrically challenged americans. Ahh, the joys of living in the great white North.
There were more kids outside playing in the snow this weekend than there were kids outside playing on the first really nice day of spring. I don’t know what it is about snow, but kids love it. I went out with mine, and we tried to make snowmen, but the snow wasn’t quite right for it. It was a bit to dry and fluffy. We made igloos instead, in order to comply with the american stereotypical view of Canadians.
In the aftermath of our server going boom the other day, we got the unexpected and not entirely welcome opportunity to test a restore from our new disk-based backup system, which is not fully in production yet. The backup system uses rsync to replicate disks from production systems to a massive SATA storage array. You can read my article on Novell Coolsolutions if you really want to know how it works. You can read more here to find out what we discovered about using rsync to backup and restore NetWare systems.