Upgrades and downtime

25 June 2005 » System administration

So today was the day. I guess I’m lucky I wasn’t on vacation. Despite having a UPS, both my servers went down at 6 in the morning because of a blip in the power. Since the UPS only has enough power for 5 minutes for one machine, both servers are configured to power down gracefully.

The Solaris 9 server (civet) had an uptime of about 290 days when I last checked, while the SuSE 9.2 machine (linsang) was up around 60 days. I suppose it’s a good thing, since now I have no irrational and vain reason not to upgrade civet to Solaris 10, and to upgrade to the latest kernel in linsang. Similarly, I had planned to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.4 this weekend, but those plans might also be forstalled today:

Also, turn your TV on and check the weather forecast. No, no, it’s not stupid: in case there is a thunderstorm coming, you don’t want to leave your Mac plugged into an outlet that doesn’t have a very good UPS–and even then you might want to just unplug it and postpone the whole thing altogether.

Machine names

25 June 2005 » System administration

As a follow up to a colleague’s blog entry on computer naming systems, here’s the list of hostnames on my home network.

When I was a kid I was intrigued by civets, which are cat/weasel-like animals, from the first time I saw one in an animal encyclopedia. I later named my freelance corporation after this animal, and from there all of my machines. Many folks have only heard of civets now that SARS has been traced back to them.

The workgroup is Viverridae, from the family that includes most of these animals.

  • Primary servers and workstations
    • civet is a a Sun Blade 100 running Solaris 10 on a 64 bit SPARC chip, which is the file, CVS, and mail server. Most of this machine’s former responsibility has been offloaded to linsang.
    • linsang is an eServer xSeries 226 running SuSE 9.2 on a Xeon EM64T chip, which is the Web, application, and database server.
    • mongoose is a dual 1.25Ghz G4 Mac running OS X 10.4. This is my primary home machine which maintains my calendar and which I VNC into to test Web site browser compatibility.
    • serval is the unofficial name for my work ThinkPad T41 running Windows XP.
  • Retired and experimental machines, for testing new operating systems and freelance projects. They are rarely powered on.
    • genet is a 450Mhz Pentium III HP Pavilion 8565C. It is currently running Solaris 10 x86.
    • caracal is a 500Mhz Celeron HP Pavilion 6630. It is currently running Windows 2000.
    • ocelot is a Dell Latitude which dual boots Windows 2000 and Red Hat Linux 9.
  • Network printer
    • meerkat is an HP LaserJet 1200n.


22 June 2005 » Potpourri

Ok. I’m officially addicted to del.icio.us. Check out my bookmarks or set up your own.

A factor, time is

22 June 2005 » Potpourri

Around the survivors, a perimeter create.

I love Yoda as much as the next guy, but honestly, time’s a factor when giving a command like that. I’m disillusioned with the fellow’s competence as a general.


15 June 2005 » Writing

I just found out that my IBM WDTJ article has been published in Chinese as well. Cool.