I’ve spent much of the day working on the new grommit box. Ran the big ‘smpatch update’, got my BIND fix, and I seem to have all my non-web services/applications up and running. Getting mailman up and running was somewhat of a pain. I used it as a good exercise in writing an SMF manifest though. I ended up deriving one from the network/smtp:sendmail one… undoubtedly, it could be better, but here you go:

< ?xml version='1.0'?>
< !DOCTYPE service_bundle SYSTEM '/usr/share/lib/xml/dtd/service_bundle.dtd.1'>
<service_bundle type='manifest' name='export'>
  <service name='network/mailman' type='service' version='0'>
    <single_instance />
    <dependency name='fs-local' grouping='require_all' restart_on='none' type='s
      <service_fmri value='svc:/system/filesystem/local'/>
    <dependency name='network-service' grouping='require_all' restart_on='none' 
      <service_fmri value='svc:/network/service'/>
    <dependency name='name-services' grouping='require_all' restart_on='refresh'
      <service_fmri value='svc:/milestone/name-services'/>
    <dependency name='identity' grouping='optional_all' restart_on='refresh' typ
      <service_fmri value='svc:/system/identity:domain'/>
    <dependency name='system-log' grouping='optional_all' restart_on='none' type
      <service_fmri value='svc:/system/system-log'/>
    <dependency name='sendmail' grouping='require_all' restart_on='none' type='s
      <service_fmri value='svc:/network/smtp:sendmail'/>
    <instance name='mailman' enabled='true'>
      <dependent name='multi-user' restart_on='none' grouping='optional_all'>
        <service_fmri value='svc:/milestone/multi-user'/>
      <exec_method name='start' type='method' exec='/lib/svc/method/mailman star
t' timeout_seconds='120'>
        <method_context />
      <exec_method name='stop' type='method' exec='/lib/svc/method/mailman stop 
%{restarter/contract}' timeout_seconds='60'>
        <method_context />
      <exec_method name='refresh' type='method' exec='/lib/svc/method/mailman re
start' timeout_seconds='60'>
        <method_context />
      <property_group name='startd' type='framework'>
        <propval name='ignore_error' type='astring' value='core,signal'/>
      <property_group name='general' type='framework'>
        <propval name='action_authorization' type='astring' value='solaris.smf.m
          <loctext xml:lang='C'>GNU mailman mailing list manager</loctext>
    <stability value='Unstable'/>

the main things I have left to get running are all the web apps, specifically: the photo gallery, webmail, blogs, and mysql.

Hitting the High Notes

Thursday, Aug 4. 2005  –  Category: Computers

Found via Slashdot… an excellent piece by Joel entitled Hitting the High Notes talking about why hiring the best programmers is better than hiring cheaper programmers. My first thought was “well…duh.” But go read the article…

MS gives Republicans $1m, Republicans use Solaris anyway

well. the title pretty much says it all. :-P (from El Reg)

LinuxWorld SF 2005

Tuesday, Aug 2. 2005  –  Category: Computers, OpenSolaris, OpenSource

I’m going to be at LinuxWorld 2005 at the Moscone Centre, San Francisco next week. I encourage anyone who’s even remotely interested in Open Source, Linux, and especially OpenSolaris to come by. If you register for the exhibits pass by August 7th, it’s free!

I’ll be manning the OpenSolaris pod in the Sun booth on Tuesday & Wednesday.. come by and say hi.

Additionally, we have an OpenSolaris BoF (Birds of a Feather) Tuesday evening from 5:30-7 that should be really good.

switchin’ to xfce

Wednesday, Jul 27. 2005  –  Category: Computers, OpenSolaris

alright. i tried. i realy did. maybe JDS/Gnome on S10/x86 is faster/more stable. i dunno. but after having gnome-terminal hang on me and losing a build for like the 10th time, i give up.

pkg-get -i xfce4

yes. i switched my sparc workstation (a SunBlade 2000, so definitely not a shabby machine) to XFCE, and it’s so much snappier. i also switched back to good ‘ol xterm. i’m still a GNOME fan (running it on my laptop with FC3 right now), but it’s just slow on SPARC. nothing major, but little collective lags here and there that you don’t really notice until you try something faster.

that, and having all your gnome-terminals freeze on you just sucks. the whole one-process thing is not that hot when it hangs. (and yes, i know about –disable-factory, but then it takes like 3-5 seconds to start a new terminal, and that’s just lame).

new hd for grommit

Monday, Mar 21. 2005  –  Category: Computers

attn all grommit users. be sure to say a big thank you to chester (or at the very least, buy him a beer next time you see him). why? because he just bought grommit a 160gb hard drive so we can have full nightly system backups again.

cheers chester!

on the issue of backups

Monday, Mar 7. 2005  –  Category: Computers

how much backing up is too much? or maybe i should ask how little is not enough? same question i suppose. or at least the same issue.

grommit currently has a few drives: 20gb = system boot drive 52gb = web & photo gallery drive (27gb remaining) 74gb = email and home directory drive (19gb remaining)

and a 60gb drive used to backup the web/photo gallery/mail/homedirs onto every night. i also periodically go in and do a full backup onto a removable hard drive.

here’s my dilemma. the math-savvy among you will notice (52-27)+(74-19) = 80. the real math whizzes might even say ‘but steve… 80 > 60′ (remember the 60gb backup drive?) to which i reply, ‘yes. yes it is.’

which is why i’ve temporarily elected to stop backing up certain user’s home directories (namely, the ones who don’t update/upload stuff as frequently). this is a temporary solution until i can find a big (120? 250?) gb drive i can use as a monster backup drive to do the nightly backups to.

and on a secondary note, for the truly truly paranoid grommit users (i only say this because i had one person ask, and it had never occured to me before). if you have a drive you want me to backup all your personal grommit stuff onto: home directory, photo gallery, email, blog, etc. – i’ll be happy to make a personal backup for you so you can hold onto it – just in case grommit, myself, my house in Oakland, and my off-site peer backup in Toronto all spontaneously combust… :-P and no, i can’t burn it onto CDs for you because grommit has no CD burner, sorry. this free personal backup offer only applies for usb pluggable hard drives. ;-)

swsusp (suspend) finally works..

Tuesday, Jan 4. 2005  –  Category: Computers

ahh…finally. I installed Kevin’s FC3 patched kernel RPMs with software suspend, and I can finally suspend my Inspiron 700m. woohoo!

so now i believe everything on my laptop works as it should aside from the SD card reader, which is a minor shame – but not a huge deal since my digital camera uses smartmedia anyway.

yay. i just suspended in the middle of writing this blog, resumed, and my wireless connection reconnected automatically

yes, i know all you normal laptop readers out there (yes i’m talking to you Geoff, and your slick little piece of work Powerbook) are probably laughing at me since you all have been suspending since day 1. but this is a big deal to a linux laptop user like me. ;-)


Tuesday, Dec 7. 2004  –  Category: Computers

thunderbird-1.0-os2.zip 07-Dec-2004 10:30 12M

from the contributed builds directory for the new Thunderbird 1.0 release.

Thunderbird is great, I’m a huge fan. After all the years of Pine, Elm, & mutt – Thunderbird was the first client that was able to convince me to switch back to a GUI email client. I’m still a big mutt fan and user though (I use it when I ssh into grommit). But in terms of features, Thunderbird is awesome.

What impresses me more though is the diligence of whoever is building those OS/2 Thunderbird builds. They are consistently among the first ‘contrib’ builds tossed up whenever a new release of Thunderbird/Firefox is done. Who is this mysterious OS/2 builder? I can’t believe people still use OS/2…

Don’t get me wrong, I loved OS/2. I went from DOS+Windows to DOS+Desqview to OS/2, and never looked back. I loved OS/2… it was only after Warp went down in flames (ring the klaxon!) that I finally was forced to accept Windows had won the desktop…

sigh. OS/2… good times..good times


Friday, Dec 3. 2004  –  Category: Computers

read the review of this sweeeeet Sony Vaio U70P Wi-Fi micro PC over at The Register.

i want one. so droooolworthy

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