skeptical conference


I’m a big fan of the Scientific Method, so by transitive properties, so is my daughter, Caralyne :) While listening to my favorite podcast, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, I just so happened to listen to the last minute of announcements (which to be honest, I usually skip (I hit FF right after Jay’s quote) which mentioned SkeptiCal Con. I’ve wanted to attend a conference like this for a while, and I sure as heck didn’t want to go all alone, so I asked Michele (crickets), posted in on Google+ (crickets), and then asked my sweet daughter.

auditing file access with samba and splunk

2013-05-08 | #Samba #Splunk

Preamble The other week, we had an issue with our working production data on our ZFS file servers. We have a running service that uses a CIFS share to extract file contents, read in a XML file, and then from that file, build out a directory structure based on a field in that order file. I won’t get into the horrible details, but we eventually discovered that this service does not halt or error an order if that field is missing!

building packages for freebsd


I have held out on building packages on FreeBSD for a long time. My experience with portmaster and portupgrade was not perfect, but it was pretty consistent, and I always knew how to recover from any failures. I normally had systems build packages via portmaster during the early am, or through some automated process that I didn’t have to look at. At this point though, pkgng has become a much better tool than the pkg_ tools, and while portmaster and portupgrade support registering packages with pkgng, I felt this was a good time to start building local packages for our infrastructure.

configuration management with salt stack


I’ve often made the remark that the open source community is a fickle crowd. There is always a new fork, or a new hot development team that everyone is clamoring to be involved in. I strive for stability, but I’m not going to stick with something for historical reasons. If I find a better tool, I’ll spend a good amount of time working with it before I call it production.

2tb hitachi drives and zfs


I’ve built a new file server at work so we can start phasing out the old ultra-scsi arrays we have. Since performance (and price) is valued more than actual space, my initial quote with iXsystems was for 26 1TB Drives ( HUA72201 ) with the assumption being that the lower platter density would provide better performance. I was not super satisfied with the results when I actually setup the ZFS array, and the best performance numbers I got out of it was about 250MB/sec

playing at the beach

2013-03-11 | #Owen Family

Michele and Caralyne left for Antioch this last weekend, to help my Father in Law paint, and get their hair “did” for Jessica’s up and coming wedding. That left Owen and I alone, and while I didn’t chop down any tree’s, we did make the best of our time together. I told Owen that we would go to the beach, which is one of his favorite things to do. It can always be a dicey situation with Owen though, he’s very particular about when and what he’ll eat, and the terrible consequences of missing out on a meal.

a geeks right of passage


Caralyne built her own computer this weekend! It is hard to contain my excitement for a moment like this, and I’ve been slowly cultivating patiently brainwashing encouraging Caralyne’s computer interests. I also, would like to have my computer back, so this project had many benefits. To share the experience, and to make sure we had enough perspective and patience, I had Steve and Summer (and William) come over for a BBQ as well.

site migration


I’m moving this blog to: The back-end publishing platform is also changing from WordPress to Octoress I thought I was clever, struggling through the wordpress export all by myself… If I would have just gone a quick Google search, I would have seen the 20 or so new Octopress blogs that converted from WordPress Since I would like to retain my “identity” according to Google, I configured Octopress to use the same Article perma-link format as Wordpress.

ftp stuff


After looking at yesterdays transfer logs on the Colo FTP server, I decided to grok the fields in the xferlog and put them to use. The ftp transfer log is in /var/log/xferlog. It it rotated daily, and compressed with bz. I’m using yesterdays log, so I have to look at, and use bzgrep to find all of the “Jan 16” transfers. After today, we can reliably use bzcat. Here is a snippet: Wed Jan 16 23:57:23 2013 19 10.

dell f1dh


We bought a stack of Dell servers off of eBay for work. The price was great, I think it was about $3K for 20 1U Dell servers. 8GB RAM, Dual Xeon, and 4 SATA drives in each one. They even have a MegaRAID on board, how perfect is that? I installed FreeBSD 9.1 on two of them, used ZFS, and they are both running nicely. We then decided to stand one up as a Windows 2003 R2 server, because everything was going over so well.