This week I've been doing some hideous programming, one process involves SAP ABAP, Ksh scripting on AIX, cURL/HTTP and Perl/XML on a Linux box. It's all horribly convoluted and unnecessarily complex but or antique SAP system doesn't speak XML, so it's the only way to get the job done.
Today I've been banging my head against a brick wall trying to find an ABAP function to change a single text description field in an inspection lot. All I've run up against is obscure functions with no documentation and cryptic comments in German.
SAP ABAP development may pay the rent but there are some days I don't like it all that much...
A few weeks ago I set up NFS on my home server using version 4 of the protocol rather than the still more common version 3. It all went rather swimmingly and I've been happy.
One feature that NFSv4 has over NFSv3 is that it includes decent security in the form of Kerberos support. I've never used Kerberos before, mostly getting by with SSH, so this seemed like an opportunity to learn something new.
So far no luck, I've had two goes and even with plenty of help from people on the DA.org site I'm still no closer...
Today I made three batches of jam. I am now full of enough sugar to power a Tour de France bike rider up an Aple. I started with 2 Kg or redcurrant juice to which I added 2 kg of sugar to make 9 jars of jelly. Next it was a kilo of rhubarb, 500 g of crystallised ginger and a kilo of sugar to make 6 jars of jam. Finally 2 Kg of rhubarb, a kilo of oranges and 2.2 Kg of sugar make 12 jars of marmalade. Should keep the household running another year.
It's taken so much of my day up that I've still not had time to get
NFSv4 working with Kerberos 5. I've just had enough time to join
Today I went to a friend's garden to pick his surplus rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum or Rheum x hybridum.). I collected over 4 Kg, of which 3 Kg is now soaking in sugar and lemon juice in the fridge.
After lunch we went to the nearby PYO farm on the hunt for redcurrants (Ribes rubrum) and strawberries (Fragaria spp.). They were out of strawberries, which is a bit odd as there should still be plenty and last year at this time they were over run with them. The redcurrants had also been picked hard (and very poorly), which made picking them a pain but we were easily able to collect over 3.5 Kg of red and white currants. Except a few kept for eating the currants are simply mashed up and filtered to make jelly.
Tomorrow I plan to make one batch of redcurrants jelly, one batch of rhubarb and ginger jam and one batch of rhubarb and orange marmalade.
At the Sheep Fair we sold all our jam, after materials the OBS made a profit of over £100 on the jam. Even after the event people have been asking to buy jam and I have to keep telling people it's all gone, all 20 kg of it!
Tonight we had a look round the local church yard for the common glow worm Lampyris noctiluca. It's not as warm or humid as it should be for the best viewing but even so we spotted 13 females doing their thing.
Though representing the OBS I was also able to speak to a few local people about Linux/Unix which is always good. One of them is a former Windows SysAdmin now in the process of upgrading to Linux/Unix - which given his job is at the UK's Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, it's scary to think that they trusted our nuclear arsenal to a toy operating system with a reputation for not being secure...
This morning the SCSI sub-system on my development server Turing gave up. I switched him off took his disks out and put them in a spare chassis and rebooted him. All told he was off-line for about 5 minutes. It took an hour or so to rebuild the disk mirror and now it's all okay.
I now hope this box will last a little longer and eventually we will be able to migrate my Linux systems off their current antique hardware platforms onto a more modern VMware virtual platform.
On Monday morning both SCSI disks on my test system had died. We left the machine to cool and it successfully restarted later on. This morning one of disks again died, so I swapped it with one of my only two remaining spares. So far both disks are still running but I am expecting the older of the two disks to fail at some point this week. It's also possible that the SCSI sub-system it's self will fail, it's been a common failure on these Compaq DL servers.
I now have a new stack of salvaged disks from other decommissioned servers in my desk for when the next drive fails. Eventually these machines will be pensioned off and replaced with virtual systems within our VMWare solution but for the mean time they are real machines with real failing hardware.
At home I have needed a backup solution for some time. I've been rather lax and not had one for far too long, relying on mirrored disks is not a backup solution...
I decided to try out rsnapshot as it looks simple enough to be easy to do and powerful enough to do what I need.
After a certain amount of messing with the rsync and ssh options I've not got it backing up my home server and our two desktop systems all automatically. I've now got to back the snapshots up to something external (DVD or a USB 0.5 TB hard disk)...
Yesterday was a joint Hampshire/Surrey LUG meeting at the Nokia facility between Fleet and Farnborough. For a mid summer meeting it was quite busy and most productive.
Using Nokia's fast and plentiful Internet connection we upgraded a friend's Ubuntu system to the latest version and fixed a number of Apache/PHP related issues. We also got Dovecot IMAP working on the system and moved email into it from another system.
There were quite a few new faces, which is always good too see and plenty of familiar ones. Someone brought along a tiny Viglen MPC-L computer, listen to the next ubuntu uk podcast for a full review.
After a few weeks delay Firefox 3 has arrived in Debian Lenny. Since it arrived in Debian SID a few more themes and add-ons have been ported so the upgrade hasn't been too painful. Compared with 2.x it does seem quite a bit faster and more responsive but on Linux Firefox 2 was always sluggish when compared to Konqeror or Opera. On Windows Firefox could sometimes be slow but on Windows there is always Microsoft's IE which was an order of magnitude slower...
I've turned on my experimental combined RSS feed planetajt.rss. I've yet to properly validate it or feed it into any other site, probably just Planet HantsLUG but so far so good. It combines my three blogs into one single feed and is at the moment updated daily.
I've decided to combine my various blog feeds with modified version of perlanet to create a single RSS feed. I'll probably run perlanet from a cron job and simply create a static xml file(s) with the corresponding feed in it as that's the simplest solution.
Today when I got home there was a letter from my bank. They have decided to automatically triple my overdraft limit, if I don't want all this cheap credit I can reply using the pre-paid envelope to let them know. It's very nice to know I can borrow a lot of money for very little it's even occasionally useful. However as I'm a tight northerner I avoid debt like a plague and doubt I'll do anything with this extra line of credit.
What is more annoying is that they sent it to the wrong address, we moved a month ago. It's not as if they don't know I have told them and they have already sent a statement to the new address... It must be brilliant if you are an ID thief to get a letter like mine...
Methinks the banks have only themselves to blame...
In many respects I'm quite conservative, just as everyone else was abandoning CVS I started to use it. Over the past few weeks I've decided to upgrade to SVN (Subversion) just as everyone else moves on to git...
Glyn Moody makes some very good points in his blog: Sir Bill and Sir Tim: A Tale of Two Knights.
A new version swooshed up-to PAUSE last night and is appearing on CPAN today. It fixes a small bug in the 0.30 version that went up the night before. I'm still getting some FAIL data from some testers but that looks like a subtle bug in Test::More that I've not seen on any of my test systems, so that could be hard to fix.