February 4th, 2007


If I Were Smarter, This Would Be Easier

Brought up Toast on teh max0r and selected files from my nfs mounted Solaris volume to make a hard-copy DVD backup of my server, and to consider the possibility of using iTunes new built-in backup application. Toast couldn't read a good majority of my nfs mounted files, yet on the server side I ensured everything was world readable. I may try to mount the volume as root (in place of read-only) to see if that helps. In the meantime I'm making multi-gig tarballs to drag over (thankfully bypassing any scp) and burn locally. The learning-curve of mounting Solaris volumes on darwin aside, the GUI representation of such is pretty nifty.

Simultaneously, I decided to upgrade phpmyadmin to minimize mucking around with mysql. I had one hell of a time, however getting that all straightened out. I'm not a big fan of cleartext passwd's in my config files and for a time ran apache2 just so I could have an egress into https (not that cleartext password are mutually exclusive, in fact I'm now running 'cookies' for secondary logins) I don't recall the reason I turned that off, but I'd really like to either get back to running them both, or perhaps, running only apache2. There were reasons I didn't pursue that 18 months ago, but I've been away from it so long, I don't remember what they were. Since getting my server up and running again, I've really been hitting the unix hard - trying to keep my mad Solaris skillz sharp, but its such an uphill battle sometimes - and I had to completely relearn my systems particular quirks.

All this work has led up to me wanting to completely revamp my box. I have an identical Rave AXi in storage I'd like to build-up better, stronger, and more secure. Running both systems in parallel, I'm sure I'll be able to manifest a most awesome system. This begs the question of when I might actually have time to do this. I have a few ideas, and look forward to discussing them with drax0r who I know would be all over that. He's really a brilliant unix admin who tempers my rashness when it comes to these types of activities. I've missed working beside him these last 18 months - especially on side projects such as this. Unfortunately for me, he gets easily distracted and doesn't like to focus too long on any single thing. Couple this with the fact that he's now married (and expecting) I feel our time would be quite limited in this endeavor. I keep an online copy of each and every Solaris package on the install discs for hand-crafting as small a system as possible after a core install. Its a time-consuming process, but one I feel necessary for the discrete control I prefer to have over my boxes. Who knows, maybe I'm just a gluten for punishment. Hey, my 440MHz UltraSparc-II is a lot faster than some of the bloated newer boxes I've worked on in the past - I feel my attention to this detail is the reason why.

Oh, I did finally get myphpadmin upgraded and secured - but its been a fight. I do well by locking myself in my dungeon office for hours on end without a break in train of thought, which has been nigh impossible this weekend, the weekend of my son's three-day-long birthday party sleepover (special arrangements had to be made concerning split-custody children who ended up here since Friday evening). If only I had the means to concentrate more. Anyway, I made my first sql backup of my database using the webtool, which turned out to be much larger than when I do them by hand (indicating to me I've probably been missing something) as well as a backup of the entire directory, and my webspace on wilddamntexan - something else which should probably be reorganized as well.

iTunes built-in backup/restore utility. Wow. How very convenient, how very idiot-proof, how very BAD. Almost no configurable options. I managed to cull my database down to 41GB after deleting 7GB of CD's I own the physical media to and was prepared to auto-span volumes. This was going to be my first test of the dual-layer portion of the drive. Would it auto-detect the 8.5GB capacity? Would I waste a very pricey disc of optical media? Unfortunately one of the first files it tried to write was a file it could not 'find' on the spinning disc, which all-but hung iTunes (despite the application identifying only six tracks ahead of time I was willing to sacrifice. I will now attempt to hand-verify the remainder of the files. Next on my plate? Lookup the darwin command for Solaris' tip to facilitate serial connectivity from teh max0r to my server. I don't even know if that's capable on a mini. I've seen some serial-to-usb connectors, but doubt off the top of my head if they'll work without windows-only drivers. I lost my wyse terminal when I moved to STL. Still, to be able to ditch the physical console and serial in from my desktop environment? How cool would that be?

Upgraded my Gallery (which is sometimes the only way I can find out where the things I broke in the process of upgrading others) and for the first time in several hours, things are working again. I have quite literally spent all day down here, and I have other issues now which require me actually touching a *shiver* XP box. I'm going to attach my physical iTunes volume to it, and the dual-layer DVD burner (which is running awfully slow on the mini) and see if I can't better accomplish my backup with the processing power that box has. We'll see. As a quick reminder, I've had the processor overclocked, installed the max capacity of 1GB RAM (thanks to drax0r), and running from a 7200rpm 8MB/cache drive. But as loaded down as this box is, I sometimes turn to my XP box for crunching. It has a 10k SATA drive (albeit the 16MB/cache drives weren't at the time available, so again, 8MB) and a quickly-becoming-dating 2.8GHz hyper-threaded chip.

These things are much more fun with drax0r adjacent me, and a bottle of whiskey between us.

It'll likely be an even longer night.

128/81 p 81

And I edited my Man of La Mancha post to include an mp3 of the song I was quoting to put everything in perspective. What a fantastic track!