“work” today

June 28, 2007

I put work in quotes in the title b/c it is important to distinguish what I was doing today from being productive. I was at a coffee shop. I had no trouble getting online. However, due to the odd assortment of wireless APs in the area the iwl3945 driver would get hopelessly confused and lockup, knocking me off the network and wedging itself so it could not reload about once every 15 minutes. So, every 15 minutes I had to reboot. If you want to experience this w/o needing this driver go ahead and try halting your machine 4 times an hour. Give it a shot, see what happens to your productivity. I wanted to kill kittens.

Needless to say, I’ll be migrating my files back to my X40 tonight and putting the X60 on the shelf for a while until the drivers improve. Maybe even, radically, letting the laptop sleep and re-awaken. Crazy.

If this sounds like a rant, that’s b/c it is. I’m at home now, I’ve been cranky and pissed off for most of the afternoon and now I get to spend the evening trying to get everything cleaned up AND maybe get back what remained of my productivity of the day. I had 2 bugs filed today and I have a line on both of them, plus I want to finish a machine upgrade and get back to playing with collectd some more.

I’d like to say to everyone who talked to me today I’m very sorry. I was in an amazingly unhappy place 🙂

Do you enjoy smoke filled rooms?

Do you get a sudden thrill at the idea of being current in the halls of power?

Does your pulse quicken at the world ‘cabal’?

Do you love the idea of having meetings where you think about crying afterward?


If all these things describe you (and even if they don’t) you should think about running for the fedora project board! If you’re a contributor and you think you’ve got what it takes then self-nominate for the position.

If you know someone who works on fedora and you don’t like them very much and you think they’d be a good person to help direct the goals of the project then nominate them!

* NB: Tongue planted fimrly in cheek about all of these things except that people should nominate themselves or others for the board!


June 20, 2007

I’ve been oriented into my new gig at red hat. My mental check list of things I needed to get:

– id badge – check

– new laptop – check

– new account – check

– access to the vpn – check

– access to wireless – check

– command keys for the orbital laser – check

– instructions for directing the black helicopters – check

– documentation on using the weather machine – no check

I somehow missed that office, damn it.

In all seriousness orientation was pain-free and angst-free for about 95% of the time. There was a slight hang up with my password for my new account but amusingly a good deal of the work I’m doing is fedora-centered so the account isn’t very important since all the repositories and what not are accessible w/o any need to access redhat.com or the vpn. Pretty cool, actually.

My flight out of san jose, ca was an hour late. Thus I missed my connection to rdu from phoenix. So I am stuck overnight to get to RDU. Let’s add to that the extra pain of not getting to rdu until 4:07pm tomorrow. That’s right 4:07pm.

So, yah, world-of-suck. I miss the girl, the dog and the bed. I miss food that I know the origin of. I miss not having to interact with service-sector workers. I miss some relative privacy and sense of normalcy. I miss the wii, too.

Everyone should pity me, please.

Thank you, now I’ll return to foraging for food.

common problem in yum

June 15, 2007

I’m at the linux-foundation summit right now and I’ve had a number of fruitful discussions with people who are able to point some specific issues with yum and frequently suggest many and varied ways to fix them. However, something I thought had been documented a bit but I wanted to mention was this:

If you find yum stalls out A LOT right after parsing arguments for various commands and/or that yum search takes a loooooooong time when you know it is not downloading from the network then you probably want to stop all yum and rpm-related processes and run as root:

rpm –rebuilddb

Then go to /var/lib/rpm and make sure __db* files are gone.

Run yum again and see if it makes things faster. I think it will.

Update: It’s been brought to my attention that others have documented this much better than I have:


Go there to get the full story (even if it does say rhel3 at the top)

multimedia discoveries

June 9, 2007

It’s amazing. Mr. Frields has uncovered more depth in our mr. mcgrath. He’s not just a top notch sysadmin and gardener. He’s also a country-western singer:

He’s a renaissance man, clearly.

So thanks to some innovative use of the undo command we were able to uncover the true cover for the aforementioned book:

This is why we must be careful about documents storing more data, you never know when things like this can be recovered.

Thanks to Paul Frields for  recovering this.

Does our mike mcgrath have a second life as a bearded gardener producing compost?

Does the creation of fedora have a striking similarity to making compost?


I’ve been following the scm discussion with some interest as I’m trying to determine which scm to switch to for yum’s development trees, too. Yum is currently using cvs b/c when we started that was pretty much all their was available. We’ve been slow to change b/c cvs has just worked. More importantly to me is that I’ve been hoping a ‘winner’ or even a few winners would shake out of the scm explosion that’s occurred in the last few years. I was hoping, apparently in vain, that I would not need to learn 10 vaguely different commands to do the same thing. As much fun as scms are I’d rather just get my work done and not learn a new doo-dad to do it. So a lot of the reticence you hear from various folks about changing the workflow is about that.

But there’s more. In fedora we just finished the merge of extras and core. Since you work for red hat it may not have seemed as involved a process as it did from the outside. Additionally, it is still being shaken out. If we were to shift to a new scm right now, as we’re sorting out issues with the merge and the update systems I think we would end up alienating and confusing an enormous number of developers and maintainers., myself included. Therefore I think some deliberation and consideration is warranted for a move of this kind. The last thing I’d want to see happen is us to shift to $SCM only to have development stop on it and have to do it all over again. Now, that may not happen with git or mercurial or svn or whatever; however I’d be much happier taking our time to verify those things and to bring the developer base comfortably along with us. There’s some lovely docs written up for managing volunteer labor in non-profits. They specifically mention that making the processes confusing will absolutely guarantee that no one will contribute, despite their desire.

Fedora 7 Bittorrent

June 1, 2007

Fedora 7 Bittorrent

Originally uploaded by Malcolm Tredinnick

Malcolm was kind enough too show us how his bittorrent is going for the fedora 7 download.

Pretty spiffy if you ask me.

As of this writing Fedora 7 has 18946 downloads via torrent
At just 24 hours from release time.