21 July 2007 21:50
The rinse tool has been sucking up a bit of my time recently, but happily it now installs:
- Centos 4 & 5.
- Fedora Core 4, 5 & 6.
(Debian package for Etch available here. Could be worth uploading to Sid? I'm tempted to do it myself .. at the very least it provides an alternative to rpmstrap and it shouldn't require constant updates... Yay? Nay?)
Each of the seven supported distributions may be installed as either "i386" or "amd64" flavours.
The current CVS version of xen-tools can use rinse as an installation method, so I can now create Xen guests of RPM-based distributions with a single command and a few minutes of patience.
Nothing else exciting is happening right now. My partner is still away in the United States. (Counting fiddler crabs in the Florida Everglades!) Still it isn't all bad - she promised to bring me back a Nintendo DS - and the pictures seem to suggest she's having a fine time. Argh! Pirates!
The only other thing I'm doing right now is working on the alternative dating site. That seems to be picking up steam in two geographical clusters. So I'm now spending a fair bit of time pimping, promoting and advertising specifically in the Edinburgh & London areas.
Tags: ctrl-alt-date, megan, pirates, rinse, travel
16 December 2007 21:50
Lars Wirzenius recently released, and packaged for Debian, a simple script to make release tarballs. He calls it Unperish.
It makes me wonder how many other people use that kind of system?
Of the top of my head the only similar thing I can recall using is Brad Fitzpatrick's ShipIt - another moduler/plugin-based system (Perl rather than Python this time.)
For my needs I tend to just write a Makefile which has a "dist" target, and then I have a simple script called "release". This runs:
- make dist / make release.
- creates a gpg signature of the release.
- scp's the resulting files to a remote source.
All this is configurable via a per-project .release file.
The configuration files are very simple, the script itself is almost trivial but being able to sit in a random project directory and have a new tarball on my webserver just by typing "release" is enormously useful.
There are times when I think I should make it a mini-project of its own, with the ability to auto-build Debian packages, etc. Other times I just think .. well its a hell of a lot better than my previous ad-hoc solution.
At the very least I think I will make the cosmetic change of updating the script to run "make test" if there is a test/ or t/ directory inside the generated tarball.
In real news - tomorrow I leave for a two week holiday with my partner's parents. Yesterday I got back from a night spent with her in York. The Bytemark staff night out. Lots of fun. Over too soon, but lots of fun.
Tags: brad, bytemark, christmas, lars, randomness, release, software, travel
5 August 2012 21:50
So in my previous entry I talked about streaming audio media to my new tablet. Despite it working for others I couldn't get MPDroid to stream to my tablet from my MPD server successfully.
After looking around for alternatives I used MediaTomb to stream my content to the Android "2player" application. After a while I switched from MediaTomb to minidlna instead - that application being built from source.
To save myself effort, and be useful, I've packaged that for Squeeze here :
There's a configuration file in /etc/minidlna and a trivial init-script. Works for me.
In more fun news yesterday I endured and epic 8 hour bus trip and travelled from Edinburgh to Loch Ness.
Why go to Loch Ness? Well I fancied a swim, and wanted to capture shots of hairy cows. In addition to that I saw several interesting birds and a lot of Scottish Scenery.
All in all a good day out.
ObQuote: "It's not you. It's me... I'm completely fucked up."- Cruel Intentions
Tags: loch-ness, minidlna, travel
26 June 2013 21:50
So my partner and I spent last week in Helsinki, visiting for Midsummer.
The place was lovely, albeit "too damn hot"tm. (Despite my regularly shaved head I'm a pale-skinned redhead covered in freckles. In sustained sun I can be burned in the space of 10-20 minutes. Ouch.)
I ate cake, went to a sauna, and all the usual things. I also had personal interviews with all the mosquitos.
The only downside to the holiday was the timing:
- Friday Worked.
- Saturday woke up early and flew.
- Time passes, Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold.
- Sunday flew back.
- Monday .. worked.
- Tuesday worked ..
I'm a sysadmin and sometimes that involves out of hours work, so you can shuffle virtual machines around, upgrade processors, and do all the kind of "disruptive" work outside core business hours.
Yesterday I was awake for 22 hours and I was working for 14 of them. Today I'm doing nothing that involves a computer other than a token check-in or three to make sure everything is fine.
99% of the time I don't mind working late, starting early, or scheduling an event outside working hours (e.g. last night I worked from 10PM-3AM ). But with the holiday I've definitely been feeling burned. My sleeping is screwed up, and I'm just getting grumpy and stupid.
Still there were some highlights and I took some nice photos, met some good people, and learned some more Finnish.
I actually tried to find some Finnish instructor(s) here in Edinburgh, upon my return, and was amused to discover that there is an Edinburgh-based Finnish Society. Amused? They cancelled their midsummer event due to poor weather.
For the rest of the week I'm going to be very careful to count working hours and do nothing excessive. I've also got to get back into my gym-routine.
Still there is good news on the horizon. I get a new computer next Monday.
The new machine will run Wheezy, and Awesome. With 8GB RAM I'll stop hitting OOM conditions once I process many photographs, and I'm going to be very dedicated in using revision control for everything.
(I've noticed I've gotten lazy and have started storing bookmarks locally again, instead of under revision control which is a bad sign.)
Rambling. I woke up early (10:30AM) because "Microsoft Technical Support" called me and told me my computer had a virus ..
Tags: computers, holidays, random, travel
3 May 2014 21:50
Swimming in a Finnish lake, after some (naked) sauna-time with my new brother in-law (lanko):
(Did I mention that it was cold? So. Very. Cold.)
And that concludes my annual tour of Helsinki, and the very beautiful surrounding scenery, which is largely water-based.
Tags: helsinki, travel, water
26 September 2014 21:50
Next week my wife and I shall be mostly visiting Poland, and spending a week in Kraków.
It has been a while since I've had a non-Helsinki-based holiday, so I'm looking forward to the trip.
In other news I've been rationalising DNS entries and domain names recently, all being well this zone should be served by Amazon shortly, subject to the usual combination of TTLs and resolution-puns.
4 October 2014 21:50
We returned safely from Kraków, despite a somewhat turbulent flight home.
There were many pictures taken, but thus far I've only posted a random night-time shot. Perhaps more will appear in the future.
In other news I've just made a new release of the chronicle blog compiler, So 5.0.7 should shortly appear on CPAN.
The release contains a bunch of minor fixes, and some new facilities relating to templates.
It seems likely that in the future there will be the ability to create "static pages" along with the blog-entries, tag-clouds & etc. The suggestion was raised on the github issue tracker and as a proof of concept I hacked up a solution which works entirely via the chronicle plugin-system, proving that the new development work wasn't a waste of time - especially when combined with the significant speedups in the new codebase.
(ObRandom: Mailed the Debian package-mmaintainer to see if there was interest in changing. Also mailed a couple of people I know who are using the old code to see if they had comments on the new code, or had any compatibility issues. No replies from either, yet. *shrugs*)
Tags: chronicle, travel
8 October 2014 21:50
Before our recent trip to Poland I took the time to create my own e-book, containing the names/addresses of people to whom we wanted to send postcards.
Authoring ebooks is simple, and this was a useful use. (Ordinarily I'd have my contacts on my phone, but I deliberately left it at home ..)
I did mean to copy and paste some notes from wikipedia about transport, tourist destinations, etc, into a brief guide. But I forgot.
In other news the toy virtual machine I hacked together got a decent series of updates, allowing you to embed it and add your own custom opcode(s) easily. That was neat, and fell out naturely from the switch to using function-pointers for the opcode implementation.
Tags: kindle, random, simple-vm, travel
14 March 2015 21:50
Although things are not 100% certain it seems highly likely we'll be moving to Newcastle in five months time.
If I seem distracted/absent/busy over the next month or two this will be a good excuse!
Tags: life, travel
13 June 2015 21:50
Previously I'd mentioned that we were moving from Edinburgh to Newcastle, such that my wife could accept a position in a training-program, and become a more specialized (medical) doctor.
Now the inevitable update: We're still moving, but we're no longer moving to Newcastle, instead we're moving to Helsinki, Finland.
Me? I care very little about where I end up. I love Edinburgh, I always have, and I never expected to leave here, but once the decision was made that we needed to be elsewhere the actual destination does/didn't matter too much to me.
Sure Newcastle is the home of Newcastle Brown Ale, and has the kind of proper-Northern accents I both love and miss but Finland has Leipäjuusto, Saunas, and lovely people.
Given the alternative - My wife moves to Finland, and I do not - Moving to Helsinki is a no-brainer.
I'm working on the assumption that I can keep my job and work more-remotely. If that turns out not to be the case that'll be a real shame given the way the past two years have worked out.
So .. 60 days or so left in the UK. Fun.
Tags: helsinki, newcastle, travel
22 January 2022 10:00
So in my previous post I mentioned that we were going to spend the Christmas period in the UK, which we did.
We spent a couple of days there, meeting my parents, and family. We also persuaded my sister to drive us to Scarborough so that we could hang out on the beach for an afternoon.
Finland has lots of lakes, but it doesn't have proper waves. So it was surprisingly good just to wade in the sea and see waves! Unfortunately our child was a wee bit too scared to ride on a donkey!
Unfortunately upon our return to Finland we all tested positive for COVID-19, me first, then the child, and about three days later my wife. We had negative tests in advance of our flights home, so we figure that either the tests were broken, or we were infected in the airplane/airport.
Thankfully things weren't too bad, we stayed indoors for the appropriate length of time, and a combination of a couple of neighbours and online shopping meant we didn't run out of food.
Since I've been back home I've been automating AWS activities with aws-utils, and updating my simple host-automation system, marionette.
Marionette is something that was inspired by puppet, the configuration management utility, but it runs upon localhost only. Despite the small number of integrated primitives it actually works surprisingly well, and although I don't expect it will ever become popular it was an interesting research project.
The aws-utilities? They were specifically put together because I've worked in a few places where infrastructure is setup with terraform, or cloudformation, but there are always the odd thing that is configured manually. Typically we'll have an openvpn gateway which uses a manually maintained IP allow-list, or some admin-server which has a security-group maintained somewhat manually.
Having the ability to update a bunch of rules with your external IP, as a single command, across a number of AWS accounts/roles, and a number of security-groups is an enormous time-saver when your home IP changes.
I'd quite like to add more things to that collection, but there's no particular rush.
Tags: covid, travel, uk