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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

July 29
Recovering DSPsrv, day 1.

Of all things not to have: a power cord. The only kettle lead I had lying around had a right-angle plug on it that won't fit into the Dell PSU (for the DSPsrv is a Dell rackmount yokey) so I had to go and buy one. I used have enough of those bloody things to build a hammock.

Next step was to boot the thing up, which required figuring out where I had a combination of network, power, and a display. Turns out that in the current incarnation of Chez Waider, that means using a 55" plasma screen as my VGA monitor... running in text mode. Biggest VT100 I've ever used, except maybe that time I was mucking about with a projector...

I used System Rescue CD to boot it, and then went about trying to figure out what exact state the drives were in, and maybe image them if I could. Eventually I gave up on the imaging option, since it seems they're carefully tucked in behind a RAID controller and don't show up as raw devices on the system; some poking around with arcconf revealed that one drive had failed outright after the array was already in a degraded state, which would account for the current complete failure of the array to do anything useful. I swapped in one of the replacement drives and tried to get the system to rebuild the array (on the off chance it might actually work). I couldn't persuade arcconf to help here, so wound up rebooting (back to my epic console) and using the BIOS utility.

Which gave me the reassuring message, "Container Status: DEAD". Well, that's the "easy" recovery option out, then.

Rebuilt the RAID array using three of the four disks (after replacing the dead drive with a refurb) with the intention of having the fourth one as a hot spare to prevent this sort of silliness in future. This means the disk space reduces from 100GB to 67GB, however, which may be an issue. Yes yes bigger disks whatever. I may just redo the array as it was, restore, and be more diligent about backups.

July 27
And the DSPsrv.com box has finally made it to Chez Waider. I'll probably get around to doing something with it over the next week, as noted.

July 22
DSPsrv.com box finally got to my office today. I have some time off next week so I'll see about rebuilding it then.

July 21
Just added Razor support to my spam filter, as I was a bit puzzled as to why it was performing more and more poorly. Seems I had this installed on the old mailserver and not on the new one. We shall see if this improves things; certainly I'd configured the old server to be pretty aggressive with things that Razor showed as likely spam.

July 17
Who the hell recommended Chef to me? Because it is awesome. It is Jon Favreau doing exactly the sort of stuff that made people say, "Hey, have you seen that movie Swingers? Why not?". So, if you liked Swingers, you need to see this. If you have no idea about Swingers, you need to see this anyway.

(If you didn't like Swingers, you are not money, and you know it. VEGAS, BABY! VEGAS!)

July 11
I saw about half of Safe House somewhere - on a plane, maybe - but since it was the second half I'd seen before, I didn't realise until I'd already spent an hour watching this. It's a fairly mundane by-the-numbers thriller, nothing terrible and nothing outstanding - although the "Rookie loses Professional, then mystically reacquires him" stretched credibility more than a little. Bubblegum for the brain; don't think too hard about it.

Playing around with Elastic Beanstalk again.

July 7
DSPsrv.com update: still haven't retrieved the server.

July 4
Lincoln was pretty good (especially Tommy Lee Jones' character), but I couldn't help feeling like it could have equally well been called The Thirteenth Amendment and not have lost anything. Pretty much nothing about his background, nothing about his first term in office, other than some exposition mainly by Lincoln himself when talking to others.

July 1
Installed all the shiny new from Apple (well, plus mDNSResponder, which is sort of the shiny new old). Tried out Apple Music. First thing I clicked on crashed the app, second thing I clicked on (after restarting) gave me an error indicating that it couldn't do whatever I was asking. QUALITY.

The Server upgrade, at least, appears to have worked more smoothly; my webapps, such as they are, are still alive, which is the thing that usually gets destroyed.

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Well, that half of the year went quickly.