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Archive for the ‘sysadmin’ Category

I’ve been on a grand unification quest to find all the duplicates and old versions and generally clean the heck up on my desktop Mac, in preparation for a clean full “reference” backup and then a Leopard upgrade. I’m hearing enough security kerfuffle about the new (dis)improved firewall on Leopard; that I’m feeling glad that I didn’t buy a copy yet. Some of the issues are less relevant to me than to some, as I have a gateway firewall on our local net.

I’m disappointed to hear that Apple may be taking some of the Unix magic out of the hands of us old fogies in the course of prettying up subsystems like the firewall manager. I wouldn’t want to see quite the level of bells, whistles, and occasional frag-grenades of, say, some of the Linux GUI sysadmin tools. The princple behind those tools, however, is one that Apple would do well to emulate: provide a graphical user interface to the actual scripts and command-line / config-file changes needed to accomplish a task. Rewriting the UI as a program of its own, intertwingled with the functionality, is bad compartmentalization and should be avoided.

Speaking of firewalls, they do only protect you from stuff that is coming IN to get you, not stuff that you helpfully download and that opens up connections OUT to wreak havoc or spew spam. The emergence of Mac-targeted web trojans; is something that neither Tiger nor Leopard will prevent. It’s another class of security problem entirely, the kind that comes in via the keyboard or the mouse– what ham radio old-timers used to call “a short between the headphones”.

What I do find helpful for dodging some bullets is a the NoScript plugin for Firefox, which lets you selectively approve or deny scripts running on web pages that you are browsing. There is even some ongoing work on preventing cross-site scripting via NoScript. I find it very handy. Still, caveat clickor and all that.

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Doing some remedial reading on this summer’s Great Twitter
Scaling
Kerfuffle, found a great quote from Phil at Progressive Data Solutions, in his writeup on Railsconf:

“To me, this question is a “shark-attack” question. Sure, you could get attacked by a shark if you go swimming in the ocean, but you should probably worry about other things first, like rip-tides, water temperature, etc. If you ask me this question, I will usually respond with numbers. It’s hard to argue with concrete numbers, and that’s what the Joyent presentation did a good job with. If Twitter is getting 11,000 requests per second at peak, they need roughly 32 cores to handle the traffic. Is your app going to be getting 11,000 requests per second? How about 1000?”

Nice!

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Here is a brief introduction to Patterns, and thoughts on IT pattern creation (PDF) presented at BayLISA in December of 1998, and, if memory serves, as a Works-in-Progress at LISA that year.

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…though not for a number of friends. Still, I’m easily amused.

I HAS A AMAZON LISTING.

w00t!

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Mac drop problem was thermal shock. Desk is no longer in kitchen/DR area, under cold HVAC, so basically can’t run iMac G5 when house ambient temp is 75-plus. #$%@!!

Cracking it open and blowing the dust bunnies out, of which there were very few, just cooled it enough so that it takes longer to fail.

Now it’s cooler. The mac is up, and staying up. So I’m trying to read my mail, and somebody sent me a video.

Somewhere along the way, I lost audio from browsers, eg, playing vids. Attempting to fix it via http://www.macfixitforums.com/showflat.php?Board=tiger&Number=772938 caused me to lose SYSTEM audio. Though GarageBand still can play audio.

I’ve been watching too much InuYasha. Have fierce and savage urge to attack, via keyboard, with battle-cry of “BLUUUUUETOOTH KEYCLICKS OF *CLRI ROOT NODE*!!!” If only the damn thing would just blow up. It would be SO worth it.

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My desktop mac has been crashing randomly for the past several days. Downloading the 10.4.9 combo dmg, with a permissions fixer, did not solve the problem. Still getting sudden shutoffs, leaving -122 error in ../../private/var/log/system.log.

Also reported were a bunch-o-cruft about difficulties routing and mookin’ aboot (she sez, through clenched teeth clamped about a nonexistent hand-carved bit of briar).

Took the mac off the net. Went through every control in System Prefs, singing Buddy Holly to myself. “Look through every window, yeah… what do I see?” Yes, the song is “any” window. Turned off anything ‘helpful’, eg FruitMenu, FontLoader, yada yada. Found that firewire is now plumbed for IPv6 stuff. Ah.

Oh, and since the 10.4.9 upgrade, my terminals say ‘localhost’ instead of ‘hoksu-mitto’. Well.

To make a long story shorter, I think I have it this time. Have turned off bluetooth wake-up capability, set the hostname again (! again ! what, do they not finish plumbing the hostname if you aren’t on the net?! ), yada yada.

Let’s see how it goes. I’m way behind on email, if ya got something up, call me.

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…but i hasn’t figgered out all about how to use it yet.

Just sayin.

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