17 Dec 2002 RoUS   » (Master)

post-meridian, est

Lying bloggo
I'm not much of a one for diaries or journals or blogs, but I need to get more of my brain on distributed media. So for now I'll continue to use Advogato, but I'll probably be moving to a more personal-type blog that I can fail to update more efficiently.

Well, ApacheCon 2002 US has come and gone in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I'm personally pretty pleased with the way it turned out. The content seemed good, the delegates seemed satisfied and happy, and the sponsors likewise. I'm still waiting for some numbers to find out what colour the ink is on the balance sheet, and the final tally of attendance.

Disk woes
Feh. First the disk in my laptop started making a high-pitched whining noise. No problem; under warranty. IBM shipped a replacement, and I purchased a SuperBay disk adapter so I could have both disks in the machine at once, and I made the copy with a

    dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdc bs=<m> count=<n>

I found that a little scary, but it worked a treat.

So now the /usr drive in one of my Linux systems at home has started logging bad blocks. Hoo boy, does it have bad blocks! And they're not getting any better, either; every boot shows errors and forces an fsck, which in turn whittles away from the partition's usefulness as the blocks are found in directory inodes. So I got a replacement disk from Maxtor (had to special-request getting the replacement before sending in the busted one, and I have to pay the postage on the return shipment -- IBM is much better about this stuff), and tried the dd trick. No joy; large values of bs result in massive amounts of non-copied data. So I fired it up with bs=512 to do a sector-by-sector copy (took all night!) so each bad sector would only account for a single uncopied sector. The result was a new disk with a huge bad-block inode and an even less usable filesystem than the original. So now I've got the original back in the system, and I'm cataloguing what's on it so I know which packages to install and which custom stuff to try to save by copying it to another filesystem. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to do a complete re-install. Bah.

And this experience tickled a peeve about Red Hat's up2date tool: it checks to see if the requested packages are already installed, and ignores them if so -- which means you can't download an RPM if you've already installed it. Nor the source. I need to work on a patch for that..

I've had some recent brainstorms for Spackle, like adding support for groups, customised Subject:s for commit messages, et cetera. Going to be ready for a beta release soon; some of this is functionality I haven't seen in any CVS repository. (Don't know if Subversion has similar features; for a future investigation..)

Apache Cookbook
Well, after much non-activity, the Cookbook project is back on track. DrBacchus has joined me as a co-author.

Fun doings inside the ASF, including a new project for bringing new packages and communities into the Apache fold, and providing info for Apache developers about the philosophy and infrastructure.

Latest blog entries     Older blog entries

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!