Older blog entries for mikal (starting at number 916)


ISBN: 9781937007836
This is the third book in the Marsbound series. The Others have just turned off all electronics on Earth, and now we need to survive. One problem with this book is that it jumps straight into the action -- I had to go back and re-read Marsbound and Starbound in order to understand what was happening in this book. That was ok because those two books are excellent, and I enjoyed re-reading them. In fact, those two are probably a little better than this one.

Overall Earthbound is pretty dark, and there isn't a lot of hope presented -- its just a series of scenes where the main characters attempt to deal with an all powerful adversary. Perhaps if the Others weren't so powerful this would be a better book, because you just know that everyone is doomed. I also respect authors who are willing to kill off lead characters, but that happens a lot in this book, which sort of bothered me. Perhaps that's what combat is really like though -- people you have an attachment to just stop being there. There's no warning or explanation.

The end of this book isn't very satisfying. There better be a sequel or I'm going to be annoyed.

Tags for this post: book joe_haldeman mars aliens exploration space_travel first_contact marsbound post_apocalypse combat
Related posts: Starbound; Marsbound; Rendezvous With Rama; Red Mars; Mars: A Survival Guide; Camouflage ; The Coming; The Apocalypse Troll; Death Bringer; Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow ; East of the Sun, West of the Moon; The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress; Agent to the Stars; Runner; The Ship Who Sang ; Bolos 1: Honor of the Regiment; Iron Master; Cloud Warrior; Amtrak Wars; The Accidental Time Machine ; Earth Thunder


Syndicated 2013-01-18 15:11:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

How will I identify an organizer at lca2013?

I think it will be pretty hard to spot us given how cunning our camouflage is.


Tags for this post: conference lca2013 pictures 20130116-lca2013 photo


Syndicated 2013-01-17 16:55:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

First day of setup for lca2013

Some of the linux.conf.au 2013 team took the chance to rock on over to ANU today and do some final AV testing. While I was there I took some pictures of the various theaters, as I figure it will help answer some of the questions our speakers have.


Tags for this post: conference lca2013 pictures 20130117-lca2013 photo


Syndicated 2013-01-17 16:28:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Its either a third child, or Cat is pregnant with a unicorn

So... Catherine is 8 weeks pregnant. We had an ultrasound this morning, and everything seems to be going well. We wouldn't normally tell people this early (its traditional to wait until 12 weeks), but it turns out that we're terrible at keeping secrets. This child is code named "Ducky" until released to the public.


Click on the thumbnails for bigger versions.

Tags for this post: children ducky ultrasound pregnant
Related posts: 31 October 2002; Friday 8 June 2001; 13 August 2002


Syndicated 2013-01-17 16:08:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

More playing with the new toy

I promise to stop taking pics now...


Tags for this post: blog pictures 20130109-2 photo


Syndicated 2013-01-09 01:27:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

New toy

So, my EOS 650D arrived and I had to have a play. Here's some random pics I took. I'm very very pleased with the outcome given I'm a photography n00b. I think the next steps will be a Canon GPS logger and a Speedlite flash.


Tags for this post: blog pictures 20130109 photo


Syndicated 2013-01-08 21:41:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

30 Dec 2012 (updated 1 Jan 2013 at 06:09 UTC) »

OpenStack at linux.conf.au 2013

As some of you might know, I'm the Director for linux.conf.au 2013. I've tried really hard to not use my powers for evil and make the entire conference about OpenStack -- in fact I haven't pulled rank and demanded that specific content be included at all. However, the level of interest in OpenStack has grown so much since LCA 2012 that there is now a significant amount of OpenStack content in the conference without me having to do any of that.

I thought I'd take a second to highlight some of the OpenStack content that I think is particularly interesting -- these are the talks I'll be going to if I have the time (which remains to be seen):


  • Cloud Infrastructure, Distributed Storage and High Availability Miniconf: while not specifically about OpenStack, this miniconf is going to be a good warm up for all things IaaS at the conference. Here's a list of the talks for that miniconf:
      Delivering IaaS with Apache CloudStack - Joe Brockmeier
    • oVirt - Dan Macpherson
    • Aeolus - Dan Macpherson
    • Ops: From bare metal to cloud space - Phil Ingram
    • VMs on VLANs on Bridges on Bonds on many NICs - Kim Hawtin
    • OpenStack Swift Overview - John Dickinson
    • JORN and the rise and fall of clustering - Jamie Birse
    • MongoDB Replication & Replica Sets - Stephen Steneker
    • MariaDB Galera Cluster - Grant Allen
    • The Grand Distributed Storage Debate: GlusterFS and Ceph going head to head - Florian Haas, Sage Weil, Jeff Darcy

  • The OpenStack Miniconf: this is a mostly-clear winner for Tuesday. Tristan Goode has been doing a fantastic job of organizing this miniconf, which might not be obvious to people who haven't been talking to him a couple of times a week about its progress like me. I think people will be impressed with the program, which includes:
    • Welcome and Introduction - Tristan Goode
    • Introduction to OpenStack - Joshua McKenty
    • Demonstration - Sina Sadeghi
    • NeCTAR Research Cloud: OpenStack in Production - Tom Fifeld
    • Bare metal provisioning with OpenStack - Devananda van der Veen
    • Intro to Swift for New Contributors - John Dickinson
    • All-around OpenStack storage with Ceph - Florian Haas
    • Writing API extensions for Nova - Christopher Yeoh
    • The OpenStack Metering Project - Angus Salkeld
    • Lightweight PaaS on the NCI OpenStack Cloud - Kevin Pulo
    • Enabling Compute Clusters atop OpenStack - Enis Afgan
    • Shared Panel with Open Government
  • The Open Government Miniconf: this is the other OpenStack relevant miniconf on Tuesday. This might seem like a bit of a stretch, but as best as I can tell there is massive interest in government at the moment in deploying cloud infrastructure, and now is the time to be convincing the decision makers that open clouds based on open source are the right way to go. OpenStack has a lot to offer in the private cloud space, and we need to as a community make sure that people are aware of the various options that are out there. This is why there is a shared panel at the end of the day with the OpenStack miniconf.

    There aren't any OpenStack talks on Wednesday, but I am really hoping that someone will propose an OpenStack BoF via the wiki. I'd sure go to a BoF.

  • Playing with OpenStack Swift by John Dickinson
  • Ceph: Managing A Distributed Storage System At Scale by Sage Weil

  • Heat: Orchestrating multiple cloud applications on OpenStack using templates by Angus Salkeld and Steve Baker
  • How OpenStack Improves Code Quality with Project Gating and Zuul by James Blair
  • Ceph: object storage, block storage, file system, replication, massive scalability, and then some! by Tim Serong and Florian Haas
  • ... and another yet to be announced talk

So, if you're interested in OpenStack and haven't considered linux.conf.au 2013 as a conference you might be interested in, now would be a good time to reconsider before we sell out!

Tags for this post: openstack conference lca2013 rackspace
Related posts: Contact details for the Canberra LCA 2013 bid; Got Something to Say? The LCA 2013 CFP Opens Soon!; On conference t-shirts; LCA 2013 bid process opens - Canberra at the ready!; The mechanics of bidding for LCA; It seems stickers are a gas; Moving on; Are you in a LUG? Do you want some promotional materials for LCA 2013?; Announcement video; linux.conf.au Returns to Canberra in 2013; Image handlers (in essex); Canberra officially expresses interest in hosting LCA in 2013; Call for papers opens soon; Canberra's LCA2013 bid


Syndicated 2012-12-29 20:29:00 (Updated 2013-01-01 06:09:57) from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Image handlers (in essex)

George asks in the comments on my previous post about loop and nbd devices an interesting question about the behavior of this code on essex. I figured the question was worth bringing out into its own post so that its more visible. I've edited George's question lightly so that this blog post flows reasonably.

Can you please explain the order (and conditions) in which the three methods are used? In my Essex installation, the "img_handlers" is not defined in nova.conf, so it takes the default value "loop,nbd,guestfs". However, nova is using nbd as the chose method.
The handlers will be used in the order specified -- with the caveat that loop doesn't support Copy On Write (COW) images and will therefore be skipped if the libvirt driver is trying to create a COW image. Whether COW images are used is configured with the use_cow_images flag, which defaults to True. So, loop is being skipped because you're probably using COW images.
My ssh keys are obtained by cloud-init, and still whenever I start a new instance I see in the nova-compute.logs this sequence of events:
qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd15 /var/lib/nova/instances/instance-0000076d/disk 
kpartx -a /dev/nbd15 
mount /dev/mapper/nbd15p1 /tmp/tmpxGBdT0 
umount /dev/mapper/nbd15p1 
kpartx -d /dev/nbd15 
qemu-nbd -d /dev/nbd15 
I don't understand why the mount of the first partition is necessary and what it happens when the partition is mounted.
This is a bit harder than the first bit of the question. What I think is happening is that there are files being injected, and that's causing the mount. Just because the admin password isn't being inject doesn't mean that other things aren't being injected still. You'd be able to tell what's happening by grepping your logs for "Injecting .* into image" and seeing what shows up.

Tags for this post: openstack loop nbd libvirt file_injection rackspace
Related posts: Some quick operational notes for users of loop and nbd devices; Moving on


Syndicated 2012-12-22 15:51:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

The Forever War (again)

ISBN: 9780312536633
Still excellent.

Tags for this post: book joe_haldeman reread


Syndicated 2012-12-15 21:58:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Some quick operational notes for users of loop and nbd devices

A quick note for OpenStack operators -- if you are using loop or nbd devices to mount disk images in nova-compute, then you would be well served to have plenty of device files hanging around to reduce contention. For loop devices, that seems as simple as making more of them with MAKEDEV. With nbd, you'll also need to increase the value of the max_nbd_devices flag to nova-compute. The latter is improved in grizzly, where we will autodetect nbd devices.

Tags for this post: openstack loop nbd operations


Syndicated 2012-12-15 16:28:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

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