Thursday, June 28, 2007

Black Opal Shiraz

I was read in a book recently that the only real Shiraz, has to be vinted in Australia. So, I decided to get a bottle of Australian Shiraz and try it out. Normally, that would mean Lindemans, but I asked one of the guys at the wine store, and he suggested Black Opal for about $9 for .75L.

I'm not going to rate this wine because, as it turns out, Shiraz not strictly a grape wine. It contains hints of black fruits. Unfortunately, I'm alergic to verious types of black berries, and in a wine, this results in a terrible headache. (I've often said that merlot is an instant hang over.) The wine was tasty, but within hours, I know it wasn't for me.

It did, however, become one of the prime ingredients of some truly killer steak fajitas!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Piane Di Maggio, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

This bottle was on the clearance shelf. For $6 for a 1.5L, how bad could it be? I had no idea what it was, or even what it was called. The brand is Agriverde, the vineyard is Piane Di Maggio, and the type of wine is Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. Having never had a trebbiano before, it is hard to catalogue it with like wines. It had a nice taste, with more of an acidic bite than the chardonnays we usually get. It was nice to find a cheap European, but there are better Californians for the same price (Vandage). I'll give it a 5 out of 10.

Monday, June 18, 2007

L2S: Determine runlevel

Solaris does not have the runlevel command. Furthermore, they are still using BSD init scripts, thus requiring the system to move from one level to the next. To determine a system's current runlevel:
Linux: runlevel
Solaris: who -r

Riondo Prosecco

I'd never had a Prosecco before and was pleasently surprised to find that it was a sparkling wine. Not nearly as bubbly as Champagne. Smooth taste. It was on sale for about $7. It's a 6 out of 10, for the visual fun factor.

Voga Pinot Girgio

Had a very buttery taste. Not the best Pinot Grigio, I liked Luna better for the same price. Honestly, it was chosen for the bottle. About $7. I'd rate it a 5 out of 10.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday In DC

Driving down Louisianna Avenue.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Solaris vi Defeated: Part 1

I'm finally making some headway in my downgrade from Linux to Solaris. The biggest productivity killer has been learning to use vi. Don't get me wrong... I've been using vi for over a decade. The problem is that the version used by Solaris is so old that it is missing all but the most basic of functionality.

What has frustrated me the most is that if you strike an arrow key to navigate while in the insert mode, it spluges letters on the screen. This is terminal emulation problem. Solution:
From bash: export TERM=ansi

Next, the annoyance of not knowing whether you're in insert or command mode. This can be fixed with a set option. Solution:
From bash: alias vi='vi +"set showmode"'

(I also chose to implement ignorecase.)

These items will, of course, be lost on exit from the session. I've added these lines to my user's .profile, which gets sourced at login.

It would be nice to be able to map the , , , , , and keys, but I haven't found thier translations yet. I found the function keys:
map #1 :set nu[crtl]-[v][enter]
map #2 :set nonu[crtl]-[v][enter]

Upon pressing F1, the system displays line numbers. In order for the sequence to be automatic, we have to add an "Enter" sequence. This is done by pressing and holding the "Control" key, tapping the letter "V", followed by "Enter". It displays as ^M.

The map and set commands could also be issues on a per session basis, but would be better stored in ~/.exrc.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oops... I Crashed Windows XP Pro

In theory... It should have worked. I installed Fedora 7 on the company laptop without incident, but when I went to install Solaris 10, I didn't have a primary partition for a Solaris /boot. My primary concern was the old issue of an OS not being able to boot if its first sector was beyond 1G.

I tried to use Partition Magic to get generate two primary partitions in front of the WXP install, but it failed with a nondescript error. It could shuffle the NTFS partition, but could not reassign the partition numbers. Sounds like a job for fdisk.

In theory, fdisk only edits the partition table and has no impact on data. Since the NTFS partition was between cylinders 20 and 2039, it should have been a simple case of rebuilding the partition table. Guess what? It didn't work. So, on my fourth day on the new job, I get to take their laptop in and explain that I blew up Windows.

So what went wrong? I'll have to research this, because I've used fdisk a thousand times before, without any problems. A few differences: I've not tried this trick with WXP, and I've never done it under F-7. I'm inclined to think that this is an NTFS issue.

Solaris Shell Scripting: Part 1

Shell scripting is suppose to be universal if you use #!/bin/sh. Yet, some if my scripting tricks are not working. A few notes:

Suppressing carriage return (CR):
Linux: echo -n "Hello "; echo "World"
Solaris: echo "Hello \c"; echo "World"

Capturing keyboard input:
Linux: prompt -p "Input: " VAR
Solaris: echo "Input: \c"; prompt VAR

Single command conditionals:
Linux: if [ -f /etc/passwd ]; then echo "Go"
Solaris: if [ -f /etc/passwd ]; then echo "Go"; fi

Finite count loop:
Linux:for X in {1..5}; do echo $Z; done
Solaris: X=0; while [ $X -lt 5 ]; do X=`expr $X + 1`; echo $X; done

Fedora 7 Install ISO

Had the hardest time finding an install ISO for Fedora 7. Seems there isn't one. There's probably an FM that I could have RT'd, but I figured it out on my own. And the way they have done it is brilliant.

Here's how difficult it is:
1. Insert "Live CD", boot system to Fedora.
2. Login as root. (No password... After all, we have physical access.)
3. Click the icon that says Install to Hard Drive.
4. Anaconda will launch in a window, select the defaults, until you get to partitioning:
Choose Create custom layout from the pull down.
5. No package selection: That's done by YUM.
6. System reboots to Firstboot, where we build a user account.

Simple. It cut the install foot print from five CDs to a single CD. Brilliant.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Welcome Back

Let's see: December, January to May, and part of June. That's easily over seven months. So what happened. Simple answer, I've been busy. Slightly less simple answer...

I had a 1U server at a collocation facility where I was host most of my apps, as well as most of the graphics on this blog. The colo decided to throw out everyone that was not making them at least $500 a month. That was me.

Then the holidays came and went. Then there was the RHEL 4 to RHEL 5 migration. Then there was a management change at Red Hat. (Can you say "disruptive innovation"?) Then I left Red Hat and have started at Windward Consulting Group. (Can you say "Oops... I guess the innovation was too disruptive"?) But... Now I'm back to the blog. With any luck, I may even get the server back online.

So what's new?

*** Fedora 7:
Tried out the Live CD today. Still can't find an install ISO. Luckily, I've got a hack for this.

*** RHEL 5:
Just because the new management team has their head's up their collective asses does not mean the product isn't the best OS on the planet.

*** Vista:
Got the disks, but haven't bothered to load them. My primary concern is that Full Spectrum Warrior will run.

*** Solaris 10:
No, it's not new, but after 7 years, I once again find myself supporting Solaris. The good news is that in nearly a decade, the product has remained completely stagnant.

An then there are my recent Blackjack adventures.

Lets get to business, and see if we can learn anything.