February 2011 Archives

The thing I hate about teaching the most — more than dealing with the ever-changing bureaucratic nonsense, more than the students grubbing for every little point — is the way it destroys schedule flexibility. Normally, I’ve got a fair amount of flex in my schedule, and if I get on a roll with some work stuff, I can let that roll go as long as it wants. When I’m teaching, I frequently have to turn the work stuff off and put on my professor hat, because things have to get done before the next class session.

I know, I know, whinge whinge whinge…

I had a chance to get back up to The Perfect Pour this weekend, and I stocked up on a little bit of this and that. As an aside, here’s a shot of some of the Mikkeller varieties available at the Perfect Pour. The only other place in the DC area I’ve found with Mikkeller carries a single selection from them, and says that’s all they can get from their distributor. If you’re in the area and like beer and haven’t been to the Perfect Pour yet, you should go.

The Haul:

(Those of youse that are local, holler if there’s anything you’d like to come over and sample…)


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Locker is a new “lifestream” web app. Is anybody playing with this? Seems cool but very rough. Here’s a couple backgrounders:

My strategy can be reduced to two rules: 1) Find a way to make it fun and 2) If that fails, find a way to do something else.



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Why Git Is Better Than X (for values of X equal to hg, bzr, svn, perforce, etc…)

After reading “Nine traits of the veteran Unix admin”, I think it would be interesting to see somebody do a comparison/contrast of these with a similar list for a “devops” admin. I think a few are the same, but several, particularly number six, are very different…

A few weeks back, I polled the LazyWeb about home office-scale network-attached storage (NAS) options. At that point in time, all the media (video, audio, photos…) at Chez Genehack was living on an external 1TB USB drive attached to my desktop machine, which was backed up by a simple rsync cronjob to a 1TB drive in the house server. Space was starting to get a little tight and I was pondering what my options were.

The Drobo, in particular, looked quite nice, particularly the ability to scale up the available storage on the fly by hot swapping disks around. When I asked on a local sysadmin mailing list, an experienced regular pointed me to this tale of woe (and I’ve since seen other negative feedback on the Drobo) — so that put the kibosh on that option.

None of the other NAS solutions looked very competitive on a price/options level — I don’t need super high reliability, and I sure don’t want something that I have to “manage” — so in the end, I ended up going with the simplest thing that could work: new 2TB external USB drive attached to my desktop, with a matching new 2TB internal installed in the house server. A couple hundred bucks at CompUSA MicroCenter followed by a few days worth of copying and re-syncing, and everything was back in place, humming along just like before (only twice as big…)

(Edit: thanks to @fedward for pointing out the CompUSA thinko…)