Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Perfect Storms Happen

Well there was a movie like that. But in this real world example. The Gentoo development people had just pushed through FORTIFY_SOURCE which runs some extra checks against software about to be installed on the system. And my system reaching something close to what I want in the end I decided to do an emerge -e world. This last was largely due to host 'random' reaching something close to a set of applications I wanted to keep and to make sure I had installed everything with the flags I wanted.

For one I had recently set all the flags 'mmx sse 3dnow and 3dnowext' off for at least the emul-x86- packages (to avoid any TEXT RELOCATIONS

Along the way I discovered that I had improperly set my LDFLAGS and had to redo those. The 800+ packages took over 3 days to install.The speed that some bugs were solved was rather amazing. Big thanks to Spanky (nee vapier aka Mike Fyrsinger) and Flameeyes and the rest of the QA team as well as the package maintainers themselves.

Oh as a policy please don't close bugs WONTFIX and remove the 'do not file a Gentoo bug" from QA notices. All errors should be reported and inspected as they could lead to security issues Gentoo should track all installed software for errors. In a perfect world nothing would go stable with QA errors.

Good work guys keep it up.

Gentoo be more better now. ;-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I do

In the HVAC industry a newer and more generic term is Climate Control. Essentially achieving targeted conditons in an mostly enclosed environment. Client comfort is job-1.0 and saving money on the utility bill job-0.991

My title is Building Engineer and I operate 2 chillers(500 ton Yorks) and a large Hurst boiler as well as monitor and maintain 10 walk-in refrigerators, 2 walk-in freezers, 44 water fountains, 49 ice machines, several ventilation systems 2 energy management systems, circa 20 AHU's(air handling units) and 76 VAV's (variable air vents) And some other stuff I dismember like the cooling tower and pumps and ad infinitum.

Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's not. All in all though I enjoy fixing things and live where I always wanted to.

I've always enjoyed learning and though I never got a Bachelors. I have an AA and the education has helped me understand systems. Especially math and later algebra and calculus has helped me overcome problems. When you approach a broken machine you should be familliar with how it performs it's tasks before you can fix it. This can be applied anywhere. Whether the system is a group of players on a team, a simple mousetrap, or a Gentoo Desktop machine

Take a simple window air conditioning unit. It has at least 6 different sub-systems. Evaporator air flow, Condensor airflow, electric power, electric control, refrigeration system( this is further subdivided into a high and low side) and drain system. Now it could be much more complex.

Breaking what a machine down into sub-systems and defining the jobs these subs perform is part of diagnosing machines or problems. Checking off the most common problems first. Elimination saves time.

It comes to mind the cheapest part is usually at fault. Being least reliable. (I do not wish to think much along this line when it comes to linux software)

As this concerns Gentoo and desktops ...init system(sysinit,boot,default), build-tools( nee toolchain), logging
X system and many others. Time with linux would tend to lead one to use only say one desktop environment, and few apps. I currently have 800+ applications Time to streamline I think. As few apps as comfortable would mean less places for things to go wrong. This applies across the board though not just to Gentoo. Fedora, Debian if you are running a desktop of any linux Pick one KDE, Gnome, XFCE or any other that fills your needs and streamline the machine. If you haven't used it this month...odds are you don't need it.

It's kind of like cleaning out the car I guess...needs to be done once in a while. And it might even help my work flow. ;-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

A handle history

And perhaps a bit of the why of things follows.

The first linux I used was a zipslack install. It was fostered by wanting another alternative to Windows(something I own a string of licenses back to DOS 6 for... many of those licenses support expired of course). Slackware did not permit a great deal of freedom to me. On alt.os.linux.slackware I joined a discussion of BSD's ports and linux posting as yggsdrasil a username I chose while posting through our dialup account.

I moved and DSL became available to me for the first time using BellSouth soon after Gentoo 1.0 was released by drobbins and I installed it dual-boot on the only box I had. So I'm dual booting Gentoo and Win95 and when not playing games I try to help out new users as bus_drivr on irc.

I try to sync one day and cannot BellSouth had gotten wise and was blocking sync. Keeping up with current on Gentoo was bandwidth heavy and likely they weren't real happy about me sucking there bandwidth. (This is just my opinion btw derived from experience though another user complained on irc about it.) Starts me ranting about my perception of what Gentoo should be able to do and that includes sync the portage tree via http protocol This would I pointed out also allow people essentially with just web access to install Gentoo.

Well that was answered by emerge-webrsync which was released written quickly. I do not recall how qucikly but today I look in the script and publicly thank karltk@ gentoo for helping to make Gentoo what it is today.

And once again to thank flameeyes for all his hard work.

And as for olbrannon? Well he was a Lord of a great elven guild during the third age of Middle Earth In the Tolkien language Olbrannon translates as 'Dream-Lord'