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   It\'s still cold in here!  The heating person has not shown up still.  :\'(  Luckily, it\'s been warmer outside lately, so it\'s not quite so cold inside.
   Pictured is Tazz and a spectacular sky during sunset taken in August this year.  For the record, the clouds are not modified-- that is how they really looked.
   Well, it\'s still cold.  Someone was suppose to come over and fix the furnace today, but looks like they didn\'t.  Despite the outside air being 20 degrees or lower, a space heater and my computers keep the Dragon\'s Den about 70 degrees.
   This picture is from May of 2004.  Shown is one of my incense burners and a candle.
   Last night I noticed it was pretty chilly in the house.  This morning, it was down right cold.  I could here the furnace was on, so I went to check the vent.  Only cold air was coming out.  It was clear the furnace wasn\'t functioning, but I had to leave for the holiday.
   When I returned home, the bathroom water was frozen.  The furnace was starting the blower, adding gas, but not lighting off.  So, I had an other chilly night.  On the plus side, the computers were really running cool! :)
   Today\'s picture is of Angie, taken yesterday.
   The first snow of the season happened about two weeks ago, but I was in Pennsylvania.  So today I saw snow for the first time since last winter.  It lasted most of the morning but was gone by about 2:00pm.

November 23, 2005

White Dragon back on-line

   After being dormant since April 15th, the White Dragon comes back on-line and has taken over as the backup webserver.  The Indigo Dragon is still down and I\'m fairly convinced it\'s RAM issues causing the problem.
   The White Dragon needed some work-- a lot of work.  It was running SuSE 7.3 with the old 2.2 kernel, the file system was a mess (hey.. this is the system I learned on) and a bunch of crap didn\'t work.  So, I decided to start from scratch-- it\'s not like there was anything on the system of value.  I\'ve decided to switch to Debian over SuSE.  This is mainly due to the fact I hate how blotted the SuSE is, and I\'ve started to pick apart Debian and learn what I can get rid of.  The server needs to be just that-- a server.  So no x-windows with KDE and all the junk that goes along with it.  
   I also decided to switch to Apache 2.  The biggest hindrance to this switch was the log file, which for whatever reason wouldn\'t resolve the host names.  Since I watch the log file, I like this fetcher.  But somehow, that problem went away.  Dono... maybe just a SuSE thing.  Anyhow, the server is now running Apache/2.0.55 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.0.55 OpenSSL/0.9.8a PHP/5.0.5.
   So, the webserver is running off the White Dragon now.  I\'ll keep an eye on the error log file just to make sure there isn\'t anything broken, but everything seems fine so far.
   Last night, Pluvius, Tazz, Tami, Ashley, Chris and I decided it would be a good idea to leave our nice warm houses and stay up all night in the wind and cold to be the first in line for an Xbox 360.  Everyone but me showed up at 10:00pm (I showed up latter) and started camp.  We had a little TV, an Xbox, cookies, blankets and a space heater.  Originally, we thought we\'d power everything with my truck, which has a 1,000 watt inverter.  But the store had outlets outside for vending machines and such-- and that was much easier.
   What is a guy without a TV going to do with an Xbox you ask?  Well, it\'s not for me... it\'s for someone on eBay!  At about 6:00am, the store manager showed up.  She gave us each a number to represent our position in line.  They had 6 units, and I was number 6.
   This guy, Adam, sleeping right by the door was first in line.  He and his friend Andy had tried to get an Xbox earlier in the day, but Wal*Mart had everything messed up.  He had been waiting since before 10:00pm, and despite being sick, stuck it out all night.
   The Indigo Dragon is still having problems.  Several system crashes have occurred during software installation, which I believe are due to RAM failures.  This means the 400 MHz backup server is going to be running longer still and the 2.1 GHz server is going to sit idle.  Grump, grump.
   We did some drive space calculations today.  Currently on-line is 1,236.47 gigabytes of storage space.  Of that, we consume 997.37 gigs, leaving 239.11 gigs free.  That\'s 80.66% used, 19.34% free.
   Today\'s picture is from out flight on the 7th.

November 20, 2005

Lesson in \'nohup\'

   Over my trip, I noticed my website coming up with strange SQL errors.  Thinking MySQL went flaky, I tried to shut it down.  But the system wasn\'t responding too well.  So, like someone who\'s use to none Linux OSes, I had the machine reboot.  That seemed to do the trick.  This morning, I saw the website was doing the same thing.  Being at the console, I decided to look into things a little more.  I shutdown MySQL and tried to restart it.  But I get a message that said there was no disk space to make a PID file.  \"Ah!\" I said to myself.  Sure enough, the 45 gig drive was full... but from what?
   The backup web server has nothing on it but the OS and the web sites.  The websites were around 10 gigs a few months ago, so they shouldn\'t have grown that fast.  But the space wasn\'t taken up by them.
   I had written a script sometime ago to give me a list of how large sub-directories are for some file statistics about the webpages.  I changed it quick to look at the entire system.  Then I saw /root was at over 20 gigs.  But the only thing I recall putting in /root is unpacked source code for the services the system runs.  How could that be 20 gig?!  I ran the script again on the /root directory and found the sub-directory /root/Projects contained most of that space.  I looked in projects and saw a file call \"nohup.out\", which was over 20 gig in size.  Then it dawned on me.
   I have a simulation for work that I started in the background with \'nohup\'.  This command allows you to launch a process and leave it run even after you end your session.  I had started this service while in Pennsylvania over SSH.  It must, by default, log all it\'s output to a file called \'nohup.out\'.  Since the program display real-time stats about itself, this file grew very quickly and in a weeks time, consumed 20+ gigs of space.
   So, the lesson here: run \'nohup\' with \"> /dev/null\" parameter so the output is forgotten.  
   The hard drive, how cleaned up, has 30 gig free (I also cleaned out the /tmp directory).  That\'s 70% of the 42 gig capacity.  In the cleanup, I herd the drive make a hobble (well, to a computer geek) sound-- a kind of scratchy sound with some tones, which tells me the hard drive has physical defects and is doomed to die.  That sucks, since this is the backup server :\'(
   The city of Chicago, a sea of yellow orange sodium lights.  Seen from the approach of my return flight, minutes away from landing.  To accomplish this shot, I used a very high ISO (1600) and tried to move the camera with this scene.  The shutter speed was 1/15th of second even at a -2 F-stops.  The picture turned out quite clear considering it\'s slow shutter, so I am rather pleased.  Looking closely at the picture, I can see the lights have a bit of a tail to the upper left from the motion; but not bad.