486 is dead, all hail 486!

Soo.. fortunately my father is not in a grave, but in a burial urn in my home, so i can safely dismiss everything i wrote in my last post :p

Now that 486DX I mentioned in the previous post is back in business, doing the work of my LAN sole nameserver. I removed the completely useless webserver (lighttpd) from it and now it’s just a dnsmasq caching name server/-forwarder. And how wonderfully it does it’s job, name resolution is instantaneous!

It had a nice uptime of ~300 days, from the previous power outage until one just a while ago. It’s in a surge protected outlet in my UPS, which will keep it running longer than the reserve power outlets, as my kind of crappy Eaton ProtectionStation 650 seems to need a power recycle every now and then for the UPS monitor USB-connection to work after a reboot of my workstation >:o

Nothing much more to tell about this. The 486 and NetBSD 2.0_RC4 just keep on working, with all the innards from 1991 still working, even the 100MB HDD ๐Ÿ˜€

Well, that’s it!

R.I.P. NetBSD 2.0_RC4 and dear 486 powering it!

O tempore, o mores!

It is my sad tale to tell, that from this moment on my trusted temporary webserver and secondary nameserver, the second heart of my LAN is being disposed of all tasks, except sending bsdstats, collecting uptime and dust.
The 486SX, which for my surprise has a 487-coprocesssor, is now history and no-one except me can log in it for the rest of it’s life. The funny thing about the box was, that I didn’t even know it had a math-coprocessor before a few days back, after a conversation on IRC with a nick having an interest in NetBSD too. I just did ‘dmesg|less’ and behold! It is classed as a 486DX, not 486SX ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
Here’s a piece of the dmesg of that puny, but still loveable pizzabox:
<dmesg>
NetBSD 2.0_RC4 (TERMINAL) #0: Sun Oct 31 16:20:11 EET 2004
        marko@olohuone.koti.lan:/usr/obj/sys/arch/i386/compile.i386/TERMINAL
total memory = 8060 KB
avail memory = 6536 KB
mainbus0 (root)
cpu0 at mainbus0: (uniprocessor)
cpu0: Intel 486DX (486-class)
isa0 at mainbus0
</dmesg>
How the hell haven’t I discovered that bit of information now underlined in the dmesg of that machine before?
Well, however, this is the end of this famous computer as any kind of useful tool… It will still report some bsdstats to confuse the world about a machine still running NetBSD 2.0_RC4 on a measly 486DX-class CPU, go and see for yourself on *BSD Usage Statistics: CPU Stats, there’s only one 486DX and that, my friends is terminal.lethe.themafia.info, or that’s how it’s called here, but me, being it’s friend call it just terminal…
I swear on my fathers grave, that I will not log in to that box anymore except once in a week or two to check it’s uptime and that’s it!
It has had many, many years of service, sometimes being the lone nameserver on my LAN and bravely doing it’s task even then…
R.I.P. (except for that login sometimes, and keep on running until the next power outage).

There’s no joy like driving with a Xeon, boy!

Hello there eveyone with a nice workstation!


To translate the title to it’s original Finnish words it goes: “Ei ole riemulla rajaa, kun Xeonilla ajaa!” :p

I bought a few weeks ago a new workstation for myself, a Xeon E3-1230v3, ASUS Z87-PRO Motherboard, 16GB of Kingston HyperX 1600MHz RAM, 120GB Samsung EVO SSD (for operating system and /home), 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black HDD (for backups and storage), a Fractal Design R4 case, SilverStone ST65F-G power supply, NVidia Quadro 600 graphics, Asus 23″ MX239 (pretty good for it’s 249โ‚ฌ price tag, except those speakers are total rubbish and i have stereos at home too) display (well, I’ve had this display already for a year or so) and then some like an Eaton ProtectionStation 650 UPS (from which i’ve heard some bad things about). I decided not to get any more power for the graphics than that, as i don’t do gaming much and what games i’m playing are Frozen-Bubble 2 and some kind of Breakout clone ๐Ÿ˜€

Shiit people, it’s awesome to run this box! I used to have that Early 2011 13.3″ MacBook Pro with 2.3GHz Core i5 (dual-core, four threads) and then in a situation I had it with 16GB of RAM, but the RAM failed and I got a refund (so now it’s back to 4GB RAM). That MacBook Pro is now a BOINC calculator and nothing more… Now I have four cores at 3.3GHz, eight threads, completely working RAM, and a nice SSD to boot from, not to mention GPU able to do CUDA calculations and because of that being used for BOINC-projects even better. Goddamnit this machine is a beast compared to that older MacBook Pro, like sofware just jumping in half a second when that MBP took a minute ๐Ÿ˜€ The Eaton has been working mostly fine, except i’ve lost connection to it on some reboots, so no monitoring for it then and a reboot of both UPS and the workstation needed.

Guess what I decided as the OS for this shiny new workstation? Well, no, not FreeBSD… I’ve been a BSD zealot long enough to try something “new” and exciting! I already had installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to my mothers old MacBook (from 2006 or 2007) and found it quite suitable for her needs, which are quite limited, but still. Well, from that background I decided to try out the just released Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on my new machine, and damned, it really works like a charm. Just everything in my machine works without any problems, just install and run, even the Wi-Fi connection just works. Go and see ASUS documentation for this Wi-Fi device embedded to my motherboard if you wish. Only problem was to make proprietary NVidia drivers to work, which didn’t happen out of the box. I installed the drivers from “Additional Drivers” panel in Ubuntu, but next boot gave me a black screen without a chance to go to a text-based terminal. I’ve been out of Linux and on Open- Net-, FreeBSD and OS X quite a long time, so it was a nice smell of fresh air to try out Ubuntu and it seems like a nice chap ๐Ÿ˜€

Administration wise Ubuntu is just plain stupid easy for a workstation, i could guess it being headless and running as a server quite nice too, except the upstart; I’ve been used to the BSD init quite a lot, not to mention OS X launchd which seems like a horrible cludge with it’s XML startup files (who knows when i swap my personalized init on OS X from /etc/rc.local to lauchd :p ). Well, upstart is not so bad, /etc/rc.local still exists and works if needed and “sudo service <servicename> start” works between reboots… So, now I’m running this strange Ubuntu as an administrator all the time, so software updates show as they come, on my mothers machine she’s not an admin, just to be sure.  The one problem mentioned above, NVidia drivers, got solved by hand meddling with /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf file and adding “blacklist nouveua” at the end of the file, which in fact just disabled loading the Nouveua Open Source, no 3D-accelerated kernel driver which then conflicted with the binary nvidia.ko making the machine unusable except in recovery mode with a root shell. This was something I wasn’t expecting from an OS made for the masses, but it was trivial to achieve after some googling (not to say my mom could have done what had to be done…). I’ve now got used to a lot of software available (FreeBSD has a lot too, but not everything Ubuntu has), the only thing i had to install away from apt sources was Komodo Edit from ActiveState. I have KeePassX, Komodo Edit and NetBeans on Ubuntu just like on OS X, but kept up to date by the package manager (except for Komodo Edit just to be sure ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Now I have Darktable for RAW images from my DSLR and Shotwell for “developed” images, like .jpg exported from Darktable, these were available on OS X for Darktable, but not AFAIR Shotwell, which is a great photo library software, except it doesn’t have online ordering of photobooks and somesuch like iPhoto on OS X, but who cares, the photo services here have enough options to make your books just fine online.

Bottomline is this: do try Ubuntu if for nothing else, then for the sheer fun of it in a VM. It configures your devices automagically, no need to edit a config file to load the kernel drivers except for that nvidia.ko, which, by the way seems to have put it’s piece of config in /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-graphics-drivers.conf afterall, not by me ๐Ÿ˜ฎ There it blacklists nouveau and it’s bits and pieces in addition to some other stuff… The other thing is this: don’t buy a i7-4770k if you’re not using it’s integrated graphics, as it’s a hefty bonus more expensive than my Xeon and you’re probably wanting discrete graphics afterall. My Xeon is as fast as that i7, but just lacks the integrated graphics, so wtf, go for the xeon!

Happy hunting people! ๐Ÿ˜€

Just FYI for old URL’s and the new ones…

Hello, my fine fellow druges or WTF!

So, those lethe.bsdaddict.org sites have not been in place for a long time… this means I don’t have a Finnish language blog anymore and intend not to get one either.
There’s Lethe, which is just a toy site on a measly 486SX with minimal
old NetBSD 2.0_RC4 install.

Maybe I’ll someday make something with my other home server and publish some bullshit there too, who knows and even more, who cares ๐Ÿ˜€. That new host might be
petos.themafia.info, which points to Lethe at the moment.

Well, I should post something about the “Information Management”-course, but we’ll see when I’m up to it. It was an interesting course for sure, but more on it later.

Don’t expect me to post anything anytime soon now, you all oh, so enthusiastic fans of mine!

OS X 10.9 and not so HUGE swapping

Okay, a post after a long pause ๐Ÿ™‚

This time Iโ€™m positively surprised by the new OS X 10.9 Mavericks. In my previous post i screamed about 10.6 Snow Leopard swapping like hell and now after three days uptime with 10.9 Mavericks I see no same kind of mad swapping as with 10.6!

Of course this is not an uptime to brag about, but itโ€™s still showing no problems with swapper, the current swap is 1.0GB and the used swap space is between 170GB and at current 211GB. The used swap space doesnโ€™t only increase by time, it also decreases sometimesโ€ฆ

Also the inactive memory is smaller now, it comes close to 500MB at itโ€™s lowest. This all is good news for me, and hopefully everyone using OS X 10.9 Mavericks as a heavy duty workstation OS.ย I will be watching how memory usage goes about with increasing uptime…

By the way, Iโ€™m going to increase my RAM from this measly 4GB to 16GB later this month, so there might be a post after that to see how my workhorse MacBook Pro and Mavericks works after that…

Thanks Apple for making an at least at first glance a great free operating system upgrade! ๐Ÿ˜€

OS X 10.6.8 and HUGE swapping?

So, to quote my question on it.toolbox.com Apple mailing list:

<quote>

Hello,

I’m sorry if this is the wrong mailing list, but AFAIR mac-os-x-l got dumped…

I have OS X 10.6.8 at the moment on a early 2011 MacBook Pro 13,3" with 4GB of RAM.
Could someone tell me what the heck is going on inside the swapper in OS X? I have uptime of ten days and my encrypted swapfiles are ATM at 4,6GB (slowing down to close unresponsive state coming soon and reboot needed). I have plenty of memory using apps running, but still I have quite exactly 1GB of free/inactive memory left, so why are the swap files growing all the time?
I mean, at the days when I used FreeBSD and Linux before that as my workstation OS’s the swap partition seemed never to be needed if I had 1GB of RAM and the RAM got used until the last drop before swapping started (of course I have more memory hungry applications running now, but I also have more RAM…).
I understand someone might say it’s better to have some RAM ready for new applications, but at the moment I don’t think my RAM is used as efficiently as possible. Is there a clear reason for OS X swapper throwing my apps to swap after a good night of inactivity? Swapping out running apps doesn’t happen every night, but it happens much more often than on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD or Linux (in fact it *never* happened on them as far as the system had some RAM left to play with)…
Now I have eleven apps in my dock active and running: Finder, iCal, Address Book, Mail, Firefox, Adium, Skype, iChat, iTunes, iTerm and BOINCManager. AFAIR I had the same problem with OS X 10.4.x with 2GB of RAM and it had almost always 512MB of free/inactive memory. OS X is swapping pages out more than I see necessary, but I’m not sure if this is intentional or bad design.
One possibility for slowdowns could of course be hitting the maximum process limit for a user (I have now 64 and the kern.maxprocperuid MIB is 266, so it’s not that). Other reason might be application caches blowing up, but this never happened on Linux or FreeBSD, so please help me find out the reason for this swapping madness, as no matter what is the reason for slowdowns after a period of 10 to 15 days I don’t see why this swapping out happens.

Thanks for response to everyone if you may. ๐Ÿ™‚

</quote>

Now at my personal blog I can say this more loudly; WTF?!?!

I mean really, what is the purpose of RAM being unused all the time and waiting for something to happen application wise and then again have a GB of free for another one, swapping out something in use for what the hell?

Maybe I’m dumb (but I think I’m just unhappy ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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Phew! New EJabberD server for local network installed & configured…

Strange, I finally got to testing a XMPP server on my development workstation and will deploy probably to my web-/shell-server too later on when I’ve installed the new mobo.

The XMPP server is EJabberD (Erlang Jabber Daemon), it’s cool because I can cluster it at home. I mean, I’ll have it on my external server, and if needed I can fall back to my dev MBP. No need for external server for XMPP instant messaging anymore ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, how I wish I could have Skype & Facebook transports, but they’ll come sometime… And it seems there is a Facebook transport for EJabberD, nice, gotta try that soon.

Well, who wants to know these kind of things? Not me from anyone else, but if a simple EJabberD configuration interests you, please contact me and I’ll see what can be done.

In fact I configured EJabberD with the help of live-mode available through the `ejabberdctl live’ command. I had some problems, but the live console really helped. Didn’t have enough knowledge of Erlang or EJabberD to do anything more than watch the error- or info-messages go past my eyes, but it was useful anyways.

I just registered myself as an admin to my new cute Jabber server and hope my contacts will accept my request to be my friends even with this config ๐Ÿ™‚

My server will be open to the outside world as soon as I install that damned "new" mobo to my server…

Bye bye bunnies, eat eggs.

Happy Ishtar!

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