Performance Magic

Ramblings from a Sysadmin

July 17, 2013

I caved – Dell Latitude E5530 Review

I was about to spend $500 to upgrade my existing D630, and then I found out that my $dayjob gives us $1K to buy our own laptop. I threw my hands in the year and decided I would buy a new laptop. Lots of back and forwards on whether I would go back to a Mac or buy the best Intel based laptop I could and run Linux on it. I am already pretty happy with my Dell and their enterprise range are usually well built. ... Read more

July 8, 2013

Install ‘real’ java

I use a lot of out-of-band management like ASM, DRAC, etc, along with java vnc plugins for various products. I haven’t been having a lot of luck running them on my Ubuntu laptop. Over the weekend it finally dawned on me what might be going on. I am not running the Oracle Java, but the OpenJDK one with the icedtea plugin that is installed as part of Ubuntu. I found a repo that has an installer script: ... Read more

June 24, 2013


This one bit me in the proverbial recently. Was trying to setup phpmyadmin for a client on a different host to the database. This was installing apparently successfully, but failed after that. I hacked the installer code to and finally figured out that it was grant rights to the user@hostname (not user at IP address). So I changed the installer to lookup the IP and insert this. This got everything installed, but I was still have some other weird issues. ... Read more

June 24, 2013

Debian squeeze => wheezy, IPv?

I pretty much run Debian stable at home for all my servers. KVM, NFS, FW/GW, Myth, etc. A few months ago (probably almost a year) I set up dual stack IPv6 and IPv4 at home and tunnelled over IPv4 to Hurricane Electric. Most things were working fine, I even had one host that was only IPv6 to try certain things out. Recently I finished upgrading everything from Squeeze to Wheezy. This went well (as it usually does), except for a few odd things that were happening around the network… ... Read more

April 1, 2013

backup my laptop securely – crashplan

I need to backup my laptop. Previously when using a Mac, I had a hard drive sitting in my office and would plug it in every morning and Time Machine would do it’s thing. A recent tweet by @rackerhacker said he was using crashplan, so I thought I would give it a go. Crashplan is pretty good if you pay for it. I am not so concerned about the ‘cloud’ storage, but would like incremental backups taken more often, so I could find files at previous dates and/or times, but that is not the major reason for me to have backups. ... Read more

January 20, 2013

The Phoenix Project – Review

I have been waiting in anticipation to buy a copy of Gene Kim’s “The Phoenix Project”, and when it was released last week, I wasted no time snapping up a copy. By no means am I a big reader, or a fast reader, I do have a high comprehension rate, and I generally stick to reading white papers, blog posts, Etc., as opposed to technical books, I have a few on my virtual shelf, and I have read them in one form or another (e. ... Read more

January 17, 2013

Route your mic to speakers – Ubuntu PulseAudio

When testing my microphone on my laptop for use with skype and google hangouts, I need a way to route the output to the speakers. Eventually I found this bug on launchpad: To sum it up: pactl load-module module-loopback latency_msec=10 (default is 200) this command will give you a number as output, for example 27. to stop the loopback execute: pactl unload-module 27 (replace 27 with the output of the previous command) ... Read more

January 8, 2013

Convert Percona Xtrabackup to mysqldump

Recently I needed to restore a MMM (MySQL MultiMaster) cluster after both databases become corrupted for various reasons. Evaluating the environment it was decided that we should use the current active node as a true state and use this as a replication point, and provide database backups so that transactions could be played back manually if required. We use Pecona Xtrabackup for a large number of clients and this was the case this time as well. ... Read more

January 7, 2013

The value ‘stable’ is invalid for APT::Default-Release

Over the Christmas break, as I pretty much do every Christmas holiday period, I upgrade my MythTV set-up. I pretty much stick to Debian for the OS and pull the MythTV packages from Debian Multimedia. Once upon a time I used to build MythTV from source and make my own packages, but I am getting lazy and time is becoming precious for me in other ways. So this time I decided to upgrade Debian testing (Wheezy) as it seems to be pretty stable and nearing completion, so that I could install 0. ... Read more

January 2, 2013

2013 the year to get shit done

For 2013 these are my goals: Code more Clean up my music and video collections Move all the home movies and photos to Dropbox Blog more Change all my website passwords and use Lastpass Read more Finish the house renovations/makeover Clean up the garage More involvement in the community (Devops, Mythtv, Debian, FIRST) stop noisy emails Backup my laptop / move important configuration to github/Dropbox Puppitise more infrastructure I look after

© Greg Cockburn